Sacred Seven

TV (12 eps)
3.293 out of 5 from 4,562 votes
Rank #8,720

Following a violent incident in his childhood, Alma Tandoji has been left an outcast at school and wants nothing more than to be quietly left alone. But one day Alma's solitary peace is shattered when a strange monster known as a Dark Stone attacks his hometown. Suddenly the boy finds himself thrust into the struggle between this strange creature and the ones fighting it: the Aiba Foundation and it's leader, the wealthy Ruri. Though reluctant to fight at first, amidst the battle, Alma learns that he possesses a power known as Sacred Seven that is linked to not only these mysterious creatures but also his forgotten past. Now, along with the help of Ruri and her bestpectacled butler Makoto, Alma must take up the mantle of protector to save the world from this new threat.

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Reviews

ThePatches
5.5

Story Some of you fondly remember being a twelve year old anime fan. Back then the foundations of incredible storytelling--compelling plot twists, subtle characterization, and good acting--seemed of little import. What mattered most was whether the battles were awesome and the characters looked cool. For those of you deeply in touch with this younger self and a few hours to kill, run along and watch Sacred Seven. The rest of you, stick around a bit before you decide how to spend your time. Sacred Seven works by mashing together a number of interesting-but-worn tropes and wrapping it in some solid fight scenes and stellar visuals. As a plan of attack it works just fine at delivering meat-and-potatoes shounen, but I doubt you’ll remember much about the plot. Aruma Tandoji, the series’ taciturn lead finds himself the recipient of a mysterious heaven-sent power that can cause massive destruction. His hurting others with it causes him to shun his classmates and spend his time searching for a lost amulet that his mother gave him. But, when strange monsters start attacking Japan, he finds himself allied with Ruri Aiba, her mech-driving combat butler, and army of maids against an unknown enemy. Yes, there’s a rival corporation. Yes, there’s a human experiment angle. Yes, there’s a school fair. Nothing here steps far afield of familiar territory and you will see the ending coming a mile off. But, like, whatever. Despite the presence of halfhearted machinations and minor character developments, the core plot fixates on its monsters-of-the-week encounters. Here, each new beastie provides a unique encounter or the chance to design a fun set piece battle that serves as each episode's climax. From strange earthquake-causing bugs to a gigantic sky octopus to an animated statue, Sacred Seven coughs up some attractive enemies and fun situations for Tandoji to overcome, even if his powers (which manifest via a ring-menu from which he selects and activates them) provide a solution to each new problem with mundane regularity. Also, the show’s short running time removes any space for the narrative to build tension or create believable plot twists. Much like Black Blood Brothers, the no-frills approach takes much of the oomph out of the final battle which fails to generate the emotion that would make a you rise out of your seat. Animation Sunrise has more money than God, and they want you to know it. Despite all of the narrative or characterization failings this show has, it sure looks great. Transformed, Alma looks like an updated Proto-Man, with tight-fitting chitinous body armor and a deadly scarf (yes, the scarf can kill things) and the enemy Dark Stones posses a distinctly otherworldly quality that makes them both easy to pick out from the landscape and thematically consistent (they come from SPAAAAACEEE). The bog-standard humans' designs fare just as well on the whole. Each maid in the Aiba Foundation army, for example, each sport her own hair cut and slight variation in outfit. And, while the girls' uniform for school isn't the most imaginative, the attractive boys' clothes recall the designs from D.-Grayman giving the series a fanciful touch even in its more mundane school life scenes. But the battles are really where the show flexes its animation muscle. Impressive explosions, creepy monsters, visceral choreography, this studio knows how to make action intense and engaging. Sure, some of Alma's powers are what my roommate would call "cheaty-face" but when you watch him dodge the dragon-headed tendrils of a floating jellyfish on a hover board it's hard to care overmuch. Sound Fiction Junction's OP "Stone Cold" is every bit as good as the one they performed for Pandora Hearts, if not a little better. The song captured the anime's aspirational feeling its moderate tempo fit like a glove with the opening animation. The show’s ED theme, while serviceable, doesn’t rise to quite the quality of the OP, which proves unfortunate when the two themes switch positions halfway through the run. However, both songs speak to the series' musical texture which relies heavily on poppy electronic background tracks that set the mood well without being terribly memorable. Only Toru Ohkawa’s performance as Onigawara rises above the rest of the competent cast's turns. He subverts the “cute-character-with-verbal-tic” trope (think Ika Musume de gesso) by delightfully emulating a samurai trapped in a trashcan; in doing so, he makes the sidekick character a source of savvier laughs and prevents many of his clunker lines from falling completely flat. Characters In its short run, Sacred Seven brings too many pieces into play to make good use of them. True, some serve as cast-offs, like the maid army or the two girls obsessed with Kagami. But the show also teases at development for members of its secondary cast in a manner that piques your curiosity before abandoning them in the wake of a quickly unfolding plot. A veritable laundry list of missed opportunities includes Kagami, Fei, Knight, Wakana, and SP, who all show tiny hints of deeper histories underneath their exteriors, but the show only touches on each before moving back to the central story of Alma and Ruri. Sadly, even this core dynamic feels hollow. Alma’s reluctant protector schtick was on its way to being tired whenBleach's Ichigo took up his spot as the archetype’s spokesbrat. While our hero’s meager development fits with the space given and follows a believable path, it’s also terribly unoriginal. Given that there exist comfort anime that know how to subvert a trope for dramatic effect (see: Kage Kara Mamoru), Alma’s arc just comes across as lazy by comparison. As counterpoint to him, Ruri Aiba is hamstrung by her physical incapability. While she’s an extremely effective administrator and possesses steely resolve, her inability to adequately avoid danger turns her into a plot-token at the appearance of any monster. As a result, despite having vast resources and knowledge at her disposal she remains the lesser partner in her relationship with Alma. OverallHere’s the thing: Sunrise makes a strong claim for the idea that you can throw a lot of money at something and improve it. Sacred Seven’s action set pieces and solid sound direction make the core parts of each episode shine despite the mediocre writing that dominates the series. If you’re in the mood for some cheap thrills and cool artwork, look no farther; if your brain needs a little workout, however, keep it moving.

