A Look at “The Seven Deadly Sins” Manga (through volume 14)

A Look at “The Seven Deadly Sins” Manga (through volume 14)

The Seven Deadly SinsI really wasn’t looking for another manga to read, but for some reason, I started looking at The Seven Deadly Sins manga series on Crunchyroll. I read the first volume, found it interesting enough, so I splurged and picked up the series in book form over the last several months.

In short, the series is about a princess named Elizabeth Liones, who’s the third princess of the kingdom of Britannia. After the Holy Knights of the realm seize control of the kingdom, she flees to seek out the notorious Seven Deadly Sins. They are a group of seven Holy Knights who were the most powerful in the kingdom. However, they were framed for the death of the head of all Holy Knights some ten years earlier and thus fled into exile.

Elizabeth luckily flees to Meliodas, the owner of the mobile Boar Hat Inn, which is on the back of a massive female hog for traveling purposes. When the hog stops and roots into the ground, she’s hidden and the inn is ready for business. Meliodas helps her and turns out to be the former head of the Seven Deadly Sins. He agrees to help Elizabeth, hiring her as his waitress (despite her clumsiness). Together, they set out to gather the remaining members of the Seven Deadly Sins, not only to help recapture the kingdom, but to clear their name and learn what truly happened to their former boss.

The Seven Deadly SinsWith these two quests to propel the story forward, The Seven Deadly Sins doesn’t mark any new ground there. However, by making the next member of the group be a giantess (Diane) with a schoolgirl crush on Meliodas, I have to admit that this made me more interested. Diane is my favorite character. If I were ever going on a quest, I’d want her on my team. It is kind of sad that because she’s about 30 feet tall, she has to sleep outdoors and can’t participate in anything indoors.

Through the fourteen volumes I’ve read, six of the seven members of Seven Deadly Sins have been revealed. Suzuki-sensei has given many of them very interesting backstories. I really appreciate this as it gives the characters more depth and helps to provide a more interesting tale.

The story of the Holy Knights taking over the kingdom and the continued confrontation of their members against the gathered members of the Seven Deadly Sins is mostly good. I say mostly because unfortunately, The Seven Deadly Sins falls into some shounen cliche traps.

The Seven Deadly SinsThe biggest trap is the “endless battle” that goes on through the last few volumes I read. This is where you have the big, bad villain who beats the tar out of one of the heroes. Another hero steps in and starts apparently laying the smack down on said villain, but then the villain pulls one out of his oshiri, and the second hero takes a beating. It goes on and on until finally, the bad guy is taken down.

Another big trap is the, “he’s not quite dead yet” one. I’m really not a fan of that because it is a cheap way for a villain to make a comeback.

The final trap is the “retcon that’s not a retcon” trap. This is where a character suddenly gets things added to their character that was never even hinted at before. For example, I could be portrayed as a normal human in a story. Then because the story demands it, I have a powerful mage’s staff. And then it turns out that I’m really the most powerful wizard on the planet, but I don’t remember that for whatever reasons. Then there are other shocking surprises in store in the future, again because the story demands it. I’m not a big fan of these kind of character twists that had no foreshadowing.

Still, on the whole, for a shounen manga, this isn’t too bad. The characters are mostly interesting, except when they are given shocking revelations just to have a plot twist. The story is mostly interesting when it doesn’t get bogged down in cliched shounen battles.

Kodansha is pretty far behind the current chapters on Crunchyroll. I may take time to read those and catch up. In the meantime, if you like shounen, fantasy, battle manga titles like Fairy Tail, I’m sure you’ll like The Seven Deadly Sins.

Additional: Discussions of the series are welcome. Anything past volume 14, please wrap in the SPOILER blocks ([ SPOILER ]<spoiler text>[ /SPOILER ] — only no spaces in front or back of SPOILER in the [])


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8 Responses to “A Look at “The Seven Deadly Sins” Manga (through volume 14)”

  1. NullApostle says:

    It’s a fairly entertaining manga. Arthurian myth is rather rarely seen in manga, and it was a nice way to pass time identifying the various figure.

    AFAIK the mangaka has a solid three arc plan for the series, with each arc having a hundred chapters, i.e. the series will end with chapter 300. Currently it’s smack dab in the middle of the second arc.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Gah! You just reminded me of something I had thought about writing about — Kodansha’s treatment of the series. Oh well. I guess that’ll have to wait. There’s a lot for me to have to try to catch up on via Crunchyroll.

  2. Orsino Vilen says:

    I feel like Suzuki Nakaba is a pretty good shounen battle manga writer. He really hit the jackpot, popularity wise, with The Seven Deadly Sins, but he also wrote Kongou Banchou before, which is pretty fun.

