I’d like to think that, with time, my anime preferences have grown more refined. As I get older I tend to enjoy more thought-provoking anime, like Psycho Pass, Serial Experiments Lain or
Ghost in the Shell. But every once in a while I run into a show that, in spite of myself feeling more sophisticated, I just enjoy for the sheer fun, action or carnage that it contains. I thought that Seven Deadly Sins(SDS) would be among the latter and, in many ways, I was right to think so. The show has many elements that are purely fun, be it the action or fan-service or more, this show has tons of fun that can be found in every episode. But the story found within is surprisingly solid and compelling and keeps you interested the whole time. SDS balances both a solid story and mindless fun to the point where you cannot help coming back for more regardless of whatever particular mood you find yourself in.
The Seven Deadly Sins were once an active group of knights in the region of Britannia, who disbanded after they supposedly plotted to overthrow the Liones Kingdom. Their supposed defeat came at the hands of the Holy Knights, but rumors continued to persist that they were still alive. Ten years later, the Holy Knights staged a coup d’état and captured the king, becoming the new, tyrannical rulers of the kingdom. The third princess, Elizabeth, then starts out on a journey to find the Seven Deadly Sins and enlist their help in taking back the kingdom.
If you’re looking for strong character progression and growth, this really isn’t the anime for you…sorry… but that is just the reality. The knights known as the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ have already lived extremely long lives and are pretty set in their ways as far as characters grow. They don’t really need to “power up” or train because they are perfectly strong as is. Their stories are sort of over by the beginning of the story until a new chapter in their lives begin– a new saga as it were, that you can look at as a redemption story. But there is very little in the way off character growth at least from the core crew of the show.
Each of the Sins carries their own baggage and their relationships even with each other are often clunky as they each have differing styles and personalities as well as unique abilities. They are all unbelievably powerful in their own right and were feared by the kingdom as well as feared by other Holy Knights. They are seen as villains to the kingdom because they were set up many years ago by mysterious saboteurs and we get to see that mystery unfold within the different arcs of the show. Really the only thing that is frustrating about the Sins, to me, is that the show gave an excuse to underpower them for the sake of being able to see solid fights within the show. The excuse is that, while the Sins are powerful as is, without their holy weapons, they cannot unleash their true potential. And, unfortunately for the Sins but fortunately for their enemies, many of the Sins have lost their weapons in various ways. Like, the giant of the group (an actual giant) lost her mace in the side of a mountain and the leader of the Sins sold his because he needed money. I mean…it is pretty obvious this was simply done so that the Sins weren’t overpowering all the time and so that their enemies stood a fighting chance–but with how epic the final boss fight was, I really don’t think this was necessary.
The animation is super clean, but I wouldn’t get it full points for being stunning or anything, it feels like you’re watching anime, but HD definitely is a must for this show, so I hope your internet connection is solid. But the animation really shines in the fight scenes and it actually feels like the clarity ramps up during these scenes quite a bit. This part is hard to explain… the animation style is a combination of Fairy Tail and Magi…if you look at those two series’ there is no question that the animation is good but it’s also not mind-blowing either. I don’t know maybe I’m just spoiled now?
The show takes on an interesting pace the whole first season is about 23-24 episodes and it basically follows Elizabeth Liones as she sets out to find the Sins so that they may restore the kingdom to the rightful order despite the fact that everyone (but her) seems to think that the Sins are evil. She finds Meliodas, the leader, in episode one and this begins a series of misadventures by the two travelers as they find themselves in odd and increasingly dangerous situations as they attempt to re-unite the rest of the Sins. And therein lies the oddity of this season for me. I enjoyed the adventures but it felt, at times, like filler for the main story arc.
Which is insane when you consider how solid the final arc of the season really was. It ties in most of the series and has an epic boss battle to boot. And the crazy things is that the most shows that leave off on a cliffhanger like this show does usually do not feel complete by the end of the season. But SDS does a good job of tying up loose ends, letting you feel a sense of resolution, while also leaving a lot to be dealt with in future seasons. It didn’t feel cheap and it certainly didn’t feel like a cop-out and I really respect the show for doing it so professionally.
So at the end of the day, SDS is not a show that will knock your socks off, but it is extremely entertaining. And Ultimately, isn’t that why we watch anime in the first place? To have fun? It balances light-hearted fun, over-the-top action and an interesting story line (along with fan-service and boob-squeezes that we have all grown to eye-roll at)– but I have a lot of hope for the future of this anime as it has a lot to keep people coming back for. I burned through season one on Netflix and I expect to do the same upon the release of season two!