But why would you call a pig ‘Hawk’.

In an ambiguously European fantasy land, travellers and barflies gather at the Pig Hat tavern to discuss the legendary and terrible ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ – the name given to a group of Seven knights. These knights are notorious as baddies despite having not been seen in at least ten years – after a dramatic battle between the ‘Holy Knights’ who protect the land’s people. Due to the number of ‘Holy Knights’ allegedly killed by the Seven Deadly Sins and the fact that none of them were successfully captured, their Wanted posters are still a common sight.
The Pig Hat tavern is run by what appears to be a young boy and his talking pig, who are the only ones who remain in the tavern when a knight in rusty armour shows up and scares everyone else away. Inside the armour, however, is a fatigued young woman who latter explains that she is searching for the Seven Deadly Sins. Unfotunately, the Holy Knights are now searching for her.

It turns out that the Holy Knights are actually not all that holy after all and that the vilification of the Seven Deadly Sins was more like a smear campaign. The Holy Knights seem determined to rule over their country with an iron fist – going so far as to arrest the royal family….which is why they’re after the young lady, she is actually Princess Elizabeth. She’s not the only one with a surprise secret identity, though – the young tavern owner soon reveals himself to be  Meliodas – the leader of the Seven Deadly Sins. Having set up the Pig Hat tavern for the purpose of gathering information on his missing comrades, he decides it’s now time to move…with Elizabeth as a new travelling companion.

I like how vibrant this show looks, at least.

A bunch of anime based on shonen manga started this season, and a bunch of them were highly disappointing for fans of those manga. It looks like Nanatsu no Taizai might be the one that gets it right.

I’ve actually only read a single chapter of the manga before watching this, but I really think they’re captured the original art well. It’s a very distinctive style that’s a weird blend of retro and modern shonen, and the kind of look that would be very easy to screw up in transition to an animated medium. Luckily, it retains the charm of the original art whilst also even slightly improving on it – everything has a robust and dynamic look to it. I wouldn’t call the animation spectacular by any means, but it gets the job done rather well. There’s way, way too many anime (and fiction in general) set in ‘european-esque medieval fantasy land’ – something that made me a little reluctant to get into Nanatsu no Taizai, admittedly (of all the vast cultures and settings on earth, why do we always default to ‘generic medieval europe aesthetic’ for fantasy?) – however, the artwork manages to bring this world to life a lot better than others. Also, at the end of the episode the Pig’s Hat starts to move a la Howl’s Moving Castle on the back of a gigantic green pig and it’s really hard for me to not love something as goofy as that.

As for the negatives…it’s also hard for me to get excited about another fantasy quest series, especially one that goes out of its way to look and feel like a JRPG. Everything from the music to the next episode previews seem to be very deliberate, to the extent that I would have been surprised to learn that it was actually based on a manga and not a game had I not already known beforehand. Whether I really want to follow these characters around and meet more of them will need at least one more episode for me to decide – because even with it being as visually pleasing as it was and having a talking pig, the characters themselves didn’t really stand out. Elizabeth in particular is a rather disappointingly bland character (also, why does she wear some kind of lyrcra swimsuit?), and there are at least two incredibly unnecessary scenes where Meliodas squeezes her tits for no reason. That’s not funny or sexy, that just makes it seem like your writer is a twelve year old boy.  I’m actually more interested in the pink-haired knight who appears at the end than any of the main characters. The world-building, too, is incredibly vague at the moment in the writing department at least.

Given the popularity of the manga at the moment I’m kind of interested in seeing how the story does pan out and whether its worth following – however, the last time ‘vaguely euroean fantasy-land quest’ anime got ridiculously popular it was called Fairy Tail and I couldn’t stand it. I’m going to put Nanatsu no Taizai in that ‘wait and see’ pile I build up every anime season for now.

Well hello there, Pink Knight voiced by Mamoru Miyano.

Out of 5,