Saint Seiya: Next Dimension - Myth of Hades (聖闘士星矢 NEXT DIMENSION 冥王神話 Seinto Seiya: Nekusuto Dimenshon - Meiō Shinwa?) is an ongoing manga written and illustrated by Masami Kurumada. It is a prequel and continuation to his manga series Saint Seiya; placed during the previous "Holy War" between the deities Hades and Athena and their respective minions; the Specters and the Saints, during the 18th century; in the franchise's fictional chronology. It is published by Akita Shoten in the weekly magazine Weekly Shōnen Champion at irregular dates.
At the release of the first collected volume (tankōbon) of the series, Next Dimension was confirmed to be canonical within the universe and chronology conceived by Kurumada for Saint Seiya and its legitimate continuation..
Saint Seiya Next Dimension was conceived by Masami Kurumada as a prequel to his Saint Seiya manga, parting from elements revealed in it but never further developed and explored then, hence, he started writing and drawing Next Dimension by opening the storyline in a prologue, with a flashback to the last battle of his original manga, contained in vol. 28.
In the year 1990, in Elysion; the five Bronze Saints of Athena Seiya, Hyōga, Shun, Shiryū and Ikki are locked in deadly combat. Having wreaked havoc in the Underworld's army of Specters and succeeding in resurrecting their armors into "God Cloths", they engage the god Hades in a final duel to the death. During the battle, Hades remembers that he has seen Seiya's face before and comes to the conclusion that he faced him before. He thus starts reminiscing about his previous host body, and the story starts 247 years prior, in the 18th century. The protagonist, the Pegasus Saint of this era, is an orphan who is best friends with a boy named Alone, the host of Hades in this era. Former Bronze Saints Dohko and Shion, two prominent characters in Kurumada's original manga as the sole survivors of the holy war of that century, have just been promoted to Gold Saints and eventually the two duos share a meeting.
Production & Style
Masami Kurumada first announced the start of the follow-up to his famous Saint Seiya series in 2006. On April 21 he posted an image of Hades, Lord of the Underworld, on his blog. Short chapters came to be published once or even trice per month due to its sporadic release until January 4, 2007 when the next chapter didn't get released until August 2, 2007. The series have kept up sporadic releases, with brief intervals of week-to-week publication, but Masami Kurumada updates his blog after a longer interval to show the next upcoming chapters. In Volume 2, in his personal message, Masami Kurumada apologies for the delay of the second volume; revealing that he was sick for a long time in the spring of 2009.
Following Masami Kurumada's traditional writing and drawing style, the storyline unfolds in typical shōnen manga narrative. In addition each chapter is presented in full color. The first chapter was initially called Prologue ①, however, the "①" was removed in the collected first volume or tankōbon. During the first 14 chapters, the borderline of the pages was also colored to look like a starlit night sky, this was changed to standard white in part 14 and further chapters as well as in the compiled volumes. Parts 15 and 16 were published in a black & white format complemented by one color image each. The following parts have continued being released in black & white accompanied by various colored pages. The parts published in black and white will be available in full color in their respective volume compilation. Certain objects and pieces of information that was previously published in the Saint Seiya Encyclopedia are used in the story such as one of Athena's 88 armors, the Crateris Silver Cloth.
Main article: List of Saint Seiya characters
The following are some of the characters that have a prominent role in the chapters released to date. As the story progresses, some more characters have been introduced, and are expected to be developed further in future chapters.
- Alone: The purest soul in the 18th century and the previous human vessel for Hades, god of the Underworld. A young painter who is an orphan and a close friend to Tenma.
- Aries Shion: A former Bronze Saint promoted to Gold Saint, future Pope of Sanctuary.
- Libra Dohko: A former Bronze Saint promoted to Gold Saint, future master of Dragon Shiryu.
- Crateris Suikyō: Formerly the Crateris Silver Saint, master of Tenma and a well respected soldier of Athena's army. Unknown events have led him to switch his loyalty to Hades, forsaking his destiny as a Saint and embracing a new one as the Garuda Specter in Hades' army. He also trained with Shion and Dohko during their childhood.
- Andromeda Shun: Returning character from Saint Seiya, travels back to the past with Saori and is later separated from her in the 18th century.
- Phoenix Ikki: Another returning character from the main series, makes a brief appearance fighting off Raskmoon before leaving on undefined business.
- Saori: She is the current incarnation of Athena. She along with Shun travels back to the past holy war to save Seiya but was turned into an infant by Chronos the god of Time.
