「セイクリッドセブン」 (Seikuriddo Sebun)
From the last boss transformations to our hero’s newly acquired power-ups in the final battle, Sunrise threw in just about every single video game cliche I could think of. They did manage to wrap everything up fairly well, but the surprise turn of events one after another didn’t leave a very good last impression. It was like they were trying really hard to provide some excitement and didn’t care if it was going to make the previous episodes a wash. Kenmi’s power-hungry form was the best example of that, as he became more and more of an underhanded villain as the fight waged on before finally letting loose and turning into a full-fledged monster.
I should probably be grateful that they explained he obtained that form by absorbing Fei’s attacks, but it sure didn’t improve my opinion to how much his character degraded. Kudos to Konishi Katsuyuki for being a professional about it and voicing Kenmi to the best of his abilities, because I actually bad for him to have to voice such a stupid antagonist. It didn’t even look like Kenmi had a plan to begin with, because as soon as Alma built up speed in his new Sacred Taker form and finally broke through his seemingly impenetrable armor, the guy just laughed to himself realizing he’s about to die and then stuck Hon’s core into Fei to have her destroy the world. He even turned to dust with a big grin on his face. I mean, if he just wanted to go on a power trip and didn’t care if he died afterward, he could’ve just done everyone a favor by driving a car off a cliff and sparing us from all this nonsense. It was as if he was set up to be a last boss that our protagonists need to beat before we can have our ending and was simply waiting to be killed.
I had a similar qualm with the way we were expected to take everything at face value, like how red eyes suddenly turned out to be better than blue ones and narrow cat-like ones meant that they’re about to go berserk. It wasn’t hard to put two and two together, but it sure had “figure it out yourself” written all over it. The same could be said about Fei’s Sacred Taker form, which I was looking forward to seeing, thinking that it would look something like Arakune’s Anti-Gem Suit, only to find out that it’s this teddy bear/frog thing that sheds tears from its ears. My disbelief in conjunction with the seriousness seen in Fei made it feel like Sunrise was trolling me. If it wasn’t for the eyecatch, I wouldn’t have even figured that it’s supposed to resemble a teddy bear. That’s not all though — the new form Night received from Aoi had me questioning the design decisions too. If Sunrise wanted me to take things at face value this late in the story, the least they could have done is make sure that they looked cool.
To the show’s credit, the one thing that the finale did have going for it was the insecurity seen in Fei. The way she spoke up about being a burden to Night and asked Kenmi to kill her was portrayed well and led to some scenes that I could really get behind. While Kenmi’s thought process may have been just plain dumb (…I laughed when Fei was just kneeling before him), I like how the threat suddenly became Fei since she’s a character I actually care about. She was effectively the extra last boss after the supposed last boss, which as cheesy as it sounds, was kind of cool to see since it happened unexpectedly. Story-wise, it led to the Alma working together with Night — something that I’ve been anticipating for many episodes and waiting to see — and added some significance to everything Alma’s gone through by having him relate to Fei and reassure her. All in all, positive character developments for the series as a whole. The final scene before the epilogue was touching as well, showing Ruri’s long-awaited reunion with Aoi.
ED3: 「つながるまで」 (Tsunagaru Made) by 中島愛 (Nakajima Megumi)
Watch the Epilogue!: Streaming ▼
Despite my complaints with the believability of the final two episodes, the series only truly faltered in its pacing and execution. Yes the plot was a little too predictable, but I never see that as a problem if it’s delivered well. Sunrise clearly had a story in mind from start to finish, given that all the loose ends were tied up and there’s a “Night Edition” special slated for next year, so it’s very likely that Sacred Seven would’ve benefited from a few more episodes. Even my negative view of Kenmi could have vastly improved if there’s a good reason why he’s so obsessed with the Sacred Seven powers. World domination just doesn’t cut it in my mind.
As things stand now, I’ll only remember Sacred Seven as an interesting endeavor by Sunrise that’s difficult to recommend. I liked the artwork and enjoyed the character interactions throughout the series — mostly the ones between Alma and Ruri — but I didn’t like how the story lacked proper build-up going into the finale. From start to finish, there was never anything that stood out and left me dying to see what happens next. I approached it with a wait-and-see approach hoping to be pleasantly surprised, and that worked fairly well when I didn’t know how it ends. Now that I do, I’m hard-pressed to think of a good reason to sit through all twelve episodes when they don’t accumulate to anything memorable. I guess if you’re willing to overlook some of its other shortcomings, it does have the action side of things going for it.
From a blogging standpoint, Sacred Seven’s been fun to cover since no one really knows what to expect from an original anime. It’s a decent little series that touches upon a few themes and at the very least, worth checking out if you’re a fan of Sunrise’s original works like I am.