Formally named Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas - The Legend of Hades.A prequel to the original Saint Seiya, The Lost Canvas is set in the 18th century and tells the story of the previous Holy War between Hades and Athena.Tenma, a young orphan growing up in Italy, and his friends Alone and Sasha, find themselves caught up in the war. Sasha is the earthly incarnation of Athena, while Alone is possessed by Hades. Tenma goes on to become the Pegasus Saint and try to save his friends from the ongoing war.The series has been made into an OVA series. Crunchyroll.com is now legally featuring the series (subbed) for free with the second season being simulcasted.Sadly though, the series was canceled after the second season with TMS having no plans to continue it.
Backstory: Libra Dohko and Aries Shion, this was your life!
Bad Habits: Hypnos usually disguises himself as a priest. He's posing as one when introduced.
Badass Boast: Cancer Manigoldo claims he's "the kind of man even Gods need to watch out for". Considering he was able to destroy the entire body of a god, admittedly at the cost of his life, when the best Seiya and company could do to that god was prick his finger without their God Cloths, he's quite right.
Bittersweet Ending: Tenma, Sasha and Alone perish after their last attack against Hades, only a handful survive (Shion and Dohko, Teneo, Yato, Yuzuriha, Atla, Cheshire and Pandora), Athena's army is practically destroyed, the Sanctuary is desolated and empty — but the sky shines bright with the hope of the next generation.
Bizarrchitecture: Lost Canvas. Fair enough, since it's a gigantic materialized painting.
Blessed with Suck: Alone is said to be the man with purest soul; that's precisely what makes him the perfect body for Hades' reincarnation. Ouch.
Also, Kardia and his overheating heart, Albafica and his poisonous blood and in a rare villian example: Basilisk Sylphid who also deals with something similar to Albafica.
Blood Knight: Cancer Manigoldo, Scorpio Kardia; Gemini Defteros and Gemini Aspros to a lesser degree.
Blood Magic: Divine blood, used for many kinds of magic. It can grant you a ridiculously large lifespan (albeit with a De-power) can turn you into a Physical God when injected into your veins (as long as you don't die), it can instantly upgrade your Power Armor...
This forgets the fact that Tenma got his first Cloth upgrade courtesy of Asmita pouring his Gold Saint blood on it. This would allow the Cloth to take a golden shine once Tenma would accumulate enough Heroic Resolve.
And also the talismans written with Athena's blood from the previous war, which are still potent enough in the Pope's hands to hold Hades in place, and counter Thanatos' "path of the gods", an hyper-dimension that will rip to shreds anything that is not of divine essence.
Brainwashed and Crazy: Gemini Defteros was a victim of this at one point. Virgo Asmita helped him break through it at the cost of killing his twin brother Gemini Aspros, who had conspired to kill the Pope.
Broad Strokes: There are only a few similarities between this and Kurumada's own story taking place during the same time. However, a few do spring up, such as both versions of the Garuda Specter having the name Suikyo.
Creepy Twins: Hypnos/Thanatos. One can materialize anything he imagines to toy with his victims; the other can murder people from another dimension by simply wishing it. Hansel and Gretel seem harmless compared to them...
Curb-Stomp Battle: Gemini Aspros' defeat takes about half a chapter at the hands of Mephistopheles Youma.
Subverted. Recent chapters revealed Aspros survived their battle and came back for a rematch. A fight that was in Aspros's favor the entire way through as he systematically overcame everything Youma sent his way, ending with sealing Youma's soul inside Asmita's rosary.
Cut Short: The OVA series was canceled after only two seasons and the "Twin Gods" arc.
Dark-Skinned Blond: Gemini Deuteros (albeit with blue hair), who originally thought to be because he spent several years in an island wearing little more than a loincloth, was confirmed as the former when childhood flashbacks do show him as a Dark-Skinned Blunette while in the Sanctuary.
Cait Sith Cheshire, although with white hair.
The Dark Side: Alone. He regains control over his body, still has Hades powers and decides to go ahead with the Lost Canvas plan.
Deadly Upgrade: Scorpio Kardia's most powerful version of his signature attack, Katakaio Antares, falls in this category. Luckily, he doesn't mind as he has a degenerative heart disease and just wants a really good fight before dying.
Dressing as the Enemy: After his Face-Heel Turn, Aspros puts back his evil robe - to avoid suspicions - and goes to find Alone, pretending to be a mere report when he truly intends to attack and kill him.
Driven to Suicide: Gemini Aspros ends up committing suicide after his failed coup d'état, rather than to atone for what he had done.
