Set in ancient times, when the worlds of humans and non-humans had not yet split, we find the larger than life tale of the Seven Deadly Sins. Knights, demons, magic, and even a talking pig make up a normal day in the world of Britannia, where reality suspends and imagination soars. Do not tread lightly with this anime, as it will continually break through every bar it sets, leaving you agape with disbelief in scene after scene, that deep down you actually have come to expect.
A decade has passed since the Seven Deadly Sins have rocked the foundation of the order of Holy Knights, in a turn of betrayal against the kingdom of Liones, by murdering the greatest of them all. Slipping into legend, the team disbands as exiled villains and are not seen or heard from again. Whispers of their terrifying might continue to circulate the land, but the Holy Knights have become arrogant through ten years of martial law, attained as a coup of the kingdom, thanks to the Sin’s blood thirsty distraction. In present day, the order of Holy Knights is no more than thugs. Our story gains traction when a buxom young woman visits the owner of a delightfully named tavern, the Boar’s Hat. Elizabeth is the lost daughter of the imprisoned king of Liones and she is on a journey to reunite the Seven Deadly Sins to save her father and sisters, as well as destroy the tyrannical rule of the Holy Knights. Meliodas is the boyish looking captain of the Seven Deadly Sins and is as powerful and selfless as he is care free and crude.
Instantly dedicated to each other after the request for help of the Seven Deadly Sins, Elizabeth and Meliodas set off to find his team. Rather quickly, a majority of the team is reunited, turning the group into a club of dysfunction, intense emotion, fierce loyalty, and even fiercer power and magic. Every step of the way the Sins astound their enemies and leave a wake of utter destruction. As the Sins resurface in the kingdom, the leaders of the Holy Knights begin their own defenses and agenda, in anticipation of the inevitable final showdown.
The story starts out epic, and as it unfolds, it becomes more and more ridiculous. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as the battles do nothing but push the limits. Just when you think the most brutal or unstoppable thing has happened, someone always has a one up trump card. It is as if the characters laugh in the face of death… one of the Sins actually does literally find joy in death, repeatedly. At the same time, by the end of the series, the over the top drive has become predictable and expected. If you are looking for a story that makes a bit more sense in its development of suspense and drama, the Sins probably won’t be for you. But, if you are looking for a quick suspension of all things reality, then this anime is great. It will do it in a fun way, while not being weighed down by excessive powering up and yelling.
The characters are an important part of building the boundaries of Seven Deadly Sins. Emotions often run high and powerful actions are never far behind. Everyone has their own dark past that they are coming to grips with, and the way they all mix leaves us with people who don’t know whether to love or hate each other, but whatever they settle on, they will give it their 110%! This really goes for the Sins as individuals as well. The unique personalities they exhibit boarder on satirical, and will often leave you laughing at how much these people feel! The most enjoyable aspect of the characters is the banter and conversations that play out between them. The bonds that the characters share set up for some great speeches, epic back stories, and pure non sequitur. Combine this with all of the powers and abilities these people have, and we find some interesting lives. Oh yeah, also be ready for a healthy dose of crude humor and groping.
Looking at the mechanics of the anime, the animation is enjoyable and the music is standard. The animation has a pretty generic anime feel to it, but details are well executed and prevalent. Teary portions have impressive moisture, blushing is artfully added to accent heartfelt conversations, and battle wear/damage comes and goes at appropriate levels of visibility. These sorts of details help make the over the top feel of emotions and battles seem more acceptable. The physiques of the characters are rather out of proportion though, which in its own right is a positive addition to the extremes this show continually shovels at you. All of the men have ridiculous six packs and the women are abound with cleavage and sizeable mammaries. Clichés aside though, the show is visually easy to watch. Which reminds me of a hidden gem to look out for: take note of the teaser art that pops up where the commercial break would be inserted, about half way through each episode. Each static image charmingly depicts various characters doing all sorts of random things. It was a nice touch and artfully executed. The music lends well towards the scenes that play out, so I don’t have too much to say here. My critique with the audio actually comes from a few of the character’s voices, particularly those of Elizabeth and Hawk. Both of them had very whiny voices that made me turn down the volume more than once, to save my ears from extended scenes of their nails on chalk board tones. I also found that I was not a big fan of the opening and closing themes, musically. I enjoyed the animation sequences they presented, but the music made them difficult to regularly enjoy.
Seven Deadly Sins is a great anime for tongue in cheek enjoyment. It will feed your love of monumental battles, imaginative storytelling, and skirt shots. I am not sure if Netflix will present a second season of the show to viewers here in the US, but I would probably check it out if they did. If you have to fill a twenty-four minute time slot on a regular basis, this is a fun option to go with for twenty-four of those occasions.