Sense (センス Sensu) is a term that refers specifically to the five traditional senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch) and the ones that relate to the "burning" of the cosmo (intuition, miraculosity, arayashiki, and godhood). In Saint Seiya, senses are used to measure the level of cosmo and the state of being of characers.
The Five Senses
Sight (eyes), hearing (ears), taste (mouth), smell (nose) and touch (nerves) are the senses which most human beings are born with, and encompass their activities in life (so long they don't awaken intuition). All five senses can be taken through physical attacks, and are all irrelevant in the underworld (especially after death). Despite not being considered as much as the remaining senses, they are vital to most human beings, and their very use consumes the naturally existing cosmo in all life forms. Some demonstration of those facts are found in the series:
- Dragon Shiryū's last resort to fight Perseus Algol was to blind himself, as the Medusa Shield could only affect the target through the eyesight.
- Taurus Aldebaran's last resort against Bat Wimber was to puncture his eardrums to defend from his Nightmare Sonar, and he sustained very bad wounds because one of his eyes had been blinded by Bennu Kagaho.
- Virgo Shaka (sight) and Virgo Shijima (taste) use a technique of sense deprivation to heighten their cosmo reserves. Additionally, Virgo Asmita (who was actually blind) and Sagittarius Sisyphus (who blinded himself to heighten his senses during the fight against Garuda Aiacos) even managed to touch the eighth sense by giving one sense away and burning all of their available cosmoenergy.
The Sixth Sense
Intuition is the sense that represents the strength of Athena's saints, and is inherent to all who can feel their own cosmo and/or that of others. Its basic use is what differs cosmo-awakened fighters from regular ones, as things like feeling and using cosmoenergy, moving at superhuman speeds and predicting movements without the use of other senses is impossible without it. With this sense, supplementary abilities such as the sekishiki, telekinesis, teleportation, crystal manipulation, mind reading, atomic destruction, temperature manipulation, nature manipulation & communication and the elements may be developed. Such skills are often even seen as sub-senses of the sixth, and may be heightened (or, as with sekishiki and teleportation, impossible without) certain characteristics of the individual's biology.
Additionally, the sixth sense can replace the loss of the previous 5 during a fight, as demonstrated when Virgo Shaka used his Tenbu Hōrin to take Phoenix Ikki's senses (in the occasion, the sense is later taken as well).
The Seventh Sense
Miraculosity is the highly mentioned seventh sense (セブンス・センス sebunsu sensu) that gives its user access to the essence of their cosmo. In short, it can be described as the "true" cosmoenergy, and its use brings about what could be considered impossible (called a miracle in the series). This sense is extremely rare even among cosmo users (such as saints and specters), and is considered the power that separates the gold saints from all the others. The term "miracle" is used to refer to the acts that go against nature, such as moving one's body at the speed of light, taking off all of the heat in a particle (and thus approaching and even generating the absolute zero) and opening gaps in spacetime. In fact, even if a mortal fights against a god or otherwise incredibly powerful being, they may become equals with them through the use of miraculosity, even if for only a second. The same goes for all those capable of this sense, regardless of rank. Its use can replace that of any previous senses, and only extremely powerful beings (such as Virgo Asmita and Athena) can take it away from a person. In the film Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary, the sense is also referred to as the "power of the gods".
In the age of myth, in which distinction between gods and humans was unheard of (see "ninth sense"), humans in general had access to the seventh sense, which in fact was originally theirs (much to the dismay of many of the gods). With the development of civilization by the majority of humans and ascension of the gods, miraculosity was forgotten by most, although it exists in a sutile form in the very life sources of Earth.
Masami Kurumada's concept of seventh sense for the series is based on the tradition of the Buddhist doctrine, being the equivalent to Shichishiki (the seventh consciousness).
