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Seven Deadly Sins
The first time I heard of such thing as "Netflix original anime," I could not hold back a snort. Although a fan of most original content Netflix offers, I could not combine three words together. While there are plenty of great series made in Europe, such as my personal all-time favourite Oban Star Racers, I had no faith Netflix could do a good job. To save myself time and disappointment, I decided not to bother.
A while ago, I noticed the USB cable no longer connects my phone to a computer, thus I can no longer transfer myself new episodes of anime. I have sheepishly convinced myself I will find something online via my phone during a lunch break at work. It appeared to be more difficult than expected, and scrolling through ad-filled listings was unpleasant. Annoyed by the obvious virus sites constantly popping out as I tried to find a title of the series I had on MyAnimeList, I eventually decided to settle on something that sounded relatively familiar—Seven Deadly Sins. I was not sure if it was on my list, but the name rang a bell and so I went for it.
The beginning did not impress me a slightest bit. "Generic" was the only word that echoed through my head, as I watched endless and absolutely unnecessary ecchi scenes and had been introduced to the world's most boring characters. Apart from Hawk, of course.
Dropping the series sounded like the only solution, but my mom did not raise a quitter—instead, she brought up an OCD otaku, who must finish every damned series she starts. With a deep sigh, I carried on watching. After all, I have condemned myself to much worse shows before.
With appearance of other characters, the series was finally starting to draw me in. Although unimpressed at first, I found myself growing more and more eager to learn what the next episode had to offer. In fact, soon I even stopped noticing the irritating sexual scenes at all as my concentration was set on the story. That was when I have realized my soul had been stolen by the show I was quick to dismiss as cliché.
In my opinion, the strongest aspect of the series is its flow. The mistake most animes make is that the very first battles or small introduction stories (both are present in SDS) are forgotten as the show progresses and the original plot starts evolving. I was pleasantly surprised how Seven Deadly Sins actually included very minor characters to the main story, giving them extra screen time and somewhat of a development long after the viewer had forgotten them. What made me purr like a big fat cat was that it wasn't a one-time wonder, but has been continuously carried out throughout the series.
Another thing I give my praises to is character development. Probably not so much on the main characters who, in my opinion, had very little growth at all. I find it very interesting how creators of the anime put a much bigger emphasis on the side characters and their evolution rather than the main cast. The said evolution also resulted in great and unexpected plot twists that made me clap hands. Although far from a rookie when it comes to anime, I must admit it's the first time I've seen such approach. Normally, I would not expect it to work and the idea alone sounds mad. However, in Seven Deadly Sins it was executed so well it left me speechless.
The anime that started light and silly, filled with every cliché joke and element you could think of, was quick to start getting dark. I found myself deeply impressed how smooth this transition was, as myself I could not pinpoint it and yet it was happening. I like to believe the more serious themes started appearing around the time I found myself growing fond of the series, but again, it's just my ego demanding a few strokes.
Moving to the cons, I will once again mention character development. Although I welcome and cherish the idea of focusing on different kinds of characters, leaving the mains with close to no development should still not be a thing. Especially if, which is a serious case in Seven Deadly Sins, there is a hella annoying female character. Elizabeth is seriously everything I hate in a female antagonist and although there were brief attempts to make it seem as if she grows, till the very end she remains a damsel in distress with an overly squeaky voice. I guess being able to grope her was the only thing that made Meliodas tolerate her talking.
Few stories that are viewed as complete, especially regarding back story of the main characters, in my opinion are too rushed. With Ban and Elaine, who live through a tragic love story, I failed to suffer the pain that was meant to be inflicted on my feels. No, it did not happen because I am insensitive—in fact, I'm a notorious anime-cryer, but it was just not presented the way it should be to evoke one's feelings. It was short and clearly rushed, giving the viewer no time to actually get drawn into. At no moment I could feel the pain of the characters, it was only my common sense suggesting the story is actually very sad.
The part I have most complaints on is the end. I have spent days and days trying to figure out how I felt about it. The episode before the last was when emotions filled me so badly I was physically weeping, and I was, in fact, stressed to see how it all ends. Most series I was so into were forever ruined to me due to a stupid, ridiculous ending (I'm looking at you, Occultic;Nine), and goodness how I wished not to be disappointed. To this day, I can't tell if I am or not. It is difficult to put it in words without any spoilers, but let's just say I would be devastated if it ended the way I wanted to end, thus I am happy it ended the way it did. On the other hand, I would probably be devastated but satisfied, while now I am happy, yet rather annoyed.
Despite the cons, I still genuinely enjoyed the series, and once I've finished them I did not wait to start looking for a new season. That's when I came across Wikipedia article on Seven Deadly Sins, and for some reason decided to skim through it.
No words could describe my amazement when I saw the same three words I refused to put together: "Netflix original anime." I stared blank at the screen for nearly a minute, letting the idea to sink in. The series I liked more than the most (and I've seen a lot) were actually the ones I rejected before even giving it a try.
Lesson has been learned. The mind has been opened. All that is left now is to wait for a new season.