The Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of the Commandments

The Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of the Commandments

The Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of the Commandments anime series cover art
The Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of the Commandments Cover Art

Overview

I finally got around to watching the second season of The Seven Deadly Sins now that it’s been a year since it aired, and I have to say I’m disappointed. In fact, I have so many complaints about this season that they’ll be in their own section of this review later on.

In this section I’ll instead be going over the general plot of the season and the few things I think it did well.

So, the first thing I should mention is that this season comes after the Signs of Holy War OVA (which Netflix erroneously calls the second season). It won’t really matter if you haven’t seen the OVA before watching this season, but it is referenced at least once.

But, anyway, the general plot of this season is that ten powerful demons known as the Ten Commandments have been revived by the antagonists from the first season. It’s also revealed that those first season antagonists were actually being used by the Ten Commandments, and weren’t really bad after all.

The Ten Commandments had been sealed away for 3,000 years after they were betrayed by one of their own, Meliodas. Yes, that’s a spoiler, but it was pretty obvious from the start, especially considering two of the Ten Commandments are his brothers.

Now that this ancient evil has been awoken, it’s time for Meliodas to reclaim the power which was stolen from him by Merlin, as well as time to find the final member of the Sins. Both of these things are surprisingly easy to achieve.

To regain his power, all Meliodas has to do is not go crazy and destroy everything when he re-lives the memory of his girlfriend dying. And, the Lion Sin of Pride, Escanor, is found on accident by Ban, who is off doing his own thing for the majority of the season.

Then, once all the Sins have reunited, there’s a battle for the fate of Britannia and Camelot, but it doesn’t really matter at all in the end. In fact, by the end of this season barely any progress has been made story-wise and it feels like it was all just a setup for the third season.

But, we do get some good from the season. For starters we’re finally introduced to “best boy” Escanor. But, more importantly, we get more backstory on the Sins, which was my favorite part of the first season, and really carries this second season.

I think my favorite part of season one was the origin story of how Ban gained his immortality, and in this season we get even more backstory of Ban from when he was even younger. Though, there’s also more backstory on Diane, and I don’t care about her at all.

New Characters

There are two major new characters on the side of the good guys, and these are Escanor and Jericho. However, since Jericho isn’t exactly new, I’ll go over her first.

Jericho was an apprentice Holy Knight who was turned into a demon during the climax of season one. She was then saved by Ban, for whom she develops a crush. When Ban sets out on his own at the beginning of this season, Jericho follows him like the stalker she is.

However, despite loving Ban, she knows that Ban will never love her in return because he has Elaine (although she’s dead). Since Ban’s ultimate goal is to revive Elaine, that means he won’t ever see Jericho as a romantic partner.

But, all hope isn’t lost for Jericho, because even if Ban won’t return her love, he does warm up to her. At first he simply refers to her as “you,” but over time he starts calling her “Joriko,” and then eventually by her actual name, “Jericho.” He also says that she’s the only human he can tolerate.

Jericho also really develops into her own character over the course of the season. While she starts off as little more than Ban’s stalker, she proves to be a loyal friend and even rescues a temporarily reincarnated Elaine, despite the two being romantic rivals.

Unfortunately for Jericho, as much as I grew to like her character, she’s outclassed by the other new character of the season, Escanor. Escanor is the final member of the Seven Deadly Sins as well as the most powerful. Yes, he’s even stronger than Meliodas.

Lion Sin of Pride, Escanor from the anime series The Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of the Commandments
Lion Sin of Pride, Escanor

Escanor wields the power of the Sun, literally. He’s able to materialize a miniature sun and throw it at his enemies, which is obviously a pretty devastating attack, but that’s not all. He’s also the most physically strong of the Sins and has the highest defense.

His signature ax is so heavy that even demons can’t lift it, but he can effortlessly with one hand. He can also easily chop a mountain in half with it if he so chose. As for his defense, when one of his ax swings was countered back at him at double the power, it merely left a small cut.

