Saint Seiya (Seinto Seiya), also known as Knights of the Zodiac, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masami Kurumada. It was serialized in Shueisha’s shōnen manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1986 to 1990, and then collected in twenty-eight tankōbon volumes.
The story follows five mystical warriors called the Saints who fight wearing sacred sets of armor, inspired from the various constellations, and empowered by a mystical energy. The Saints have sworn to defend the reincarnation of the Greek goddess Athena in her battle against other Olympian gods who want to dominate Earth.
The manga was adapted by Toei Animation into a 114-episode anime television series which was broadcast from 1986 to 1989. The Sain Seiya manga has sold over 25 million copies in Japan as of 2007, and had over 35 million copies in circulation as of 2017. The anime series won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize in 1987. In Animage’s 2001 “Top-100 Anime” ranking, Saint Seiya was 53rd. In 2006, TV Asahi conducted a nationwide survey for the one hundred most popular animated television series, where Saint Seiya came in 25th place. The work of Kurumada was considered one of the biggest phenomenons of the 1980s, becoming the inspiration for many future mangakas.