Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai Review

Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai Review

Warning: The following review may/will contain spoilers of the series Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai. If you wish to stay clear of what happens in the show's story, please exit the tab, and join me once you've watched said show. Or, you know, you can take that warning with a grain of salt, and still read on anyway. Whatever floats your boat.

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

I had a hunch that this show would be the first one I wrote about once I was done leaving this blog in limbo for about 8 months. Even with its production delays and other shows starting to air in the summer that piqued my interest WAY more than this did, I still decided to stick with this until the very end. And I guess you're all wondering why.

Let's start off with the fact that I don't typically watch fanservice shows. Granted, I have watched a few (and reviewed them), but I've never really felt drawn to them as a main source of entertainment. I'm still unsure about my sexual orientation, but I can guarantee you that I'm not 100% bonafide straight. If so, I'd probably find shows like this *points above* much more arousing than they actually are.

And to be honest, these types of series have so much stigma against them. Over-sexualizing its female characters, having clothing that only serves to get torn within 5 minutes, stories that are so flimsy that they match up with said clothes, and giving an excuse to shove in some added "yuri" in order to make it appeal more to its target audience. Which, let's be real, is probably middle-aged men using this medium to escape reality and get off from it.

The good news is that I have found quality fanservice anime, where despite problems, they still have other factors that make them not be complete dog crap. The bad news is that the series that are typically perceived as really bad turned out to be exactly that: bad.

"So Dazz, if you're not watching this show for an escape, fap material, or to have the excuse to see scantily-clad girls, why exactly did you start it in the first place?"


Yup, I've got nothing. Outside of the typical things that attract me to an anime series, there really wasn't anything new that appealed to me. The story (when it was announced, and yes, it's an actual one) sounded interesting, the demons looked cool, the animation promised to be good, and the cast looked pretty well-rounded. Also, I like stuff related to the Seven Deadly Sins. It was pretty standard, not gonna lie.

So, how exactly did Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai end up being? Was it horrid, like many other predecessors before it? Or did it have something more to it that elevated it from Trash to Kind of Good Content?

Well, here's the thing. By no means is this show excellent. The story is incredibly flimsy and doesn't know where it wants to go, most of the characters don't really go beyond various tropes, and the animation wasn't as consistent as I would have liked. Add in the fact that I wasn't a fan of 2 characters in Japanese, and Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai wasn't a show that really fit the bill for me.

But then again, there were some good elements. Once the trash factor of this show dials back, there's actually quality content buried underneath. Sure, the tonal shifts in terms of content don't really work all around, but they still offer me more than just seeing nipple sucking and girls being sexually tortured. There was creativity in how Lucifer faced off against the other demons, and in the characters that did have development, they at least tried to give them some sort of meaning. There was also a fun score to go along with it, and then there's the pretty dope English dub.

I guess it's time to dig in to this show and really see what's up. Anyone with me?

All right! Let's begin.


Lucifer, one of Heaven's top angels and the former leader of the Seven Heavenly Virtues, is cast out of Heaven after refusing to work with the other heavenly deities to bring about a new world order. On her way down into Hell, she crashes into a school-owned church, where a girl named Maria is there...for some reason (because #anime). Before she leaves Earth, Lucifer makes a pact with the human girl and infuses her with some of her angel's blood. After that, the fallen angel continues her descent into Hell.

Once she has arrived in the 9th (and last) circle in Hell called Coctyus, a fellow demon named Leviathan (or simply known as Levi), an aspiring Demon Lord, approaches Lucifer while she is still bound to her cross. After freeing her (and teasing her at the same time), Levi leads Lucifer to Pandemonium, the council chamber where the Seven Mortal Sins rule Hell from. Once they arrive, the former angel is brought under question by Satan, the Demon Lord of Wrath, and Belial, the Demon Lord of Vanity and proclaimed leader, for trying to invade Heaven, seeing as Lucifer is still technically an angel.

Both of the demons challenge her to a fight, and while the other Sins present (one is missing) aren't really in the mood for a battle royale, they follow along anyways because nobody should dare question their leader. Despite beating Belial at first and destroying her family sword, Lucifer is quickly overpowered by the other demons (aside from Levi) and is stripped of her wings and her power after the Demon Lord of Vanity recovers enough to seal it under several Garbs of Punishment.

But doing this accidentally turns Lucifer into a Demon Lord herself, and after declaring herself the Demon Lord of Pride (and the rightful leader of the Seven Mortal Sins), she vows revenge on the group of demons for humiliating her and sealing away her powers. She promises to take them on one by one in order to remove the Garbs so she can make a grand return to Hell. With Levi in tow, this newly-made demon is ready for the next stage of her plan.

When Lucifer returns to the church she crash landed in, she finds Maria praying, and stabs her in the heart...for no real reason, aside from the latter being immortal and getting eternal youth (because #anime). She later reveals that since she made the deal with Maria, her angel's blood gives the human unique quirks that could prove to be quite useful to her mission. This includes not being able to die when Lucifer takes her heart and seal it so that she's bound to her, and her nipples being able to locate where the other demon lords are residing if Lucifer licks them (yeah, I don't get that one either).

After retrieving Maria, Lucifer decides that a fancy hotel suite will be her base of operations, but it turns out her first opponent might just be under her nose. Levi, green with envy (ha ha) about Lucifer's attention towards Maria, tries to drive the latter away by sexually tormenting her in an elevator (LOVE IN AN ELEVATOR! LIVING IT UP 'TIL I HIT THE GROUND). After her swift defeat, Lucifer awakens the human's newly acquired abilities to see that one of the demons is located in Miami (I'm in Miami, bitch). From there, it's up to Lucifer and her crew to defeat the demons one by one, before finally going up to the one who christened herself the leader through a dirty hand, pun not intended. But what if things become unbalanced in the new demon's favor?

I'll be straightforward and say this story is an absolute mess. It does have its good aspects (such as the middle 4 episodes and the finale), but the tone is never constant and confused me a lot through its run. We start off with a standard typical FS anime: excuses to get the main girls naked, unneeded sexual scenes where the heroes are taken advantage of, a character being jealous of someone's affection to another, and a very campy feeling to the writing. Getting through the 3 episodes after the premiere was an absolute struggle, especially for Episode 2, which really nothing can save. It's just a bad episode all around in terms of its plot, and the dub couldn't do anything to redeem it outside of making its writing more tolerable.

