The One Piece star Mackenyu has starred in yet another live-action adaptation of a beloved manga series, Masami Kurumada’s Saint Seiya. But this time, the results are not as shiny even though people are watching it in hordes on Netflix.
The Mackenyu film Knights of the Zodiac has managed to secure the fifth spot on the Netflix US top ten films list and has clung to that position for an entire week. This unexpected achievement may leave you wondering what this movie is all about and why it’s generating so much attention despite being widely criticised.
Directed by Tomek Bagiński and written by Josh Campbell, Matt Stuecken, and Kiel Murray, Knights of the Zodiac is a 2023 fantasy action film that attempts to bring the iconic manga Saint Seiya by Kurumada to the big screen. The film stars Mackenyu as the main protagonist, Seiya, and features a cast including Famke Janssen, Madison Iseman, Diego Tinoco, Mark Dacascos, Nick Stahl, and Sean Bean.
The film’s plot follows Seiya, an orphan on a mission to rescue his kidnapped sister, Patricia. Along the way, he discovers his destiny as the Pegasus Knight, a warrior sworn to protect the goddess Athena. As he embarks on his training and journey, he encounters various challenges and enemies, including Vander Guraad, played by Famke Janssen.
Knights of the Zodiac is, unfortunately, another example of a lacklustre adaptation of a beloved manga or anime series. The film’s negative reviews from critics and its box office underperformance have highlighted the challenges in translating beloved source material into a successful live-action format. The plot of the film is threadbare despite interesting visual elements, and it struggles to capture the essence of the original Saint Seiya series.
Despite such adaptations often falling short of expectations, there are rare exceptions, like Netflix’s live-action adaptation of One Piece, where Mackenyu starred as the Strawhat pirate and Monkey D. Luffy’s friend, Roronoa Zoro. This particular adaptation stands as a stellar rarity, managing to capture the essence and spirit of the original manga and anime series, earning praise from fans and critics alike.
While Knights of the Zodiac might have secured a high spot on Netflix’s charts, this doesn’t necessarily equate to quality. But you can still give it a go.
Watch the trailer of Knights of the Zodiac here: