How to Get Started With Saint Seiya

Saint Seiya, also known as Knights of the Zodiac, is an anime franchise that's both classic and somewhat obscure. Very popular in Japan, the series is somewhat remembered in the West for being on Toonami while also failing to achieve the popularity of shows such as Dragon Ball Z or even Mobile Suit Gundam Wing.

Still, the franchise is incredibly influential, and it's only going to get more popular with the upcoming live-action Hollywood remake. Its decades-long history, however, makes jumping in at the beginning something of a challenge. In preparation for the live-action film, here are all of the Saint Seiya manga and anime and how and where to get into them.

The Plot of Saint Seiya

The story of Saint Seiya is based somewhat on Greco-Roman mythology, involving the various saints who served under the goddess Athena in ancient times. The modern-day protagonist is a young Japanese boy named Seiya who obtains a mystical cloth armor of Athena. He and the several other "saints" that he teams up with along the way become devoted to protecting the reincarnation of Athena.

Unfortunately, several other Greek gods are lurking behind the scenes, many of whom have nefarious plans and intend to rule the world. Thus, Athena's saints fight the machinations of these evil gods as well as other Saints, all of whom have different powers and agendas. An action-adventure series, the franchise is essentially a 'magical boy' anime -- a sort of male equivalent to Sailor Moon, especially with the planet and constellation motifs.

Where to Read the Saint Seiya Manga

saint seiya vintage manga covers

The series was created by Masami Kurumada, which began its release in 1986 as a Weekly Shonen Jump manga that ran until 1990. Amassing 28 volumes, these books have been re-released several times over the years. There are also numerous spin-offs, including Saint Seiya: Next DimensionSaint Seiya: Episode GSaint Seiya: The Lost Canvas and Saint Seiya: Santia Sho. However, only the original series and Santia Sho have been released in English.

Retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million and Amazon carry these books, although some of the older volumes of the original Saint Seiya are physically out of print. The release of the upcoming movie will likely see them re-released in the future, however. Moreover, almost all of Santia Sho has been collected in English, with physical copies widely available. Comixology also carries these manga in digital form.

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Where to Watch the Saint Seiya Anime

Immortal Knight Phoenix

Just as there are numerous manga in the series, there are also several Saint Seiya anime shows and movies. The original series was brought to the West as Knights of the Zodiac, which has become a common subtitle for the franchise. Other shows include Saint Seiya: HadesThe Lost CanvasSaint Seiya OmegaSoul of GoldSantia Sho and a new CGI reboot, as well as six animated movies.

The original series and the CGI reboot can be streamed on Netflix, while the Tubi TV app has Santia GoldLost CanvasSoul of Gold and Hades, all subtitled in several languages. All of the shows other than the reboot can be found on Crunchyroll, as can the movies. Although they're not available on Amazon Prime Video, the Blu-ray and DVD collections can be purchased via Amazon, Right Stuf Anime and Walmart. Thus, it's pretty easy to get into the series from the very beginning, from there making it through the entire franchise to follow all of the adventures of the Knights of the Zodiac.

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