Wow, almost 4 years have passed since the first season of Nanatsu no Taizai! It feels like a lifetime ago. I remembered loving the first season, so naturally I couldn’t help but indulge myself in the world of the Seven Deadly Sins once again!
I even re-watched season one, and found that I hadn’t forgotten as much as I thought I did. But I’d like to write about season two here, because it was quite the adventure, and was handled differently this time around. I love fantasy anime, and Nanatsu no Taizai lines up with my interests perfectly. I thought S2 was excellent and much more enjoyable than S1, but had a few issues.
Here are some of my thoughts on Nanatsu no Taizai S2. I went a little nuts on the screencaps so this post is packed with pictures.
Nanatsu no Taizai / Seven Deadly Sins S2 spoilers ahead!
No More Holding Back, But Also More Holding Back
The Seven Deadly Sins are some pretty powerful characters. One thing that S1 did very frequently was have the characters hold back their power in fights. So we ended up with many fights where one of the Sins (especially Meliodas & Ban) would match an opponent blow for blow, or get knocked around like a rag doll – only to flip a switch and win the fight because they were holding back. I think it made for some great fight scenes, but at the same time it did put a bit of a damper on some fights because they didn’t feel “real”.
Que S2 to introduce some very powerful characters – the Ten Commandments. And with this the anime flipped. Now the Sins were weak, and the Commandments were the ones holding back; mainly through acting cocky and not taking their opponents seriously. I’m not sure how I feel about the flip. On one hand, I think the fights felt more “real” in this version, because there’s no telling when the enemies would stop holding back and go for the kill. On the other hand, it makes the enemies feel sort of like a joke. “They could have won if they didn’t mess around” is what comes to mind. Of course the conflict isn’t over, but we know that some Commandments were the victim of their own holding back.
Seriously, what kind of character would be so arrogant that they toy with their opponents in a serious time like this?!
Introductions of the main characters is something I loved in Nanatsu no Taizai. I know that shounen anime in general are great at this, but I really enjoyed it here in particular. Both seasons really had impactful introductions. In S1 when the Sins were introduced one by one, we always got to see a snapshot of their tremendous power and abilities. Considering they are a group of legendary knights, it only made sense to introduce them this way!
And then we get to S2. There was one character in particular that I was interested in seeing. The legend who never showed up in S1, who we only ever saw the wanted poster for: Escanor. I was not disappointed in the slightest! The episode where Escanor’s power is revealed to us for the first time is probably my favourite episode of S2. “How could he possibly show off his power against Commandments who are incredibly powerful?” Turns out, Escanor is a total badass! I know Meliodas said that Pride was even more powerful than he was, but I still was not prepared for his power!
Turns out Nanatsu no Taizai had a serious ace up it’s sleeve! No wonder they never introduced him in S1 – they would have been forced to have all of the major battles at night or else Escanor would have ended the entire conflict in a single moment.
For the second season to make me grin like a little kid on Christmas is something I won’t forget! And not just his introduction, every time we saw Escanor displaying his immense power I was grinning, knowing that his hubris was completely justified. I love overpowered characters like Escanor, who display excessive arrogance but get away with it because they are just so powerful. Needless to say he quickly became my favourite character!
Oh and they introduced power levels! A standard shounen trope! And one that I’m not a huge fan of. Anyone who has watched Dragon Ball Z will understand the dangers of using a system like this. At first it’s fine, we get some established power levels and it helps to put character’s strengths into perspective. But this is shounen anime, where the main cast’s powers don’t stop growing, and their enemies also become stronger and stronger as they overcome obstacles. It can get out of hand very quickly.
And it can lead to questions that normally wouldn’t be asked, like “How did so and so beat enemy X if they had a much lower power level? How come character Y’s power level increased so much?” et cetera. Basically people can focus too much on power levels, and it leads to “plot holes”, unexplained changes in power levels, and other issues.
