WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac Season 1, streaming now on Netflix.
Netflix's Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac adapts the highly-popular '80s manga, Saint Seiya, by Masami Kurumada and updates it for a modern audience. Over the decades we've had several anime series and movies based off the franchise, but this new spin offers a fresh story of the young teenager, Seiya, as he tries to find his sister, Patricia, and unravel his destiny as a divine protector.
Charged with protecting Sienna Kido, the reincarnation of Athena, Seiya links with other select knights -- Andromeda Shaun, Cygnus Magnus and Dragon Long -- as they turn on Sanctuary, the governing body for all knights who now believe, thanks to an altered prophecy, Athena will destroy mankind. Since Sanctuary has betrayed Sienna/Athena, they try to safeguard the girl and the Golden Armor, one of the most powerful weapons in the universe, which ends the first season on a shocking betrayal and sets up a dramatic second season.
PHOENIX NERO'S REDEMPTION
Nero is Shaun's brother, who was separated from her and weaponized on Death Island by a demonic mentor. He eventually killed his teacher, who killed his daughter Esmeralda, the love of Nero's life, in order to send Nero over the edge and convert him into a full-on disciple of hate. This rage saw Nero don the Phoenix Armor. However, this brought a Gold Knight, a powerful celestial warrior named Shaka, to warn him they'll be fighting soon for his impending descent into villainy.
This memory was wiped from Nero's mind and as predicted, he became an agent of Vander Guraad, charged with slaughtering Seiya's legion and Sienna and with stealing the Golden Armor. However, the heroes defeat Nero in the season finale, "Phoenix Rising," at a volcanic base, although Shaun makes it clear she'll never abandon her brother. They try to escape with their wounded enemy, although the island falls apart, leaving it unclear who survives.
Nero smiles just before the disaster, warming up to the very people he tried to murder. This hints he's come back to the light side, although it's very clear Shaka will now be hunting him for dishonoring the Phoenix Armor he gained after killing his teacher, not to mention Vander is looking for his former protege and general.
RISE OF THE NEW BLACK KNIGHTS
Late in the season, when Nero tries to steal the Golden Armor, Vander loans him a few Black Knights to help take Seiya out. These are warriors who lost in the previous trials that Sienna oversaw to choose her battalion, the Right Ones. Using data that had already been collected, Vander fitted them with tech-powered suits similar to what the Knights use, making them almost as powerful as the warriors who draw their powers from the constellations strewn across the galaxy.
While these Black Knights are defeated this season, Nero sent data on the Golden Armor to Vander before the finale, so even though the villain didn't get the suit he's been craving since he met the fallen Golden Knight, Aiolis, decades before, he does acquire key intel he needs to improve the Black Knight gear.
Vander's already had his scientists incorporating it into his current army, and since they all have a vendetta against each of Sienna's protectors, it's set to be all-out war as they come for revenge. Of course, the Golden Armor is a top priority, as is the retrieval of Nero, who Vander won't want falling in the wrong hands since he knows so much of his operations.
THE CHAMOS CONSPIRACY
This series kicked off with Seiya trying to find Patricia after Aiolis kidnapped her six years ago to save her from Vander's forces. The protagonist then ended up at Chamos Island, training to become a knight as he was told this was the only way to find his sister by Sienna and her grandad, Alman. The latter was Vander's former business partner and with his whereabouts currently unknown, Sienna's been left to recruit her legion through the Galaxian Wars -- a test of the most righteous warriors.
However, Seiya didn't find this tournament on his own, he was sent there by his own teacher, a masked woman named Marin. She and other mentors such as Shaina trained warriors on Chamos to become elite soldiers so they could be promoted to become knights of Athena. At the end of the season, we see Marin and other mysterious teachers from Chamos surveying the fallout of the battle with Nero and Seiya's posse. However, they're not trying to help potential survivors; they're actually here to ensure the heroes are dead, reaffirming they want the Golden Armor for themselves.
Alman and Sienna were the ones safekeeping it, and since it's already formed a bond with Seiya, Marin is on course to kill her ex-student as she's been playing him all along -- manipulating him to get it for her own cabal. This will pit student against teacher, although Marin and her faculty won't be easy to kill as they're experienced warriors who've basically been training soldiers for Sanctuary. Now, it's apparent they're on a mission to kill Athena too.
Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac stars Bryson Baugus, Emily Neves, Blake Shepard, Patrick Poole, Luci Christian, Adam Gibbs, Masakazu Morita, Fumiko Orikasa, Takahiro Sakurai, Hiroaki Miura, Satomi Sato and Katsuyuki Konishi.