While Saint Seiya: Omega is probably the most generic anime on my list, it still manages to be endearing while using heavy cliches. After winning their first battles, the four friends- Yuna, Ryuho, Souma and Kouga all find themselves weary but still very enthusiastic to continue the battle. Souma and Kouga especially seem to get along over dinner despite knowing that they are to fight each other the next day. As expected in any shounen story, instead of resting and listening to the teacher’s demands of, well, resting, Kouga and Souma (along with, interestingly, Yuna) train in the middle of the night. Kouga ponders over why Seiya is so popular and asks his sensei a bit about him. Not surprisingly, Seiya is the embodiment of what every Saint aspires to be; he is courageous, strong, passionate and a true warrior of justice, never giving up despite all hope being lost. It’s these same words that Souma ponders over when he battles his best friend Kouga the next day, and while almost evenly matched, Kouga wins using his Meteor Punch (Souma however, discovers a new attack of his own: Lionet Burning Fire). In the distance, angst!kid Eden looks on, surprised by how Kouga has progressed with his training and the tournament. What’s more mysterious however, is the ‘principal’, who remarks that Athena (whom we all recognize as Saori-san, aka kidnapped) is coming with an escort. We see a mysterious silhouette, and…that’s the end of the episode!
Saint Seiya: Omega still has a charm to it even with such simplicity. While this week’s episode was more of a buildup toward next week’s revelation on Athena (whatever that may be), these are the sort of episodes that I tend to like best, as they offer subtle character development. Souma tells it to Kouga himself: he’s gained a better knowledge of the Elements, and has become stronger not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Notice that Kouga hasn’t matured personality-wise in the slightest; he’s become more aware of what it means to be a Saint however. Asking about Seiya didn’t seem to stem from jealousy- no Kouga is genuinely interested in becoming a Saint. Which relatively speaking, is a leap of development. In the first episode, Kouga didn’t even know what a Saint was and didn’t want to be one anyways. Here, he’s not only aspiring to become just a Saint- he wants to become like Seiya. It could be argued that this all comes from his insecurity of not being able to protect Athena from before, but Kouga has found friends- things he didn’t really have where he lived previously, and that has allowed him to grow as a fighter and have a more stable mindset.
While I’m curious about the mystery of who this “Athena” is since we all know that Saori-san has been kidnapped by Mars, my curiosity spiked the most with Yuna. Very little is known about her. We’ve heard the general sob stories with the other three, all we know about Yuna is that she held herself behind a mask. A symbol for what I believe is, a loss of innocence, fragility but also what could be a loss of identity. While the notion of girl Saints having to wear masks strikes me as misogynic in nature, it also seems to pave the way for what could be, a very interesting arc for Yuna. Her past being obscured makes her interesting but she is my favorite character because she tries so hard to emotionally compose herself and prove her worth as she’s surrounded by a society that’s male-dominant (or seems to be). In essence, she breaks the rules, but believes in following them (she takes off her mask as a sign of individuality, but she still follows the signs of the stars and doesn’t seem to be ashamed of her femininity.) The show so far seems to lead her on with Ryoha, which was definitely surprising to me, as I thought it would be usual to pair the first female lead with the main male protagonist. We’ll see eventually….
Either way, next week seems to bring some answers to the main plot, and the appearance of a “Gold Saint” so I’m excited to see where this goes!
Enjoyment Level: 7/10