Who are the Black Saints in Saint Seiya?

In the universe of Saint Seiya, the concept of Saints takes center stage. Amid the pantheon of Saints, a shadowy and formidable faction emerges – the Black Saints.

The Black Saints were former Saints who had their status and protective armor stripped away for exploiting their abilities for personal gain, leading them down a path of darkness. They took refuge on Death Queen Island, managing to replicate Bronze Bloths. However, these imitations proved inferior.

This article delves into the enigma that surrounds the Black Saints, unraveling their origins, motivations, and their uncanny resemblance to the main Bronze Saints.

Origin of the Bronze Saints

The foundation of the Bronze Saints’ legacy rests in the story of Mitsumasa Kido, a central figure in the Saint Seiya saga.

As the progenitor of a hundred children, Kido embarks on a mission to empower his offspring by sending them on a quest to acquire their cloths.

However, out of the vast Kido family, only a mere ten emerge victorious, forging the path for what would become the original Bronze Saints. 

However, there are other contenders to the cloths, like Cassios from the beginning of the anime, who fights with Seiya for the Pegasus Cloth and loses an ear.

The Enigmatic Black Saints

The Black Saints were former Saints who were deprived of their rank and armor, as they harnessed their power for personal benefit, veering into a life of illicit activities and aggression.

These rebellious Saints established their headquarters on Death Queen Island, managing to replicate Athena’s Attires.

However, due to their lack of insight and the absence of consent from the Divine Being, these Black Attires fall somewhat short of the original ones. They are considerably fragile and can be shattered by a mere strike from a Bronze Saint.

While theoretically a corresponding Black Saint exists for each of the 88 constellations, Kurumada predominantly showcased only four in his manga, serving as the shadowy counterparts to the main heroes: Black Pegasus, Black Dragon, Black Andromeda and Black Swan.

Their Attires and techniques mirrored those of Pegasus Seiya, Dragon Shiryū, Andromeda Shun, and Cygnus Hyōga.

Notably, even though each Attire has only one counterpart, in the manga, the Black Dragon Saint possesses a visually impaired sibling who aids him in combat.

The Power and Limitations of Black Cloths

The Black Cloths, creations borne from the ambition and defiance of the renegade Black Saints, present a stark reminder of their limitations.

Crafted without the divine blessings bestowed upon their original counterparts, these garments lack the sacred essence that grants resilience and power. Consequently, the Black Cloths exhibit significant weaknesses, rendering them notably fragile and prone to damage.

A mere strike from a Bronze Saint, possessing standard Attires, holds the potential to shatter these imitations, exposing their vulnerability.

The absence of divine guidance also robs the Black Saints of the true potential inherent in their Attires, leaving them with a mere echo of the original might.

Black Phoenix Saints

Moreover, it’s worth noting that a collection of Black Phoenix Saints holds a presence within this context. These individuals assert themselves as shadows to Ikki, possibly alluding to an affiliation or connection.

Curiously, the animated adaptation sheds light on an intriguing dynamic among them: one member stands out as the preeminent force, possessing a strength that surpasses the rest.

This nuance adds a layer of complexity to the narrative, hinting at a hierarchy or diversity of power levels within this group of Black Phoenix Saints.

This distinctive portrayal in the anime serves to emphasize the intricacies and potential rivalries that may exist within their ranks, suggesting a more multifaceted interplay among these shadowy figures.

How did the Black Saints die?

Despite their initial show of strength, the Black Saints found themselves overpowered and ultimately defeated by their counterparts.

The Silver Saints, originally tasked with targeting the Bronze Saints, become unwittingly entangled in an illusion artfully crafted by Aries Mu. This bewitching illusion clouds their judgment, leading them to misidentify their targets, inadvertently redirecting their lethal intent towards the Black Saints.

Intriguingly, in the manga rendition , this subsequent turn of events unfolds, culminating in the demise of these adversaries at the hands of the Silver Saints.

Black Saints and Carl Jung concept of Shadow

The concept of the Black Saints can be related to Carl Jung’s idea of the “Shadow”, representing the unconscious and often hidden aspects of an individual’s personality that they prefer not to acknowledge or integrate into their conscious self.

Similar to Jung’s concept, the Black Saints were once virtuous. However, they succumbed to personal desires and turned to criminal behavior. The four prominent Black Saints represent shadowy counterparts to the main protagonists. This mirrors how the Shadow often embodies opposing qualities to the conscious personality.

In the context of the Black Saints, they symbolize the darker aspects of the main Bronze Saints.

Just as the Shadow is formed from suppressed emotions and thoughts, the Black Saints emerged from their desire-driven choices, leading to a fall from grace.

The Black Cloths produced by the renegade Saints mirror the concept of the Shadow’s “inferiority.” These Cloths are replicas of Athena’s Cloths but lack the divine knowledge and permission.

Like the Shadow, which can hinder personal growth if not confronted, the Black Cloths remain vulnerable compared to the authentic counterparts, suggesting an underlying weakness in their origin.

The Black Four being commanded by Jango and later defeated by their Bronze Saint equivalents signifies the confrontation with and potential integration of the shadow aspects.

Vítor Costa

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

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