Finding good manga on the internet isn’t really that difficult, not if you take the time to really look. What is difficult is finding good manga that’s weekly and still on going-because as i have mentioned before, i find the waiting Monthly series put me through tiresome.
That makes Nanatsu no Tazai a very rare find indeed, not only weekly, but quality shonen, both in art and story telling, indeed a contender for the top spot once Bleach and Naruto finally wrap up.
The "Seven Deadly Sins," a group of evil knights who conspired to overthrow the kingdom of Britannia, were said to have been eradicated by the Holy Knights, although some claim that they still live. Ten years later, the Holy Knights have staged a Coup d'état and assassinated the king, becoming the new, tyrannical rulers of the kingdom. Elizabeth, the king's only daughter, sets out on a journey to find the "Seven Deadly Sins," and to enlist their help in taking back the kingdom.
Nanatsu no Taizai is set to take the otaku world by storm because it hits all those points that make shonen action series so awesome, and is accomplishing so much in such a short period of time.
1. The Art- Nakaba Suzuki brings a pretty interesting and unique art style to his story, not quite fluid, not quite crystal clear, yet cohesive, flowing logically from panel to panel, the action scenes so masterfully presented, somehow always creating this complete picture of mayhem and destruction.
And let’s not forget the backgrounds, not quite rich, yet alive none the less and present. I always appreciate that, an author that could do black and white walls of background but chooses to take the time to draw a tree here, a hill there, a boulder way over there.
Nanatsu doesn’t hold back artistically, and the characters are quite lively even in black and white.
2. The adventure- The first time i read Fairy Tail, part of what drew me to it was the potential for adventure, following the cast as they trekked to new lands, engaged with new characters and enjoyed an action packed quest or two.
Sadly that is far from what Fairy Tail actually is today; The Seven Deadly sins on the other is nothing but one great adventure after another, each of the arcs short, precise and allowing the story to progress to new territories, such that 62 chapters later we have gone further in the story, seen more of the Sin universe than most weekly on going series dare to reveal.
Even One piece moves at a fairly snail pace compared to The Seven Deadly sins, which is showing no signs of slowing down even with what we have seen so far. And that’s largely due to the mysteries it presents.
3. The mystery- The Seven Deadly Sins is one large awesome mystery. 62 chapters in and all we know is the known narrative of what happened years back, when the Sins were betrayed and fell prey to the evils of the kingdom.
And because we don’t really know anything, not even who the seven primary characters are, each new chapter and each new story arc is chock of revelations to questions we were asking or didn’t even think to ask. That allows the series to progress dynamically, always feeling new and refreshed, never stagnating like most weekly on going series tend to do.
The thing with such a large mystery like The Seven Deadly sins is that even a tame largely dialogue heavy chapter is bound to reveal something intriguing that builds upon the story.
4. The cast- Really, where would this manga be without such an awesome cast. First of all the series began with a single main character, who’s still as shrouded in mystery 62 chapters later as he was when we first saw him.
What that means is with each new arc we are treated to the excitement of getting to meet a new sin. Secondly each sin is so mysterious a character that each new story arc allows us an opportunity to unwrap them further, their powers, now and in the past, the nature of their treasures, their origins and relationship with Meliodas, their captain.
Each character brings a new dimension to the manga, that allows the series to shine with regards to the interactions between the sins, enabling even the dullest characters to entertain immensely. In a way this reminds me of One piece, which can survive on the interactions and shenanigans of the straw hats.
Ever character in this cast is blessed with a deep story that as readers we can only anticipate to unravel.
5. The action- This is a battle shonen manga, so really it would lose a portion of its soul if it didn’t deliver on the action front, which is does brilliantly. Any series that boasts a large cast, each with its own unique abilities is bound to impress with a diverse showing of explosive abilities.
Nanatsu no Taizai more than succeeds in this arena, probably more so than Bleach or any other series of the type because the battles are so unpredictable. There is no one primary character that gets to take on the big bosses each and every time (which irks me immensely about one piece).
In fact its disturbing how many fights in the series see Meliodas on his ass, largely on the losing side, only to have one of his subordinates sins ride in, not only save the day but completely decimate the opponent.
That aspect allows the battles to keep you engaged, because there is no one character that is too strong to be defeated. Even the Immortal Ban can barely hold his own sometimes.
I guess the credit in that case goes to the villains, the holly knights, each of whose powers is always so unique that each fight doesn’t come down to which hero is stronger than which villain, but which villain has an ability that is largely skewed against the attributes of another character that no matter how strong they are, they stand no chance.
It’s a brilliant system of battle, perfectly complimented by the style of the art, which shows the abilities off perfectly. Diana is the one sin that has most impressed me so far, though Meliodas and King never seize to amaze me.
VERDICT: Great series, without a doubt worth investing your time into. The battle lines aren’t always so clear and the plots are always complimented by the demons each character is always struggling with.
The conflict in the order of holy knights, specifically Hendricksen and Dreyfus’ factions, allows the story to shine even further, taking a different perspective of the coming holy war.
If you’re finding your mind occupied with thoughts of what you will do once Naruto, One piece or Bleach end, need something to reel you in, give The Seven Deadly Sins a read.
If i had one criticism, it would have to be Elizabeth, whose character is quite cliché, boring and largely unnecessary to the entire plot. Strangely enough the revelation about Meliodas didn’t bother me. I often roll my eyes whenever i am reading a manga or watching an anime in which the primary protagonist undergoes some sort of demonic transformation, which is overdone as far as i am concerned.
Something about this series makes Meliodas’ revelation work.
RATING: 4/5, pretty impressive so far.
HIGHLIGHTS SO FAR: Ban Vs. Meliodas (really that entire tournament), Helliobram, Mother Catastrophe.