But then, the tone completely switches during Episode 5, where the show decides to play up its ridiculousness and embrace it, especially when Lucifer and Maria become trapped in Belphegor's RPG, an eating contest ends with a trip to the hospital with Beelzebub, and following that, Satan almost destroys the world when she obtains a fleet to go against Lucifer before they end up fighting in space. What I got out of this was great, however, because it's where the characters weren't sexually tortured or had to get naked "for the plot." They faced real battles that actually felt significant and were pretty fun to watch, with a couple of bits that had me chuckling.

After the rest of the Demon Lords are defeated, though, the writing shifts back to the trashy side during Episode 9 for most of its run, before going darker for Episode 10 (along with having more pointless fanservice, though it did give me Belial saying the now forever iconic, "The wager will be your uterus" in the Japanese). We then went into a more exposition-filled episode in Episode 11, which was boring and had Lucifer and Maria naked in it for no reason whatsoever outside of showing their goods. After that, the finale had some typical finale writing (I think you can envision it), although there were some WTF moments (Lucifer watching over Maria since she was young, and the latter coming back to life following sacrificing herself so that Lucifer could regain consciousness to face Michael, her former companion, because a Deus ex Maria is our friend), but it did prove to be entertaining and at least engaging. Plus, it wasn't trashy.

Yeah, I know it's a bad sign when even I have a series that revolves around various male winged creatures being lewd with each other and that story has more coherence than this does.

Regardless, the writers were still creative with how Lucifer faced off against each Demon Lord, and that's a good thing. At least each battle wasn't the same over-sexualized one I've seen way too much of in the past few years. We got some, such as struggling against a tentacle-like creature (because of course we have to have that), pole-dancing, being whisked away to a mansion in the woods, and trying to withstand sanity while being restrained on a wooden horse with a blunted metal edge pressing on your hoo-hah. But then there's the RPG, the eating contest which leads to hospital bonding, and a good old smack down.

My favorite one was the battle against Astaroth, the Demon Lord of Melancholy. Rather than go balls to the wall, the writers of that episode played it tame with Lucifer and Astaroth having a song competition: who could sing a better version of Goddamn Critical and who could do the flashiest music video to an original song. It all ended in a live showdown, where the two demons sung a combined version of their music and had to see who got the most star power. It was surprisingly fun, and it was nice to see the two rivals be good-natured to each other.

You know, idol shows should keep this in mind. It'd be fun if cute little battles like this showed up a little more often, rather than competing for a girl via a lawyer TV drama, having mommy issues in place of something that could be deeper, or big grand competitions where *gasps* the winner's nearly impossible to choose. Some writers for these adaptations need to let loose and not be Why So Serious. It would make me less annoyed with them. That's my two cents, though.

So in the end, the actual plot for this anime wasn't the best, but it wasn't the worst either. While I did get a good batch of episodes in the middle, and the writers did have different battles for each of the Demon Lords, Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai did not start off on the best footing. That fact that I didn't drop this show in the beginning was an understatement, since that second episode turned me so off that I couldn't ask someone to "turn me on." But it did get turned around, despite the tone or content not being consistent as a whole (again, not completely a bad thing). At least I got a good ending and a happily ever after for our heroes.

Definitely a more complex feeling towards the story this time around, but at least it's more clean cut on the characters. Speaking of which:


In shows like these, I would prioritize trying to go over each character and talk about them. However, since the development's pretty skewy (and because I'm WAY too lazy), I'm only going to go over the 3 leads, and then proceed to talk about some select Demon Lords that I found more appealing than the others. Simple as that.

I do want to say that I wanted more of a this:

No, seriously, where was a this:

Really, can I find somewhere else aside from the actual Nanatsu no Taizai that has a this:

Oops, my Parched Hoe self is showing. Give me a sec.

There we go! All better! Let's move on before I go completely into the gutter.

I'm going to start things off with Lucifer:

Lucifer is the self-proclaimed Demon Lord of Pride, and was formerly the leader of the Archangels of Heaven and the Seven Lively Virtues before being evicted out of Heaven. Despite being a lady of beauty, she is incredibly arrogant, only looking out for herself and what will be the best for her in the end. However, this pride may be her greatest weapon against the other Demon Lords she is trying to take down, along with her hold on Maria's heart. Now, if only these Garbs wouldn't be such a pain in the ass.

As a lead character, I did end up liking Lucifer a fair bit. In terms of her development, her arrogance doesn't go away, but she does eventually show she cares for Maria and Levi and sees them as allies and companions rather than extra meat. She doesn't give up when it could be her defeat on her line, which includes withstanding sexual torture, and at least she isn't hot-headed enough to lose focus on what's important to her: ascend to her throne as as rightful Demon Lord, and lead over the Seven Mortal Sins once she defeats them one by one. Plus, I don't think her main shtick is to have that va va voom voom, which is greatly appreciated.

While her character may not be the best, seeing as this is a fanservice anime, she still had her moments of being a badass and a smartass at the same time. Her battles are short, but she either knows the right things to say or the right attacks to use, and she knows more about idols than any anime angel probably ever could. Now let's hope we share the same favorite group!

Too soon? Yeah, probably.

Next up is Levi:

Levi (or Leviathan, depending on what you prefer) is the aspiring Demon Lord of Envy who isn't a part of the Seven Mortal Sins, but yet wants to be. After freeing Lucifer from the cross she was shipped with, Levi is a prime figure at the fallen angel's side, calling her Onee-sama (which means Big Sister) and going along with whatever she has planned. Whenever Lucifer's attentions shift elsewhere, she becomes incredibly jealous, and upon first meeting Maria, it gets so bad that she has to rely on sexual torture to get Maria to nearly break. 

Levi has the power to control water and summon water-based familiars to her side for aid in a fight, but she isn't as strong enough compared to the other Demon Lords. She also has a stuffed bat familiar named Behemoth who constantly stays by her side, and lends his hand a few times to get our heroes out of a pinch.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to like Levi. The writers didn't really know what to do with her, and as such, she barely gets any character development or any real depth outside of her desire to get with Lucifer. There's also the fact that half her lines are basically calling out to Lucifer, which gets exceedingly annoying in the Japanese since it's all "Onee-sama!'s" and nothing else. Another broken record, I'm afraid.

