Welcome to ye olde Europe, especially Britain and France! Ahem sorry I mean Britannia, a strange amalgamation of well a lot of European things, which means everyone is going to wear poofy blouses and brown with lots of lace ups, except the main characters who get to wear whatever they like after they got their protagonist cards. Are you ready for a rip snorting, action packed anime? Well here it is the Seven Deadly Sins…
Now I’ll admit I was intrigued purely because of the name, we all know the seven deadly sins and that when they are mentioned something saucy is about to go down, and then I saw a giant lady and I was like yup I’m sold. If you can work a giant into anything and do it well you’ve got a pretty solid story, I mean look how cute she is.
Now I’ll say this right away, I don’t care for fan service mainly because it’s just so unnatural, it’s like a character stopping every now and again to show their train collection and everyone just acts like this is normal regardless of time and context. Seven deadly sins commits this sin and I wanted to slap it for it. However it is few and far between and doesn’t hamper anything too much. If you are like me think of it like an occasional fart in a cinema theater, unpleasant but survivable. The main male lead is the main culprit being a pervert by nature apparently and it’s dumb so yeah let’s move on and talk about what fake Britain is like.
So Britannia seems a nice enough place, Liones is the Kingdom we are mainly focused on and it is run by doddery, old, sick king as is mandatory in these stories. The military might of this country comes from its Holy Knights (or y’know Templars), unfortunately they too have read the standard western fantasy book right on the page where it goes “If there is a religious order you must go mad with power, especially if knights are involved, and if you can get demons in somewhere to really make you look like silly gooses then bonus points.” Our seven deadly sins were a special order of knights, all convicted of a crime relating to one of the seven deadly sins. They were like the celebrity squad of awesome power until they got framed ten years ago for murdering the head holy knight. After this they disbanded themselves and went into hiding, fast forward 10 years and Elizabeth (the third and youngest princess) has escaped from a coup d’état and searches for the sins to help her save her family and the kingdom from the now tyrannical Knights.
So it’s a gathering adventure, she meets the first guy pretty quick and this girl has some luck as it’s the old captain, who looks about 12, and runs a tavern. She eventually finds out he is the dragon sin of wrath (yes the animals attached matter as well so they can have amazing tattoos) and he promises her he will aid her. This guy really seemed like he had nothing better to do and was looking for an excuse to road trip so win for everybody I guess.
Now there are a lot of characters in this, not only main but secondary and they all have in depth stories and character building which I was pretty surprised about. Even the most evil and cartoonish of knights eventually became sympathetic in some way by the end so I have to give kudos as it’s very easy to turn a story like this into a very black and white fight. So this anime does have depth of characters but I’ll go over the main ones;
Elizabeth is the main heroine; raised as a princess she’s naive and sweet, tolerating most things even Meliodas’s perversions with grace or she’s a complete doormat whichever fits. She also had a horrific baton twirling accident when younger so she never shows her right eye… ok that’s a lie but seriously she has her hair like glued in place to cover that mysterious eye. She is determined that only the seven deadly sins can save the day even with their bad press, and so despite no combat experience she seeks them out.
Meliodas is the dragon sin of wrath and the captain of the seven deadly sins as well as tavern owner. He’s a pervert around certain women, well only Elizabeth really in the series. He’s super strong and old despite his appearance but is very kind and gentle, always holding back if he can even against really douchey opponents. His power seemingly comes from demon blood, a race that was sealed away by the goddess race after they attacked the other clans (humans, fairies, giants) so yeah pretty bad news.
Hawk is a talking pig, no one knows why he talks and they all react in the way you’d expect after seeing a talking pig for the first time, this is never explained. He’s the grounding force of the team, stopping people from acting like total idiots, he has a short temper but then again he is surrounded by super beings who can barely function in normal society.
Diane is the serpent sin of envy and comes from the giant clan, her race has a strong connection to the Earth and so most of her attacks are related to either rocks or her massive size. She’s tough but girly and naturally self-conscious of being different and worried that she will never be accepted by humans. She is in love with Meliodas and so initially jealous of Elizabeth but she is won over easily and becomes a firm friend. I actually liked Diane’s fight scenes the most as they were able to work with her height and strength without making her overpowered or slow and dumb.
Ban is the fox sin of greed, convicted as he stole the cup of youth from the fairy king’s forest, killing it and its guardian and making him immortal. Now of course that isn’t how it really went down but I’m leaving you with some mystery! He is arrogant and brash with very little care apart from fighting, which seems reasonable as injuries heal in a matter of seconds for him. Regardless he has strong loyalty to his companions but is definitely the most bloodthirsty/ruthless making him and Meliodas on opposing sides at points.
King (real name Harlequin) is the actual king of the fairies, so yeah that Ban stuff doesn’t sit well and they’ve always had a rivalry even before King knew of Ban’s sin. King’s sin is the bear’s sin of sloth as his best friend went on a human killing spree for 500 years and nothing was done about it, so yeah seems pretty slothful. King has exceptional magic power and can turn himself into a human form, too bad it is hideous, his fairy form is much cuter. He has had a crush on Diane for a long ass time but knows she loves Meliodas T^T he is a complete softie and always wants to exercise caution in the group. His weapon is carved from the magic tree at the center of his forest giving it special properties.
Gowther is the goat sin of lust which makes no damn sense because he has no emotions, literally like a living doll. He can’t feel anything but can read and change people’s memories making people understandably uncomfortable around him. He means no malice but is very tactless pointing out cold harsh realities and always thinking logically. He does want to try to feel things but it just comes across in an evil scientist kind of way.
Yes there are two more sins but one is never introduced and the other appears at the end as some badass mage in tiny panties so I feel I didn’t get a real grip on her character depth. So far only season 1 of this anime has been released and they have already stated that season 2 will be released sometime this year so hopefully we will see more of Merlin (yes Merlin, King Arthur is also around and Camelot) the boar sin of gluttony and Escanor the lion’s sin of Pride.
This really is a great anime, however it does fall into a few traps, for example the whole holy knights go evil is a little clichéd and is quickly shoved aside for the true and much cooler threat while I’m still sat there like well I’m glad we built up these holy knights to shove them aside instantly. Naturally Elizabeth has some super cool destiny as she constantly mentions how she is an adopted princess and mysterious things keep happening around her and come on now, that person was dead before! The ending is like shiny butterflies and rainbows which I won’t complain too much about because I like happy endings but still it was almost too sweet even for me, and with such a good story I feel slightly cheated by oh yeah this secret power just fixes everything.
To be fair most of my complaints come from the fact that they have deliberately left things, both Diane’s and Gowther’s sins haven’t been explained, Merlin has only just been introduced and Escanor hasn’t even appeared. There are also multiple moments where a character will ask a critical question and the other will go we’ll talk about this later so super frustrating.
The character designs were pretty nice although I felt some of the outfits could have been designed a bit better, I get they wanted the main characters to stand out among the peasants but they stand out a little too much for my liking. I mean Elizabeth could just be moved into a pop idol anime without any changes, the holy knights get some cooler stuff though, especially in the helmet department. I noticed a couple of animation mistakes in the later episodes especially on Merlin but maybe that was because her hilarious panties outfit was too distracting to draw her eyes right. But most of it was solid stuff and I look forward to more.
If you love western style fantasy this will be a great anime for you, with deep characters both main and secondary, and all of them with unique powers and weapons. There’s a lot of unanswered questions, as well as world lore to go into, like why were the demons such assholes? Where are the goddesses now? Why did the seven deadly sins form? And jeez what is up with Elizabeth’s eye?!
I know I’ll definitely be watching the next season.