#78c : Saint Seiya: The Heated Battle of the Gods

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.

“I’m alone here. With emptiness, eagles and snow. Unfriendliness chilling my body. And whispering pictures of home.” Anyone a Deep Purple fan? Let’s enter the world of Saint Seiya and situate ourselves in the deep polar North. Houyga in his natural environment encounters a fight and meets a fallen figure who whispers the words… Asgard… Valhalla. Alone he heads to this mythical civilization of Odin (no, not Odin: Space Sailor Starlight) to find out what is going on. It may be cold up Asgard’s way, but we are heading towards the super hot with the second Saint Seiya movie, Saint Seiya: The Heated Battle of the Gods.

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 100After a widescreen opening of the usual opening accompanied by the awesome song Pegasus Fantasy, mystery will abound as Houyga has gone missing. Three remaining Bronze Saints (Seiya, Shun and Shiryu… Ikki where are you?) along with Miss Saori go to Asgard to inquire about Houyga. He apparently has not shown up according to the local authorities who seem too in some way of having something to hide. A strange presence is felt when a red clothed warrior with a full mask and helmet passes. Something feels oddly familiar about him? This man is Midgard, one of Asgard’s elite along with Ullr, Rung and Loki who to no surprise are going to be the main opposition to the Bronze Saints. Is Asgard looking to conquer Sanctuary, home of the Saints, or are they just wanting their guests to simply leave?

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 100As an alternate to the filler Asgard arc from the television series, The Heated Battle of the Gods would premier in March of 1988, one month prior to the first TV episode depicting the Norse inspired mythology. Was this a trial run for that section of the show? Or maybe, the television crew thought they could expand on the idea put forth in Heated Battle of the Gods? That is an unknown on my end, but would be an interesting followup if the proper information can be found.

The Saint Seiya movies are very predictable, but each of the four films do have their own individual take on that usual formula. Case in point, Ikki often comes in to save the day for younger brother Shun, no surprise there. This of course happens as well in The Heated Battle of the Gods, but in the end Shun ends up saving Ikki. Not a bad twist in that relationship! For The Heated Battle of the Gods, be prepared for several twists, turns and surprises!

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.