|“||You may have some of the power of the saints, but you use it only for destruction. You have never felt the full force of the universe deep within your body, have you?||”|
Cosmo (小宇宙 （コスモ）, shōuchū (Kosumo)) is one of the defining features of the series Saint Seiya by Masami Kurumada. It is a mystical energy and the fundamental force which powers every supernatural feat performed throughout the series.
The origins of Cosmo can be traced back to the Big Bang, which from the entirety of the universe was born. All living beings possess Cosmo deep within them. While normally unaware of it, over the millennia, beings such as humans developed the means to manipulate and harness it by means of "burning" it explodes, recreating micro-scale reproduction of the original Big Bang.
Burning one's Cosmo produces the energy needed to enable a being to perform extraordinary feats including pulverizing rocks with their bare hands, striking faster than the speed of sound, throwing hundreds (or even thousands to millions) of blows in a second. Beings such as Saints are humans who have been trained to awaken and attune to their Cosmo. Comparatively, even the weakest Saint can outclass even the strongest of human warrior through the awakening of their Cosmo. As their Cosmo grows, it becomes necessary for a being to practice controlling their abilities and powers.
It's also to note that Cosmo is heavily influenced by emotion. Incredible displays of willpower or strain have shown to allow beings such as Saints to surpass his usual limits and access far greater levels of Cosmo, though such feats are brief due to the sudden surge of Cosmo being beyond the being's current level of sensitivity to maintain.
Referencing the ranks of the Saints, a being's level of sensitivity to their Cosmo directly influences the magnitude of their abilities. The Bronze Saints, for example, have the weakest sensitivity to their Cosmo and have the most difficulty attuning to and manipulating its energies. Though this makes them superbeings when compared to normal humans, they are easily outclassed by the higher ranks as such Silver Saints, whom have greater skill. It's also evident that Saints are not the only beings capable of harnessing Cosmo. Warriors of other Gods also possess this skill, although their methods of acquisition are not as harsh and life-threatening as a Saint's.
A Saint that is deeply aware of the nature of their Cosmo discovers that Cosmo is actually the seventh of the human senses, beyond the normal five senses and the sixth (that is considered intuition). With this awareness, a Saint is able to draw out the true potential of their Cosmo and achieve exceptionally powerful feats far beyond those of even a normal Saint, like wielding a power destructive enough to pulverize a star, reach the speed of light, or being able to punch billions of times per second. Typically, Gold Saints are the most prominent examples of beings fully aware of their Seventh Sense enough to harness it adequately; though there are those talented Saints who, despite being lower in rank, are capable of the same feat, allowing them to fight on par with, and if sufficiently skilled overcome, the Gold Saints themselves. The most famous example are the 5 main protagonists Seiya, Shiryu, Hyoga, Shun and Ikki, that during the battle at the 12 Zodiac Temples they awakened their Seventh Sense and defeated some of the Gold Saints.
Although never mentioned by name as the "Seventh Sense", it's clear that the high-ranking warriors of other deities' armies have a Cosmo that is equivalent to that of Seventh Sense, for example Poseidon's Marina Generals or most of Hades' Celestial Star Specters, but also many other anime-only fighters like God Warriors of Asgard or movie characters.
Generally it's shown that all the elite class warriors of any army have this kind of Cosmo. Being aware of the Seventh Sense is not a definite level of power, because the rule "the power of a Saint relies on how much he burns his Cosmo" still applies to those aware of Seventh Sense. Two Gold Saint level warriors may be stronger or weaker the more they burn their Cosmo, so there can be a particularly skilled fighter or a naturally gifted genius of battle that is able to burn his Cosmo far above the average. The 5 main protagonists are a good example because they managed to overcome Gold Saints themselves many times. There seems to be a level called "Supreme Seventh Sense" or "Extreme Seventh Sense" that appears to be the maximum extension of the human Cosmo, a level so high as to generate a small-scale Big Bang, and also an extension far above even the capacity of many Gold Saints. Seiya and the others reached this ultimate extent many times not only against the Gold Saints, but especially during later battles against Marina Generals (and probably God Warriors in the anime-only Asgard saga). On these occasions their Bronze Cloths were reborn with the golden blood drawn out from their true nature, shining with a golden light similar to Gold Cloths. Because of the fact that Cosmo is actually a human sense, it happens that with a loss of one or more of the other six senses, the seventh refines itself. This strategy is exploited deliberately by all the known Virgo Gold Saints: Shaka, Asmita and Shijima. This allow them to always have a superior Cosmo. It happened that other Saints exploited this effect but without having planned it. During the Myth Age, all human beings were aware of the Seventh Sense and thus the distinction between humans and deities was less marked.
