「セイクリッドセブン」 (Seikuriddo Sebun)
“Sacred Seven”

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.

 

Epilogue

ED3: 「つながるまで」 (Tsunagaru Made) by 中島愛 (Nakajima Megumi)
Watch the Epilogue!: Streaming ▼

Final Impressions:

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.

44 Comments

  1. I dropped it at episode 5, by reading your final impressions I can see how predictable it was, but I just could not care about the story, the characters or their interaction at all. For me, Sunrise is a very hit or miss studio when they start a series, be that new or an adaptation, and this one is certainly a miss for me.

  2. Fun series overall, though the last two episodes had bad pacing (way too fast), a few episodes had really jarring art quality drops. I appreciated the nostalgic feel it has (considering it’s an original anime XD), if one is familiar with the games, anime, sentai shows and the like. I haven’t had the urge to watch a show of this genre in a long time, much less a seemingly low budget one. Sacred Seven made me want to watch every week though. Not so much to see what happens next, more to see the interactions between the characters, the sometimes seemingly familiar scenes that remind me of some game or show I watched more than a decade ago (I guess I just revealed my age XD), and the simple story it told. Wish it was a little longer, the last two episodes could have been stretched out and filled with more story to make at least four or five episodes.

    x
  3. I’m usually quick to jump on board of any Sunrise original series, but Sacred Seven wasn’t the gem I was expecting it to be. It wasn’t horrible and I do enjoy the character interactions over the course, but it’s too darn predictable, right till the end when Fei turned out to be the final boss.
    If there was anything good to take away from this series, it would be the awesome opening and ending songs by FictionJunction and Nanri Yuuka
    I guess Sunrise had a hit with Tiger & Bunny, but a miss with Sacred Seven this time. My expectations are low enough for Gundam AGE, so let’s hope I’ll be pleasantly surprise ;D

    Seishun Otoko
      1. Well, I’m not familiar with Hino Akihiro’s work in gaming (maybe you can shed some light on that front?) and it’ll be directed by Yamaguchi Susumu who was part of Gundam Seed’s team of directors. I’m probably one of the few Gundam otakus who’s not a big fan of that franchise but I’ll be more than happy to be proven wrong this time.
        I’m also not a fan of shotacon in general but I completely understand why Sunrise would want to appeal to the younger generations. We don’t get a Gundam series every year so Gundam AGE’s definitely on top of my list and like I said, let’s hope I’ll be pleasantly surprise ;D

        Seishun Otoko
      2. Hino Akihiro was the lead designer on the Professor Layton games, which leads me to believe this series will be full of twists and turns since Layton is a puzzle game. He was also the lead designer in White Knight Chronicles, which I never played myself, but I’ve heard good things, especially from anime fans. I also wasn’t the biggest fan of Seed, so I am wary of that, too. But isn’t the main character supposed to be like 14 or 15? That seems pretty standard for anime.

  4. Ah Fei, the Necron to Kenmi’s Kuja…

    Anyway – overall despite the predictability and well.. you know that evil never triumphs and whatnot, I still enjoyed parts of this show and don’t exactly regret watching it. Just wish it’d spent more time with fights because they were actually pretty exciting. Which is something that T&B in my opinion lacked somewhat.

    Oh and the school had pretty much no involvement in the finale, the friends at school only really served as making Alma feel better and have a purpose.. But considering that, I feel they just spent too much time with that particular setting.

    And Kenmi was Konishi Katsuyuki? I spent all this time thinking it was Tomokazu Seki but I guess they’re somewhat similar sounding.. I guess every actor or voice actor has to play a mediocre villian once in their lives, even Kamina’s voice.

    Pepper
  5. Wasn’t a bad series, like you said was let down mainly by the last 2 episodes. The characters kind of grow on you.

    With this and Usagi drop finished, is there anything else interesting coming along worth watching?

    bottle
  6. …And another show ends. While I’m glad its over (mainly because of the trolls), you have to remember that this is ‘kiddy’ show first. It kinda felt like I was watching Zeta Pain or Gigantic Formula w/o the character develop, if you can call it that. But both of those shows was 2 cour. I couldn’t finish either of them while they were running because of the utter boredom.

    I was mainly loling throughout the whole episode with all the you-know-what going on. Kenmi’s Antec god rant was just so lame, but the majority of the episode was like that so at least it was worth a few laughs.

    Megas
  7. It wasn’t that bad.. I think kids are gonna love it (because they don’t care much about plot and likes action). But I freaking hate those overly cheezy lines on this episode. I’m dropping this! >_<

    MrRei
  8. It was fun with a nice and complete ending. Can’t say I’m overly impressed by the show, but in the end it was pretty entertaining. So yeah, I’d say Sacred Seven is a worthwhile show.

    Zreon
  9. Haha i’m no critic, i get entertained by anything xDD I didn’t really find anything to pick on mainly because I wasn’t anticipating or predicting much so I just let the anime unravel itself… Maybe I need to watch more animus xD

    Shirikatsu
  10. This show exists. There is really nothing to say. There was enough development for the characters to let them fill their archetypes efficiently.

    Omg! Knight’s light stone form was one of the sexiest designs ever. Why couldn’t he have been the main character’s design!

    Kenmi seemed like s-CRY-ed’s Kyouji Mujo, without his flair. And it didn’t feel like Kazuma/Ryujo Arma/Knight went through enough in the show to make their final form ascension seem satisfying.

    derp...
  11. I loved the art and details put into this show, boring story line, interesting character interactions, great animation effects and art! It seems to me if they took the same scenes and used different dialogue the whole thing would have been something worth getting hyped over.

    Loved the scene when kenmi and Fei were standing on top of the roof “It’s cold…” LOL he has no shirt on >.<

    Fallenrock
  12. Despite it being a train-wreak, I’d say it was a pretty fun finale. From Arma’s ridiculous Megaman armor to Aoi suddenly knowing a solution to everything up to this point, it was entertaining no doubt.

    I rather like Knight’s true Sacred Taker form though, at least it’s better than Fey’s pedobear. SRSLY Sunrise?

    T.K.
  13. Well at least it was a more or less decent wrapup. I think its pretty clear there was more to this series than it could fit in 12 episodes, and it definitely needed more time to explains its setup. The last 2 episodes clearly indicate that. Overall a fun watch, but somewhat forgettable. At least it had Ninja Maids.

    fragb85
  14. I’d say pacing is the biggest issue. They introduced a very interesting topic of the Sacred Seven Powers but never really expanded much on it. I’d say at least 25 episodes would do wonders for it but that’s just wishful thinking… just like how I thought this show might become Kamen Rider: The Animation.

    Suppa Tenko
  15. yea about fei thought was a girl but lol something was missing there and i don’t think is so little that her breasts not to grow up

    boy? confused o.o

    can’t remember if someone called fei “sister”

    well the series wasn’t that bad the maid squads were funny though

    the last to episodes were a bit fast but hm 7/10 from me

    many said it was looking like few animes

    really didn’t bother me that because never saw them :p and don’t plan

  16. I agree that what this series lacks is exposition (in the form of more episodes). I never felt attached to any of the characters, except maybe for Ruri (I found the scene where she hugged Aoi moving). If each of them were given enough back-story – plus a better explanation of the Sacred Seven powers/rules – this could have worked.

    JD
  17. Must be weird waking up to find your twin become your older sister (In a sense). Previous episode actually made me think about how things would have been like had Ruri and Aoi been on good terms when Aoi froze herself. By that I mean would their bond have helped Aoi break out earlier? In the same way Ruri was able to break out because of Arma/Alma.

    Azuma

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