Saint Seiya Omega – 01 Review

Hey, that’s no way to treat a kid! Besides, anyone would be disobedient considering he spent his whole childhood continuously getting beaten up by a woman with too much testosterones.

Saint Seiya Omega 01: Being A Saint Is About Beating Up People

I actually wondered about why I haven’t seen this yet despite the fact it’s been one of the early releases in the Spring Season. After watching it I know that it was probably my common sense protecting me from it. It’s a story about another shitty brat trying to be manly – and failing. Although I have to admit it’s a hard job considering his situation. There are only three male characters in the show: One is a butler (or something…), the other is the kid and then we have a cheesy dramaqueen as rolemodel for the kid. Great! His inspiration made me yell ‘Shut up!’ at the screen because of how cheesy he is. And the kid is now trying to be like that guy?! That’s just going from one disaster to another, first it’s whining about a clipped fingernail and then it’s gushing about honour and shit instead of just getting on with it. If that tells you anything it’s that this series can only get worse… or perhaps it just stays that bad all the way through.


Synopsis:
So this woman has a child and since she’s a woman she can do shit about the evil dude trying to kill her and the baby. Then a flash of light and we get to see the latecomer who’s at least appropriately dressed for his role as the inspiring hero. He’s completely in gold and says a lot of crap about irrelevant stuff and the villain actually bothers to respond to that so the fight dragged on and on…
And then we just cut to the future of the boy having grown up to be just as obnoxious as the hero in the first scene – but for different reasons. I suppose that’s what they call individuality in this genre. After a lot of whining and whatnot the evil guy appears again and everybody with some power fails to do anything against him. But the boy starting a suicidal attack suddenly frees his Cosmos-power which is enormous because… well, he’s the main-character, what did you expect? And then as he starts to kick the villain’s ass for real the episode stops since we’re all SO pumped up about this dull predictable development…

I can’t believe he actually said that… Decent people would feel embarrassed spouting this crap. Well, I guess we know why they made him the villain.

Review:
Thank God we still have some animes that put the fear of epilepsy into me. Saint Seiya Omega is an old series. It may start in the Spring Season 2012 but deep inside we all know this isn’t a series telling us of Spring 2012. Like Ozma this is a series reminding me of the old days and it’s doing a good job of reminding me that not everything was good back then.
So there’s some douchebag trying to kill a mother with a baby and she’s defended by a dude in golden armour who acts like the whole thing’s supposed to be a doku-soap about manhood. The episode never really tries to hide from the fact that it’s this old shounen-style when it was all about brats turning into men. You have the exaggerated speech and the characters talk on and on about their power instead of just fighting each other. On that level the series is clearly setting the stage and you know what kind of shit you’ll get to see in this series.
Now the first thing which I found really strange about this episode was that all these flashy effects are a total contrast to how limited the setting seemed to be. You only got to see a handful of characters and the location of the action can be best described as ‘somewhere’. The episode does a very bad job of world-building. I know it’s vaguely related to Greek mythology but beyond it’s just a lot of nothing. Perhaps the creators hoped the audience had seen the previous installments or they just thought nobody would care about this at this point. Ultimately the setting lacks something vital to make it intriguing. A setting is also about setting the mood like whether it’s a harsh world, a peaceful world full of magic and so on. You don’t get this kind of thing from this episode. It’s all very limited, even to the point of not telling me why I should care about any of this.
There are the usual shounen-gimmicks, though. There are special moves and there’s Cosmos. And these guys can talk endlessly about Kohga’s Cosmos. And I can understand his rage because it’s a load of bullshit. Good, let me explain: First, the universe was created by the Big Bang out of one atom. Second, now a whole universe of shitty atoms exist. Third, each atom is therefore like a universe. Fourth, to take control of it a human has to make his cosmos explode. That’s the part where they lost me. So everyone has the power of the universe inside himself, I get that explanation but where the hell does the explosion-part comes from? First they jabber about creation and each human mirroring the act of creation and then all of a sudden it’s about becoming superhuman and destroying shit. Where’s the logic in that? If all the series cares about is some brats beating the crap out of monsters then you don’t need such a longwinded explanation about atoms and the Big Bang. Now we probably get to hear a frigging speech about the Big Bang every goddamn time someone starts talking about the hero. It all comes down to being good at beating the crap out of something so just make it simple! It’s a simple story at the end of the day so don’t try to explain it. Nobody cares about the explanations because if I listen to them I will just realize how crappy the story is and that’s not what this is about.

