Saint Seiya: Next Dimension
|Saint Seiya: Next Dimension - Myth of Hades|
Cover of the first volume
|聖闘士星矢 NEXT DIMENSION: 冥王神話
(Seinto Seiya: Nekusuto Dimenshon - Meiō Shinwa)
|Genre||Martial arts, Mythic fiction, Drama|
|Written by||Masami Kurumada|
|Published by||Akita Shoten|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Champion|
|Original run||April 27, 2006 – ongoing|
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; placed during the previous "Holy War" between the deities Hades and Athena and their respective minions, the Specters and the Saints, during the 18th century in the franchise's fictional chronology. It is published by Akita Shoten in the weekly magazine Weekly Shōnen 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.
The story in "Next Dimension" starts shortly before the end of Saint Seiya where the main characters are fighting against the god Hades. The god 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 was one of Athena's warriors, the Saints. He was also the previous incarnation of the main character, Pegasus Seiya. He was best friends with a boy named Alone who was Hades' chosen vessel to inhabit of that era. As Alone became possessed by Hades, Tenma ventures to Athena's Sanctuary to train in order to be able to save his friend. In the present time, Pegasus Seiya is under a curse from Hades that will kill him in three days. Athena decides to save Seiya and is accompanied by the Saint, Andromeda Shun. They travel back in time with the aid of Chronos, but are sent further back than intended so that they end up during the previous holy war. They are separated and Athena is turned into a baby, but she is saved from harm by a Saint as it turns out the leader of the Sanctuary is in league with Hades. Tenma meet Shun and is convinced of the situation and they race to rescue Athena. On their way through the twelve houses of the zodiac the meet and fight against several of the powerful Gold Saints and also Specters, warriors of Hades. They are also joined by Shun's comrades, Ikki, Shiryu and Hyoga. Another looming threat is revealed to be coming in the form of the 13th Gold Saint of Ophiuchus.
Main article: List of Saint Seiya characters
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.
- Alone: The purest soul in the 18th century and the previous human vessel for Hades, god of the Underworld. A young painter apprentice who is an orphan and a close friend to Tenma.
- Aries Shion: A former Bronze Saint promoted to Gold Saint of Aries, future Pope of Sanctuary.
- Libra Dohko: A former Bronze Saint promoted to Gold Saint of Libra, future master of Dragon Shiryū.
- Crateris 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.
- 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 Shun, he reappears fighting off LaScomoune before leaving and travelling to the past.
- Dragon Shiryū: Another of the protagonists, Shiryu goes back in time, to the time of the previous Holy War against Hades in the eighteenth century, to help Saori / Athena to save the life of Seiya.
- Cygnus Hyōga: Another of the protagonists, who back in time with Shiryu, at the time of the holy war against Hades in the eighteenth century, to help Saori / Athena.
- Saori Kido: She is the current incarnation of Athena, the goddess of justice and heroic endeavor. 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.
- Pegasus Seiya: The main character of the story. After the battle against Hades, he remains between life and death from the god's cursed sword. For that reason, Athena and his Saint friends embark on a journey back in time to save him.
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.
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. At the release of the first collected volume (tankōbon) of the series, Next Dimension was confirmed to be canonical within the universe and chronology conceived by Kurumada for Saint Seiya.
Following Masami Kurumada's traditional writing and drawing style, the storyline unfolds in typical shōnen 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 68 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 8, 2011. The fifth tankōbon compilation was released on April 6, 2012. The seventh tankōbon compilation was released on August 8, 2013. The eight tankōbon compilation has been scheduled for a release on December 6, 2013. The nine tankōbon compilation has been scheduled for a release on June 20, 2014.
Additionally, in 2014, Kurumada authored a special episode for Next Dimension to commemorate the release of the animated film Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary.
