At first, glance, while cool, I wasn’t sure this was an anime I wanted to jump into. I got some MAJOR Fairy Tales vibes from the preview and was lukewarm as I pressed the play button on Netflix. Before we talk about subbed vs. dubbed (which is a much larger conversation), I watched dubbed because I’m usually multitasking. But if I’m not, it’s subbed all the way. I immediately recognized Kirito (from Sword Art Online)’s voice. That’s where I first heard Bryce Papenbrook there even though he would continue voicing some pretty iconic characters up to the present. Hearing his familiar tone made me think I knew what to expect here. I was completely mistaken.
The first episode with “Little Gil” Sir Gilthunder plunges his sword into the ground like some ancient myth, was the perfect way to start the series. Gilthunder’s power over lighting and his obvious superiority to the average human stacked the deck against the diminutive Meliodas. His bright and happy demeanor let me know that he was going to be a problem. I didn’t know how powerful he would be, nor how soon we would get a glimpse. But the moment he said “full-counter” and reflected Gilthunder’s lightning, I knew I was in for a rollercoaster ride.
What I really like about Seven Deadly Sins is that none of the characters are too straight forward. I would say that Meliodas and Elizabeth do the expected more than most and their storyline is pretty obvious. What I like about the narrative as a whole is that on their journey to find each other, they find the other Sins. Their story is so multi-layered that it makes a VERY interesting series.
Without giving too many spoilers, I like stories that have changing motivations. Throughout the entire series, but especially through the first and second season, you never truly know who is good and who is evil. You see acts of terror on both sides, but the motivations speak in higher volumes than the acts themselves and that’s always engaging. Each of the Sins has a tragic past that in most cases reveals itself in the first season. But as we pull the curtain back even further, those deep pasts become chasms of mystery and tragedy.
Of particular interest to me, was Ban. I love a tragic character and he’s as tragic as they come. His nonchalant and devil-may-care attitude adds depth to his motivations. Unrequited love is also a strong quality that I find intriguing and Seven Deadly Sins is rife with it. It’s interesting how reflective of life this anime is in certain ways. The person you want doesn’t know it, someone else wants you and you can’t see and all the while everyone is going in a circle. The person you hated today, you realize was manipulated and as much a victim of circumstance as you are. The reasons behind a tale or some much more intriguing than just the tale itself. One of the criticisms that I often see levied against the later Dragonball series never shows its head here. The motivations of the characters, whether benign or not, feel real. As do their responses.
Seven Deadly Sins also does a very good job of keeping power levels progressing and seeming important. While they have the power to cleave mountains and lay waste to entire villages, there are reasons behind each action and escalation of power. Another element the Seven Deadly Sins has going for it, is the narrative reflection of the “sins” themselves. Much like anime intros are often teasers for what’s to come, the names of the Sins and the “sins” they represent contribute to their stories in interesting and sometimes unexpected ways.
Seven Deadly Sins comes with not only my seal of approval but a very enthusiastic thumbs up as well. It’s not to be missed!
Brian Joseph Lambert is the lead contributing writer and editor at Wingless Entertainment LTD. He specializes in bringing diversity to action/adventure, fantasy and sci-fi worlds. In 2017, while earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Full Sail University, he published his first novel, ASCENSION- THE CHRUSION SAGA BOOK 1. In 2019 he earned a Master’s degree in Entertainment Business and released JUSTICE- ISSUE #0 for Wingless Entertainment LTD and Konkret Comics. Brian's current projects include WAR FOR THE SWORD- THE CHRUSION SAGA BOOK 2, a CG animated feature film entitled, RUBICON and JUSTICE- THE FALL, an ongoing graphic novel with KONKRET COMICS. Brian recently was selected as a Reader's Favorite Book Award Finalist in 2019 for, ASCENSION- THE CHRUSION SAGA BOOK 1. Brian has edited numerous independent works including, Is’Nana the Were-Spider by Greg Anderson Elysée, Akolyte by Derek Allen, Nia Caler by Dorphise Jean and the upcoming Beyond 13th by Michael Ralph. When not writing or editing, Brian works on creating a functioning lightsaber so that he can pass the Jedi trials.