Ten years ago in the Kingdom of Liones, seven members of the Holy Knights turned on their comrades. Although they defeated countless members of that order, the Holy Knights eventually defeated them and the seven went into hiding. Known as the “Seven Deadly Sins,” they are little more than a myth to the people now that the Holy Knights themselves have betrayed their king and rule the land in a tyrannical fashion. Thus, the third princess of the royal family, Elizabeth, has fled the capital hoping to find the Seven Deadly Sins and ask their aid since they are the only ones powerful enough to combat the Holy Knights. Her journey soon finds her in the Boar Hat bar run by a young-looking man who decides to help her find the Sins and take back her kingdom. Good thing, too, as he is actually Meliodas–captain of the Seven Deadly Sins. So begins an adventure filled with demons, knights, fairies, giants, mages, and all sorts of sinful weirdness.
After finishing Ushio and Tora, I really wanted to keep the shonen adventure train rolling, and this is the one I ran across that really piqued my interest. I’m not saying it’s only because a giantess is one of the main characters, but it’s probably a big reason (get it?!). I also really like the tropes of gathering the allies and getting the band back together, and this is really both at the same time. To Elizabeth, she’s trying to build a team of warriors that will help her save her family, but to Meliodas, he’s hooking back up with his old crew. It’s like watching the gathering of the titular seven samurai from their film while Dutch and Dillon from Predator have the manliest handshakes each time. It’s good fun.
Probably the most fun thing about The Seven Deadly Sins is seeing the strength and power of the different characters. Some dude chops down a forest in episode one. And he only shows up once later in the series to die. Yeah, superfluous characters are that powerful. The Sins themselves and those who can hang with them are on completely different levels. When they look like they’re on the ropes, you can’t help but think they’re holding back. Which is usually the case since–thanks to their airheadedness–some of them are fighting with handicaps. To properly illustrate this, a powerful Holy Knight by the name of Gilthunder throws a spear from his castle toward a town some many, many miles intending to destroy it. (As you do.) Meliodas steps outside his bar, catches the spear, and throws it back. The spear not only demolishes the castle, but it sticks in the wall right next to Gilthunder’s head. That’s just one utterly ridiculous moment in this series.
Something else that really kept me interested was the characters. They are all really, really likable. I thought I would hate the mascot character, talking pig Hawk (yes, you read that all completely right), but he wound up being a welcome addition to the cast. He actually plays off some of the characters pretty darn well. Even the overly compassionate Elizabeth became more than just the princess who needs saving. A lot of the Holy Knights were cool, as well, but oh man…the Seven Deadly Sins. They are so different from each other, but they work together fascinatingly well as a team. I really hate they didn’t get the sixth member until near the end, and we never see the seventh sin except for flashbacks. Meliodas and Diane, Ban and King, Meliodas and Ban, Diane and King, Gowther and…everyone? They are a ton of fun together.
I’m sure this goes without saying since I mentioned the strength of the various characters, but the fight scenes are awesome, too. Thanks to everyone’s styles, abilities, and allegiances, no two fights feel the same. Even multiple battles between the same characters feel completely different whenever they occur. Sure, they’re not as original or out there as the encounters in Hunter x Hunter or JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, but really, what is?
All that good stuff being said, I don’t love this series as much as I wanted to. I mentioned earlier that we don’t even get to meet all seven of the Deadly Sins. Even though this season does wrap up the main arc, there’s obviously much more to this story to be told and world to see. Knowing that, I couldn’t help but feel letdown when the series ended, and it wasn’t the usual, “Oh no, something I’ve really enjoyed watching has ended. Whatever shall I do now?” It was more of a, “Wait. That’s it? What about everything else? Bummer.” A lot of the more emotional moments didn’t resonate well with me either. I couldn’t give you a reason for that one. I think my heartstrings should’ve been pulled, but they weren’t, and I don’t know why.
Gonna give The Seven Deadly Sins a pretty solid 8. I loved the great protagonists, demonstrations of power, and action scenes, but–even though I know there’s more of the series on the way–not enough of the world was shown and there was just too much untold story to place it in the heralded 9 and above category. I did thoroughly enjoy it, though, and I’d easily recommend it.