I watched the first episode of The Seven Deadly Sins twice before I finally sat down and watched the series. This isn’t an early judgement call on the quality of the series, as I’ve always thought that first episode was quite good, it’s just a little piece of my own personal history with the show. I had heard really good things about this show from some close friends of mine, so I pulled it up on Netflix one night and decided to give it a shot.
The Seven Deadly Sins were a group of legendary knights that were loyal to the empire. Each Sin wielded an extraordinary amount of power, and were the empire’s greatest weapon. Ten years before the start of the series, the Sins were disbanded after allegedly attempting to overthrow the kingdom. Fast forward to present day, Princess Elizabeth is attempting to gather the Seven Deadly Sins to assist her in protecting her kingdom against the Holy Knights.
In addition to Elizabeth, The Seven Deadly Sins has a second main character in the form of Meliodas, the Dragon Sin of Wrath. Meliodas and his pig companion Hawk run a somewhat famous traveling tavern, admittedly known more for its beer than its food. Meliodas is a super unassuming character. While it’s obvious to the audience that he is somebody important, in the context of the show, he’s just some short kid that runs a decent tavern. In reality, Meliodas was the captain of the Seven Deadly Sins, and the most feared across the nation.
I absolutely adored Meliodas. He was a character that I could never quite get a read on, I never really knew what he was thinking. Special mention should go to his pattern of speech and his overall personality. At times he’ll say something completely outlandish, only for someone like Elizabeth to ask him if he is serious, to which he replies, “of course not”. It’s really hard to accurately describe this type of back and forth in writing, so you’ll have to see it to believe it.
Season 1 does a fairly decent job of spacing out the reveal of the Seven Deadly Sins, well, six of them anyway. The second of the Sins that we meet is Diane, the Snake Sin of Eny. She’s a member of the Giant tribe, and is totally in love with Meliodas. Soon after, we are introduced to Ban, the Fox Sin of Greed, King, the Grizzly Sin of Sloth and Gowther, the Goat Sin of Lust. In addition, the very end of the season greets us with Merlin, the Boar Sin of Gluttony.
The most confusing thing about The Seven Deadly Sins for me was, weirdly enough, the power level of the Sins. The first half of the season portrays them as absurdly powerful, and I honestly thought their crazy strength was supposed to be played for laughs. For example, Meliodas and Ban level an enormous castle during a friendly arm wrestling match. Early bouts against the Holy Knights are a joke, as the Sins hold themselves back to make the fight fair. On the other hand, the second half of the season has the strength of the Sins all over the place. At times, they are fighting on similar grounds with their opponents, while at others they are outright losing.
Nonetheless, each of the Sins is thoroughly entertaining and wholly unique. Diane is energetic and charismatic, Ban is sly and shrewd (fitting considering his animal motif), King is strong but easily flustered and Gowther… well, you’ll have to just watch to learn about Gowther. But the most interesting thing about the Sins is their backstory. They’re not just called the Seven Deadly Sins to sound cool, each character has a specific Sin that they must bare. These are obviously super spoiler territory, so I won’t go into them here, but I will say that they give tons of insight into their lives and personalities, and were a large part of what emotionally endeared me to them.
I haven’t talked much about the overall story, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. The tale of a growing conflict between kingdoms is nothing that hasn’t been done before, and The Seven Deadly Sins doesn’t really do anything to make the basic plot stand out. But as is the case with pretty much every show I love, the characters sell the experience. They make the plot interesting because their individual character arcs are tied intrinsically to the overall narrative. The show does a good job of story and scene pacing, as well as taking it’s time drip feeding certain parts of the story that are meant to be slow, mysterious reveals.
I really enjoyed my time with The Seven Deadly Sins. At the time of this writing, there is a second mini season on Netflix (which I plan on eventually reviewing), two OVAs and an ongoing manga series. I’m really looking forward to spending more time with these characters, especially considering the ending of season 1, which left me wanting more and more of this story.