The Seven Deadly Sins Review
It has been a long time since I have watched an anime with so many objective problems, and yet have still thoroughly enjoyed watching the anime from a subjective standpoint. Perhaps this is partially due to the fact that I have not watched a Shounen series in a while. The Seven Deadly Sins is by no means the greatest show to come out recently, nor does it do things that any given show has not done in better ways. Nevertheless, I walked away from the ending of this series feeling content and fulfilled even though part of my brain was screaming that objectively, I should not be as content as I was with the anime. So without any further ado, lets begin to sift through as objectively as possible what The Seven Deadly Sins is all about.
I mean what else exhibits being content?
So the plot of The Seven Deadly Sins is pretty straight forward at its start. Set in a medieval time period n the continent of Britannia, knights who wield powerful magic, called Holy Knights, protect the kingdoms of Britannia from their various enemies. Ten years prior to the present time period, a squad of some of the most powerful Holy Knights, named The Seven Deadly Sins, supposedly tried to overthrow the kingdom but failed, resulting in their exile. Fast forward to the present time period of the show and the current Holy Knights have caused a coup and have assumed authoritative control over the kingdom. However, the third princess of the kingdom, Elizabeth, escaped and now is on a journey to find the exiled Seven Deadly Sins, who will hopefully help her reclaim the kingdom from the grasps of the tyrannical Holy Knights.
Sounds pretty self-explanatory and the only reason I was interested in this pretty generic plot was because, despite its generic persona, the show hadgotten a pretty high average review, and being an amateur reviewer myself, I just *had *to find out for myself what all the fuss was about. Well, actually, that is my second reason for watching the show. My initial intrigue to find out what the show was about simply stemmed from it continually popping up on my Netflix account and the thumbnails *looked* intriguing. Clearly sometimes it does not take much for me to at least look up what an anime is about…
From the above description the plot expands to encompass introductions of new characters, new powers, dark pasts, and political conspiracies. The plot itself is full of gaps, and many points of exposition are left half finished by the end of the show. Yet, unlike other shows that are plagued by half completed plot points, or just straight up plot holes, this anime allowed me to ignore many of my qualms, at least until around episode 21. While still detracting from the final opinion of the show, these problems detracted me less from the immersion of the show, while viewing it, than I would have predicted. A show able to do that has accomplished an impressive feat in itself, even if it would be better for them to have just fixed the plot holes in the first place. With that being said, the rushed story still needs to be addressed. I do not read manga. I would like to start eventually, but currently I just don’t have the time. So apparently, while the manga tells a pretty solid story, the anime left many things out, that aforementioned detracted from the show. Apparently a second season is coming, which might fix some of the left over plot gaps/holes, but until then one must be warned that there will be parts of the plot that are either rushed, or leave you scratching your head, feeling like you missed five important minutes of explanation somewhere along the line.
Nevertheless, there were parts of the plot that were still quite interesting, such as the politics of the kingdom. If people stick around long enough they will begin to see the pattern that I *really *have a soft spot for politics and scheming in my shows. Also, the expanded world building that is hinted at throughout the series pleases me, as I do think that world building is important in anime. While it takes a side seat in the 24 episodes, I did appreciate its existence. another season ever is released this show did make suggestions for exploration into this expanded universe, which I can totally get behind.
Now here I think is the saving grace of the show, and it is the reason that I think I was able to enjoy this show so much, despite the many deficiencies of the anime. Call me crazy, but I really enjoyed the main characters of this show. While none of the the characters featured stupendous plot development, throughout the show one got to discover the backstories of each of the main characters, which explained their motivations and interactions. This was very enjoyable to watch play out. Also, speaking of interactions, this show nailed the main characters’ various personalities and interactions. The viewer was not just told, but got to witness that these characters really are a team who, while having their qualms with each other, will back each other up at the end of the day. Also, some of the humor between characters was pretty great. There is also a bit of humor, and a running gag throughout the show concerning one of the characters having “questionable” tendencies towards girls; however, the nonchalant attitude of this character towards his actions, and the spontaneity that he conducted such actions made me surprisingly ok with it and even got me to laugh out loud a few times.
Good job pervy main character, usually I’m more cynical towards those types of actions.