|No.||Japanese release date||Japanese ISBN|
|1||February 6, 2009||ISBN 978-4-253-13271-8|
|In 1990, the Bronze Saints of Athena engage the god Hades in a final battle to save their goddess Athena and the world. During the fight, the god of the Underworld remembers encountering Pegasus Seiya before, and the reader is then taken to the past. In the 18th century, Dohko and Shion are promoted from Bronze to Gold Saints by the Pope of Athena's Sanctuary. With their new status, they set out to take down Hades before he manifests in his chosen vessel of the era, Alone. Tenma, the Pegasus Saint in the 18th century steps in between and stops their attack. During the confusion Alone winds up in an old temple were Pandora manages to awake Hades' soul in Alone. With a barrier now in place that reduces the Saints' strength, Dohko, Shion and Tenma retreat with dismay. Yet before they can they are attacked by Griffon Vermeer and Garuda Suikyō, the latter being Tenma's former master. the Saints are hurt badly as the Specters are called back to Hades, but with the help of Tenma's horse they are able to escape and head back to Sanctuary, to recover and devise a strategy for the upcoming Holy War.|
|2||March 8, 2010||ISBN 978-4-253-13272-5|
|Tenma, Shion and Dohko return to Sanctuary to report their findings about the situation, only to be greeted harshly by the Taurus Gold Saint, Ox, enraged by their seemingly irresponsible behavior. After Taurus is restrained by Capricorn Izō, the Saints are puzzled by the absence of their goddess and ponder about her whereabouts. The Virgo Gold Saint, Shijima, then unveils that Athena may come from the future. Meanwhile, in the 20th century, Athena travels with Andromeda Shun to Mount Olympus and meets her elder sister Artemis, seeking help to relieve Seiya from the comatose state he was put in after by Hades' curse. Artemis reveals that the only way to do so is to travel back in time, Athena seeks then the help of the god of time, Chronos. During the trek to Chronos, Shun and Athena are separated, the Saint is engaged by the guardians of Artemis, the Satellites, sent by Callisto to kill Athena. Shun is helped by his brother Phoenix Ikki to defeat them and their commander Lascomoune. Eventually, Athena meets Chronos, who sends her along with Shun back in time, to the Holy War in the 18th century, fulfilling Shijima's prediction.|
|3||December 8, 2010||ISBN 978-4-253-13273-2|
|In the 18th century, the situation of the Holy War becomes only direr as Athena reincarnates as an infant. The Pope tries to murder her, but is thwarted by Virgo Shijima. Shijima is gravely wounded by Pisces Cardinale, who has sworn fealty to Hades and flees to protect Athena. The Underworld Commander Garuda Suikyō is dispatched to Sanctuary to take the Athena's life. Followed by a cadre of Specters, Suikyō reaches the Sanctuary and engages Aries Shion in battle. Meanwhile, in the 20th century, Phoenix Ikki finds Athena's garland, a lead to her whereabouts, and travels back in time. Arriving to the past, Ikki meets an overpowered Shion and engages Suikyō in battle.|
|4||December 8, 2011||ISBN 978-4-253-13274-9|
|In the 18th century, Sanctuary trembles as the war rages on and warriors of both armies engage in deadly combat. Sparing Shion and Ikki over suffering the effects of the latter's attack, Garuda Suikyō reaches the Taurus Temple, defeating its guardian, Ox. Meanwhile, in the 20th century, the fallen Angel Tōma invades Sanctuary to slay Seiya, but fails due to the intervention of Cygnus Hyōga and Eagle Marin. Tōma senses a mutual but unclear connection to Marin as he retreats. Simultaneously, in the past, Tenma and Shun venture into the Gemini Temple, where a deadly encounter between Gemini Abel, Cain and Suikyō takes place. As they rush to their encounter with Athena, Tenma and Shun almost reach the Cancer Temple.|
|5||April 6, 2012||ISBN 978-4-253-13275-6|
|Tenma and Shun continue their traversing of Sanctuary, managing to trespass the Gemini Temple and make it as far as to the Cancer Temple. The Specter Garuda Suikyō, seems to be under the effects of the Demon Emperor's Delusion Fist, also proceeds. Tenma and Shun, then Suikyō fight against the Cancer Gold Saint, the ambivalent Deathtoll, the coffin maker. Beyond the deathly portal of Praesepe, Tenma manages to defeat Deathtoll by sealing him in the coffin Omertà, saving his life as well as Shun and his mentor's. Surviving the battle, Suikyō returns to Sanctuary, encouraging his apprentice to battle on, and resuming his way, heads to the next Temple.|
|6||December 12, 2012||ISBN 978-4-253-13276-3|