Apparently this series has a Star-Wars-thing going on with the Force being Cosmos and now people can’t stop talking about it as if there’s nothing else to measure a guy’s strength.

It’s about kicking ass. But once again we get the moody brat whining about… everything. He doesn’t want to fight evil because the bad guys didn’t say please loud enough or something. So what the hell does he want? You never get an answer to that, he’s whining the whole time about what he’s doing but never bothers to mention what he wants to do then. And he’s on a frigging island in the middle of nowhere. No wonder he’s such a whiny sociopath. But all ends well because thanks to the shounen-tropes his unenthusiastic training doesn’t matter one bit. Just one tiny moment of courageously throwing himself at the flames gives him the power to beat the crap out of evil. That’s how it is in the Shounen-genre… You work your ass off for years and then one passionate moment gives you more power than anything you have built up in the previous years. Gee, makes you wanna wish something bad would happen to you every day, doesn’t it? Anyway, it’s a rather stereotypical series that way and the bland characters don’t help much either.

Saint Seiya Omega’s a stereotypical shounen-series about a moody boy becoming a man since that’s the kind of story we never have seen before. There are flashy effects, manly cheesiness and evil can always spare a creepy laugh for the audience. It’s a world without surprises and depth. And the ass-kicking isn’t cool which is the only thing, I would actually bother to rate in cases like this.

Episode-Rating: 2,5/10

 

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About M0rg0th

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Posted on April 11, 2012, in Anime, Reviews, Saint Seiya Omega and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Well…. This anime is a lame attempt at making money. Who cares about an anime who’s supposed to have ended when I haven’t even born? Everything about it reeks of old-skool.

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    • Although I like the oldschool-shounen more, I think… It’s just funnier to see whiny brats trying to be manly than a whiny brat just trying to be the biggest douchebag in town (like Naruto for example).

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  2. Thanks for the review, and though I agree with you on a lot of points, I think overall you’re missing the forest from the trees here. It’s a Saint Seiya anime, what did you expect it to be BUT a major Shonnen show? The original series helped popularize the concept to begin with!

    That being said, I guess my expectations were much more tempered by the understanding that as a sequel to the original, they were naturally going to revisit many of the themes from SS (e.g. Sainthood, mythology, Cosmo, etc). What I was really excited about was the involvement of Yoshihiko Umakoshi as character designer. I loved Casshern Sins and was excited about his take on Kurumada’s style, and from a visual perspective I think the series’s off to a good start. The fights did away with a lot of the Beam Spam syndrome that plagued the original SS, and there was little stock footage.

    I think it is absolutely valid to complain about how the episode set up the world and story though. For those unfamiliar with SS it’s going to be a rough intro at best, and I think that’s the primary problem here: if you were a fan of original SS, Omega has a lot more to offer, like the awesome cameos and opening theme remix of SS’s Pegasus Fantasy. If you aren’t though, I fear anime has come so far that the ideas that SS first innovated now seem old and cliched, and so far omega hasn’t moved much beyond those old patterns. I’m up to episode three now, and there’s been more effort at world building and character development, but the plot is still rather muddled. I’m hoping that once the intro arcs are over we’ll get to see some more dynamic innovation.

    Cheers!

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    • The mainstream-old-schol-shounen-influence is obvious, I think but to me these kind of genre-influences should always be considered just the groundwork. In case one already has decided to just tread the known and tested ground one should still tread the genre as a foundation for the story and not the story itself disguised with fancy setting-lingo. So to me expecting to see a mainstream-shounen-series doesn’t mean I already fear for the worst to happen. There’s still the chance that it’s executed well even if it’s based on the tiresome stereotypes of the genre. Just being a mainstream-series isn’t a stigma in my eyes but the problem with series like Saint Seiya Omega is that they don’t do anything with it. The series just has no individuality to make these stereotypes not seem boring and bland.

      As for references to older series… Yeah, I assumed these funny dance-moves while announcing the special attack is something they got from the old series and Cosmo is just the typical shounen-term for supernatural power mostly directed by plot-convenience. Nearly every shounen-series (and certainly all mainstream-ones) have something like that. But even if one would get all the references to the older series I can’t imagine how this first episode can be considered a good start. I would even say it’s even worse considering that the older series must’ve already established a setting of some kind but in terms of world-building this episode was downright awful in making the setting come alive.

