The History of a new Generation of Saints, after the hypothetical end of Saint Seiya it is told on this Original Anime based on the franchise!
Saint Seiya Omega was the first project that Toei took based on the already said franchise after the failure that it was the “Heaven Arc- Overture” Movie. And it featured a history set various years after the hypothetical end of the original Series.
This move was chosen since Kurumada (who was again in good terms with Toei) haven´t advanced much in the Saint Seiya: Next Dimension Manga and for that a good way to make a history that didn´t contradict Kurumada´s work was making it various years in the future. Sadly the future reached us and Omega has now some contradictions with the Canon material; but this Article isn´t about that :P.
First I will say that I will divide my impressions on 2 parts. One for the first season, and other for the second.
<<<Run Towards the Future filled with Hope
It Does Not Matter How Many Times You Fall
Just Keep Standing Back Up
Because A Miracle Will Not Happen On Its Own>>>
First Season- War Against Mars
The First Season of Omega it show us the rise of Pegasus Koga, the new Pegasus Bronze Saint after Seiya and his friends: Lionet Souma, Dragon Ryuho, Aquila Yuna and Wolf Haruto, this Season is dismissed by the most puritans of the fans as one of the worst in the whole Saint Seiya Universe due to some changes that it had comparing it with the other Spinoffs.
These Changes are:
-The Introduction of the Elemental Cosmos, that to put it shorts it is basically a Pokémon style fight, with some elements stronger than the others.
- A very simplistic design on the armors, with the exception on some Gold Armors, most of the designs are truly simplistic and looks more like some truly tight suits rather than a protective wear.
- The disappearance of the Padora box to some Armor jewel. The way the armors are carried changed drastically.
- The Introduction of a “Saints School”. On the first chapters of Omega, the first important Arc it is about a Saints School called “The Palaestra” and this motif was truly unwelcomed by most of the fans since the thing could change from a Fight Shounen to a School One. Still, this Arc only is a couple of chapters.
Now having that into account, the eyes of most of their critics where shut to a very good Kids Shounen that it had some truly nice stories and a good character development regarding some characters that later I will say. So now let´s check the things out!
A Similar tale with its own twists
One of the things that the first season had it was that it was like Star Wars VII regarding the fact that it was filled with Cameos and things that remembered us to the Original Material that it is based on. I mean, in Omega the Sanctuary is the enemy, again. Our Heroes will face the Bronze Saints (who aren´t evil); the Silver Saints (lead by a Woman again) and finally the Gold Saints with some exceptions.
The basics of the tale are similar to the Original Saint Seiya, on their Sanctuary Arc; still there are various differences that make it a highly different experience. I will number them in 2 things:
1.- Conspiracies, Conspiracies everywhere: On the Original Saint Seiya, the main attraction besides the fights was the mystery that involved the Sanctuary, now such mystery isn´t here anymore, what it has here are various conspiracies, from the different Saints (Eden, Sonia), Mars , Medeus (Mars second wife) , everyone has their own reasons and their own conspiracies, their own plans, everything . Mars is planning one thing, Sonia is planning other, Eden another and finally Medeus other, and everyone is playing chess between them in order that in the end their will is superior to the others, without dispatching between them since they are useful for the time being. The chaos between such different fractions is so big that even inside the ranks of the Gold Saints there are different alignments, Mars has chosen some of them (various strong fighters that while aren´t worthy of being Saints are capable of dominate the Cosmos and the power of the Gold Armors); Medea has chosen others (mostly traitors of the Sanctuary or very disturbed people) and just one or two who in truth follows Athena.
2. - The Tragic tale of Koga, Aria and Eden: Much like how The Lost Canvas is a tragic tale of 3 friends who are players in the setting made by the Gods; In Omega 3 babies will dance for the amusement of such Divine beings, I am talking about Koga, the Pegasus Saint; Aria, Athena´s Imposter; Eden, Orion´s Bronze Saint. These three persons have such a tragic background and a terrible fate regarding them. Starting with Aria and Koga, whose life got messed up on their first months of birth by being showered in the Light and Dark Cosmos, One will be raised by Saori as his Son transforming in the new Pegasus Saint obliged by the fate he has, while the other by Mars and will become the “New Athena”, the other (Eden) will be so messed up and his hearth will be torn into pieces that it is not even funny! Those three characters will show us how messed up is all of this thing, where the innocent dies, the line between good and bad blurs, that even if your mission is noble, people will get hurt, and even you won´t see the fruits of your labor on your life time!
