Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Anime Review: The Seven Deadly Sins (Season 1) (TV)

The Seven Deadly Sins (Season 1) (Review)
Japan/2014
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...an excellent blend of action and comedy, forming a concoction of pure entertainment."

Sensing a giant conspiracy afoot, Princess Elizabeth sets out to gather the Seven Deadly Sins to aid her in rescuing the kingdom from the holy knights...

The Seven Deadly Sins is a bit complicated considering its large world and diverse set of characters, so I'll try to keep the story details short and snappy. The Seven Deadly Sins were a group of talented knights in the Liones Kingdom who were suspected of plotting to overthrow the king – some legends say they died in battle, others say they still wander the world. After witnessing the Holy Knight's coup of the kingdom, taking her father hostage, Princess Elizabeth escapes and begins her quest to gather the Seven Deadly Sins in order to save her family and the people.

Fortunately, Elizabeth immediately runs into Meliodas, the boyish, bawdy captain of the Seven Deadly Sins, and his talking pig, Hawk. Meliodas agrees to aid in Elizabeth's noble quest. From there, the pair begin finding Meliodas' comrades, including Diane, the adorable giant, and Ban, the undead immortal. The huge conspiracy unravels at a splendid pace, constantly revealing new characters, factions, and motives. It all leads to an amazing action-packed climax spanning 10 or so episodes. (Don't worry, there isn't a five minute timer.) The ending also does well in teasing the fans for the next season.

The Seven Deadly Sins reminded of Dragon Ball Z – let me just get that off my chest. It has a peppy protagonist bent on saving the world and standing for justice, he has a rival striving to best him, he has a quirky group of friends, then there's the omnipotent foe with several forms. Top that off with the lightning fast action and you have yourself something similar. Why am I writing this? Well, to inform you and to segue into something else. You see, looking at Meliodas sparked something in me – it sparked that nostalgic feeling of wanting to be like a fictional character. This is that very same feeling I had as a child when everyone wanted to be like Goku. Although I can obviously distinguish fantasy from reality, I felt this meant the characters were excellently-crafted – it successfully created a connection. Also, it wasn't just Meliodas, I thoroughly enjoyed the backgrounds for the entire cast of diverse characters.

Thanks to such a strong cast of characters, the narrative is always engaging and effective. Much like Knights of Sidonia, I was eagerly hopping to the next episode as soon as the previous ended – and I was genuinely disappointed when I didn't have time for another. Aside from the generally amazing and engaging story, the plot is also great thanks to the splendid balance and pacing. The Seven Deadly Sins is an excellent blend of action and comedy, forming a concoction of pure entertainment. The action scenes are superb, almost every scene plays out like a spectacle to be admired.

The action is ferocious, blending the use of weapons and magic to create something explosive. It gets even better as characters begin combining their powers. The humor is also uproarious; I loved the quirky gags and the hilarious slapstick. Even the fanservice is humorous! Of course, I think Hawk (The Captain of Scraps Disposal, I believe) is one of the highlights when it comes to humor – certainly a character I won't be forgetting soon. I laughed quite a bit throughout this entire series, probably more than some traditional comedies. It's just very well-rounded, always staying on its toes and offering you a reason to stick around. That's true entertainment.

I watched the original Japanese dub on Netflix. The Japanese voice acting is about what you'd expect. It's filled with enthusiasm and emotion. I liked Yuki Kaki as Meliodas and Sora Amamiya as Elizabeth. Misaki Kuno, who plays Hawk, and Tatsuhisa Suzuki, who plays Ban, are also splendid. I loved the art style and the animation was great. I thought every scene was fluid and slick. The music is also wonderful, helping to set the tone for every scene — I still listen to this soundtrack without the show. The season is written by Shotaro Suga and directed by Tensai Okamura. Like I said, the writing was great, especially with the characters and narrative. I think Okamura's direction was also splendid. He created a well-paced and well-balanced season with finesse. I look forward to seeing more from the pair, together or individually.

Overall, The Seven Deadly Sins is fantastic. I was engaged and entertained from beginning to end. There wasn't a single moment of boredom. Furthermore, it really brought something out of me – an inner-child, I suppose. Call it nostalgia for a series I never heard about prior to this viewing, but it really brought joy to me. For that, I can't recommend it enough. If you have any other recommendations, please leave them in the comment section. (I've already watched and reviewed Knights of Sidonia and Attack on Titan.)

Score: 10/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence, gore, some partial nudity, plenty of boob and butt jokes.

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