#78b : Saint Seiya: Evil Goddess Eris

This is one of four entries that take an in depth look into each of the Saint Seiya movies released during the 1980s. For the original overview entry, click here.

Beware the sacred forbidden fruit! The golden apple of Eris is famous in Ancient Greek myth storytelling. As a powerful symbol of her reputation as the goddess of discord, Eris’ golden apple also has existence outside the world of antiquity. The Shonen Jump fighting series Saint Seiya, which borrowed heavily from Greek myth, would borrow the tale of Eris in a unique fashion. Saint Seiya was popular on TV, but the time had come to bring it to the big screen with the first cinematic outing for our heroic Bronze Saints, Saint Seiya: Evil Goddess Eris.

SSEris_1Behold a widescreen version of the TV opening to start this film. Pegasus Fantasy at the cinema? YEAH! … Seiya, Houyga, Shun and Shiryu return to the orphanage of their youth to visit the current group of children who in turn idolize them. A new teacher, Eri, is a favorite of the children and in the beginning of the film is involved in a near fatal car accident trying to save one of the children. In to save the day is Houyga and when his eyes met Eri’s… well… they seem to be very compatible. On a date at night they both spot an odd shooting star. Later Eri like a possessed zombie finds the fallen item which turns out to be a golden apple. And yes it is Eris’ apple which takes over the body of Eri. Now the real battle begins.

SSEris_2Saori is eventually captured by Eris for the sole reason to possess the body of the Earthly incarnation of Athena. Apparently Eris does not have much interest in being a blonde with the body of Eri. Go figure? The Bronze Saints eventually catch wind of this situation and in typical fashion run to attempt a rescue. Eris of course is ready for this situation and has five of her own Saints ready to battle our heroic Bronze Saints. Meet Maya, Orpheus, Khristos, Jan and Jager (not Mick Jagger) who together are a lean, mean, well oiled butt kicking machine.

In the span of only 45 minutes, a whole story arc was played out in a very cut and dry fashion, which is seen later in the remaining Saint Seiya films. Short shonen fighting arcs, can there be such a thing? Now then let’s wrap this up. How does one close a movie of the caliber? Introduce another myth, or folk legend… enter a reinterpretation of William Tell?

Saint Seiya 80s film index:

    1. Evil Goddess Eris
    2. The Heated Battle of the Gods
    3. Legend of Crimson Youth
    4. Warriors of the Final Holy Battle

#78 : Saint Seiya: The Movies

Saint Seiya, oh how I love thee, let me count the ways… I can forgive many of the short comings of Saint Seiya. In essence, it is a run of the mill shonen fighter, but the inclusion of Greek mythology, astrology and heavy melodrama make it a heavy favorite for me. The original TV series I love dearly, the manga was great, the Hades Arc OVAs which finished the original manga adaptation was welcomed. A couple years ago, the company Discotek released a bunch of SS materials. I bought a few of these DVDs and here is what came of that purchase.

SS_M_1I will only make comment on the four SS films that were released from 1987 to 1989. All of these were released by Discotek and fall into my blog’s concentration on anime of the 1970s and 1980s. Several other productions would appear decades later, but these four titles will be under the spotlight: Evil Goddess Eris (1987), The Heated Battle of the Gods (1988), Legend of Crimson Youth (1988) and Warriors of the Final Holy Battle (1989). All four are out of canon to the original manga and ironically The Heated Battle of the Gods is an alternative to the filler Asgard Arc from the TV series. These films are more for fun and I am sure were created to keep the SS marketing machine going.

SS_M_2All four movies are very cliche and are so formulaic that I end up predicting the whole plot before the beginning credits. Though each film has it’s own pace and variation on the so called theme, or leitmotif of the fightype formula of successive adversaries leading up to, they all kind of go like this… A great arch enemy descends and brings five subordinates. In the process Saori/Athena either gets kidnapped, or wooed away (if this enemy is oh so charming and handsome). Then our five Bronze Saints begin there quest to save their sacred leader. Usually Pegasus Seiya goes first and then gets that crap kicked out of him, but defeats the adversary. Next comes Cygnus Hyoga and the process repeats and then we get to Dragon Shiryu. He as well falls after a great fight, but Shiryu ends up having his cloth removed because we all have to witness his owe so muscular chest. Seriously, watch any SS and this always happen.

SS_M_3Next we get a double feature with Andromeda Shun, the ‘cute’ one who is more of a pacifist, also falls victim to his adversary. And that is when Shun’s brother Phoenix Ikki shows up and says, “Yo, you be messin’ with my brother? I’m gonna mess you up good!” Then Ikki puts the smack down. Seriously, always bailing out your younger brother. When will Shun learn to take care of himself? Later, Athena falls into further peril and all five of the boys, though being deeply beaten, trek towards the final showdown to take down the big bad enemy. All five boys take a stand one at a time and then like a miracle of the heavens, the Sagittarius Gold Cloth appears. Of course it chooses Seiya every time and all the boys cry out “Seiya, Seiya” and after that… Seiya reborn to perfection and full of strength draws the bow to shoot the golden arrow to save the day. Then all is happy ever after. …you can’t make this all up?

SS_M_4Of the four films, three are 45 minute shorts so it makes sense that they are not the most deep in regards for plot. You are cramming a supposed arc into less than an hour! The third film, Legend of Crimson Youth, which is over an hour long, has a plot that bends the predictive formula and has a bit more drama and… is my favorite of the four. Plus, in this film, we see the resurrection and inclusion of the five Gold Saints who fell during the Sanctuary Arc of the TV series: Gemini Saga, Cancer Deathmask, Capricorn Shura, Aquarius Camus and Pisces Aphrodite. Gold Saints forever!, they add to the plot greatly. This was also a film which celebrated the 20th anniversary of SS’s parent publisher, Shonen Jump.

So in final, I would watch these one at a time and… Nothing is ever a substitute for that original Sanctuary arc of the TV series 🙂 These are, as mentioned earlier, sideline stories that are not a part of the original plot so take these for what you will.