Saint Seiya was a hit worldwide so of course American companies wanted to get in on some of that money as we’ve seen with the CG Movie, CG Show, and 2000s English dubs. Since they were still afraid of anime looking too foreign they decided to go the Americanizing route and making a brand new show with the characters of the manga. There wasn’t only one but two different attempts at making a pilot for an American Saint Seiya cartoon and because we lived in a blessed timeline, neither of them was greenlit. Granted it would’ve been neat to have seen them but not at the expense and damage to the brand they could’ve caused. So let’s take a look at Guardians of the Cosmos and Starstorm adaptations of Saint Seiya.
Guardians of the Cosmos 1993
They go all out with the Ancient Greece setting telling you about Mount Olympus which is where the bad guys are. The bad guy is basically Pope Arles but here he is the god Apollo to contrast that Athena is also a godess. They all have different names with Saori being Nova and the Saints are called Zack, Jake, Clint, Quint. It’s neat seeing the unique takes from the original source material, for the most part everyone keeps their masters but they just change some facts here and there. Someone paid their training and well they learned special moves with their masters.
It’s weird seeing their take on characters being somewhat unique and faithful and yet completely neutered. Ikki is already a good guy and while not mentioned that he’s Shun’s brother I can see that having been a plot point in the future. Ikki’s master here is a good guy. Shun gets a different master and you can’t see Hyoga’s master so who knows if they would’ve used Camus as his master or Crystal like in the anime. I also wonder if Dohko would’ve been Andromeda here. In general the Saints feel like they’re superheroes by the way they use their powers, fighting crime on the side which is something that likely would’ve happened. Athena is weirdly stacked on her chest. In general the designs look like an 80s cartoon version of the characters.
Apollo doesn’t even seem like that bad of a bad guy, he’s just angry humanity doesn’t take care of the earth so he’s going to destroy them. This is a weirdly futuristic world that has laser guns and hover bikes. The 12 golden warriors are all doing Apollo’s bidding and they’re based on their toy designs. I’m not sure if Geminis would’ve been separate from Apollo and I guess Sagitarious didn’t die here? So many questions. They fight Taurus in the pilot even without armor, I don’t know if they would emphasize the different armor levels. I can see silver saints showing up in some episodes. The saints use their second armors as well.
It would’ve been interesting to see what they would’ve done had it been picked up, most likely it would’ve been cancelled after 13 episodes in one season like The New Adventures of Speed Racer so we wouldn’t have gotten too much story, just generic one of the golden warriors tries to kidnap Athena and is stopped by the 5 superheroes. Had it somehow gone on for longer I’m sure some aspects of Asgard would’ve been adapted though, perhaps even Poseidon but I doubt it woudl’ve ever been that popular to last more than one season and being an early 80s cartoon it would’ve suffered from little to no continuity.
This second attempt was live action. You can see the characters are wearing their second armors and they look rather faithful. You have beefy guys being the saints with some diversity in the cast which totally fits. The production values look high for a tv show, they almost look like a low-budget movie and that’s a compliment. There is a gold saint in Cancer and somehow the female Andromed works a lot better than the CG Saint Seiya movie.
So these are two separate attempts at Americanizing Saint Seiya, we’ve had plenty of other takes in trying to Americanize it with Knights of the Zodiac. The live action movie, the cg movie, the cg reboot and the two different dubs in the 2000s. It just seems a litt le too late for Saint Seiya to ever make it big for US audiences. You can watch the pilot thanks to Ray Mona who found it.