Saint Seiya: Next Dimension - The Myth of Hades (聖闘士星矢 NEXT DIMENSION 冥王神話 Seinto Seiya: Nekusuto Dimenshon - Meiō Shinwa?), also known as simply Next Dimension, is an ongoing manga written and illustrated by Masami Kurumada. It is a canon prequel and continuation to his manga series Saint Seiya; a part of the story is set in the 20th century(shortly after the holy war between Athena/Saori and Hades), a part is set in the 18th century during the previous holy war between Athena and Hades. It is published by Akita Shoten in the weekly magazine Weekly Shounen Champion at irregular dates. It is also known by its alternate subtitle Galaxy Myth (銀河神話 Ginga Shinwa), which is used during publication to refer to the segments of the storyline set in the 20th century, as opposed to the Myth of Hades subtitle, which refers to the segments set in the 18th century.
At the release ten collected volume (tankoubon) of the series, Next Dimension was confirmed to be canonical within the universe and chronology conceived by Kurumada for Saint Seiya. Next Dimension is officially the prequel and sequel to the original manga Saint Seiya. The manga is in colors.
In Episode G Assassin and Saintia Sho, some of the Next Dimension characters appear. An obvious link between these 3 manga.
Next Dimension was translated and published in many languages, including Chinese, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, and French.
Saint Seiya Next Dimension was conceived by Masami Kurumada as a prequel to his Saint Seiya manga, parting from elements revealed in it but never further developed and explored then, hence, he started writing and drawing Next Dimension by opening the storyline in a prologue, with a flashback to the last battle of his original manga, contained in vol. 28. Additionally, the original concept of the prequel was to work simultaneously with Shiori Teshirogi's Saint Seiya : The Lost Canvas as a multi-angle interpretation of the storyline, but this approach was quickly abandoned, as both works greatly diverged, Kurumada's Next Dimension stayed as the canonical telling of these events, and Lost Canvas as a separate alternate retelling non-canonical.
Crateris Suikyō has a younger brother, Suishō. When the latter dies of sickness, Suikyo is sent on a mission to Firenze (Florence in Italy). There, he meets Aaron and Pegasus Tenma and saves them from a snowstorm. He starts training Tenma to become a Saint, but then he disappears.
In the 1740's, Shion and Dohko are made Saints of Aries and Libra, respectively, by the Pope. They take initiative, and try to kill Aron, the youth who is chosen to be the reincarnation of Hades. They are stopped by the Bronze Saint Pegasus Tenma. Because of this, the reincarnation of Hades takes place. Aries, Libra and Pegasus return to the Sanctuary and are scolded by Capricorn Izō and Taurus Ox, then the Gold Saints go back to their temples.
Shortly after, Athena incarnates into a baby (chapter 20). The Pope and Pisces Cardinale try to kill her (chapter 21), but the Goddess is saved by Virgo Shijima (chapters 22-23). Pandora charges Garuda Suikyo with the mission of attacking the Sanctuary and kill Athena.
Meanwhile, Andromeda Shun arrives from future year 1990 and lands near the Aries Temple (chapter 21). He meets Pegasus Tenma and tells him about his mission: in 240 years, Pegasus Seiya will be cursed after the battle against Hades, and will die soon; Andromeda came back to the 1740's to find a way to lift the curse; Chronos, god of time, allowed him to stay in the 1740's for three days (chapter 23). Pegasus Tenma believes Shun and decides to help him.
The race through the twelve temples of Zodiac starts.
- ARIES - Virgo Shijima contacts telepathically Aries Shion, and informs him that the High Priest is a traitor. The Aries Saint allows passage to Pegasus Tenma and Andromeda Shun, and blocks a group of Spectres, but Garuda Suikyo has the upper hand against him. All of a sudden, Phoenix Ikki arrives from the future and uses his mind technique to shock the powerful Spectre. Suikyo leaves in confusion before finishing off the two Saints. After Ikki got some rest, he follows, too.
- TAURUS - Pegasus and Andromeda are allowed passage only when the Spectres arrive. In the following battle between them and Taurus Ox, the latter is killed, and the only survivor is Garuda Suikyo. Shortly later, Phoenix passes through the house without obstacles.
- GEMINI - Andromeda seems to have forgotten his previous experience with the labyrinth in this house. After losing his way twice, he remembers and tells Pegasus that they are all illusions. This time, though, Gemini Abel-and-Cain manifests himself and stops them. When Garuda Suikyo arrives, the two Bronze Saints manage to pass by. The Gemini Saint uses his own mind technique on the Spectre and lets him pass, following a plan of his own.
