Nanatsu no Taizai: Review

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Envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth and wrath – it is time to feed your addiction with the Seven Deadly Sins (Nanatsu no Taizai).

Story

The “Seven Deadly Sins” – a group of knights, once revered as the strongest of them all, but were branded as evil traitors after they allegedly attempted to overthrow the kingdom of Britannia. Although they are believed to have been killed by the Holy Knights, rumour has it that they are still alive.

Fast-forwarding ten years, the Holy Knights have betrayed the kingdom in an attempt to bring about the advent of the Holy War. Elizabeth, the king’s youngest daughter and the third princess to the throne, is one of those who believe in the rumours, and the story follows her as she sets out on a journey to look for the Seven Deadly Sins to enlist their help in taking back the kingdom from the Holy Knights who usurped the throne.

Characters

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Nanatsu no Taizai offers an alluring array of characters, each with their own set of draws as well as drawbacks. We have our protagonist, Meliodas (Kaji Yuuki) – leader of the “Seven Deadly Sins” and the strongest sinner of them all, but looks like a total child. Then we have our leading lady, Elizabeth (Amamiya Sora) – kind and gentle but with a dangerous edge. We also have our token pet, Hawk (Kuno Misaki) – a talking pig that is equal parts snarky and sassy.

Other sinners include King (Fukuyama Jun), Ban (Suzuki Tatsuhisa), Diane (Yuuki Aoi) and Gowther (Takagi Yuuhei) – contrasting characters that play off one another in the most lively manner, providing viewers with such interesting and amusing interactions.

I found it odd that although they were so named, the story did not go much into detail about each sinner. After much speculation however, I am inclined to believe that each sinner is so labelled because that is the one sin that they would not commit. So if they ever did, it would be their gravest of sins. And on hindsight, that makes it very interesting for me.

Staff & Seiyuus

Produced by A-1 Pictures under the direction of Okamura Tensai, this series is an adaptation of the manga of the same name by Suzuki Nakaba. The art and character design are reminiscent of old school anime, which while at first glance came off as rather childish, were something I got used to in no time at all.

As is with most anime series, I started watching this because of the cast, and golly was it a stellar seiyuu lineup! Kaji Yuuki’s refreshing take on Meliodas was at once whimsical and dangerous, which was nothing I have ever heard from him before. Amamiya Sora reverts to her soft and wispy register, while Suzuki Tatsuhisa was the very embodiment of badass Ban (in fact, his performance was so convincing that his fellow co-stars complimented him on how he was perfect for this role). We also have the ever-versatile Fukuyama Jun playing such a huge sweetheart, and newbie Takagi Yuuhei whose impressive performance saw him keeping up with the veterans despite this being his very first role. But it does not end there. Also in the line up are Sakamoto MaayaKamiya Hiroshi (no one does dying as good as HiroC can~), Miyano Mamoru, Yuuki Aoi and Mizuki Nana, just to name a few.

Music

Music composer ‘epic extraordinaire’ Sawano Hiroyuki composed the soundtrack for this series. In true Sawano spirit, the Nanatsu no Taizai boasts a great mix of eclectic sounds, with each track showcasing Sawano’s style to the fullest – there were tracks to get the adrenaline pumping, tracks to get the tears streaming, tracks to heighten the tension, and even tracks to get the festive mood on. This soundtrack was nothing short of epic, harking back to the likes of his previous works such as the Shingeki no Kyojin OST, the Aldnoah.Zero OST and the Ao no Exorcist OST. Although Sawano has an exceptionally distinct style, I very much liked this soundtrack in particular, as it had a very exotic and ethnic flavour, which really helped in accentuating Nanatsu’s interesting blend of old school, majestic and otherworldly qualities.

Final thoughts

I started watching Nanatsu no Taizai because the title intrigued me and also because of the amazing cast. Admittedly however, I found this series rather difficult to get into, as the initial episodes really took their time getting into the groove of things and were presented with an overt amount of fanservice. That having been said, the story really picked up around episode four, and the action, coupled with the mystery surrounding certain characters really got me following this series faithfully, week after week.

In spite of the action scenes and the strong pacing that was seen throughout most of the series, the ending rather fell flat for me. I felt that the series ended up a tad self-indulgent, in that it wrapped up the final episode in an all’s well that ends well kind of way but with the gratuitous cliffhanger of sorts after the ending credits. Although it was to be expected for this first season (as the manga is still ongoing and the seventh sinner is yet to be found, I believe we will see a second season in a couple of years time), I felt that the ending was rather forced and could have been done so much better.

However, overall I definitely enjoyed Nanatsu no Taizai. Much like the rest of the other anime series out there, this was a shounen/fantasy/action/adventure series, but Nanatsu no Taizai stood out with its combination of a great story (for the most part) in a fantastical land, interesting characters, well-timed comedic moments, gripping action and a lovely soundtrack and seiyuus for the complete watching and listening experience.

If you need more Nanatsu no Taizai, it looks like you will not have to wait too long, because Ban is getting his own special OVA.

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