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This Week in Anime - Why Saint Seiya is the OG Psychadelic Shonen Action Show


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Primus



Joined: 01 Mar 2006
Posts: 2512
Location: Toronto
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:28 pm Reply with quote
Hindsight makes me think it's not too difficult to understand why Saint Seiya took so long to come over. Anime was primarily distributed in two ways in North Ameria in the late '80s and '90s: direct-to-video releases aimed at teens/adults, and cheap filler on kids TV. Saint Seiya was too long for VHS and too violent for kids TV.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't believe there was a tonne of long-runners that got released in their entirety on VHS in North America. Ranma 1/2 is the only notable example of a 100+ episode series that survived as a direct-to-video release. Things like Fist of the North Star were cancelled partway through. It took until DVD for big shows like that to really become viable as a home video-only product.

People mock DiC's dub of the show for the way it tries to skirt around the blood and violence. That dub was produced for cable TV's comparatively lax standards in the early 2000s. You were never going to see blood gushing out of Shiryu's slit wrists on Cartoon Network in the English world. If the show had come out in the '90s, it would've been made for the syndication market, where that content was even less acceptable for kids TV. Visual editing technology wasn't exactly perfect by the time DiC cobbled Knights of the Zodiac together, it would've been tough to try to make it work earlier.

There we some attempts to bring Seiya to the U.S. in the '90s, but maybe it's for the best that they didn't go through with it.
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DavetheUsher



Joined: 19 May 2014
Posts: 233
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:00 am Reply with quote
Primus wrote:
People mock DiC's dub of the show for the way it tries to skirt around the blood and violence. That dub was produced for cable TV's comparatively lax standards in the early 2000s. You were never going to see blood gushing out of Shiryu's slit wrists on Cartoon Network in the English world. If the show had come out in the '90s, it would've been made for the syndication market, where that content was even less acceptable for kids TV. Visual editing technology wasn't exactly perfect by the time DiC cobbled Knights of the Zodiac together, it would've been tough to try to make it work earlier.


Eh, I don't know about that. Dragonball Z had plenty of blood and violence and Funimation found ways to heavily censor that back in the day to get it on TV. Dubbing companies have proven time and time again they are the masters at editing with dubs like Robotech and Battle of the Planets.

I think the main reason is simply because Saint Seiya was too old and animation wasn't great. Saint Seiya was super dated by the time they tried to push it here in America, where as the previously mentioned series all came out in the same decade they aired in Japan. Trying to get kids in 2003 to care about a show from 1986 was always doomed to fail. It's why they turned their nose up at Mobile Suit Gundam but took to Gundam Wing.
In countries like France and Latin America, Saint Seiya was being dubbed while it was still airing in Japan and/or immediately after it had ended in Japan. Every other country it aired in struck while the iron was hot. America waited 20 years.
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