The good news is that she is more tolerable dub-wise, as the adaptive script writer (Clint Bickham) removes all references to Big Sis Lucifer, and rather just keeps it straightly the aforementioned demon's name, or has Levi give her a nickname. It works better and isn't as grating, though the fact that it takes her 10 episodes to admit that she'll miss Maria if she's gone rubbed me the wrong way, considering we didn't get any build-up on it beforehand aside from that episode.

To all of these love-struck characters who don't really do anything aside from admit their feelings or jump at their beloved time and time again, go home. Seriously, your game is tired and you all should retire.

I don't even like that song, but hey! The reference worked!

Let's move on to Maria:

I wish I could find something other than her character design, but there's barely any screenshots of this show. It's honestly rather strange, but moving on.

Maria used to have a pretty normal life, going to a religion-based school for most of her life and praying to God every day. However, after she is swept up into the revenge seeking Lucifer's plots, her life will never be the same again. Naive and shy, Maria is at first flabbergasted that Lucifer needs a human girl to be by her side, but she does eventually grow to care for the newly made devil. Which I guess works, even though Lucifer literally took her against her will.

In the end, I was on the fence with Maria. Initially, she reminded me of Ritsuka Tachibana from Dance with Devils, a series that start off fine enough before sinking its own ship once the second half started. Both of them are girls who may not be the brightest in the bunch of female protagonists, but at least they know when things are fishy and try to speak up about it. But whereas Ritsuka became progressively dumber as her series went on, Maria starts to get smarter. Granted, she does get captured by Belial in Episode 7 and isn't really of much use otherwise (aside from being used as a location magnet or bait), but I do think her faith in Lucifer is justified. After seeing her dedication in defeating the other Demon Lords and following through on that, Maria doesn't really have anywhere else to look but in awe at Lucifer because let's be real, she can't go back to the way things were before.

She even has to stand against Lucifer in the RPG because of how Belphegor pits them against each other, with Maria as the hero and Lucifer as the villain. Even so, she tries to get Lucifer to surrender easily without destroying the bond that has built up between them, which is the best thing to do. I just wish the development regarding on why Lucifer picked Maria to was much more satisfying, because Maria praying to Lucifer since she was young, with Lucifer picking up on that sole devotion and it being the reason why she rebelled again God in the first place?

Yeah, I don't buy it. It's basically a cop-out. But at least Maria doesn't do stupid s**t by the end and follows her heart, her intuition.

Now for Belial:

Belial is the Demon Lord of Vanity, as well as the leader of the Seven Mortal Sins. She leads the charge against Lucifer because she was an angel once as well. Known as Satanael, she gained followers by appearing to humans, thereby proving God's existence. However, this backfired, as these humans eventually fell to the seven sins. Because her approach ended up failing so massively, she was sentenced by Lucifer to fall into Hell. While in the fiery depths, Belial gathered up enough strength by posing as someone from the legendary Byrndale family, and getting the other Sins to work with her so that she could one day get revenge.

However, it may be easier for her in her position to get help in bringing a new world order and regaining her angel wings from someone else. And that someone could very well be from the other side. Let's just say that this devil's days in Heaven could be returning again very soon.

Overall, I liked Belial enough. Despite her being pretty dimwitted on some occasions, she was easily able to play the Seven Mortal Sins into obeying her due to her newly acquired family name and powers. She has them on a pretty tight leash, and because they can't disobey her unless she specifically states she is no longer the leader, that makes abandoning her side much more difficult. She even eventually gets the upper hand on Lucifer, and she becomes pretty crafty in doing it. 

Once Maria piques her interest, not only does she eventually find her heart (nothing like good old fashioned boob rubbing), but she also kidnaps the girl as leverage. She even tries to make Lucifer become drained of her power so that she won't hold a candle to her as she descends into the circles of Hell. At the end of the day, it isn't really enough, but at least there's dedication in doing it.

Asmodeus's turn to strut her stuff:

Meet the Demon Lord of Lust, everyone! Asmodeus is clearly the most lewd out of the bunch, and aside from her main getup and designated sin, it even transfers into how she fights against Lucifer after the latter uses Maria as bait to distract the demon lord. Aside from being entirely confident in her sexual prowess, Asmodeus also loves to tease and knows several hot spots to push a girl's (and possibly a man's) buttons. Her main base of operations is in Miami (welcome to Miami. Bienvenidos a Miami), where she lounges around at the beach by day, and can be found in the club, bottle full of bub (not literally), doing her best Britney Spears Blackout era pole dancing by night in order to gather more followers. 

Asmodeus's defeat comes when she realizes that lust isn't something that has to be acquired; it is in fact completely natural, according to Lucifer tied up in a plant tentacle thing. She then realizes that Lucifer is actually quite pretty, and doesn't just need a taste of the fallen angel in order to get a kick out of her. She is the first one fought and the first Garb from Lucifer's body removed. Her powers are wind-based.

Honestly, I freaking loved Asmodeus based on personality alone. You can tell the Japanese and English writers just had a ton of fun with her, because all of her lines are either basic yaoi seme ones (and yes, I kept track of them) or are so over-the-top ridiculous that they're funny either way. I mean, her main attack's called Pheromone Wind of all things! It's absolutely genius! She just takes what she was blessed with and rolls with it. Even when I wasn't enjoying this series, just seeing her alone brightened an episode. She also reminded me of another character (who yes, is from a better show, and yes, actually has more development built on) that isn't afraid of their sensuality and just rolls with it. Of course, much to the delight of me.

And that, my friends, is freaking Christophe Giacometti from Yuri on Ice.

I would put a picture of him here, but I'm going to be putting GIF's and screenshots in the next few paragraphs anyways. Plus, I think mostly everyone is aware of every single character in Yuri on Ice (along with the entire show. After all, it was born to make history), so let's not waste time and just start the reasoning.

