Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Nanatsu no Taizai Review

Nanatsu no Taizai Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers of the show (and potential first season) Nanatsu no Taizai. If you wish not to know some plot details, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please exit the tab, and join me once you've watched the show. Or you know, you can continue to read, since you don't care about spoilers.

Anyways, with that said, thank you, and onto the review:

Shonen anime is a driving force for anime nowadays, much to some annoyance. While series like these could be great gateway anime, as well as offer appeal to a wider audience, the genre as a whole can be the subject of the brunt of jokes for being heavily cliche in its elements and for dragging itself on its butt for as long as humanly possible (I've talked about several of these before). As such, it's been a habit of mine to avoid the genre's more unpromising anime, though I have seen ones that have been pretty enjoyable.

I'd say in this case, this anime was an underground sleeper hit, similar to a song on an Hot 100 chart which gets success that no one expects. I'd say this anime is like Noragami, for the fact that it was popular in its original season, along with being well-liked, yet didn't receive as much attention compared to other shows that aired in the same season. While Noragami got more attention after it made its way stateside on DVD, Nanatsu no Taizai found its ground on Netflix as an Original Series (though we could technically put air quotes around that). Though its release was foreshadowed by Netflix in Japan, I'd say most of us weren't expecting it to land when it did, since it took me off-guard.

I was aware of the show when it was airing, but I only knew that there was a talking pig and a man named Ban. Other than that, I was completely in the dark about the plot. So when I saw it on Netflix, I thought, "Hello Nanatsu no Taizai! It's nice to be able to watch you legally if I get the chance to." Believe it or not, my curiosity for this anime grew after this, and adding to the fact that my friend was reading the manga, I was interested to see how this show would line up with Kuroko no Basuke, another shonen series that I liked (yes, I still need to watch the next 2 seasons and all the OVA episodes other than the first season's one).

Now that I've gotten out of school for the summer, I've had more time to plow my way through the last half and get this series done. So, did it go smoothly?

It actually did. Nanatsu no Taizai managed to surprise me by having a great story, some interesting characters, and a quirky animation style. The acting at points in Japanese was also very good, and probably some of the best I've ever heard, even though it mainly came from yelling.

There were some problems that managed to show up, such as the musical score, some meh characters, a couple of loose plot threads, and the wonky animation that foreshadowed A1 Pictures taking on FAR too many projects at once in 2015. But hey! This still was a good series and didn't rely on a ton of cliches! Miracles abound!

Oh, and Ban is hot and Hawk is Best Pig!

Let's go over this show's story first:


In the year 2010, the Holy Britannian Empire took control of Japan using a new weapon known as the Knightmare Frame. The nation follows this with the rights of all of Japan's citizens being stripped, with the country now known as-

Wait, am I reading the wrong plot summary?


Oops, my bad. That's for Code Geass. But it's still pretty funny that the antagonistic nations are both named Britannia, am I right?

Back in ancient times, when the human and non-human worlds were still united as one, there were a famous group of knights known as the Seven Deadly Sins. They were well-known and respected, until the Great Holy Knight, Zaratras, is found dead, and they are suspected of killing him in order to overthrow the kingdom of Liones. Though they are believed to be long gone, rumor has it that the Sins are still alive, but are just disbanded.

10 years after the murder, the Holy Knights stage a coup to overthrow the current king of Liones, who is also suffering from an unknown condition that is making him sick. The third princess of the kingdom, Elizabeth, manages to flee Liones and gather some equipment to disguise herself in order to find the Seven Deadly Sins so that they can help her take back the kingdom.

After a few days on the road, she stumbles into a bar known as the Boar Hat, in which she meets the owner, Meliodas, and his talking pig named Hawk. She tells them of her quest, unbeknownst to her that Meliodas is actually the captain of the Sins, being the Dragon Sin of Wrath. After the Boar Hat is searched by Holy Knights after reports of someone in armor in the area and Elizabeth is caught (though not literally) while trying to escape out the back, the both of them are engaged in battle by a Holy Knight apprentice (who I mistook to be an actual Holy Knight at first) by the name of Twigo. It is there where Elizabeth finds out that Meliodas is in fact a member of the Seven Deadly Sins. Twigo is then defeated shortly afterward.