Power levels also have the detriment of locking characters out completely. For example, if Diane has a power level of 3500, and it’s established that the enemies are all around 20,000 to 60,000, Diane becomes useless. If she somehow did manage to hurt one of those enemies, then how did she do it with such a low power level? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of power levels? So either Diane becomes unable to contribute in fights (except against some low level no-name enemies), or she defies the logic of the power level system. This isn’t as much of an issue when there is no power level system, but it can be a big one when there is.
I wouldn’t be surprised if sometime down the road power levels are forgotten, or for some reason or another they can no longer be seen / relied on. Some sort of cop out that lets them ditch the power level system. Either that or they continue down the long road of exponentially growing power levels to the point of lunacy.
It IS A Shounen Anime After All
S2 also did that usual trope where the “weakest” new villain is still immensely more powerful than our heroes, with Galand wrecking havoc and no one being able to stop him. I don’t mind this trope, because it helps set the scene and display the new challenge to be overcome. Maybe they could have gone about it a little differently, but they also don’t want to show all of their cards by revealing the powers of the more powerful Commandments. So I’m okay with this.
At the end of the day, shounen anime have a lot of similarities across the genre, and so it only makes sense that they share tropes like this that are effective at generating interest and introducing the next hurdle.
Despite a few of the Sins feeling much less useful this time around (Diane, King, Gowther), I still feel like S2 did a nice job at highlighting side characters. Arthur, Griamore, Gilthunder, Howzer, Hendrickson, Dreyfus… and many more! They may not possess the enourmous power that we see from the main heroes and villains, but they had a lot of great moments! I like that the story made an attempt to include side characters in the action, giving them their own obstacles to overcome. Sometimes they succeeded, other times they didn’t. I just think it was well done, and enjoy the side characters a little more than I normally would thanks to it.
Additional Fun Elements
There were many other fun elements added to Nanatsu no Taizai S2 that I thought really made this season more enjoyable to watch! Mainly due to the Druid’s training session, where the characters all went in, and many of the side characters came out with some funny side-effects.
Griamore became a child! A mystery that I was hoping would go unanswered but was solved at the very end. For a while there though I was hoping that there would be some secret to this that would result in Griamore becoming much more powerful once he became an adult again. Who knows though? Maybe S3 will reveal that this is what happened after all.
King Arthur had a cat stuck to him. We learn the cat can talk, and we also hear that as long as Arthur has the cat, “he shall not die”. Very interesting. Arthur himself is a character I am very interested in, because in S1 when fighting Hendrickson he says something like “You’ll just have to try and force me to use my full power”, but we never really see his true power. Maybe he was just bluffing? I hope he becomes a force to be reckoned with in the future!
Hawk learned his magic ability, and can transform into creatures that he eats for a limited time. Will he be able to use this newfound power to crush his enemies? So far he has just transformed into a few random things that make him look funny and that’s about it. I think he contributed enough in S1, so I’m happy that this power so far has only really been used for comedy.
Mama Hawk has managed to become an important side character! Turns out she is pretty powerful when push comes to shove. Mama Hawk manages to save the day a few times in S2!
Speaking of Hawk, I loved Tell Us Professor Hawk!, the constant ending segment for S2. S1 had chibi characters at the end that would say comedic things, but S2 has taken this and structured it into a funny little segment that works great. It reminds me a lot of Oshiete, Ginpachi Sensei! from Gintama which I also love.
Finally, what a nice little twist with Vivian! I probably should have seen it coming, but the anime managed to catch me off guard there! Well done. I wonder where they were teleported to? Now that I think about it, I don’t think we actually see Gilthunder again after that moment. Now I’m intrigued!
And those are my thoughts on Nanatsu no Taizai S2! It was a very enjoyable season of Nanatsu no Taizai, packed full of ridiculous fights, great comedy, and shounen charm. Looking forward to S3! If there is one. Even if it takes another 3-4 years, I’ll look forward to re-watching everything again.
Also quick question, do you think I used too many pictures? As I mentioned I had a lot I wanted to throw in here, but maybe it’s too much.
Until next time!
Thanks for reading.