Concept and creation
As Masami Kurumada subscribes to the revered Osamu Tezuka's Star System, (a stable cast of characters which play a different or similar role in the author's various works, sometimes with the same personality and sometimes with an entirely new one), he designed Aiolia's appearance very similar to Zaji, the main character in Raimei no Zaji, a manga that Kurumada wrote and drew years before Saint Seiya.
In his manga, Kurumada gave Aiolia blonde hair. In the anime adaptation, due to a relative excess of yellow tones in Kurumada's design, Aiolia's hair color was modified to light brown to achieve a better color balance and contrast.
Personality and background
Aiolia is the first Gold Saint introduced by Masami Kurumada in his manga, along with Saga disguised as the Pope, in vol.1, although their rank wasn't revealed until later volumes. In his first appearance, Aiolia was present during the moment Pegasus Seiya was granted the Pegasus Bronze Cloth and the status of Saint of Athena.
Aiolia is regarded as an exemplary young man in the Sanctuary, due to his righteousness and strength. He is the younger brother of Sagittarius Aiolos, considered a traitor that attempted to kill Athena when she was still a baby. Due to this, Aiolia works hard to prove his loyalty to the goddess and erase the shame his brother's actions bestowed upon them. Even during the time Aiolia thought Aiolos was a traitor, he showed immense respect and love toward his memory.
In an interview, Masami Kurumada stated that he intended to use Aiolia as the main character of his series, hence his early introduction in the manga, but later he decided to use Pegasus Seiya. Even so, years later, the spin-off manga Saint Seiya Episode G was released, authored under Kurumada's commission by Megumu Okada, and centered on the Gold Saints, having Aiolia as the main character. This manga is placed seven years before the main story of the original Saint Seiya manga, showing Aiolia when he was still a young Saint and was victim of the false stories that tainted his brother's image.
Aiolia is impetuous and has hot-tempered, which incites him to action. More than once, this creates some conflicts between him and the calm Aries Mu. Through the storyline, it is hinted that he and Virgo Shaka are close friends.
Kurumada named Aiolia after the mythical island Aiolia or Aeolia, residence of Aiolos, the god of winds.
The Pope summons Aiolia and the Scorpio Gold Saint, Milo, to his hall and says The Gold Cloths of Aries, Libra and Sagittarius are missing. He orders Aiolia to go to Japan to kill Saori Kido, Athena's incarnation during the 20th century, and her renegade Bronze Saints who possess the Gold Cloth of Sagittarius. When Aiolia appears in Japan, Seiya and Ophiuchus Shaina are fighting. Aiolia knocks Shaina out and fights Seiya. Shaina revives, jumps in the way to save Seiya, and is critically injured. Aiolia spares Seiya, out of respect for Shaina's sacrifice. Three Silver Saints, Musca Dio, Canis Major Sirius, and Heracles Algethi appear, and mock Aiolia for not finishing off Seiya. Seiya is unable to fend off the three Silver Saints but the Gold Cloth of Sagittarius awakens, and assembles itself over Seiya.
Seiya manages to defeat all three Silver Saints. Aiolia tries to defeat Seiya and take the Cloth from him, but sees a vision of his deceased brother telling him that Seiya is a true protector of Athena. Saori Kido arrives before the two could continue fighting, and explains that she is the true reincarnation of Athena, and that the Pope has been lying about her whereabouts for 13 years. She claims he is responsible for the stigma of betrayal that befell his brother. Aiolia swears loyalty to Athena, and decides to return to Sanctuary to question the Pope.
Aiolia leaves Shaina in the care of the giant Cassios, her former disciple, and goes to the Pope to question him. The Pope orders the Gold Saint Virgo Shaka to attack while he performs a sneak attack on Aiolia with his Demon Emperor's Delusional Fist, allowing him to manipulate Aiolia's mind. He then gives Aiolia one more chance: to kill the Bronze Saints that enter Sanctuary as they pass through the Leo Temple which he guards. When Seiya arrives at the Leo Temple, he sees that Aiolia is the guardian. Controlled by Saga's attack, Aiolia does not kill Seiya all at once but weakens his body slowly. Cassios arrives at the Leo Temple and attacks Aiolia and commits suicide by protecting Seiya from Aiolia, in an attempt to break the Pope's mind manipulation. Seiya manages to evade Aiolia's Lightning Plasma and knock him down with his Pegasus Meteor Punches, releasing him from the effects of the Pope's attack.
Aiolia properly shows his respects to Saori once again, and states that his brother's spirit can rest in peace.
After the Bronze Saints leave for the battle against Poseidon, Aiolia tells Aries Mu that he feels as if Athena's Cosmo fades away, and that the Bronze Saints are in danger. Mu tells him that under the orders of Libra Rōshi, the eldest senior Gold Saint, all the Gold Saints must remain in Sanctuary for the battle to come. Aiolia is eventually angered by Mu's actions, and marches off to help Seiya. Mu interrupts him and says that he will kill him if he leaves for disobeying the laws of Sanctuary. Before the two can fight, the spirit of Aiolos hears their dispute, and sends the Gold Cloth of Sagittarius to protect Seiya, stopping the quarrel between the two friends. Later the Aquarius Cloth flies off from Sanctuary to protect Cygnus Hyōga in similar fashion.
