A bridge volume with great character moments.
Time to return to Seven Deadly Sins as we venture into the eighth volume. Our heroes face off with some dangerous figures, a new ally joins the team, and more revelations come to light. Is this installment good?
According to the official description from Kodansha Comics:
The seal is broken, and Gowther, the Sin of Lust, is revealed! The ruthless, elite Holy Knights known as the Roars of Dawn have tracked down the mysterious Armor Giant. They seem to have it cornered, but it hides a hair-raising secret! When they learn the truth, the Sins are befuddled, and the princess doubles her resolve! What decision has Meliodas made about the memories entrusted to him? When the countdown to the destruction of their world begins, the Sins rush back to the kingdom. The fuse is lit on the decisive battle!
I would refer to the eighth volume of this series as sort of a bridge volume. It’s the end a one small arc and the start of a big one. We close out our journey recruiting Gowther with our heroes learning the terrible truth of what the Holy Knights are up to, showing the darkness that lies before them and the stakes involved. We then kick off the next arc, which looks to be a doozy with how many things are going on in. A friend is kidnapped, the seal of the Demon race is cracked, heroes prepare to storm a castle, and a new force enters the picture. It’s an exciting volume all around, with plenty of story and drama to chew into.
I also enjoy how many plot threads, small minor references, and character bits are woven in very smoothly and naturally. We get more details via characters’ backstories and past events, especially with Meliodas and a relationship he had with a woman before the fall of his old kingdom. We learn more about the fateful day that made the Sins fugitives, revealing new foes and new angles to characters’ motivations. These flashbacks are tied into the narrative fairly well so that they don’t really interrupt the flow of the story. I did find one character’s monologuing to another about his big, grand motivations to be a bit forced and corny (you think the other guy would have known about all this stuff beforehand), but I find the story to be pretty intriguing and well-thought-out nonetheless.
There’s a lot of characterization across the board that I like, with one exception. We get a more proper introduction to Gowther in this volume, showing what he’s actually like personality-wise. He’s robotic in a way, speaking logically and bluntly when explaining things or talking to others. He lacks tact and almost seems cold, not really having much in the way of people skills. The thing is though, his actions and behavior say another story. He does care about others, going out of his way to help a little kid out for several years and to ease the pain of a cursed monster with his own armor. While we have no idea about his backstory, I find he adds a unique dynamic to the cast and makes for a pretty nifty new character in the series.
A lot of the other characters also have moments that add more depth to them. There are very brief bits, like when it’s hinted that King is stronger than he seems, but he has a mental block due to Sir Helbram’s influence on him. We learn Hendrick’s true motivation for infusing people with demon blood, a very nationalistic, nostalgia-dripped desire to make his own country shine once again by showing how powerful it truly is. There’s Jericho questioning Helbram’s orders and figuring out he is hiding something from them, which in turn sets Guila on her own character arc with a memento she receives. I like the code the Roars of Dawn follow, which shows that despite how menacing and vicious they are they’re not just crazed or selfish individuals like other Holy Knights. I think the weakest of the cast, though, is Meliodas. We keep getting backstory for him and more revelations, but I still can’t really figure him or his mental blocks out due to how he’s written. Plus, it doesn’t help that flashbacks still show him to be a pervert and creep (humor that the series still insists is funny and not uncomfortable).
The last thing to mention is the artwork and, as per usual, it looks fairly solid overall. The layouts, characters, action, and all the works look fine in this volume with no real issues or problems that need to be addressed in the line-work. I would like to narrow in on a minor point here that jumped out at me with this particular volume, though: the design of the demon and the subsequent battle with it. Suzuki’s got an amazing eye for wild designs with their Holy Knight looks, but the detail and eldritch abomination design of the demon is truly astounding. This thing looks like it’s from the Dark Souls universe due to its inhuman features, warped flesh, and body parts hanging off its form. Plus the way it fights and moves is so dang creepy, making it one of the most interesting set pieces we’ve had. I can only imagine what other demons this creator has in mind for the future.
Is it Good?
The Seven Deadly Sins Vol. 8 is another solid, enjoyable volume of the series. It acts as a great bridge that’ll lead us straight into a gigantic, epic arc as our heroes head towards their grand destination, while also hitting upon some great character bits and moments. There’s not much to say at this point other than “Bring on the chaos that will ensue next time.”