Knights of the Zodiac Vol. #7 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: C

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 14.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Knights of the Zodiac

Knights of the Zodiac Vol. #7

By Luis Cruz     December 01, 2004
Release Date: October 05, 2004

Knights of the Zodiac Vol. #7
© ADV Films

What They Say
Princess Sienna learns that she is the reincarnation of the Goddess Athena entrusted with protecting the world from the evil Aires and his Knights of Sanctuary. To stop them before they obtain the Gold Helmet, she must enlist the help of her loyal Knights of the Zodiac, but a new band has entered the arena ? the Steel Knights! With the power of air, land and sea, Sky Cloth Sho, Land Cloth Daichi and Marine Cloth Ushio have come to join the battle. They may be just strong enough to tip the balance of this war? but whose side are they on?

The Review!
Secrets and new allies are revealed in the continuing saga of the Knights of the Zodiac.

As it was the only audio track, my viewing session consisted of the English language track. It does not suffer from any dropouts or distortion; the music, effects, and dialogue are sharp and balanced with none overshadowing the others. Most of the action comes from the front soundstage, but there are some decent ambient effects present through the rear as well.

For a series produced in 1986, the prints have held up fairly well. Grain is present throughout the episodes, and there were a few nicks and defects in the print. The colors seem a bit flat when compared to modern anime, but they hold up well against other series from that time. While not the most vivid art, it does provide some nice looking scenery and action sequences.

Ikki and Shun share a brotherly moment against an orange background on the front cover. The show's logo is at the top while a small volume indicator and title is at the bottom. Tiny ADV and Dic logos flank the sides of the volume indicator. The back cover features the requisite synopsis, episode titles, screenshots, and disc details. The insert is a reproduction of the front cover image with adverts for other "ADV kids" titles on the reverse side.

The main menu features the wheel of the Zodiac while an instrumental loop from the opening theme plays in the background. The top of the wheel features the various menu items while the bottom has pictures of the main cast. Quick and functional, the menu fits the overall tone and style of the series.


Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Seiya squares off against Mysterion but fails as this volume opens up. It is up to Marine, revealed to Seiya as his sister, to defeat the mind reading silver knight. She disappears afterward leaving a message that Seiya must protect Athena. Seiya does not have long to wait on learning what this means. Tatsumi informs the knights that Sienna was a baby that was found in some Greek ruins by Lord Nobu.

She was found being sheltered by an injured knight; the knight gave Nobu Sienna and the Sagittarius cloth to protect. He made Nobu swear to protect her because she is the reincarnation of Athena, and Aries, the god of war, is out to kill her. No one has much time to digest this revelation though; Babel, another silver knight from Sanctuary, attacks the knights.

The knights receive some unexpected help from a trio of steel knights in armor that resembles characters from the Transformers. After Babel is defeated, the steel knights disappear as quickly as they appeared. There is no rest for our weary heroes; Seiya takes Shiryu and Shun on a mission to infiltrate Sanctuary and find out what is happening.

Their plane is brought down by the power of another evil silver knight; Seiya finds himself fighting Shina once again and defeats her handily. Unfortunately, the silver knight Perseus turns Seiya and Shun into stone with the power of the Gorgon Shield.

It is up to Shiryu and his Dragon Shield to defeat Perseus. Even with the help of the steel knights, Shiryu must make a bold sacrifice to win the battle. He blinds himself in order to focus his other senses and defeat Perseus for good. The volume ends with the secret of the steel knights revealed, but Shiryu blinded seemingly for good.

There is little to surprise in this volume; the altered dialogue continues to be sophomoric and out of step with the time and audience. Recaps continue to dominate the opening minutes of each episode. The most frustrating part of this volume was Shiryu's sacrifice; what could have been a dramatic moment was lost in the alterations.

The blood streaming from Shiryu's eyes was green making it look like he splashed Mountain Dew on his face. The dialogue around the episode was horrid lessening the emotional impact of the episode. There is little else to say; this episode is indicative of the entire hack job done to this series. What is left is unlikely to find an audience with those watching anime on television.

In Summary:
While Shiryu's sacrifice hints at how good the original series might be, Knights of the Zodiac continues to tarnish my impression of it. The writing continues to be the prime offender as it influences every other aspect of each episode. None of the characters sounds natural when they speak; everything is forced and sounds like the series time warped from the late '70s or early '80s. The steel knights are an intriguing element as it attempts to combine technology with mythology; however, even this element will eventually be lost in the translation.

English Language

Review Equipment
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Panasonic RP-82, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and optical audio cable


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