The Eighth Sense
Arayashiki (阿頼耶識 Arayashiki) is, primarily, the sense which allows the dead to perform basic tasks, and feel pain and suffering while in the underworld. It is linked to reincarnation, dead consciousness and the first steps of godhood (so much that the ones who approach it are often referred to as "close to the gods"). Naturally, this sense would only awaken after death, when all other senses are lost, and wouldn't allow human consciousness to remain while in the form of a soul. However, it is possible to achieve the eighth sense while alive, in which case the user can even keep their consciousness after reaching the underworld, which is also possible with certain items and blessings that simulate its activation, such as the blessing of Hades (shared by specters and their undead surplices), Sasha's flower bracelets (as shown by Pegasus Tenma) and Athena's Sword (a demonstrated by Unicorn Yato). Additionally, the early awakening of the arayashiki can give its user even greater reserves of cosmoenergy (as shown by Sagittarius Sisyphus). Virgo Asmita was the only being shown to be capable of removing the eighth sense, which he did to Atavaka, effectively destroying his capacity to reincarnate as a specter. The Mokurenji was known as the only living being in the underworld, and its unique ability was used to seal the souls of specters. Rarely, human souls may keep their consciousness even dead, and that is linked to an inherent capability to reach this sense. Such an ability is poorly explained in the series, but the status of the Virgo saints as reincarnations of Buddha himself is connected to it.
The Ninth Sense
Godhood or divinity is the "supreme virtue", and the sense that separates a god from lower beings. To awaken such sense, a mortal must reach true enlightenment, of the likes of which rarely ever happened after the age of myth. In those times, in which all of humanity possessed the power of miraculosity (see "seventh sense"), some managed to awaken their ninth sense, becoming the deities known to men in modern times (all of them, with the possible exception of Chaos, Chronos and other primordial gods, were said to be originally humans). Very few mortals can approach the power of godhood in modern times, and most possess special circumstances or abilities (whether acquired, such as Virgo Shaka's training and the bronze saints' god cloths, bathed in Athena's ichor; or inherited, such as the presence of Kairos' genes in Pegasus Tenma's body). The miracles generated by the cosmoenergy of a god are capable of not only breaking laws of physics, but also completely ignore them. An example of this was shown when Poseidon could stop the absolute zero-enhanced blast of the Aurora Execution of Cygnus Hyoga and bounce it back, when no particle should be able to retain energy within it. In the occasion, his cosmo was yet to be completely awakened, and when it did, it was noted by Pegasus Seiya to multiply itself at an alarming rate, quickly enveloping all of his Underwater Sanctuary. His power was also capable of literally "ordering" the golden arrow of the Sagittarius Cloth to obey his will, until it was surrounded by the combined cosmoenergy of Pegasus Seiya, Cygnus Hyoga, Andromeda Shun and Dragon Shiryū.
Immortality (such as the ability bestowed upon Nasu Veronica by Thanatos), resurrection (demonstrated by Eris, Abel, Hades, Athena and Odin), time control (used by Chronos and Kairos) and planetary control (such as Dimension Iapetos' ability to control a planet and its life and Hades' Greatest Eclipse, to which manipulating the entire solar system was needed) are also highly related to godhood. Demigods, such as Pegasus Tenma, and those who receive ichor, such as Libra Dōko and Wyvern Rhadamanthys, are a step closer to godhood than most, but were not shown to go beyond the eighth sense. A single human was shown to have reached the level of a god in modern times, and that was Ludwig, who became the god Mars. Such power changed him mentally and physically, and heightened his cosmo to the level of Athena's own. Pegasus Seiya was able to equal his power to that of Apollo, at least for a moment, being able to harm him.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Saint Seiya
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Saint Seiya: Next Dimension
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Saint Seiya Omega
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Saint Seiya: Episode G
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Gigantomachia
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas Gaiden
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Hypermyth
- ↑ Saint Seiya: The Movie
- ↑ Saint Seiya: Legend of Crimson Youth
- ↑ Saint Seiya: Soul of Gold
- ↑ Heaven Chapter: Overture