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Lyra Orphée



is a character from the Saint Seiya manga series, authored by Masami Kurumada, and later adapted to anime. He was introduced by Kurumada in the Hades arc of the manga, and is based on the Greek mythological character of the same name. While he is officially recognized as a Silver Saint, it is stated that his Cosmo surpasses even those of Gold Saints. In the Encyclopedia Taizen, Orphée is cited as a mighty warrior whose power may also equal all of Hades' Three Kyoutos (judges).

Techniques

"Death Trip Serenade": Here, he uses a requiem to send his opponents to sleep for ten days, or well into eternal somnolence.

"Stringer Nocturne": This deadly attack uses the strings of his lyre to send electric shocks through his opponent. thus, trapping the opponent in "A Night-time spiral which leads to death"

"Stringer Fine": The last of Orphée's Melodies. Similar to Benetnasch Mime's String Requiem, Here, the lyre's strings trap and shred anything of Orphée's choosing.

Reincarnation?

Orphee was introduced by Masami Kurumada in vol.23 of his manga, and later in episode 129 of the anime.

Although it is not explicitedly stated that Lyra Orphée and the Orpheus of Greek mythologies are one and the same, though their respective stories occurred in different timelines. It can generally be assumed that the Silver Saint is, at least, the reincarnation of the tragic Greek character. Both men share the same exceptional musical talent, and both men have loved and lost a woman by the name of Eurydice.

The Legendary Silver Saint

Lyra Orphée was not only a music virtuoso, but he was skilled as a Saint as well. His control of the Cosmo was so great that he gained the reputation of being on or above the level of Gold Saints- a reputation that even a lower ranking Bronze Saint like Seiya was aware of. Nevertheless, Orphée never felt all that interested in his fighting abilities; rather, he enjoyed devoting his free time playing lyre for various audiences, from the Grand Pope and the Gold Saints, to Eurydice, the love of his life.

Life & Death With Eurydice

Just like the Orpheus of Greek mythologies, Lyra Orphée, too, loved and lost a woman by the name of Eurydice. To him, she was a vision of loveliness with an angelic personality, and the main reason for his existence. Sadly, their happiness did not last long, and Eurydice would become the victim of a deadly snake bite. So much was his burning love for Eurydice, that he decided to tempt death itself. Orphée then vowed to either persuade Hades, the Lord of the Underworld, to revive her soul, or he would remain in the Underworld and accompany her in the depths of hell for all eternity.

Upon meeting Hades, Lyra Orphée played his lyre, and even the cold, misanthropic Greek God of Death could not resist the tragic melody, which reminded him of the beauty of humanity that he felt mankind had lost. Hades agreed to allow Eurydice to resume her life among the living so long as Orphée fulfilled one specification: That he must put his faith in the Greek God and not once turn back to check on Eurydice as they exit the world of the dead to the land of the living. Failure to comply would result in Eurydice becoming permanently attached to the otherworld. Orphée accepted the reasonable proposition, and the two began their journey home.

Pandora, faithful right-hand woman of Hades (later on, revealed to be the caretaker and "sister" of Andromeda Shun, whose body was to be used as a vessel for Hades' soul), was also in audience to Orphée's performance, and noted the Silver Saint's abilities could be very useful; after all, not even the darkest of Gods was able to resist his music. Thus, she devised a plan to trick Orphée into remaining in the Underworld, and ordered Sphinx Pharaoh, a Spectre, to carry it out. At this point, Orphée and Eurydice were getting closer and closer home. Suddenly, a bright circular light greeted them, and the Silver Saint naturally assumed it to be the glow of the sun. As he turned back to rejoice with Eurydice, he was shocked to find 80% of her body transforming into stone. Realizing what he had done, Orphée dropped to his knees in anguish, his heart heavy with sorrow and his eyes full of tears. The bright light faded, and so did his chance to bring back his lost lover to life.