Along with the help of transportation from Hawk's mom, the trio continue to look for the other Sins, as well as face conflict along the way. Ranging from a Holy Knight who seems to have a connection to Meliodas, to the Vaizel Fighting Festival, to a corrupt Great Holy Knight leader, and a full scale invasion of the kingdom that got caught up in this mess, how many sins will be tacked down? And will Liones be able to rid itself of the unjust ruling of the Holy Knights?

First off, I want to show this show some gratitude because its plot is very fast paced compared to other shonen series that I've heard about or have seen. It may be a bit rushed at points, but overall, I never managed to lose interest as to where the story would go or how certain things turned about, because the pacing kept me wanting to watch more (even though I watched 2 episodes per day when watching this series).

Also, the story by itself is actually pretty unique, even with the occasional sparse cliches popping up. Each quest has at least some struggle that pops up, but it never feels like it drags on for too long or ends rather abruptly (aside from one side fight in the Kingdom Infiltration arc). It's like Kuroko no Basuke in a way: I just really wanted to know how the battles or obstacles would end the way they would. So let's give a hug for that:

It doesn't mean the story is perfectly in the clear. There are some happenings that either are forgotten for now or just seem a little too contrived. The main 2 would regard the Sacred Treasures and the rift between the Holy Knight Gilthunder and the first princess Margaret.

The Sacred Treasures were entrusted to the Sins by King Baltra after they were formed, and were formally Liones treasures. However, due to several instances after the disbandment, Diane, Meliodas, and Ban lost theirs, which King freaks out about after their battle with Holy Knight Guila in the Capital of the Dead. And while we do find Diane's at the Vaizel Fighting Festival, they're easily put aside after this for more important matters, such as the Liones kingdom invasion. This seems a little odd to me, because while we do see King and Gowther using their Sacred Treasures (as they still have them), the show never really brings up the Treasures that are still missing again. And considering what's going to happen after this in the manga timeline, I don't know when we'll go back to them.

And then we have Gilthunder and Margaret's deal, which gets explained in the latter episodes. We do get one brief glimpse of the 2 together while Margaret's in a cell (as to why she decided to be in a cell of her own free will, it isn't really explained, but I think it relates to this) in Episode 13, but we find out more about it via flashbacks in Episode 20 and Gilthunder himself.

Speaking of Gilthunder, he is a Holy Knight who is the son of the murdered Zaratras. He looked up to The Seven Deadly Sins when he was young, even training with Meliodas on several occasions. But shortly after his father's death, he thinks, much like the general public, that the Sins were responsible, and becomes a shell of himself. His main goal now: to train to become a great holy knight and get revenge on the people who killed his father.

While you can easily see this being in the Characters section of my review, I decided to bring it up here because of how it relates to the plot. It's interesting, but also pretty irritating at the same time. After Margaret finds out about the murder of the Great Holy Knight, she tells Gilthunder immediately (I'm guessing before he saw his father's dead body). Unbeknownst to them, Vivian, who served under one of the Great Holy Knights, and who has a massive crush on Gilthunder, was watching, and places both of them on close watch, using a raven or crow for Gilthunder and a chimera for Margaret. This not only prohibits them from frequently seeing each other, but also forces Gilthunder to act cold and calculated.

It is during the first fight with Hendrickson in which Margaret tries to kill herself where everything falls into place. Meliodas helps break the spell by killing the chimera, and Gilthunder finally is able to show real emotion, by saying that he was only pretending to serve under the Holy Knights and that he wasn't one to begin with.

Um, I think you're barking up the wrong tree there Gil, because you've actually been striving to be a Holy Knight your whole life. Wasn't the reason why you wanted to become a Holy Knight in the first place to protect Margaret as well as the kingdom?

Just saying.

The reason why this hurts the story slightly is because it downplays the anime's mystery surrounding Gilthunder and how he's acting completely different than what he used to. True, Gilthunder wasn't the most interesting Holy Knight out of the bunch, but the writing frames him as this man who may have his own demons inside him, and maybe that's why he's acting this way. Hell, this show foreshadowed this "curse" twist WAY in advance. But after it's introduced, it causes Gilthunder's personality to go with it, and as such, he becomes cliche to me. The generic stoic character if you will.