While the Seventh Sense pertains to the Cosmos of living beings, there exists a Cosmo affiliated with the soul and of the supernatural. This is the "Eighth Sense". This extraordinary sense is associated with the soul of the deceased and functions in the same manner as the Seventh Sense of the living. Also known as "Arayashiki" (meaning "source" or "storehouse" in Buddhism), this is a level of human consciousness that defies all rationale and logic. As an individual becomes a soul upon death, they lose their connection to their Seventh Sense which is replaced with a special "Eighth" Sense. Including Saints, these souls will wander the planes of existence as creatures such as specters or zombies (superego, the false power-up) until such that they can awaken their Eighth Sense. Without it, they will carry on with their lesser existence, being subjugated by the rules of the Underworld and condemned to the torments of Hell.
The process of awakening one's 8th Sense is an arduous feat, requiring one to have achieved enlightenment upon death and skilled enough to burn their Cosmos to its utmost in that moment. This enables them to surpass the level of the Seventh Sense and breach into the Eighth; achieving a Cosmos superior in dimension and concept; a Cosmos which transcends concepts of life & death and enable them to survive within the realm of the Underworld. Since 'life and death' is bigger than the derivative 'meaning of life and death', and the 'dignity' of a Saint is larger than 'life and death'.
This process enables one to transcend Saṃsāra--the cycle of repeated reincarnation--and the ego, allowing one to achieve divinity. Shaka has been called "The Closest Man To The Gods" because of his mastery over his Eighth Sense. He went Nirvana at the Sala Trees after the Athena Exclamation assault and it was not just a common 'feign death'.
Being that the Eighth Sense is such an obscure concept, it is difficult to define many of its capabilities and functions, though, undeniably beyond the limits of humanity. It is abstruse, esoteric, unfathomable... What all other senses below it constantly maintaining, all solved problems, all volition, all quirks, all nuances, are still far from the Eighth Sense. For too long, most people are still unable to access to it. The path of awaking the Eighth Sense is to awake the causality. A good example when Kanon is being punished by Milo, Milo feels great. Later, in Virgo Temple, Saga is unconsciously driven by the 'emotion between twins', attacks Milo offensively and is considered a revenge. Milo then feels lost. Saga even finally decides to use Athena Exclamation again. Reminding this but not a common 'backfire' and some other entire chain of events can awake the causality and Eighth Sense. Putting it into personal skills but not an ordinary 'conclusion' will wield this great power. Facing ones own demons that once feared.
The strongest Saints appeared in the series, while in the need to, have shown to be able to wield Eighth Sense, Seiya and the others that many times have shown to be able to achieve even miracles, or Kanon, equal to his brother Saga and thus among the strongest for Cosmos and abilities, or the legendary Dohko, considered an invincible master even by the other Gold Saints. Eighth Sense power hasn't being used only to overcome death, but also during the battles against the most powerful Specters like the 3 Judges, for example Seiya against Rhadamanthys or Sisyphus to gain the upper hand against Aiacos. Eighth Sense has been also exploited by Virgo Asmita to create the rosary with 108 beads to trap the souls of Specters. He had to reach the same Cosmos as the Mokurenji tree that grows in the 7th Prison of Hell, the sole form of life in the whole Hell. And of course, during the time 12 Gold Saints breaking the Wailing Wall.
Once completely awakened, the Eighth Consciousness will be transformed into the Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom, the Seventh Consciousness into the Equality (alt. Universal Nature) Wisdom, the Sixth Consciousness into the Profound Observing Wisdom and First to Fifth Consciousnesses into the All Performing (alt. Perfection of Action) Wisdom.
