None, wielded by the Goddess Athena
Athena's Cloth is the Cloth of Athena, Goddess of War and Wisdom, and a main character in Saint Seiya, Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas, Saint Seiya: Next Dimension, and Saint Seiya: Omega, and background character of Saint Seiya: Episode G. It is the most powerful of Cloths, being the Cloth of the Goddess Athena, with only the Bronze Cloths that have reached God Cloth status approaching it.
Mythology: Athena's Statue
Athena's Cloth was kept in the form of a statue in Sanctuary, resembling or perhaps even being the original Athena Parthenos statue made by Greek sculptor Pheidias, and held in the Parthenon, a renowned temple to Athena. The original had long ago went missing from the original temple, and might have even been moved to Sanctuary. In the Hades Arc, it is revealed to be the dormant form of Athena's Cloth, which had to be awakened by her own blood, taking the form of a pocket-sized, gold version of itself. It returned to its original size once on Athena, deep within the Elysian Fields.
Equipment: The Mightiest Weapon and Shield
Nike, Goddess of Victory
Nike was the winged Goddess of Victory, brought to the Gods with her siblings by their mother, Styx. This was during the time of the great war between the Gods and the Titans. Nike became a close acquaintance with Athena, perhaps due to her being both Goddess of War and Wisdom. This connection was depicted in the Statue of Athena at the Parthenon, where she stood in Athena's right hand. In the similar statue at Sanctuary, it was taken by Gold Saint Sagittarius Aioros along with the baby Athena. The statue of Nike was altered into the Golden Staff that Athena always carried in her right hand, perhaps combining with her Cosmo to ensure the victory of her Saints.
Heavenly Shield Aegis
The Aegis was a mythological item, forged by Hephaestus, and worn by either Athena or Zeus. In depictions of art, it is a goatskin cloth adorned with gold, and the head of a gorgon woven in. It can also refer to a shield, as with the shield of the Statue of Athena from the Parthenon. The Aegis showed an ability, in Saint Seiya, to cleanse beings, like removing the evil from Gemini Saga, and removing the arrow embedded in Athena's breast. Aside from such abilities, it would be the mightiest of shields, having been forged in the days of myth for the use of gods, Athena and Zeus specifically.
Classic: Travel-Sized Armor
Athena's Cloth is revealed to exist during the attack on Sanctuary by the Specters. The former Pope, Shion returns from the dead, seemingly at Hades' side, but actually returned to revive Athena's Cloth. It is revealed the statue at Athena's Temple is the Cloth, and needed Athena's Blood to be revived. When it is given her blood, the statue shrinks down to a small, golden statuette. The Bronze Saints delivered the statuette to Athena, the Cloth freeing her from the Urn she was sealed in. Athena's Cloth proved to be among the most powerful of all Cloths, not taking a single scratch from Hades' attacks.
Episode G: Glorified Paperweight
In Saint Seiya: Episode G, Athena's Cloth remains in statue form (minus Nike) with no one living knowing of it's true identity. With Saori only being a small child at this point, and not knowing that she is the current incarnation of Athena, it is unlikely that the Cloth ever saw any real action during the series. Despite that, a design was made for it.
Lost Canvas/Next Dimension: Previous War
During the events of Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas, Athena's Cloth is in it's traditional place as a statue, waiting for the blood of Athena. It isn't given Sasha's blood, but the blood of the human Athena before her. Libra Dohko took the Cloth, and delivered it to Athena, who wore it, despite being weakened. Saint Seiya: Next Dimension sees Saori Kido arrive in the past as an infant, becoming the Athena of the previous Holy War. It's unknown if she'll wear her modern day Cloth, or if she'll wear the past version once she returns to her proper age.
Next Dimension: Bad Timing
Having defeated Hades at the end of the Original Series, Athena first appears in Saint Seiya: Next Dimension without her Cloth on, caring for the injured Seiya. She donned her Cloth wore it to lead Shun through Mount Olympus. It remains unscathed during her interactions with Hecate, Witch of the Moon, and Artemis, Goddess of the Moon, as she tries to find a way to save Seiya from Hades' curse. Seeking a solution, Hecate guides Athena to meet the God of Time, Chronos. Chronos damages her Cloth, and sends the Aegis cascading through time, not recognizing her at first. While reluctant at first, Chronos agrees to send her back in time with a few stipulations, and a rather deceptive trick. While she is sent to the previous Holy War while wearing it, she arrives as a baby, without it.