Again, this plot twist is cool, and I really liked the scene where Margaret was explaining it, but it causes Gilthunder to become a more boring character that he may or may not have been at times.

But other than that, I really liked this show's story, mainly with its pacing, and for knowing how to keep me on my toes. I just wish the 2 plot points mentioned above were better than they were (a couple of other ones also popped up, but weren't as bad). But you win some, you lose some.

I'm going to move on to the characters now.


This is going to be a bit busier this time around because I'm not just going to go over the main characters, but rather, I'll be talking about The Seven Deadly Sins that have made the most impact on the plot (5 out of the 6 that Elizabeth has found) and the leads.

So, let's start off with our first character, as well as as our first Sin, Meliodas:

Meliodas is the captain/leader of the Seven Deadly Sins, and is the Dragon Sin of Wrath (as mentioned earlier). His symbol is located on his left arm, and isn't noticeably visible unless his sleeves of his outfit are tattered. Though his wanted poster depicts him as a handsome young man, he actually has the appearance of a 12 year old boy and is very short. But don't let that fool you! He is actually estimated to be a thousand years old and holds an immense amount of power. He is also the owner of the traveling establishment Boar Hat.

Though he does act very laidback and often pervy towards Elizabeth, he does become serious in battle, especially if his comrades are put into danger. When fully angered, Meliodas starts to show signs of demonic power where he enters into a trance of sorts, and his abilities are increased tenfold. Besides his memories getting affected while in this state, he often doesn't known which people are friends or foes. He also gets pretty pissed when the sword he typically uses (it's only a hilt, but it does some pretty hefty damage) is either taken by force or when people try to mess around with it. A prime example of what happens when you piss the Sin of Wrath off is Ban's scar on the lower portion of his face that goes down to his neck. However, he doesn't seem to care about it when it gets taken later in Hendrickson's plan to revive the Demon Clan, which strikes me as rather odd, but he does have an actual sword now though from his long lost lover Liz (ironic name is ironic).

Overall, I liked Meliodas as a character. I think that compared to the other male Sins, his powers aren't as strong or cool, but he's a very strong and smart leader and is determined to remain strong when times get rather rough. He also can be pretty intimidating too despite his psychical appearance. If there was one thing that I wish could have been changed about him, it'd be his acting towards Elizabeth on occasion. In the first 3 episodes, the majority of his gags aside from one is basically groping her boobs, which got annoying after the first time he did it.

The good news is that the writers realized when to turn it off, and it's gone from various episodes. However, when it appears again, I couldn't help but cringe every time, because it either destroys the mood of the current scene or is done so distastefully.

It'd be much better if that joke is just dead from now on. I don't want to see Meliodas's head under Elizabeth's skirt again, please and thanks.

Speaking of Elizabeth:

Elizabeth is the third princess of the kingdom of Liones but isn't a biological daughter of the king. She was in fact adopted, though the anime doesn't reveal why. Though she doesn't have any powers of her own and isn't strong enough to be a great fighter, she is still very courageous, such as when she tries to protect a child when Meliodas and Diane are trapped under an illusion made by the Holy Knight, even though that is also revealed to be an illusion. Her best moment in the series is during that same fight, in which she takes the bell that Ruin was using to dull the sight of the two Sins when they directly looked into it, and purposely lets herself get hit in order to take it out of his staff with her mouth.

She also has some hidden powers of her own though, but those are not going to be spoiled in this review because that'd be too much. I will say that her power is pretty cool and could also be very useful in the future if she's involved with any more scuffles. I will say that she gains feelings for Meliodas, even with his pervy acts.

Elizabeth was a nice surprise for me, since I expected her to be much weaker than she actually was. She has a strong will, can be courageous when she needs to be, and can go to great lengths in order to protect her kingdom, even if it means turning herself in to the dark side, seeing as she doesn't want her friends to get hurt. Hopefully she gets over blaming herself for every single death that happens in this series since it reminds me of Tsugumi contemplating her usefulness in Soul Eater NOT! and how that got annoying, but it'll get better with time. Just not here.