1. Both Chris and Asmodeus flirt with the main characters of their respective anime. How do they do this? By coming on in the most suggestive way possible. Granted, we see Asmodeus before hand asking if Lucifer can give her a taste when she first steps into Pandemonium, but she puts it out there much more bluntly when Lucifer is immobile after the first round of attacks from the Seven Mortal Sins. How? By poking her right boob.

Chris just does this...well, because he's Chris. It's basically his actual unexpected entrance into the anime and he gives no f**ks. He also strokes Yuri's ass, because the lewd is strong with these two.

2. They have the tendency to feel up very private places. With Asmodeus, she'll occasionally grope her right boob (what is it with her and right boobs?). With Chris, his first performance piece has a move where he swipes both of his hands across his butt. Why? Again, the two of them are lewd creatures.

3. It seems like the two of them always walk around in Arousal City. For Asmodeus, hearing someone moan from her actions on them turns her on, as well as thinking about angels, and literally anything else beyond that (she claims that Satan attacking Michael in the final episode of this show made her wet). Chris just flaunts around his sexuality and orgasms during both of his ice skating pieces the first time through.

Why? Yet again, these two are lewd and precious and HOW COME I LIKE THEM SO MUCH? SERIOUSLY? THEY'RE DIRTY BUT AWESOME AT THE SAME TIME!

Nothing else to say here. Goodbye while I find myself some fanfic (and an actual fan) to satisfy this nice pink burn on my face from too many feelings.

Last but not least for my highlights is Astaroth:

Astaroth is the Demon Lord of Melancholy who is rarely seen in Hell due to her work as an idol to maintain followers. She is very self-depreciating and shy, even though her presence makes her out to be larger than life. Since she can't properly communicate with people, she uses her music to display her emotions to the world. She's at her best state with her guitar in hand, rocking out and producing some pretty sick tunes. Oh, and she can rap as well. That's also covered.

She also has an undying devotion to Belial. Aside from that fact that they're the two "outcasted" sins, maybe Belial's one of the only demon lords she feels the most comfortable around (aside from Belphegor). Though she does question her methods from time to time. She is defeated despite giving it her all in a combo of both her and Lucifer's songs. Also, she's got more confidence. After all, what's wrong with being confident, right?

Not that Astaroth's shyness is bad. In fact, it definitely made me warm to her. I can relate to the fact that she's extremely nervous around new people and she doesn't communicate in the best ways. As I've grown older, I feel like that part of me has stripped away bit by bit, but some of it is still there inside me. It's clear that's the same in Astaroth. She's adorable, quirky, and I did like how she stayed loyal to Belial despite her misdeeds until the very end, while all the others dropped out. It was a interesting thing that I wish we got more insight into, aside from the fact that in reality, Melancholy and Vanity were replaced by Envy and Pride.

Also, her seiyuu can sing and ASUDEKO will forever remain a staple in terms of anime character songs. After all, it got a dope music video directed by Yasuomi Umetsu, and it's such a thrilling rock song. But more on that later.

The other Demon Lords are Satan, the Demon Lord of Wrath, who's angry and loud and likes cute things, Belphegor, the Demon Lord of Sloth, who's lazy and doesn't like to do jack (she has my favorite design out of the girls), Mammon, the Demon Lord of Greed, who's the Designated Mom who made a lot of cat demon babies, and Beelzebub, the Demon Lord of Gluttony, who's the cute loli of the group.

We then have Michael, our other angel who isn't very nice, but has respected Lucifer for a long time, and wants to follow God's wishes. Following that are two other characters that fit the Pervy Best Friend and Pervy Older Man (who's also a demon) molds, and who are basically just throwaways. So let's just say "bye, Felicia," because I think I've got this all covered.

Oh, but I still wanted a Ban. Where is he in another world?

ANNNNNNNNNNNNND let's turn off my wish fulfillment. Water! I need water!


The animation for this series was produced by two studios, the first being Artland (known for Mushishi, Reborn, and Senran Kagura), and the second being TNK (known for Bladedance of the Elementalers, Highschool DXD, and School Days).

Overall, the animation for this series actually wasn't that bad. It mostly remained consistent, and was very colorful throughout. The staff really captured the essence of Hell and the human world in this series' terms pretty well, and even with its inconsistency in some episodes (mostly due to Artland's money issues. The fact that this series was delayed quite a few times in its broadcast run can be put on them, since they did file for bankruptcy around the time of the 2nd recap episode that only aired on AT-X (even though one of their employees said that Artland isn't going to die any time soon)), I still found it to be a nice effort.

Now time to talk about the main money maker of this series! Which, honestly, was fine. Again, I'm not easily going to be "turned on" by a show that really isn't in my wheelhouse. Also, I watched the censored stream of this, which deserves to be talked about in itself. Because do we have another iconic one on our hands!

I don't think the censoring here was as bad as other shows I've seen, but we still have those light beams that will never look flattering. Most of the boob, butt, and crotch shots are censored by a black and red or purple and red summoning circle that spins around the screen (and depending on how "bad" the shot is, will cover either 1/4th or 1/2th of the screen). It's a creative method, but I just mainly got annoyed at the censoring of the iconic erect nipples that every single girl in every single fanservice show has. Most of the time, depending on the angle of certain frames, they were never symmetrical over the nips. C'mon, I don't think it's that hard to do, right?

There's also the fact that again, there's some inconsistent censoring. Some risque shots are censored, but others go by the production staff's eyes. A few deep imprinted vaheens, a few butts, and of course, Beelzebub's punishment scene. Belial punishes Beelzebub for disobeying her by forcing the loli demon to eat sausage. Now, on its own, this scene just sounds lewd and seems to be a bit much for a mainstream fanservice show. But there's a couple of close-up and far away shots where her getting the sausage shoved into her mouth looks incredibly phallic and disturbed me. Can I not imagine that she's giving head to a group of servant demons? My mind's already rolled around in the gutter too many times to count.

Also, I think that there was too much of a "follow the book" approach as this show was starting out. Too much nipple sucking (which I've never seen before outside of fanfic), sexual torture, and nudity than was needed. Granted, I get what this show's demographic is, and what it's trying to do, but I don't really think it needed to prove itself over and over again.

With that said, it's not a bad production overall. With some more consistency, it'd probably have the best art style out of the fanservice shows I've seen.


