So I finally got around to watching the ending of the Omega arcs of Saint Seiya. I honestly have to say, it's been....emotionally stressful and down right heart breaking at times.
....In ALL the worst ways.
I have tried to be fair to Omega, really, Athena knows I have TRIED
but now that it's over I feel the need to get this thign off my chest now.
I appreciate that Omega bravely tried to do something different, moving away from the usual bloody idealistic path forged by the old Saint Seiya. I appreciate that they're trying to be kid-friendly and that perhaps the Shounen Genre has simply changed, and the viewing public no longer wants to hear a philosophy of personal strength and self sacrifice, no longer wants a hero who grows into himself by facing his own losses and fears. Ideals change. People change. And the new set of bronze saints are far from the only messiah type Shounen hero, not badly written at all. Moreover, I appreciate the increased presence of in depth female characters villain and hero alike with well written personalities and self-awareness. The male characters also did not want for character development or reasonable plot involvement. They brought back underdeveloped plot elements like the steal saints and the old lesser five bronze saints, as a nod to us old fans and that was also nice. On these counts Saint Seiya Omega delivered and delivered well.
I do NOT, however appreciate their altering canon material as they like. I understand that, with such a huge gap between the ending of Hades series and the beginning of Omega the creators are a little freer to create their own worlds for the new generation of saints. Hell I don't even mind the new cloth designs (all though god save Yuna's sleeves). It's cool, cloths have been known to alter between different saints as well as across repairs. Even the color changing is nothing new. That's not what I'm talking about.
Rather it would be NICE if I didn't see things like
- Hyouga growing his eye back. THAT was a MAJOR development in his character arc and symbolic of his being rid of the guilt he carried concerning Isaac. It was a crucial moment in both the original manga AND the anime series, and any series claiming to be a successor of Saint Seiya has no excuse for ignoring it. I will deliberately say ignore because the only other reason they can claim for neglecting something so important is lack of research, and I will give Toei the benefit of the doubt and assume they've put more thought into a serialization than some 9-year-old in her first bad fanfiction.
- Wide acceptance of Yuna's decision to forego her mask. I am not talking about the act itself, AT ALL. I think it's a progressive step for female saints and I'm not really upset that Yuna's into letting it all show. What I can't stand is how nonchalant everyone is about this fact. The mask law IS A LAW. Hard to believe I know, but that also means that even if Geki was totally cool with it, and entire society raised strictly in accordance with pretexts cemented for thousands of years will not be. Even if they are, SHAINA should not be. Shaina's entire character was written upon the idea that her mask was her worth as a saint. Only those whose worthiness is greater than her own has been able to remove her mask. Her foil is Marin, a female saint (Aquila, hey isn't that funny?) whose mask never comes off. I can't imagine Shaina would be very happy that HER SYMBOL OF SAINTHOOD was thrown away by this upstart little teeny-bopper with bully issues. Likewise, I can't see that Yuna would get along with a woman who looks down on her from breaking through the rigid images of a female saint that was stifling her sense of freedom and choice. There should have been a storm, a clash of ideal across the generations (and convenient character development). Instead Shaina basically see's her, no mask and all, and shrugs
like it was no big deal. I can't possibly cover in a single journal what kind of character death they'd put her through.
- Bronze saints being promoted into silver. No just NO. IF it was a leveling system, and IF it were even possible to alter your cloth like that, then they've just invalidated then entire silver vs. bronze argument that was not only a central part of the classic Galaxian Chapter, it was also a central part of their own plotline. Shun would be a god saint, instead of that dip shit little silver saint arrogantly saying that he was JUST a bronze saint. That's just messy writing.