Are you guys ready for Hawk? C'mon out, Leader of the Knighthood of Scrap Disposal:

That opening is a joke that is first introduced in the first episode after the reports of a potential Deadly Sin, in which Hawk wears a portion of Elizabeth's armor to ward off the unit of small-ranking Holy Knights sent to find out more information. It doesn't work, but it's pretty funny when Hawk uses it later on in the series as a formal introduction.

Hawk is a talking pig and Meliodas's companion. They met after the Seven Deadly Sins were banished from the kingdom and have been inseparable since. He typically cleans up all of the scraps at Boar Hat, which he typically eats anyways for food. Much like Elizabeth, he doesn't have any powers, however does utilize in head butts against various villains and transportation for the injured. He is also firmly against any of Meliodas's pervy acts towards Elizabeth, and ties him up once Ban claims Elizabeth's room in the tavern, and the two of them (Meliodas and Elizabeth) have to share Meliodas's own. He is also very sassy and boastful of himself, but in the best way possible.

If Hawk wasn't in this show, it wouldn't be the same, since he adds a lot of life with his great pork self alone with witty dialogue, occasional words of truth, and not putting up with any crap whatsoever. Though some viewers find him to be very annoying, I think he actually is great, and will always be known as the Best Pig from anime. I don't really think anyone could top him (except maybe Orson from U.S. Acres, though that's a comic, and I haven't seen a lot of him otherwise. That includes from the comic and episodes of Garfield and Friends).

Let's move on to the section with the other Seven Deadly Sins our gang managed to find, and first would be Diane:

Diane is the Serpent Sin of Envy, with her mark located on her upper left leg. She is from the Giants Clan, being over 30 feet tall, which means that she isn't able to enter buildings shorter than she is, unless her height changes due to a spell (which it does during the Vaizel Fighting Festival arc). Despite the fact that she looks very childish and can act a little immature, she is in fact over 750 years old, and she and King bonded over the past after King lost his memories following a stab wound (I'll talk about this later when I go over King). However, she doesn't remember any of it due to being knocked out by a daisy that hit her neck, which erased her memories of what happened with him.

At first, Diane acts rather coldly towards Elizabeth, due to the fact that she has a massive crush on Meliodas and feels that Elizabeth is in the way. She is also insecure about her size, feeling that being as large as she is prohibits her from having a normal relationship. However, she and Elizabeth become very good comrades after Diane is inspired by Elizabeth's courage, and Diane doesn't tend to get as jealous as much. However, the first time she did was actually quite hilarious.

Because of the fact that she bis a giant, Diane has abnormal strength, and her powers dwell in earth like element abilities. When she shrinks due to a type of mushroom after Elizabeth and her agitate them while trying to collect food, her smaller form is able to keep some of her endurance and strength, easily eliminating 10 contestants from the rapid fire round of the fighting festival. Her Sacred Treasure, Gideon, weighs over a ton, and her powers are increased to a point where she can separate an entire mountain from a landscape.

I honestly really liked Diane, and much like Elizabeth, it was stronger than I thought it was going to be. Though her jealousy can get annoying (like a certain character in an anime that's currently airing this season), she manages to not rely on that when she gets to know Elizabeth more, and as such, their friendship feels genuine and really sweet. I also like the drive that Diane earns during battle. Much like Meliodas, she is not somewhat you'd want to piss off. But then again, aren't they all?

Yeah, figured as much.

Next up is Ban:

Give me just one minute.

*coughs, before resorting to hacking* I think I'm good now.

It's so strange that I haven't acted this strongly towards an attractive male anime character.

Oh wait, I have. Grell, Kise, and Ranmaru are also examples of hot anime boys. I think Ban gets bonus points since he and Ranmaru share seiyuus (Tatsuhisa Suzuki). But I think it's time to get in depth about him, rather than just gaze at him from a distance.

Ban is the Fox Sin of Greed, with his symbol being located on his lower abdomen (we're kind of pulling a Gray Fullbuster here). Before rejoining with Meliodas and crew, he was imprisoned in Baste Prison after purposely letting himself get captured. His wanted poster looks more like how he looked when he was originally a part of the Seven Deadly Sins, with longer hair than he does now. Though he acts as if he isn't able to escape, he eventually does upon hearing that Meliodas is alive, and does a pretty bad-ass job of it as well. He and Meliodas are very friendly, often engaging in scuffles testing their strength. You expected a typical shonen hate rivalry? That's not here.