- CANCER - When Pegasus and Andromeda arrive, Cancer Deathtoll refuses to listen and send them straight to the Yomotsu Hirasaka. Then Garuda Suikyo comes in, and the Gold Saint realizes that the Spectre is under the mind control of Gemini. Therefore, he shifts the battlefield to the Yomotsu Hirasaka, hoping that Garuda and the two Bronze Saints will kill each other. Instead, Suikyo recovers his senses, and Deathtoll is temporarily incapacitated. Pegasus has to stop and rest, while Andromeda continues on and runs after Garuda.
- PHOENIX in GEMINI - When Ikki enters the house of Gemini, his pride and stubborness anger the Gold Saint, who attacks. During combat, Cain understands the motivations of Phoenix, aknowledges his strength, and eventually lets him pass.
- LEO - Garuda Suikyo arrives first at this house, and he is knocked off by Leo Kaiser and his pet Goldy, a giant cat who oddly behaves exactly like a dog. When Andromeda and later Pegasus reach the house, it is the animal Goldy who takes their side first and persuades Leo that all the three warriors are allies. While Suikyo and the Bronze Saints rest, a large group of Spectres reaches the house of Cancer; they release Deathtoll and force him to lead them to the house of Lion. There, Kaiser and Goldy dispatch them all. During the fight, Garuda sneaks away, therefore the two Gold Saints tell Pegasus and Andromeda to catch him.
- VIRGO - When Garuda Suikyo gets to this house, Virgo Shijima is trapped with Athen inside the labyrinth of the High Priest's palace. Nevertheless, his house is protected by strong barriers of cosmo-energy. It is only thanks to the intervention of Athena that Suikyo survives and continues his ascent. In the meanwhile, the Crateris Cloth is teleported from the house of Taurus to the sacred garden behind the house of Virgo. When Tenma and Shun enter the sixth house, the spirit of Virgo Shaka materializes thanks to his blood embedded into the Andromeda Cloth. The spirits of the two Virgo Saint battle and have a dialogue, and eventually Shijima accepts to let the Bronze Saints pass through the house. On the way out, they collect the Crateris Cloth. In the meanwhile, Pisces Cardinale reaches Shijima and Athena in the labyrinth, but the Virgo Saint passes out because of the spiritual battle against Shaka.
- CYGNUS in AQUARIUS - Dragon Shiryu and Cygnus Hyoga arrive from the future. The latter Saint appears in front of the house of Aquarius. The Gold Saint Aquarius Mystoria believes him an enemy and freezes him solid.
- LIBRA - Dragon Shiryu appears in front of the house of Libra. Libra Dōko aknowledges his fighting skills and believes his story. Suddenly, Garuda arrives, and Shiryu leaves to meet Athena. Although Dohko and Suikyo are childhood friends, they have to fight to the death, and the Specter is the one who succumbs. When Pegasus and Andromeda arrive, Dohko explains that he has to carry over the legacy of Suikyo, and decides to fight against Athena. He knocks out the two Bronze Saints, and when a snake messenger of the Ophiuchus arrives, he leaves to take the head of Athena.
- PHOENIX in CANCER - Phoenix Ikki reaches the house of Cancer Deathtoll, and the two join forces to fight against a new wave of attacking Spectres, led by Griffon Vermeer. At the end of the battle, they move to the house of Leo.
With the death of Suikyo and Vermeer, the story is at a major turning point. The new impending danger is now Ophiuchus Odysseus.
- PISCES -
- AQUARIUS -
- CAPRICORNUS -
- SCORPIUS -
- SAGITTARIUS -
- OPHIUCHUS -
- Series still in progress
Near the end of the battle between Hades and Athena, Pegasus Seiya was struck in the chest by Hades' sword (prologue).
Later in the same year (1990), Seiya is in coma at the Sanctuary, because Hades' sword actually inflicted a curse on him, and he will die soon. Athena decides with Andromeda Shun to go and visit her sister Artemis, goddess of the Moon (chapter 14). Athena's plan is to ask her sister how to travel back in time and erase Hades' sword before it struck Seiya. Artemis explains that Chronos is the only deity who is able to answer her request (chapters 15-16).
Lady Callisto is to Artemis what the Pope is to Athena. Callisto is afraid that Athena will cause even more trouble to the Olympian Gods, therefore she decides to get rid of Athena and the Saints. She summons Lascoumoune and gives her the mission of killing Athena. Lascoumoune knocks out Andromeda, but she is defeated when Phoenix Ikki intervenes (chapters 17-18). Phoenix then leaves to counter-attack the temple of Artemis.
Athena and Shun reach Chronos' place with the help of Hecate. Chronos tells Athena that her request is nonsensical (the simple fact that Seiya was affected by the sword's curse is proof that Athena failed already in the past). Nevertheless, he agrees to send her and Andromeda back to the 1740's. They are allowed to stay in that age for three days only (chapter 19). Chronos didn't specify to which age they will come back: they may come back to a time few hours after they left, or three days later.
