Knights of the Zodiac (partially lost DIC English dub of "Saint Seiya" anime series; 2003-2004)

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Knights of the zodiac adv DVD 1.jpg

Knights of the Zodiac DVD released by ADV Films.

Status: Partially Lost

Knights of the Zodiac is the international title for the Saint Seiya media franchise created by Masami Kurumada. Debuting in the pages of Weekly Shonen Jump in 1986, the series later sprawled out to include multiple spinoffs, sequels, and anime adaptations. The first of which was produced by Toei Animation for 114 episodes on the TV Asahi network between 1986 and 1990.

After achieving great success internationally in French, Portuguese and Spanish speaking markets, the original anime series was brought to English audiences in the early 2000s. One of those attempts included an edited dub produced by DIC Entertainment, which received only a partial home video release.

History[edit | edit source]

In July 2002, anime distributor ADV Films announced at their Otakon 2002 panel that they had purchased the rights to release the series in North America.[1] The following June, it was revealed that the company had only acquired a sublicense to Saint Seiya through an agreement with children's entertainment company DIC Entertainment - similar to their earlier partnership on another anime series, Sailor Moon. The French studio announced that it had sold 40 episodes of the show to Cartoon Network for broadcast in the United States under the name Knights of the Zodiac.[2]

The company produced an edited English dub recorded in Toronto, Ontario, by Kaleidoscope Entertainment. This version featured significant visual edits, storyline modifications and a cover of The Flock of Seagulls song "I Ran" by American rock band Bowling for Soup as its opening theme song. The series debuted on Cartoon Network in the United States on August 30, 2003.[3] Canadian broadcaster YTV aired a preview episode on September 1 before airing the show in its regular rotation on September 5, 2003.[4][5][Notes 1] Parallel to DIC's dub, ADV Films produced their own uncut version under the Saint Seiya name.[6] Utilizing an entirely separate voice cast from the Houston, Texas area, their dub was primarily released on home video and ran for 60 episodes.

Though Cartoon Network initially planned to run the rest of DIC's dub in a late-night slot,[7] the show was pulled from the channel's schedule in April 2004 after 32 episodes aired.[8][9] ADV Films would later release those 32 episodes across 8 DVD and VHS releases between January and November 2004.[10][11]

In Canada, however, all 40 episodes aired on television, with the dub's conclusion airing on July 24, 2004.[12] The channel ran episodes 33-36 twice, with 37-40 only airing once, as YTV permanently removed Knights of the Zodiac from its lineup on October 9, 2004.[13] The existence of the dub is supported by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), who approved 40 Knights of the Zodiac episodes as Canadian content on December 1, 2003.[14] That indicates production on the entire batch was finished months beforehand.

Since its Canadian broadcast, the last 8 episodes have not surfaced in any form.

Missing Episodes[edit | edit source]

The following episodes are believed to have aired exclusively in Canada on YTV:

# Episode Title [Notes 2] Air Date
33 Sightless Dragon's Tears June 5th, 2004
34 Farewell, Comrade June 12th, 2004
35 Seiya's Journey of Hope June 19th, 2004
36 Twelve Gold Cloths June 26th, 2004
37 Decision of the Mask July 3rd, 2004
38 Battle of the Gold Knights July 10th, 2004
39 Dragon Defends His Master July 17th, 2004
40 Away We Go! July 24th, 2004

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. This dub also allegedly ran on Cartoon Network in Australia, though information regarding the broadcast is difficult to come by. Local home video distributor MRA Entertainment released 7 DVDs containing the first 23 episodes between June 2005 and February 2006.
  2. Episode title and broadcast dates via the CRTC logs for YTV in June and July 2004.

References[edit | edit source]