- Occupation: Bronze Saint of Athena
- Constellation: Andromeda
- Armour: Andromeda Bronze Cloth, Virgo Gold Cloth
- Age: 13
- Birthday: September 9th
- Birthplace: Japan
- Trained at: Andromeda Island
- Trained by: Cepheus Albiore (anime), Cepheus Daidalos (manga)
- Height: 165cm
- Weight: 51kg
- Blood type: A
- Related characters: Ikki (elder brother), Juné (love interest), Albiore/Daidalos (mentor), Mitsumasa Kido (father) Hades (possessor)
- Seiyuu: Ryo Horikawa (original - Hades: Sanctuary, Tenkai-Hen), Yûta Kazuya (Hades: Inferno)
Andromeda Shun (アンドロメダ星座の瞬) is one of five main characters in the popular manga/anime, Saint Seiya. He is arguably one of the strongest characters in the series, although his gentle disposition and kind nature tend to hold him back from using his full power. Shun is also the younger brother of Phoenix Ikki, a fellow bronze saint.
Not In a Galaxy Far, Far Away
"Shun" (瞬) translates to "Twinkle " or "An Instant", which is a play to the fact that the Andromeda chains can often instantly sense nearby enemies. It may also allude to the dual nature of his techniques, many of which are simultaneously offensive and defensive.
The Saint of Andromeda
Perhaps the most reluctant of the bronze saints, Shun is the official Bronze Saint of the Andromeda constellation. He is a merciful soul by nature, and a firm believer in solving problems without causing bloodshed. This creates a sharp contrast between himself and the rest of the saints -- whereas they will not hesitate to battle when the situation demands it, Shun only allows himself to fight if it's an absolute necessity.
The Andromeda Saint easily has the most varied techniques among his bronze peers, thanks to the legendary chains that come equipped with the cloth.
Allows Shun to arrange the chains of his cloth however he pleases. At the most basic, the "Nebula Chain" is a straight-forward attack where the chains rapidly slice and wrap themselves around the enemy.
Later in the series, as special measures to defeat the Marine Sea General, Skylla Io, Shun is able to manipulate his chains to various forms. They are:
- "Spider Net": When attacked with Io's "Queen Bee", Shun shaped his chains into an intricate web to combat the insect's potent stinger.
- "Casting Net": Io retorted with the "Eagle" form, and Shun fought accordingly by alter his chains into a giant net that engulfed the speedy predator bird.
- "Spiral Duct": When Io challenged Shun with the "Serpant", Shun reforms the chains into a spiraling drill which wraps itself upon the venomous snake, rendering it immobile.
- "Boomerang Shot": Io countered Shun with his "Vampire Bat", touting that the Andromeda would be unable to capture it. Instead, the bronze saint hurled his triangle chain in a manner befitting of a boomerang, and smashed the preying mammal to pieces.
- "Wild Trap": Still unsatisfied, Io unleashed the "Wolf" part of his arsenal. In response, Shun twisted his chains to form a snare, effectively seizing the hunter.
- "Great Capture": Io's "Grizzly Bear" was the last of his six divine beasts. The Andromeda surrounded both chains upon the bear via a vice, capturing the mighty creature.
A defensive attack that links directly to Shun's cosmos. It entangles the foe with streams of the Andromeda cosmos in attempt to paralyze them. As Shun becomes more determined to use his true power, the stream will eventually transfigure into the "Nebula Storm" technique.
By the time Shun has chosen to execute the "Nebula Storm," his cloth and chains are abandoned (either voluntarily or destroyed by his opponent) to allow him full access to his cosmos. The attack is dispelled as a single burst from the summit of Shun's cosmos. Because of its destructive nature, Shun will only use it as a last resort.
The "Rolling Defense" is a simple defensive technique that utilizes Shun's chains in one of two ways: he will either twirl the chains around himself to create a barrier, or set them on the ground to mimick a circular web -- this was later named the "Circle Defense." In web mode, the chains construct a distance between himself and the opponent, and will discharge energy volts or simply slash the enemy if they attempt to enter the field.
An technique where Shun utilizes the chains to search for an opponent's whereabouts. It is stated that the chains are not bound by the limits of distance, and will seek for eternity until it has secured the target.
The Chains of Andromeda
The chains from the Andromeda cloth are said to be the very same chains used to tied the mythological character in her legend. The chains are legendary for their durability as well as defensive nature, and have only been completely shattered several times. They are also renowned for their great length, as they can be extended far enough to reach light years away.
The Gold Cloth of Virgo
As Shun was born under the astrological constellation of Virgo, he has the privilege of donning the gold cloth in times of crisis. This was shown when he and his fellow bronze saints (also wearing gold cloths each) battled the God of Death, Thanatos.