- Ionia's entire back story. Soooooooo he was in love with the baby goddess, uh huh, and he was a major Sanctuary figure throughout Saga's thirteen year reign, un huh, and he was strogn enough to be a teacher, uh huh....and he sat back and did basically nothing...It's like they just threw him together, please Toei, at least try to make sense if you want to create a character. I would even accept the shoddy explanation of Saga threw him in jail but NO HE LOCKED HIMSELF IN AFTER TRAINING PEOPLE TO DEATH POST HADES
. Speaking of it, Tokisada too, like seriously what was the point of him? The last time I checked there was no mention of a possessed Aquarius Cloth. I get that he shouldn't be expected to learn ice powers in all off an hour that he's had to prepare, but I feel like the Aquarius Cloth should have just rejected him, just like the Scorpio did Sonia and Cancer did Deathmask.
- Year time-skip and bronzies refusing to fight....you're kidding me right? Saints are warriors whose entire lives are devoted to Athena. I can't understand how Kouga who was raised by Tatsumi...and more importantly SHAINA would be reluctant to answer the call of his goddess. Kouga's a total brat at times, and it's clear Saori's spoiled him needlessly, but Shaina has never tolerated hesitance or reluctance when it came to the obligations of saint hood. Even Shun, the pacifist, understood that the fate of the world was somethign a little more important than his own personal sob story. It is a shoddy opening attempt to get them to change cloths.
- Ryuuho apparently has trouble passing the original test of Dragon Cloth even after awakening his seventh sense. How the hell did he ever put it on in the first place? If I remember correctly, unless a cloth acknowledges the cosmos of it's saint, said saint can't even move (happened to Subaru too).
- Pallas goddess of....love......
I mean it's not like the Greeks have an ACTUAL Goddess of Love (coughtaphroditecough)
- A man name TITAN
and they haven't smited him for blasphemy......why?
- Omega cloths reaching god form without so much as a drop of goddess blood. Pegasus I can excuse, Dragon I can excuse as they have both been imbued with divine powers before. Lionet, Aquila, and Wolf have never had that opportunity. I shall excuse Eden seeing as he is a demi god, and has probably bled into his cloth many times. That said, why is there so justification for this new Omega force they they're attempting to use in place of the eight sense? Using these old elements are fine stylistic choices, but Toei does not even attempt to reconcile with the original universe as established by the canon.
- Pope Harbinger. Despite being Athena, Kido Saori is far from the brightest crayon in the box. I have complained about this before. However this just plain takes the cake. Now, I LOVED what Omega did with Saori as far as giving her fighting scenes and at least trying to break the kidnap trope in the second season, but this crosses the line between trusting her saints, and sheer stupidity. Harbinger is one of Mars gold saints, to put it bluntly. Even if he's changed as a person a sworn allegiance to her, he is hardly an ideological example for the saints below him. His world view is warped, even if he likes kids now. That he has to be threatened on several occasions to stay in line only supports this. Furthermore, there are three other perfectly viable pope candidates who have not only served Athena and Sanctuary unfailingly for 27 years, but are also already gleaming examples of perfect sainthood in the eyes of the younger generation and have made up the bulk of their strength for the interval between Hades and Mars: Seiya, Hyouga, and Shun. There is no reason, whatsoever to give Harbinger that kind of power over a recovering highly moldable Sanctuary.
These are the worst offense in my experience with this series. There are many more that I can list and if I do we'll be here forever. These are the only ones for which I can find no in-series justification, even in a roundabout way.
Omega could have been something wonderful, instead it left me feeling insulted that the development team has such a low opinion of us former fans. They did not care to do their research on the original series and feel that throwing a few cameos here and there completely without knowledge of the ornate and finely detailed mythos of a truly wonderful universe would be enough to please a loyal fanbase that has been with them through the turn of the century.
Omega is NOT Saint Seiya, not even close. It is not a successor series in anyway shape or form. It can't even be counted as a good fan work. It is another series entirely that had been tagged with the label for marketing's sake and I will continue to regard it as such.
I am left feeling empty and disappointed and bitter bitter BITTER
. If this is the kind of treatment I can expect, I wonder if it is about time I stop trusting this franchise altogether, turn away and cling to my memories of my Seiya, and hope that his presence drowns out the slimy after taste Omega left in my mouth.