One popular genre of media I haven’t really talked about before is anime. Honestly, it’s because I haven’t watched much.
However, I’ve been gradually making my way through “Seven Deadly Sins,” which is an interesting piece of fiction.
It’s complicated. There’s a good amount of satire about other anime and an almost overwhelming number of literary references.
One of the biggest is Merlin and Arthur as an obvious reference to the Arthurian legends.
However, the series itself focuses around Princess Elizabeth from the kingdom of Liones in her search to unite the Seven Deadly Sins and fight corruption within the kingdom.
She starts with finding the leader, Meliodas, the Sin of Wrath.
The Seven Deadly Sins used to be a branch of Liones’ legion of Holy Knights until something happened and they split up.
Now, they’re labeled as villains within the kingdom and are in hiding from bounty hunters.
Classic setup, right?
Meliodas agrees to help Elizabeth reunite everybody to fight against corruption within the Holy Knights.
To me, the most obvious messaging in the series boils down to the sins being the heroes tasked not with bringing down the Holy Knights, but the corruption growing within the organization.
Honestly, despite some questionable moves, the Sins bear the title of heroes well.
While they don’t shy away from a fight and are clearly highly skilled, they rarely start a fight. They respond to threats and protect themselves, as well as the others around them, but that isn’t the same as initiating.
They take what you expect of Sins, to be the villains, and turn it upside down.
Another key message is that while they don’t broadcast their faults, what made them into a Sin, they don’t let it define them.
Rather, that aspect of them becomes a strength. It is ultimately the source of their power.
The main Sin we get the backstory of, at least in season one, is Ban the Sin of Greed.
Before becoming a sin, he went on a quest to find the Fountain of Youth, which was protected by a young fairy girl Elaine. During an attack by a red demon, she’s wounded and he ultimately steals the Fountain of Youth.
This singular event, despite being a thief beforehand, seals him as the Sin of Greed. However, seeing the death of Elaine also has a lasting impact on him.
He finds strength in it and tries to be a better person, working to make amends for the pain he caused.
To me, the principal message here is to not let your faults define you.
Rather, learn from them and let them be a source of power to put good into the world.
Michael Shine is a contributing writer for the Daily American Republic.