Here’s why and when the animation quality for Seven Deadly Sins went bad:
There is some disagreement on the numerical naming system for different seasons of the show, but Seven Deadly Sins’ animation quality changed with the release of “Wrath of the Gods” in 2019.
This was when Studio Dean took over production from A-1 Pictures.
The studio change is the reason for the quality decline.
So if you want to learn all about why and when Seven Deadly Sins animation started going downhill, then you’re in the right place.
Let’s get right into it!
What Is Seven Deadly Sins?
What even is Seven Deadly Sins?
It’s a Japanese manga and anime of the same name.
Before I really start getting into this, I’m going to talk about spoilers.
In order to discuss the timing of changes to the animation quality, I’ll have to talk about the show’s production in general.
This won’t require the revelation of any specific plot points, but I will discuss exactly how many episodes there are as well as the names of different seasons.
If that kind of information could ruin your viewing experience, then skip this article until you’re caught up.
Ok, that said, let’s talk a little more about Seven Deadly Sins.
Seven Deadly Sins (called Nanatsu no Taizai in Japanese) is a manga that was first released in October 2012 and concluded in March 2020.
For those who aren’t familiar, a manga is like a Japanese comic book.
It’s released weekly (in this case), and it’s a serialized story.
Many anime series are based on manga stories, and that is the case for the Seven Deadly Sins anime.
Again, to clarify, anime is a style of Japanese cartoon.
The Seven Deadly Sins anime first aired in October of 4014 and concluded in June of 2021.
The story follows Meliodas, the leader of a group of warriors known as the Seven Deadly Sins.
They go on adventures, fight major battles, and eventually take on some epic enemies.
Since we’re talking about animation quality today, I’ll be focusing all of my attention on the anime series rather than the manga.
How Was the Seven Deadly Sins Animation Quality?
For the most part, the animation of Seven Deadly Sins was well-received.
The show was rather popular, and fans often cited the animation quality as a positive for the whole thing.
Despite that, there came a point in the show’s run where the animation quality was said to dip.
If you just want the short answer, that happened in the third season when a new animation studio took over, but if you want all of the details, I’ll explain it fully below.
What Was the Seven Deadly Sins Release Schedule? (5 Seasons)
That should be enough background information to talk more about the show, but if we’re really going to pinpoint when the animation changed for the worse, I need to break down the release schedule for the show.
You see, there’s some disagreement as to when seasons begin and end with the show.
That’s largely because Netflix acquired exclusive licensing rights for English audiences, and the Netflix release schedule differed from the original Japanese release schedule.
In order to overcome any confusion tied to this, and to help pinpoint the exact timing when the animation changed, I’m going to walk you through the original release schedule.
I used my own naming system here, but there were basically five batches of content releases for the anime.
When you understand the basics of each of these releases, animation quality explanations will make more sense.
#1 Season 1
Seven Deadly Sins was first released in Japan in October of 2014.
Now, it will help to explain that a typical anime season in Japan runs for 12 or 13 weeks, depending on the show.
That means that there are effectively four anime seasons each year.
The release seasons more or less line up with natural seasons, so you get an anime season each winter, spring, summer, and fall.
There’s a little variance in there, but that’s mostly how it goes.
So, the first season of Seven Deadly Sins was a fall release, but it was effectively a two-season run.
There were 24 episodes in this batch, plus two OVAs (OVAs are like bonus content that isn’t part of the main storyline and are often just comical one-offs).
Because of this, some count this as the first two seasons of the show.
I’m combining them into one season because they were released as a continuous batch.
There’s no right or wrong here; it’s just important to add a little clarity so that all of the timings make sense.
For a little more context, A-1 Pictures was the studio that animated and produced this first run of the show.
They set the tone for the show’s animation.
#2 Season 1.5
Next up, we have a release that more or less takes place between the first two seasons.
This is a little different from normal anime runs, and in August of 2016, Sins of Holy War was released.
This run only included four episodes, so it’s not a whole season.
Despite that, the events in these four episodes are canon, and they are essential to furthering the plot in preparation for the events of the following season.
So, this is content that matters to the overall story, but it was released in a nonstandard way.
Also, A-1 Pictures produced all four of these episodes as well.
#3 Season 2
The second full season of Seven Deadly Sins was released starting in January of 2018.
This run was titled “Revival of the Commandments.”
It’s another 24-episode season, and it covers major plot points for the anime’s total run.
This season really got into the meat and potatoes of the overall story.
There was also an OVA released with this batch, and as per usual, it wasn’t essential to the overall plot.
While I’m calling this Season 2, others might label it as seasons 3 and 4.
You can see how this gets a little convoluted.
And since I’ve been doing this so far, let me inform you that this was another A-1 Pictures production.
#4 Season 3
Here’s where things really get convoluted.
The third seasonal run of the show began airing in October of 2019, and it was another run of 24 episodes.
It was titled “Wrath of the Gods.”
That all seems normal, right?
Well, that’s why I mentioned the Netflix thing.
Netflix dubbed Season 1.5 as Season 2, and continuing that system, they called this the 4th season of the show.
This is where you really get into some disagreement among fans.
Some call this the third season.
Some call it the fourth season.
Fewer would call this seasons five and six.
It’s all a mess.
For the sake of consistency, I’m going to call this Season 3, and it’s worth noting because this was the first season animated by Studio Dean (you might guess where this information leads).
#5 Season 4
Lastly, we have the fourth season, called the fifth season by Netflix, and seasons seven and eight by some fans.
This was the final release batch, and it also contained 24 new episodes.
These episodes began airing in January of 2021.
The final batch was produced by Studio Dean.
When Did the Seven Deadly Sins Animation Turn Bad?
You’re a savvy reader.
You know where this is headed, plus I gave away the answer at the very beginning.
For most fans, the animation took a turn for the worse in Season 3.
Keep in mind, this is Season 3 according to my nomenclature.
You might find fans who say it got worse in Season 4, and there will be a few who say that the problems didn’t show up until Season 5.
That’s three consecutive seasons, depending on who you ask, but everyone is referring to the same moment in the anime.
The show’s animation changed substantially beginning with the episodes that aired in October of 2019.
That was the moment of the major shift, and for most fans, it was a serious downgrade in quality.
Why Did the Seven Deadly Sins Animation Get Bad?
Ok. That covers the timing.
Why is the animation so much worse?
Is it so much worse?
That’s naturally a matter of subjective opinion.
I can’t tell you definitively that one animation is better than another, but the majority opinion is pretty clear on this one.
The animation was received much worse starting after October of 2019.
The way characters were drawn changed.
Their faces showed fewer total details, and sharp lines were traded for more cartoonish curved features.
Additionally, the animation itself changed.
Fight sequences in the earlier seasons were animated dynamically.
After this season, fights had less total motion and a greater emphasis on still frames with small moving parts.
If you look at some side-by-side comparisons, you’ll probably agree that the animation got a lot worse.
It’s pretty simple.
The production was given to a different studio.
The exact reasons for this are not clear as the negotiations happened behind closed doors, but there is no question that this is what drove the changes.
The new studio had an entirely different animation team.
They made artistic choices, and those choices were not well-received by fans of the show.
That’s really it.
It happens a lot in the world of anime.
A beloved show is given to a new studio, and the new studio either elevates the animation or disappoints fans.
Things rarely stay the same from one studio to the next.