The Japanese manga and animations of Saint Seiya was hugely popular, but I didn’t catch it.  The latest The Lost Canvas original video animation (OVA) is a prequel to the original Saint Seiya, and portrays the holy war between the goddess Athena and Hades, the god of underworld.  These two are reincarnated into human form as brother and sister, with a good friend Tenma (whom I think is reincarnated as Seiya in other stories) who becomes a Saint that protects and fights for Athena.

This OVA is beautifully drawn, and the visuals are excellent.  The story moves quickly and is exciting.  I think this OVA (and perhaps the other Saint Seiya stories as well but I haven’t watched them all) is really good because:

  1. It shows human’s courage, determination, and the never-give-up attitude to fight for the greater good against all odds.  This is especially apparent in the battles between the human Saints and the evil gods.
  2. Make no mistakes none of these battles are won by the Saints easily.  They often lose.  The evil gods are shown to have really great powers, and the Saints are always much weaker than the gods.  The script is smart in that they won the battles only by ultimate sacrifices, ingenious tactics, great teamwork and help from goddess Athena.
  3. Every character has different styles of attack.  Since every battle involve different characters, therefore every battle is different.  This quality is perhaps true for many Japanese fantasy animations, but not true for many life action reality-based war movies.
  4. Every important character has a background story, so we can care about them.

Not being familiar with the Saint Seiya animation tradition, I didn’t know that it is not finished yet.  It probably needs another two seasons for the story to complete.