hamletsmage
7

Sacred Seven is your typical "Boy has awesome powers but can't use them until someone else gives him the ability" shounen anime. You've probably seen the same thing happen in anime like Bleach. The storyline follows Aruma, who fits the above cliche by being an outcast with a reputation for violence. Story: With this type of storyline, you have the protagonist joining an organization to fight terrible, ancient monsters that threaten the world around him (that surprisingly didn't seem to catch his notice before hand...). In Sacred Seven, those monsters are Darkstones, and aside from HellBrick, they all seem intent on destroying the world. Aside from the fighting aspect of the anime, Aruma (now being able to use his powers) is gaining acceptance at his school. Apparently, teen angst is a turn off to everyone. And because it's produced by Sunrise, there's a mech too. Animation: The anime is well animated, and considering it came from Sunrise, it's not too surprising. The battle sequences and the school activities are both done with excellent detail. Sound: It sets the tone for the battle sequences, backstory flash backs, and lulling areas of school life. And the title of the OP fits the anime rather nicely (Stone Cold by FictionJunction) Characters: As much shounen cliche as the series has, it does a fairly good job at developing the important characters. While at times, they seem to be cookie-cutter perfect for whatever shounen role they need to play, teh back stories allow them to have some sense of individual personalities.  

ThatAnimeSnob
3.5

THE STAFF - Animated and planned by studio Sunrise, which means cool robot action.- Directed by Oohashi Yoshimitsu, who has produced nothing but random bullshit shows in his whole career.Sacred Seven is to fighting shonen what Star Driver is to mecha. A laid back series, full of stereotypes that tributes various shows of the past. It supposed to be running mostly on nostalgia that anything else, and in all honesty it made a crappy job at it. Everything is completely random and uninspired, plus nothing is focused upon enough for us to care. PRODUCTION VALUES It feels like a whole fortune was wasted on making artwork and animation as detailed and smooth as a tv series allows. The transformation scenes, and the battle choreographies eat most action shows for breakfast. Sadly that is far from calling the presentation successful, as it is unfocused and messy. The school backgrounds and the character designs feel detrimental and become boring right away. The battles, as spectacular as they may feel, last way too little and you are never meant to feel the hero can lose if he has seven hax powers in his disposal. No matter how many maid suits and silly robot designs they threw on screen, there was simply nothing behind them to excuse the overall randomness. The soundtrack is made up of forgettable pop pieces and voice acting is ok, although there is nothing in it that would allow the actors to perform any better even if they wanted. SCRIPT The story is as basic as it gets, and if you happen to have seen a single superhero show while growing up you will know right away how things will play out. Some meteorites drop to Earth and have crystals which create monsters and grant superpowers to humans. Some use them in human experiments, others to protect their loved ones, blah-blah, overused stuff I see no point in elaborating any further. In practice you get the good guys goofing around in their school or mansion, before some monster of the week appears, and the protagonists heads there to defeat it with minimal effort and in less than five minutes. There is absolutely no build up or emotion to all the stuff that happen in the show, and the result is complete apathy even if you stare at monsters blowing up buildings. There is a sort of escalation in the form of the heroine’s twin sister and a villain who wants the ultimate power but they happen in such a blunt way that they fail to mean anything. CAST Oh boy, you can’t have a show with more generic characters than these. Some uncaring boy with a secret power, a pretty girl who loves him right away and helps him to unlock it, magical transformations, and predictable shonen battles where the hero wants to protect his friends and wins with hax power ups. There is absolutely no attempt at fleshing them out past the obvious, plus several uniforms are downright retarded. The protagonist’s berserk form is cool but instead he prefers a geek armour with a scarf. The heroine loves to dress like an elegant loli and has an army of fighting maids. She has close to no emotions, yet has the hots for the uncaring protagonist. And so does another girl in his school, for no apparent reason. Add some avenging youths who were used in human experiments and a cardboard villain who want to take over the world and you get a nice Swiss cheese of a cast to fall asleep easier at nights. LEGACY It is a very forgettable and passable show. You’ll have more fun rewatching Tekkaman Blade or Guyver than this most uninspired tribute to them. Even minor details, such as horns popping out of foreheads or armoured warrior flying with hoverboards is far more fun to watch in other shows (FLCL and Eureka Seven respectively).

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