In recent years, Netflix has been flexing its muscles as a content distributor by proving that it can not only obtain a very large catalog of shows, but more recently by obtaining exclusive, in-demand content that other streaming providers or cable providers can’t get their hands on. Orange Is The New Black and Arrested Development are great examples of this.
Last year, Netflix showed anime fans that they know we’re watching by giving us the first Netflix exclusive anime series, the Knights of Sidonia. It was really exciting because the show was very high quality and I’d been feeling somewhat neglected by Netflix’s anime catalog previously. It was so nice to see some kind of investment in anime from them!
This weekend, I had the pleasure of indulging in Netflix’s second exclusive anime which is quickly becoming the worst kept secret around the anime circles for good reason- it’s a great one!
The Seven Deadly Sins is probably one of the better animes that I’ve watched in quite a while, especially given that it’s a action-adventure shounen that is something I’d normally feel tepid about and maybe leave on while I’m multi-tasking or something, but I quickly fell in love with this series. The plot is fun, the characters are great, and the show is actually interesting.
The plot revolves around a girl named Elizabeth, who stumbles into a tavern looking for a group of rouge bandits who go by the name the Seven Deadly Sins. Elizabeth believes that the Holy Knights of the land who protect the kingdom and serve the King have actually staged a quiet coup and imprisoned the King and his family. She seeks the Seven Deadly Sins to rise up against the evil Holy Knights and restore the King’s rule.
Elizabeth meets up with Meliodas, the leader of the Seven Deadly Sins, quite by accident. Even though Meliodas is said to be the sin of wrath, he’s actually just this small blond boy wearing a broken sword. That said, his combat skills are second to none and he’s quick to rise up against those who seek to harm his friends. Meliodas agrees to help Elizabeth try to find the other six members of the Seven Deadly Sins, who all scattered after they were accused of murdering a Great Holy Knight. Together, the group fights off wave after wave of misguided Holy Knights and attempt to restore peace to the kingdom.
One thing I really enjoyed about this show is that the characters all have fairly intricate backstories, and we get to explore most of them. I especially enjoyed King’s backstory- he is the sin of sloth and despite being smart, well-intentioned, and quite powerful- he always showed up too late to help is friends and loved ones. The characters motives also tend to be fairly relatable despite the abstract concept of their sins. It would be easy to write off Ban, the sin of greed, as someone who just wants all the money and power and women. But in actuality, we discover that Ban desperately wants to fight for the one person he loves and his greed is really kind of selfless.
I expected the side character of Hawk the pig to just be a throwaway, but the pig was actually not much of a throwaway at all. Hawk became a valued member of the Seven Deadly Sins team and wasn’t there just to say dumb stuff, like a lot of fluff anime characters tend to.
The show isn’t totally without faults- it does fall into some of the typical anime cliches, like Meliodas getting gropey with Elizabeth and this whole unrequited love thing between King and Diane. However, again keeping the genre/demographic for this show in mind, it was overall really well done and because I enjoyed other aspects of the show so much, it was not too hard to dismiss or ignore the cliches.
All in all, I really enjoyed the Seven Deadly Sins. If you’re looking for a fun shounen to watch, definitely give it a try!