This is the name as the divine Cosmos it is often referred to as. It's mentioned in the Hypermyth as the true essence of Cosmos, a source of power and existence without boundaries. Gods possess this full awareness of Cosmos, as they would be Cosmos itself. Powers granted by this knowledge are absolutely infinite, but only higher Gods are fully aware of this power, while minor Gods, although being hundred times stronger than even the strongest human warriors, are far from the absolute and unlimited power. With this infinite Cosmos, there is nothing impossible to achieve up to deeply alter the core rules of nature and universe. The real powers of this Cosmos are not yet fully explained in the series, but it is so far beyond human comprehension that may be not easy to fully understand it. Poseidon and Hades used this divine Cosmos to empower Mariners and Specters since they were normal people originally. Being the absolute power, things like blasting 5 Gold Cloths to pieces with a single blow like Thanatos did, or surpass the power of Absolute Zero like Hyoga probably did, can be still seen as insignificant feats. The only way a human could oppose this absolute Cosmos is called a miracle, the sole force that the supreme God granted to mankind and that still worries the Gods, a force that Seiya and the others or Tenma have shown to possess, as the destruction of the Poseidon's Pillar. Like some other manga. Saint Seiya's story also encourages heroic deeds. In some great moments of Hades arc, the Eighth Sense Cosmos can challenge the Big Will Cosmos, disrupting Hades' deployment and Hades himself.
In Saint Seiya Omega it is discovered that the birth of Aria and Pegasus Kōga altered the Cosmos, infusing them with Elemental Attribute (属性 , Zokusei lit Attribute) that can strengthen the power of the Cosmos when used. There are seven Elements with their respective Strengths and Weaknesses. The Elements are Water, Fire, Wind, Thunder, Earth, Light and Darkness. Much on a similar sense to the Naruto manga and anime series, the elemental strength chain is the following:
Water is stong against Fire, Fire is strong against Wind, Wind is strong against Thunder, Thunder is strong against Earth, and Earth is strong against Water. Light and Darkness are not stronger or weaker than any of the previously mentioned Elements, though they do directly counter each other.
Regardless of the elemental advantage, if one's Cosmos is superior to the opponent then that element will still be superior even if it would be naturally impossible, when Water faces against Earth, the water is easily absorbed by the Earth element, but a strong use of Water can potentially break through Earth.
Element is of great importance in the era of Omega and as noted and evidenced by old veteran Saint Hydra Ichi those who are not aware of their Element or cannot control it, can simply not succeed as Saints or overall users of Cosmos anymore as those who can control their element have noticeable advantage in combat by being capable of using the elements to not only fuel their own sheer power, but also because it can create several new techniques based on the element itself.
For this particular reason, the Palestra a school for Saints puts special attention to Elemental Training, with a strict training regime that not only forces its students to learn Elemental control ,but also to strengthen it.
The Element of Cosmos seems to also be related to not only Cosmos but also Physical abilities as well. According to Volans Argo Fire users are terrible swimmers. Moreover as seen in Palestra's training camp known as Cosmo Delta, which is a massive geographical location with several different kinds of nature such as forests, mountains, rivers, etc. The very nature itself can be advantageous or disastrous to Element users. For example Volans Argo could use the water of the river to easily use his attacks, while in the same sense a deep forest with several flowers is detrimental to Water users as the flowers seem to be "draining" the Cosmos of the traveling Saints in the shape of a dark vapor. This same vapor is seen when Aquila Yuna and Dragon Ryuho enter a cave filled with lava, and Yuna eventually falls while walking.
The Gold Saints seem to contain all the Cloth elements. However, none of the twelve out of Thirteen Gold Cloths has yet to be assigned the element of Darkness, making Fans assume that if there is a Ophiuchus Gold Saint that its element would be Darkness in contrast to its Evil history.
Contrary to popular belief, the 8th Sense does exist in Saint Seiya Omega's setting as the references to Hades would indicate. Instead, the anime features an additional sense that functions beyond the ninth: Omega.