Much like with the animation, the score was composed by two people, the first being Hiroaki Tsutsumi (known for Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor, Orange, and Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid), and the second being Masaru Yokoyama (known for Freezing, Queen's Blade, and Unbreakable Machine Doll).

I was, to be blunt, wig snatched from this OST. Again, I'm not exactly sure how I can find these OSTs that just click so well with me. Much like with Qualidea Code, both Tsutsumi and Yokoyama construct pieces that fit incredibly well with the series, either through some of the Demon Lord's personalities, creating an atmosphere for the depths of Hell, or when the outcome in terms of a battle doesn't look as good as it should. Though there isn't as much experimentation (both men stick to what they're best with), this is still a fun OST with some great upbeat pieces and builds this Hell on rock and roll.

What are also fun are the insert/character songs. Aside from the Astaroth ones (which take focus in Episode 5), each Demon Lord gets her own song, and most of them are pretty good. Compared to the reverse harem/reserve harem idol shows, none of them are as distinctly unmemorable or blah. Each one gives the seiyuu room to have some fun and dabble into their character in question. They may be short (aside from Astaroth's main one), but they're still nice to listen to whether on their own or in the series (either in a montage or as background music).


My personal favorite would have to be baby now, which is Asmodeus's song, and fittingly plays during her pole dance routine. Not only is it a fun club bop that makes me want to dance, but the sexuality is clearly on display in the production, and Chiaki Takahashi is a pretty good vocalist (even though her voice for the Demon Lord of Lust doesn't work as well for me). Not only that, but with the way the song is structured, I think it may blow away any fictional idol performance for the rest of the year. Because when that bass drops, the party doesn't stop!

Other favorites include the aforementioned ASUDEKO (which is a headbanger), Binetsu na Dancin' (which despite Eri Kitamura's auto-toned AF vocals, actually makes a more "trashy" idol song fun to listen to), and Goddamn Critical (because in whatever version it's in, it's always a blast to play). The songs just work better, because not only are these, again, not produced on a low budget (despite their short lengths), but they're fun to come back to and don't want me either go to sleep or blow chunks everywhere.

Though I must say QUARTET NIGHT lit up their fire again with their recent stuff. But different series, and a different group. Let's just say that the Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai songs worked better than the last series a group of songs was in that had devils in it.



Though I will say that I'm interested in hearing some of the dubbed songs, especially since Ricco Fajardo is supposed to rap as Mage. Fajardo will easily drop the hottest mixtape of this year; mark my words.

Speaking of Fajardo, that's a prime transition into the voice acting section of this review. The Japanese is okay, though I think you'll be better off with the English dub. Performance-wise, I'm not annoyed by Maria and Levi in the dub (since Megumi Toda and Akane Fujita pitch it way too high and it's the kind of cute I don't like. And combined with the Onee-sama's from Levi, it's not a pretty combination), and the moans aren't as over-the-top and dramatic (Eri Kitamura and Yoko Hikasa at one point have moans loud enough to demolish an abandoned house). Well, not Asmodeus, but she's allowed to have bombast.

As a viewer, you may miss out on hearing more recognizable seiyuus, but I think some of the dub voice actors get more out of their characters. Sure, most of them are new to the field (which people like to bitch about, much like the people who bitch about FUNimation typecasting. I've mentioned it before, but I don't think I'm as bad as others who LURVE to always bring this up), but they add some flair to the Demon Lords. For example, some of them now have dialects, such as Mammon's European accent (I'm not exactly sure which one it is), and Belphegor's valley girl speech (like, c'mon you guys). Even Nicole Endicott, the one who starts off as probably the weakest, manages to grow more comfortable in the booth as Lucifer's journey goes on. It's a great pay-off, and one I think viewers will notice.

Also, there are no pen names, which is a definite surprise.

Finally, there's the script. Not only is it pretty funny (thank you again, Bickham), but it makes the more scandalous scenes in the series actually bearable to watch. Whether it'd be self-awareness or just really funny one-liners, it doesn't take this show seriously whatsoever, and it works incredibly well. I'm also happy that I was able to get this confirmed after a while via Twitter, because I was probably dying to know out of curiosity like so many people were.

So yeah, go watch the dub. It's censored as of right now (since it's a Broadcast Dub), but you'll still find a lot of enjoyment in it. Just be careful of uncensored streams, as they are out there because people can't wait, and it's best to watch this from the legal source if you are old enough.

Highlights in the original Japanese are Eri Kitamura, Shizuka Ito, Arisa Sakuraba, Ai Kakuma, Yui Ogura, Azusa Tadokoro, and Yumi Uchiyama.

Highlights in the English dub are Nicole Endicott, Madeleine Morris, Brittany Lauda, Elizabeth Mazwell, Dawn M. Bennett, Ella Davis, Annabel Throne, Arielle O'Neal, Morgan Garrett, Jad Saxton, Kristin Sutton, and Caitlin Glass.


So, this is definitely a mixed bag. On one hand, I got a Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai which had really good moments, some standout characters, a nice art style, a great OST, and some great talent in terms of the English dubbing pool. On the other, the story and writing were more often a miss, most of the characters don't have anything to them, the animation had dips from time to time, and the Fanservice Checklist doth appear yet again.

But in the end, I did kind of enjoy this show. Yeah, it's not great, or even remotely amazing, but I don't think it's the worst of the bunch. I have to go a bit easier on this because of its intended audience. And even though I'm nowhere in that range, I will still able to find quality in this series that other viewers missed.

I still can't recommend this series outside of its intended audience, though. Of course, you know who I mean already. But if you'd like a somewhat trashy show to watch on a rainy weekday night, this suits the bill just fine. After all, you should be welcome into this diabolic paradise, no matter how good or bad it may be to you.

Score: 6.5/10


Middle episodes.

Writers thought of creative ways for the battles.

Some character development, along with a few standout characters.

Great art style.

Awesome score.

Nice English dub.

Isn't a complete steaming pile of garbage.


Story is messy in terms of its writing and tone.

Most of the characters don't have a lot to them.

Broadcast animation often dips.

Has a Fanservice Checklist.

