The 7 Deadly Sins conjurers up certain images and emotions. It is a common enough theme in the anime universe. The homunculi of Fullmetal Alchemist are created by sloughing off the various wickedness. The protagonists of Nanatsu No Taizai are identified by their crimes related to the assorted transgressions. The Seven Kin of Purgatory in Fairy Tail are embodiments of the varied trespasses. There are two different references in Bleach – chapters where the characters act on these misdeeds and a set of enemies that mirror the misdeeds.
I wondered if within all the anime universe I could find characters who not only exemplify these deadly sins but also draw power from them. If the sin is so closely tied to power, then that adds some dimension to the character. So I wanted to avoid any of the obvious examples (like the ones above) and dive into locating these sin holders.
Warning: Minor spoilers may be present. Yet I hope they are minor enough that if you dig the character, then you’ll take a chance on the story.
Deadly Sins #1 – Pride: Dangerous arrogance
Ownership of the sin of pride could only fall to Gilgamesh of Fate. He is dangerous arrogance personified. His contempt for everyone is clear in all his interactions. Gilgamesh frequently refers to masters and other servants as “mongrels”. Gilgamesh’s Noble Phantasm is the very image of pride: the Gate of Babylon contains all the most valuable treasures in existence. His most powerful weapon, Ea, is held back in reserve and only used against opponents Gilgamesh deems worthy. You know what they say comes before the fall? It is pride and his pride to not use Ea against the enemy causes his fall.
Deadly Sins #2 – Envy: Covetousness of another’s possession/position
Teddy Roosevelt said “comparison is the thief of joy”. Well in the case of Mello in Death Note, envy can also be the robber of victory. Mello suffers from envy on a couple different levels. As a student of the world’s greatest detective, he covets L’s position. L has respect, influence, and power that a teenaged Mello can only be blinded by. When the opportunity comes to replace L, Mello is offered the chance to work in tandem with his classmate, Near. Yet again his envy is stirred. He wants to beat Near by any means necessary; he wants the victory and position all to himself. Sadly he cannot beat Kira on his own.
Deadly Sins #3 – Wrath: Anger + Rage + Hatred
After writing about angry anime characters, I struggled to define how wrath is a different quality. The only way I can see it is that wrath adds an element of unrestrained rage to the equation. That’s why I had to select Guts from Berserk as the wrathful deadly sin holder. He literally carves a path through human bodies with a behemoth sword, grunts filled with effort, and a determination fueled by rage. He watches as his best friend succumbs to an ancient evil. Guts’ only response is to slaughter any human or demon that gets in his way of getting his revenge.
Deadly Sins #4 – Sloth: Disinclination to exertion
Shikamaru is one of the geniuses of the Village Hidden in the Leaves, but he is also its resident cloud watcher. As a child there was nothing he wanted to do more than lay on his back and watch as the clouds went passing by. As his favorite dialogue must indicate (“how troublesome” and “what a drag”), he puts in little effort to training or studies. Shikamaru even fakes being under a genjutsu (an illusion) to avoid having to run off in a hurry.
Deadly Sins #5 – Greed: Desire for material goods
Gif: Studio Ghibli
Believe it or not, greed was the deadly sin I had the most trouble placing to a single character. I decided to go with Yubaba from Spirited Away. Yubaba is a witch and the solo proprietor of The Bathhouse. She made a promise to give a job to any who ask for it but her greed (and talents as a witch) make it so she takes the name of her employees. No employee may leave unless they can recall their true name. She can be seen making grandiose (by way of her employees) gestures to appease spirits known to have money and power. Conversely, she is cold and rude to those guests who cannot pay for the luxury of a bath. Then there’s her personal office…have you ever seen so much decadence?
Deadly Sins #6 – Gluttony: Overconsumption to the point of waste
Consumption isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But when you consume so much that you get sick…well that’s when it becomes gluttony. Holo of Spice & Wolf has a very real tendency to eat and drink in quantities that make her sick. Now one might argue that the delicate human body she chooses to prance around in isn’t fit for her mammoth appetite. She does have a dire wolf form that could consume large portions. And it could be because of her wolf nature that she finds it impossible to turn down food when it is available. But my guess is that she enjoys torturing Lawrence (her traveling companion) with food and drink bills that can only be described as absurd!
Deadly Sins #7 – Lust: Intense longing for another individual
Who but a boy who fancies himself the “harem king” could claim the deadly sin of lust? I had to select Issei Hyoudou from High School DxD for this position. This is a character who devotes his training sessions to developing a curse mark that literally explodes girls’ clothes off of their bodies. He is strengthened by a piece of gear that convinces him that by groping and poking girls he will obtain limitless power. Issei’s lustful ways bring him constant criticism and admiration (somehow in equal parts) from his teammates.
Well how about that? 7 new characters to match up with the legendary deadly sins! Who do you think I missed? Who do you agree with? Let me know by commenting below!
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