Note: Review copy supplied by MVM Entertainment
Title: Seven Mortal Sins
Anime Studio: Artland/TNK
Publisher: MVM Entertainment
Genre: Fantasy / Ecchi
Released: April 8th, 2019
Extras: Textless OP & ED, commercials, promo videos
Cast out of heaven after angering God, Lucifer descends to hell. As she makes her plunge, she comes upon a beautiful young woman at just the right moment. Young, naïve and perfectly pure, Maria seeks to help the fallen angel but winds up taking in more than she bargained for. Now, with her heart plucked from her chest and her body filled up with Lucifer’s angelic blood, she’s become the perfect tool in the fallen angel’s mission to take over hell.
With hands and mouth all over the whimpering maiden and the eager-to-please sin of Envy at her beck and call, Lucifer will take the crown of hell and whatever else she desires. But is her drive and fury enough to face the Mortal Sins that rule the underworld or will she fall prey to their demonic yearnings?
As a concept, I really like Seven Mortal Sins. The whole ethereal battle of Lucifer being defeated and seeking revenge against the Demon Lords of Hell is a story that lends itself to high octane, supernatural action. It gives rise to opportunities to represent the seven deadly sins in a humanized way and set them against a religion focused backdrop. Seven Mortal Sins is not that show though.
From the menu screen alone, you can tell what the series is going to focus on: well-endowed women. And that’s the main takeaway here; all of the most powerful demons are top heavy females, and the show is intent of demonstrating that with the usual array of anime physics and exploding clothes. But it doesn’t stop there. Upskirt shots soon give way to complete nudity and nipple licking. That leads to tentacles and all sorts of other stuff. It feels like the studio decided to fit every ecchi trope they could into the series.
And that includes the troublesome forceful lesbian trope. Leviathan is taken to be the representation of envy, and so is particularly jealous of any attention being given to Lucifer. She deals with this by forcing herself on her ‘rival’ Maria, and indeed, Lucifer herself. The thing is, this doesn’t feel like it’s being played for laughs, which makes a nice change. It does feel like it’s being shown with the intent of it being titillating though, which is just as bad as passing it off as funny. Even with Lucifer being powerful enough to stop it any time she wants (which she does at times), therefore maybe hinting that she’s not entirely opposed to Leviathan’s attention, it still doesn’t belong in modern media. Not when it’s being shown as an in any way positive action.
Lucifer as a lead is rather overpowered. Yes, she is defeated initially, but she still feels ridiculously strong throughout, and even more so at the end, which really removes any sense of her being able to lose the main battle. While she could be seen as a badass lead, she feels very one dimensional overall. It’s a shame because this is an instance where following the shonen path of powering up may have been a good thing.
So, depending on your viewpoint, Seven Mortal Sins is either par for the course or makes a few missteps. The series does have some clear pros either way though. Both the opening and ending themes feel very fitting, which is a definite positive. The characters, while not anything new, are instantly recognizable, and the voice cast does a good job with what they’re given. The animation suffers some inconsistencies but is mostly fine. Oh, and Behemoth is a suitably cute animal sidekick.
The area where the series shines though is in how it shows the Demon Lords adapting to being among modern humans. Astaroth/Melancholy having an online music career, Beelzebub/Gluttony taking part in eating contests, and Belphegor/Sloth running an MMORPG were interesting little diversions, for example. The great thing with this is that their roles in the human world mean that, instead of the expected fantasy battles, Lucifer takes them on in a variety of different ways that fit with their jobs. That was genuinely interesting. The same could be said for when Belial/Vanity punishes the rebelling Demon Lords in a way that fits their sins. Yes, it’s all done to play into the ecchi themes, but having punishments like forcing Sloth to run on a treadmill at least make sense.
So, what we have here is essentially an interesting premise that’s used as a loose backdrop for ecchi content. Honestly, if you’re into the genre, there will be plenty for you to enjoy. I also can’t fault it for its insistence on not even trying to be subtle; Seven Mortal Sins knows what sort of show it is and is unashamed of that. While I must confess that the points mentioned previously did diminish the enjoyment for me personally, for ecchi fans, this should be a 4 out of 5 series.