Won't appeal to a broad audience.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Top 10 Best Anime That I Watched in 2016 + Top 10 Anime Openings I Heard in 2016

Top 10 Best Anime That I Watched in 2016 + Top 10 Anime Openings I Heard in 2016

Warning: The following list may contain spoilers of the shows on this list. If you wish not to know some plot details in the stories, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series that are mentioned, please exit the tab, and come join me once you've watched the first few episodes. But than again, if you don't mind spoilers, feel free to stay put.

Also, the pictures in my special posts are chosen randomly. This is probably the creepiest MLP GIF I've ever seen, but it's one of the funniest as well. It does show my reactions to some of these shows, anyways. :P

These animes and openings are my personal favorites out of 2016, and won't be specifically ranked besides #10 in both (the best of the best). Ratings for my best list are mainly 8 or above, but some 7.5's will sneak in there.

With that said:

2016 went pretty fast for me. Don't get me wrong, recent years have always gone at the speed of light, but this one just puzzled me. It only seems like yesterday that it was January, and I was poking around to find DRAMAtical Murder drama CD audio.


Oops, did I just admit that out loud?

Regardless, there's been a lot of great anime I've seen in 2016, along with some great opening music. I've learned to appreciate some elements more that make this medium stand out as much as it does for me, and there were, once again,  a bundle of series that rose to the top of the pack.

Of course, how can I not forget the characters:

As always, the best lists are more difficult to come up with than the worst list. There's always a good selection of shows/openings that I end up liking, so it's hard to organize them, considering that both aren't organized in order except for the last entry being the best of the best. The 10 in each list made the most impact on me this year in a way that makes them stand out, and as such, I need to acknowledge them.

We're going to (again) start off with the series portion first (since it's the first list), beginning with:


Riddle Story of Devil.

It's pretty fitting to start this list off with a show that I started the year with. Alongside One Punch Man, this was the less talked about and the less positive-reviewed show. But in the end, I managed to get more out of this show than I did with One Punch Man.

The plot was very interesting and never caused me to become bored, I enjoyed the majority of the characters, the animation was pretty good, as was the action, and I found myself becoming very attached to the OST. While the pacing wasn't the best and some characters didn't get as much focus on them as I would have liked, it was a fun thrill ride, and I definitely think most viewers who are looking for a action-packed battle royale (along with some mild yuri) will be caught in this show's grip.



Dagashi Kashi.

Candy lovers, unite! While some may only see the appeal of Japanese snacks to suck them in, Dagashi Kashi also serves as a pretty entertaining comedy. While I do wish Tou and You appeared more, I still really liked our colorful cast, the story, the animation, and the score. Plus, despite already eating my dessert before watching this, this made me hungry enough to consider going back for more.

Though I didn't really care either way, Season 2 will be coming next year. And while we do have a shift in animation studios, I'm still pretty excited for more candy and a new character.



Snow White with the Red Hair (Season 2).

Ah, it's always good to be in Clarines. And to get a season that managed to improve on some of its story elements despite being equally good? Sounds great if you ask me.

While the animation drops did become more troubling, and the score still doesn't stick with me as much as I want it to (despite it growing on me), all of the things that made this series so good in the first place remained. Great story, great cast, solid animation, nice voice acting. Add in an amazing couple and we have ourselves a winner.

Also, the dub is a godsend. Seriously, give it a chance.



Nanatsu no Taizai (mainly the Seisen no Shirushi OVA's)

Yeah, I know a lot of people don't like those 4 episodes, but I honestly really enjoyed them. And the actual series wasn't too bad either. It's a very good shonen with a fast pace, interesting characters, some really nice animation, and probably some of the best voice acting I've heard. It wasn't perfect, but I still found it entertaining to end the school year and begin the summer watching this series.

And the 4 "in between" episodes are also pretty enjoyable. They managed to wrap up some of those loose ends the series left us with, and even gave the last Sin featured, Merlin, some added focus, which I appreciated. I'm excited to see where this take us early next year when the next season premieres.

Y'all know I'm excited to see this man again:


8/10 for the main series, and an 9/10 for the OVA's (I decided I'm not planning on reviewing them).


Seraph of the End (leaning a little more towards the first cour, though both were pretty good).

Another incredibly hyped shonen series, and it had a very similar result to the last show on this list. However, this time there was more emotion attached. How did a series play with my feels more then other shows that were better all around?

Regardless, both cours of Seraph of the End were still enjoyable. The story was very engrossing, the main characters are great, complex, and nicely developed (Shinya is Best Boy), the animation is fluid and just very nice in general, and the voice acting is also pretty impressive. Both seasons also do an amazing job of building up their final battles until they come crashing down into a cesspool of mayhem and action. It's incredibly beautiful and terrifying to witness, and I ADORED IT!

Third season when and when will Yu and Mika become canon? In the meantime, I still need to catch up with the manga (my local library still hasn't ordered a new copy of the third volume last time I checked, and it's been a year since I last picked up the series).

8/10 for both cours.


Bungo Stray Dogs (Season 1).

I did promise myself I would use the other key visual, but I like this better, so to everyone else:

JK Back to my thoughts on this show now.

No surprise that a show that reminded me of the first anime that really reconnected me to this whole area of my life would be one I really liked. Though the tonal shifts weren't great and I wasn't the biggest fan of the way Atsushi was written (despite being a precious cinnamon roll), this series was pretty boss. The story was great to follow, the Armed Detective Agency members managed to have bits of development, we had great animation, an awesome score, and my ears were warmed by Yuto Uemura's voice acting. This show just had a lot of entertainment value, and it's something that I love going back to from time to time.

And like everyone else in the fandom, English dub when, FUNimation? We're all waiting.



Nanbaka (Season 1).

As I have mentioned a few times on this blog thus far (without having written a review for it), this is easily one of my favorite anime comedies. Not only is it funny and has pretty dynamic characters, but I do like how the show plays into more serious territories and isn't all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows. Or, in this show's case, sparkles. Lots and lots of sparkles.

It's brightly animated, has a great OST, and regardless of what you watch language-wise, you're sure to get something out of this series. It's beautiful and everything someone needs.

Score to be revealed eventually.


Yuri on Ice.

