Knights Of The Zodiac’s 12 Biggest Changes To The Saint Seiya Comics & Anime


  • The live-action Saint Seiya movie, Knights of the Zodiac, deviates from the original manga significantly.
  • Seiya’s backstory in the movie differs from the manga, as he is already an adult when he begins his training to become a Pegasus Knight.
  • The absence of the Galaxian Wars in the movie explains why the classic Bronze Saints are not included, and the movie instead focuses on Seiya’s mission to protect Sienna from Vander Guraad.



Knights of the Zodiac (2023) brought Seiya to the big screen, but the live-action Saint Seiya movie makes several changes to the original manga and anime. Masami Kurumada’s Saint Seiya manga remains one of the most influential works of fiction of its generation to this day, especially in terms of manga and anime series that became popular outside of Japan. Saint Seiya’s global popularity led to the making of a Hollywood movie that does some things right but also repeats a few mistakes from previous live-action anime adaptations. Whether Knights of the Zodiac 2 will happen remains to be announced, but the first film only barely scratched the saga’s lore.

Mackenyu, who plays Roronoa Zoro in the Netflix live-action anime adaptationOne Piece, leads the Knights of the Zodiac cast as Seiya. The movie features the beginning of Seiya’s journey, including the first time he met Kido (Sean Bean) and Sienna (Madison Iseman). Knights of the Zodiac borrows a lot of elements from the 2019 Saint Seiya:Knights of the Zodiac reboot but also incorporates bits from the manga and the original anime, including the translated versions of some names and titles.

12 Most Of The Bronze Saints Are Not In Knights Of The Zodiac

Dragon Shiryu, Cygnus Hyoga, and Andromeda Shun don’t appear in the live-action Saint Seiya movie.

The biggest difference between Knights of the Zodiac and the Saint Seiya manga is the absence of the iconic Bronze Saints from the live-action movie. While Seiya is the story’s titular character and protagonist, it is difficult to discuss Saint Seiya without mentioning Cygnus Hyoga, Andromeda Shun, and Dragon Shiryu. However, none of them are in the movie. Instead, Knights of the Zodiac focuses entirely on Seiya and his journey to become the Pegasus Knight. Apart from Phoenix Ikki, whose role in the movie is drastically different from the manga and the anime, Pegasus Seiya is the only Bronze Saint in the live-action Knights of the Zodiac.

11 Seiya’s Backstory Is Very Different From The Saint Seiya Manga

The Pegasus Knight is already an adult when he begins his training.

Mackenyu as Seiya

While Knights of the Zodiac is centered on Pegasus Seiya, his origin story is very different from the Saint Seiya manga and anime. In the live-action movie, Seiya was not trained for most of his life to potentially become one of Athena’s knights. Instead, Seiya had a “normal life” following the kidnapping of his sister and only learned of things like Athena, cosmo, and the Pegasus Cloth when he was already a young adult. Assuming that Seiya and Sienna are about the same age in the movie, Seiya was 18 years old when he began his training. In the manga, Seiya was 7 when he was sent to Greece.

10 There Are No Galaxian Wars In The Live-Action Saint Seiya Movie

Knights of the Zodiac skips the original Saint Seiya tournament entirely.

Saint Seiya’s Galaxian Wars, one of the most iconic anime arcs, was not covered in the live-action Knights of the Zodiac movie. In fact, Sienna does not even have a set of knights to protect her in the live-action adaptation. While Knights of the Zodiac addresses how Kido was responsible for putting multiple orphans in danger, the reason why those children were taken from their homes is completely different from the manga. The absence of the Galaxian Wars helps explain why the classic Bronze Saints were not in the movie. Instead, Knights of the Zodiac is mostly about protecting Sienna from Vander Guraad.

9 What Happened To Seiya’s Sister Is Different From The Manga

Seika was kidnapped when Seiya was a kid in Knights of the Zodiac.

famke janssen in knights of the zodiac

In Knights of the Zodiac, very much like in the 2019 Saint Seiya animated reboot, Seiya’s sister is kidnapped right in front of him when they were both kids. In the manga, what exactly happened to Seiya’s sister is not originally revealed. The two were separated after Seiya was sent to Greece for training, but after he returned, Sienna was gone. Seiya’s search for his sister is what sets the tone for his story in both the manga and the movie, but the circumstances surrounding it are very different. It is unclear why Sienna had the Pegasus Cloth in the movie.

8 Kido Is Not Japanese In The Live-Action Saint Seiya Movie

Knights of the Zodiac does not take place in Japan.

An image of Sean Bean looking serious in Knights of the Zodiac

One of the biggest differences between the live-action Saint Seiya adaptation and the manga is where the story takes place, as well as the nationality of the characters. In the source material, Mitsumasa Kido is a Japanese businessman who encounters Sienna as a baby and raises her. The movie changes the character to Alman Kido, who is not Japanese and finds Seiya in an English-speaking country. Presumably, Knights of the Zodiac takes place in the United States, whereas the key events in the initial portion of Saint Seiya, including Seiya’s reunion with Sienna and the Galaxian Wars, are set in Japan.