The Silver Saint would keep his word and remain in the Underworld, decorating the spot where Eurydice stood with beautiful flowers- a rarity found only in the glorious Elysium fields. As gratitude to the kindness that Hades displayed, he swore allegiance to the Death God, and played for him at the palace once every thirteen days. On Earth, the Grand Pope and the other Saints of Athena assumed the Lyra Saint must have died after years of being absent without permission. Orphée would not be seen again until years later, when Pegasus Seiya and Andromeda Shun invaded the Underworld in the holy war against Hades.

Rivalry with Sphinx Pharaoh

A musician himself, Sphinx Pharaoh was no doubt Orphée's fated rival: Not only was he the one who gladly destroyed Eurydice's second chance at life, but he also strongly considered himself to be the superior musician. Before Hades met Orphée, Pharaoh was the sole musician of the Underworld, and the one appointed to entertain the god. Once Orphée had proven himself to Hades, however, Pharaoh fell out of favor and was largely forgotten. This sparked a bitter resentment from the Spectre that would ultimately end in a decisive confrontation between both men.

When Orphée discovered the truth that Pharaoh was responsible for creating the artificial bright light with the aid of Pandora's mirror, the Silver Saint dropped his loyalty to Hades and challenged the Spectre to a fight to the death. Sphinx accepted, and almost immediately went after the G string in Orphée's lyre, the source of the Saint's attacks. However, Orphée was able to improvise, and managed to reflect Pharaoh's deadly attack back at him. At the same time, Orphée found himself in tears from finally acknowledging fate, the idea that flowers, stars, human, and all life on this world only live once, and that it was wrong to temper with fate and forcefully keep someone alive. Humans only live and die once, the main reason why life was so beautiful and unique. Eurydice wept, happy that her love was finally able to acknowledge fate and redeem himself as a true Saint of Athena.

Pharaoh asked him what he would do now, and Orphée replied that he would fight to defeat Hades, as a true Saint of Athena would. Pharaoh, realizing Orphée was going to attack him, quickly prepared himself. Unfortunately, the strings on his instrument was broken by Orphée, and he saw that the Silver Saint played the song by holding the broken G string with his teeth. Pharaoh was quickly defeated, and Orphée exchanged goodbyes with Eurydice one last time, both of them happy for Orphée's redemption.

Regaining Sainthood

Immediately after killing Sphinx Pharaoh, Lyra Orphée joined Pegasus Seiya and Andromeda Shun in their quest to defeat Hades. Orphée devised a plot with the two Bronze Saints to attack Hades. As luck would have it, the day happened to be the 13th day where Orphée and the God were scheduled to meet. Hiding the two bronze saints inside a large metal case of flowers, Orphée traveled to the palace and prepared the show. If all went well, Hades and Pandora would become hyponotized by his music, and that was when all three saints would strike.

Before he could even touch his lyre, however, the 3 Judges of Hell suddenly made their presence known. Pandora announced that she had summoned them as part of the audience, meaning Orphée had miscalculated. The Silver Saint revised his scheme to include the Judges in the hypnotization, and began to play. All appeared to have went well, and everyone sat quietly in their seats, hypnotized. Orphée stopped playing and prepared to attack Hades- until he found a beam of energy piercing a large hole from his back through his chest. Wyvern Rhadamanthys stood before Orphée, and revealed that he hadn't bothered listening to the melody; he had long suspected that the Silver Saint would soon revert to Athena due to the current holy war, and Orphée finally proved him correct. At this point, Seiya and Shun jumped out of the metal case to Orphée's defense.

Despite the fatal wound, Orphée still managed to carry on his plan to kill Hades. Much to his shock and disbelief, he found a familiar face seated at the throne of Hades: The Andromeda Bronze Saint. Yet, at the same time, the real Shun was still fighting by Seiya's side! Setting aside the confusion he felt, Orphée continued his game plan and charged after Hades. Distracted by other two Bronze Saints, Rhadamanthys was unable to protect his King as he watched the Lyra Saint decapitate and tear Hades' body into pieces. Unfortunately for Orphée, the body was a mere illusion of the Death God.

