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Seven Deadly Sins Season 1 Part 1 Blu-ray Anime Review

8 min read

Seven Deadly Sins Part 1 CoverIt’s time to get the band back together!

What They Say:
When Holy Knights arrest her family, Princess Elizabeth seeks out a group of legendary warriors known as the Seven Deadly Sins. Finding them is no easy task and her journey takes her to a small tavern run by an unassuming, albeit perverted, barkeep and his talking pig. But this man reveals himself to be Meliodas-the Dragon Sin of Wrath! Agreeing to help her, the two seek out the remaining sins.

The Review:
Audio:
The audio presentation for this release is pretty great as we get the original Japanese language, the English language dub, and the Spanish language dub that was produced for the Netflix run. They’re all encoded using the Dolby TrueHD lossless codec and are in stereo. The show is a fairly straightforward action/journey piece with some areas in each episode that works the action side well so that there’s some good placement and directionality to be had whether it’s flying people, buildings, or the attacks themselves. There may not be a lot of depth with how the show is set up but everything has a good flow about it and it serves the material well. Dialogue is straightforward with some bigger moments here and there with reactions but otherwise it’s familiar and well handled. Everything is clean and clear throughout and we didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally airing in 2014, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The twelve episodes are spread across two discs with eight on the first and four on the second to accommodate the third lossless audio track. Animated by A-1 Pictures, the series has a really great look about it when it comes to character details and the backgrounds but also just in the fluidity of the higher motion sequences. This gives it a richer feeling overall that the encoding brings out well, especially on larger screens, where it’s more visible and the action shines. The color design for the show is pretty good as well as it works a more earthy palette for a lot of it but there are some vibrant pieces throughout with some of the characters and their designs that gives it a bit more punch and impact.

Packaging:
The packaging for this release comes in a slightly thicker than normal Blu-ray case with an o-card that replicates the case artwork. The cover is one that plays well with some nice illustration style architectural elements as the background through which the colorful artwork of the cast comes out, especially since it focuses on the characters that have a good bit of color to them. The logo is solid and I like the denoting of the season and set within it as well and I’m amused with the Netflix logo along it. The back cover is heavy on the text with the summary of the premise done over parchmet but it covers it pretty well. The extras are cleraly listed and we get some nice shots from the show itself. The remainder is given over to the usual technical grid that breaks down all the formats clearly and in easy to read form. We do get artwork on the reverse side that gives us a look at Meliodas, Elizabeth, and Hawk together against a maroon colored background over the two panels while the left side also gives us a little time with the breakdown of episodes by number and title.

Extras:
The extras for this release are pretty straightforward in that we get the clean opening and closing sequences related to this set and the next episode previews in one handy place. With the dub being produced for Netflix there are no in-house commentaries that could be made for it as an English language extra.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the manga by Nakaba Suzuki, the Seven Deadly Sins anime series hit its first season in the fall of 2014 and ran for twenty-four episodes overall. The original manga got underway back in 2012 and has twenty-six volumes so far (released by Kodansha Comics in North America) so there was definitely a good bit of interest in the anime adaptation when it hit. That got diluted a good bit thanks to Netflix picking it up and working their binge model on it so that it wasn’t a simulcast. The show eventually ended up in Funimation’s hands for a home video release and this first part covers the first half of the two-cour show in solid form. It’s not all that different overall from what Funimation usually produces outside of perhaps a bit lighter on the extras and that means we get a pretty sharp looking show overall.

The premise is one that works nicely as it takes us to a feudal fantasy kind of setting where we’re introduced to the kingdom of Liones. The kingdom has gone through various changes over time but one that happened some ten years prior or so had the elite Seven Deadly Sins being accused of killing a slew of Holy Knights of the kingdom, resulting in some of them disappearing, others presumed dead, and one or two in chains for years. The Holy Knights have been working to take over the kingdom and this is put into motion during the present where they gain control after capturing the king and several of his children. One of them escapes out into the world in order to search for the Sins in hopes of getting their help to take back the kingdom that they once protected before they were more than likely wrongly accused of being involved in something so terrible. It’s a familiar setup for this type of material but it’s solidly executed.

Coming from a shounen manga magazine, one can easily imagine how the structure of the adaptation will work based on that. Over the first half of this two-cour series we get the introduction of several of the Sins as they’re found and a nod toward the growing power in Liones that’s looking to assert itself while using those that are somewhat unaware or completely unaware that they’re being used like that. The Holy Knights side and Liones has a weaker role in this half of the series as it’s mostly about the setup and some nods here and there but it really lacks a central and strong villain to engage with. We get a couple along the way of lower stature, some that you can easily see being turned along the way once the truth comes out, but little beyond that. What drives the narrative here is the coming together of the Sins and their own internal squabbles from years before.

What gets this underway, eventually, is the escaped princess Elizabeth who is looking for the Sins to help restore the kingdom. Her initial contact is our leading male character in Meliodas, the Sin of Wrath that’s operating a mobile restaurant where he goes from town to town trying to find information on the other Sins to bring them back together. Mobile restaurant may sound odd but it’s really just a giant green pig that the restaurant sits atop that buries itself in the ground at each new town. There’s a more traditional sized pig named Hawk that can talk and is Meliodas’ companion, which means you know where the snark is coming from. Through shenanigans, Meliodas and Elizabeth strike a deal that in turn has them looking together, though she gets done up in a barmaid outfit for the period so that she can work in the restaurant to gain information through loose lips. All the elements are there and while it may seem trite it works exceptionally well because of the pacing and flow of things.

What the show does from here is certainly traditional as the core trio begin their movements to find the others and end up coming across several, which means old issues crop up, some fights ensue, a few jealousies flare up, and some other amusing bits with the location of some of them, such as prison. The coming together of the Sins isn’t fast to some degree but we get a solid number of them over this first half that it definitely plays into the style of shonen manga where a lot of things are introduced quickly, giving each character their own spotlight before forming into the larger mass of the group. This frustrates me a bit as they aren’t given enough time to be themselves before having new characters enter the picture that dominate the time, resulting in a lot of them being pushed to the background quickly, such as Diane is here. And that’s no small feat considering how big she is! For the most part it does work well because we’re so used to it but there is such an interesting world to explore here that I wish it was able to take a little more time with its cast, its history, and its settings in order to engage it so that it felt like a stronger work. But, this is what happens when you adapt from the manga and fans only want it completely faithful.

In Summary:
The Seven Deadly Sins is fun. It could be a whole lot more but what we get from these twelve episodes is a fun show. I like the characters, standard as they may be, as it moves quickly and engages in a fun way with the viewer as the briskness has its positives even if I want more depth to it so that it feels more fully realized. A-1 Pictures puts together a great looking show, even if the budget for making Elizabeth bounce must have been off the charts in terms of animation quality levels, and the concept is solid enough. You can easily see why the manga has been popular through this and why the anime got a lot of attention in general. This is a solid release that does feel like it’s a bit “after the fact” considering when the show first began airing but it’s great to finally have a physical relase.

Features:
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, Spanish Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Textless Opening & Closing Songs, Next Episode Previews

Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B-

Released By: Funimation
Release Date: May 16th, 2017
MSRP: $64.98
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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