The Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of the Commandments

Alt title: Nanatsu no Taizai: Imashime no Fukkatsu

TV (24 eps)
4.147 out of 5 from 26,041 votes
Rank #446

Only six of the Seven Deadly Sins have been located so far, so our heroes travel to the kingdom of Britannia to find the final missing member of their group. New adventures await them, along with powerful new adversaries: an elite group of demonic warriors known as The Ten Commandments!

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The Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of The Commandments is the latest entry in a series which I regard as inexplicably popular. Not Quan Zhi Gao Shou levels of ‘inexplicably popular’, mind; the franchise has always managed to drag itself along with an interesting baseline premise and some cool character names and aesthetics, as well as some genuinely awe-inspiring combative set-pieces. The main problem, though, is the same as the problem with many of these long-standing franchises, namely that there’s no requirement to improve if your fan base already thinks you’re two steps removed from perfection. I, however, having barely found the first season to be decent, and having thought that the ‘Signs of Holy War’ TV special was tedious slosh, would like to throw a negative review into the ring. If that’s okay. Here’s the rundown: characters will regularly segue into heavy-handed expositional development about halfway through an unrelated conversation, and I’ve lost track of how many “shocking” plot or character reveals are dropped, with what almost seems like disinterest, into the middle of scenes. One major character develops amnesia at one point, and it seems to be for no other reason than to will-they-won't-they a relationship that the writers seem to have no better ideas for, and maybe to offer some really boring flashback sequences as well. Half of the simmering romantic relationships on offer here are underwhelming and difficult to invest in, while the other half are outright lamentable. Regardless, the general writing quality, particularly in terms of dialogue, is pretty terrible. And this is all without having (yet) mentioned a  contrived tournament arc, various major character deaths being reversed or having their impacts nullified, powers or abilities that spring up out of plot convenience as opposed to actual groundwork (I’m still salty about the magical teleporting dog that arrived, unprompted, halfway through the first season). And the less said about how desperately the show tries to settle upon recurrent themes, the better. As always, one of the more contemptible aspects of SDS is its horrible representation of female characters. Elizabeth is the worst by far, a beautiful young lady whose implicit love for Meliodas is used as a shield to excuse the fact that he sexually assaults her constantly over the course of every season, and who makes Princess Peach look like a masterclass in writing female autonomy. This season even throws in a few juicy nuggets that make the burgeoning romance even more creepy and objectionable than previously. That said, nearly every other female character gets a bad look-in as well, the whole affair being essentially an anti-Bechdel test where all women have to be hopelessly in love to the extent that this overwhelms all other character traits, or oversexualised to the point that it’s ridiculous. Many other plot or structural mechanics are similarly lamentable. The concept of power levels is inherently ridiculous as it means that Hawk, Meliodas’ ever-irksome travelling companion, constantly breaks into scenes to squeal increasingly larger numbers (“are you telling me that the new big bad villain is a 5500?!?!?! tHaT’s INsaAAAnE!!!!!”) in an attempt at artificially raising stakes. There’s no need to do a good job of ratcheting up tension because you can just have someone plonk 3-4 figures into a line of dialogue and hey presto! That’s a badass. Granted, the frequency of these inserts becomes much lesser as the season winds on, and we start to get some pretty awesome fight sequences that actually carry a sense of threat and power, but the damage has, to some extent, already been done by this point. The Ten Commandments, a pretty cool group of beings who exemplify the Legion of Doom to the Sins’ Justice League, are visually very interesting but the show starts struggling to make them exciting on the level of character from very early on. I still don’t know what Zeldris’ deal is, and I’m not exactly looking forward to finding out next season, if the show continues along its current path of slowly diminishing interest. TL;DR To put it bluntly, SDS does nothing that you haven’t seen done in better action anime series, and constantly demonstrates poor writing etiquette, a haphazard approach to foreshadowing, and the inability to let a character or plot point stay dead, even past the point where it would have made sense. My advice would be to avoid this one, but this already shot into the Top 100 on Anime Planet by its second episode, so there’s not really any point in me being analytical, now, is there?

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