Saint Seiya: Next Dimension - The Myth of Hades (聖闘士星矢 NEXT DIMENSION 冥王神話 Seinto Seiya: Nekusuto Dimenshon - Meiō Shinwa?), also known as simply Next Dimension, is an ongoing manga written and illustrated by Masami Kurumada. It is a prequel and continuation to his manga series Saint Seiya; a part of the story is set in the 20th century(shortly after the holy war between Athena/Saori and Hades), a part is set in the 18th century during the previous holy war between Athena and Hades. It is published by Akita Shoten in the weekly magazine Weekly Shounen Champion at irregular dates. It is also known by its alternate subtitle Galaxy Myth (銀河神話 Ginga Shinwa), which is used during publication to refer to the segments of the storyline set in the 20th century, as opposed to the Myth of Hades subtitle, which refers to the segments set in the 18th century.
At the release nine collected volume (tankoubon) of the series, Next Dimension was confirmed to be canonical within the universe and chronology conceived by Kurumada for Saint Seiya. The manga is in colors.
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. Additionally, the original concept of the prequel was to work simultaneously with Shiori Teshirogi's Saint Seiya : The Lost Canvas as a multi-angle interpretation of the storyline, but this approach was quickly abandoned, as both works greatly diverged, Kurumada's Next Dimension stayed as the canonical telling of these events, and Lost Canvas as a separate alternate retelling.
In the mentioned flashback, the god Hades is reminded of his past incarnations and starts reminiscing about the events that occurred in the last war between Athena and himself 243 years earlier. During this period a boy named Tenma is one of Athena's warriors, the Saints. He is also the previous incarnation of the main character, Pegasus Seiya. He is best friends with a boy named Alone who is Hades' chosen vessel to inhabit of that era. As Alone becomes possessed by Hades, Tenma ventures to Athena's Sanctuary to train so that he can save his friend. In the present time, Pegasus Seiya is under a curse from Hades that will kill him in three days. Athena and the Saint Andromeda Shun travels back in time with the aid of Chronos, but he sends them further back than intended so that they end up during the previous holy war. Athena is turned into a baby, but is saved from harm by a Saint of that time as it turns out the leader of the Sanctuary is in league with Hades. Tenma and Shun now races to rescue Athena.
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.
Athena and her Saints Edit
- Athena, a.k.a. Saori Kido: She is the current incarnation of Athena, the goddess of justice and heroic endeavour. She, along with Shun, travels back to the holy war against Hades in the 18th century to save Seiya, but was turned into an infant by Chronos, the god of time.
Saints from XX Century:
- Pegasus Seiya: Pegasus Bronze Saint (20th century), the legendary saint, (Pegasus Seiya ( ND )).
- Andromeda Shun: One of the main characters, he travels back to the past with Saori and is later separated from her in the 18th century. In the same way as Alone was in the 18th century, Shun is the human with the purest soul in the present.
- Phoenix Ikki: Another of the protagonists and brother of the Andromeda Saint, he reappears fighting off Lascoumoune before leaving and travelling to the past.
- Dragon Shiryū: Dragon Bronze Saint.
- Cygnus Hyoga: Cygnus Bronze Saint.
Other followers of Athena in XX Century:
- Shunrei: adopted daughter of Libra Dōko, girlfriend of Dragon Shiryū.
- Shoryu: adopted son of Shunrei and Dragon Shiryū.
Bronze Saints in the 1740's:
- Pegasus Tenma (ND): The 18th century incarnation of Pegasus Seiya and the main character of the story.
Gold Saints in the 1740's:
- Aries Shion: A former Bronze Saint promoted to Gold Saint, future Pope of Sanctuary.
- Taurus Ox:
- Gemini Cain & Gemini Abel: Abel is evil, Cain is righteous.
- Cancer Deathtoll:
- Leo Kaiser:
- Virgo Shijima: he saves the infant Athena from the traitors.
- Libra Dōko: A former Bronze Saint promoted to Gold Saint, future master of Dragon Shiryū.
- Scorpius saint
- Sagittarius saint
- Capricorn Izō:
- Aquarius saint
- Pisces Cardinale: A traitor, regarded as the personification of beauty.
- Ophiuchus Gold Saint: The 13th gold saint cursed (18th century and 20th century).
- Pope (Unknown): Another traitor, whose real identity is unknown.
Hades and his Spectres Edit
- 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. God Hades (18th century).
- Pandora: holy priestess of Hades (18th century).
- Griffon Veemer: one of the three judges of hell (18th century).
- Garuda 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.
Artemis and her Satellites and Angels Edit
- Artemis: goddess of the moon and hunting.
- Callisto: commander of the Satellites (20th century).
- Lascoumoune: captain of the Satellites (20th century).
- Toma: Angel warrior of heaven (20th century).
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 did not 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 shounen manga narrative. In addition each chapter is presented in full colour. The first chapter was initially called Prologue ①, however, the "①" was removed in the collected first volume. During the first 14 chapters, the borderline of the pages was coloured to look like a starlit night sky, this was changed to standard white in part 14 and further chapters as well as a standard in compiled volumes.Parts 15 and 16 were published in a black & white format complemented by one colour 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 colour 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 armours, the Crateris Silver Cloth, albeith with a new design. The characters Artemis and Tōma were created by Masami Kurumada and first introduced in the fifth Saint Seiya movie which would have served as a continuation for the storyline. But the film did not receive the planned sequels, thus Kurumada incorporated the characters into Saint Seiya: Next Dimension, hence becoming the canonical incarnation of said characters.
A prologue plus 67 chapters have been released to date, and are being published in tankōbon form.
The second tankōbon compilation was released March 8, 2010. The third tankōbon compilation was released on December 8, 2010. The fourth tankōbon compilation was released on December 8th, 2011.The fifth tankōbon compilation has been announced for a release on April 6th, 2012. The six tankōbon compilation has been announced for a release on December 8th, 2012. The seven tankōbon compilation has been announced for a release on Augost 8th, 2013. The eighth tankobon compilation has been announced for a release on December 6th, 2013.
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. During its first week, the third volume of the manga sold 44,200 copies in Japan and stood on the 17nd place of most sold in December 2010 During its first week, the fourth volume of the manga ranked at the 8th place of the 30 most sold titles in December 2011, according to Comiclist.jp.Also, according to the same source, the fourth volume of Next Dimension ranked 6th in the 10 most sold shōnen manga in December 2011. Oricon.jp ranked the fifth volume of Next Dimension in the 23rd place out of the 30 most sold titles, in its first week of sales.