The various romantic developments were quite adorable to watch. One got to see a two different couples progress throughout the show and while being awkward at times, by the end of the show, I could believe their development. I’d also now like to take this time to state that the character of Ban was just a wonderful addition to. He had a very Joker feel to him while also having a soft side to him. One just never really knew what he was going to do next, while also being that special kind of crazy. However, a negative here, towards the end of the anime he goes on a tiny sub-plot that while being fitting of his character, kind of back tracked on his own development, while also not really wrapping up its sub-plot before the end of the show. I get wanting to set things up for either a season 2 or the manga, but still I detracted from the final episodes….thanks Ban.Now, while the main characters pleased me immensely, the secondary characters were very hit and miss. Some of them did a great job of adding to the story, such as characters coming back from the main characters’ pasts to haunt them. Other characters just felt kinda thrown into the mix for the sake of having more drama. I’m glaring at you second princess. I believed the motivations of some of the characters, like one of the Grand Masters, but other character’s motivations were just thrown into the story half-haphazardly. Other characters were introduced and then not given enough screen time, especially some of the later characters. Alas, these problems arise when one has too much to put in over too little time. Hopefully we will see more of some characters, such as Merlin in season 2…..or we can just go read the manga….or just move on to better things.
Animation & Art:
So, the animation in this show was sometimes spectacular, especially with the showcasing of some of the fights. However, at other times, the animation quality fell off considerably, it just was something that had to be taken in stride. I would say though, that on average, the animation came out to be solidly neutral….because that makes sense. Nothing to lose your mind to, but it did have its moments, like with the lightening magic.That stuff is great to look at. The art on the other hand, I think is an acquired taste. I viewed manga images and it does appear that the anime art does draw from the style of the manga. It was just different to look at. Subjectively I wasn’t a big fan of it, with the weirdly eccentric armor, character design, and so forth. However, I was able to get used to it for the show and the art style isn’t bad per say. It just was different and I’m sure each viewer will have their own opinion of the art.
I will certainly give it to A-1, they know how to pay their sound department. The OST of the show is killer, although how could they go wrong with composer Hiroyuki Sawano coming in. This is the guy who gave us such OST gems as Kill la Kill, Guilty Crown, and Attack on Titan. Of course he would pull through for this show. Both the action music and emotional music in this show wonders to raise the bar of whatever scene was currently on the screen. Both opening for this show, were great. They got the viewer invested in the episode and were invigorating and emotional. While Netsojou No Spectrum, the first opening, was a great emotion building tune, it never quite took off. I think the second opening, Man With a Mission, did a better job of encompassing the feel of the show. Overall though, they were both great openings. Neither ending tune was anything special, nuff said. Nice guitar licks though in the first ending.
As for the voice acting, I thought the Japanese voices were good, they had conviction and emotion and I enjoyed their voices connection to the characters that they played. I did not test out the English dub at all so I will have to pass on judging it. Sorry not sorry.
The Last Three Episodes:
After thinking about it, I decided that I needed to mention these last three episodes. I have alluded already to some of the problems in these last three episodes but I wanted to specify a couple of things. The rushing of the show picked up quite a bit in these last three episodes, and the weird plot gaps reared their ugly heads considerably in these last three episodes. I also was not impressed with the handling, of character’s fates in these last three episodes so that was kind of a let down. The plot devices employed in these last three episodes were also sketchy to an extent. Overall, the last three episodes were not great, but were a lot more passable than some other endings to anime. I was even ok with the open-ended ending of the show. Go figure…
After journeying through an entire review, I must say that looking at it objectively, the show is quite average. However, despite its flaws, the show has an enjoyment level that exceeds any on objective piece of analysis. The like ability of the main characters and the excellent soundtrack really help to propel the series into a very enjoyable Shounen. This show is no doubt Shounen, but it is an enjoyable Shounen at that. The fights showcase some great powers and some great animation, even though the animation was spotty. Although a lot of fights are a little short for my taste, I was almost always entertained by them. A quick side with a minor spoiler, for a show called The Seven Deadly Sins, only ever meeting six “deadly sins characters” was a buzz kill. Continuing on, the show was humorous, while also providing some good emotional scenes and plenty of action. I would like to note though, that while surprisingly entertaining, it doesn’t quite live up to the hyped rating averages of some other reviews. So, when needing to provide a final verdict, I must say that I was surprisingly entertained by this show and that I can cautiously recommend viewers to stream the daylights out of this show because I am giving it 3 stars. Just be sure to relax your brain before viewing.
Until Next Time Everyone….Don’t Forget to be Awesome!
PS: Just after I finished writing this review I realized just how many similarities this show has with a show with a similar plot and setting. The show I am referencing is Akame ga Kill. So if you are looking for a recommendation after viewing The Seven Deadly Sins, consider checking this show out. For more info about Akame ga Kill feel free to visit my compatriots review on the show here.