      What I was really excited about was the involvement of Yoshihiko Umakoshi as character designer.

      Yeah, that’s pretty much the reason for me to watch this series at the moment because the rest isn’t very entertaining. I started watching Heartcatch Precure for the same reason and it was halfway-decent actually… by Precure-standards at least. But that guy certainly has established himself within the anime-scene with his style. And I think it’s great, there should be more people out there who bring their unique style to an anime.

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  3. My background with Saint Seiya is fairly limited, mostly to the newer OVAs and a few episodes of the old series (Mandarin subs no less, so next to zero plot comprehension there), but from what I’ve seen the world building has always been very insular in that you only ever see things from the Saint’s perspective. That into say, though we always hear about how the world is at risk because of these conflicts between Athena and the numerous villain gods, you don’t see much of what that means to humanity at large. The most direct exception to this was the Poseidon arc that showed the world rapidly flooding as the pillars of the ocean were corrupted, but by and large it’s all Saints, all the time.

    The bottom line I guess is that so far, Omaga hasn’t pushed the story envelope very much further than SS typically does, though it has introduced some unusual elements relative to the SS mythos. For instance, a huge part of SS’s successful merchandising arm are the cloth kits that have a little figure you can adorn in the cool armor, as well as the alternate totem form of the armor. Omega did away with the armor totems for the clothstones, which in my opinion was a more convenient way to explain rapid transformations. It was humorous really how in original SS the characters actually carried their totems around in massive boxes on their backs when not equipped, which seemed wholly impractical and only an excuse for an armor-equipping stock sequence precombat. In ep 2 they also introduce the idea of elemental affinity for a person’s Cosmo, which got a lot of flack from SS fans for supposedly making this Saint Seiya: Pokemon. To me it’s just codification of something that was mostly understated in SS, though not everyone had a readily apparent affinity (Andromeda Shun fought with chains, so wtf was his affinity? S&M?).

    I remain optimistic simply because all I’m expecting is an updated Saint Seiya, and I think the crew has enough love of the original series to do something at least competent in that regard. I doubt it’s going to be anything groundbreaking though, and I’m ok with that.

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  4. I’m a huge oldschool Saint Seiya fan, I spent half of the childhood growing up watching marathons of this show on public mexican tv! I would like to give some input about the original 80’s tv series and compare it to this one.
    SS fans divide the original series into 5 arcs: galactic battle, silver saints, 12 houses, Asgard and finally Poseidon where the elusive Hades arc from the manga wasn’t animated in the 90’s because the series was unfortunately canceled in Japan.

    The first arc is silly in it’s execution in how after 10 newly appointed bronze saints fight eachother in a sort of ridiculous wrestling match televised on tv in front of the whole human world to see who gets the Sagittarius gold cloth.

    A little plot input here with some spoilers. A wealthy Japanese dude named Mitsumata Kido went to Greece as some tourist wandering around some tourist trap and sees a strange teenager boy that looks like he’s in his mid 20’s (but in reality is only 14 years old!!), mortally wounded and holding a baby girl with purple hair. Alongside him is a strange gold box that contains his armor. The tourist has no friggin idea who this guy is, what is inside of the box and why in the hell doesn’t he just call an ambulance but the boy named Aioros tells him the baby is a human reincarnation of the goddess Athena who fights evil and some bad men are out to kill her for no apparent reason. Conveniently the tourist instead of just giving the baby out to child care in Greece adopts her (child abduction?), names her Saori, takes the gold box and discovers the tall-tale story of the guy about warriors wearing armors based on zodiac constellations is real afterall. The guy takes raising the girl to be a goddess a bit too seriously and treats her like a spoiled brat while he adopts a bunch of orphaned japanese boys (in the manga the kids disturbingly are his offspring with a bunch of conveniently dead women). Out of the 100 kids Mr. Kido adopted, only 10 of them were accepted in the saint bronze cloth training program (bronze armors are the lowest level warriors of Athena’s 88 mostly male army). All 10 of them some way or another obtain the bronze cloth even though we only get to know 5 of them in depth and the other 5 are just pathetic filler characters for the rest of the series.

