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Knights of the Zodiac Dawns On Cartoon Network

Anime fans, thank your celestial stars, and Cartoon Network for debuting in the U.S. KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC, August 30, at 7:00 pm as part of the network's Saturday evening action programming block. The Japanese futuristic action-adventure series follows the adventures of the mystical Knights of Athena, which was produced originally in Japan in 1986 by Toei Animation, and re-purposed for the U.S. Kaleidoscope Ent. and DIC Ent.

The Knights of Athena, led by Bronze Knight Seiya, draw upon their amazing martial arts skills and mystical powers in order to defeat Phoenix and his Black Knights. The knights draw their special powers from the star constellation represented on their colored armor. They are usually in combat against the most formidable fighters in the universe, as they struggle to return Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, to her rightful throne and assure the peace of the world. Seiya and his knights must fight their way up the chain of precious metals for control of the golden armor of Sagittarius, and the world.

KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC, known in Japan as SAINT SEIYA, is based on the manga by Masami Kurumada that first appeared in SHONEN JUMP.

The designs are appealing; the color palette is bold and practically florescent. The action is constant with lots special effects, but it is the limited, jumpy, kind of key pose animation typical of anime series done two or more decades ago. The main leaders and mentors are female characters while the knights and bad guys are predominantly male, giving all kids characters to identify with. It has a retro rock theme song, I Ran, performed by Bowling For Soup. Music was composed by Mike Piccirillo and Jean-Michel Guirado.

Exec producers are Marshall Kesten and Randy Zalken while DIC exec producers are Andy Heyward and Mike Maliani. The producer is Paul McConvey. Other animation credits include: animation director, Noboyoshi Sasakado; background director, Tadao Kubota; story editor, John Loy; exec in charge of story and development, Eric Lewald; series director, Kozo Morishita; production manager,Hiroshi Takeda and character design, Shingo Araki. Post-production and the main title are by Hyper Image, while sound editorial services are done at Super Sonics Prods. Sound recording/mixing services are by Wanted! Post Production, Inc.

The U.S. version is voice directed by Dan Hennessey and cast by Joanne Boreham.

Cartoon Network, ( seen in 83 million U.S. homes and 145 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.'s 24-hour animation channel.