Virgo Fudō spectulates unless the current generation of Saints, regardless of rank, are able to reach Omega, then they would stand incapable of defeating Pallas' primary Pallasites. Due to comments dropped by Genbu and Ikki, Omega is the ultimate Cosmo. Aegaeon notes that it can match a god. In Episode 83, Omega is first seen when Ryuho pushes his Cosmo beyond the maximum which allowed infinite power to well up in Ryuho's body. Even though it could defeat Rhea's army, the power was too sudden for the Saint and he collapsed soon after. Omega is also the power of friendship, meaning that if people work together, they will be able to reach it. In Episode 86, Koga and his friends awaken part of Omega since they combined their Cosmo as one just to reach infinite power. They were able to transform their cloths and achieve miracles like Ryuho, Soma, Haruto, and Yuna breaking parts of the Phonotector, Eden destroying the War God Manifestation Blade, and Koga killing Galia. Virgo Fudo says that was a gateway to greater power.
In Episode 89, Koga and his team's cloths got destroyed, but they still stood up. They still got beat by Hyperion, but they never gave up. They kept moving forward. The power to care for each other made them strong. Hyperion was shocked that they weren't dead yet and he began to fear them when he saw Subaru. Hyperion thought that Subaru was the reason they never gave up. Hyperion tried to kill Subaru, but Koga's team blocked Hyperion's attack. Hyperion sensed the macrocosmo, the power that created the universe. Everyone awakened their Omega and gained a power that surpasses Hyperion and new cloths. With this power, they saved Subaru and eventually defeated Hyperion.
The power that created the universe - Macro Cosmo's light engulfs Koga and his group, evolving their cloths to Ultimate Omega cloth.
When fighting Saturn, the Saints turn into stone, but Athena, with her willpower, helped Kouga, who had been beaten by Saturn, and also awakened the Saints who had turned into stone. Their willpower forced all of them awake and they go to where Koga is to help and they trust him, giving him all their power. The Cosmos of the Saints crystallize in the form of a "Super Omega Cloth" worn by Koga. This power puts him at the same level as Saturn. Koga faced Saturn and he felt his blood boil like never before, and their fight begins. With everyone's trust in Koga, believing he can do it, he stops his friend Subaru from turning into Saturn. Koga unlocked Super Omega at that point.
- The only Cosmos that have changed color are those who originally did not wear Gold Cloths but eventually did (Seiya, Shiryu, Hyoga, Shun, Ikki, Kanon, Kōga) and the Hades resurrected Saints which were turned into their purple Cosmos.
- Tenma (TLC) is the only person known to have manifested his cosmos without any previous training. Although in Lost Canvas exists the argument of the "mythological saint of Pegasus" (that was removed/corrected by Next Dimension with respect to the classic series).
- The elements were important in Greece, and they are in Japan. This allows its inclusion in Saint Seiya Omega without further argument problem.
- The elements Light and Dark have no disadvantages compared to other types of cosmos. This is likely because they are based on "Yin & Yang" from the Chinese concept of balance.
- The elements in the cloths are part of the saga of Saint Seiya Omega, which is the reason why they do not comprise the canon. Despite of this, the original series has displayed multiple times where elements are present.
- Although in classical astrology the western Zodiac Signs have their own natural elements (fire, earth, wind and water), in Saint Seiya Omega the Gold Saints do not use the cosmos of the zodiacal constellation. This may be due to two factors: that the elements of Saint Seiya Omega are not the western elements (only 4), but the eastern elements (in which lightning is included, and extra light and darkness); And also that each saint handles the element with which his personal cosmos is more closely related and not in a "forced" way by his zodiacal sign. The following is the list of zodiacal elements and those used by the Omega characters:
- Kiki uses the earth element, but astrologically Aries is fire element.
- Harbinger uses the element lightning, but astrologically Taurus is earth element.
- Mycenae also uses the lightning element, but astrologically Leo is fire element.
- Fudō uses the element fire, but astrologically Virgo is earth element.
- Genbu and Shiryū use the element water, but astrologically Libra is wind element.
- Sonia uses the element fire, but astrologically Scorpio is water element.
- Seiya uses the element light, but astrologically Sagittarius is element fire.
- Ionia uses the wind element, but astrologically Capricorn is earth element.
- Tokisada uses the element water, but astrologically Aquarius is wind element.
- Cosmo comes from Ancient Greek "cosmos".
- Cosmos is the systematic and balanced order of things in the universe.
- The kanji "小宇宙" translates to either innerverse or microcosm.
- In the Saint Seiya Universe, Cosmo is represented by images of galaxies, constellations, stars, and aura.