Animation quality is average (for a late-2015 anime). Background score is quite impressive. As the story progresses, the plot starts thickening quite well.
The Seven Deadly Sins has a deep concept but pretty straightforward storytelling in the beginning. In the later parts, the concept starts getting production-friendly and as an unfortunate side effect, originality starts getting clouded. Sometimes with its upbeat battle music it almost feels like Fairy Tail. But the storytelling deepens as the story proceeds.
The anime has a fair share of emotional jerks throughout the episodes. But most of all, remember that your primary job as an intangible part of the male audience is to be a fan waiting to be served.
Personally I loved the anime. As an overall feel, that is. After breaking it down, it doesn’t sound so good.
- The overall plot is well scripted. I have to avoid spoilers so I’ll have to write it down in a vague composition. It’s like there are many loose ends throughout the story but all of them are tied to their respective sub-plots as you advance. Although the story always makes sense but when those loose ends are tied up it makes for a great script.
- The idea of the Holy Knights, a kingdom named Britannia, a runaway princess named Elizabeth, and a group of super-powerful outlaws is quite loosely engineered. I mean it’s the generic vintage British popular culture stock (not sure whether I should call it that). Although the anime makes no solemn attempt at replicating the antiquity of royalty.
- As with any typical recent shonen you have your:
- loyalty and friendship philosophy drama,
- a wannabe harem setting,
- fanservice (this time it’s not accidental feels and gropes, it’s quite intentional – think a confident version of Issei from Highschool DxD),
- and obviously, hidden storage of immense strength within the unsuspecting characters that translate into epic fight sequences.
- Things get really interesting from the 7th episode, the beginning of the Necropolis arc. As the plot progresses beyond 10-12 episodes, The Seven Deadly Sins becomes quite the mind-bending fantasy drama with various coexisting relationships between different factions.
- Side stories like the fountain of youth and character backstories both add a realistic touch to the anime. Although I have reasons to believe that the two things are quite inseparable in this anime. All the backstories are linked with multiple characters, culminating into side stories and spinoff arcs. Ban’s backstory is really good: very touching and well-directed. We get to see glimpses of his past in intervals revealing the whole sub-plot little by little as we can’t wait to see it all. That was just refreshing. Truly well done there.
- The characters of the Sins could be explored further. There is a wrathful side to Meliodas, an envious side to Diane, and a greedy side to Ban, etc. but seriously there’s not enough. Because technically, these guys have these characteristics flowing through their veins so there should be much more of that. Well it’s based on a manga – the work of a single man Nakaba Suzuki (who also illustrated, by the way), so we cannot complain much. Only if the anime had a more creative director …
- The characters of The Seven Deadly Sins are largely stock characters: the breed you’ll run into every now and then in Japanese anime. There’s a pig sidekick for Sir Meliodas, who is basically the Croagunk/Toxicroak for Brock in Pokémon, stopping him from going overexcited with his perverted mind. There’s an over-caring, impossibly soft-speaking princess, there’s a cool antihero type protagonist, and on and on.
- There’s a lack of background buildup on many of the main characters – the origins of the making of these characters as “Sins.” It’s understood that they all committed some gruesome crime (or crimes, or a single crime) and were possibly recruited by the king based on their dominant trait. But only one backstory tells the origin of the sin, all other characters are either left without any sin-related backstory telling why the person became that sin, or with slight hints.
Romance and sisterhood
- The romance aspect of the story is very funny. Although it’s mostly just fanservice but it’s not like those mainstream dramas. It’s different and happy.
- I liked the romance of mismatched proportions – Princess Elizabeth and Captain Meliodas, or Harlequin and Diane. They are very different and their romance is totally funny. “Let’s get some sack time together, you and me.”
- I can’t emphasize enough. The romance is so happy that it needs to be mentioned once more. It’s fun to watch.
- At a point there’s too much sisterhood feels between Princesses Elizabeth and Veronica. Almost makes you depressed as hell. The Harlequin-Diane relationship develops explosively in the 19th episode and almost makes one cry. All these are good examples of how well affection has been fitted inside fantasy.
- As I said already, the fanservice in the anime is different. There’s no accidental groping stupidity, but intentional romance (if you could call light display of affection romance). That makes the romance pretty cute.
The story isn’t original to be honest. It includes not only Holy Knights and the Sins, but a lot of other content directly bootlegged from the chest of mainstream fantasy plot equipment – a fairy world guarded by a king and a magical tree; demons who have been separated from the human world; embers that can hold evil; spell spheres that can be threw up in air to cast several spells like healing
(reminds anyone of Clash of Clans?).
The relationship of the side characters with Meliodas and other Sins could be explored further. For example, Elizabeth’s sisters knew Meliodas since childhood, and other knightly disciples too. This could’ve been explored, like when Veronica traps Meliodas inside the Goddess Ember – it almost feels like Meliodas is a complete stranger to her that she knows is evil. A couple dialogs or a light interaction outlining a unique relationship only Veronica and Meliodas share – now that could’ve been something.
The anime has left out a strong hint towards the fact that the story in these 24 episodes is nowhere near complete. The second season is mandatory. War has been won but there lies a lot to uncover, more so when the main protagonists’ lineup is incomplete in all these episodes itself. The Seventh Sin is yet to be found (a large guy, the Lion’s Sin of Pride — Escanor).
There are emotional moments throughout the story, some great twists especially in the end, and overall a nice touch of complexity and plot density.
The story takes no risk in giving any casualties. All those who die or appear to have died come back to life in various different situations. This is plain childish although I can’t deny that it made me feel better to not see one of the main characters die forever.
My biggest gripe with the anime is that it’s not complete. We’re not given background introductions of key members of the Sins and what led to their achieving that Sin. The purpose of a sequel is to further the story, not complete the initial story itself. The anime animated only a portion of the manga but still there should be a better understanding of the Seven Sins in an anime called The Seven Deadly Sins.
Great enjoyment. Story not very original.