Commenting On: Is Saint Seiya A Magical Shounen Manga/Anime?

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All Comments: 11

  1. Pedro Henrique Moura says:

    It’s hard to consider SS as Magical Boy series.

    First, there’s the identity part which you already covered, but in the anime they never really bothered to keep a secret. To be honest, this is one of Kurumada flaws. He never cared to explain much. It was basically two different words that sometimes overlapped. The saints had virtually no life outside that world.

    Cosmos is more like “fuel”, for the lack of a better word. But instead of consider as magic, it lean towards Ki from DBZ, with a few characters using elements attack.

    And the person above said about the saints emotional side. While it’s very true, I’m gonna say the other protagonist from DBZ can be considered as such. Gohan is the best example.

    But that’s talking about the original series. If you talk about Omega…

    1. detrop says:

      Cosmo does lean towards the idea of “ki” because it is more internal. I can see that side of discussion. But some other works have also portrayed magic as something internal and personal. Man, magic is so broad.

      Akira Toriyama has never been good at portraying many emotions in the canon DB manga. That’s a discussion for another day. But there are some interesting and saddening moments in DB that I like that are rare. One Piece though, I cry nakama tears fairly often. As often as Luffy and co. if not more.

      Did you finish watching Omega? It is full on magical-transformation now. LOL.

    2. Gregory Vendramini says:

      To me, Kurumada’s lack of explanation is actually one of the best points. It helps with the mystery surrounding the Sanctuary. Questions like ‘what year does the story take place’ or ‘what’s happening in he outside world’ are deliberately not answered unless necessary (i.e.: Alone’s arc). It helps with the feeling that what happens at the Sanctuary is what actually matters.

      1. Pedro Henrique Moura says:

        Kurumada wasn’t involved with Lost Canvas.

        Kurumada lack of explanation, to me, fall on to his “lack of attention”. There’s a lot, a lot of plot holes on SS and some are just plain stupid that could’ve be avoided if he bothered to pay attention to his own manga.

        1. Gregory Vendramini says:

          There are a lot of plot holes in every manga and anime, ever. The creator, whoever it is, can never spend as much time on his work as we, the fans, do. It’s just one mind and two eyes looking at it. If the anime is watched by, say, a million people, the odds of finding something that doesn’t click is multiplied by 1m.

          You’ve gotta remember that SS is pretty old, and things used to happen ‘just because’ back then.

  2. Gregory Vendramini says:

    Saint Seiya is on my Top 3 anime from the childhood, right alongside Yu Yu Hakusho and Card Captor Sakura. I’ve heard lots of people saying SS is ‘gay’, and honestly, they might not be wrong: The series has many elements common to the mahou shoujo genre, the only difference being that they are boys…most of the time. Specially the first sagas (up until Poseidon and Hades), it was kinda obvious.

    Buuut, let’s discuss about why I think it is right to call it a magical shounen:

    1- The genre portrayed things that were masculine, but also balanced towards the emotion-side of things. Saints cried, were cowards, were scared, lost a whole bunch of battles… they didn’t behave exactly like typical shonen protagonists, like Goku. This kind of ‘weak side’ is something that we didn’t get to see until much later in anime, at least 15 years later, with Naruto.

    2- True! But their powers were mostly magical but they never called it that way.

    3- Their identities are ‘mostly’ public. The tournament they held during the first arc was public, yes, but only the Bronze Saints became famous that way. The identities of Silver, Gold, or any other class of saints were secret. The proof of this is that ,besides one or two very famous characters (Shaka and Mu come to mind), or those they knew personally (Aioria, Camus, or Aphrodite, in the anime) the identities of their opponents was always a mystery.

    1. detrop says:

      Kurumada has always been great at portraying moments of weakness. Especially true with the perpetual underdog, Seiya who often struggles to fight with his teeth. OK, not literally. But we also have to remember (sometimes the author too) that they are still kids and the franchise is geared towards them young’uns. I think it is great to show moments of (almost) defeat and see how the characters overcome them.

      There is an interesting quote that I traced to a British sci-fi author named Author C. Clarke who wrote: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Many other works have paraphrased it to fit within the universes. In Thor (the Marvel movie), Thor claims that his universe is where science and magic is one and the same. Cosmo is supernatural and magical, but it does not seem to fall into the more Western idea of fantasy magic. I’m afraid that if I were to group the two forces together, someone out there will send a wyvern to eat my head.

      Yah, quite a number of the Bronze Saints are publicly known while the Silver and Gold Saints are usually away from public eyes. Though it makes me wonder if the Pope shows himself to the public just like the real world one.

      1. Gregory Vendramini says:

        Indeed. Unlike other shonen protagonists, that you KNOW are going to you, Saints were defeated on a regular basis, and 2-on-1 matches were a rather common thing. It’s all fair in love and war, they say.

        I can’t argue with your explanation of ki because, you know, C. Clarke. Automatic win. But, the Pope is not a public figure. I mean, I think it’s clear to the world that there is a Pope, yes, but nobody outside the Sanctuary knows for sure who it is. Even before the plot twist on the original arc, when we learn who the Pope is, the Bronze Saints have no idea what’s happening.

        The only characters who seem to be aware of who The Pope is -or rather, who it’s supposed to be- are Gold Saints and those related to Saori Kido, like her bodyguard (that bald guy whose name I can’t remember).

        1. detrop says:

          I believe I have watched some anime and/or read some manga when a powerful villain said something along the line of “You guys can’t beat me one-on-one. That’s why you gang up on me.” Almost seems like it is making fun of the trope but it was a rather serious situation. I think that’s quite amusing.

          Yeah, I agree. It seems to imply that most people involved in Seiya’s arc knows about Pope, but not his actual identity. A lot of people know about Saori though, because Graude Foundation is famous and she is the head of it. Suspension of disbelief is tested when young teenagers oppose gods and can run a super big foundation.

          1. Gregory Vendramini says:

            You know, that’s the kind of thing that would bother the hell out of me on other animes, but not on SS. I mean, the guys had 12 hours to beat 12 powerful warriors, being only 4 (later 5, and some houses were empty, I know, but it’s still a challenge). If it was me, I wouldn’t go honorably either: 5 vs 1 would be the way to go. Always.

            On other manga and anime, the main character always said brave stuff like “No! I need to beat him alone.”

            Suspension of disbelief when it comes to teenagers is a must not only on Saint Seiya, but for almost every anime, ever. But, I’m pretty sure Saori was just the owner, but no technically the boss. Her bodyguard was also her assistant, and he seemed to be the one in charge there. Kinda like how Bruce Wayne owns Wayne Enterprises, but won’t do sh*t as a CEO.

            1. detrop says:

              I think the premise when they go up the Sanctuary was to let other person go to save time. Alas, that always fails. The entire story might have been shorter if they go four on one (or whenever the hell Ikki decides to show up). So yeah, I agree.

              Brave stuff? How about “I just wanna fight strong opponents” like Goku?

              Technically, the head also decides on the broader matters of the company so that should be applicable. Just never shown because not everyone wants to see Saori getting worked up over worker strikes. Or maybe they do?