    In the first arc the human world sees saints fight eachother on tv for a gold box and nobody wonders if the guys are superhumans or whatever which makes the first arc silly at best. I only watch it for the lol value and the rare chance to see Shun in the first 3 episodes wasn’t the overtly gay sissy crybaby he usually is. All of the battles go okay until Ikki shows up bitter and evil because he was abused during his training and steals the gold cloth for himself and even has an army of 4 black saints that makes no sense whatsoever (they aren’t Hades saints nor Athena saints, who are they? The first arc of Saint Seiya is so Power Rangers!).

    Once the silly Black saint arc is resolved, the semi good silver saint arc begins. You see, Athena lives in a secret place in Greece where telecommunications and plane navigation is impossible and tourists can’t enter (trespassers to the sanctuary will die), called the sanctuary and everyone in the army isn’t a bad guy, they all assume Athena lives inside of the palace, and the man known as the Pope is following Athena’s orders. The Silver saints are now determined to kill Saori Kido who is now discovering she has super powers afterall and isn’t just some rich brat because the Pope says she is an impostor and Seiya and his 4 buddies are traitors and must die. Cool, the story gets interesting!

    One of the silver saints actually lives long enough to discover Saori truly is Athena and begs her for forgiveness. The plot starts to gain some more character development, Saori discovers she is Athena afterall, Seiya discovers he is attracted to Saori and during a crucial battle Shiryu becomes blind and modern medical technology cannot help him so he retires from being a saint and lives as a cripple in the village in China where he trained to become a saint and live with his gf Shun Rei (who is just an ordinary human girl with no saint training but supports Athena).

    During the entire series we now understand that there are bronze saints, silver saints and 1 gold saint armors that has no owner.. but wait, now that Seiya & friends killed half of the silver saints that are supposed to be more powerful than them, the sanctuary has now sent their army of gold saints! There’s 12 of them! And each of them has such pretty armors and different personalities. The gold armor Mr. Kido obtained is the Sagittarius cloth that has chosen Seiya to be it’s occasional propietor when he needs better protection. In the old series, all armors can get damaged and if the damage is small they can health themselves and even choose which person can wear them at their free will. if you are unworthy to be a saint, the armor might betray you and leave your body in the worst moment.

    Seiya & friends meet Mu of Aries who repairs damaged armors and sort of supports Athena, Deathmask of Cancer who is a sadistic psychopath that believes Saori is a fake and must die, Dohko of Libra who is almost 250 years old, looks like a walking mushroom and hasn’t used his armors in ages, also supports Saori and finally Aioria of Leo who initially thought Saori was a fake but after having a cool fight with seiya discovered the truth and oathed that he will do his best to protect her but becomes brainwashed by the Pope.

    The 12 houses battle begins which is when the 80’s anime becomes real good, Saori initially only wanted to go to the Sanctuary to have a friendly talk with the Pope because a lot of saints now are siding with her but she is wounded by an arrow and will die in 12 hours unless the 5 guys get to the Pope and force him to save her. The problem? 12 houses guarded with booby traps and 12 warriors, most of them loyal to the Pope await them. This is when they start to discover each human has a 7th psychic sense that can make their cosmo powerful enough to fight at equal grounds with even a gold saint. Mu of Aries doesn’t tag along with them to fight on their side (he doesn’t want to look too much of a traitor if the Pope wins afterall) but he does fix their bronze armors and stays along Saori to protect her. The Taurus battle is amusing but forgettable, the Gemini house episode is kind of creepy since it’s guarded by a posessed armor with no guardian, the Cancer battle is the standoff of blind Shiryu with Deathmask and his grim fortress full of the faces of the people he murdered on the walls and floor (gotta love how 80’s anime makes cadaveri faces look even more scary for the kids), the Leo battle is also pretty good.

    However, the 12 houses battle doesn’t start to shine until the Virgo battle. Even if you don’t like 80’s anime, watch the Virgo battle, it’s a combination is creepy sadism, Ikki finally shows up to kick some ass and 3 episodes full of awesome with an unexpected finale.

    Libra has no battle since Dohko is semi retired and has sided with Saori anyways but Hyoga has a little confrontation with his old teacher Camus who cruely locked him inside of a block of ice. Camus is one of the few gold saints that doesn’t seems to care whose side he’s on, he just doesn’t want his immature student Hyoga to die so he locks up in an ice cube to die slowly.. nice. The Libra house scene is also the moment where I think Shun is at his gayest, he strips himself half naked and “invigorates” Hyoga’s unconscious body back to life in an orgasm of pink cosmo. I swear that Shun took the 5 minutes he could to rape that poor guy!

