Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary is a 3D animation movie, inspired by the Sanctuary arc from the original Saint Seiya manga and intended as a Continuity Reboot of the anime series. Directed by Keiichi Sato (Tiger & Bunny, Karas), the movie was released in Japan on June 21, 2014.The film follows Saori Kido, a young girl troubled by her mysterious powers. Upon being saved by Pegasus Seiya from an assassin sent to kill her, she learns that she is the reincarnation of Athena, the Greek God of Warfare who comes back to Earth to fight evil every time it threatens mankind. She should be aided and protected by her army, the Saints; however, when Saori's powers started to awaken, the Saints' leader, the Pope, deemed her a fake and ordered her assassination.Seiya gathers his friends, fellow Bronze Saints, and follows Saori into Athena's Sanctuary, where they intend to confront the Pope and discover his true intentions. On their way to him, however, they will find themselves face to face with the most powerful Saints, the Gold Saints — Sanctuary's guardians, who protect the Pope and believe his claims.
The movie provides examples of:
Adapted Out: All but one of the Silver Saints. In the original manga and anime, the Pope sends more and more of them as assassins to kill Saori and the Bronze Saints before they eventually decide to fight back and take the battle to Sanctuary; in the movie, the only Silver Saint he sends is Sagitta Ptolemy (the final Silver assassin to appear in the manga and anime), who leads a group of foot soldiers.
Adaptational Villainy: Although he is revealed to have been the Big Bad of the Sanctuary Arc all along in the manga too, Gemini Saga had dissociative identity disorder; part of him was a good man and wanted to back down, but was a prisoner of his own evil self. In the movie, he was once a good man and then he became corrupted and evil, while still believing himself to be a Well-Intentioned Extremist at heart.
Age Lift: At least the heroes are confirmed as slightly older than their manga and anime counterparts, with Athena's rebirth having happened sixteen years ago, instead of thirteen. If the age variations between the heroes are the same as in the manga, that would make Seiya and Shun sixteen, Hyoga and Shiryu seventeen and Ikki eighteen.
Death Equals Redemption: Mortally wounded, Gemini Saga has a sort of Heel Realization when Saori still tries to help him despite everything he's done to her. She forgives him and he dies, seemingly in peace.
Demoted to Extra: Pisces Aphrodite, who had a rather larger role in the manga. Libra Dohko and his Cloth also qualify, since the former gets only a quick mention and the latter doesn't appear at all.
Fashionable Asymmetry: Gemini Saga dons a half-gold, half-black Cloth. The golden pieces are ornate and slightly round, whereas the black pieces are sleek, sharp and edgy.
Gender Flip: Scorpio Milo is a man in the original manga and anime, but a woman in the movie.
Green-Eyed Monster: Gemini Saga, while acting like a Well-Intentioned Extremist, finally admits by the end that this is the last straw that made him snap: he was widely considered (by himself, even) the best Saint there is, but the Pope chose the humble Sagittarius Aeolus over him as his successor. Saga didn't take it well and found a way to have both the Pope and Aeolus killed before his choice went public.
Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Both played straight and subverted. The trailers show that the Bronze Saints lose their helmets eventually, but they do wear them in the beggining and in this universe they cover more, having face plates.
Light Is Not Good: The Gold Saints are the antagonists of the movie, and their very color scheme represents light.
Mr. Exposition: One scene has Shiryu name each of the temples and go on to explain who are the people the Bronze Saints are up against... only to realize Seiya and the others are sneaking away at comically high speeds.
Mr. Fanservice: Most of the cast, especially Shiryu, who has been shown to lose most of his armor (and his shirt) during the movie.
The Worf Effect: That arrogant jerk Ikki who is played up as stronger than the other Bronze Saints shows up near the end just to help Shun and the others like he always did in this series' past movies. Except he gets easily beaten up off screen this time.