On the case of Aria she is one of the most well developed characters in the whole Saint Seiya Universe, and…well, no, I won´t say much about her since all of her is Spoiler; but… (;_;). Let us pass to the next point.
Well Developed characters
On the upper paragraph I talked a little about Aria, who was a very well developed character, and while she is one of the most well developed characters in all of Saint Seiya, there are others who had so good development, like Eden, Paradox, Mars itself, every character has their motivations well put and are shown in a very good way. Making them, while not likeable, understandable on why they do the things they do. Other characters like Yuna, Haruto and such do have their good development, but aren´t as awesome or shown in a memorable way.
One of the most easily traps to fall in Saint Seiya are the exaggeration on the techniques, that while they are impressive, they tend to be over used and a lot of the Spinoffs, and even Next Dimension (Canon Prequel/Sequel) fall on this trap very often. Gladly Saint Seiya Omega makes the fights a nice share of fist, kicks grabs, etc. And while the amazing techniques are still in there, they are used as a finishing move rather than an opening, middle and finishing. Making the whole fights very enjoyable and reminding us to the Classic Saint Seiya!
Easy to get into
Saint Seiya Omega, like Saint Seiya The Lost Canvas, are tales that can be told on their own with little to no knowledge of Saint Seiya, showing us the ins and outs of Saint Seiya universe, the Cosmos and everything, also while this series has a lot of nods to the Original Saint Seiya Anime they are mostly superficial and nothing too deep in order to understand the history as a whole.
Second Season- Pallas and her Pallasites
The Second Season of Saint Seiya Omega occurs little time after the battle against Mars, and a new Roman divinity has come to invade the world. Pallas, who for every reason and purpose was Athena with another name, she has even an order of Warriors who protect her and even have three different ranges. A war between two orders of holy warriors will begin!
There it is to say that due to the various critics that the First season had, Toei listened and made various changes so much that even this Season could be considered as a “Soft Reboot” of sorts. These changes are, while not limited to:
- The Team in charge inside Toei got changed since the first one was more specialized on the “Magical Girl” genre rather than Kids Shounen. The Second team had veterans of the Classic Saint Seiya.
- The Elemental Cosmos stuff while not removed got reduced to basically nothing.
- The Pandora´s boxes are back.
- New Armors that looks like more like well… armors instead of tight suits.
- Most connections to the Mars Saga aren´t necessary or only mentioned but nothing that matters much…Basically like the approach of Jurassic World regarding Jurassic Park 2 and 3 (saying that yeah, they happened; but they aren´t important for this history).
- The Return of the Steel Saints (filler characters of the filler chapters in the original Saint Seiya Anime).
Now having that into account let us check this out!
Steel Saints are back
Said on the list above, the Steel Saints are back. They were original an invented fraction of invented character in the filler of the Saint Seiya Anime. Well, Toei remembered about them and decide to bring them back, and even make Subaru, a new main character of this season, one of them! Of course they explain what the Steel Saints in the Omega Universe are, and why they are back, and it´s a good explanation, so even if one hasn´t seen the original Anime, they will be filled in.
Return of the Veterans
While Seiya, Shiryu, Shun and Hyoga made an appearance in Omega, they truly weren´t so important and could be removed and changed to any other character to fit their role (with the exception of Seiya). Now on this Season they are back and better than ever! Seiya, Shun, Shiryu Hyoga and Ikki, and even Jabu and the other less important Bronze Saints will appear too in order to help the new Saints on this new duty that it shows is more than they can chew! I am saying that because the Classic Saints will feature a central part on this whole thing.
I am not saying that Koga, Ryuho and the others will be neglected to a secondary role, since them and other Gold Saints who decided to swear loyalty to Athena after the Mars Saga, will have their right time in the spotlight too! But one can see that when a Classic character comes, they will be the focus.
Other of the criticism that the first Season had was its lack of action in comparison to the Classic series, well, on this one we will have lots and lots of it! Basically every chapter has its action part! And that it makes to be a good drama mover regarding the cruelest part of a war…The deaths. Still the things are lighter in tone comparing them to other Spinoffs like The lost Canvas, still the impact it´s there.
A Fitting Conclusion
Saint Seiya Omega finishes with this Season and its conclusion is a satisfactory one, while leaving the door opened for a new one…Which is basically impossible now. Still the series end was a good one.
Saint Seiya Omega is a Kids Shounen Anime that whiles it was bad received by the fans of the source material; it has enough strength to be good enough and a good entry for everyone who might want to know about Saint Seiya. While it isn´t perfect still it is a good representative of the franchise!