But, while Escanor is the strongest of the Sins, he’s also the weakest. His true power is only revealed during the day and when he’s in sunlight. During the night, his body shrivels up and he becomes a weak and timid man who’s easily killed.

However, it would be a mistake to believe Escanor can be defeated simply by taking away the source of his power, the Sun, once he’s fully charged. Remember how I mentioned that he can create miniature suns? Well, those power him up too.

Honestly, I’d recommend watching this season just for Escanor alone. Yes, he’s extremely overpowered and I think he defeats just about all of the Commandments solo, but he’s so entertaining that I’ll allow it. Alternatively, just go watch this clip of Escanor on YouTube.

Ten Commandments

Next up we have the new antagonists of the series, the Ten Commandments. These are the elite soldiers who serve directly under the Demon King, and who are the basis for the formation of the Seven Deadly Sins. Meliodas knew they would be revived one day, and so wanted to form a team to defeat them.

Each of the Commandments has a special ability bestowed upon them by the Demon King, which corresponds to their specific commandment in some way. For example, Galand’s commandment is Truth and so anyone who lies in his presence is turned to stone.

The names and commandments assigned to each of the Ten Commandments are as follows:

  • Galand – Truth
  • Melascula – Faith
  • Monspeet – Reticence
  • Derieri – Purity
  • Drole – Patience
  • Gloxinia – Repose
  • Grayroad – Pacifism
  • Fraudrin – Selflessness
  • Estarossa – Love
  • Zeldris – Piety

As far as we know at this point, eight of the Ten Commandments are Demons, though since they all look so different this may not be the case. The two who we know aren’t Demons are Drole and Gloxinia. Drole is a Giant of some sort who’s worshiped by the current race of Giants, and Gloxinia is the first Fairy King.

It’s also been revealed that Estarossa and Zeldris are the brothers of Meliodas, though this fact doesn’t really seem to matter at all as far as the plot is concerned.

Problems

There are three major problems introduced in the second season of The Seven Deadly Sins, along with a decent number of minor, plot related problems as well. These major problems are the introduction of power levels, the inclusion of exposition dumps, and the appearance of special skills.

Power Scaling

Let’s begin with power levels since it’s one of the most overt issues this second season has. Typically the way you show that one character is stronger than another is by either one on one combat, or by showing the stronger character doing something the weaker can’t.

For example, if you wanted to show that Escanor is stronger than Meliodas, you might show Meliodas lift a house while showing Escanor lift a castle. However, for some ungodly reason, power levels were introduced. This means that each character has a number associated with them to show how strong they are.

For example, Meliodas normally has a power level between 2,000 – 3,000 before regaining his power, and then somewhere around 40,000 when he’s fully powered up. Escanor, by comparison is above 60,000. The issue with this is that it takes away the excitement of a series by giving the viewer needless statistics.

If we know Escanor is at 60,000, but his opponent is only at 30,000, then we already know the outcome of the fight. I don’t recall a single fight this season which ended with the person with a lower power level winning, and their power levels were all typically established before each fight.

But, this also ties into the second problem, exposition dumps.

Exposition Dumps

An exposition dump, or information dump, is when every aspect of something is explicitly explained by a character rather than being shown. This is what people are talking about when they say that a series should show, not tell.

I think it’s fair to say that 40% of this season was exposition dump. Characters were constantly explaining their own powers or the powers of others despite the fact that we, the viewers, could just see how these powers work by watching them in action.

And, it’s not like every power was only explained once. Every time one of the Commandments would appear in battle, they would have to explain to their opponent how their commandment ability worked even though we’ve heard the explanation before and even seen it in action.

Basically, this is a waste of time that only serves to do two things: make the viewers lose interest by stopping the action to explain it, and treating the viewers like they’re stupid and can’t understand simple concepts.

Special Skills

While there have already been special skills present in this series to an extent, such as Meliodas’ Full Counter and Ban’s immortality, this was taken to the next level this season. Yes, every one of the Sins is supposed to have something special about them, but they aren’t all exactly what I would call special skills.