    If you don’t mind a little bit of Mary Sue-ism, then you should check it out as well, if you like Suzuki-sensei’s work. I feel like Meliodas is a little bit of a Gary Stu as well, though… What do you think?

    Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of shounen battle manga, so I’ve only read the first 5 volumes or so of Nanatsu no Taizai. I have a golden rule of not following shounen titles release after release for my own mental health, lol. Thanks, Bleach.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I feel like Meliodas is a little bit of a Gary Stu as well, though… What do you think?

      In some ways, many shounen MC’s are like this in battle manga. They always have a new power/ability to overcome when things look the worst.

      I have a golden rule of not following shounen titles release after release for my own mental health, lol. Thanks, Bleach.

      😆 Funny.

  3. ghostbeetle says:

    Oh maaan! Shounen manga, dude!
    Like for many a male, Western anime viewer, I guess, Shounen was one of those big initial draws towards anime for me. (Coincidentally, so was Shoujo. The anime version of Fullmon wo Sagashite, if you can believe.^^)
    I’m not really counting Ranma 1/2 as Shounen, which we had running on TV over here, back when, and which I loved,but definitely Naruto and Bleach. While the dissapointment came a lot faster on Bleach than on Naruto, considering my initial enthusiasm for both those stories they were almost equally bitter experiences for me.
    Nanatsu no Taizai (only seen the anime) was what I would call solid, entertaining Shounen fare, though, of course, I would have sounded even more positive about Naruto or Bleach before they started showing their terrible weaknesses. Since I don’t feel a pressing need to get into the manga though, it can keep that evaluation from me.

    Endings are hard for longrunning series and i have the sneaking suspicion that at least some of the biggest of these Shounen properties were never conceived with an end at all! Hence they completely fuck up as soon as they start to hit that home stretch of the series, that part when all the setup is completed.
    In Bleach that was right after the end of the soul society arc. From then on Kubo Tite did nothing but repeat the same forrmula over and over again to incredibly nauseating effect, instead of providing any real development.
    With Naruto things were a bit more difficult, but in retrospect it seems pretty obvious from the Sasuke Retrieval arc on that Kishimoto had absolutely no idea how to make Sasuke interesting or even relevant again.

    The best Shounen series I’ve encountered so far is easily Kekkaishi. It was imaginative, really well-told and you could tell that Yellow Tanabe had really put just as much thought into the somewhat bittersweet ending as every other part of the story.
    World Trigger right now has been absolutely terrific up till now and the deiberately slow, methodical pacing of the story seems explicitly designed to counter the usual problems of long-running series. E.g. letting your series run for years without ever having to put your character work into neutral, or just repeating the same beat over and over and over again.
    We’ll see.

    BTW, sorry for the rambling diatribe! It’s definitely off to bed for this tired anime lover!^_^

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I’m not really counting Ranma 1/2 as Shounen

      Well, it is a shounen title. Shounen doesn’t always mean a battle manga.

      Endings are hard for longrunning series and i have the sneaking suspicion that at least some of the biggest of these Shounen properties were never conceived with an end at all!

      My understanding is that manga titles are usually created with a quick end in mind, in case the manga is not popular. If it is only somewhat popular so that it goes a few/several volumes, those will have an ending planned. (And sometimes, authors have a story that goes that long, even if the manga is massively popular.) If a series is massively popular, then I can see the original ending being thrown out the window in favor of the manga going on and on until its popularity wanes or the manga-ka gets tired of it.

      BTW, sorry for the rambling diatribe! It’s definitely off to bed for this tired anime lover!^_^

      Not a problem. 😀 Get some rest.

  4. ghostbeetle says:

    “If a series is massively popular, then I can see the original ending being thrown out the window in favor of the manga going on and on until its popularity wanes or the manga-ka gets tired of it.”

    It’s fairly obvious in the case of Naruto that Kishimoto must have grown incredibly tired of his creation years before he managed to finish it. I have absolutely no clue whether the ending he finally presented – complete and LITERAL deus ex machina that it is – was something he had in mind from the beginning, or something he only pulled from…somewhere to finally close down that shindig. In any case, it was a huge foul for him to have all of this huge amount of weird stuff come out of nowhere!

    But with Bleach I’ve always had the strong impression that Kubo Tite never had any clue of how to actually develope his characters beyond their cute and entertaining setup.

    Do you think there is any established practice to just worry about the setup of new animes (or mangas) – just creating characters and scenarios that make a cool first impression but no gameplan beyond that – just to keep feeding the hungry Japanese market?

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I think there’s an element of that. That’s why you see a flood of a certain type of manga/anime come out at times. Someone creates something popular, so some similar titles are created to try to capture the popularity of it.

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