The Sanctuary is invaded by the fallen Gold Saints who now served Hades as Specters. When the true Specters arrive at the Leo Temple demanding to pass through, Aiolia declares that he will kill any trying to trespass. After a quick fight against Raimi, Aiolia arrives at the Virgo temple with Aries Mu and Scorpio Milo. He is shocked to see that former Gold Saints Gemini Saga, Aquarius Camus and Capricorn Shura have just killed Virgo Shaka with the Athena Exclamation, a forbidden technique. Aiolia, Mu and Milo use the same technique and the clashing powers of two Athena Exclamations destroys the Virgo Temple. Later, Athena beckons the two parties to stop the battle and come to her at the statue of Athena.
Athena tells the fallen Gold Saints that they no longer have to suffer and commits suicide (secretly invoking the 8th sense as told by Virgo Shaka). Mu, Aiolia and Milo, knowing the truth behind Athena and Shaka's deaths, arrive in Hades' castle, where they face Wyvern Rhadamanthys. Rhadamanthys easily overpowers the three of them and throws them into the abyss. In Cocytus, the frozen Hell, where those who dare to defy the gods are tormented, Seiya sees Mu, Aiolia and Milo dead. However, upon Athena's arrival to the Underworld, they are revived and break free.
They arrives in front of the Wailing Wall, the gateway to Elysion, with Virgo Shaka and Libra Dohko, and attempt to break the wall with the Libra Weapons. Eventually, they gather all 12 of the Gold Cloths, and sacrifice themselves to pierce a gateway through the Wall, allowing the Bronze Saints to reach the Elysion plains - the paradise of the Gods - the true home of Hades. The Leo Gold Cloth later protects to Phoenix Ikki to use during the battle against the god of death Thanatos.
Main article: Leo Aiolia in Episode G
Leo Aiolia is the protagonist of the spin-off manga Saint Seiya Episode G. He is portrayed as a thirteen year-old Gold Saint.
In the fourth Saint Seiya movie, he is killed by one of the soldiers of Lucifer and brought back to life when all the Gold Cloths shine. Aiolia also stars in the movie Heaven Chapter ~Overture~, in which his soul is sealed with the other Gold Saints when the gods pass judgment on them and say they will always be loyal to Athena. Although sealed, he encourages Ikki and Shun to fight against the angel of Artemis.
In Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas his incarnation during the 18th century appears briefly and takes an active role in fighting the specters. His name is Regulus and he was trained by that generation's Sagittarius Saint.
A Leo Saint has yet to appear (a long with five maybe six other Gold Saints) in Saint Seiya: Next Dimension.
Power and abilities
Aiolia had mastered the 7th sense, so he is able to move at the speed of the light. It is also hinted that he achieved the 8th sense so he could awaken in Cocytos. Throughout the series, Aiolia has shown telekinetic abilities and, in the anime version, healing power through the use of his Cosmo energy.
In a fight Aiolia normally uses two techniques. With his Lightning Bolt (ライトニングボルト Raitoningu boruto?): Aiolia blasts the opponent with a massive energy capsule and with his Lightning Plasma (ライトニングプラズマ Raitoningu Purazuma?) (Aiolia's signature technique), Aiolia generates multiple small weak plasma energy which travel at the speed of light. If he is using the maximum power of his cosmos, the technique allows Aiolia to fire 100 billion rounds of plasma per second at his opponents. From the view of his opponent, he would see himself trapped in a net formed from rays of light.
In Saint Seiya Episode G Aiolia comments that the Lightning Bolt is a stronger attack than the Lightning Plasma because the first is single hit while the second are multiple hits.
The Episode G gives Aiolia the power to generate electricity with his Cosmo (something said to be a power exclusive to the gods and able to kill them). Therefore, the Lightning Bolt becomes, at first, an electric discharge created on the vacuum made by the quick movements of Aiolia fist. Later, the Lightning Bolt is upgraded into a version composed of photons instead of electricity, matching the technique on the original story.
Episode G also shows two new techniques that Aiolia has never used in the original series. With the Lightning Fang (ライトニングファング Raitoningu Fangu?) Aiolia sends his Cosmo energy into the ground, then it erupts as many pillars of electricity. This technique can be used to defend himself against incoming attacks, to attack his enemies or to paralyze targets.
Aiolia's strongest attack in Episode G is the Photon Burst (フォトンバースト Foton Bāsuto?). Although immensely strong, it demands a high amount of time to be prepared and leave Aiolia exhausted after used. It consists of three movements: Invoke, when Aiolia expels his Cosmo energy into the area creating many orbs of photon; Drive, when the photons are directed at his enemy, entering its body through the skin; and Burst, when the photons explode, destroying the target inside out. Since it attacks the enemy from the inside, it negates the hardness of armors. In order to get use of the photons power without suffering from the Photon Burst weaknesses, later on the story Aiolia starts to use the photons to create the above mentioned upgraded version of the Lightning Bolt. From this point onwards, Aiolia never used the Photon Burst again as far as the manga progressed.
Cloth, constellation and Temple
The temple he guarded was known both in manga and the anime adaptation as ShishiKyuu, the "Temple of the Lion".
- In his manga, Kurumada gave Aiolia blonde hair. In the anime adaptation Aiolia's hair color was modified to brown.
- As revealed by Masami Kurumada in vol.12 of his manga, Aiolia became a Gold Saint at an early age. He had already been granted the Gold Saint status and the Leo Gold Cloth by the time he was 7 years old.
- Besides Aries Mu, Aiolia is the only Gold Saint whose master has been revealed by Kurumada.