However, his rivalry with King is quite complicated. When Ban was a young bandit living off the law of the land by stealing, he traveled to the Enchanted Forest to find the Fountain of Youth in order to obtain immortality before running into King's younger sister, Elaine, who guards the Fountain. When told by Elaine that the forest will perish if he takes the water, Ban lays off on it, but sticks around for 10 days and falls deeply in love with her. But then, a demon attacks the forest, and both end up getting mortally wounded. Elaine asks Ban to take the water, which he refuses, and while at first she seems to drink it, she actually kisses Ban in order to revive him as immortal, sacrificing herself. Now being immortal, Ban can easily recover from any wound or injury, be it getting impaled or having half of his body simply cut off.

Though Ban is good-natured despite his teasing at points, he is the most immoral out of the Seven Deadly Sins, as he seems to have no shame in killing enemies, a prime example of this being in Episode 15. But that does change a bit as the series goes on in small amounts. He's also a horrid drunk and an excellent cook, which Meliodas uses to his advantage to make the food from Boar Hat actually taste good.

Oh, Ban. You know, I have to thank ThaliaLizette for introducing me to him, because OMG HE'S SO COOL AND SO HOT! He has a great personality despite being complicated at points, and seems to have no qualms with his immortal status, even with Elaine's sacrifice. His relationship with Elaine is really sweet, but to anime viewers, you'd probably get more out of it if you watched the first OVA, since flashbacks in Episode 8 don't show everything the story had to offer (the bonus chapter in Volume 4 of the manga). I don't ship it as much compared to another pairing (which I've slightly discussed already), but still, it made me smile a ton, and "Awwww!"'s occasionally came out of my mouth.

Speaking of OVA 1, that one scene of Ban doe:

*sighs dreamily*

Back on topic now. Let's continue the talk about the Sins with King:

King is the Bear Sin of Sloth, and his symbol is located on his leg. He is also known as Harlequin, the King of the Fairies. And no, not the Rainbow Magic fairies, but the actual race. Though he appears to be very overweight and older in his wanted poster, it is in fact another form that he can put on in the present, though for not long periods of time. His appearance is very similar to Meliodas, with both of them looking WAY younger than they actually are.

Many centuries ago, a group of fairies was captured from the kingdom, many of them killed by a merchant who wanted money for their wings. Fearing that Helbram was one of the dead, a friend of his who was always suspicious about why King put as much trust as he did in humans, he goes after them, before getting stabbed by the same merchant and falling into a river, where he is saved by a young Diane.

This starts a long companionship between the two, as King lost his memories of everything preceding being with Diane. And due to the fact that time passes very quickly with fairies, centuries go by as the two are together. But King's memories slowly come back to him just in time to run into Helbram, who actually survived the capture but is now extracting revenge against humans for the way he was treated by killing them and adapting the form of the merchant who was responsible (which, ironically, is the form he takes when he is a Holy Knight). King stops him (for the first time, mind you), and is sentenced to imprisonment for apparently turning a blind eye to Helbram's crimes, even when he had no idea.

Keep in mind, Ban's backstory with Elaine is taking place during this time period. And it is only after the Sins are banished from Liones when King returns to his own kingdom to find the Enchanted Forest decimated. As Ban was charged for destroying the Forest, King thinks he is to blame as well, and tries to extract revenge against him by turning him into stone in the Land of the Dead. However, Elaine revives Ban from his stone prison, and her ghost tells her older brother than Ban is in fact not to blame for the destruction, along with saying that he eventually figured out that King was her elder brother, as she waited for him for 700 years to come home. Because of this, King decides to join the Seven Deadly Sins to stop the corruption of the Holy Knights.

Despite his first appearance where he seems to be working with the Holy Knights and acts a little cold, King is actually very kind and occasionally just gets caught in the shenanigans that always seem to sprout up when you're with your old pals. His crush on Diane still remains, even though her memories were wiped out of what happened, and the both of them together are SO adorable.

