If you think I’ve been slacking off on posting on time lately, you are… ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. This is a back post for when I had to stop writing because of a headache… That I ended up procrastinating on…
Oh hey! A Shounen manga! Awyeah!
Manga: Nanatsu no Taizai 「七つの大罪」 The Seven Deadly Sins
Nanatsu no Taizai is a Shounen, action, adventure, fantasy series written and illustrated by Suzuki Nakaba. If that name sounds familiar, that’s because Suzuki-sensei was also the mangaka of Kongou Banchou and Rising Impact that I posted about previously. Nanatsu no Taizai started serialising in Oct 2012 and has just passed the 100 chapter mark. As of Oct 17, 2014, serialised chapters have been collected into 11 tankobon volumes. An anime adaptation debuted on Oct 5, 2014 and is currently airing.
The manga’s popularity is booming and has been growing steadily. It was one of the 10 nominations for the 7th Iteration of the Manga Taishou award (See Glossary) this year.
Once an active group of knights serving the King of Liones in the region of Britannia, The Seven Deadly Sins disbanded and fled after supposedly plotting to overthrow the the Liones Kingdom. Their supposed defeat came at the hands of the Holy Knights, but rumours on the sins continue to persist and wanted posters are updated. Ten years later, the Holy Knights staged a coup d’état and captured the king, becoming the new, tyrannical rulers of the kingdom. Elizabeth, the third princess, sets out on a journey to find the Seven Deadly Sins and enlist their help in taking back the kingdom.
WARNING: A little bit of fan service, usually in the form of a character’s pervert tendencies and ripped clothes in battle, but very tame. Shounen violence. Some death, but you know, because it’s ‘Shounen’ if you don’t think deep enough, a lot of people don’t consider the gravity of a minor character death (unless its a minor character important to a major character. Does that even make sense OTL). Shounen excitement. EVERYTHING SHOUNEN.
Nanatsu no Taizai will henceforth be shortened to NanaTai.
There’s so much I want to share about this series, where do I even start…
Okay, so I only started reading this manga after watching the first episode of the anime even though a friend had been constantly trying to
coerce convince me to read it before that. It was the kind of thing where I had to drop whatever else I was doing and start on the manga right away because the first anime episode was that good and I absolutely needed to continue asap.
NanaTai is honestly… a pretty typical Shounen series. If you’re just looking at the general plot idea and some of the characters, it is somewhat cliche. That was probably one of the reasons why I didn’t pick it up immediately.
Another was probably because I have this really bad habit of putting off manga and starting on another. There’re generic Shounen themes like Friendship/Nakama, Love, Loss, Getting back up when you’re down etc.etc. Would probably say I’m more of a ‘Seinen’ kind of reader, but there aren’t many who don’t enjoy a good ‘Shounen’ read. And NanaTai was great.
What makes NanaTai different isn’t its European Middle Ages setting, nor is it its plot, but the little details in its characters and development that result in a memorable story. There’s always an abundance of larger plot questions that are brought up that make you want to continue reading for the answers… That sometimes throw you for a loop.
Many characters in the series can be categorised into generic archetypes, at least when you are first introduced to them. It only gets interesting when all those different characters start to come together and you get to watch their interactions with one another. Their backstories and little quirks bring out great depth. Suddenly you have a cast of fun, believable characters that are all likeable; Where each get their turn in pulling your heartstrings for them. This isn’t just focused on the main characters either.
Ah… one thing I was a little iffy about was the use of the ‘damsel in distress’ situation regarding Princess Elizabeth. There aren’t a lack of cool, strong female characters in this series, but Elizabeth was, unfortunately, a little useless until much much later on in the series (besides in one or two situations). I guess her role was mostly to serve as a catalyst and motivation for the story to continue. Please don’t let this put you off though. She’s a sweet character.
With quite a bit of manga experience, Suzuki-sensei’s art for NanaTai already starts out bold and pretty neat with a style of its own. As the series progresses, it gets even cleaner and more impressive. The slightly rounded style makes it look simple, but a lot of effort is put into details, especially evident in the backgrounds and scenery. Panelling is smooth and impactful. Battle scenes are dramatic and extremely easy to follow. I like how even with a middle age, european fantasy style, there are still some modern touches here and there like in some characters’ clothes.
ARGH… I’m so sorry I ended up rambling so much about this. Don’t think I did this amazing series justice either, damn it… If you didn’t bother reading everything, that’s understandable. So if you skipped everything above, at least read this sum up in one sentence:
Nanatsu no Taizai is a relatively generic shounen, but its characters are very interesting and the art is great so try it maybe?