The Seven Deadly Sins: Dragon's Judgement

Alt title: Nanatsu no Taizai: Fundo no Shinpan

TV (24 eps)
3.67 out of 5 from 6,020 votes
Rank #3,421
The Seven Deadly Sins: Dragon's Judgement

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Hoo-boy...where do I even begin with this train wreck of a final season? To be fair to this season, it's just the conclusion of the train wreck which spanned from about season three onward.  I didn't review past season 2 because...well, I'd read the manga and I was not going to watch the anime version of it unless I got paid.  Since I'm not getting paid, I'm not going to watch it. The finale, however, I figured I would watch since there were a couple of scenes I really wanted to see animated. And that's not even counting the fact that only the first 12 episodes (of the 24 episode final season) is even available on Netflix...and even that half a season came about a month after it actually came out in Japan. -- Story Two words:  Train.  Wreck. If you're reading this, I presume you have either read the manga or watched through season four of the anime and thus, you probably know somewhat what to expect from this season. ...That being a story which jumps, sputters, retcons earlier decisions, and is just so jumbled that the original idea sort of got lost in the mix of a long and drawn out situation. The premise of this season is...oh hey, the Meliodas we all know and love is still alive but is in Purgatory while his emotionless puppet-body just sort of moves and does stuff in order to become a perfect vessel. It's all been leading up to this, and the other Sins scramble to stop this giant cocoon from counting down to the rebirth of the Demon King...until even Meliodas and a huge lightshow and cocoon isn't even necessary for it to happen, apparently, as the Demon King is perfectly able to just jump from one son to the other. The curses, which apparently have been the driving force of the plot (and which we don't learn fully of until seasons 2 and 3), are still hanging over their heads and...oh by the way, you'll never guess who put the curse on which kid! Then, just as things seem like it gets peaceful, cue the final 12 episodes which are more chaotic than the final "antagonist". All in all, it had been going downhill since season 2, and don't expect this season to answer all your questions or make any coherent sense of past events; just of the current threats as they show up. NnT's story has been all over the place since season 2, and often tries to play with big plot twists and ideas, but due to a lore which isn't well established from the get-go fails to deliver.  Even worse is that at the time of this review, only half the season is even available through Netflix.  Towards the end, one starts to feel like the mangaka just wanted to end things to make a new series or shift the protagonist focus.  That said, the conclusion still at least felt somewhat satisfying.  ...well, despite all of the "it's it's not.  But it's over this it's not" moments.  4/10 -- Characters Elizabeth is apparently known as "Bloody Ellie" from the Holy War, but...she still doesn't really do much. It's nice to see her resolve, but otherwise the only difference between her in this season and her from season 1 is that she has her memories...and isn't totally useless when the proverbial feces hits the oscalating rotator. On the other hand, it's good to see Meliodas slowly lose (over time, really) that super perverted side of himself which made him hard to like in season 1.  After 3,000 years (plus time in Purgatory), he certainly came a long way as a character.  His development with Elizabeth, especially, after being reunited.  Just...don't expect them to kiss; that all happens offscreen (yes, I know:  it's a giant middle finger to everyone who was watching their relationship deepen). Speaking of, Ban also shines brightly.  After re-watching the first season and comparing it to what I saw here, he finally finds his purpose and reason for doing things.  He's also quite possibly one of the best supporting characters to a progatonist I've ever seen (even if he did once try to legit kill Meliodas in season 1). Of course, I can't speak about shining without talking about the man of the sun himself, Escanor.  Escanor never seemed to really play a major role in things with the exception of one or two instances (from which he became a fan favorite, however).  In this season, he certainly steps up to the plate and delivers (particulaly in the latter half of the season where his backstory also comes up...though a slightly watered down version of it). King and Diane are still...well, King and Diane.  King's rocking that posh new look when things get serious (which honestly weirds me out more than any of his other forms), and the one time Diane tries to actually do something big to contribute she gets destroyed by bad animation. Gowther gets to chime in at some moments, and honestly helps save the day a couple of times in the latter half of the arc (even though his role seems rather minor). Then we come to Merlin.  Merlin is...well, it was this part in the manga which made me hate her, and the anime does the same (obviously).  Mostly in the latter 12 episodes since that's where she starts to play a role (though we learn she played a role in some other events as well). She went from one of my favorite characters in the series to one of my most hated.  I can't go into details on why because it contains major spoilers, but oh boy did her actions really dampen what used to be a cool character.  They also seem to come out of left field, and re-watching any episode with Merlin helping the Sins in the past makes me angry due to having that "end game" knowledge of her motives. I suppose, in a way, the characters are done really well. ...except the Demon King.  He just sort of becomes that Final Fantasy baddie who refuses to die to the point of being obnoxious. Though some characters grew more than others, and there were so many additional characters and side characters thrown into the mix that it was hard to keep track of them all sometimes, they were actually written well and brought to life by the voice acting.  There's even one character who we meet in Purgatory who becomes a big deal.  6/10 -- Animation & Sound We all knew I was coming to this since it was next on the list.  