The Seven Deadly Sins also known by the name Nanatsu no Taizai is a Netflix original anime series inspired by the best-selling manga series of the same name. The Seven Deadly Sins takes place in a medieval fantasy realm filled with knights, kings, wizards, demons, fairies, and other mystical creatures. The main conflict of the show’s first season is between The Holy Knights, the protectors of Britannia, and The Seven Deadly Sins, formerly the strongest Holy Knights in the Kingdom of Liones (a kingdom within Britannia). However, ten years before the events of the show’s main narrative the Seven Deadly Sins were framed for treason and the other Holy Knights forced them to disband and hide.
The show’s primary narrative centers around the two main characters, Meliodas, the captain of The Seven Deadly Sins, and Elizabeth Liones, a princess of the Kingdom of Liones. When Elizabeth realizes that the once trusted and celebrated Holy Knights have taken action against her family to control the Kingdom of Liones, she is forced to flee and seek assistance. She sets out to find Meliodas in hopes that he can help her to take back the Kingdom of Liones from the Holy Knights. Together, they embark on a journey to reunite the Seven Deadly Sins, believing that the group may be the last chance to save the Kingdom of Liones.
Until recently, Netflix has not been known to dabble in creating original anime shows. That being the case, an avid anime fan might be hesitant to experiment by watching one of Netflix’s first prototypes in the anime genre. However as an avid anime fan myself, I can attest that Netflix’s first few steps into the anime genre are as smooth as though they had been producing animes for decades. In just the first season, The Seven Deadly Sins establishes the feel of an instant shonen classic, such as Naruto, Fairy Tale, or One Piece.
The main character, Meliodas, is a lovable pervert with a beautiful soul who can’t help himself from groping the sweet and innocent yet often responseless Elizabeth Liones in the majority of episodes in the season. Imagine if you combined Goku’s positive fighting spirit with Master Roshi’s lust then you’ve pretty much got Meliodas of the Seven Deadly Sins (if you don’t know Goku and Master Roshi then go watch Dragon Ball Z immediately). Compared to other animes I’ve watched, the level of fan service or cheesecake seems above average but is certainly not the worst. Personally, I was surprised that Netflix would associate itself with this type of gratuitous titillation as I thought it might have been a controversial move. However, a lack of headlines when one googles the subject seems to suggest that people are generally taking the fan service in stride as is the case with other popular animes.
Despite having the physical appearance of an elementary to middle school aged child, Meliodas is one badass OP protagonist. Throughout the first season, the episodes are filled with non stop action ranging from all out hand to hand combat with weapons and fists to magical explosions and demonic spirits. Each of the Seven Deadly Sins as well as each of the Holy Knights possesses their own unique backstories and hidden abilities. The individual faceoffs between this wide myriad of powers are phenomenally exciting. If you’re looking for touches of detailed realism you unfortunately won’t find any here. The Seven Deadly Sins is over the top animation in the best way from beginning to end.
Beneath the flashy commotion on the surface, The Seven Deadly Sins also has a complex narrative of character motivations and development. Although Meliodas is undoubtedly the lead protagonist, the show takes time throughout the season to give spotlight explorations into other characters’ backstories and motivations. This gives each character, as well as the show as a whole, an immense amount of depth with the potential for growth and expansion in future seasons. By the end of the first season you will understand why each of the Seven Deadly Sins was branded with their particular sin and animal essence. But, this understanding will only lead to more questions one can only hope will be answered in The Seven Deadly Sins season two.
Overall The Seven Deadly Sins season one is an excellent combination of action, romance, humor, adventure, plot twists, and the battle between darkness and light, that never loses its underlying tone of fun and excitement even throughout the show’s darkest scenes. If you enjoy the more serious tone of shows like Death Note or even Fullmetal Alchemist, then this might not be the show for which you’ve been searching. Still, it’s worth giving a shot if you’re interested in exploring a lighter anime with an intricate plot beyond the jokes. I give The Seven Deadly Sins season one a 9/10 and am looking forward to seeing how the show develops in season two.