Kagaho's little brother Sui, as he thought he was a burden for his older brother.
Enemy Mine: Although one side isn't aware of it. Alone is in fact using Hades's powers for his own gain. Pandora opposes this because it is only through Hades winning the holy war that her life has any meaning
Fan Disservice: Behemoth Violate, who is actually a rather attractive girl, until you look at the rest of her body, which is covered in hundred of scars.
Fighting from the Inside: Subverted with Alone, when he that has regained control over his body, has Hades powers, and still decides to go forward with the plan to destroy the Earth with the Lost Canvas.
Friend to All Living Things: Alone, taking to extremes in the OVA adaptation, when rabbits, squirrels, foxes, deer and even a bear all come out to stand by him as he's painting.
Leo Ilias was also this.
Fusion Dance After Gemini Deuteros redeems his big brother Gemini Asperos at the cost of his own life, Asperos claims his life is not his anymore but his brother's and thus able to wear the Gemini Cloth again and face Hades in spite of previously being a Specter.
The Greatest Story Never Told: Almost! If Sasha had arrived some minutes later, no one would ever know of Aspros's Heel-Face Turn and that he sacrificed his own life in order to defeat Youma/Kairos and seal him for good. She's the only one to know, because she arrived on the spot little time before his death.
Heroic Sacrifice: Lots. The entire time. It's quicker to list the Saints that HAVEN'T died this way than the Saints who have (who are Albafica, Asmita, El Cid, Sisyphus, Manigoldo, Junkers, Degel, Defteros, Ilias...)
Owl Partita, personal messenger to Athena, reborn as a human to care for Pegasus' soul as his mother — and switched sides, becoming the guardian of the temple of Uranus. Her fight against Tenma is so he can get enough Heroic Resolve to overcome any obstacle, including killing his own mother, in order to bring down Hades.
Regulus impales Rhadamanthys with a fist coated in Shock and Awe and rips off his heart.
Tenma ultimately defeats Alone with a Power Fist that pierces through his body.
Implacable Man: Rhadamanthys. Survived getting his heart pierced by Kardia; getting it ripped out by Regulus; and survived long enough, after being cut in half by Alone, to unseal Athena's power, and still save Pandora as his last act as an Specter.
Kick the Dog: Pandora literally kicks (or rather psychically lashes out) at the puppy Alone had adopted in her first appearance.
She also not only treats Harpy Valentine as one, but even calls Radamantys one as well. Then Radamanthys does the same to his loyal subordinate, Valentine, by piercing his chest with his fist.
Kill 'em All: The series is really known for having minimal plot armor. As of chapter 212, Shion and Dohko are out of commission, only Sasha and Tenma remain capable of making a stand, barely. It's not looking good.
Magic Countdown: Alone's Star Clock, keeping track of how much time is left before he finishes the Lost Canvas. And that is because the Star Clock's real function is keep track of how much time Alone has before Hades completely awakes and takes over his body, so he must finish the Lost Canvas before that.
Make Me Wanna Shout: Mandrake Fiodor's technique, Strange Shrill. A variation of it since it is projected from a mask encrusted on his armor.
And, technically, Regulus and Aldebaran. They're stars in the Leo and Taurus constellations. Kardia counts as well.
As do Sasha, Tenma, Asperos, Defteros, Manigoldo, Asmita, Sisyphus, El Cid, Albafica... in fact, almost all relevant characters have meaningful names, including, obviously, the ones directly based on mythological figures. This is a trend in both the original Saint Seiya series and its spin-offs.
Mercy Kill: Alraune Queen's reason to behead his partner Minotaur Gordon after the latter's defeat.
Merger of Souls: The Oneroi, four dream gods, have a One-Winged Angel form that fuses four of their souls into a single body. While each souls is still separate, they work in tandem to keep the body from being destroyed by harm and grant it Nigh-Invulnerability. The catch? Attacking all four souls simultaneously with precision strikes can kill them.
Mind Rape: Often, from such varied sources as Alone, Virgo Asmita (a master in the art of) and Nasu Veronica.
Moment Killer: Hakurei has just defeated and sealedHypnos, an evil god, and prepares himself to destroy the barrier that protects the Forest Cathedral... but Alone appears out of thin air and kills him.
Ms. Fanservice: Yuzuriha, Pandora, Violate, Partita... take your pick.
Mythology Gag: No pun intended. The whole Lost Canvas is victim of it with characters who are the exact physical clones of their 200 years later counterparts (albeit drawn in a different art style and with personality differences). When Albafica's covered with Royal Demon Roses the path to the Sanctuary is reminiscent to what Aphrodite did behind his temple to prevent any Bronze Saint from reaching the Pope's place.