Meliodas’ Full Counter I would say is more of a special attack than passive skill. Ban’s immortality is a passive skill, but not an inherent one. Diane’s ability to control the Earth seems like a special skill, but this is actually something all Giants can do.

The first hint we got of actual special skills came with Gowther’s ability to overwrite people’s memories. While I never thought this skill made much sense, I accepted it for what it was. Escanor is the next one we see with a special skill, which is how he gets powered up by the Sun.

Again, I was fine with Escanor having this skill, because that’s actually the one thing that sets him apart from anyone else, and it isn’t all-powerful. During the night, Escanor is basically useless, so to make up for that he’s extremely powerful during the day.

But, then more characters started to have special skills introduced, such as Merlin. Merlin’s whole thing is that she’s extremely good at magic, but not very good at anything else. That alone is enough to set her apart from the rest of the Sins, as well as most other characters.

However, it was later revealed that she has an inherent, passive skill that means any spell she casts will stay in effect indefinitely without her requiring to expend any further magic. And, due to her role as a highly skilled, mage, this is extremely broken. So broken that both the Commandments and other Sins alike say it’s broken.

Think of it in RPG elements. Let’s say you have 10 magic points and use a skill that makes you invincible. However, this skill uses 2 magic points per second, which means you can only stay invincible for 5 seconds. Merlin, on the other hand, can use up the initial 2 magic points, but then remain invincible indefinitely.

Minor Issues

Along with the three major issues with this season, there were also a lot of minor issues, only some of which I’ll cover here. The first is connected to the problem of special skills, and this is that everyone has to be special in some way.

It’s revealed that Meliodas is the son of the Demon King and that every time he dies he simply gets reincarnated because that has something to do with the commandment he was given. It’s also implied that Elizabeth is the reincarnation of Meliodas’ girlfriend, Liz, and that she was probably of the Goddess race in her original incarnation.

This means that Meliodas and Elizabeth are constantly drawn together every time they reincarnate across time, and their story is probably going to be about some forbidden love between a Demon prince and Goddess princess. That’s fine because they’re the main duo, but what about everyone else?

It’s revealed that Gowther is actually a former member of the Commandments as well, but nobody seems to realize this. You would think that Meliodas would have remembered that, but he seems to have no knowledge of Gowther. Merlin also claims to be the one who created Gowther, and yet she has no knowledge of this either.

This could be explained by Gowther changing their memories with his special skill, but for now we just don’t know. But, even if Gowther being special can be explained in a “reasonable” way, it’s also revealed that Merlin is actually some sort of ancient, demonic queen from thousands of years ago.

Why are the characters all suddenly getting random, ancient backstories? Why wasn’t Merlin being an OP mage enough? She has to be an ancient demon queen now too? These revelations about the main characters feel like plot twists that were simply added for cheap shock value and nothing more.

Also, speaking of Gowther, he literally ruins everything multiple times throughout the season and yet the Sins all accept him as one of them. It doesn’t seem like he was ever actually close to any of them, none of them know anything about him, and yet when he does things like erase Diane’s memory it’s viewed as not his fault because he’s their “friend.”

So, what about side characters? Well, they have issues too in a way. Let’s start with King Arthur and Camelot. The first season made it seem like they were going to be important, but that turned out not to be the case. Arthur is just some weak kid and Camelot gets taken over within a day.

Why build up the whole Arthur and Camelot thing at the end of the first season and then throw it aside in the second? It looks like the third season is going to take place in Camelot now, but I can’t be sure based on how this second season went.

And, since this is getting long, the final issue I’ll point out is when one of the Goddesses was summoned using the body of a holy knight as a vessel. This Goddess was supposed to be his trump card, but once she’s summoned she immediately flees from the demon she was summoned to fight and then gets killed.

What was the point of that entire scene? It added literally nothing unless it was supposed to show us that the “legendary” Goddess race is actually weaker than humans.

Conclusion

Basically, The Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of the Commandments is a 4/10 overall. Some of the fights were fun to watch, especially when they included Escanor, but the season was a disappointment. Specifically because of this season I’m actually not planning to watch the movie or any future seasons of this series.

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