After the failure that was the Movie “Saint Seiya: Heaven Arc –Overture-” and the subsequent cancelation of the other 2 movies that would be the Canonical end of Saint Seiya, Kurumada decided to give to the fans the Saint Seiya series they deserved it. And because of that Saint Seiya: Next Dimension was born.
Conceived as a “Prequel/Sequel” to Saint Seiya. Next Dimension is an history that covers both the Past holy War against hades on the 18th Century, lived by Tenma and Alone, and what happens after his total defeat in the 20th Century by the hands of Seiya and friends.
Connecting past and present
Next Dimension, being both a prequel and a sequel, it had a big problem in it´s hands… How to make it to have some sense? Well...In that regard the solution that Kurumada brought was simple: Time traveling.
The Manga starts as a prequel. On how Alone became Hades and Tenma, his best friend, is destined to be the Pegasus Saint of that generation and defeat him; but after some chapters it take us to the present, where we get to know the situation that Seiya is hurt and he could possibly die in 3 days. So Saori´s plan is to go to the past and destroy Hades´s Sword there so he can´t use it against Seiya in the future…Makes sense.
On any case let us keep going.
Next Dimension, as it´s predecessors and most of the Spinoffs, have a good quality of fights where they are exciting with lots of twist and amazing moves.
While at the start they where similar to the Classic Saint Seiya, later they started to begun to be closer to the ones we sought on Lost Canvas and/or other Spinoffs, I mean more powerful techniques right at the beginning. And as I said in another Article, that is not a bad thing on itself, although it is a little disappointing…But oh well, the quality of the fights is still there.
There it is to say one thing though, the motivations for a fight in this manga are… Quite bad most of the times, reaching to dumb, It reaches Fighting game story bad! Like “I´m a good guy, you are a good guy, still…Let us fight meanwhile the bad guys are coming because I say so…” bad! Still they are fun to see and enjoy.
The 13th Gold Saint Appears!... And remnants of Heaven Arc
One of the things that Next Dimension has brought is that with the recent thing that the Ophiucus Constellation is now part of the Zodiac then…A new Gold Saint will have to appear. For that, Kurumada announced that the Ophiucus Gold Saint will be part of Next Dimension.
Now most of his stuff it´s still shrouded in darkness, although it is very probably that when the next batch of chapters comes that thing got resolved.
Other things are a few connections with what was the “Heaven Arc –Overture” movie…Specifically about Angel Touma. A being who is part of the most selected warriors of Zeus, ergo his personal army, he was brought down without grace as a fallen angel and now he can´t fly like his others comrades…Still he is a force of nature that Callisto was using in order to stop Athena in doing what she plans to do. Touma is truly an interesting character who’s Arc has been halted for the time being due to the fact that he is in the present, not on the past where most of the action takes place.
Now talking about Artemis, she is also an interesting character since unlike the Movie, where she was basically one of the bad guys, in here she doesn´t fit with that narrative since she truly loves and cares for Athena, her younger Sister, still…She is using some tough love in order to stop her since what Athena tries to do will make the other Gods be angry with her… More than they are right now.
Welcome to the Sanctuary!...Again
Ah…The Good old Sanctuary. The place where the Saints gather, train and Athena is in there…The most safest place one could say!... What?! The baddies are invading it Again?! And there are traitors inside the Sanctuary…Again?!
One of the most criticized points in Next Dimension is that Kurumada has started to copy himself again, and again, and again. I mean, we already had the Sanctuary Arc in the original Saint Seiya and then the Sanctuary Chapter on Hades, which was cool and all; although still…
Now on Next Dimension. The Hades Army invades the Sanctuary, at the same time the Patriarch is evil (again) and wants to kill Athena; some Saints are loyal to the patriarch and others to Athena (again)… And our Heroes (Tenma + the Bronze Saints of Saint Seiya except Seiya himself) have to climb the 12 Temples in order to reach Athena and save her… You can see where I am going? It is basically the same story already told in Saint Seiya! Of course, some twist happens here and there and that can be both a good and a bad thing at the same time. So let us check it in the next point.
Lots of Twists and sense of Urgency
As said in the previous point. Next Dimension uses lots and lots of different twist and senses of Urgency in order to keep the things interesting.
The first one we have it with Seiya, who might die in 3 days if Saori and the others can´t destroy Hades sword, then it changes that Athena becomes a baby again (basically because a “Divine prank”) and the Patriarch wants to kill her because he is evil… then she gets rescued by some Gold Saints who aren´t traitors and later she reunites with Hyoga and other Gold Saints…Then she is bitten by a talking Snake and she has only a few hours unless Our Heroes manage to go to where the Ophiucus Gold Saint is and convince him to save her…
As you can see. It looks like Kurumada is not trying anymore to make us interested in the whole concept and rather just throws some danger that in the end doesn´t ends quite well (or at all) and that leave us with some plot holes or incomplete story arcs. I mean What happened with Seiya? With Angel Touma? With Hades/Alone? With the sense in all of this?
This is just making the story confusing and vastly uninteresting to truly follow. Which is sad because Kurumada has shown that he can make good histories with Good characters, even though the basis of such things are simple (Example: BT´X and Platinum Age).
Still, I want to be positive and say that maybe when Next Dimension ends, and everything ties together it will be an amazing and epic tale that will make everyone of their detractors bite their tongues… But until that moment comes… The thing is a mess.
Saint Seiya: Next Dimension is a manga that started interesting and quite strong; but sadly due to how the manga has been treated regarding its story, the thing has quickly become a mess…Still there are lights of hope and moments of brilliance in there, the dramatic scenes are very good and the fights amazing, some mysteries are really intriguing and it truly catches your attention making you want to keep reading. Those are things that in the end can save this manga and show us again that Kurumada still has it and still has an idea to where keep going with this work!