Burn Your Cosmo
Enter The Dragon
The Black Knights
Acting as a remake of the beloved anime franchise of the same name, Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac takes the original idea for the series, adds some glossy CGI into a fleeting 6 episode series with mixed results. The story does reasonably well to adapt the characters and ideas but the animation feels jarring and lacking heart compared to the original 2D counterparts.
The story begins with a brief prologue before skipping forward in time to follow a young teen called Seiya. Courageous and determined to find his sister Patricia, Seiya is recruited by Alman Kido to fulfill his destiny and become a fabled Bronze Knight. The first half of the series sees the Black Knights and forces of darkness gather while Seiya harnesses his power and learns to fight for the Goddess Athena after fighting through several prolific warriors. The second half sees the fighting begin which culminates in a final showdown between Nero and Seiya before ending things with the possibility of a second season to follow.
For those familiar with the story, Netflix do have another 6 episodes they’re scheduled to release at some point, with the full first season covering the story from the Galaxian Wars arc through to the Silver Saint arc. I’d imagine the streaming giants will gauge the audience reaction to this one first before releasing the second part. If I’m honest, a lot of this is going to rely heavily on how people react to the aesthetic and CG style. Ultimately, how well you take to the visuals will make or break your enjoyment with this.
Personally, I’m not a fan of 3D CGI and having watched numerous CGI animations with my children, Saint Seiya feels very similar in style and movement. Character models feel reminisce of the most recent Dragon Quest game too whilst attempting to retain the same tropes and ideas from the original anime in the process. The result is something that actually feels like it should be geared toward kids but the nods toward the original anime and light bites of blood and breaking joints suggest otherwise.
With any remake, it’s always difficult to capture the heart and essence of the original. While this 2019 CGI remake of the beloved Japanese franchise does okay to bring back the characters and ideas, the show lacks the same depth and heart. I can’t help but feel if the show tweaked a few unnecessary elements this would be a really nice introduction for kids to get into the lore but given Netflix have the 2009 adaptation up with all 26 episodes included, it’s hard to recommend this fleeting experience over that.
Saint Seiya: Knights Of The Zodiac is a series that can’t quite decide who it wants to appeal to which ironically may lead to it appealing to no one. Visually, the 3D CGI doesn’t quite hit the same heights the 2D counterparts achieve and the fleeting 6 episodes fail to really dive deeply into the lore and ideas the show presents. In a way, Knights Of The Zodiac feels like an experiment to test the waters and see how fans will react to this style but whether people will catch on and specifically want more of this anime adaptation remains to be seen. Saint Seiya isn’t the worst anime of the year but it’s certainly a far cry from being labelled the best either.