Sacred Seven – 01

Categories: First Impressions | July 5th, 2011 | No Comment

To say the latest original series of Sunrise was fast paced would be a huge understatement. There was so much going on with some information tidbits thrown around here and there that I had no real idea about what was really happening and why. Despite the chaos Sunrise managed to more or less create a series full of well known stereotypes and shounen series clichés.

The main character Tandouji Aruma is your typical loner guy who doesn’t interact with anyone in school, after his dormant powers went out of control some years earlier and he heavily injured several people. Everybody’s in school is deeply afraid of him, of course, so he’s very much angsting on his own, hating his powers and his past. Enter Itou Wakana, your typical genki type of girl, who’s not afraid of talking to him since she never saw him actually beating up anyone. So she not only wants to socialize with him but also wants to recruit him for the conveniently existing Precious Stones club.

Enter Aiba Ruri, the young and genius CEO of Aiba Foundation, a corporation that fights evil and has more power and wealth than you can think of. She wants to awaken Arma’s power so that he joins the fight against the evil statues/stones/whatever. She tells him a little bit about the whole situation before her private maid army (seriously?) and her personal superbutler (seriously?) fight against a statue that wants to steal a gem in a museum. Of course, this doesn’t work and so she’s becoming his contractor girl who transforms his evil powers to good powers, so he doesn’t go berserk anymore. After the contract is complete (which involves another important and powerful gem), he of course destroys the evil statue with ease despite the fact he never wore or used his supersuit and superpowers before. Oh, convenience, how I love you.

Okay, my hate for convenience aside, this episode was extremely rushed. It felt as if the director wanted to get to the point of Aruma’s transformation as fast as possible so he didn’t really care for anything else. It might be a good sign in that the director wanted to toss aside unneeded baggage and then start the real plot. But it could also be a big warning sign in that the series will be one huge chaos from beginning to end.

I don’t know which direction Sacred Seven will go. Despite the chaos everything else felt eerily stereotypical and cliché so I’m heavily leaning towards the bad end of the spectrum. Especially the maid army was a huge WTF moment that more or less ruined the series for me and raised my alarm meter to unmeasurable levels. You know, up to that second I saw the first maid-ed soldier I gave the series the benefit of the doubt, despite the ridiculous stuff going on. After this second I didn’t take the series seriously anymore.

The end of the episode somehow proved that my raised my alarm meter was spot on when Aruma joins the club only to find Aiba and her faithful butler be part of the club already. Turns out Aiba simply bought the whole school to be near her savior/contractor/whatever.

On a technical level the action wasn’t that spectacular but at least the animation budget was well spent in some parts. The highlights definitely are the berserk Aruma in the middle of the episode and his charge towards the tentacle(?) statue at the end. It’s nice to see that they didn’t use CG to save some money. If Sunrise doesn’t hugely drop their quality too drastically Sacred Seven should remain a very decently animated series. The character designs are nothing special in my eyes that give off the typical Sunrise series aura. Even the uniforms have the typical Sunrise design patterns.

Despite my concerns for this series and my raised alarm meter I give Sacred Seven one or two additional chances to redeem itself. Perhaps it will turn out surprisingly well. But at the moment I think this will turn out to be a trainwreck with your typical highschool setting and the usual monster of the week formula. Here’s my guess of the series: Aruma will slowly socialize with everyone and Aiba will be your typical rich girl not knowing normal customs at first. Itou will of course guide Aruma to the bright side of social life and most likely develop feeling for him. I also smell a beach episode later in the series. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the glasses geek guy who showed up twice in this episode. I’m sure he will become the best friend of Aruma.

Let’s see how exact my predictions are, shall we?

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