Is Saint Seiya the same as Knights of the Zodiac?

This classic anime follows a group of mystical warriors known as the “Saints,” who wear powerful armor called “Cloths” and defend the Earth against various mythological threats.

“Saint Seiya” and “Knights of the Zodiac” refer to the same series. “Saint Seiya” is a Japanese manga and anime created by Masami Kurumada, which first debuted in 1986. “Knights of the Zodiac” is the English title given to the series when it was adapted and localized for international audiences. 

The name change was likely intended to make the series more relatable and recognizable to non-Japanese viewers.

Despite the title difference, the core story, characters, and concepts remain the same. The series has enjoyed popularity worldwide, especially in Latin America, Europe, and other parts of Asia. To know the countries where Saint Seiya is most popular, click here.

Changing from Saint Seiya to Knights of the Zodiac

The original Japanese title, “Saint Seiya,” refers to the series’ central characters, the mystical warriors called “Saints,” who wear powerful armors representing constellations.

The change in title from “Saint Seiya” to “Knights of the Zodiac” was primarily a localization decision aimed at appealing to international audiences, especially in English-speaking regions.

When the series was brought to Western markets, the term “Seiya” might not have been immediately recognizable or easily understood, and cultural nuances surrounding the word “saint” could vary.

To make the series more relatable and marketable, the title was changed to “Knights of the Zodiac.” This new title highlights the knights’ connection to the zodiac signs, which are universally recognized symbols associated with astrology.

Despite the title change, the core story and characters of the series remained largely intact, enabling its successful introduction and popularity in international markets. To see why the show was never very popular in the USA, click here.

Saint Seiya name adaptations in other countries

Here are the title adaptations for “Saint Seiya” in some other countries:

  1. Spain and Latin America: In Spain, the series is known as “Los Caballeros del Zodiaco,” which translates to “The Knights of the Zodiac.” The title adaptation is similar to the English version and emphasizes the connection between the characters and the zodiac signs.
  2. France: In France, the series is titled “Les Chevaliers du Zodiaque,” meaning “The Knights of the Zodiac.” Like in Spain, the French adaptation also maintains the emphasis on the knights’ affiliation with the zodiac.
  3. Brazil and Portugal: In Brazil and Portugal, the series is known as “Os Cavaleiros do Zodíaco,” again translating to “The Knights of the Zodiac.” This title adaptation, like in other countries, highlights the zodiac connection of the characters.
  4. Italy: In Italy, the series is known as “I Cavalieri dello Zodiaco,” which translates to “The Knights of the Zodiac,” similarly emphasizing the zodiac connection.
  5. Germany: In Germany, the series is known as “Die Krieger des Zodiac,” translating to “The Warriors of the Zodiac,” which captures the essence of the knights’ battles.
  6. Greece: In Greece, the series is titled “Οι Ιππότες του Ζωδιακού” (Oi Ippótes tou Zodiakou), meaning “The Knights of the Zodiac,” maintaining the zodiac theme.
  7. Poland: In Poland, the series is known as “Rycerze Zodiaku,” which translates to “Knights of the Zodiac,” again focusing on the zodiac motif.
  8. Turkey: In Turkey, the series is titled “Zodyak Savaşçıları,” meaning “Warriors of the Zodiac.”

These adaptations showcase the efforts made to convey the series’ theme while also making it accessible and relatable to audiences in different parts of the world.

Knights of the Zodiac: the 2023 Movie

In 2023, a live-action movie titled Knights of the Zodiac was released. It was inspired in the famous anime and manga saga we all know.

“Knights of the Zodiac” is a 2023 fantasy action film directed by Tomek Bagiński, based on the manga Saint Seiya by Masami Kurumada. The movie follows street orphan Seiya, who discovers that he is destined to protect a young girl who is the reincarnation of a goddess of war and save the world.

The film stars Mackenyu, Famke Janssen, Madison Iseman, Diego Tinoco, Mark Dacascos, Nick Stahl, and Sean Bean.

The film has received mostly negative reviews from critics and was a box-office bomb with a gross of $6.8 million.

Most reviewers found the story unoriginal and boring, with a plot that could have been copy-pasted from countless boring novels.

Vítor Costa

Brazilian otaku addicted to classic anime. PhD in Polymer Science and Technology.

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