Having Diane be a human temporarily would be a great chance to get some development between the two. I mean, Ban x Elaine are adorable too, but my main ship is Diane x King. I'm sure others would agree with me on that. XD

But regardless, King is SO CUTE! :3 I loved his little spaz moments where he gets all flustered, but the best form of King is probably OP King. Normally, I hate characters who are really overpowered, but with King, he's ridiculously OP that it's basically really cool, and seeing him own both Guila and Jericho in Episode 12 was absolutely hysterical. Must be the fact that he's King of the Fairies so that he can have this much power. Just don't make him fight without Chastiefol though, or else he won't do well.

Now onto our last Sin (and last character), which would be Gowther:

Gowther is the Goat Sin of Lust, and his mark is located on his upper chest. Though he is depicted in his armor on wanted posters, he has recently been living under disguise as a man named Armando after he finds an injured demon in the forest (who is later revealed to be Guila's father, from the first failed tests of the New Generation), in which he gave his own armor to hide him in. This leads to reports of a giant in the area, and hearing this information (basically, what he looks like) causes the boys of the Sins to go searching for Gilthunder during some much needed down time.

After he is revealed, the Sins fight off the demon, which causes some unrest in Meliodas, considering that the said demon in question is a hybrid. But I'll get off this track now, since it's fairly interesting to find out more about this when you watch the series, and there's some pretty interesting events that happen with this hybrid situation.

Gilthunder is very robotic, not displaying a lot of emotion, and typically has a blank look on his face. He's not really good on the social standard, as he occasionally divulges some of the Seven Deadly Sins's best kept secrets, and he doesn't know a lot about love and friendship. He typically poses extravagantly when attacking, even flashing peace signs after the final battle for no reason whatsoever. He also seems to be a difficult person to kill, as he has survived getting impaled by a sword as well as getting his head sliced off.  With some new information that hasn't been revealed in the anime yet (I only know this from Wikipedia), it'll be interesting to see how Gowther's identity will play into the plot. 

Overall, Gowther's later entrance into the series isn't a bad one. Though I'd like to know more about him and the fact that out of all the Sins we've had an introduction to (aside from Merlin, who shows up but we don't get a lot of her), he's the one that pushed out of the way the most, he still has some great presence. Gowther's illusion powers are pretty terrifying, as they can trap people into their darkest moments, and with his Twin-Bow Herritt, it makes it more powerful. I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that.

I should probably also mention that Gowther adds some great comedy that makes me wish it replaced all of the pervy Meliodas humor, because Gowther at points is goddamn hilarious. From snooty one-liners, to getting confused at various subjects, one of the reasons how he managed to tell that King was King, and his posing, he can only get better from here. Or maybe worse from what I've read online. It's a gamble.

The other Seven Deadly Sin we meet is Merlin, the Boar Sin of Gluttony. Though we don't know too much about her, other than the fact that she's regarded as the best mage in Britannia and the mentor to Arthur Pendragon, she seems to have an involvement in the Zaratas plot, as she knocked Meliodas out when they were getting ambushed. Whenever Season 2 of this comes out, I'm curious to see if we'll know the story behind that action. So that leaves Escanor, the Lion Sin of Pride. I wonder what he'll be like in terms of personality?

Now onto the Holy Knights. At first, the Holy Knights do seem to be a stereotypical corrupted unit that I've seen before. I was worried that the anime wasn't going to develop all of them equally, but some of them were actually given motives as to why there were Holy Knights and how all this madness came to be. Believe me, there will be some of the Knights that you'll actually develop a liking too (mine were Jericho, Guila, Hauser (though his motives weren't developed as strongly as the 2 girls, but Guila's was the strongest), and some you won't (Gilthunder gets outnumbered by his competition, Twigo only shows up twice and dies during his second appearance, Helbram, when not in his fairy form, is incredibly annoying, Dreyfus is boring, Hendrickson is a cliche villain whose motives are explained once and never brought up again outside of the main picture, and Gustaf also only shows up twice, whilst doing nothing except what's convenient to the plot), but they're at least a diverse group of people. There's also Griamore, Dreyfus's son and the bodyguard to Veronica, and Vivian, a mage who used to work for Merlin and who's REALLY having the hots for Gilthunder.