After Athena and Andromeda left, Chronos reveals to Hecate that he arbitrarily altered Athena's age: she will arrive in the 1740's as a baby (chapter 17). Hecate leaves Chronos, but she meets Phoenix, who couldn't get to the temple of Artemis. After listening to Hecate's explanation, Phoenix changes his priority and decides to reach Athena and Andromeda: he goes to Chronos' place and jumps into the time gate (chapter 25-26).
After the defeat of Lascoumoune, Callisto organizes a second mission against Athena's Sanctuary. She charges Toma, a fallen angel, to kill Seiya (chapter 30). Toma goes to the Sanctuary, but Seiya is defended by Aquila Marin and Cygnus Hyoga. Being at disadvantage, Toma retreats. The reader can cleraly understand that Toma and Marin are brother and sister (chapters 31-32). Aquila informs Cygnus of the quest of Athena and Shun (it's unclear how she learned about it), and Cygnus decides to go and follow them (chapter 33).
Before traveling to the past, Cygnus decides to seek out the help of Dragon Shiryū, but the latter refuses to join the battle. In the meanwhile, Toma decided to leave his mission aside and pursue personal revenge against Cygnus. He secretly listens to the dialogue bethween Cygnus and Dragon. After Cygnus left, Toma decides to punish Dragon for his cowardice. By beating him up, the only result he gets is to change Shiryu's mind (chapter 48).
Shortly after, Cygnus, Dragon, Toma and Hecate all meet up near Chronos' place. Hyoga and Dragon refuse to fight Toma and jump in the time well. It looks like they forgot that their mission is to save Seiya's life from Hades or anyone else (i.e. Toma); actually, they are confident that Aquila and Ophiuchus will protect the near-death Saint (chapter 51).
In the meanwhile, at the Sanctuary, Ophiuchus Shaina reveals to Aquila Marin the existence of a thirteenth Zodiac house, belonging to the cursed Ophiuchus Gold Cloth (chapter 54).
- Series in progress; 1990 facts after chaper 54 are not published yet.
Most of the action in Saint Seiya: Next Dimension is set around 1740. Some characters have anachronistic scientific knowledge:
- Aquarius Mistria knows the exact value of the absolute zero, that will be measured 30 years later.
- Scorpius Scarlett and Ophiucus Odysseus know about hemoglobine and hemocyanine, that will be discovered about 100 years later.
- Scorpius Scarlett and Ophiucus Odysseus also know about molecular cristallography, a discipline that will be born 160 years later.
The following are some of the characters that have a prominent role in the chapters released to date. As the story progresses, some more characters have been introduced, and are expected to be developed further in future chapters.
- Chronos: god of time, seasons and agriculture.
- Athena, alias Saori Kido: She is the current incarnation of Athena, the goddess of justice and heroic endeavour. She, along with Shun, travels back to the holy war against Hades in the 18th century to save Seiya, but was turned into an infant by Chronos, the god of time.
- Andromeda Shun: Andromeda Bronze Saint. One of the main characters, he travels back to the past with Saori and is later separated from her in the 18th century. In the same way as Alone was in the 18th century, Shun is the human with the purest soul in the present.
- Phoenix Ikki: Another of the protagonists and brother of the Andromeda Saint, he reappears fighting off Lascoumoune before leaving and travelling to the past.
- Dragon Shiryū: Dragon Bronze Saint
- Cygnus Hyoga: Cygnus Bronze Saint.
- Ophiuchus Gold Saint(Asclepius): The 13th gold saint legendary and damned. It was considered the best of the 88 Saints of Athena. In the eighteenth century his reincarnation was called Odysseus.
Characters in 1990
Followers of Athena
Other followers of Athena in XX Century:
- Shunrei: adopted daughter of Libra Dōko, girlfriend of Dragon Shiryū.
- Shoryu: adopted son of Shunrei and Dragon Shiryū.
Artemis and her followers
- Artemis: goddess of the moon and hunting.
Artemis' Satellites and Angel:
- Callisto: commander of the Satellites.
- Lascoumoune: captain of the Satellites.
- Toma: Angel warrior of heaven.
Other follower of Artemis:
- Hecate: witch of the moon.
Characters in the 1740's
Followers of Athena
Saints in the 1740's:
- Pegasus Tenma (ND): the 18th century incarnation of Pegasus Seiya and the main character of the story.
Gold Saints in the 1740's:
- Aries Shion: a former Bronze Saint promoted to Gold Saint, the guardian of the first house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena... future Pope of Sanctuary of the XX century.
- Taurus Ox: the guardian of the second house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena.
- Gemini Cain & Gemini Abel: the guardian of the third house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena. Cain is good, Abel is a demon.
- Cancer Deathtoll: the guardian of the fourt house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena.
- Leo Kaiser: the guardian of the fifth house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena.
