Knights of the Zodiac (partially lost English dub of anime series; 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

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

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

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

Notes

  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