After two episodes, Sunrise’s Sacred Seven continues to be big, explosive and silly. And I’m on the fence about whether to stick with it.
The casting choices for this series are interesting, because it seems to be that Takuma Terashima and Irinu Miyu are both playing against type. It would have been more logical to flip them, but maybe this will work out in the long run – it shows some creative thinking, at least. For now, the impact for me is that Kagami is making more of an impression as a character than Arma, who comes off as rather flat despite being the lead. That’s not atypical by any means, of course, but I’m not really buying into him as someone to care about just yet.
SS has definitely loaded us up with exposition in the first two eps, which is good as this is obviously a huge story. Some tidbits of interest were that our Noh mask is actually a darkstone named Hellbrick, who’s at least 800 years old but has learned enough slang to say “Hella” in addition to Hell. We also find out why Arma likes to fish for stones in the river – the stone that kept his power in check was tossed into that river by the ruffians who were beating him up (the incident that lead to his seriously injuring 14 people). So he’s looking for his “limiter” if you will.
This, of course, brings Ruri’s importance into play – it’s the fact that her presence can also keep Arma’s darkstone form in check that makes her an appealing dance partner for him. In a tossed-off aside late in the episode we see that they had an encounter as kids where he saved her from…something. He doesn’t seem to remember but she does – and it’s not until Kagami shows Arma her sister Aoi trapped in a giant crystal that Arma agrees to help the organization.
In addition to everything else it looks as if this is going to be a bit of a “Night Stalker” format, with an evil monstrosity to batlle (and advance the overall plot) weekly, and this time it’s a dragon-like darkstone that’s blown up a C-130 transport plane and used the cargo to turn itself into a giant cyclone over the Sea of Japan. In a fairly rote battle sequence Arma manages to triumph over it, largely thanks to the help of Hellbrick and Ruri.
At this point I’m still not sure just what this series is trying to be, and how seriously it wants to be taken. There are some nice comic moments – the scene where Ruri levels up the school (380 yen steak & caviar sets at the cafeteria!) is pretty amusing, and Hellbrick is always good for a laugh. But when it comes to comedic dialogue SS isn’t especially sharp or natural, and there’s more of a sense this week that it wants to be taken seriously as a moody mecha series.
And that’s my dilemma at this point. I’m not seeing enough that’s truly innovative or distinctive to make this a keeper as a serious venture, and it isn’t committed enough or dextrous enough at the comedy to make it succeed as a parody. But it does have a pretty nice look, a certain sense of style and a grand scope that’s rather appealing. So for now, call, me interested – and undecided.