The wound on Orphée's chest proved too much for the Silver Saint to continue battling, and, with his last dying moments, Orphée sacrificed his body to give Seiya a good shot at Rhadamanthys. Seiya reluctantly threw his Pegasus Ryusei Ken at both Rhadamanthys and the fatally injured Lyra Saint. Orphée succumbed to his massive injuries shortly after. With his last breath, Orphée entrusted the life of Athena to the two young Bronze Saints and whispered the name of his lost lover, Eurydice, for they would be finally be reunited again. Content at last, the Silver Saint of Lyra closed his eyes for the final time, dying as a loyal Saint and as a true lover.

Similar, But Not The Same As:

Ghost Saint Lyra Orpheus

The character who bears almost the same name and appeared in the first Saint Seiya motion picture is not the same person as the Silver Saint of the Hades chapter. The Orpheus of the movie is slimmer, has darker hair, and dons a slightly altered version of the Lyra Cloth. He also uses a technique by the name of "Stringer Requiem", which entangles his opponent with the strings of his lyre and leaves his victim at his mercy. Lastly, it is generally accepted that the Orpheus of the movie is far weaker than the Orphée of the Hades chapter, as he was defeated by a single attack in his battle with Phoenix Ikki.

God Warrior Benetnasch (Eta) Mime

Appears in the Asgard chapter of the anime, and thus an anime-only character. Benetnasch Mime's appearance is identical to Lyra Orpheus of the Saint Seiya movie, except for color alterations (Mime sports blonde/orange hair and a red/dark orange god robe) and a rougher armor design. His attack is "Stringer Requiem" as well, although Mime proved to be far more versatile and capable with the technique than movie Orpheus was. And just like his movie twin, Mime's opponent was initially Andromeda Shun, then Phoenix Ikki after the bronze saint arrived to save his brother in a critical moment.

Unlike either Orpheus of the movie or the Orphée of the Hades chapter, however, Mime was depicted as a fairly cynical and misanthropic character. His disgust for mankind and philosophy on the value of human life stemmed from circumstances surrounding his tragic past. As a result, Mime is often praised as one of the more fleshed out characters of the series, even though he was not created by the original manga-ka. His popularity is also boosted by the fact that he came close to defeating Ikki -- a rare feat. Though Ikki ultimately won the fight, he fell unconscious to the brink of death moments after Mime died.

Notes

  • In his manga, Kurumada gave Orphée blonde hair. In the anime adaptation, it was modified to light blue to achieve a better color balance.
  • Although Masami Kurumada based his design of Lyra Orphée on his previous design of Lyra Orpheus, the Ghost Saint appearing in the first Saint Seiya movie, they are not the same person. Considering that the events in the first movie are non-canonical to Kurumada's true manga plot, Lyra Orphée is thus the true incarnation of the Lyra Saint.
  • While the character is indeed based on Orpheus from the Greek mythology, Kurumada gave him the French form of the name, , probably in reference to Cocteau's movie, Orphée.
  • Kurumada created the original design of the Orpheus that appeared in the movie as well.
  • Although Phoenix Ikki served as the final opponent for both movie Orpheus and Mime, he does not encounter canon Orphée at all during the course of the Hades saga. Andromeda Shun, however, has met all three incarnations of the character, and owes defeat to both movie Orpheus and Benetnasch Mime. Canon Orphée served as the final factor that drove Shun into becoming possessed by Hades.
  • The lyre music for both movie Orpheus and Benetnasch Mime is the same, while new music was produced for canon Orphée in the anime.
  • It is unknown whether or not movie Orpheus had a love similar to Eurydice at that moment; however, it may seem unlikely since the movie implied that he had spent quite an amount of time in fiery Hell before his resurrection.
  • After his death, his body was thrown into Cocytus with Seiya, as stated by Pandora. It is unknown were his body remains in Cocytus, or if Athena's cosmo reached and revived him. This is unlikely.

References

  • Saint Seiya manga, vols. 23, 24, by Masami Kurumada.

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