Knights of the Zodiac (partially lost DIC English dub of "Saint Seiya" anime series; 2003-2004)
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 1989.
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. Over the years, this dub has become infamous for its poor visual editing, primarily with the blood being recolored into something else other than red, questionable dialogue changes, with removing almost any mention of death in the series and replacing it with terms related to sleep being a notable example, and Stuart Stone's role as Cygnus Hyoga (Swan Hyoga in the DIC dub) being too out of character and sounding too similar to that of a stereotypical surfer boy.
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. 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.
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 A Flock of Seagulls song "I Ran (So Far Away)" 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. Canadian broadcaster YTV aired a preview episode on September 1st before airing the show in its regular rotation on September 5th, 2003.[Notes 1] Parallel to DIC's dub, ADV Films produced their own uncut version under the Saint Seiya name. Utilizing an entirely separate voice cast from the Houston, Texas area, their dub was primarily released on home video and ran for 60 episodes.
In Canada, however, all 40 episodes aired on television, with the dub's conclusion airing on July 24th, 2004. 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 9th, 2004. The existence of the dub is supported by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which approved 40 Knights of the Zodiac episodes as Canadian content on December 1st, 2003. That indicates production on the entire batch was finished months beforehand.
Nearly 20 years after the DIC dub aired, the original anime, as well as an entirely new dub, produced by Sentai Filmworks, was released on Netflix between 2019 and 2020, making it the first one to dub the whole series in English. Both the series and the third dub are no longer available on the platform as of December 2021.
Of the 40 episodes that exist of this dub, only 28 have ever been released on DVD. However, five more volumes were planned but were cancelled for unknown reasons, which resulted in the remaining 12 episodes becoming lost. Due to DIC Entertainment folding in 2008, this dub has been long out of circulation, and therefore it is extremely hard to come by, especially when compared to the ADV and Sentai Filmworks dubs, which are easily available online via torrents. Various clips from the dub, as well as its intro and a few promos, exist on YouTube, and though full episodes were also uploaded to the platform, they get taken down very quickly by Toei Animation.
All 28 episodes that were released on DVD have been made available on the Internet Archive by Lost Media Wiki user Vexer6. The once missing episode 31 was also uploaded by the same user on April 4th, while episode 32 was found by BlueBaron, albeit both are in poor quality. As of 2023, 10 episodes of the DIC dub are still missing, with 9 remaining completely lost, and among the missing episodes, only one survives in short clips seen in Episode 31 with the dubbed audio intact. episodes 29 was also seen through short clips seen in that same episode, while Episode 32 features next episode preview clips of Episode 33 in its credits, but said credits was cut off abruptly after a shot of Dragon Shiryu is shown. Because the clips from episodes 29 and 33 are both muted and only featured unaltered footage, DIC's version of these episodes remain lost.
|#||Episode Title[Notes 2]||First Air Date||Status|
|1||A New Era of Heroic Legends||Aug 30th, 2003||Found|
|2||Burn! Meteor Punch of Pegasus!||Sep 6th, 2003||Found|
|3||Swan, Warrior of the Ice Field||Sep 13th, 2003||Found|
|4||Dragon's Invincible Fist and Shield||Sep 20th, 2003||Found|
|5||Miraculous Rebirth and Cosmic Friendship||Sep 27th, 2003||Found|
|6||The Return of Phoenix||Oct 4th, 2003||Found|
|7||Theft of the Gold Cloth||Oct 11th, 2003||Found|
|8||Battle for the Gold Cloth||Oct 18th, 2003||Found|
|9||The Black Knights Appear||Oct 25th, 2003||Found|
|10||Dragon in the Graveyard of Knights||Nov 1st, 2003||Found|
|11||Seiya Battles Black Pegasus||Nov 8th, 2003||Found|
