The Seven Deadly Sins – Review
The Seven Deadly Sins:
Original Air Dates: November 1st, 2015
Synopsis: Elizabeth Liones is the princess of the Liones Kingdom, which has been taken over by the venerable Holy Knights, who’d saved the Kingdom from the Seven Deadly Sins, a group of knights originally in service to the Liones Kingdom that had supposedly plotted to overthrow the Liones family. Now, seeking a way to save her kingdom, Elizabeth tracks down Meliodas, leader of the former Seven Deadly Sins, asking him to help free her kingdom from the Holy Knights and rescue her father. Meliodas and Hawk, a talking pig, join Elizabeth to save Liones Kingdom. But first, they’re going to need help. And to Meliodas that means only one thing: It’s time to get the Seven Deadly Sins back together.
Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: The Seven Deadly Sins, also known as Nanatsu no Taizai in Japanese, is about as classic shonen as you can get. If you’re into One Piece or Fairy Tail, and looking for a series with a similar tone, Deadly Sins is likely to be a solid pick. It’s one of the most fun shows to come out of 2015, with a vibrant, exciting tone, loaded with quirky characters, plenty of action and numerous plot twists.
Linny: Seven Deadly Sins is a hearty dose of good old shonen fun. It’s got all the classic staples and cliches, and retains much of what makes shonen such a beloved and popular genre. You have your reliable group of overpowered good guys who engage in epic fights, with each member of the party bringing a different ability or power to the table and a different character stereotype. In fact, a lot of the charm of this show lies in its characters from the pervert with a heart of gold, to the flustered girl who holds a desperate flame for her captain. You can argue that they can all be reduced to cliches but in its defense, the show does a decent job of making these cliches feel entertaining to watch and cheer on.
Tom: Deadly Sins most closely resembles One Piece or Fairy Tail in the way it builds its story and carries characters from one arc to another. As Linny said, Deadly Sins boasts near every classic stereotype you’d find within the overall shonen genre. From the blood thirsty, bad ass Ban (My personal favorite character) to the adorably cute, but immensely strong Diane, and of course the ever useless Princess Elizabeth. Unlike One Piece, which I’ve always felt gives its female characters the shaft, either requiring them to be rescued or placing them in fights that act more as filler than necessary plot points, Taizai uses Diane to her fullest, making her feel just as strong as the show initially claims her to be. That said, when it comes to non-combatants, like Elizabeth, Deadly Sins stumbles badly. In fact it’s only in the final moments of the season that she rises to any kind of significant importance outside of her role as the series catalyst. It’s only in this fleeting moments that she offers aid that allows our more prominent heroes to win the day.
Linny: Other enjoyable aspect of the show are its insane, over the top battles and the abilities of its characters. Like most shonen, they’re intense and the show gets very creative with depicting the powers of its characters. It also packs in a lot of comedy to balance out the violence, though I must warn potential new viewers that it does contain a fair amount of sexual humour. The ‘improper’ content of this show is mostly restricted to its comedic sequences and consists mainly of groping and faces in crotches. It’s played a lot more comedic than other anime and thus could potentially be dismissed as such though I would still advise viewer discretion for more sensitive audiences.
Tom: What makes Deadly Sins so enjoyable is its insane, over the top action and fight sequences that really utilize the uniquer powers of each of its characters. But be warned that the series gets so insane and bizarre that it might become difficult to take the show seriously as powers and abilities seem to spiral out of control away from the series’ own internal logic. That said, it’s not as if Deadly Sins is something to be taken all that seriously to begin with. Even within its darker elements, it’s clear Sins is more meant as a fun, romping adventure that anything with a deeper message and emotion behind it. It’s ultimately a light hearted story that never drifts all that far into its darker and more brooding elements. Despite all this praise, Deadly Sins does have a few drawbacks. Firstly it takes time for the series to really get going. Things start off rather ‘ho hum’ and for the first five or so episodes the series really struggles to hold your attention. In fact, that’s another common element it shares with One Piece, where the story doesn’t seem to really kick into gear until a good chunk of the crew has been assembled.
Linny: As much as the generic setting works for Seven Deadly Sins, it could also be the cause for its downfall and disapproval among viewers who want their shows to be original. While the story isn’t ridiculously predictable, it also never strays too far from well tread territory. It also suffers from other flaws like including material from the manga that ultimately feels pointless and filler-ish , and having a rather bland ending that makes you feel like the show abruptly wrapped up mid season. There is an explanation for both these complaints though. At the time of the release of Season 1, the manga source was nowhere close to completion and that explains the rather ho-hum ending. Furthermore, given that the manga wasn’t really that old at the time of anime production, it’s not surprising that the show creators had to stretch content out in order to fill up the 24 episode run. Fans disappointed with the anime only ending thankfully have the option to turn to the manga which continues on and is available through Crunchyroll’s manga library.
Tom: As a final note, Deadly Sins also suffers from frequent animation mistakes, namely in its final episodes, while the early moments featured mediocre animation quality. But despite this, its uneven portrayal of women, and a few absurd battle mechanics, I ultimately believe Deadly Sins is a devil of a good time. It offers a fun atmosphere, exciting shonen battles, a host of enjoyable characters and more. Netflix is releasing a short, four episode follow up to this series in the next month and I for one cannot wait to get back to Diane, Ban, Meliodas and the rest of the gang.
Linny: The Seven Deadly Sins cannot be exalted as a pioneer or mold breaker in its genre. However, it remains one of the better examples of a show that sticks to conventions but still manages to be entertaining. Yes, it’s going to be boring for anyone who has watched a million shonen before and has long tired of the cliches abound but there’s no denying it’s a fun watch for anyone else. It has a few flaws of course, ranging from its fan service laden humour to animation dips, but for any shonen fans out there, Seven Deadly Sins remains a stellar watch.
The Seven Deadly Sins is available for streaming via Netflix.