Notable People & Events
The Bronze Saints
In the anime, Shun's only blood relative is his other brother, Ikki of the Phoenix constellation. Because of Shun's delicate nature, Ikki was very protective of him when they were children -- even to the point of accepting a fate worse than death. When the Graude Foundation decided to send their orphans to train for sainthood, Shun unluckily drew Death Queen Island as his training camp -- a place notorious for its zero survival rate. Ikki refused to allow his brother to die, and immediately volunteered to take his place. When Shun drew again, he received Andromeda Island.
In the manga, Shun's half brothers are Seiya of the Pegasus, Shiryu of the Dragon, Hyoga of the Cygnus, as well as the rest of the other 100 orphans in the Foundation. Ikki remains as the only brother with whom he shares both identical parents with.
Shun also grew particularly close with Cygnus Hyoga during their mission to retake Sanctuary. When Hyoga was found on the blink of death, Shun offered to help jump-start the Cygnus Saint's cosmos by burning all of his own -- knowing full well that he could die if he lost just the tiniest of control. Hyoga was eventually revived, and became especially moved by Shun's display of friendship.
Juné & The Cepheus Saint
Juné of the Chameleon is a bronze saint he met and trained together with during his days on Andromeda Island. When news of Seiya, Shiryu, Hyoga, and Shun's decision to challenge Sanctuary broke through the world of saints, Juné took off from Andromeda Island on her own to persuade Shun to change his mind -- half out of concern for Shun, and half because their master had just been murdered by a gold saint.
When Shun first arrived on Andromeda Island for training, he hadn't realized the tough conditions of Andromeda Island until he had "died 15 times." His master (Silver Saint Daidalos in the manga; Silver Saint Albiore in the anime) was strict and appeared unemotional, and the blistering 105º heat of the hot desert was unrelenting.
Juné, a fellow trainee, took pity on Shun and urged him to drop the training. Shun, however, refused -- after all, his older brother had been subjected to a fate worse than death because of him, and thus, Shun absolutely must return to Japan with the Andromeda Cloth.
Soon enough, Shun made a request to his master to put him in the ultimate test -- chain him to a rock in the seas (mirroring the legend of Andromeda) and leave him be. If Shun managed to escape, then it will be known that he is truly worthy of the cloth, and a new bronze saint will be born. If not, Shun will drown. This final test was known as "The Sacrifice."
With Ikki and the Bronze Cloth of Andromeda as encouragement, Shun finally allowed himself to release the cosmos within him. After freeing himself from the rock, the Andromeda Cloth immediately recognized Shun as its new owner.
Before returning to Japan, Shun approached his master to offer words of gratitude for the past six years of training. During their conversation, the Cepheus Saint curiously pointed out that when Shun manifested his cosmos during "The Sacrifice," it did not feel like it was his first time. Smiling, Shun revealed that his master's intuition was correct; that Shun had actually suppressed his true power all of this time. The Andromeda Saint then offered his master a glimpse of his hidden cosmos, and the Cepheus Saint was left amazed.
The Gold Saint of Pisces
When Shun and Seiya approached the final temple of the gold saints, Shun made an odd request that Seiya continue moving to the next room, while he stayed behind to battle the gold saint. Seiya complied and moved on ahead.
As the battle began between Aphrodite and Shun, it is revealed that this gold saint was the man responsible for the assassination of Shun's master, the Silver Saint of Cepheus. Aphrodite himself barely remembered the incident, but Shun still demanded vengeance.
This fight was arguably one of Shun's toughest, as he was forced to heighten his cosmos to the highest point for his "Nebula Storm" attack. The Andromeda Saint eventually succeeded in landing the death blow, but not without a price -- one of Aphrodite's deadly Royal Demon Roses latched itself into Shun's heart, and began to drain his blood as the bronze saint fell to the floor from fatigue.
Unlike Seiya and Ikki, Shun and Saori Kido's relationship is founded on mutual respect and call of duty. Saori is the goddess that Shun, as a saint, must serve to protect. On the same token, Saori respects Shun as one of her saints and regards him as a friend outside of sainthood.
After defeating the Sea General Skylla Io, Shun's next opposition was Lymandes Caça, an opponent who did not hesitate to use underhanded tactics to secure a victory. Caça was capable of reading an enemy's mind to scour for the most important figure in that person's life, then physically transform his appearance to a spitting image of said figure. By the time Shun encountered Caça, the general had already defeated Cygnus Hyoga and [[Seiya}Pegasus Seiya]], respectively, by impersonating Aquarius Camus and Aquila Marin.
