Plot: As Seiya gets settled into his new surroundings, a new warrior is introduced – Hyoga: Owner of the Cygnus Cloth.
Before he traverses to Japan to partake in the Galaxy Tournament, he visits his mother who lies in a state of suspended animation deep under the frozen waters of his homeland. He leaves her protection in the care of the young boy, Yagoff, and sets off on his journey.
Saori properly introduces the start of the tournament and reveals that there are many Saint Warriors in existence – as many as there are constellations; 29 in the north sky and 47 in the south sky. Additionally, among the Saint Warriors are 12 additional warriors whose signs coincide with the Chinese Zodiac members – these are considered the strongest of the warriors.
The Golden Cloth is said to only be worn by the mightiest of the Saint Warriors, so this tournament is being held to determine which of the Bronze Saints are worthy of the honor.
The tournament begins and it’s Cygnus vs. Hydra. At first, it seems like Hydra really has Hyoga on the ropes, managing to get several good blows in and even poisoning him with hidden fangs, not once, not twice but three times. Hyoga doesn’t even seem to know what he’s doing until he suddenly reveals that Hydra’s punches are so weak they’re not worth dodging and his fangs have been ineffective this whole time because the Cygnus Cloth has been freezing the poison within the fangs before they’re able to inject into Hyoga.
Using his Diamond Dust technique, he easily takes care of Hydra, making Cygnus the winner of today’s first bout.
Breakdown: I have very mixed feelings about this episode. On the positive side, the first half is really great. We got some down time with Seiya, learned more about the tournament and got a decent introduction to Hyoga.
The negative side is the entire second half IE the match between Hyoga and Hydra. It’s plain as day that Hydra’s going to lose. Even when you first see him merely standing among the other Saint Warriors, it’s obvious he won’t make it past the first round based purely on his appearance. His character design is so lazy he not only has barely passable armor, but he also doesn’t even get eyes.
However, even knowing a pushover enemy’s going to lose, the fun is learning how the good guy’s going to win. Surely they still pose some challenge, kinda like Geki in the previous match? Certainly we’ll need some strategy, right? Not quite.
The entire match, Hyoga cops quite the attitude. His catchphrase seems to be ‘so what?’ whenever Hydra made any sort of battle declaration, even though he continuously gets punched, kicked and stabbed with venomous fangs. I was getting a little angry with him as I watched because he was either being an idiot or dangerously arrogant, which is also dumb.
It’s revealed at the end of the match that Hyoga didn’t bother to dodge because Hydra was deemed just that weak, which is arrogant and dumb because he was still drawing blood and you shouldn’t take damage when you don’t have to, even if it’s not terrible.
When it came to the poisonous fangs continuously stabbing him, he froze Hydra’s arm, making it immobile and unable to use the fangs. However, Hydra revealed he also had fangs in his knees of which Hyoga didn’t seem to be aware.
Even later, Hyoga reveals that all of these supposed poisonings from the fangs were ineffective. The Cygnus armor was freezing the venom before it could even enter his blood stream. Then Hyoga uses Diamond Dust and defeats Hydra extremely easily.
In short, there was no strategy to be had in this entire match. Hyoga wasn’t really playing with his opponent so much as just not trying. He could’ve ended this match in one move without taking any damage or putting himself in undue danger (He didn’t seem to know about the fangs when the match started, and if the fangs weren’t a threat, why bother freezing Hydra’s arm?) He was being an arrogant dumbass for absolutely no reason.
We knew Seiya would win his first match too, but at least there was tension there in that he was a fairly new warrior, was actually struggling with Geki and needed a viable strategy to beat him, even if the strategy was obvious. Here, the tension is created by not knowing if Hyoga’s bluffing when he’s acting all cocky. When it’s revealed that he’s not, you kinda feel irritated. I don’t much care for such overtly self-important characters who feel the need to act (forgive the pun) cool and stretch things out when they don’t have to.
Next episode, Dragon vs. Pegasus!
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