It's pretty clear why so many anime viewers around the globe have labeled this as one of their favorite series of 2016. Sure, it did have a few flaws (for me, some of the characters weren't as developed as well as I would have liked, and the ending was built up a little too weakly), but still, it impacted me and pretty much everyone else watching it.

We had awesome ethnic representation, a gay romance that wasn't simply queer bait or an object of fangirl/boy fantasies (though we do have a ton of fanfiction), a great story about redemption and overcoming obstacles, great animation even with a rushed schedule (the DVD and Blu-Ray release is going to look SO good, you guys), and a pretty sweet score. It may be underappreciated in some people's eyes, but it didn't pass by me. After all, before I even started properly watching this, I was checking Tumblr for updates.

Yup, trash confirmed. Thank goodness I have an account up and running there now, so I can flail properly and share all the dank memes.

Score to be revealed eventually.


Sailor Moon Crystal (Season 3).

HNNNNG! This arc of SMC was just so DAMN GOOD. We got massive improvements in story-telling, characters, and animation that it was almost like watching a different adaptation entirely. Much of that has to do with the switch of the Japanese production staff, but I think another part of why this turned out better was because the viewers who stuck with Crystal through its rough patches, because look what we got!

The next arc of this adaptation is going to be made into 2 movies, which is kind of annoying, since I'll have to wait longer for them unless a legal stream pops out of the blue. In the meantime, I'm hoping that they're as good as this chapter, because this was gold and a joy to follow.


Before I announce my incredibly obvious last pick of the best of 2016, let's take a look back at other shows that put a smile on my face this year, but didn't quite make the list for various reasons.

Honorable Mentions

Ai Tenchi Muyo

Gakusen Toshi Asterisk (Cour 2)


One Punch Man

Prince of Stride: Alternative

Qualidea Code's entertainment value

The Morose Mononokean

And now:


Haikyuu Seasons 1-3 (primarily Season 2).

This series has given me so much joy. I've babbled on and on about it in my reviews, online, and in real life. It's literally one of my all-time favorite shows because of how it's made an impact on my life, and it actually makes me motivated to maybe see a volleyball game at my school this upcoming year. Just watch me be the crazy person who starts naming all of the positions. XD

This franchise is a blessing to the Earth itself. Please, just drop whatever you're doing and go watch it. I guarantee it'll be a great time.

10/10 for all 3 seasons.

Season 3's will come most likely after a re-watch.

All right, time for the segue!

Anime openings are still a treasure to find, and with 2016, we got another round of some sick tunes. These tunes were played on repeat, sung aloud (with terrible butchering), hummed, and played in my head in loops. This year's openings are all from shows I watched, but like always, if I find an opening from a series I haven't seen, and it's an absolute bop, that show will definitely get my attention.

In 2014, my favorite was Highschool DXD's first opening. Then, the following year, we got Gakusen Toshi Asterisk's first cour's banger. Now, it's time to see which show will come out on top in the opening department, and in this list, I'm bringing out the screenshots and GIFs because we all know they're out there (plus I'm lazy AF and don't have all the time in the world to replace all of those broken video links).

Time to start with:


Soushou Innocence by Maaya Uchida (from Riddle Story of Devil).

Technically, I first heard this opening back in 2014, but I immediately forgot about it once I stopped listening to it. When it came time to watch the series, I re-listened to it and immediately fell in love with it. There's a lot of good going here for this: an awesome groove, an excellent chorus, and Uchida being an effective vocalist. It may be one of her many OP and ED credits (though this is probably the only time where she doesn't actually appear in show), but it's the one that I think really stands out from her other ones.

Plus, it's the only one I've actually heard, so that counts for something. XD

So I started off the anime list with Riddle Story of Devil, and then the opening list with it. How meta of me. Let's see what's up nex-


Hiryou no Kishi by TRUE (from Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle).

Oh, yeah, hi, Guilty Pleasure number 1,000,000. Much like with Sky Wizards Academy, this opening song has a number of flaws in it that are pretty apparent. The production sounds cheap, TRUE's vocals during the chorus under-perform, and all in all, it's a standard type of opening for this kind of show. But goddamn it, is this song not catchy and an absolute bop. While I may not have used it to cleanse bad show wounds, this was one that I came back to from time to time, and it did kind of grow on me. From the epic dubstep inspired intro, to the feeling I get whenever I put this on, it still draws me in even though it's not perfect.

Geez, it always feels like these series get the best openings when they're either not appealing or have been done to the moon or back. Or when, you know, they might actually be good.

Which brings me to my next entry:


The Asterisk War by Shiena Nishizawa (from, you guessed it, The Asterisk War's 2nd cour (or Gakusen Toshi Asterisk/Asterisk as I typically refer to it as).

When I first heard about Nishizawa singing the next Asterisk opening, I was really excited to hear it. Brave New World was an incredibly strong first offering of her vocal range and awesome production, so I was hoping to come into this getting the exact same thing.

And while it didn't come close to the epicness of the first one, this opening still captivates me. It's got some awesome vocals, another great build-up to a smashing chorus, great production, and it's incredibly immersive. Though this season did fall short compared to how the first half went for me, it still is a nice show to watch, and these definitely help.


ROSE HIP-BULLET by GRANRODEO (from Togainu no Chi's anime adaptation).

This is one of two GRANDRODEO openings that managed to stick out for me this year, and the first is from a series I couldn't finish. It's a shame this series didn't work out for me, considering the original game is from the same company that did DRAMAtical Murder, but at least I have this to remember the show by. Kisho Taniyama gives it his all against some amazing instrumentation, which has some awesome guitars that grind all the way into my bones. Not only that, but it does fit the overall bleak and dark nature of this franchise, and indirectly with what came out of the show, for better or for worse.

But hey, at least it's still a good track, and probably one of GRANDRODEO'S most memorable ones. Now if only this series wasn't just eh.


Seven Deadly Sins by MAN WITH A MISSION (from, again, being meta here, Seven Deadly Sins (or Nanatsu no Taizai)).