A prologue plus 23 chapters have been released to date, and have also been published in tankōbon form. The second tankōbon compilation was released March 8, 2010..
|No.||Japanese release date||Japanese ISBN|
|1||February 6, 2009||ISBN 978-4-253-13271-8|
|In the year 1990, the Bronze Saints of Athena engage the god Hades in a final battle to save their goddess Athena and the world. During the fight the god of the Underworld remembers encountering Pegasus Seiya before, and the reader is then taken to the past. In the 18th century, Dohko and Shion are promoted from Bronze to Gold Saints by the Pope of Sanctuary. With their new status, they set out to take down Hades before he manifests in his chosen vessel of the era, Alone. Tenma, the Pegasus Saint in the 18th century steps in between and stops their attack. During the confusion Alone winds up in an old temple were Pandora manages to awake Hades' soul in Alone. With a barrier now in place that reduces the Saints' strength, Dohko, Shion and Tenma retreat with dismay. Yet before they can they are attacked by Griffon Vermeer and Garuda Suikyō, the latter being Tenma's former master. the Saints are hurt badly as the Specters are called back to Hades, but with the help of Tenma's horse they are able to escape and head back to Sanctuary, to recover and devise a strategy for the upcoming Holy War.|
|2||March 8, 2010||ISBN 978-4-253-13272-5|
|Tenma, Shion and Dohko return to Sanctuary to report their findings about the situation, only to be greeted harshly by the Taurus Gold Saint, Ox, enraged by their seemingly irresponsible behavior. After Taurus is restrained by Capricorn Izō, the Saints are puzzled by the absence of their goddess and ponder about her whereabouts. The Virgo Gold Saint, Shijima, then unveils that Athena may come from the future. Meanwhile, in the 20th century, Athena travels with Andromeda Shun to Mount Olympus and meets her elder sister Artemis, seeking help to relieve Seiya from the comatose state he was put in after Hades' death, by the god's curse. Artemis reveals that the only way to do so is to travel back in time, Athena seeks then the help of the god of time, Chronos. During the trek to Chronos, Shun and Athena are separated, the Saint is engaged by the guardians of Artemis, the Satellites, sent by Callisto to kill Athena. Shun is helped by his brother Phoenix Ikki to defeat them and their commander Lascomoune. Eventually, Athena meets Chronos, who sends her along with Shun back in time, to the Holy War in the 18th century, fulfilling Shijima's prediction.|
Chapters not yet in tankōbon format
- Part 20: Athena's Birth (女神降誕 Atena Kōtan?) (published on March 11, 2010)
- Part 21: The Pope's Dagger (教皇の短剣 Kyōkō no Tanken?) (published on March 18, 2010)
- Part 22: To Athena's Side (女神のもとへ Atena no Moto e?) (published on March 25, 2010)
- Part 23: The Enemy Is Inside the Sanctuary (敵は聖域にあり Teki wa Sankuchuari ni Ari?) (published on March 29, 2010)
- Part 24: ??? (to be published in summer 2010)
During its first week, the first volume of the manga sold 30,618 copies in Japan and stood on the 22nd place of most sold in February 2009. The following week it had sold 57,426 copies, but had gone down to 27th place of most sold that month.After its first week the second volume lay on 9th place of most bought manga volume of march in Japan.
- Saint Seiya Next Dimension: Canonical continuation of Saint Seiya. Retrieved on 2009-2-7 (in Japanese)
- Shōnen Champion #22+23 2006
- Shōnen Champion #36+37 2006
- Kurumada, Masami (2010). Saint Seiya Next Dimension, Volume 2. Akita Shoten. p. 1 (binder). ISBN 978-4-253-13272-5.
- Shōnen Champion #11 2009
- Shōnen Champion #12 2009
- Shōnen Champion #13 2009
- Kurumada, Masami (2001). Saint Seiya Encyclopedia. Akita Shoten. p. 77. ISBN 4-8342-1690-X.
- "聖闘士星矢 NEXT DIMENSION 冥王神話 1" (in Japanese). Akita Shoten. Retrieved 2009-10-28.
- "Saint Seiya: Next Dimension Vol.2".
- "Japanese Comic Ranking, February 3–9". Anime News Network. 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-09-16.
- "Japanese Comic Ranking, February 10–16". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2009-10-28.
- "Japanese Comic Ranking, March". Text "urlhttp://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-03-17/japanese-comic-ranking-march-8-14" ignored (help);