Knights of the Zodiac 23

January 11, 2012

Masami Kurumada – Viz – 2008 – 28 volumes

I… completely skipped this volume. I don’t think I bought a copy, and I definitely didn’t read it. The big Shun reveal in 24 is slightly less random after reading a little bit of the foreshadowing in this volume, but I love that it is completely in-character for this series to throw a random curveball like that, so much so that I did not suspect I had skipped a volume.

I think volume 24 starts with Seiya in… some sort of lake of forgetting, or something, so I just assumed he’d been blown there when he took the leap from reality. This volume shows that he and Shun entered Hades through the Dante-like gate and got a ride from the Celestial Interval Star Acheron Charon, who is a huge jerk and more-or-less antagonized Seiya and Shun all the way across the river Acheron, rather than simply fight him. It was a nice break from all the serious fighting, especially with the childlike exchange between Seiya and Shun about whether they should save Charon after he falls into the river, and when they do, he predictably beats them up. There’s also a lot of super-awesome discussion about Mach 18 punches here.

In case the juvenile break wasn’t quite long enough, we get more when Seiya and Shun confront Celestial Imminent Star Balron Rene, the one who Judges the dead. Balron Rene prefers quiet, so of course Seiya does a lot of yelling, sneezing, and farting while wandering the halls of Judgement.

And because nothing awesome had happened in a long time, Balron Rene wraps his whip around Shun and shreds him into tiny pieces, then picks up Shun’s disembodied head, that then begins to bellow at him.

That’s why Saint Seiya is awesome. I’m so happy I found this volume tucked away, because now I’m remembering how badass absolutely every page of this series is.

There are other fights, with Cerberus and a Sphinx and the generals, and even Gemini Canon. But really, all this leads up to a scene where Seiya’s still-beating heart explodes out of his chest, much to Seiya’s amazement.

It’s magic.

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