Originality is a word that I want to talkabout today.
I’ve spoken about it in the past, usuallyin a negative light.
There are many shows out there that don'thave much of it, instead relying on what was good in the past to hoist their series intogreater prominence.
You know, without doing anything differentfrom what’s already available.
Or other shows that outright copy charactersand plotlines due to laziness or production issues.
But I wanted to talk about it, in regardsto today’s show because, you don’t want to aim for a series that is 100% original.
Instead want to strike a balance between thethings that worked before and some new twists that, while might not be original on theirown, how they meld together comes off in a way that feels new.
A good example of that is The Seven DeadlySins, because this show is 100% Shounen.
If you like Shounen, of any kind, if you loveFairy Tale, if you watched Bleach back in the day, if you are currently watching OnePiece, if you are saddened by the ending of Naruto or rather it’s temporary hiatus,then The Sins is what you want.
So let’s get into it shall we? Ladies, Gentlemen and others my name is Arkadaand welcome to Glass Reflection.
Today the 2014 anime directed by Tensai Okamura,produced over at A-1 Pictures and based on the original work by Nakaba Suzuki: The SixDeadly Sins.
Oh I’m sorry did you think I miscounted? I assure you.
Seven Deadly Sins is a series that I’m probablygoing to start pointing people towards for you know those who aren’t into anime andwhat to know what a good shounen is without having to make the commitment of a show withseveral hundred episodes.
It’s got everything you could want froma Shounen: The staples, the clichés, the overpowered characters fighting each otherwith excessive amounts of violence.
Everyone brings something familiar to thetable, like this is a Shounen potluck and every character brings their best dish.
It’s not a series that tries to be original,but it’s not lazy in its execution, instead doing its best to be THE BEST with everythingit does.
The story is fairly simple, Princess Elizabethof Britannia… Ok I’m good.
Elizabeth’s family has been subject to amilitary coo from the kindom’s “Holy Knights”.
Her father and sister imprisoned were imprisoned,and the blame for everything was placed firmly on the kingdom’s strongest fighters: TheSeven Deadly Sins.
Elizabeth believing this to be false, headsout on her own to seek out the Sins who have been in hiding for the last 10 years sinceall this shit went down.
Eventually she finds Meliodas, who was theformer Captain of the Sins despite his childlike appearance, and the two of them set off tofind Meliodas’s former comrades and save the kingdom.
All of the Sins and the Holy Knights havebeen imbued with various super powers that you would expect from a shounen and most arcsrevolve around various characters duking it out for dominance despite death never reallyhappening.
What I really liked about the show, epicallyits introduction was how quickly it got good.
Normally when you talk about shounen anime,it’s fairly common for there to be a particular number of episodes or arcs that you need toget through in the beginning before the show becomes actually enjoyable.
For example back in the day when people toldme I needed to watch Bleach, I was told specifically that I’m not allowed to say that the showsucks until I got to the Soul Society Arc, which doesn’t kick in until episode 21.
Conversely by episode 21 of Sins the showis almost over.
What made it grab me so well is kind of hardto explain, it’s more like a feeling.
Like you know you’ve been grabbed by a showwhen the ending credits of an episode kick in and you could swear you only just startedthat episode.
It’s that kind of thing.
Another example would be to say it’s likepopcorn, you have this big bag of popcorn, and you start eating it, but suddenly yourlike, damn it’s all gone, where did it go? But also like popcorn, as enjoyable as itis, there are only certain times that you feel like having it.
So let’s look at some of the problems.
Starting with Meliodas as a main character.
It’s mostly in the early arcs where is thisapparent, but he’s too over powered.
Like I’ve complained in the past about characterswho never fail at what they do, but at least most of them you can see trying their hardestat whatever it is.
Meliodas doesn’t often look like he’sbreaking a sweat.
Even the few times he takes an actual beatingit’s usually on purpose.
He never end up facing an opponent that hecannot defeat.
He’s not given any real challenge.
He has this demonic trump card that’s useda few times sure, but even then the trump card is powerful enough to just end fightsoutright, which is disappointing.
Next is his attitude.
On the one hand it is kind of refreshing thathe’s not the super serious kind of protagonists that common in shounen.
He’s the most nonchalant and laid back guyever.
He’s not doing what he’s doing for revenge,or for answers despite his backstory being wide open for such a motivation.
He’s merely doing it because Elizabeth askshim too.
Sure it’s probably because Elizabeth remindshim of his former flame with the same name but her explanation gets so little time she’sbarely a factor in the show at all.
Also, heh, the groping.
Meliodas is a self-proclaimed panty stealerand serial groper.
His introduction with Elizabeth has her gropingher chest and quite often he performs what can only be called sexual harassment againsther.
Main difference is that, it always feels forced.
Like it’s not really a part of his characterbut an act that he does to appear more human.
Which may well be a thing, we’ll see ifthe show continues.
The other, kind of disconcerting thing ishow the harassment is actually handed.
Normally in any other show such actions wouldbe responded immediately with a slap, beatdown, or heavy object to the face Lupin the 3rdstyle.
But that never happens here.
