OP: 「雨が降るから虹が出る」 (Ame ga Furu kara, Niji ga Deru) by Sky Peace
「たしかな ぬくもり」 (Tashika na Nukumori)
I’m on the record as saying that Meliodas’ eventual resurrection shouldn’t erase the impact of his death. It’s still going to change the characters, especially Elizabeth, and that matters. What I hadn’t factored in is one of the reasons why character deaths in worlds where death always sticks works, and it’s not the part where it hurts more because they ain’t coming back (see the previous two sentences). It’s the certainty. In those worlds, we know the rules! You see the body, it’s too late to resuscitate, a serious doctor-type declares them dead—done. Aside from the occasional Russian journalist, they’re gone for good. That means we’re not looking over our shoulders for them to reappear, so the effects of the death can be explored without distraction. Which also makes it more of a surprise when a character fakes their death and does it well, because it’s not as expected. With series like Nanatsu no Taizai, it’s not the revolving door of death that matters, so much as it is the uncertainty of when the door will revolve.
So that’s what I was looking out for for much of the episode’s run-time, which is why I’m glad all uncertainty was dashed in the final scene. Yes, Meliodas is coming back. What’s more, we’ll know when it’s happening, because we’ll see Meliodas’ battle against the demon lord/his darker half/whatever this is and so he shouldn’t just open his eyes without warning. We’ll know. Good! That means I can stop wondering and just watch what unfolds. That’s a better way to do it.
Most of this episode was deeply strange. Zaratras reappearing and being a total goofball was fun, and I appreciate that there was a reason for his resurrection (Melascula’s spell—though since she’s dead, that should be cancelled, so there’s something else going on here). It’s still like, damn yo. Let someone stay dead. He’s fun though, so at least there’s that.
Meliodas’ interactions with young Elizabeth, though. Deeply strange. It has a squicky wife husbandry (trope!) feel to it, which was creepy when Hikaru Genji did it, and it’s creepy here. Though maybe less so, because she’s the reincarnation of his dead love whom he met when she was an adult (and maybe Liz wasn’t the first time? Some of the dialogue this episode opened up that possibility), and also he’s older than almost everyone he has ever or will ever meet, so it’s not his fault if he only has much younger women in his dating pool. Still, mega creepy when he’s barking about her being his woman when she’s a baby. Not a good look.
Finally, there’s the issue of the flashbacks revealing that the Seven Deadly Sins, and basically everything else, were all planned by Meliodas in order to fight the Ten Commandments. Not sure how I feel about that. I have an instinctive revulsion to “It was planned all along!” reveals, but this is exactly the kind of story where they usually work. So I’ll avoid opining further, save to say that Elizabeth is too good for this world, and Escanor is too damn cool. Or I mean hot? Praise the sun!
My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for updates. At stephenwgee.com, the latest post: Risk Tolerance in the Creative Life.