    The Scorpio battle is also pretty good, the battles are getting more intense as time is running out and Hyoga starts to fight like a man and not as a momma’s boy, the Sagittarius episode sucks as lame filler and should be skipped since there is no Sagittarius saint anymore and the final three battles of Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces are freaking full of awesome. Shura chops off his left arm while his body blows up into pieces in outer space, awesome. The ending to this great arc is also a good surprise.

    The Asgard arc doesn’t exist in the manga, lasts quite a lot of episodes but follows a similar formula. Evil god appears, wants to destroy the world, Saori is wounded, 5 bronze saints fight epic battles to save her and the world. The now repetitive plot starts to annoy but the battles are good and Hilda is a sadist full of win. The Poseidon arc was cut real short and is “okay”, but the ending to the tv series leaves much to be desired. Shaina takes off her mask for fun and wears civilian clothes? For being a butchy woman that is not supposed to let guys see her face she sure takes off the mask when off-duty.

    If you don’t wish to see all of the cheesy first 30 episodes of the 80’s anime, at least start with the silver saints arc, I like how the enemy is within the system itself and in the bigger plot of things it’s revealed in the Hades arc the whole Pope going bonkers thing was a sort of fluke of destiny, not supposed to happen in the first place. The first Hades OAV is gorgeous, beautifully animated, full of emo greatness and music and it’s 100% win. It’s a shame TOEI got cheap and gave us a disappointing Mekai-Hen. SS is almost a religion in half of the world and TOEI treats 30-40 year old SS fans with our huge pocket books like second rate trash.

    I can understand they wish to change some things for the new kids in SS, but kiddying the show down and producing crappy animation is an insult. I grew up with the sadism of Virgo’s battle, the dead corpses in the Deathmask battle and Shura graphically cutting off his arm and did fine and so did millions of 7 year old mexican kids. I think toning down the violence for the sake of toning down the violence and taking away a lot of what makes SS sad. I have seen the first 3 episodes of SS Omega and feel disappointed at how kiddy the show is.

    Isn’t Saori supposed to be 38 years old in this series? Whey are they drawing her to look like an 11 year old? In the old 80’s anime she is 13 and is practically a D cup. No premature boob development of godly proportions? Yeesh, TOEI should have given us SS fans what we wanted and given us a well animated Zeus arc with the same animation as the Tenkai-Hen movie (and the godly incest love triangle to boot).

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  5. 2.5? WHAT THE HELL? FUCΚ YOU AMERICUNT!

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  6. Worst SS anime ever…

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  7. Im really pissed with Omega. Its really nothing like its predecessors, it killed its reputation of being about kids that get drafted in Athenas Army and brag about protecting and being the most powerful Saint alive. just look at the 1st SS episode, how cocky they were And most fucking annoying flaw of all is the fucking Armors, which look like tighty whities .. i think the Armors were like the coolest thing about SS. they way they were shaped etc, but now thats all fucked. Im sorry to say but this SS death sentence. Everything is WRONG, STORY, Characters, Drawing, their so called new “elements”…..

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  8. I believe some people should give the anime some time before judging it just plain bad. Only dedicated fans of the original Saint Seiya series back in the 90s know what this show is about. Plus, more characters appear after a couple of episodes and the story starts developing right after.

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  9. No, it doesn’t, if you can’t tell how shitty it is by now you need to get your head examined, go watch the original series and weep. It will get every judgement it deserves for pretentiously setting a timeline with the old gen, trying to cater to the old fans and shamelessly sucking the popularity of the old show while, at the same time, changing everything about it, it’s simply ridiculous.

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  10. This is by far the best Saint Seiya anime ever so STFU!

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  11. This new series is a disgrace to the original SS. These are not saints. This anime should be named magical brats or something, not saint seiya, what happened to the super cool armor cloths? It reminds me of sailor moon, not Athena’s saints. If Saori San is in the series, then who the fuck are those traitor gold saints? God I need to watch the Hades arc again to get rid of those horrible images of so called gold saints that almost made me puke…

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  12. I’m a big fan of Saint Seiya where I am from (Mexico) was one of the best anime ever created, I just saw this new serie and I’m really dissapointed. Its nothing compared to the old series. Many people from the US probably have never heard of this anime before so please don’t judge Saint Seiya like a bad anime, I encourage you to see the original series you won’t regret it.

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  13. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.
    I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info.
    Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

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