I actually think Elizabethactually enjoys it.
The closest thing Meliodas get to a reprimandis usually an anger induced attack from Diane the Sin of Envy, but that’s kind of hercharacter description and she’s only doing it because she’s not the one getting theharassment.
Princess Elizabeth is the second problem Ihave character wise.
Mostly in large part because beyond beinga weak driving force for the plot, her actual use in the story is minimal.
I would just call her the Token fan servicecharacter of the series but that depresses me considering how badass most other Shounenfan service characters end up being.
Her job in the show is usually relegated tobeing an onlooker to the action at best, damsel in distress at worst.
Oh yeah and she works as a waitress at Meliodis’sbar.
That’s good princessing work right there.
But back what I said about the originalitything.
There are other examples that just work.
For example, Ban, the sin of Greed.
Why does he work? Because he’s Greed from Full Metal Alchemist.
Which is fine, because he plays it off sowell.
He’s not a direct copy of Greed obviously,he has several motivating character traits that differ from Greed, which is what makehim work.
The Greed of FMA would have no want or desireto really fight with the sins of this show, it doesn’t benefit him.
But Ban, well he is able to work outside ofhis greed, even if at times to others he still looks selfish.
The only negative I have for him is similarto Meliodas.
Ban is immortal and it’s rare that he everhas any real kind of challenge.
The best challenge the show gave him was whenhe and Meliodas fight off in the tournament arc.
Oh yeah, and there’s a tournament arc that’sused as another excuse for the Sins to fight each other.
Not that they really need to give a reasonas they already did it so much.
WHICH IS ANOTHER THING! I don’t mean to beat on this show as muchas I am, it’s just fun to do.
But the sins are the only characters thatcan really fight each other on an equal playing field.
So, the show comes up with every possibleexcuse to get them to fight.
From Misdirection, to the tournament, to everyonehaving collective amnesia on what each Sin looks like.
It’s kind of a running thing that the wantedposters of the Sins look nothing like the sins usually do, to the point where even thesins forgot what each other look like.
It’s something that got old quite fast forme honestly.
BUT BACK TO THE GOOD BITS.
A-1 Pictured did a phenomenal job with theaction animation.
It kind of reminds me why If I ever had topick a long running shounen to watch it would be Fairy Tail, another show that they did,just because I liked how they handled the production.
Also because the music in Fairy Tail was amazing,which side track, I didn’t know that Hiroyuki Sawano did the music for Seven Deadly Sinsuntil I looked it up.
It sounds nothing like his other work! Though I think I didn’t recognize him becausethe series is missing that one overused vocal track, with that one beat drop that he usesall the time always.
You know the one, you do.
Anyways back to the animation, I was quiteimpressed with that they did and also just the direction of all the action.
It’s something I didn’t expect comingfrom Okamura.
Like this is the guy who CREATED Darker thanBlack, who directed Wolf’s Rain.
Not the guy I would have thought to do anamazing job directing this happy go lucky shounen, but damn did he do a good job.
Like I’m just going to have some of my favoriteaction bits playing for the last little bit because hot damn were they fun to watch.
Shame that there were some animation dipsoccasionally when action was not a thing happening at those moments.
SO FINAL THOUGHTS, like I figure that me sayingthat I would recommend it to people to watch it earlier for those who have never watchedshounen before kind of gave my recommendation away.
But yes, it has its flaws but those flawsdon’t take away from the final product enough to make me say it’s not worth the watchbecause it definitely is.
As such I give it the official Glass Refectionrecommendation to BUY IT! Not that it’s possible to do so at the timeof this video.
The license for this show is kind of confusing.
Officially it’s a series licensed by Aniplexof America, however it’s kind of a Netflix exclusive title.
To the point of where Netflix is touting itas a Netflix original, similar to all those live action shows that it helped produce.
Which is odd considering they didn’t seemto actually help produce the show at all, they didn’t even license it either becauseAniplex did that.
I’m actually kind of confused as to whythey advertise it the way they do.
Either way if you are looking to watch theseries it’s available for streaming on Netflix in both Sub and Dub, and with luck we’llget a home video release in the future.
Who knows though.
For alternate anime recommendations, wellI already used HunterxHunter recently so let’s hawk my two favorite Bones Shounen shows startingwith Full Metal Alchemist.
Starting with the 2003 version, taking a break,and then watching Brotherhood.
I made 3 separate videos on this last yearwhich you should watch if you are wondering why I don’t recommended Brotherhood outright.
So I’m not going to repeat myself here.
Second recommendation goes to Soul Eater.
Many people hate this series for it’s animeonly ending, but if you are like me and don’t give a care about the manga then it’s anenjoyable romp and was honestly my favorite shounen series for several years.
Between those two you should hopefully findsomething to your liking.
Finally I’d like to thank patrons JocelynAtkins , Rurika Adachi, Calhounboy, Viktor Ekmark, Nicolai Grey, and Joshua Garcia withoutwhich I would not be able to produce these videos to the same extent that I would like.
And that’s it from me, thank you gentleviewers for watching.
Until next time, Stay Frosty.