Almost 40 years have passed since Masami Kurumada began publishing ‘Knights of the Zodiac’ (well, ‘Saint Seiya’) in the pages of the Japanese Shōnen Jump Shūkan. Since then we have had all kinds of adaptations, sequels, spin-offs, musicals, video games and all the merchandising that you can imagine. In total there have been 315 television episodes, 141 manga volumes and six movies that range from excellent to horrifying. But never, in all these years, nothing has appeared so resoundingly unsuccessful from its very base like this ‘Knights of the Zodiac’.
evil has triumphed
An almost perfect parallel can be made between ‘Dragon Ball Evolution’ and this movie: both are North American versions trying to squeeze a license that works but “adapting it to the tastes of the majority public”, not getting that neither the fans nor the novices enjoy the film in the slightest. ‘Knights of the Zodiac’ resembles the original work what a stone to a rhinocerosbut that is not your mistake. After all, there are very free adaptations that end up being incredible, right?
Its great blunder is that it is made up of a host of failures and a totally wrong approach to the world of Seiya, Athena and the Knights made with minimal care not for the original material, but for its own story. Since you are going to change everything, at least stay comfortable, narrate what you have to narrate: during its almost two hours of footage, it gives the impression that its director, Tomek Baginski, think that all this is nonsense that does not deserve to be taken seriously… but he doesn’t dare take the path of the joke either.
The result is a film without soul, heart or goal., that at the moment that he disdains the fans and does not make efforts to understand what the rest of the audience is looking for, he is destined to be inconsequential. At least the fights and the visual effects are not third division and ensure a few entertaining minutes, but at the same time they are not so different from the action that we have been able to see in the CW series. As much as the CGI managers try to excite with a couple of nods to the original series, they only make the $60 million budget look like one-tenth of it.
Not so long ago, many of us highlighted that ‘Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves’ did things right when not present itself as the first part of a saga, but as a story with a beginning and an end that may or may not continue later. It’s sadly refreshing in a time when everything seems forced to have a universe of its own. ‘Knights of the Zodiac’ not only falls into the error in which they fall so many first self-aware parts of his pilot characterbut also underlines it throughout the film.
If you go into this movie expecting fantastic knightly combat protecting Athena and searching for her golden armor, think again: ‘Knights of the zodiac’ could have been formulated in the singular and it would be absolutely the same. Apart from Seiya, only one other knight appears for a few minutes, despite the fact that references are made to the rest of them. It seems that shunned the epic very consciouslywanting to make it clear to the viewers that it will be from the sequel where the good things begin.
Of course, the box office hit has been such that we will never have a ‘Knights of the Zodiac’ foray into mainstream cinema again. And it’s a shame, because it’s one of these products where the original material is strong and timeless enough so as not to necessarily have to do something else so different, so irrational, so false in form and substance: from Some dialogues that seem typical of a 90s sitcom Even some characters that do not go beyond the outline, this adaptation barely has armor to protect itself from its own blows.
pure demonic strength
Three screenwriters were necessary to unite a tremendously simple plot told in the most complex way possible. To mount a good epic, the viewer needs to know the consequences that the protagonist will have if he does not fulfill his mission or fails in his training: in ‘Knights of the Zodiac’ nothing memorable ever happens, deaths generate a shrug and it seems that his flag is the absolute incomprehension not only of Kurumada’s manga, but of his own script.
There are things that are salvageable from burning, yes. The place where Seiya trains is interesting and iconic, and Marin is remarkably well done: in fact, our hero’s training is the best part of the tape (and, despite everything, it is not enough). It gives the impression that all those responsible were embarrassed to have to adapt a manga and instead preferred to make a generic film with cloned enemies and battles that, by now, already They have been surpassed in spectacularity a thousand times.
The most fascinating thing is that they believed, seeing the result, that there was material for a franchise. After ‘Alita’, in which Hollywood seemed to have found the perfect philosopher’s stone to adapt anime without dying trying, ‘Knights of the Zodiac’ does not feel like just a step back, but like a stumble that takes us back to the time from ‘Dragon Ball Evolution’, where the last thing was that Goku went to school. What else, what the film was an absolute film disaster and one of the worst in recent years. It has merit.
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