The Seven Deadly Sins is a Japanese fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Nakaba Suzuki. It has been serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine since October 2012, with the chapters collected into forty tankōbon volumes as of September 17, 2019. The manga features a setting similar to the European Middle Ages, with its titular group of knights representing the seven deadly sins.
The series was adapted into an anime television series that ran for three seasons by A-1 Pictures and Studio Deen. A film titled The Seven Deadly Sins the Movie: Prisoners of the Sky premiered in August 18, 2018.
The manga has been licensed by Kodansha USA for English publication in North America, while the chapters are released digitally by Crunchyroll in over 170 countries as they are published in Japan. Netflix acquired the exclusive English streaming rights for the anime series while Funimation currently has the home video rights.
As of December 2018, The Seven Deadly Sins had over 30 million copies in circulation. The manga won the 39th Kodansha Manga Award for the shōnen category in 2015.
The Seven Deadly Sins are a band of knights in the land of Britannia who disbanded ten years earlier after being framed for plotting a coup of the Liones Kingdom, the Holy Knights who sequestered them then taking control in the wake of a rebellion they organized. Liones’ third princess, Elizabeth Liones, finds the Seven Deadly Sins’ leader, Meliodas, before they search out his comrades so they can clear their names and liberate Liones from the Holy Knights, who were manipulated by a demon named Fraudrin in unsealing the Demon Race from their prison. As the Sins fight against the Ten Commandments led by his brother Zeldris, Meliodas is revealed to be the Demon King’s cursed son whose destiny is tied to Elizabeth’s.
Written and illustrated by Nakaba Suzuki, The Seven Deadly Sins began as a one-shot pilot chapter published on November 22, 2011 in Weekly Shōnen Magazine’s 52 issue of the year. The manga started serialization in the magazine’s 45 issue of 2012, released on October 10, 2012. The chapters have been collected into 40 tankōbon volumes as of February 17, 2020. The first of three planned story arcs was completed with chapter 100 and Suzuki has originally projected that the series would run for 20 to 30 volumes. The series is licensed for English language release in North America by Kodansha USA, who published the first volume on March 11, 2014. In February 2020, Suzuki posted on his Twitter account that the manga has “one more volume left” after volume 40. Suzuki has mentioned in an afterword that side stories are also planned for based on the remaining characters. The manga will be finished on March 25, 2020. As the series is published in Japan, it is also released simultaneously in English digitally by Crunchyroll in over 170 countries.
A special issue of Weekly Shōnen Magazine, published on October 19, 2013, featured a small crossover between The Seven Deadly Sins and Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail, where each artist drew a yonkoma (four-panel comic) of the other’s series. An actual crossover chapter between the two ran in the magazine’s combined 4/5 issue of 2014, which was released on December 25, 2013. Nakaba wrote a one-shot for the November 2014 issue of the shōjo manga magazine Nakayoshi, released on October 3, 2014. He also created a comedic one-shot depicting how Meliodas and Hawk first met that ran in the October 20, 2014 issue of Magazine Special. From February 24 to May 10, 2015, two more spin-off manga by Nakaba were available on the smartphone and tablet application Manga Box. Naku na, Tomo yo is about Hendrickson and Dreyfus’ younger years, while Gilthunder no Shinjitsu is set after the Vaizel Fight Festival arc and follows Gilthunder. An original 40-page manga by Nakaba Suzuki will be distributed during screenings of The Seven Deadly Sins the Movie: Prisoners of the Sky movie.
A comedic spin-off series by Juichi Yamaki, titled Mayoe! The Seven Deadly Sins Academy! and imagining the characters as high school students, ran in Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine from August 9, 2014 to October 8, 2016. It was collected into four tankōbon volumes. The Seven Deadly Sins Production, a comedic spin-off by Chiemi Sakamoto that imagines the characters as actors performing in a live-action TV show, ran in Aria from November 28, 2015 to October 28, 2017. It was collected into four tankōbon volumes.
A comedic yonkoma titled The Seven Deadly Sins: King’s Road to Manga and written by Masataka Ono that depicts King as an aspiring manga artist, began on February 20, 2016 in Magazine Special before transferring to the Manga Box app on February 1, 2017 and ending later that year. Its chapters were collected into three tankōbon volumes. A manga adaptation of Mamoru Iwasa’s novel Seven Days was serialized in Shōnen Magazine Edge from January 17 to September 2017 and shows how Ban and Elaine met in more detail. It is illustrated by Yō Kokukuji, titled The Seven Deadly Sins: Seven Days ~The Thief and the Holy Girl~ and was collected into two tankōbon volumes.
As of August 2014, the collected volumes of The Seven Deadly Sins had 5 million copies in circulation. By January 2015, this number had grown to 10 million sold. As of June 2018, the series has 28 million copies in circulation, and over 30 million copies in circulation as of December 2018. The first collected volume of the series sold 38,581 copies in its first week, ranking number 13 on the Oricon manga chart. Its second volume ranked 5 selling 106,829 in its first week, while its third debuted at number 4 with 135,164 copies. The thirteenth volume had the manga’s best debut week to date, selling 442,492 for first place on the chart. The series was the ninth best-selling manga of 2014, with over 4.6 million copies sold that year. For the first half of 2015, The Seven Deadly Sins was the number one best-selling series. It finished the year in second place with over 10.3 million copies sold, behind only One Piece. It was the sixth best-selling of 2016, with over 5 million copies sold, and the seventh of 2017, with close to 3.6 million copies sold. The 2014 edition of Kono Manga ga Sugoi!, which surveys people in the manga and publishing industry, named The Seven Deadly Sins the fifth best manga series for male readers. The title was named Best Shōnen Manga at the 39th Kodansha Manga Awards alongside Yowamushi Pedal. It was also nominated for the 2014 Manga Taishō award and as Best Youth Comic at the 42nd Angoulême International Comics Festival in France.
The North American releases of volumes two and four charted on The New York Times Manga Best Seller list at number seven and nine respectively. Rebecca Silverman of Anime News Network (ANN) gave the first volume a B grade, calling the art interesting and the story a “neat take on the basic knights-in-shining-armor.” She saw influence from Akira Toriyama in Meliodas and 1970s shōjo manga in the female characters. However, Silverman felt the art had issues with perspective and commented that Elizabeth lacked character development. Both Silverman and Danica Davidson of Otaku USA warned that Meliodas’ perverted actions towards Elizabeth, which are used for comedic relief, could possibly be misinterpreted by some readers. In a brief review, Jason Thompson claimed that the series follows common shōnen manga elements, making its plot twists and dialog predictable. He did however like the art and the series’ European setting.
The first DVD volume of the anime debuted at number one on Oricon’s Japanese animation DVD chart with 3,574 copies sold. With 32,762 copies sold of the five volumes released at the time, The Seven Deadly Sins was the 30th best-selling anime of the first half of 2015. Reviewing the first anime for ANN, Theron Martin felt that the series has a slow start with generic shōnen action fare but the storytelling picks up significantly in the second half. He had strong praise for the music and enjoyed the main cast and their interactions, but not the common archetypal villains. Martin noted that the art has a “semi-cartoonish look” that one would expect in a series that “skews a bit younger,” but The Seven Deadly Sins‘ graphic violence and minimal fan service prove its “anything but a kiddie show.”
The novel The Seven Deadly Sins -Gaiden- Sekijitsu no Ōto Nanatsu no Negai was the 33rd best-selling light novel of the first half of 2015, with 61,939 copies sold.
In October 2017, Netflix revealed that The Seven Deadly Sins anime was the fourth most binge-watched show within its first 24 hours of release on their platform.