Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary is a full CG-movie based on the Saint Seiya's Sanctuary arc. I was quite disappointed the first time I saw the trailer because the character design is nothing like the anime. I sort of feel that they will somehow butcher the story but I am still hoping for something good after seeing the awesome action scenes and Final Fantasy-ish look of the characters. Sanctuary arc itself is fantastic so even if they somehow butcher it, it would still be interesting to watch.
The movie opened with a bang: a battle among a few Gundams. Oops... It may seem too over the top for some people but I do think that the gold saints flying and shooting colored things really remind me of Gundam battle. Basically the first 30 minutes are awesome with the introduction of the Seiya and friends and their power. It actually made me kinda excited to hope that things would just be getting better.
Sadly, things are going downhill after the first 30 minutes. I hate the new design of the gold saints. In the anime/manga, they are supposed to be in their 20s but in this CG version, they all look like old man. Just ew... They even make Milo into a female. Like whaddafuk.. Things start to get unbearable past Taurus as the story starts to deviate from the manga/anime. With the short 90+ minutes screen time, I know things will get shortened but I expect at least great animation for each of the iconic duels and each of the gold saint's special moves. Obviously these do not happen. The duels are getting more and more absurd with just flashes of light flying here and there as if the animators are also growing lazy. All these crap culminate in the bizarre climax when Saga merges himself with some rock and becomes a super monster. That really reminded me of the final bosses in Final Fantasy games.
It is said that the modernisation is an attempt to get new audience. That does not and will not happen apparently. I did not see any children in the cinema yesterday. I think the plot is way too crappy for this movie to be able to withdraw the crowd. All the light and fireworks may be visually appealing but it defeats the purpose of action movie when all the action scenes are blinded and hidden behind all these bling bling.
The modernisation attempt is kinda hit and miss for me although there are more misses than hits. The new cloths make the characters look like tokusatsu characters and you don't really see the shape of the constellations they are representing. The new look of sanctuary has nothing Greek about it. In fact, it reminds me of Asgard from Thor films. You will wonder why there is a need to go through the 12 temples when the saints are capable of flying and teleportation -__- They might just as well fly and teleport straight to the the final temple. The only hit is their transformation scenes. It is a good idea to have them "summon" their cloths from the metal plate worn as their necklaces instead of carrying the cloth box at their back.
People generally find Seiya to be too genki and irritating but I find him okay. Shiryuu always wears his cloth which is kinda opposite from his anime/manga self who always tries to get shirtless in all his fight. Hyoga tries to be cool but fails. Shun is more masculine than I expected. Unfortunately, he is really a wimp here as he does not really fight. Ikki reminds me of Terra (Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep) and he is also a loser here. Sadly the brothers are omitted from their duels against the gold saints so basically they don't win any fight in the movie. I actually like Saori's personality here. In the original anime/manga, she is behaving too mature for her age but in the movie, she behaves like how 15 year old girl should be.
Overall, I think that this is a big failure and a big disappointment to old Saint Seiya fans. They might as well call this Saint Seiya: Final Fantasy although unfortunately it is a combination of the bad parts of both worlds.
By the way, I did not know that they had a sneak preview on last Saturday :( I did not know how much it cost but if I went for that, I would get movie premiums such as A2 movie poster, movie cards, plastic folder, and a mini tin box with the same of the cloth box. Haiz.. Anyway I am also upset that the ticket cost me $13. I think since it is an exclusive by Odex, they decide to charge such a ridiculous price lo...