Nanatsu no Taizai (by Suzuki Nakaba) also known as The Seven Deadly Sins tells the story of a group of criminals whom ten years prior to the start of the story had been accused of plotting to overthrow the Kingdom. Shortly after the Kingdoms enforcement division, the Holy Knights, launched an offensive against the group of criminals, known as the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’, that group disintegrated and went their separate ways. Now ten years later and the start of the story, a girl appears suddenly seeking to reunite the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ together to help combat the Holy Knights whom have deviated from their path of protection, order and peace.
Right from the start it becomes apparent that Nanatsu no Taizai isn’t playing around, it hits the ground running and makes its intention of desiring to be a long running shounen manga boldly evident to the reader. This more than anything in the first chapter gets you excited about the journey which is about to unfold as well as stimulating you as a reader to want to continue reading.
Within that beginning, Suzuki-sensei lays out exactly what type of manga Nanatsu no Taizai intends to be; a heroic adventure within a chaotic, vibrant and magical world with powerful enemies and allies of destiny, topped with a bit ecchi. The direction the story heads in becomes noticeable right from the start with the search for the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ quickly being entered into and having the focus on the unusualness of the Holy Knights take precedence early on. Within the context of this setting, the reader becomes interested in finding out what will happen as they continue to read on and with the scope of the story and world setting extending substantially with each chapter you find yourself engrossed with Nanatsu no Taizai before it even reaches double chapter digits.
Admittedly though, the story presentation style Suzuki-sensei introduces Nanatsu no Taizai with can feel quite detached at a few times. With the past playing a big part in the current story, unrevealed events being referenced by the characters to convey certain feelings end up failing to connect to the reader as we are still left in dark about what had happened in the past to the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’. This though only becomes a problem during the beginning when not much of the past has been revealed.
Another aspect which causes me problems in grasping is the relationship between the Holy Knights intention and their exact alignment =/. A large part of the Holy Knight faction convey themselves as being angelically righteous and representatively just even when they themselves know and understand that their motives are something completely dark and sinister. Whether it is by delusion through their glorified holy service or through excuses made to justify the means they follow to achieve an end, it is just ironic to see the Holy Knights act so pretentious and superior in front of the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’.
The cast of Nanatsu no Taizai is a solid one, each of the characters revealed so far bring with them a unique flavour, both the heroes and villains, within their actions and reactions. The characterised humour Suzuki-sensei manages to imbue most of his characters in helps open your heart to them as well as making them seem more interesting and naturally existing. The dynamics brought about through the interactions between characters becomes one of the highlights of the manga. For me, the most charming character I find to be is Ban, he just oozes out class and badassness. His villainous look, crude personality and deep sympathetic understanding only add to his charm. I really do find myself looking forward to the scenes in which he is in (chapter 25.5 centered around Ban’s past won me over and made me fall completely in love with Nanatsu no Taizai).
The artwork of Nanatsu no Taizai is definitely unique and strangely fitting for its fantasy adventure story. Actions scenes are presented and handled spectacularly and compliment the build-up the story provides wonderfully. It may start off as feeling weird when you begin reading but after a while your eyes will get used to the art style and instead begin to find it appealing and delightful to look at.
Nanatsu no Taizai is an unusually charming manga, especially with its presentation of the action, adventure, humour and ecchi story it seeks to define itself by. Just like any good story the more you read the more it grows on you and Nanatsu no Taizai is definitely one of those. As you begin to explore the manga more and get more familiar with the world it is set in, you find yourself having more fun. I would definitely recommend Nanatsu no Taizai for anyone interested in shounen manga.
Enjoyment level: 8.5/10