7 Kido & Satori’s Relationship Is Different From The Saint Seiya Manga

Kido is alive during most of the Knights of the Zodiac movie.

An image of Madison Iseman looking serious in Knights of the Zodiac

While there are some significant differences between the anime and manga versions of Mitsumasa Kido, both of them portray him as Sienna’s foster grandfather. Knights of the Zodiac keeps the idea that Kido encountered Sagittarius Aiolos and raised the baby that fell from the sky. However, Kido raises Sienna as his daughter rather than granddaughter. Sean Bean’s version of Kido is younger than his manga counterpart, and unlike the source material, is alive during the first chapters of Seiya’s journey. Knights of the Zodiac’s Alman Kido only dies toward the end of the movie.

6 Knights Of The Zodiac’s Cassios Is Essentially A Different Character

Live-action Cassios shares little to nothing with his manga counterpart.

Knights of the Zodiac's Cassios

Saint Seiya’s Cassios (Nick Stahl) is in Knights of the Zodiac, but the live-action adaptation is so different from the manga counterpart that they can hardly be considered the same character. In the anime and the manga, Cassios is essentially the first Saint Seiya antagonist, as he and Seia battle for the Pegasus Cloth. Both Cassios and Seiya were being trained in Greece to potentially become one of Athena’s saints. In the movie, however, Cassios is the operator of an underground fighting club that secretly helps Vander Guraad find people with strong cosmos. Cassios later turns into a cyborg and becomes the movie’s main antagonist, hoping to kill Seiya.

5 Seiya & The Orphans Are Not Sons Of Kido In Knights Of The Zodiac

The live-action Saint Seiya changes a lot about Kido.

knights of the zodiac Pegasus Seiya armor

Seiya is not one of the orphans taken by Kido and trained to become a warrior in Knights of the Zodiac. Instead, Seiya and Kido are only properly introduced several years after Seika’s disappearance. In addition, while the movie references other orphans, they are not biological sons of Kido with different women like in the manga. Instead, Kido and his wife, Vander Guraad, were kidnapping kids with strong cosmo to stop the deterioration of Guraad’s body. Knights of the Zodiac never mentions any plan to create a legion of trained knights to defend Athena from the wars to come.

Related: 10 Planned Live-Action Anime Adaptations That Never Happened

4 Seiya Gets The Pegasus Cloth Relatively Easy In The Live-Action Movie

The Bronze Cloths come in the form of necklaces in Knights of the Zodiac.

Seiya transforms in Knights of the Zodiac

In the manga, Seiya has to pass a series of trials and ultimately fight Cassios for the Pegasus cloth before going back to Japan and becoming one of Sienna’s knights. In the live-action Saint Seiya movie, Seiya’s sister had the Pegasus cloth in the form of a necklace. This necklace was stolen by Kido and then returned to Seiya several years later. After a few hours of training with Marin, Seiya was able to partially unlock the power of the Pegasus cloth. Toward Knights of the Zodiac’s ending, Seiya unlocked the armor in its entirety. Phoenix Ikki’s armor was also a necklace rather than a box before being activated.

3 Knights Of The Zodiac’s Vander Guraad Is An Original Character (Sort Of)

Vander Guraad doesn’t exist in the Saint Seiya manga.

Knights of the Zodiac’s Vander Guraad (Famke Janssen) does not exist in the manga or the anime. A version of this character does exist, however, in 2019’s Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac. The 3D animated series introduced Vander Graad as Kido’s business partner. Both Kido and Graad found Sienna in the animated reboot, but Graad wanted to use the power of the Gold cloth to create weapons. In the movie, Guraad is the wife of Kido, and she was present when Sienna was found. However, after realizing how dangerously powerful Sienna was, Guraad left her family and began to prepare for a possible war.

2 Phoenix Ikki Is Significantly Different From His Saint Seiya Counterpart

Knights of the Zodiac’s Nero is Phoenix Ikki.

Knights of the Zodiac's Nero

While Phoenix Ikki is in the live-action Knights of the Zodiac movie, the character is very different from the source material. Even though those familiar with Saint Seiya likely noticed right away that Nero (Diego Tinoco) was Ikki based on the 2019 Netflix reboot’s new names, the movie only confirms that Guraad’s henchman is one of the classic Bronze Saints during the second half of the story. It is unclear what exactly Ikki’s plans are in the movie or why he was working for Guraad. However, he already had the Phoenix cloth and briefly battled Seiya at the end of the movie. None of Nero’s story really matches the manga.

1 Knights Of The Zodiac Makes Sienna Into A Threat To Humanity

Seiya’s final challenge is to stop Athena.

knights of the zodiac's Saori

Knights of the Zodiac treats Athena as a threat to humanity, a bomb ready to explore and doom the planet ahead of a new war. Rather than protecting Sienna from the very powerful figures that target her in the original story, Seiya’s mission at the end of the movie is to stop Sienna from fully becoming Athena. Sienna was aware that she was Athena’s reincarnation, which matches the manga, but everything else was quite different from how the first couple of Saint Seiya arcs play out.


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