Tenma's journey to become a Gold Saint begins while Alone sinks further into the depths.
What They Say:
Golden Saints gather around the Goddess Athena and her Sanctuary, in preparation for the new Crusade against the Underworld warriors. Around this time, as Tenma undergoes training to become a Saintly Warrior, he is reunited with Alone's little sister, Sasha, and learns that she has transformed into Athena. Meanwhile, thinking of his dear and far off friend Tenma, Alone feels lonely and falls into despair.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the first episode focusing on how Tenma and Alone came together and then specifically on Alone himself, the second episode brings us a lot of material about Tenma. With him now at Sanctuary going through the training with many others to see who can become a Gold Saint, it's a great series of moments as we see the scale and grandeur of it all. Tenma has certainly made a name for himself and he's got a lot of others trying for the positions to be wary of him at the least and outright fear him as well. This causes quite a number of other people to want to take him down, figuring that they're the most powerful ones there and can handle it. That kind of confidence is certainly warranted and wanted, but it needs to be honed with a dose of reality and strategy as well.
Tenma does come across someone unexpected with his time there as he meets Sasha, who is Alone's younger sister. This leads to a rather pleasant moment that turns dark when someone comes attacking. The whole thing allows Tenma to really stand tall and show off what he can do, especially the continually surprising fact that he can use a Cosmos power without a Cloth, but it also leads to a surprising revelation. Sasha is actually the newest incarnation of Athena come to Earth and that places her in quite a position of power. That Tenma gets his Cloth is no real surprise, and he's essentially been born for the part as he has the entire role of fighting for justice and what's right in his entire body. Seeing him in Sanctuary both as he fights and deals with the elders is very revelatory about what kind of person he is. His time with Sasha only cements that more.
While the majority of the episode does focus on Tenma, Alone gets a fair bit of time as well as he continues to go down a dark path. There's a fascinating moment where we see him painting in the forest and it's a beautiful piece he's captured, yet if you look behind it you can only see the dark side of it where it's in ruins, death and endings. The path he's on is one that will not go well as we see the woman manipulating him and the man that came to see his paintings before enter the picture again with a wicked grin on his face. Alone is the type of person that's difficult to watch go this way, but his darkness is at least balanced by some wonderfully light moments with Tenma and Sasha as they stand against the night sky in Sanctuary, fully garbed and knowing that there are dangerous times ahead.
Saint Seiya moves a few things key to the series into place very early on and it's not feeling rushed, which is rather surprising when you consider how many things have been brought into play so far. The two principle characters have had their origins made clear, their paths laid out before them and those that will walk in the wings showing some of their intentions. Each of them has a side that's backing them yet neither young man knows yet that they'll eventually be facing off against each other. It's filed with bad portents throughout but there are those wonderful balances that helps to give it some kind of hope. Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas is definitely the best way to get a very solid fix on the franchise if you want to see it at its best. I really enjoyed the original series, with all that I managed to see, but this takes it up to a new level without the problems that dated the original in pacing and style.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.