NANATSU NO TAIZAI: IMASHIME NO FUKKATSU (THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS: REVIVAL OF THE COMMANDMENTS)
There are quite a few anime and manga series that use the personification of mankind’s Seven Deadly Sins as main characters, but few did a better job than Nanatsu no Taizai.
Season 1 followed Elizabeth, a princess who sought out to find the seven individuals known as The Seven Deadly Sins to save her kingdom. These seven were known for their overwhelming power, but were labeled criminals after they killed one of the leaders of the Holy Knights, powerful magical warriors that defend the realm. However, Elizabeth learns that the Holy Knights plot to overthrow her father’s kingdom, so she seeks the service of The Seven Deadly Sins to stop their rebellion.
On Elizabeth’s journey she finds Meliodas, the demonic Sin of Wrath, Diane, the giantess Sin of Envy, Ban, the immortal Sin of Greed, King, the fairy Sin of Sloth, Gowther, the emotionless Sin of Lust, and Merlin, the magical Sin of Gluttony. Season 1 ends with the Holy Knight plot foiled, and both Elizabeth and the audience knowing how Meliodas, Ban, and King “earned” their sins. Season 2 will pick up with the group in search of the final sin, Pride, which will lead to their encounter with the ones who are the personification of the biblical Ten Commandments.
Nanatsu no Taizai is the perfect watch for fans of action and comedy. There are some ecchi themes thrown in there too, but the show prides itself on wowing audiences with its impressive battles and ridiculous comedy. The story is nothing to scoff at either. Admittedly, it follows a few tropes and most of the reveals are pretty easy to guess, like the wizard that helps King Author in Season 1 secretly being Merlin. However, this show’s heroes each have their own rich backstory. The audience ends up cheering for them in the end, but it’s easy to see why each one is also considered a sin against humanity. These are not good people, and their choice to help their kingdom is more a result of repentance than responsibility. Learning why each of the Seven Deadly Sins do what they do and how they became Sins is the highlight of the show. So, although it will be cool to see humanity’s greatest sins battle against God’s strictest laws, the true draw of this upcoming season will be learning the backstories for Diane, Gowther, Merlin, and, hopefully, The Sin of Pride.
DAGASHI KASHI 2
Dagashi Kashi is a nonsensical slice of life comedy about snacks. The original season focused on the plight of Kokonotsu Shikada. Nicknamed “Coconuts” by his friends, Kokonotsu aspires to be a manga artist. His father, on the other hand, wants him to be the ninth successor to their family-run snack store.
Hijinks unfold when an eccentric young girl named Hotaru Shidare arrives at the store one day. She wants Kokonotsu’s father to work for her father, the head of a famous snack company. Kokonotsu’s dad agrees on the condition that she convinces his son to become the store’s next successor.
Every episode of the first season comprises Hotaru’s attempts to convince Kokonotsu to take over the family business. She uses games, stories, riddles, and challenges of all shapes and sizes, and uses the opportunities to inform Kokonotsu, and the audience, about how different Japanese snacks are made, as well as their history and cultural significance. This show is meant to be funny, but there’s an underlying educational element to the show as well.
Dagashi Kashi’s strength lies in its characters, and I have no doubt this will continue into its second season. Located within a small town, the show only comprises five characters. None of the five are true antagonists either. Three of the five do want Kokonotsu to stay and run the shop for their own selfish reasons, but none of them do anything truly dastardly or underhanded to ensure their success. They don’t want to force Kokonotsu to stay. They want to convince him that he wants to stay.
Season 2 will add a new character: Hajime Owari. Not much is known about her, so fans are anxious to see how she’ll fit into the established formula of the show. Introducing new characters partway through the second season of a slice of life anime usually shakes things up for the better. However, as seen with 2017’s New Game!!, new faces can sometimes ruin an otherwise perfect formula.
BOKU NO HERO ACADEMIA 3RD SEASON (MY HERO ACADEMIA 3RD SEASON)
With the amount of live action superhero movies and TV shows available, you would think the superhero genre would have imploded on itself long ago. Such a fandom cannot sustain itself forever. Yet Boku no Hero Academia has carved out a name for itself in this time of heroes. Its first season became a sensation in a matter of weeks, and several news outlets nominated its second season for 2017’s Anime of the Year.
It’s easy to see why. The show is a jack-of-all-trades. It never truly excels at any one thing, but does a really good job at everything. There’s some cute romance, action filled fight scenes, a well-structured hero’s journey, amusing jokes, well-written villains, and a great soundtrack. None of these elements are able to reach the levels of excellence seen in an anime that focuses all of its resources on capturing just one element, but Boku no Hero Academia does a good job with all of them. There’s not much about the anime that audiences can point to as a fault. Boku no Hero Academia also does a really good job writing a story around a supposedly unbeatable protagonist. Shows like this can sometimes make a character too powerful, like Saitama in One Punch Man, but Boku no Hero Academia does a good job of making characters who are unstoppable juggernauts with fatal flaws, like the ones in Kill la Kill.
The first season mostly focused on Izuku “Deku” Midoriya, a young boy who’s born without a superpower in a society that worships superheroes. However, his bravery and desire to be a hero attracts the attention of All Might, the world’s number one hero and Midoriya’s idol. All Might passes his powers to Midoriya, and begins training the young boy in how to use them so he can become the world’s next number one hero. The second season expands its focus to give added depth to some of Midoriya’s high school classmates, who must overcome their own hurdles on their path to becoming a hero. Although the first season plays out more as a superhero origin story, the second season analyzes much deeper themes, like what it even means to be a hero and how society would respond to the appearance of superpowered individuals.
Fans already have a pretty good idea of what the third season is going to cover based on the pattern of previous seasons. Each season ends with one of All Might’s great battles. The first season ended with All Might vs. Nomu, in which All Might was able to complete most of a difficult fight and Midoriya had to help at the end. The second season ended with All Might vs. Midoriya and Bokugō in a mock battle, in which Midoriya was able to find a way to surpass his weakened teacher. It stands to reason that the third season will end in the battle that causes All Might to fully pass on his mantle to his protégé. That battle is awesome, both in that it showcases All Might’s most powerful attack and that it directly follows a story arc that deals with villainous motivations and the relationships between heroes and criminals. The third season of Boku no Hero Academia can’t come soon enough.