- Virgo Shijima: the guardian of the sixth house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena. He saves the infant Athena from the traitors.
- Libra Dōko: a former Bronze Saint promoted to Gold Saint, the guardian of the seventh house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena, future master of Dragon Shiryū.
- Scorpio Ecarlate: ally of Ophiuchus Odysseus and the guardian of the eighth house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena.
- Sagittarius Gestalt: former ally of Ophiuchus Odysseus and the guardian of the ninth house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena.
- Capricorn Izō: the guardian of the tenth house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena.
- Aquarius Mystoria: the guardian of the eleven house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena.
- Pisces Cardinale: a traitor, regarded as the personification of beauty. The guardian of the twelfth house of the zodiac of the Sanctuary of Athena.
- Pope (Unknown): another traitor, whose real identity is unknown.
Hades and his followers
- Aaron: the purest soul in the 18th century and the previous human vessel for Hades, god of the Underworld. A young painter who is an orphan and a close friend to Tenma.
- Pandora: holy priestess of Hades.
- Griffon Veemer: one of the three judges of the underworld.
- Garuda Suikyō: formerly the Crateris Silver Saint, master of Tenma and a well-respected soldier of Athena's army. Unknown events have led him to switch his loyalty to Hades, forsaking his destiny as a Saint and embracing a new one as the Garuda Specter in Hades' army. He also trained with Shion and Dohko during their childhood.
Masami Kurumada first announced the start of the follow-up to his famous Saint Seiya series in 2006. On the 21st of April he posted an image of Hades, Lord of the Underworld, on his blog. Short chapters came to be published once or even trice per month due to its sporadic release until the 4th of January 2007 when the next chapter did not get released until the 2nd of August 2007. The series have kept up sporadic releases, with brief intervals of week-to-week publication, but Masami Kurumada updates his blog after a longer interval to show the next upcoming chapters. In Volume 2, in his personal message, Masami Kurumada apologies for the delay of the second volume; revealing that he was sick for a long time in the spring of 2009.
Following Masami Kurumada's traditional writing and drawing style, the storyline unfolds in typical shounen manga narrative. In addition each chapter is presented in full colour. The first chapter was initially called Prologue ①, however, the "①" was removed in the collected first volume. During the first 14 chapters, the borderline of the pages was coloured to look like a starlit night sky, this was changed to standard white in part 14 and further chapters as well as a standard in compiled volumes.Parts 15 and 16 were published in a black & white format complemented by one colour image each. The following parts have continued being released in black & white accompanied by various colored pages. The parts published in black and white will be available in full colour in their respective volume compilation. Certain objects and pieces of information that was previously published in the Saint Seiya Encyclopedia are used in the story such as one of Athena's 88 armours, the Crateris Silver Cloth, albeith with a new design. The characters Artemis and Tōma were created by Masami Kurumada and first introduced in the fifth Saint Seiya movie which would have served as a continuation for the storyline. But the film did not receive the planned sequels, thus Kurumada incorporated the characters into Saint Seiya: Next Dimension, hence becoming the canonical incarnation of said characters.
A prologue plus 95 chapters have been released to date, and are being published in tankōbon form.
- The 2nd tankōbon compilation was released on the 8th of March 2010.
- The 3rd tankōbon compilation was released on the 8th of December 2010.
- The 4th tankōbon compilation was released on the 8th of December 2011.
- The 5th tankōbon compilation has been announced for a release on the 6th of April 2012.
- The 6th tankōbon compilation has been announced for a release on the 8th of December 2012.
- The 7th tankōbon compilation has been announced for a release on the 8th of Augost 2013.
- The 8th tankobon compilation has been announced for a release on the 6th of December 2013.
- The 9th tankobon compilation has been announced for a release on August 2014.
- The 10th tankobon compilation has been announced for a release on August 2016.
- The 11th tankobon was released in Japan in 2017.
- The 12th tankobon was released in Japan in 2018.
During its first week, the first volume of the manga sold 30618 copies in Japan and stood on the 22nd place of most sold in February 2009. The following week it had sold 57426 copies, but had gone down to 27th place of most sold that month. After its first week the second volume lay on 9th place of most bought manga volume of march in Japan. During its first week, the third volume of the manga sold 44200 copies in Japan and stood on the 17nd place of most sold in December 2010 During its first week, the fourth volume of the manga ranked at the 8th place of the 30 most sold titles in December 2011, according to Comiclist.jp. Also, according to the same source, the fourth volume of Next Dimension ranked 6th in the 10 most sold shōnen manga in December 2011. Oricon.jp ranked the fifth volume of Next Dimension in the 22rd place out of the 30 most sold titles, in its first week of sales. The volume 12 of Saint Seiya Next Dimension in Japan came in the 10th ranking of the best-selling manga in Japan in June 2018.