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Saint Seiya: Next Dimension

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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.

PlotEdit

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.

Year 1990 Edit

Near the end of the battle between Hades and Athena, Pegasus Seiya was struck in the chest by Hades' sword (prologue).

Later in the same year (1990), Seiya is in coma at the Sanctuary, because Hades' sword actually infliced a curse on him, and he will die soon. Athena decides to go with Andromeda Shun and visit her sister Artemis, goddess of the Moon (chapter 14). Athena's plan is to ask her sister how to go back in time and erase Hades' sword before it struck Seiya. Artemis explains that Chronos is the only deity who is able to answer her request (chapters 15-16).

Lady Callisto is to Artemis what the Pope is to Athena. Callisto is afraid that Athena will cause even more trouble to the Olympian Gods, therefore she decides to get rid of Athena and the Saints. She summons Lascoumoune and gives her the mission of killing Athena. Lascoumoune knocks out Andromeda, but she is defeated when Phoenix Ikki intervenes (chapters 17-18). Phoenix then leaves to counter-attack in the temple of Artemis.

Athen and Shun reach Chronos' place with the help of Hecate. Chronos tells Athena that her request is nonsensical (the simple fact that Seiya was affected by the sword's curse is proof that Athena failed already in the past). Nevertheless, he agrees to send her and Andromeda back to the 1740's. They are allowed to stay in that age for three days only (chapter 19). Chronos didn't specify to which age they will come back: they may come back to a time few hours after they left, or three days later.

After Athena and Andromeda left, Chronos reveals to Hecate that he arbitrarily altered Athena's age: she will arrive in the 1740's as a baby (chapter 17). Hecate leaves Chronos, but she meets Phoenix, who couldn't get to the temple of Artemis. After listening to Hecate's explanation, Phoenix decides to reach Athena and Andromeda: he goes to Chronos' place and jumps into the time gate (chapter 25-26).

After the defeat of Lascoumoune, Callisto organizes a second mission against Athena's Sanctuary. She charges Toma, a fallen angel, to kill Seiya (chapter 30). Toma goes to the Sanctuary, but Seiya is defended by Eagle Marin and Cygnus Hyoga. Being at disadvantage, Toma retreats. The reader can cleraly understand that Toma and Marin are brother and sister (chapters 31-32). Eagle informs Cygnus of the quest of Athena and Shun (it's unclear how she learned about it), and Cygnus decides to go and follow them (chapter 33).

1730's (flashbacks) Edit

Crateris Suikyō has a younger brother, Suishō. When the latter dies of sickness, Suikyo is sent on a mission to Firenze (Florence in Italy). There, he meets Aaron and Pegasus Tenma and saves them from a snowstorm. He starts training Tenma to become a Saint, but then he disappears.

Year 1746 Edit

Pegasus Tenma is best friend 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. Athena and the Saint Andromeda Shun arrive from the future, but Athena is turned into a baby. She 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 race to rescue Athena.

CharactersEdit

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.

Time travelers Edit

  • Chronos: god of time, seasons and agriculture.
  • Athena, alias 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.
  • Andromeda Shun: Andromeda Bronze Saint. 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.
  • Ophiuchus Gold Saint: The 13th gold saint, cursed.

Characters in 1990 Edit

Followers of Athena Edit

Saints:

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.

Artemis and her followers Edit

  • Artemis: goddess of the moon and hunting.

Artemis' Satellites and Angel:

Other follower of Artemis:

  • Hecate: witch of the moon (20th century).

Characters in the 1740's Edit

Followers of Athena Edit

Saints in the 1740's:

Gold Saints in the 1740's:

  1. Aries Shion: a former Bronze Saint promoted to Gold Saint, the guardian of the first house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena... future Pope of Sanctuary of the XX century.
  2. Taurus Ox: the guardian of the second house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena.
  3. Gemini Cain & Gemini Abel: the guardian of the third house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena. Cain is good, Abel is a demon.
  4. Cancer Deathtoll: the guardian of the fourt house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena.
  5. Leo Kaiser: the guardian of the fifth house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena.
  6. Virgo Shijima: the guardian of the sixth house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena. He saves the infant Athena from the traitors.
  7. Libra Dōko: a former Bronze Saint promoted to Gold Saint, the guardian of the seventh house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena, future master of Dragon Shiryū.
  8. Scorpius saint (still unrevealed)
  9. Sagittarius saint (still unrevealed)
  10. Capricorn Izō: the guardian of the tenth house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena.
  11. Aquarius saint (still unrevealed)'
  12. Pisces Cardinale: a traitor, regarded as the personification of beauty. The guardian of the twelfth house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena.
  13. Pope (Unknown): another traitor, whose real identity is unknown.

Hades and his followers Edit

  • Aaron: 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.
  • Pandora: holy priestess of Hades.
  • Griffon Veemer: one of the three judges of the underworld.
  • 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.

ProductionEdit

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.

MediaEdit

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. The nine tankobon compilation has been announced for a release on August 2014.

ReceptionEdit

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 22rd place out of the 30 most sold titles, in its first week of sales.

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