The Seven Deadly Sins (anime)

The Seven Deadly Sins (anime)

img_4802.jpgIn a world similar to the European Middle Ages, the feared yet revered Holy Knights of Britannia use immensely powerful magic to protect the region of Britannia and its kingdoms. However, a small subset of the Knights supposedly betrayed their homeland and turned their blades against their comrades in an attempt to overthrow the ruler of Liones. They were defeated by the Holy Knights, but rumours continued to persist that these legendary knights, called the “Seven Deadly Sins,” were still alive. Ten years later, the Holy Knights themselves staged a coup d’état, and thus became the new, tyrannical rulers of the Kingdom of Liones.

img_4798.jpgThe Seven Deadly Sins is a Netflix original anime show. Having been reading the manga, I was quick to pounce on this one to see if things were like what I imagined them to be in my mind. It has been quickly growing in popularity since its premiere, with its shounen-style fight scenes, comedy, drama with just a hint of fanservice for entertainment. Fast-paced and fun from the get-go, I knew it wouldn’t take much time for me to get through the first season!

img_4800.jpgThe story centers on the Deadly Sins, an order of knights accused of attempting to overthrow the kingdom of Brittania. They have been disbanded for 10 years and are hunted by the royal group of warriors known as the Holy Knights. When Princess Elizabeth runs away from home to seek out the Sins, she comes across a tavern and finds that the owner is the Sins’ captain, Meliodas, who runs the establishment along with a talking pig named Hawke. She begs for the Sins’ help, fearing that the Holy Knights are plotting against the kingdom. He agrees to help her and the three go on a journey to reunite the Sins and stop the Holy Knights’ scheme.

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One of the first things I noticed about this one was the quality of the artwork and animation. The backgrounds and characters are all so unique and beautifully drawn. The scenery, the layouts and the overall design of revisited surroundings such as Liones are wonderfully detailed and unique. Even with an arguable large cast, even the most clueless watcher won’t ever mistake one character for another.

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The show has a diverse cast of main and supporting characters that are used to their full potential. The Sins are a powerful yet comic band of warriors that viewers can relate to and enjoy (with yet-t0-be-discovered limits on their powers, which is useful for those ever-escalating battle scenes). Each of the characters are introduced one-by-one in their own story arcs and given plenty of time to demonstrate their abilities and personalities. Even minor characters and villains are given some depth so that they aren’t just the type that appear once and are forgotten again – many end up as recurring characters and gain depth as the show progresses. The series does well to humanise the characters, making you feel like they all play a vital role in the series. It’s a difficult thing to pull off, which many anime attempts and only a select few succeed at. Nothing about exploring the antagonists’ backgrounds seems forced at all. Everything gels together nicely without the main story objectives suffering.

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The pacing is efficient. The episodes are all vital to the series, have a certain point to get to, get there in good time and with some good action thrown in and do not overstay their welcome. The fights aren’t drawn out or interrupted with internal monologue or laborious explanation (I’m looking at you here, Bleach), and there’s no filler episodes padding things out. Each episode manages to either advance the overall plot or provide character development that leaves viewers invested in what happens next. There’s plenty of humour and suspense that leaves you wanting more at the end of every episode (that’s how I got through it so fast). The interactions between the Sins and supporting characters is fantastic and as a core group they work well off each other and, although they may not all see eye-to-eye all of the time, their battle ethic and synergy make them a formidable team indeed.

The music is catchy, particularly the beginning and ending credits. These are something I tend to skip, particularly if I’m watching several episodes at a time, but the music in The Seven Deadly Sins does enter the category of ‘credits I watch because I really enjoy the music’. It suits the mood of the series and has a tendency to get stuck in my head.

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That’s not to say that this series doesn’t have its flaws. The main one in this instance is Elizabeth. Now, I know it’s important to have a certain ‘damsel in distress’ character that all these battle-hardened warriors are drawn to and want to protect key among them being Elizabeth’s role in the show. She puts herself in danger many times to defend her friends, even though she can’t do much in a fight, and ends up needing to get rescued several times. She’s also not too perturbed by Meliodas’ serial groping. Which leads me onto my second point with Elizabeth and Diane, two of the female leads, being victims of fanservice. It doesn’t ruin the show, but it does ruin several individual moments. Ban walks around topless most of the time and nobody bats an eyelid.

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Overall, I loved watching The Seven Deadly Sins and founds myself unable to resist racing through all the episodes to the point where I emerged ahead of the manga. With the introduction of Merlin, the sixth Sin, at the end of this season it leads us to believe that a second season will not be far away. With plenty of action, genuine comedy and a host of relatable and unique characters, you can’t go wrong by giving this one a chance.