Season 2 of Seven Deadly Sins was a fun but rough ride. It had plenty of flaws, but it did just enough good to keep me going right up until the end and still leave me excited for season 3. And, to wet our appetites further, Netflix recently put up the new stand alone film of the series: Prisoners of the Sky. How does it stand up?
Eh. It’s pretty good, but it’s nothing spectacular.
The plot is incredibly simple, and at times kind of infuriating. The Seven Deadly Sins are preparing a feast by gathering all the finest ingredients, including a legendary Sky Fish. After a catastrophe involving Escanor and a pie baked by Meliodas, the Captain of the Sins and Hawk find themselves faced with a magical spring that leads to the sky above and the legendary fish that Meliodas seeks. At the same time, a young boy named Solaad, who looks just like Meliodas, emerges from the lake, having fled from his fellow Celestials in search for a legendary being to save his people from the Demon Clan. Now Meliodas must pretend to be Solaad long enough for him and the Seven Deadly Sins to arrive and fight off the demonic threat.
That’s right, it’s a classic mistaken identity movie! And it’s not super well executed. After a single scene, the Seven Deadly Sins figure out that Solaad isn’t Meliodas, but it takes way too fucking long for the Celestials to realize that Meliodas isn’t Solaad. Meliodas keeps getting dragged into troublesome situations simply because he could only bother to tell one person, Solaad’s fiance, that he isn’t who they think he is. If Meliodas just spoke up at all throughout the film, so much unnecessary trouble could be avoided.
The main problem with the plot is that there is almost no mystery or intrigue to it. Right in the first act, you know what’s happening, who these characters are and what the twists are going to be. There’s little there to keep you invested aside from the promise of Meliodas and friends kicking ass. And while the movie does have a ‘big reveal’ later, you could see it coming from the first thirty minutes if you have an IQ higher than 5.
Still, a weak plot can be bolstered significantly by a strong cast of characters. So how are the new guys? Well… they’re okay. Solaad is your typical nice but nervous guy who is determined to save everyone by finding a legendary being, his fiance is just an Elizabeth look a like with sass and a back hand, Solaad’s father is every gruff, tough but loving father figure ever, and the village elder is your typical crazy old lady. Not a diverse and unique cast, but hey, neither is the original cast. What matters is that they’re well executed and likable enough, and they do their job just fine.
The villains also fall into this category of “Cliche but well done”. None of them have super complex motivations aside from ‘conquer world’ and ‘meet evil quota by end of month’. But they all have interesting enough designs and abilities to stand out when compared to the villains before them, and they pose enough of a threat to be taken somewhat seriously. If you’re expecting a complex, interesting and relatable villain, you’ll be disappointed. These guys exist to be evil, bad ass, and to be satisfyingly murdered by the heroes in gorgeous action scenes.
So how are those action scenes? Well… they vary. While the animation is mostly solid across the board for these fights, the actual choreography, plot importance and emotional weight are lacking. They mostly just serve as eye candy. Not fantastic, but serviceable enough.
A statement that can also be said for the art and animation. It is incredibly up and down throughout the whole movie. Some shots are downright gorgeous, while others look worse than the TV show. All the background work is absolutely stellar, and each environment is beautiful to look at. Each character varies on the shot; whether they be still or in motion, there are some shots where they are extremely well detailed and flow really nicely and others that look like they were drawn in fifteen minutes. This up and down quality of the visuals can be jarring at points and take you out of the movie really quickly.
The music, on the other hand, is stellar across the board. I mean, go figure. It’s the Seven Deadly Sins OST. We already knew it was solid, and it simply continues to be so.
There’s really not a whole lot else to say about this movie. It’s not spectacular and it’s not terrible. It’s just okay. I can’t deny there were several moments that put a smile on my face, such as Escanor sacrificing himself to protect Merlin from having to eat Meliodas’ pie, but the rest of the movie was just so up and down and by the numbers that I have a hard time getting invested. You could definitely watch worse, but you could certainly be doing better.
If you’re a huge fan of The Seven Deadly Sins, you should check this one out. If you were burned out by season two, or you don’t like the series in general, you should give this one a pass. It’s fun, but it has little substance to it.
Kind of like most Shounen anime movies, now that I think about it.