|12||The Nebula Chain of Friendship||Nov 15th, 2003||Found|
|13||Duel of the Dragons||Nov 22nd, 2003||Found|
|14||Defeat of the Phantom Demon||Nov 29th, 2003||Found|
|15||Phoenix's Secret Revealed||Dec 6th, 2003||Found|
|16||Docrates' Fierce Attack||Dec 13th, 2003||Found|
|17||Save Sienna!||Dec 20th, 2003||Found|
|18||Ghost Knights on the Rampage||Dec 27th, 2003||Found|
|19||Battle on the Island of Spirits||Jan 3rd, 2004||Found|
|20||Shina's Revenge||Jan 10th, 2004||Found|
|21||Fight on the Ice Field||Jan 17th, 2004||Found|
|22||Phoenix the Firebird||Jan 24th, 2004||Found|
|23||Attack of the Silver Knight||Jan 31st, 2004||Found|
|24||Fly, Pegasus, Fly||Feb 7th, 2004||Found|
|25||Fight On! The Rise of Athena||Feb 14th, 2004||Found|
|26||Friends or Foes – The Knights of Steel||Feb 21st, 2004||Found|
|27||Medusa's Shield||Feb 28th, 2004||Found|
|28||Dragon's Sacrifice||Mar 6th, 2004||Found|
|29||Attack of the Crow Army||Mar 13th, 2004||Lost|
|30||Athena's Aura of Love||Mar 20th, 2004||Partially Found (Poor Quality)|
|31||Evil Apparitions||Mar 27th, 2004||Found (Poor Quality)|
|32||Island of Doom Explodes||Apr 10th, 2004||Found (Poor Quality)|
|33||Sightless Dragon's Tears||Jun 5th, 2004||Lost|
|34||Farewell, Comrade||Jun 12th, 2004||Lost|
|35||Seiya's Journey of Hope||Jun 19th, 2004||Lost|
|36||Twelve Gold Cloths||Jun 26th, 2004||Lost|
|37||Decision of the Mask||Jul 3rd, 2004||Lost|
|38||Battle of the Gold Knights||Jul 10th, 2004||Lost|
|39||Dragon Defends His Master||Jul 17th, 2004||Lost|
|40||Away We Go!||Jul 24th, 2004||Lost|
- 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 seven DVDs containing the first 23 episodes between June 2005 and February 2006.
- Episode title and broadcast dates via the CRTC logs for YTV in June and July 2004.
- Bandai Super Musical: Saint Seiya (partially found footage of stage play by a Japanese idol group; 1991)
- StarStorm (partially found pilot of cancelled live-action adaptation of "Saint Seiya" anime series; 1994-1999)
- Knights of the Zodiac Episode Listings
- The official DiC entertainment Knights of the Zodiac website from the 2000s (needs Adobe flash plug-in to work)
- Land of Obscusion's review of the DIC dub. Retrieved 10 May '22
- Anime News Network article on the announcements ADV Films made at their Otakon panel. Retrieved 04 Jun '18.
- Business Wire article detailing how DIC Entertainment was granted with airing the English dub of Knights of the Zodiac in the US, Bandi America is granted the toy license, and ADV is granted the home video rights. Retrieved 04 Jun '18.
- Anime News Network article on Knights of the Zodiac on Cartoon Network. Retrieved 04 Jun '18.
- Anime News Network article on YTV airing dates of Inu Yasha, St. Seiya, and Knights of the Zodiac. Retrieved 04 Jun '18.
- YTV broadcast log for September 2003, includes Knights of the Zodiac. Retrieved 04 Jun '18.
- Anime News Network article on ADV releasing two varieties of St. Seiya. Retrieved 04 Jun '18.
- Anime News Network article for a Saturday schedule in 2004 including Knights of the Zodiac. Retrieved 04 Jun '18.
- Toonzone forum thread about a Saturday 2004 Toonami schedule that could have happened. Retrieved 04 Jun '18.
- Toomzone forum thread about Knights of the Zodiac. Retrieved 04 Jun '18.
- YTV broadcast log for July 2004, which includes the finale of Knights of the Zodiac. Retrieved 04 Jun '18.
- Another YTV broadcast log for July 2004. Retrieved 04 Jun '18.
- A list of CRTC Canadian program recognition numbers, including Knights of the Zodiac. Retrieved 04 Jun '18.
- Anime News Network: Netflix Adds 1st 41 Episodes of 1986 Saint Seiya Anime With New English Dub, Subtitles (Updated) Retrieved 10 May '22
- Anime News Network: Netflix Adds 32 More Episodes of 1986 Saint Seiya Anime With New English Dub, Subtitles Retrieved 10 May '22
- Anime News Network: Netflix Adds Final 41 Episodes of 1986 Saint Seiya Anime With New English Dub, Subtitles Retrieved 10 May '22
- Anime News Network: 1986 Saint Seiya Anime Leaves Netflix in December Retrieved 10 May '22
- Anime News Network Encyclopedia page on Knights of the Zodiac - Battle of the Bronze Knights (Dub. DVD 1). Retrieved 04 Jun '18.
- Anime News Network Encyclopedia page on Knights of the Zodiac - Brink of the Abyss (Dub. DVD 8). Retrieved 04 Jun '18.