The weirdest things happen when you try watching the first episode of a new anime that you don’t know anything about. I watched the first two episodes of Sacred Seven while it was airing and I had no idea what it was even supposed to be about, just that it didn’t look like it would be any of the genres I hate. Before I could form any sort of opinion, I saw in the opening that Mutsumi Inomata (and some other person I don’t know) did the character designs. I am a pretty big fan of her art and designs, although that’s probably mostly because she did the designs for most Tales games, in particular my favorite ones. And the moment I saw Ruri after that, I understood and couldn’t unsee it. Her design is sooo Inomata.
Anyway, I liked the first episode but after seeing the second I thought the show was too boring to watch at the time so I dropped it. But I recently decided that I should watch it as it is short and, well… because of Inomata. My first impressions were not wrong, but I did neglect the fact that with shows like Sacred Seven, the story isn’t going to pick itself up right away. They’re going to waste time on shenanigans that really aren’t important. Especially of the school-related (but with scary enemy-type things that the main character must fight, of course!) variety.
The visuals are solid and hey I’m biased I really like those designs. The animation is always up to modern standards (this is a good thing!), though it doesn’t do anything outstanding. And if it did, it must have done it for no more than a second because I either didn’t notice or completely forgot. In any case, no flaws there aside from a few isolated QUALITY moments which were usually not very animated anyway. It’s pretty good in the audio department too, and I’ve got no bias there. The sound effects were fine and the music was actually pretty good.
So basically, they had money and they spent it. Unfortunately that doesn’t change what the story and characters are… This is a story you have seen before. For sure. You’ve also probably seen these characters before. The characters, for the most part, do manage to get away with this just fine. It’s that main villain that doesn’t get away with it. This villain is a joke as far as I’m concerned. If you can make the joke funny then you’re probably set, because that brings me to the other thing that I must mention: comedic relief everywhere and suspension of disbelief. Hellbrick is going to be spitting Japanese emoticons everywhere even in the most serious moments of the show, and if you can’t handle the idea of a team of maids running around like amazing special ops or military-type people, well, you’re going to be annoyed with this show a lot.
Otherwise? It’s fabulous. Fabulous designs, characters that you might start to care about enough to make you sad in certain episodes in the second half, and nice enough action scenes. Just don’t expect anything amazing, because no matter what I say I can’t erase the fact that Sacred Seven is intensely generic and supremely average. Sacred Seven also made me realize something about how anime uses opening and endings to manipulate viewers (so cruel!) but the details of that are best left for another post, with thoughts better collected.
tl;dr Do I really need to write one of these for what is probably my shortest review so far?