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The Seven Deadly Sins, Vols. 1 + 2

Another Wednesday means another review! This week I’ll be taking a look at The Seven Deadly Sins, Vols. 1 + 2 from Kodansha. Before we get into that, here are a few news items that have caught my attention over the past few weeks.





A lot of those stories were slated to be linked to in last week’s column, but due to the flood of manga news they got bumped back until now. Better late than never! With that done, it’s onto this week’s featured review of The Seven Deadly Sins, Vols. 1 + 2.

The Seven Deadly Sins, Vol. 1The Seven Deadly Sins, Vols. 1 + 2
By Nakaba Suzuki
Kodansha Comics
Rating: Teen (13 +)

The land of Brittania is in turmoil! A group known as the Holy Knights have overthrown the King, forcing Princess Liones to seek help from the legendary group of knights known as The Seven Deadly Sins. Unfortunately for her, the group has been declared outlaws for nearly a decade following an attempted coup of their own. Struggling to save her kingdom Liones must track down these outlaws and uncover the conspiracy surrounding the Holy Knights actions, in Nakaba Suzuki’s The Seven Deadly Sins, Vols. 1 + 2.

The premise for the series is straight forward enough. To save her kingdom Princess Liones must seek out an even more powerful group that might be even worse than the one she’s currently opposing. As she tracks them down she slowly uncovers the truth behind the events that lead to The Seven Deadly sins becoming outlaw status. The set up offers up plenty of opportunities for exciting super powered fights between various knights, intrigue in the conspiracies behind the different coup attempts, and a classic quest plot line to keep things moving along. Of course along the way we learn a little bit more about the various members of the Seven Deadly Sins as well, including the suggestion that there may be a traitor who set them up to take the fall for a crime they didn’t commit, and that not all of them may be entirely nice and mentally stable to begin with.

Unfortunately things start to get derailed with the characters. While Liones is our heroine and the impetus for the entire story, the actual main character is really Meliodas, the leader of the legendary Seven Deadly Sins. Sadly neither of them are especially likable at this point. Liones is little other than a damsel in distress, with a good heart and desire to help that her physical form simply can’t keep up with, meanwhile Meliodas is… well, Meliodas is about two steps away from being a sex offender, which brings us to the biggest problem with The Seven Deadly Sins. The humor. Much of the comedy relies heavily upon fan service and our hero, Meliodas, being a raging pervert. While this isn’t exactly a new thing or something that’s unique to this shonen series, it’s just off putting here. Meliodas is supposed to be someone we can get behind, but at every opportunity he’s sexually harassing the princess in one way or another. Shoving his head up her skirt, casually groping her as he carries her off to safety, and more. It’s incredibly off-putting, as is her naivety and the way she simply accepts it with a slight blush. It ends up making him unlikeable and had me looking forward to any scene in which he was absent. This kind of thing just isn’t funny or amusing and I really wish it’d stop turning up in shonen action/adventure series.

A page from The Seven Deadly Sins, Vol. 1Despite some complaints about the fan service nature of the humor, Nakaba Suzuki sure knows how to draw. The Seven Deadly Sins has some absolutely lovely looking artwork. It’s a fantastic looking book with a nice, scratchy, thatch heavy style. The level of detail Suzuki crams into every panel and character design is amazing! He creates a fantastic sense of place with the lush, detailed backgrounds. Whether it’s the rustic Boars Hat tavern, or the cold stone walls of a dungeon, or the smoking ruins of a village, you’ll never forget where the story is taking place and what kind of world it’s inhabiting. The action scenes are short but explosive, and once again Suzuki instills an amazing sense of motion and impact into every knock out blow. It’s a gorgeous book and there’s something about the character designs and the style that feels old, something about it makes me think of the 90s, but in a good way.

With the first two volumes, The Seven Deadly Sins is off to a rocky start. An unlikeable lead and non-stop sexual harassment played for laughs taint what could have been a fun little fantasy adventure romp. To make it even more painful, the book looks absolutely fantastic. Hopefully, over the course of the series, things will even out a bit more and the fan service comedy moments will fall by the wayside in favor of the intrigue and action.

The Seven Deadly Sins, Vols. 1 + 2 are available now from Kodansha Comics.

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  1. July 18, 2014 at 9:16 pm

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