With Saint Seiya: Omega being a sequel to the events of the Anime, Athena still has access to her Cloth, and uses it to fight against Mars during the events leading up to the beginning of the series. While she uses it quite successfully during her initial fights, she is later cursed by Mars' darkness, and unable to burn her Cosmo without risking her life. After she is rescued, Athena is bonded to the Goddess Pallas, who is draining her powers dry; this prevents her from being able to fight properly, and has gradually weakened her too much to join in the battle against the Pallasites, leaving her armor as little more than a decorative statue.
Cloth Design: Athena's Cloth- Unrivaled by Man
Classic Manga: Statuesque
This is the Cloth of Athena, Goddess of War and Wisdom. For many years, it was not known that the Statue of Athena in Sanctuary was her Cloth in a dormant state. Athena's blood was required to awaken the Cloth from its slumber. Once every 243 years, when the next Holy War began, and Athena was reborn, she would have to awaken it once more. The Cloth covers almost all of her body, outside of her hair, with the strongest defense of the Cloths. It also has the shield forged in Olympus, Aegis, and the Goddess of Victory, Nike, in the form of a weapon: a Golden Staff. It is unknown if it had ever been altered prior, or damaged, outside of Nike taking the form of a Golden Staff. Among all of the designs Kurumada had done in the original manga, Athena's Cloth was by far the most ornate, detailed one. Every bit of it screamed hard work; even just the Nike Staff or the Aegis stand out with amazing carved in patterns, the body itself was fully covering, and every inch was Kurumada giving his all at his peak. In addition to the detail, it shined as if it were made of solid gold. The body is one solid piece, from the large shoulder guards, down the chestplate, and into a dress of metal strips that can move as need be, connected to ornate pelvic armor. The main body itself is connected to two large metallic wings, perhaps useable for flight, like Seiya did with his Cloth. Separate from the main body is the Helmet, covering most of the head, and with a movable visor; it also has a long strip of metal at the top. The arms and legs are separate pieces that cover most of the remainder of her body, leaving few unguarded places. The mask that makes up her face on the statue is slid into the body, to conceal it. The Cloth was last seen in the Original Manga as Athena dealt the final blow to Hades, killing him.
Hades Elyseum OVA: Ultimate Defense...Zero Mobility
Athena finally got her chance to fight in a Cloth during the events of the Hades OVAs. Even Athena's Cloth wasn't immune to the anime tradition of simplified designs for ease of animation, but even still, it does look quite nice; the main flaw is the color choice (not golden enough) and the loss of texture to the details, which really made the original design look gorgeous. Still, many of the actual designs are left intact, even if they are a bit more flat. Sadly, this design had a very short run before the OVA ended, with Hades having fallen.
Episode G: Ms. Not Appearing In This Manga
This is how Athena's Cloth would look in Saint Seiya: Episode G, if it were actually used. Athena's blood was required to awaken the Cloth from it's slumber, but at the time, nobody knew Athena's Cloth even existed; even though Athena had been reborn, she was too young to fight, and didn't know her Cloth was here. The Episode G method proves as effective as ever here, Athena's Cloth looking quite good with all the extra ornate details fit for the armor of a Goddess; sadly, it seems this was just a design that the artist chose to do, not one that actually appeared in series. The coloring is especially well done, and every inch of the Cloth seems to have some sort of pattern on it. The addition of multiple plates on the torso and the slimming down of the design do give it an element of it's own.
Lost Canvas Manga: Lead Weight Without Power
In the 1700s, Sasha is the incarnation of Athena who dons Athena's Cloth. This design is from Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas' manga. With the death of the Pope, the knowledge of it's existence is lost until Dohko is given the answer by the Gemini Saint. Given that the Nike Staff is first shown in the future, it's unclear if this is always the shape Nike takes during battles, or if Shiori was just influenced by Kurumada's work. Shiori's not normally one to break tradition; Athena's Cloth is mostly the same as Kurumada's original design, albeit in her own style. It retains many of the same details that made the original design so well loved, and had that trademark flowing feel that she gave to wings on a Cloth; that same feel seems to be on the skirt of the Cloth, as it doesn't look nearly as rigid as the original one. Athena's Cloth saw the end of the previous Holy War, as Sasha managed to come out on top.