|The young Bronze Saints recover from their battle against Deathtoll and proceed to the following Temple, where they find Tenma's mentor Suikyō utterly defeated by its fierce guardian, Leo Kaiser and his pet Goldie. Meanwhile, in the Temple of the Twins a fierce battle between Gemini Cain and Phoenix Ikki ensues, until the young Bronze Saint proves to Cain their goals and allegiance are the same. Shun and Tenma also endure a hard trial to prove their loyalty to Athena to Leo Kaiser, and Deathtoll returns from Praesepe, revealing his true allegiance. As the battle for Earth continues in the past, Gemini Cain and Gemini Abel prepare to reveal the mystery of their birth.|
|7||August 8, 2013||ISBN 978-4-253-13277-0|
|In the 20th century, after stopping Angel Tōma from killing Seiya, Cygnus Hyōga proceeds to rally Dragon Shiryū to rush to Athena's aid. The reluctant Shiryū's loyalty as a Saint is rekindled only after a brief encounter with the Angel. Both Saints proceed to Mount Olympus and reach Athena's garland, which sends them back in time. Meanwhile, in the 18th century, Suikyō is challenged by Virgo Shijima, and after breaking through his defenses, is revitalized by his Crateris Cloth, then reveals to Athena the mystery of the cursed Ophiuchus Gold Saint; and Shiryū meets the younger self of his revered mentor, Libra Dohko. In the present, Ophiuchus Shaina is suddenly taken over by a mysterious entity, which Eagle Marin fears to be the thirteenth Gold Saint, cursed since the ages of myth.|
|8||December 6, 2013||ISBN 978-4-253-13278-7|
|In 1747, the mystery of the origin of the cursed Ophiuchus Gold Saint is revealed by Virgo Shijima,although his identity remains unrevealed. Dragon Shiryū earns the trust of his mentor Libra Dohko after a harsh trial, and proceeds to the next temple after the arrival of Garuda Suikyō, who then engages the Libra Gold Saint in an emotional and desperate battle, while reminiscing about the days of their youth. As Andromeda Shun and Pegasus Tenma arrive to the Temple of the Maiden, they become witnesses of an unprecedented clash between two Virgo Gold Saints of different eras, as the soul of the deceased Virgo Shaka manifests to come to Shun's aid. As Shijima convalesces after his battle, he is shocked to learn of the existence of another goddess who comes to his encounter, and the battle between Dohko and Suikyō comes to a sorrowful but inevitable ending.|
|9||June 20, 2014||ISBN 978-4-253-13279-4|
|Suikyo has been defeated, and Griffon Vermeer is sent to continue with the attack on Athena's Sanctuary. Cancer Deathtoll and Phoenix Ikki are able to fend them of, but leaves Deathtoll in a special condition. Meanwhile Dohko became aware of Suikyo's true mission and decides to take Athena's head. Snakes start appearing around the Sanctuary, and one of them talks to Aries Shion about the coming arrival of the 13th Gold Saint of Ophiuchus.|
Chapters not yet in tankōbon format
- Part 69: ??? : Serialization to be resumed on December 3 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Saint Seiya.
- Special Episode: The vow of the goddess (SP.Episode スペシャルエピソード 女神の誓い Supesharu Episōdo Megami no chikai?)
- Special Episode: The expansion of time-space (SP.Episode スペシャルエピソード 時空の間 Supesharu Episōdo Toki no Hazama?) (published on july 8th)
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 17th 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. During its first week, the sixth volume of the manga sold 61,525 copies in Japan and stood on the 30th place of most sold manga in December 2012. During its first week, the eight volume of the manga sold 62,500 copies in Japan and stood on the 28th place of most sold manga in December 2013 During its first 3 days, the ninth volume sold approximately 40,000 copies, coming in 7th place among the top selling Shōnen manga in Japan; 67.215 copies sold in the first 12 days.
As of June 2014, no merchandise related to Saint Seiya: Next Dimension has been released. Aside from the tankobōbon compilations, only a few promotional cards have been published, included in the Champion magazine issues. The cards feature selected characters from the Saint Seiya universe illustrated by the author Kurumada and occasionally a message from him and his signature. In addition, numerous promotional posters with illustrations from the series have been released together with several of the publications. A skin for the interchangeable protective cover of the Iphone 5 was released in June 2014 with an image of Athena and Seiya.
- Kurumada, Masami (2010). Saint Seiya Next Dimension, Volume 2. Akita Shoten. p. 1 (binder). ISBN 978-4-253-13272-5.
- Kurumada, Masami (2009). Saint Seiya Next Dimension, Volume 1. Akita Shoten. p. 2 (binder). ISBN 978-4-253-13271-8.
- Shōnen Champion #11 2009
- Shōnen Champion #12 2009
- Shōnen Champion #13 2009
- Kurumada, Masami (2001). Saint Seiya Encyclopedia. Akita Shoten. p. 77. ISBN 4-8342-1690-X.
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