I'm going to just briefly mention that Sound is perfectly fine; the voice acting attempted to salvage what the animation wrecked, and the opening and ending songs are just as good as one would expect from NnT.  A couple background songs really help with the mood, especially as the animation attempts to sabatoge it. Solid, though it's slightly disappointing that a few insert songs are repeated (despite how good they are).  8/10 For anyone who tries to defend the animation or says it "isn't that bad", please go back and re-watch season 1...particularly the last couple episodes with the final fight against demon-Hendrickson. Then, come back to this season and watch any fight scene and try to tell me that the animation for this season (and last season, let's be honest) even comes close to that. just doesn't. One of the scenes I had been hoping to see in the animated version was just a bunch of fading in and out stillframes, another wasn't even animated, and the rest was just...eww. Fight scenes use a lot of the stillframes to the point where it was even worse than anything from the first season of Saiyuki (which did a lot of that as well).  There were times when things were serious in the anime or a major battle was going on, but due to the crappy animation, I was laughing. It was so bad it was laughable.  Again, the music and voice acting attempts to salvage things, but they just can't make up for the plain awful animation quality. Characters sometimes also look weird (especially during combat or any scene where they are expected to move more than just a finger or their mouth) and lose a lot of detail when the "animation" picks up. I can go on and on about just how freaking terrible the animation quality is, but I'm fairly certain I've made my point. Speaking of point, a single point is all it's getting on the score for animation.  A "Hey, at least you tried" participation trophy point. I don't know why, after the negative feedback from the last season, they outsourced it to the same animation studio.  Maybe everyone in charge with the script just felt the same as the mangaka (whose writing in the end gave a feeling of "I just want to end this already") and just wanted to be done with it so they didn't spend much time on the animation.  It feels sloppy and again, is so bad that it's funny...which isn't good for a finale.  1/10 -- Overall Did I enjoy the start of NnT?  Yes Did I enjoy the final leg of this journey of NnT?  Ehh...not really. While I loved season 1 (and will sometimes go back to rewatch it) and was okay with season 2, I started to dislike the direction and writing by season 3 (manga-wise, so of course that meant I wasn't too interested in watching it animated). I was laughed nearly straight out of the (Reddit) forums whenever I expressed my displeasure and sorrow for the plot holes and other issues with what had started out as something amazing.  At around chapter 300 of the manga, the forum was mixed on opinions and I was able to come back.  We'd still get sneered at, but it was a little safer to post criticisms. By the time the events of this season rolled around, about 95% of the forums were crapping on it.  That goes for the events of this season, too. Many things happen which open up plot holes or point out the lesser obvious ones in the writing: Meliodas in his emotionless-demon mode went on for way too long, there are a couple glaring oversights with the curses, the Demon King as an antagonist was boring and used more than once (while we didn't see the Supreme Diety even once), the lore is so weak that it allowed for retcons and changes, characters who should dang well be dead were alive again because "reasons" (a couple of those mysterious revivals, like one character in this season, is a real head-scratcher), the entire thing with Merlin's character was a "wtf" moment, and the stuff with Arthur was just plain weird. How would one fix NnT?  I was thinking about it the other day, and honestly, you'd have to go back as early as season 2 (and early in season 2) in order to start fixing things.  You'd also need to lay out the lore of Brittania.  Even if the viewer is only exposed to the lore in pieces, the author should have a solid world-building lore already set.  Certainly, sometimes in the process of writing things go off the rails a little, and it's okay to have a gap or two, but this series has too many of those gaps. While I'd recommend the first season of NnT, and the second season starts to introduce things like Meliodas' immortality and hints at a grander plot that way in "saving Elizabeth" as well, by the time we get the big reveal about the curses it leaves the viewer to wonder about quite a few technicalities. They live in a world filled with magic and ancient artifacts (including a horn housing a goddess), and there was no other way to break the curse?  Oh, but apparently there was a way...a way which had been there all along for the past 3,000 years and just decided not to out of pure selfishness. The ending of this also leads into the author's next series, which...okay, I'll admit I'm reading it, but only because it's so freaking bad that it's hilarious.  It's one of those "dumb but amusing" things. Now, for as much as I rip on NnT and what it became, that's not to say I didn't like it (especially the premise).  It was that "the holy knights are the bad guys" which initially drew me into the series, so I'll admit that some of this is colored by my disappointment that it then just defaulted to "demons = bad".  It certainly had the potential to do more, but it didn't. Again, the characters are the shining light in this series...and even they had taken a few episodes to warm up to back in season 1. While it ended in a satisfying way, it took longer than it needed to in order to get there...and by "satisfying", I mean that the last episode was feel-good; it certainly didn't address the multiple plot holes it opened up along the way.  By the last 12 episodes, it felt like the author just wanted to be done with the series.  Also, I'm docking points to this category due to half the season still missing from Netflix (at the time of this review).  4/10 Edit:  The final 12 episodes are up on Netflix as of 9/24/2021.  Seeing as all 24 episodes were available in Japan before I even wrote this review, and that it took two months for the final 12 (already existing) episodes to go onto Netflix, I'm tempted to bump the score down, but I'll just keep it the same.

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