The fighting tournament of Vaizel being upstaged by the fight between Helbram and a transformed Meliodas, the stakes continue to be raised further as the mysteries of what is really going on get revealed bit by bit.
Story/Art: Nakaba Suzuki
Translation: Christine Dashiell
Lettering: James Dashiell
What They Say:
The Wrath Awakens
Meliodas escapes the Goddess Amber, but he emerges from his prison strangely silent and with a new look. In the blink of an eye, he wrecks Guila and Jericho and begins delivering an epic beating to Sir Helbram, who somehow manages to stand up to the transformed Dragon Sin of Wrath. What is going on with this new Meliodas? And how is Helbram avoiding being stomped by the overwhelming power of the changed Meliodas?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Picking up where we left off, Meliodas appears to have been taken over by black markings on his skin which give him powers that far surpass even the “New Generation” Holy Knights that have come to destroy the Seven Deadly Sins. Guila and Jericho are easily brushed aside, though something is not quite right about the Captain. He seems a different person, recognizing neither friend nor foe as he even chops apart Ban without a moment’s hesitation. Only Elizabeth appears to ignite some small spark of dim familiarity in him, as he leaves her be during her retreat from the battlefield. Sir Helbram is the only Holy Knight who is able to stand up to the transformed Meldiodas’s attacks, though even he has a hard time defeating him. Despite the immense power at his disposal (as Helbram can draw upon power from other Holy Knights to increase his own), Meliodas appears to be not at full strength himself and easily matches whatever Helbram throws at him.
Eventually, however, a very angry Diane appears on the scene and now reunited with her Sacred Treasure, Gideon, she unleashes an attack so powerful that Helbram is ordered by his boss, Hendrickson, to pull back. Just in time too, as she basically makes a mountain float off the ground and slam back down into it. The battle seems a victory for the Sins as the Holy Knights must retreat, but it comes at some cost as Helbram has stolen Meliodas’s broken sword, which is now revealed to be a key, one of the keys required to reawaken the Demons and bring about what can only be imagined as an apocalypse of sorts.
Meliodas appears to have recovered his senses, but the Sins have had something of a nasty wakeup call. Meliodas might be hiding a Demon’s power within him (thus Helbram has theorized and Ban and King seem aware of, though the later doesn’t want to admit it yet to himself). Further, Meliodas is somewhat concerned about the loss of his sword as it means that a war that has been waged repeatedly for 3000 years, so he tells us, might yet come back again. But this time he’ll see it finished. The other cost is that Princess Veronica is dead. Griamore survived as he is one very tough (soon to be former?) Holy Knight, but Veronica’s death has hit him hard. It has struck hard for Elizabeth too, but it also steels her determination to see the Kingdom rid of the Holy Knights.
So, revelations made, it’s time to continue the journey to find the remaining Sins, while at the same time we see the Holy Knights plotting again for the Sins’ destruction. When word comes of an unusual armored giant on some mountain, the Knights dispatch a group of particularly vicious killers called the Roars of Dawn to investigate/kill it. It so happens the Sins are also in the vicinity, having been drawn in by rumors of “the Seven Deadly Sins” being active in the area, though it turns out to just be a bunch of kids led by the town mayor’s son playing at being them. But in the mountain, a powerful presence lurks, and it is revealed that another one of the Sins, the Goat Sin of Lust Gowther, is indeed present.
I’m happy that the pace of revelations has begun to slow down just a touch, as the last volume seemed to be moving a bit too quickly at times. Here, we have much happen, but at a more sustainable pace. The mystery of the Demons is slowly being unraveled for us, though I will assume that there is much more to tell, especially the full explanation of how Meliodas had a Demon’s power within him all along and acquired in a manner that might well be different from how the “New Generation” Holy Knights are created. I do not expect a quick reveal for this. While the story is moving back to its previous holding pattern of finding new Sins with the end of this volume, that’s actually a welcome development at this point, since with the increased presence of the leaders of the Holy Knights, the Sins need more firepower to counter them. It will also give some breathing space to take in all of the large chunks of exposition the author has thrown at us, hopefully. Having an end of the world conflict looming in the distance is a pretty tired plot setup to use, but considering the ridiculous powers and abilities on display in this fantasy world, it doesn’t feel entirely out of place.
Artistic note: some of the fight sequences are just a touch too cluttered to see clearly what the action is supposed to be. It’s not necessarily the fault of the artist and his assistants, since movement of this sort generally works better in motion (through animation) than in a series of still pictures. The art goes for a great depth of detail when simplifying things might actually have led to a little more clarity. Opinions may differ on this, of course.
The fight between the transformed Meliodas and Sir Helbram reveals that Meliodas has been touched by Demonic power, but has it at a level that far surpasses anything Hendrickson and his faction have been able to acquire from the blood of the dead Demon they have in their possession. But things come to an end with neither side gaining a complete victory: Diane saves the Sins but Helbram manages to steal Meldiodas’s sword fragment, which itself is revealed to be a key required to revive the Demon race. Major plot revelations over (for the moment), the action returns to finding the remaining Sins, the next one on the list being Gowther, the Sin of Lust. The exposition comes at a better pace in this volume than last, though now we have many of the larger building blocks for the long term conflict put into place.
Content Grade: B-
Art Grade: B
Package Rating: B+
Age Rating: Teen (13+)
Released By: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: March 17th, 2015