Step into the incredible world of Saint Seiya, where valiant Saints safeguard justice. Our movie guide is your passport to a cosmic journey through this iconic universe.
From the gutsy Bronze Saints’ beginnings to the mind-blowing cosmic showdowns of the revered Gold Saints, this list dishes out all the cinematic thrills.
The original article in portuguese can be found here.
Saint Seiya: Evil Goddess Eris (1987)
Evil Goddess Eris is the first Knights of the Zodiac film, being released in 1987 and not following the chronology of the anime or manga. It is considered almost a short film, due to its duration of just 45 minutes.
In the plot we have the story of the goddess Eris, who incarnates in the young Eiri, and kidnaps Saori Kido to take her powers, using her golden snitch. The Bronze Saints then go to the Sanctuary of Eris to rescue her.
Fights take place in the sanctuary against traitorous Athena saints, now as ghosts of Eris. Eris places the Golden Snitch close to Saori’s chest, who begins to feel severe pain as her energy is sucked away. Click here to check the Saint Seiya god characters.
Saint Seiya: The Heated Battle of the Gods (1988)
The Heated Battle of Gods is Toei Animation’s second film based on Saint Seiya. It premiered on March 12, 1988 at the Toei Manga Matsuri film festival.
In Siberia, Hyoga saves a man who is being attacked. Wounded, the man can only say something about Asgard. A few days later, Saori, Seiya, Shiryu and Shun begin to wonder about the whereabouts of the missing Hyoga and decide to go to Asgard to investigate.
In Valhalla, the Lord of Asgard, Durval, says that neither he nor his right-hand man, Loki, have heard of any Hyoga.
However, at all times Seiya and the others can feel an evil cosmos emanating from Loki and the other Saints of Odin, the God Warriors. Shiryu, in particular, notices a familiar cosmos coming from Midgard, a mysterious, masked Warrior God.
Durval makes it clear that he is trying to take control of Asgard and the Sanctuary by imprisoning Athena in a dimension inside the giant statue of Odin.
Midgard reveals his true identity to be Hyoga, after being brainwashed, and attempts to kill Shiryu to prove himself to Durval. Thus, it is the Bronze Saints’ task to defeat Durval, Loki and the rest of the God Warriors, to save Athena and Hyoga.
Due to the popularity of this film, Toei Animation later created the Asgard Saga for the anime, which did not originally appear in the manga and is set between the Sanctuary and Poseidon arcs of the story.
Saint Seiya: Legend of Crimson Youth (1988)
The Legend of the Defenders of Athena is Toei Animation’s third anime film based on the Saint Seiya manga.
In the plot, Athena receives a visit from Abel, her older brother and Ancient God of the Sun. He informs her that he came to destroy humanity as punishment for its corruption, just as was done in ancient times.
He dismisses Seiya and the Bronze Saints, as it will now be guarded by the three saints of the Sun Crown of Abel, in addition to the five resurrected Gold Saints who died in the battle of the Sanctuary. : Gemini Saga, Cancer Death Mask, Capricorn Shura, Aquarius Camus and Pisces Aphrodite.
When Athena rebels against Abel’s plan, he attacks her, sending her soul to the Elysian Fields, the final resting place from which there is no return. The Bronze Saints immediately rush to the Sanctuary to save her and finally defeat Abel.
Saint Seiya: Warriors of the Final Holy Battle (1989)
The Warriors of Armageddon is the fourth Saint Seiya film, released on March 18, 1989. The plot involves Lucifer coming to the Sanctuary, where his subordinates systematically eliminate the surviving Gold Saints.
Athena goes to Lucifer to ask for peace, putting herself in danger. The Bronze Saints must then come to his rescue, destroying Lucifer’s Fallen Angels in the process.
Well, this time the story leaves aside its usual mythological contexts to revolve around Christianity. It was the most controversial film in the series, so much so that one of the scenes was censored for showing a Bible being burned.
Unlike the previous films that did not fit into the series’ chronology, this film takes place after the confrontations with Poseidon, Eris and Abel, as Lucifer was only able to return to Earth with the effort of the spirits of the three gods already defeated by Athena’s saints.
Saint Seiya: Heaven Chapter – Overture (2004)
Heaven Chapter – Overture is the fifth Saint Seiya film, created in celebration of Masami Kurumada’s 30-year career and released in Japanese cinemas on February 14, 2004.
The film takes place after the events of the Hades Saga. After the holy wars against Poseidon and Hades, the Olympian gods are furious with Athena and her knights
Artemis, the goddess of the Moon, appears with the intention of punishing the Bronze Saints for having turned against the gods and, to protect them, Saori Kido offers the Earth to her sister, swearing her own life as a promise that they will never more would fight. The agreement is then accepted and the Moon Goddess begins to rule the Earth.
However, upon seeing Athena’s Sanctuary dominated, the saints rebel, even though they don’t really understand what was happening.
Thus, Saori had to give up her life, as she had promised that Seiya and the others would never fight again. It is at this moment that his blood begins to be spilled. As the warriors were fighting against Athena’s will, they were very weak, being hit easily during the fights.
The film focuses mainly on Seiya and Athena, as the other Bronze Saints are not seen as much; they only appear during their respective fights with the other Angels, and briefly at the end.
However, Marin also appears, as well as Shaina, Jabu and Ichi, although the last three only have cameo appearances.
The film also has a very ambiguous ending, with many plot points unresolved. It was supposed to be the beginning of a trilogy, but Kurumada didn’t like the result and shelved the plans, using part of the plot in his canonical manga, Next Dimension.
Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary (2014)
To celebrate author Masami Kurumada’s 40-year career, Toei Animation released the first CGI film of Knights of the Zodiac in theaters in 2014, entitled The Legend of the Sanctuary.
The story of this film is basically a summary of the Sanctuary Saga from the manga and anime. The plot revolves around Saori Kido, a young woman who discovers she has a mysterious power.
Alongside the young bronze saints Seiya, Shiryu, Hyoga, Shun and Ikki, Saori must go to the Sanctuary to regain her place as Athena, the protective goddess of the Earth.
However, to reach the room of the Grand Master, the one who tried to kill her as a baby, the bronze knights and Saori must pass through the 12 Houses protected by the golden knights.
Knights of the Zodiac (2023)
The live-action adaptation is the result of a decade-long strategic overhaul for Toei Animation, the Japanese studio behind the Saint Seiya franchise..
The decision to make a live-action adaptation was driven by the desire to expand the franchise’s profit potential beyond the limited revenue streams of the animation industry.
Some fans have enjoyed the live-action adaptation, finding it more entertaining than they expected. Others have criticized the film for being a poor adaptation of the source material and for failing to capture the spirit of the original anime and manga.
In summary, the Saint Seiya live-action adaptation has received mixed reviews, with some praising its visual effects and performances while others criticize its low budget and poor adaptation of the source material.