Although this summer season isn’t exactly calling in the big shots like spring previously did, there’s still a few prime choices worthy of attention – and lo and behold Nanatsu no Maken ga Shihai suru being one of them for me. Sure, it’s generic, yes it’s embracing that battle academy shtick, but never say curiosity was incapable of rewarding a good time. Usually.
The one thing as the RC Preview highlighted about Nanatsuma (and what I was most interested in seeing play out) was its strong similarities to Harry Potter. This isn’t an understatement either: right from the get go this opening episode fully embraced the influences, from the magical (yet mysterious) school to the more high fantasy take on flora and fauna and the inherent focus on training students into being top shelf witches and wizards. Sure, the headmistress ain’t exactly Dumbledore (unless age was swapped out for bust size) and we have swords basically relegating wands to support status over main weapon, but it’s very obvious where Nanatsuma is getting most of its foundational material from. This one truly embraces the idea that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Mind you such copying doesn’t immediately make for a bad show either, and that is where Nanatsuma is likely to find its footing. There are enough tweaks to the formula here to (provided the story lives up expectations) start separating it from the pack, whether that be in the more action-focused nature of the underlying story, the promise of serious consequences by Kimberly academy being immediately painted in a fatalistic light (80% survival rate will do that), or the teasing of various character backstories. MC Oliver Horn (Tamaru Atsushi) of course is case in point, being the usual talented package with illustrious family and mysterious protection, all the while Hibiya Nanao (Nukui Yuka) fills out the opposite side of the coin in natural combat talent with bloody backstory and school recruitment conditions bound to factor into later events. Couple on the genderbent Hermoine in Pete Reston (Sugiyama Riho) and comedic support staff in Guy Greenwood (Sugiwara Shinsuke) and Katie Aalto (Oowada Hitomi) plus gyaru damsel
in distress in Michela McFarlane (Yamada Misuzu) and you start getting and idea of the sort of struggles likely coming down the pipeline. After all, if Harry Potter was willing to throw its cast to the wolves at times, Nanatsuma is definitely capable of doing the same.
While a couple more episodes will be needed to get a proper sense of Nanatsuma, it’s safe to say if you like fantasy or want another decent battle academy series to fill the void that this show will be it. Between some frankly impressive production values and a setting which at minimum won’t be lacking for intrigue, I suspect quite a bit of fun will be had once this one gets going.