By Nakaba Suzuki
These Seven Deadly Sins chapter reviews are starting off relatively light considering that this was mostly an action chapter, but it was a good one so hey, why complain? While there wasn’t a fight in this week’s installment, the action was leagues better than what was featured in Fairy Tail. Nakaba devotes equal space to show off both Ban and Meliodas’ attacks on the wall, and the build-up is epic in every sense of the word. Meliodas’ powering up is conveyed with an aura of energy emanating from him, and the ground cratering under his feet the more his strength fills his body. Ban, in contrast, doesn’t waste any time and just starts whacking up the wall with nun-chucks. When we first see him in action, we can still see his arms moving in clear directions, but as he gets faster, the movement is depicted with thin beams of energy, conveying the sense he’s moving so quick that the naked eye can’t even process it. Eventually, we see it build up so much there is a whole sphere of energy being created by the Ban’s movements, resulting in an almost perfect sphere being blasted through the wall. Both of these choices do well to show off that these characters are strong, and more than capable of pulling off such a daunting, almost impossible stunt.
The layout of the pages during this sequence aids in the scene’s effectiveness. The first page starts off showing both of them in one panel, preparing their attacks. The second page shows two panels, one devoted to Ban and the other Meliodas, as they begin. This symmetry begins a sense of time relativity to the scene, allowing Nakaba to show what the two are doing individually and at the same time while still maintaining a linear sense of time in the narrative. Then, the third page devotes one panel to Meliodas charging energy, the other to Ban beginning his nunchuck assault, and finally, in the smallest panel on the page, Arthur’s reaction, establishing a sense of the power emanating from these two and the effect it’s having on the environment. Then, we get a brilliantly executed set of pages, one completely devoted to Meliodas and the other to Ban, conveying how their attacks are progressing at the same time and the impact each is making as time goes on. This sense of timing all comes to a head in one, brilliant panel across a two-page spread where Ban and Meliodas release their final blows. By splitting the characters up into separate panels and reuniting them in the climax, Nakaba not only shows off how powerful these characters are individually, but also how even more impressive they are as a team. The resulting two-page spread, showing the deep holes they carved into the wall, features just the right amount of depth and detail to pay off on the build up and make this feel like a big, epic moment.
As it should. This whole action sequence is just an excuse to give Meliodas and Ban some bonding time now that he’s reunited with the team. They both trust in their respective groups to keep the ones they love safe, and now that they’re back together they are ready to kick some ass and bust some heads. Which, considering that their attack has paved a path right to the tournament grounds, is a craving that should soon be satisfied. That said, there is a nice moment of character development for Arthur sprinkled among all this. In reflecting on Ban and Meliodas’ trust in each other, he learns a lesson in being self-confident and being in your allies. His remembrance of what Merlin once said to him re-emphasizes this, and it’s clear this has been a powerful teaching moment for him that will shape his actions and beliefs in the future. The emphasis on his relationship with her is also worth noting, as it’s very possible we could see their bond and history with one another explored further as the current arc progresses.
This was an action-heavy chapter, not a content-heavy one, but it showed off Nakaba’s chops for action in a spectacular fashion, and commemorated the reunion of Ban and Meliodas very nicely. There’s a lot to speculate and be excited about now that the gang has finally reached the tournament grounds. For one thing, we still don’t know that octopus-girl demon’s name! Also, Matrona’s there, which is curious since the last time we saw here she was lured away to the swamp by visions of her injured children. One must wonder just what happened to her between the time she and Diane have been apart. Questions that will surely be answered in due time, but ones that are infectiously fun to ponder nonetheless.