Bit of a cheeky double-review, this one.
So after last chapter’s mis-step (in my opinion, at least) we are right back on track with a rollicking (great word…) couple of chapters.
Let it be stated, first and foremost, that Gowther is an absolute beast, in the least beast-like way possible. Sneaky, cunning and absolutely terrifying, he humbled the powerhouse that is Dreyfuss.
Awesome – in a mind-bending sort of way.
Or at least, he appeared to. Thing is, where Gowther’s concerned, I often have no idea quite what’s real and what is the product of nightmares… and I suppose that’s the point. Any fight involving Gowther appears to be less-than-likely to be a straightforward slugfest and this was no exception as Gowther (despite appearing to be impaled) drew Dreyfuss into a nightmare of his own memories.
It’s another awesome ability, to complement Gowther’s already fearsome arsenal. More importantly, it also served as a great gateway into Dreyfuss’ past – and offered a glimpse of his early relationship with Hendricksen and Meliodas, and with his young son. For the most part, Dreyfuss seemed to be an amiable guy in his younger days, living in the shadow of his brother Zaratras, but otherwise a good sort.
Except, of course, we know that won’t last.
Dreyfuss’ murder of his elder brother- later pinned on the Sins – seems to weigh heavily on his mind, and the scene in which he pleaded for forgiveness from a nightmarish vision of Zaratras was as effective as it was brutal. What intrigues me is just how he managed to do it: Zaratras is stated as being almost invincible by Meliodas, no less, and although Dreyfuss’ is strong he is supposedly some way from his brother’s prowess. I suspect foul play – and given the state of Zaratras’ corpse it would seem he didn’t go down easily…
What I also loved about the nightmare-flashback was the odd snippets of out-of-place dialogue. The children stating that they would start the holy war themselves, and Dreyfuss’ wife (who we didn’t get a good look at… interesting…) stating that someone ‘wasn’t strong enough’ hinted at the betrayal and descent of the Holy Knights into infamy to come. And it made the whole thing feel bizarre and dream-like. Perfect.
Oh, and the art was great, too.
Whatever the hell Gowther is, he certainly isn’t someone to screw with. Scary.
So, was that the end for Dreyfuss? Of course not. Despite Gowther’s promise to leave him trapped in a nightmare forever, he escaped in double-quick time. Abrupt, sure, but he is the Great Holy Knight – and I wasn’t really expecting Gowther to put him away on the first attempt.
What Gowther did manage to achieve – as neatly surmised by Guila – was more than simply getting beaten. He drove off Dreyfuss, albeit at great personal cost (Gowther is something well beyond human, sure, but a hole in the chest that size is going to keep him out of action for a while, definitely…), leaving only Helbram to face Hauser and Guila alone. Simples, right?
When Helbram strips off, you no shit just got real.
Helbram is my personal favourite villain in the series, and even facing down two pretty tanked-up Holy Knights alone he is still a formidable opponent. His powers are ridiculous, his fighting style is devious and he will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. Hells, he even seemed to be pleased to see the back of his allies so that he could really cut loose without endangering them… the guy is a smarmy, irritating MONSTER. And I love it.
He opens up by unleashing amaterasu (Itachi eat your heart out), before chucking iceberg’s big enough to sink the Titanic into Diane’s (who is STILL alive?! Damn, that girl is tough) chest. Helbram didn’t just win this, he absolutely dominated them.
I’m not sure, but I really, really, think this could be the end for Diane. Or it would have been, were it not for one hell of a grandstanding entrance.
I’m not above admitting I may have punched the air at this point.
Fairy King Harlequin, take a fricking bow. There is nothing quite like an epic entrance – think Laxus against Hades, Ichigo interrupting Rukia’s execution or (my favourite) Sage-mode Naruto’s toad-mounted intervention against Pain – and this one felt awesome. If The Seven Deadly Sins ever gets an anime, this moment will look incredible. Maybe it’s just because I’m a massive fan of King, but his arrival had me grinning like an idiot – until I realised that this could genuinely be the end for Diane… and then I felt a bit sad. Emotional rollercoaster, much…
And even better, it leaves us with a rematch between King and Helbram to come. Sure, King got smashed to bits last time, but with Diane seemingly dead, I think his enraged state should make this one hell of a fight.
- The flashback felt well executed, timely and hinted that maybe Dreyfuss isn’t all bad – even if he did murder his brother brutally (we think…)
- Helbram is an utter monster. Nuff said.
- Art = awesome. Want to see a man impaled by what appeared to be half of the iron throne? Check. Want to see a beardy-bloke stab a giantess with an iceberg? Got you covered. IT. LOOKED. EPIC.
- There isn’t a great deal to criticise, frankly, so I won’t. Nice and easy.
Overall: These chapters rocked. Simple as. We got progression, great character building for Dreyfuss, Gowther being… well… Gowther, and an epic entrance from King. I give them a combined 9.5/10 – and that’s only because I think it could be about to get even better, and don’t want to max out too early. Watch this space…