It was a hard pick between the 3 openings for this series as a whole, because all of them have their own spark, but this one won out in the end. Otherwise known for their opening for Log Horizon, MAN WITH A MISSION has been a name that's been noticed these past few few years, and with this it's clear to see why. The enthusiastic swell of the instruments before it explodes into a powerful chorus, Tokyo Tanaka's powerful vocals that still stand out from the main mix even with how loud it is, the infectious energy that this song brings, and the fact that it suits perfectly with the type of series it's for. 

This is a shonen anime with lots of action and grit, so of course this song suits it to a T. I don't think anything else else can be said about this other than well done and-




Belief by May'n (from Taboo Tattoo).

This is another series that didn't turn out the way I wanted to (even though I was warned beforehand this was going to be a bad show, even though I liked it a little more. It had potential), but still had an awesome opening. I've known about May'n ever since I heard her opening for Macross Frontier (to be more specific, Lion) in an Anime's Next Top Model opening, and she really impressed me then. She still impressed me now, first with her song for Blood Lad, and now with this.

Overall, it's clear that she brings out the fire in droves for her songs, as this is spitting with energy. Her delivery fits incredibly well with the groove of this song, which stomps along to its own beat. It's single-handily makes me want to head-bang every single time I play it. Belief is such an awesome song and fills me with so much pride to take on the day. Taboo Tattoo may not have had a lot to be remembered by outside of being a s**t show, but at least it gave us this.


TRASH CANDY by GRANRODEO (from Bungo Stray Dogs's first cour).

See, I told you GRANRODEO would be coming back. This song is another great one from them, setting the darker tones of Bungo Stray Dogs into place and giving the series an edge that it does deliver on. From Taniyama's crazed delivery, to the intro which comes in with bombast and swagger, the pre-chorus which just shreds its heart out, to everything exploding in bountiful colors. It's a great way to start the show, and it gave me something to be excited about when it played at the end of the first episode.

Hell, seeing this being used for the OVA recently was surprising, but it wasn't that big of a deal. While Reason Living was a good opening on its own, this was the one I preferred anyways. And that's the truth.


Deal with by OLDCODEX (from Servamp).

I think it was with this song that I found out who the vocalist was for OLDCODEX. I bet you can imagine my reaction:

Yup, exactly that.

So hearing that Tatsuhisa Suzuki was the vocalist of the duo behind the 2nd ending for Kuroko no Basuke, along with other various songs (such as stuff for Free), I was flailing my hands in the air like I just didn't care. Add to the fact that he was one of the characters in the anime, and I was a mess. So how would the song turn out?

Duh, of course it would be great. Deal with has a different feel compared to most of the opening songs I've listened to. For starters, the opening comes in incredibly dark, with the guitars screeching and blitzing through an electronic mix following Suzuki delivering the chilling "Every time I want a deal (which I literally thought was die until I looked up the lyrics)" with a coarse shout. What follows is a dark and bleary song filled with scratches. It's buzzing with calamity until the chorus starts, and the song brightens up a little bit.

As a a whole, it's pretty awesome and a bopping paradise, which will definitely make you rock along when it plays. I know that it did that for me, all the way until the end.

Well, that ending wasn't the greatest, but at least there was Forever Precious Kuro.


Sono Koe ga Chizu ni Naru by Saori Hayami (from the 2nd season of Snow White with the Red Hair).

Yeah, it's not an opening GIF, but you'll get a kiss from the final episode because OTP and THIS IS MY BLOG AND NO ONE TELLS ME WHAT TO DO!


Hayami proved to be a great vocalist on her last opening from this series (which didn't make the list for 2015, but was close), and she still is one from with. This song just glitters sparkles all over the place and has the simple power of making me feel good from the first note. Add to that with the feeling that I'm listening to Color (a Miku Hatsune song that was latter used for Freezing) and all of those nostalgia feel-good bubbles that come with this series, and BAM! You got me good. You got me so that I-

Nope, Dazz, you are NOT doing a obscure song reference here. Restrain yourself!

Aww, this series is so cute and makes my fanboy heart feel SO pure when the rest of the world feels like complete s**t.


AxxxiS by LiSA (from Qualidea Code).

I figure that the first opening would be a more popular choice (Brave Freak Out), and don't get me wrong, I love that song as well. But AxxxiS stands out to me more because of how it came to be in the series.

So, back when I was browsing around the Qualidea Code website and looking at the singles for the opening and endings, I saw this listed as a b-side and immediately let it swim with the fishes. I didn't really think much about it until Episode 9 rolled around. When I sat down to watch it, there was the split second where I was excited to see a familiar face, that being the Double O (Original Opening). 

But then, that second passes, and instead I'm greeted with a white background with scrolling numbers before the camera pans down to a pink tinted Canaria. That's where I immediately mumbled aloud, "New intro," and a smile appeared on my face.

That was how easy this opening took me under its wings.

Aside from some sick artistic direction of the animation (it's a shame I can't find more GIF's of it; it's a beauty), the song is an absolute bop that manages to fit incredibly well with the more apparent tension in the last 4 episodes. The tone is more sour, LiSA sounds more serious in her delivery, and there's one instance in the opening where Canaria fades away when Ichiya tries to reach out his hand to her in a barren landscape. It's powerful and steals your attention right out of the gate.

And the instrumentation is another blessing to this song. It's grungy, works well with the song's tone, and keeps on going until the chorus lets down and it still churns on through. There's an amazing breakdown in the full version of the song that goes all out in terms of its darkness, and...I'm sorry, this is just a goddamn masterpiece. Who would have thought this opening would have gripped me as much as it did? No wonder I experienced whiplash later down the line when I was starting to get into Season 4 of Uta Pri.

AxxxiS is really the perfect representation of what I want in a opening. That song that immediately captivates me and doesn't let me go with some amazing elements. Plus, who can't forget replay value? If you haven't listened to it yet, I'd say give it a chance. You may end up liking it more than you thought you would at first.

And there we have it. What do you all think of these lists? Do you agree with my picks? Disagree? What were some of your other favorite shows and opening songs that I didn't cover?

Also, I'd like to wish you all a Happy Ne-

*record scratch*

Wait, it isn't the New Year? It's way past that, in August, at the time of writing this?

*cricket noises*

All right then.

Regardless, I hope you all have a good rest of your day and many more great ones to come. See you guys soon for more of what I write about here!

But first, let's end this properly. Dance break!