There's also a group called the Weird Fangs, who don't really matter outside of trying to stop the Sins from rescuing Ban from his cell in Baste Prison (though Jericho served under them until becoming a member of the New Generation), so I'll just skip over them. Same with the Dawn's Roar (or Roars of Dawn, depending on the translation), though their mission was to annihilate the giant that was believed to be Gowther at first. There also were 2 children who lived near the Land of the Dead that didn't really play a big impact on the story as well.

Outside of those two groups, we have Helbram, a fairy who was once King's best friend who can turn into 2 known forms: one being the Holy Knight and another being a small red creature known as Love Helm, Hawk's Mother, a giant green pig who serves as transportation, and as the resting place for Boar Hat, Elaine, King's sister who now resides in the Capital of the Dead (after her backstory with Ban), Cain Bazard, an elderly man who first appears in the Vaizel Fighting Festival arc who used to be friends with Meliodas in the past in the kingdom of Danafor (which Meliodas apparently destroyed), and then there's Liz, a knight of Danafor from long ago, who eventually became Meliodas's love interest. Look at the name. TOTALLY not hinting at something in the future.

You can totally guess what this plot twist is now (it isn't revealed in the anime, but still). It's completely pointless and really stupid.

Out of the Lyonesse royal family, we have Bartra, the king, Margaret, the eldest sister, and Veronica, the second oldest. Last but not least is Arthur Pendragon, the current king of Camelot.


The animation for this series was produced by A-1 Pictures, who are also known for working on anime such as Black Butler, Your Lie in April, and Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash.

The one thing I have noticed when looking at illustrations from the manga is that Nakaba Suzuki has very distinct character designs for set characters (Ban is a good example of this), and the anime does a good job adapting these on the screen. Key defining traits are kept (though Diane looks more childish than she is in some manga illustrations I've seen, which I honestly think looks better), and each character has a defining trait to them that sometimes doesn't pop up anywhere else. It's nice, especially after seeing far too many shonen has various similarities in terms of the designs of their characters.

The actual animation isn't too shabby either in some places, with characters looking vibrant and colorful and settings looking lush and detailed. Probably the best examples of this would be Baste Prison and the Land of the Dead. I mean, sure, Baste Prison is exactly what it says to be (a prison), but the added torch light shows the nice block pattern to the walls, and there were parts where Baste Prison actually felt like home to me. Yeah, it's weird, but I blame the torch light. The Land of the Dead has a slightly gloomy atmosphere (I mean, the sky is green after all), but the crystals that pop up in there look beautiful and add a brighter touch to the place.

Of course, the second half came as A-1 buckled under the weight of the load of their shows in 2015 (probably around the time when they were in the production stages of them), and as such, the animation manages to falter a lot in later episodes. But problems still manage to arise even in the first cour. Characters look fine one moment, and off model the next. Some fight scene animation looks stilted and awkward, while other times it's great. There was even one instance where entire wounds managed to disappear for one frame before managing to pop up in the next. And let's not even think about the disappearing bodies during Episode 18. Unless they were moved off-screen, there is no way they could vanish into thin air like that. Appearing in a closeup shot doesn't solve matters either. 

I mean, Ban's heavily defined chest always looked good, but that even suffered some wacky animation, as it would appear more muscular than it was at various points in the series. I mean, Ban's hot, but be careful if you want to give certain fangirls a nosebleed.

So overall, Nanatsu no Taizai had its nice animation moments, but also its bad ones, making for a very inconsistent effort from A-1 Pictures. Hopefully when it gets released on DVD here in the US, we'll see the finalized animation in all of its glory.


The score for this series was composed by Hiroyuki Sawano, who is most known for composing the OST'S of some of the popular anime titles of today, including Attack on Titan, Kill la Kill, and Seraph of the End.

I didn't discuss this when I talked about Blue Exorcist in my Top 5 Worst Shows of 2015, but I also wasn't a big fan of its musical score. Besides being very bland, there were just some odd pieces. The score didn't feel cohesive whatsoever, and at times even drowned out the dialogue that was being said by the characters. So I honestly wasn't looking forward to how this score would come out.

