After the sacrifice that the Gold Saints made on the Underworld in order to let Seiya and the others go to the Elysian Fields, they were supposed to be dead… Rather, they woke up, confused and concerned on the North Lands, Asgard, where a never ending spring has Sprout. Some of them wants to go to the Sanctuary and fight Hades, others to amends their mistakes of the past or live a peaceful life…Still, there are one thing these Resurrected Warriors have in common… Everyone feels attracted to the Yggdrassil tree.
The newest Saint Seiya Anime is one that it focuses on the 12 Gold Saints. This story, while inconsequential on the grand Scheme of things, it is still an interesting take on of the franchise. Let us check it out.
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Returning to Asgard
The Asgard Arc, an Anime filler Arc, where Seiya and the others had to fight against Polaris Hilda and her God Warriors. This Arc was so successful and popular, that when most of the events got retconned on the Hades Saga animation (which was closer to the manga) it was decided that this Arc will stay.
Now Asgard has become once again the place where the story will unfold, with a new governor and new God Warriors at his disposal. It is interesting to see some of the places or environment that we got to see originally when the first Asgard Saga aired.
In here also, there are lots and lots of throwbacks to the Asgard arc, including what was the destiny of both Hilda and Freya after the battle they held against the Sanctuary ended.
A Nice story
While Soul of Gold´s history is in truth inconsequential to the grand scheme of things in the Saint Seiya Universe, it is still has a nice story about how Aioria (featuring Lyfia) and the other Gold Saints decides what to do with this new life that they got.
One of the central focus is the mystery regarding the questions that who resurrected them? And why? Which everything seems to point them to the Yggdrassil Tree, which has brought a never ending spring to a land that is supposed to be an eternal winter.
The development and pacing of the story is good enough and it keeps you captured in order to know what is coming next. So in that regard this series did well.
Hard to enter
Saint Seiya Soul of Gold is a Spinoff that, unlike the others, it is one that depends in order to be enjoyed of 2 different story Arcs. I am talking about the Asgard Saga and the Hades Saga. So if you want to see this Anime, I fully recommend you to watch those 2 story arcs before you get into this.
On the positive, both Arcs (Asgard and Hades) are truly good! So you will most likely enjoy them!
Another point of view of the Gold Saints
In general terms, the Gold Saints are, besides being popular and strong, a bunch of dudes who liked to wear Gold armors with high heels and stay on some ancient Ruins in Greece. Ergo, besides their zodiacal sign, and some character shtick… There weren´t much of them.
One of the objectives of this series was to give them a little more space in order to develop them more, and get to know them better in a space that it isn´t the Sanctuary. And in some cases they succeeded, specifically talking about Aphrodite and Death Mask…And to some extent Milo and Aioria. We come to see them in a different light and even get to know them a little bit better.
Special mention is to Death mask, who for being a Gold Saint that tends to get the short end of the stick (alongside Aphrodite and Aldebaran) he even had his own story arc! And it was a good one at that! I won´t spoil much; but it is truly a redemption tale for someone whose own armor rejected him for his crimes.
New Punching Bags…I mean God Warriors
The God Warriors, the soldiers chosen to protect Asgard and all the north lands for any menace that might rise in there. On the original Asgard Arc the God Warriors where mighty opponents that put Seiya and the others against the ropes more than one time. Also they were characters that where perfectly developed with the little time they had. In little scenes most of their motivations and personality was shown in a true and natural way.
…Sadly this is not the case for most of this new generation of God Warriors.
These God Warriros felt bland and weak, so much that even the Director, Takeshi Furuta (Mangaka-San to Assistant-San to the Animation) ,said that while his intention was to flesh them out more and make them good opponents to the Gold Saints, sadly due to time constraints they were reduced to mere Punching bags for the Legendary Saints.
Something that is truly sad since there are some interesting characters on their ranks. I am talking about Surtr, Frodi, Utgard and Sigurd, who were God Warriors that could be interesting and cool. Still most of their background was just passed by and very rushed.
Maybe the exception would be Sigurd and Frodi, although still their stories lacked the impact to make them memorable (especially since Frodi had a Ship with Lyfia that it was only hinted).
One of the God Warriors though, got well developed similar to how the classic history did; I am talking about Balder, a man who became God himself, who in a mere chapter got a good development and a nice ending to his story.
Besides the God Warriors, Soul of Gold shows us other Asgardians. I am talking about Hilda and Freya who comes back for this history, plus Lyfia and Andreas. Talking about this new characters, they got a good time on the spotlight and are central points of the history, making them very good characters, although on Andreas case, he could be much more, since at the beginning it was hinted that he is doing this since he truly believes it´s the best for Asgard, a land that he loves; sadly his intentions changed very quickly to “Lolz I´m evulz cus reasons!”
Fun Fact: For some reason I keep mistaking Andreas name to Mattias (A problem I had since I was covering this anime)… Some things never change: P
On the side of Freya and Hilda, they don´t get much time on the spotlight, but yeah…one can see what was of them after the events of the Original Asgard Arc.
A Nice final fight
While most of the fights where Ok at best. There was one that truly stands out. The final fight against the real enemy…Which I won´t say because is spoiler.
I will say that it is a truly an awesome fight with lots of twist and stuff going out… So if you want to see an incredible awesome fight. This is it!
Limitations: Time, story, merchandise and money
The Director, Takeshi Furuta, had to deal with lots of stuff in order to create this Anime. I am talking about time, money and history.
Furuta has confessed in the past that he had lots of obstacles. First it was the Money, since Toei didn´t give the team enough in order to do it as he would have liked (hence the bad animation…Although that got fixed on the Blu-Ray).
Time: Since it is a 13 chapter Anime series, it is in truth too little time compared to the other Saint Seiya Animes where they had more chapters in order to develop more things, and for that according to Furuta, the God Warriors where punching bags.
Story: Furuta also told that he had some obstacles at the time to make the history, since he couldn´t use anything of the Norse mythology that it was already used on either the Original Asgard arc or the OVA “The Great Battle of the Gods” that it also is centered on Asgard. So he had to truly search at the bottom of the barrel.
Merchandise: It is obvious that this series was made in order to sell Toys, specifically the Divine Gold Armors of the 12 Gold Saints, who have proven time and time again, to be the ones who sell the most.
Bad Animated on Air…Good on the Blu-Rays
Toei it has been known since some time ago, that they truly are becoming lazy animators, and sadly three of their classical franchises have received it´s treatment. I am talking about Sailor Moon Crystal, Dragon Ball Super and of course, Saint Seiya –Soul of Gold-.
While Dragon Ball Super it continues to be animated and it even has surpassed the movies Arcs. Sailor Moon Crystal has received more love (and money) from Toei, getting more and better animations.
Sadly that is not quite the case with Soul of Gold, which on its 6 months of existing (a bi-weekly Anime, like Sailor Moon Crystal Season 1 and 2). Still…Luckily the Blu-Rays had better drawings and animation. Here are some examples.
Looks better, right?
Saint Seiya- Soul of Gold- is an Anime that tried to capture the feelings and emotions of the original series, and while it wasn´t 100% successful in doing that it had some truly shining moments, the history of Balder, the Death Mask Arc and the final fights where some truly moments that showed that this project, at the very least, had hearth…And a Soul…of Gold…
If you have enjoyed any other Saint Seiya work, you will most likely like this one, so if you are a fan. Go for it!