At first, Caça approached Shun as his Phoenix Ikki, who had disappeared after the events of the twelve temple epic battle in Sanctuary (or, alternatively, versus the God Warriors in Asgard within the anime canon). Ecstatic that his sibling was apparently alive and well, Shun let his guard down for a minute - until the impostor suddenly attempted to strike. Fortunately, the chains of Andromeda had remained alert and blocked the near fatal attack, and Shun realized that the man before him was not Ikki at all. Caça reverted to his true form, but insisted that Shun was still susceptible to his illusion even if he knew the truth behind it. To prove his point, the Lymnades General once again resumed Ikki's appearance and attacked the Andromeda Saint, wounding the boy due to a second's hesitation on the latter's part. Berating Caça's lack of morals, Shun declared that he would defeat the general out of respect for humanity. The bronze saint unleashed his "Nebula Chains" at his opponent with the razor sharp triangular end aiming for Caça's head. Screaming and yelling with Ikki's voice, Caça pleaded for his life - and, ultimately, he was successful. It seems that, even knowing the true identity behind the fake Ikki, Shun could not bring himself to kill someone who looked exactly like his missing elder brother, after all. The young man pulled back his chains and dropped to the ground, sobbing at his own personal failure. Caça stood tall above the bronze saint, laughing at his weakness and vulnerability. He quickly attacked with a quick blow of the "Salamander Shock" technique, defeating Shun once and for all.
Just as Caça was about to decapitate a barely conscious Shun, the real Ikki arrived and turned the tides of the battle around. Caça attempted his tricks on the Phoenix, this time borrowing the Andromeda's form. The cynical and much wiser Ikki saw through the illusion, however, and struck the Lymnades' chest with a piercing blow. As Caça fell to the stone pavement, the Phoenix Saint explained that he was unfazed by the false form because the real Shun was lying on the ground himself, merely a few feet away.
Incarnation of Hades
In one of the biggest plot twists of the series, Shun is revealed to be the human incarnation of Hades, God of the Underworld, in the same way Saori Kido is Athena, Goddess of War & Wisdom, and Julian Solo is Poseidon, Lord of the Seas. Although Shun himself was initially unaware of this fact, the soul of Hades became dominant once Shun lost the childhood pendant that bounded his body with the god's, and the soul was fully released when the sadness from Lyra Orphée's death overcame him.
Not long after, the new Hades is confronted by Shun's older brother, Phoenix Ikki. Ikki believed that Shun's soul was still inside somewhere, and he was soon proven correct. With one hand strangling the throat of his own body (and thus, Hades's), Shun urged Ikki to mercilessly destroy him while the opportunity was fresh. Ikki was moved by Shun's willingness to sacrifice himself, as it proved that he truly was born to be the Saint of Andromeda.
Unfortunately, Ikki hesitated and pulled back his fist at the last second. Shun's temporary hold was lost, and Hades reclaimed the saint's body once more. With the God of the Underworld back in command, the Phoenix was swiftly dealt with.
Eventually, it took the boiling blood of Athena herself to separate Hades from Shun's body once and for all. When Shun awoke moments later, he once again donned the Andromeda Cloth and was ready to return to action.
Bark at the Moon
Some time after the Holy War against Hades, Shun found himself reunited with Saori Kido and Seiya. The Pegasus Saint had, unfortunately, fallen victim to a curse struck by Hades that would lead to his death if not properly treated. Saori, donning the Kamui of Athena, traveled to the moon where her sister goddess Artemis resided. Shun met up with her half way and served as her bodyguard against the servants and warriors of Artemis. Eventually, they discovered that the best way to remove Hades' sword would be to travel to the past war of the 1700's and destroy it from existence there. Once the two had successfully arrived into the past, the Andromeda would become separated from his goddess. Currently, he is attempting to relocate her, and had met up with Seiya's past reincarnation along the way.
Evolution of the Andromeda Cloth
Along with his comrads, Shun's bronze cloth has changed shape several times throughout the series. The manga and anime both parallel each other in terms of the Andromeda Cloth's evolution (although, it should be noted that the cloth received one extra repair in the anime; however, it did not change shape after it):
- When Gold Saint Shaka of the Virgo Constellation revived it using his own blood.
- When the former Pope Shion of the Ares Constellation rejuvenated it with Athena's fresh blood during the beginning of the Hades arc.
- When Shun summoned his cosmos to protect his older brother Ikki from a would-be-fatal blow by Hypnos, the God of Sleep.
Episode G Bronze Saints: Retsu
Gigantomachia Bronze Saints: Yurij
Notes & Trivia
- In the series itself, Shun was initially depicted as very popular among the female attendants of the Galaxian Wars tournament. This is perhaps also true in real life, as Shun is among one of the most popular characters among many female fanbases.
- Due to the fact that his armor is pink and the design appears to include a breast plate, most newcomers to the series will often mistake Shun for a female.
- A popular joke among Saint Seiya fandom is that in every movie, Phoenix Ikki will always arrive just in time to save Shun from certain death.
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Episode G Bronze Saints: Retsu
Gigantomachia Bronze Saints: Yurij