And overall, it wasn't horrible. There were a couple of pieces that I did manage to like. But I'm still not impressed with Hiroyuki Sawano as a whole. Again, there were some really odd instrument choices in a couple of the tracks, and the dramatic music all seemed to blend together for me. I felt like at points, Hiroyuki Sawano was trying his hardest to make this score sound reminiscent of Yasuharu Takanashi, yet he didn't really do a good job of doing so. There even was a portion that I recognized from a piece of Akame ga Kill that was used in a series of videos that Sentai Filmworks uploaded (though I'm not entirely sure if that's just a effect) in a couple of the OST from this show, which honestly feels like copying.

The best track was definitely the insert song Perfect Time. It only plays in full force twice in the show (in its opening and closing episodes), though it sneaks in as an instrumental a couple of times in the series. This song is actually a lot of fun, and is probably the only track that manages to sound a lot like Yasuharu Takanashi, yet manages to work really nicely. It got my energy up during some of the fight scenes and got me invested in what was going on.

Now onto the voice acting, which should be first led by an applause GIF to most of the Japanese seiyuus who worked on this series:

Bravo! Simply bravo! The majority of you did absolutely amazing! Sure, it was during the moments when your characters were screaming their lungs out, but you still aced those scenes with top notch emotion, passion, and poise. Moments of this show not only showcase the best performances out of some of the seiyuus, but probably also some of the best acting I've ever seen in an anime period. Almost all of it was quite good and top-notch and had that little extra flair.

Now Nanatsu no Taizai was released onto U.S. Netflix with French, Spanish, and German audio (there's also Italian and Brazilian Portuguese dubs. If the Latin American Spanish dub is in the U.S., there's also one in Spain as well) besides just English. So good news is that I get to hear Ban's sexy voice in other languages aside from Japanese and English (okay, I have a problem). And from what I've heard of the English dub isn't too bad so far. I still need to watch more of it to get a firm grip on some of the performances, but my favorite voice thus far would probably have to be Ben Diskin's as Ban (see?). It's a different role for him than what I've seen him do in the past (Numbuh 1 and Numbuh 2 from Codename: Kids Next Door come to mind), but it works so well.

Highlights in the original Japanese are Yuki Kaji, Sora Amamiya (as both Liz and Elizabeth), Misaki Kuno, Aoi Yuki, Tatsuhisa Suzuki (YES!), Jun Fukuyama (DOUBLE YES! I loved it when both Ban and King were on screen together by themselves), Yuhei Takagi (falls in the boat of seiyuus who haven't gotten cast in a lot in anime but deserve it), Maaya Sakamoto, Mamoru Miyano, Marina Inoue, Mariya Ise, Ryohei Kimura, Yuya Uchida, Hiroshi Kamiya, Minako Kotobuki, Megumi Han, Shinichiro Miki, Ryosuke Kanemoto, Kotori Koiwai, Takashi Inagaki, Rintaro Nishi, Nana Misuki, Hisako Kanemoto (the angry Ami joke will live on in infamy), Sachi Kokuryu, and Kazutomi Yamamoto.


So overall, Nanatsu no Taizai was definitely one of the better shonen that I've seen in recent memory. Kuroko no Basuke's first season is still at number 1, but in some ways, this show makes a close runner-up (yes, more so than Bleach's first 20 episodes). Despite the problems that I encountered, most were relatively minor and didn't fully bug me as other shows in the past.

The best news of all is that it's free to watch if you have Netflix. No ads either, so for all of the viewers who complain about that on sites such as Hulu, you don't have to worry about that. I can see it being the perfect binge-watch already. I'd definitely check it out if you're interested in paging through the Netflix Originals (or "Originals" for some of them), like shonen anime and manga, want to see how the original manga will be adapted (since I saw that several people weren't pleased with it), or if you need another anime to binge-watch (this is how a fast pace can help).

Score: 8/10


Story is very fast paced.

Show has unique elements that make it stand out from the shonen genre.

Great main characters.

Hawk is Best Pig.

Ban is Best Man.

Good animation.

Fantastic voice acting.


Some plot threads in the story are glossed over.

A couple of the characters are too stereotypical or don't have purpose.

Animation is sometimes inconsistent.

Forgettable score, aside from a few pieces.

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