Cast: Yuki Kaji, Sora Amamiya, Misaki Kuno
Language: Japanese with various subtitles
Streaming on Netflix from 28 June
3 out of 5 stars
This review covers the first 12 episodes of The Seven Deadly Sins: Dragon’s Judgement.
SINGAPORE — Set in an ancient period when the human and non-human worlds have not yet split, The Seven Deadly Sins follows the story of Meliodas, who bears the Sin of Wrath and a Dragon symbol, and is the captain of the Seven Deadly Sins.
As the Seven Deadly Sins have been disbanded after being framed for plotting a coup, Meliodas is on a quest to gather back his comrades in order to clear their names. Joining Meliodas on this adventure is his love interest Elizabeth, who is the third princess of the Liones Kingdom.
These comrades are none other than the other six Sins: Diane from the Giant race, who bears the Sin of Envy and the Serpent symbol; the immortal human Ban, who bears the Sin of Greed and the Fox symbol; King from the Fairy race, who bears the Sin of Sloth and the Grizzly Bear symbol; a seemingly emotionless Gowther, who bears the Sin of Lust and the Goat symbol; the witch Merlin, who bears the Sin of Gluttony and the Boar symbol; and the ridiculously strong Escanor, who bears the Sin of Pride and the Lion symbol.
But as the story progresses, there is more to the whole adventure than meets the eye, as it actually links back to a cursed destiny that happened 3,000 years ago.
The anime series spans a total of five seasons on Netflix, with each season having 24 episodes, except the second season which only has four. The latest season, which will conclude the anime, is updated to episode 12 on Netflix at the time of writing.
Although The Seven Deadly Sins is a shonen (marketed towards teenage boys) anime, there seems to be a common theme of love and relationships among the characters in the series. To begin with, there are multiple couples in the story — usually there is only one or two in this genre. In fact, each of the Seven Deadly Sins has their own romantic partner, regardless of whether the feelings are mutual or unrequited.
To a certain extent, the series plays on the cliched idea that love is so powerful that it can overcome all evils. While such an idea is usually heartwarming to see, it has been used so frequently, be it in this or other series, that it has lost its charms.
What may have been a better approach is to expand on the friendship among the Seven Deadly Sins, like the kind of bond Meliodas and Ban have. It is also intriguing to see how some of the characters combine their compatible powers to produce a new attack or defence, which can be better enhanced with a greater bond.
However, if there is anything to praise about the characters in the series, it is the fact that all of the Seven Deadly Sins are mighty in their own ways and can carry themselves in a fight. Over the five seasons, you can see how each of them gains power and continuously becomes a better version of themselves. In particular, King, who was voted by fans as the best character, undergoes two transformations: one when his wings emerged, and another when his wings developed.
To top it off, Elizabeth was originally set to be a frail character with seemingly no powers at all. But as her background story is revealed, she turns out to be an essential and powerful healer, a character that would greatly assist some of the major battles. The Seven Deadly Sins is able to balance out the gender bias in terms of strength that most shonen anime could not achieve. In fact, both Merlin and Diane are also insanely capable in fights, some of which could not have been won without them.
Although the theme of The Seven Deadly Sins is rather cliched, it still fulfils most of the shonen anime elements with epic battles and great character development.
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