Noble Demon: Bennu Kagaho and Harpy Valentine, Wyvern Radamanthys.
OOC Is Serious Business: Youma is always in a good mood and making fun of everybody else... when he isn't cheery, run away really fast.
Orcus on His Throne: Alone, although he knows he could thwart he heroes' advance through the Lost Canvas if he wished. He simply wants them to come all the way and suffer as much as possible before facing him.
Retcon: Mephistopholes' goal is to do this to the events of the main series.
Redemption Equals Death: Deuteros sacrifices his life to redeem his twin brother's Aspros who had become a Specter. Aspros himself with his fight against Youma.
The Reveal: Youma is Tenma's father and the one who stole Hades's soul from Mrs. Heinstein's womb then ran away with it to Italy, placing it inside Alone, the world's purest child - whom was never really possessed by Hades. The god was initially withheld by Sasha/Athena's flower leash and then began a very slow process of awakening as the leash's power wore off; meanwhile, good old Alone created the ominous Lost Canvas plan and intended to execute it before Hades could fully awaken and take over his body.
Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: What happened when Hades finally overwhelmed Alone and finally revived in full, killing nearly every Saint and severely injuring Tenma, Alone, and Athena in one blast of power save for the injured and distant Dohko and Shion. Yuzuriha, Atla, Yato and Teneo also survive, but this is not revealed till the last chapter.
Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Averted. The difficulty of the enemies varies ranging from simply strong Specters like Kagaho, the three Judges, Thanatos and Hypnos. In fact, a good deal of energy is put forth into defeating Thanatos and Hypnos, Hades's Dragons before they even finish off the Judges!
Soul Jar: Lady Seraphina for Poseidon, and Alone for Hades.
Spanner in the Works: Mephistopheles Youma didn't take into account that Aspros's own reality-warping powers would trump his own. Or that Defteros's spirit would intercept a would-be fatal attack. Or that due to his nature as a Specter he could get sealed inside Asmita's rosary.
Spared by the Adaptation: Although the Anime tends to follow the original storyline closely, only expanding some characters background, it notably spared Agasha's father, who is shown alive, but crippled after his apparent death at the hands of Minos (though we can't say for sure if he really died in the manga) and the Saints and footsoldiers (including Salo) killed during the invasion to Hades first castle.
Stupid Good: Taurus Rasgado. He could have easily defeated Bennu Kagaho. However, he went easy on him and took grievous injuries that cost him one of his eyes and left his body all scarred up, without killing Kagaho. This allowed for two things: Taurus dying shortly after against two weaker specters because of all the damage he had taken previously, and secondly, Bennu Kagaho went to become a new Judge of the Underworld. Kagaho then proceeded to infiltrate Sanctuary and not only almost stole Athena's Cloth but almost killed Libra Dohko.
He does, sorta. As he dies during his fight against Libra Dohko, Bennu Kagaho transforms into the Phoenix — and promises to return from the ashes for the last fight.
The Unfavourite: While Aspros was loved and respected by everyone in the Sanctuary, his younger twin Defteros was treated with utter disdain and hostility. Apparently, said treatment is based on an old lore, which claims thats an older Gemini twin shall be born under an auspicious star, while the younger one shall bring disgrace and chaos. Oh the irony.
What Beautiful Eyes: Teshirogi seems to take this to consideration a bit too much. There would be no yaoi fangirl who can't take any hint from how Tenma and previous Hades' vessel Alone interact, it's not exaggerating to say Alone especially after his Heel-Face Turn is obsessed of Pegasus Tenma.
Pandora even mentions that Alone's eyes are beautiful and lively, although full of soul-crushing sadness.
Whole Episode Flashback: Gemini Asperos' descent into infamy, where Virgo Asmita pulls a Big Damn Hero moment. Gemini Asperos and Gemini Deuteros' past are more thoroughly explored, including their eventual rivalry.
The Worf Effect: Subverted, when the 18th century Aldebaran goes down killing numerous Specters, including one who nobody else present had a chance against.
Would Hit a Girl: Leo Regulus has no problems in physically fighting Behemoth Violate.
"That Specter is... a woman? Well, I won't be bothered. She's a soldier and a powerful enemy, nothing else matters."
You Killed My Father: Leo Regulus, who is avenging his father Ilias, dead at the hands of Wyvern Rhadamanthys.
Your Princess Is in Another Castle: So Tenma has mortally wounded Alone, this is the end, right? Nope, turns out that badly injuring Alone rather than outright killing him allowed Hades to fully manifest right away.