Title: “Knights of the Zodiac (2023) Review: A Struggle to Capture Saint Seiya’s Essence”

Discover the hits and misses of Knights of the Zodiac (2023) adaptation. Unravel the iconic vs. disappointing elements in this review.

Knights of the Zodiac is streaming on Netflix and available for digital rental

Introduction: A Familiar Yet Disappointing Journey

The 2023 live-action adaptation of Saint Seiya, titled “Knights of the Zodiac,” attempts to bring the beloved manga and anime series to a new audience. However, the journey proves to be both familiar and disappointing for longtime fans.

Visual Elements: Darkened Armor and Lost Iconography

In a departure from the vibrant aesthetic of the original series, the film opts for a dark and grounded approach. This choice extends to Seiya’s signature Pegasus armor, which loses its iconic white and red colors. The absence of key elements, such as the “Pegasus Fantasy” opening, contributes to a sense of disconnection from the source material.

Narrative Departure: From Greek Myths to Cliched Battles

The original Saint Seiya anime wove a complex narrative around Greek myths, slowly revealing the world of Athena and her warrior protectors. In contrast, “Knights of the Zodiac” simplifies the plot, devolving into a cliched battle between technology and faith/magic. The decision to base the film primarily on the criticized 2019 CGI series raises questions about the creative direction.

Character Portrayals: Mixed Bag of Performances

While Sean Bean’s portrayal of Alman Kido brings warmth and authenticity to the film, Mackenyu’s performance as Seiya appears inconsistent, vacillating between boredom and confusion. Famke Janssen’s character adds complexity, but the film’s departure from the original series’ character traits raises concerns about fidelity to the source material.

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Action Sequences: Creative, Yet Inconsistent

“Knights of the Zodiac” introduces a unique martial arts style, blending flying kicks with elements of kung fu and wuxia martial arts. While these sequences offer bursts of creativity, the film’s overall inconsistency in maintaining the original series’ impact in action scenes is evident.

Question and Answer Session: Unraveling the Mysteries

Q: Does the film stay true to the original Saint Seiya narrative?

A: No, the film deviates significantly from the original narrative, drawing more inspiration from the criticized 2019 CGI series than the classic manga and anime.

Q: How do iconic elements, such as the “Pegasus Fantasy” opening, fare in the adaptation?

A: Unfortunately, the film abandons key elements like the iconic opening, contributing to a sense of disconnect from the vibrant spirit of the original series.

Q: Are there standout performances in the film?

A: Sean Bean’s portrayal of Alman Kido is endearing, and Famke Janssen adds complexity to her character. However, Mackenyu’s performance as Seiya is inconsistent.

Q: How does the film handle action sequences?

A: The film introduces a creative martial arts style, featuring flying kicks and unique choreography. However, the overall impact is inconsistent, failing to match the intensity of the original series.

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Conclusion: A Missed Opportunity with Some Redeeming Aspects

Knights of the Zodiac” struggles to capture the essence of Saint Seiya, making questionable creative decisions that deviate from the source material. While it offers glimpses of creativity and notable performances, the film’s departure from iconic elements and the core narrative raises concerns about its overall success. For both longtime fans and newcomers, “Knights of the Zodiac” remains a missed opportunity to faithfully bring the magic of Saint Seiya to the big screen.

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