Saint Seiya: The Legend of Crimson Youth (聖闘士星矢 真紅の少年伝説, Seinto Seiya Shinku no Shōnen Densetsu) is the third movie based on the Manga & later Anime series, Saint Seiya. After the success of the first two movies Saint Seiya: The Movie and The Heated Battle of the Gods, this third film saw the light when it was released in Japanese theatres in 1988. The movie series would continue its success story with a fourth movie, Saint Seiya: Warriors of the Final Holy War.
Phoebus Abel returns to the Earth and finds his younger sister Athena (Saori Kido). Soon, Saori discovers that Abel has returned to the Earth to punish the humans, who have polluted the Earth with their greed and connivance. Saori agrees with that decision. The Corona Saints (Keepers of Abel) indicate to the Bronze Saints that from that moment on, their services to Athena are no longer required. Then, the Corona Saints make them notice the presence of the dead Gold Saints, now revived by the power of Abel and with them serving him. The Bronze Saints cannot believe any of this. Then Saori ratifies her desire that Seiya and the other Bronze Saints should not fight anymore and that to disobey that order will be considered treason. Later in Seiya's house, he refuses to accept this situation and gets into a terrible state of depression.
Saori and Abel enjoy their time together in the Corona Temple. Nevertheless, waiting a moment of negligence from God, Athena opposes him, revealing her true intentions of protecting the human race. On learning this, Abel easily puts Athena's life to an end; but he seems heartbroken after doing it. All Saints feel this tragic event through their cosmos. Gold Saints Capricorn Shura and Aquarius Camus try to avenge the death of their Goddess; but they die at the hands of the Corona Saints. The other Gold Saints apparently have no problem with this and remain loyal to Abel, though Saga's eyes flicker dangerously at the events, hinting at inner turmoil.
The Knights of the Zodiac
The Bronze Saints arrive at the Corona Temple to defeat Abel. Each one takes a different way. Seiya goes directly to Dignity Hill, but he is easily defeated by Atlas of Carina. The other Bronze Saints find the revived Gold Saints of Cancer and Pisces, and fight against them. It looks like the Corona Saints knew that the Bronze Saints could defeat the Gold Saints, and when the Bronze Saints are done with them, the Corona Knights attack the Bronze Saints.
Hyōga is the only one who arrives at the Corona Temple. He finds Abel, who is willing to spare him, on the condition that Hyōga builds an ice coffin for Athena. Hyōga obviously refuses to do so, and Berenike of Coma fights and defeats him. Although he is wounded, Hyōga remembers his mother's teachings about what a true God is, then he increases his cosmos, and finally beats Berenike. Injured but still alive, Shiryū, Shun and Ikki go to Abel's Lair. Meanwhile, Gemini Saga finds an injured Seiya, and explains to him the truth about Athena's decision. Seiya's spirits are raised, and after a difficult battle against Saga he comes out victorious. Only to remind the true significance of maximum cosmos to Seiya, an almost dead Saga use the last embers of his cosmos and sacrifices himself confronting Lynx Jao (who tries to stop Seiya from reaching the Corona Temple), letting Seiya continue with his way.
The Saints finally arrive at the Corona Temple, and all are defeated one by one by Atlas. However, Seiya remembers Saga's sacrifice and then he ignites his cosmos to the maximum level, Shiryū and Hyōga follow him and they are covered by the Gold Cloths of Sagittarius, Libra and Aquarius, respectively. With this new cosmos level, in a combined attack, they manage to defeat Atlas. However, even with their new Cloths, all of them are defeated by Abel's cosmos. In his eagerness to save Saori, Seiya and his friends raise their cosmos and interrupt Abel's, who guided Athena to Elysion. Saori revives and faces Abel. Seiya obtains the cosmos of everyone and concentrates it in a golden arrow that he shoots at Abel. God cannot stop it, because, for the first time, he feels respect for Seiya. Abel is killed, and his temple destroyed. The Earth has been saved.
Phoebus Abel: The lost brother of Athena, he has come to take Athena with him and wants to "cleanse" the earth.
The following are the Corona Saints under Abel.
- Carina Atlas (Corona Saint of Carina)
Technique: Super Burning Corona (スーパー バーニング コロナ) -He has light green hair, he was defeated by Seiya with the help of his friends, Hyoga and Shiryu.
- Coma Berenices (Corona Saint of Coma Berenice)
Technique: Golden Death Hair (ゴールデン デス ヘアー) -He has short blond hair and ability to control hair, his body was frozen and shattered by Hyoga.
- Lynx Jaō (Corona Saint of Lynx)
Technique: Shining Hell Claw (シャイニング ヘル クロウ) -He has reddish-brown hair, defeated by Gemini Saga who sacrificed his life and both died burned from the friction of the atmosphere.
- The Aquarius Gold Cloth is destroyed when Camus is killed, but later Hyoga wears it.
- Cancer Deathmask tells Shiryu than Abel is now controlling his Cloth, which can't leave him against his will as it did during the Battle of the Twelve Temples.
- There's a slight mistake on the part when Shura and Camus are killed: when both Gold Saints look up, it can be seen that Camus was wrapped by Berenike's hair, but when the techniques of the 3 Corona Saints are about to hit Camus and Shura, is Shura who is wrapped with the hair and Camus will be hit by Jaô's Shining Hell Claw.
- Deathmask uses an attack that is similar to the Lighting Plasma of Leo Aioria, though it's probably just standard light speed blows.