And we’re back with the third volume of Seven Deadly Sins. Is it good?
Here’s the description for this volume:
Inside Baste Prison, Meliodas has an explosive reunion with Ban, the Fox Sin of Greed. However, trouble is on the horizon as their journey continues. Another member of The Seven Deadly Sins appears and is dead set on punishing Ban. The heroes clash as a feud is revived from their past!
The second volume was an improvement over the first, and volume three continues that growth in quality for the series. Story wise, we close out the Weird Fangs arc and Ban ends up reuniting with everyone. On the whole, the finale was rather satisfying and a good wrap up for the gang. Both female leads’ character arcs are progressed; Elizabeth sees what success she brought when she stepped up, and Diane grows to trust and count on Elizabeth, no longer seeing her as a weakling. The story ends on a rather surprising and triumphant twist, setting the stage for what’s to come next and hinting as something "fantastical" going on. The only downside is that while all of the Weird Fangs and their subordinates are defeated, both Jericho and Golgius just disappear after the volume’s second chapter. Did they escape the falling prison or were they crushed in the end? Just a small hint would have been nice, since they did get a fair amount of panel time.
The majority of the book focuses on the team heading for the Capital of the Dead to locate King, another Sin for them to recruit. The story here has so far been really good, with a good buildup to finding the actual city, setting up mysteries about what is going on, and diving into the backstory of both King and Ban. I especially like the extra world-building here, introducing the afterlife (or something of that nature), some of the monsters of this land, and the concept of magic. It helps make this world feel bigger and more real because of that. The villain here, Holy Knight Guila, makes for a great foe as well. Far more dangerous than the other villains (besides Gilthunder), Guila has a more crazed and unhinged desire for justice and is willing to do whatever is needed to get the job done (though I wonder if she has thought of the end goal here). This has been a solid story arc so far and given the ending, it should be very interesting to see play out.
Strangely, we ran into two other groups with the exact same combination, so we’re hoping third time’s the charm here and that you’re who we’re looking for.
On a character level, the majority of the focus lies in Ban and King. The only exception to that would be the first two chapters, which are about everyone and provide both Diane and Elizabeth with character growth. The only one of the team who doesn’t do a lot here is, surprisingly, Meliodas. He faded a bit more in the background and didn’t really have much of a chance to do anything besides his team up fight with Diane against Guila. He did have a nice moment returning the knife to the doctor’s daughter (it’s a small moment, but one that I appreciate and speaks well to his character) and there was absolutely no more of his more disgusting, gross traits this time around.
Ban and King were both very intriguing. Ban’s introduction last volume played up his cruelty, viciousness, and bloodlust, making you question why Meliodas wanted to work with him in the first place. We do see some positive elements to him, like helping out a starving child, his friendly relationship with Meliodas, his own self acknowledgement for his past sins, and his past friendship with King before everyone was forced underground. While he’s not a perfect man by any means, this volume went a long way in trying to show there’s a lot more to him than his flaws. King has a lack of respect for most people, besides Meliodas and Diane, and wants revenge on Ban for something horrific he had done in the past. As his reasons become clearer and you learn why, you start to sympathize and understand King’s rage. Given how he was in the past, you are also left wondering what exactly happened to him to get the guy into the form that he’s in. Like Ban, he’s not exactly a great person, but he’s an interesting one that I’m curious to see more of– we’ll see how he continues to develop from here on out.
The artwork is still very good, with fewer issues this time around. There are no real awkward fanservice shots or poor layouts that are hard to follow this volume. The only minor exception would be Guila’s uniform and how it stops at and hugs her crotch. Otherwise, the layouts and characters are well drawn, with some pretty nifty-looking designs for the new characters (Guila’s is great, besides that one issue). There are some gorgeous shots, like the double-page spread of the meteor shower, and a rather interesting design for the Capital of the Dead, looking like the inside of a geode. Probably the best looking art would be King meeting with Ban, in how it’s laid out, paced, and depicted. The only letdown here is that there’s not a lot of action this time around, though it is good to get a breather after an action-heavy volume last time.
The Seven Deadly Sins Vol. 3 is another nice step up from volume to volume, pushing the story into interesting directions and continuing to grow the expanding cast with some great artwork from start to finish. While there are small weaknesses here and there, if you were still on the fence after the first two volumes, be sure to at least give this one a look. It’s the best one at this early point in the series.