Lost Canvas Anime: From Opening With Love
This is the design we would have seen for Athena's Cloth in the anime adaptation of Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas, if it had actually gotten that far. Currently, the OVAs have only covered just shy of the first half of the story. The very small amount of time we see Athena's Cloth in the opening, it seems to match Shiori's style, albeit with less detail and no real texture or depth. Also, the use of white in some parts of the Cloth was a bit of a strange choice. The Cloth was never actually seen in anime to the point where it ended.
Next Dimension: The Immovable Dress
Athena continued to wear her Cloth in Saint Seiya: Next Dimension, as she lead Andromeda Shun to Mount Olympus, in order to save Pegasus Seiya. Despite the Cloth's renowned durability and strength, Chronos, the God of Time, is able to damage and seemingly remove the Aegis, sending it through time. Her Cloth also takes damage, but disappears after Athena travels back in time, her body reverted back to infancy. While the whereabouts of the modern Cloth are unknown, the previous version still sits in Sanctuary, in the form of the statue in Athena's Temple, not yet awakened by Athena's blood. Kurumada retains much of the detail you would expect, and even makes the Cloth shine, but this is during a time when he was getting used to drawing the series again, so he was not quite back at his prime yet; still, Athena's Cloth looks quite good, especially in color.
Omega: The Power of Flashbacks
The last time Athena seemed to use her Cloth was during the events of Saint Seiya: Omega. Fighting against Mars, the God of War, she dawned her Cloth and lead the Bronzes into battle, with Seiya in the Sagittarius Gold Cloth. With her power, she was easily able to overpower Mars' four most powerful Marsians, sealing away their power. The fight wasn't over yet, however, as Medea sent down a great power of darkness to help Mars win. Athena was able to hold back the power, but some of it came into contact with a baby who would be called Kouga. The design is reminiscent of the one used in the Hades OVA for Elyseum, in that it is a simplified version of the original design. Despite being a powerful asset, Athena's Cloth is not seen again, as Mars held her prisoner on the planet Mars for much of the early season, and now Pallas is draining Athena's power from her, leaving her too weak to fight.
Special Abilities of the Cloth of Athena
The Nike Staff, of which Saori Kido had since the beginning of the series, is another form of the statue of the Goddess Nike from Athena's Cloth. She can release her Cosmo from it, or put her Cosmo in the staff to make it a dangerous weapon, but it seems to have the affect of granting her loyal Saints victory even against nigh impossible foes, and even lets them grant miracles, on occasion.
The Aegis is a shield that was kept with the Statue of Athena at Sanctuary, and Athena's only hope when the arrow of Silver Saint Sagitta Ptolemy was piercing her chest, towards her heart. Not even a Gold Saint, nor, as they learned, the false Pope, could remove the arrow with their power. The light of the mighty shield was able to cleanse Gemini Saga's soul of evil, and remove the arrow from Athena's body. Likely, it is also even stronger than her Cloth at taking damage, which is already nigh invulnerable. That said, even the Aegis isn't invincible; the power of Chronos, God of Time, was able to severely damage the Aegis, before sending it through space and time.
- Saint Seiya – "Chapter 079: Athena's Cloth"
- Saint Seiya – "Chapter 094: The Deadly Battle in Cocytus"
- Saint Seiya – "Chapter 106: The Legendary God Cloths!"
- Saint Seiya: Next Dimension – "Part 14: Bracelet of Flowers"
- Saint Seiya: Next Dimension – "Part 15: The Temple of the Moon"
- Saint Seiya: Next Dimension – "Part 16: As Long As Love Exists"
- Saint Seiya: Next Dimension – "Part 17: Lascoumoune"
- Saint Seiya: Next Dimension – "Part 18: Immortal Bird"
- Saint Seiya: Next Dimension – "Part 19: The Gate to Time and Space"
- Saint Seiya: Next Dimension – "Part 20: Athena's Birth"
- Saint Seiya: Next Dimension – "Part 66: Cancer's tragedy" (Flashback)