The Seven Deadly Sins, Vol. 1

By Nakaba Suzuki. Released in Japan as “Nanatsu no Taizai” by Kodansha, serialization ongoing in the magazine Weekly Shonen Magazine. Released in North America by Kodansha Comics.

This is a title that’s been getting a lot of buzz recently, so it does not surprise me that Kodansha picked it up for release over here. It has a lot of what makes a successful Shonen Magazine title. The hero is incredibly strong and also cheery and outgoing, the female lead gets involved in a lot of fanservice moments and also gets to be cute and determined, there’s a talking animal put in there for no real good reason, and a big good guys unite to defeat the bad guys plot, with the twist that the good guys *are* the bad guys of the past. Supposedly.


This is a fairly new manga, having started last year. I note this because while reading it, the thing that struck me was how old-fashioned it felt. Meliodas is a giant pervert who tends to feel up the heroine and steal her panties, which could be out of any ecchi shonen comedy from the 70s and 80s. The trouble is he seems so blase about it – there’s no sign he’s actually aroused or anything, a la Ataru Moroboshi. It’s just his character trait. Likewise, Elizabeth does occasionally get embarrassed when fanservicey things happen to her, but compared to most heroines today, she’s strangely passive about things. Both of them clearly have more to their past that hasn’t come up yet, Meliodas especially, but there’s just that something about them here in the first book that seems like the author wants to use modern tropes, but in a 1980s sensibility.

We’re definitely in ‘shonen fantasy land’ here, what with talking pigs and giants. Diane is introduced right towards the end, and seems to be in love with Meliodas, though given their respective sizes I can’t imagine this relationship is anything but frustrating. On the other side, we meet a Holy Knight, Gilthunder, who seems to radiate an aura of smugness that just begs to be removed. Which is all you can ask of your villain, really. The action scenes are mostly well done, with a few 2-page splashes that show off the artist’s talent. By the way, Suzuki began in Jump, then moved to Sunday for his popular Kongou Bancho series (which I would love to see Viz license, but it’s a delinquent series, so no…), and is now in Magazine with his breakout hit.

If there’s anything wrong with this series, it’s stuff that seems to be ‘first volume problems’. The characters are just getting introduced and so lack the depth we know they will gain. Meliodas seems to be a bit blase for a hero, but then again this runs in a magazine where he’d be compared to Natsu from Fairy Tail anyway, so perhaps it’s best not to get him too fired up. I could also do without the panty flashes and boob grabs, but then he did move to shonen Magazine, so he has to meet their basic standards of fanservice. In most respects, however, The Seven Deadly Sins is a promising debut with two quirky but likeable leads. I’ll see where it goes.

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