Title: Seven Deadly Sins / Nanatsu no Tazai七つの大罪
Mangaka: Nakaba Suzuki 鈴木央
US Publisher: Kodansha USA
Status: Ongoing (chapters released on Crunchyroll)
Level: High School
Reader’s Advisory Tags: action, adventure, fantasy
Anime: Available through Netflix
Content Warnings: Some sexual humor, including the groping of an unconscious girl. This happens within the first chapter of the manga and happens CONSTANTLY. Also, general violence.
The Seven Deadly Sins is one of the most popular currently running manga (although it is nearing completion). Essentially, The Seven Deadly Sins is about a princess rallying a group of evil knights to help her take back her kingdom. It has a sort of parody element, often making fun of fantasy tropes. It’s well-plotted and there’s a lot of action. The characters are mostly interesting concepts, although the princess herself is a fairly stock character.
I have to be forthright and say, though, that I’m not a fan of The Seven Deadly Sins. Ultimately, it’s fine, and I wouldn’t mind making it available to students. It’s a typical weekly shōnen, with battles and humor. Except for one issue.
It also has a protagonist, Meliodas, who constantly sexually assaults and harasses another protagonist, Princess Elizabeth.
And it really is constant. I know a lot of people have this on their shelves, but I’ve been putting off buying it for this reason. It’s sold millions of copies, but in my personal opinion, there’s better manga out there. Also, the manga is easily accessed via Crunchyroll. I might get the first volume at some point, but we’re building our initial collection at the moment, and I have higher quality manga that I want to add and that students have requested. I would probably need a student to ask for it by name before I would buy it. Or maybe if I got it for free? This is one that I struggle with, because I’m pretty grossed out by the groping. It’s why I’ve never given it my personal attention.
So, should you buy it? Well, it’s up to you. If you’re getting constant requests, maybe. I’d suggest appending a disclaimer if you do add it to your collection. I do want you to know that there are so many other series out there which you may want to prioritize. If students are requesting the title, they are probably watching the anime, which has the same content. Ask them what draws them to it, and if you share my quibbles, let them know what’s making you hesitate.
Because I myself struggle with this title, I recommend this review of the series from someone who had the same issues as I did, but also found more to enjoy.
Next time, I’m going to review a shōjo title to honestly give myself a break from these shōnen titles! It’s one of my all-time favorites, Ouran High School Host Club.