In Saint Seiya, the Steel Saints function as a support team to the Bronze Saints against their enemies.
The Steel Saints are the warriors of the 20th and 21st centuries who don mechanical armors, developed by modern science, to protect the goddess Athena. Despite the title, they aren’t part of the hierarchy of knights and thus aren’t protected by constellations.
A Steel Saint’s greatest aspiration is to wear the Sacred Armors of Athena, becoming official saints safeguarding Earth’s peace; although some saints under the Sanctuary’s orders perceive them as such and show them respect.
They rely solely on their armors, with a few exceptions displaying some mastery over the cosmos. This article is largely based on this portuguese article.
Steel Saints Creation
The concept of forming this group of warriors originated with Mitsumasa Kido.
After returning from Greece with the young Saori, he approached the scientist Asamori Hakase to construct armors intended to be utilized within a decade by young warriors who would assist Athena and her saints in their battle against evil.
Leveraging all the resources of modern engineering provided by the Graad Foundation, Asamori spent an entire decade designing and testing the armors proposed by Kido.
He successfully completed them, striving to closely match the original armors’ durability. Click here to see Mitsumasa Kido’s relationship with the bronze saints.
At Mitsumasa’s request, Asamori agreed to keep the secret about Saori’s Steel Armors, collaborating with his friend to unveil it at the opportune moment, when she would have to confront the Sanctuary definitively.
Steel Saints in the Original Series
Kido’s project was one of the most challenging undertakings that Asamori took on, to the extent that the scientist nearly gave up if not for Kido’s unwavering support.
Despite Asamori’s efforts, the Steel Armors weren’t completed before Kido’s passing. Nevertheless, Asamori persisted and continued working alone, keeping the secret as well-guarded as possible, particularly from Saori.
The Steel Saints only made their debut years later, on the day it was revealed to Seiya and his companions that Saori was the reincarnation of the goddess Athena.
By that time, the war against the Sanctuary in Greece had already begun. The first Steel Knights to appear in defense of Athena were the young Ushio of the Sea, Shô of the Sky, and Daichi of the Earth.
Though not on par with the Bronze Saints , they played a crucial role in protecting them from the infamous Silver Saints such as Centaurus Babel, Perseus Algol, and Tarantula Arachne.
They also collaborated with Seiya and his team in tasks like locating the Sagittarius Armor’s helmet and delivering the mysterious Water of Life to Shiryu when he was blinded in a final confrontation.
When Saori and the Bronze Saints journeyed to confront the Grand Master in Greece—then under the influence of the Gemini Saga—the Steel Saints remained in Japan and did not reappear in the series. Click here to see all of the saints in the show.
Steel Saints Cloths
The Steel Cloths are inspired by three of the four basic elements and are composed of mechanical parts.
They were developed by the Graad Foundation under the late Mitsumasa Kido’s orders. The initial armors had the capability to transform into transportation devices, granting their users a means of swift movement on land, water, or in the air.
- Sea: This armor takes on the shape of a marine creature when not encasing Ushio’s body. It can generate magnetic waves that affect and neutralize mental waves.
- Sky: Shô’s Armor features a turbine that absorbs enemy attacks and reflects them. While at rest, it assumes the form of a bird.
- Earth: It’s unclear whether this armor possesses any special abilities like the preceding ones. When not worn by Daichi, the Earth Steel Armor takes on the appearance of a fox or dog, seemingly.
Do the Steel Saints appear in the Saint Seiya Manga?
The Steel Saints are a group of characters introduced in the Saint Seiya anime series.
They were specifically created for the anime and do not have a direct presence in the original Saint Seiya manga written by Masami Kurumada. The manga primarily focuses on the adventures of the Bronze Saints and their battles against various adversaries.
The concept of the Steel Saints was introduced in the anime to provide additional characters and content beyond the source material of the manga.
Their role in the anime often involves supporting the main Bronze Saints in their battles against various enemies.
While the Steel Saints do not appear in the original manga, they do have a notable appearance in the Saint Seiya Omega series, which is a continuation of the franchise. Click here to see the differences in the anime and manga.
Steel Saints in Saint Seiya Omega
In the 21st century, the Steel Saints reemerged to aid Athena in her challenging mission to defeat the goddess Pallas.
Subaru is the first to make his debut, though his behavior markedly differs from his predecessors as he lacks anything special to protect or cherish.
Soon after, Eruna, Emma, Kerry, and other saints trained by the former Bronze Knights, Ban and Nachi, emerge to assist Kouga and his fellow Bronze companions.
Eruna is among the first to fall, attempting to shield Subaru from an attack by Hati, one of the Third Class Pallasites. Click here to read a review of the Saint Seiya Omega anime.
Emma and Kerry support the invasion of the enemy’s fortress city, Pallas Belta, alongside other Steel Knights.
In an attempt to repel Loge, Kerry loses his life, prompting Emma to join forces with Subaru to vanquish the foe. Following divergent paths, each strives to pave the way for Athena’s Knights toward Pallas’s palace.
After an intense encounter with Celeris and witnessing Hati’s demise, Subaru inherits the enigmatic Minor Horse Bronze Armor, enabling him to seek revenge against other Pallasites, the brothers Greip and Cyllene, who attacked him en route to Pallasbelda.
- Among all the first-generation Steel Saints (classic series), Shô was the one who participated in battles the most.
- Despite the Steel Armors not representing any constellations or being blessed by the goddess Athena, some feature images of specific constellations when not activated, serving as protective coverings for their users’ bodies.
- Shô’s Sky Armor bears similarities to the Tucana constellation, while Daichi’s Earth Armor shows a resemblance to the Fox constellation.
- Although Shô doesn’t take part in his companions’ combined attack, the Steel Hurricane, characters Daichi and Ushô can be selected for a special combo move in the PlayStation 2 game, Saint Seiya – The Hades.
- Several animation errors are noticeable in the classic series, particularly concerning the design of the Steel Saints, particularly Shô. The arm braces of the Steel Armor frequently disappear, revealing his arms.
- The Earth Armor is the only one that didn’t showcase special abilities in the classic series, except for its transformation into a means of transportation. Many fans speculated about its ability to create earthquakes, but this was never officially confirmed by Toei Animation.
- In the Omega series, Subaru was introduced as the first flexible Steel Saint, displaying agility in donning various armors to face opponents.
- Emma was the first female Steel Saint to join the team. The new generation of Steel Saints received training from former knights Ban and Nachi.
- The female Steel Saints, known as Amazonesses, do not wear masks.