|Incoherent, Unfocused Execution Undermines Interesting Premise||2 out of 2 users found this review helpful.|
Ambition is hardly something Sacred Seven lacked.
What the Sunrise-developed series didn't have, rather, was any ability to meet that ambition. At the end of 12 episodes, Sacred Seven felt, at once, both too short and much too long.
The show starts off on, if not the right foot, at least an interestingly wrong one. Alma Tandoji is the stereotypical misunderstood loner, but he at least brings some spice to the table with an uncontrollable power he's had from a very young age called a "Darkstone."
Ruri Aiba, the stereotypical rich girl with too much money for her own good, offers him a potential to harness that power for good through her own, using ludicriously expensive gemstones as a catalyst, against rampaging, unconverted Darkstones. Both Alma's Darkstone powers and Aiba's unnamed ability fall under the banner of the titular "Sacred Seven," though the other five are basically hand-waived.
The set up demonstrated a potential for an engaging if goofy universe, complete with maid warriors, magical stones, an heiress with an inheritance so vast that it would make Bill Gates blush, and ability to churn out fun to watch action scenes seemingly on demand.
This ability, unfortunately, is often neglected and, by the end of the series, it becomes apparent every other plot device was as well. The series was never really good, but every element put forward is tied up all too tidily, making Sacred Seven feel like a 24 episode series crammed into 12.
Several things simply happen off camera to set up the final arc of events out of seemingly nowhere. The morally ambiguous villain loses any ambiguity for convenience's sake and more than one character that seemed to be central early on is left undeveloped. It all feels very rushed at the end.
Episodes earlier in the run that could fairly be called filler only adds to this lurking feeling that the series may well have been cut short, tossing in an ending because a second season wasn't being granted. It shows, but the ending is only the worst problem the series has.
Lack of focus, overused cliches, animation issues, and a plot that was nearing incoherency at an early point but only got worse from there made it where Sunrise cutting the cord short was probably the correct decision.
Its only saving grace stems from the goofy universe and the handful of fun characters it spawned. None of them were ever too deep, but the villain was at least amusing and Ruri kept me watching. But an interesting premise and some promising characters can't hold up a series on its own.
Without a solid plot and a tongue in cheek attitude towards its own excesses, Sacred Seven isn't even a dulled gem. It's simply a rock headed towards the bottom of the lake.