This is review number four hundred and eighteen. This anime is part of the Fall 2014 lineup, and it’s called Trinity Seven. It’s a twelve episode anime about a guy and his harem. There’s also some magic here, and a lot of naked girls so that’s something. Let’s just read on.
The anime follows Arata Kasuga who transfers to a magic academy after discovering he was the source of a breakdown phenomenon. His uncontrollable powers caused a black sun to swallow his city without him knowing. He now decided to become a mage to save people, but he discovered he is actually a demon lord candidate. He can destroy the world if he continues learning magic. This doesn’t deter him, and he continues to be with the Trinity Seven girls of the academy. If he wants to learn magic fast, he must beat them and make them his plaything (actual words said in the anime).
Taking the Pants Off
I seriously thought this anime is an LN show, so I was mind blown when I realized it’s actually a manga anime. Wow, my five years of reviewing anime has let me down. More importantly, this anime behaved like a light novel. I’m scared. Trinity Seven is an interesting anime, because it looks awful but it’s actually really good. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the story cripples the anime. It’s weird, I know. The anime is so over condensed that even my years of reviewing anime couldn’t catch up to the amount of exposition being thrown at me. This seems to be case of the original source itself being below average at its core. It’s a manga that puts emphasis on visuals than building a good story. Now, I’ve seen anime like this before. This isn’t my first rodeo into a below average manga. Donten ni Warau opened my eyes to good adaptations with a bad original source. Trinity Seven is different though, because it is pretty good. It stats out bumpy, since there were a lot of things to establish. I think it got interesting around the 20th chapter or so. The problem is that the anime adapted until the 30th volume, so the clunky world building is what we got in the anime. It’s not that bad, but it did miss out the best parts of the manga. Luckily, this is a strong character showcase, so there is potential here. It’s also a faithful adaptation, but certain elements clashed resulting in a really weird experience. We’ll unpack the show below, but let me just point out that my first impressions of the show is actually really bad. You see, this anime follows a guy that enrolls in a special academy, he has a special ability that makes girls hover around him, he gropes a lot of naked girls, and the story is forsaken for some good ol’ fashion perversion. A cold sweat went down my face. this is the exact premise as Blade Dance.
Yeah, this anime caused alarm bells because Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance is absolutely filthy. It’s such a dirty dirty anime that brought up my negative feelings for LN anime. 2014 has some really strong perverted anime, for some reason. Rail Wars, Seikoku Dragonar, Blade Dance and Trinity Seven all came out this year. They’re stupid, dirty and fun heavy fan service shows that just make you hate yourself when you watch them. Kenzen Robo Daimidaler is also from 2014, so damn, this year is packed with dirty shows. I’m kinda proud and ashamed I’ve reviewed so many. Blade Dance is a horrible show though. Any semblance of story is thrown out for some fan service. They’re good fan service, but I’d rather see a good story instead. The anime also had a good story, so it was heart breaking seeing it reduced to a show where every episode had a girl walking in on the main character fondling a naked girl on his bed, and then he goes “wait, it’s not what you think!”, and my 1000 journey was almost abandoned. Truly awful shows can make you question your life, and Trinity Seven scared me. Will it be another Blade Dance anime? Will it feature naked girls and dumb fan service over a good story? Gawd, I f*cking hope not. Both shows opened the exact same way though. Guy moves into academy > harem established > girls keep undressing in front of him > he’s a special student that has a power unique only to him. To be fair, I think this is standard LN setup, since Unbreakable Machine Doll kinda had the same flow. It had a good story though, so I just wish Trinity Seven doesn’t end up like Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance.
Naked Girls and Dumb Fan Service
Yeah, ok, so this anime is about a guy with a harem. It’s not an accidental harem, where supporting cast members just happen to be girls. No, this is legit harem and it’s something uniquely celebrated by manga. Seven girls all come together and fight over him, and the anime is also loaded with fan service. Like this:
While it doesn’t have “girl walks in on guy fondling another girl” as a staple, it does have “guy falls on top of girl and accidentally squeezes her boobs” to replace it. Like this:
Oh boy, this is manga anime. You can make a long essay about the different approaches of both medium to fan service. It’s fascinating. The fan service is also really good though. Let’s set that straight. The animation quality is really good, the character design is bulky so the boob grabs does look great, and the naked bodies are a treat to watch. The anime functions unevenly though. Every serious moment of a mage trying to kill someone, it’d have a scene where Arata is treated to some fan service first. Clothes are ripped from a girl’s body, Arata would land head first in their boobs or he’ll just react prevy to a comment. It makes for a confusing experience, because Arata goes from a helpless mage novice to a pervert to awesome demon lord in weird intervals. This IS Blade Dance. I’m re-reviewing an anime. I should just stop. This isn’t worth the mental torture.
…..except, no anime should be left unloved though. Something unique happens in this anime. If you ignore Arata, you’re left with the girls and the anime’s strength is actually with the girls.
A Perverted Case of Character Showcase
This anime had a lot of girls from the standard seven girls in Arata’s harem to the various enemies they’ll encounter later on. Each girl, no matter how insignificant their role in the actual story, has ample time to really prove how awesome or lovely they are. Character showcase is where the story is not the focus of the anime. Instead, it uses the story to make the characters awesome. Granted, they’re still fan service tools for Arata’s satisfaction but the girls still have personality that sets them apart. In fact, you’re really only watching the anime to see the cute girls. The entirety of the anime is basically a strong character showcase for every girl in the harem. All seven girls had their time to really show off their awesome bodies and their personalities. Dandere has a lustful body, but she is also awesome with a gun. Tsundere is adorable, but she is first introduced as this badass with a crystal ball. Kuudere is the first girl you’ll meet in his harem, and the constant zoom on her adorable face will easily win you over. The ninja girl had an entire episode all to herself, and she delivered one of the best fights in the show. Hell, there is a girl in his harem that fought awesome and seductive at the same time. She literally fought half naked, and she achieved a good balance between pacing and fan service. It was weird, but also awesome. I also know it’s not really much to watch a perverted show for its characters, but it does save the anime for being excruciatingly painful. The main reason for this is because the manga focuses more on the visuals that actual story progression.
It does ruin a manga, but I know people that read for the visuals. As long as there is a good amount of pretty faces tucked between the expositions, then they’ll like the manga. Donten ni Warau taught me a lot. You rarely see a panel of just Arata. The author loves his female cast, and they’ll always dominate the pages. Their banter is also the main drawing point of the story. A lot can happen in a chapter, and it’s hard to keep up but focusing on the characters is a smart move. Every close up of their flustered face, every full panel shot of their beautiful body, and every awesome pose they have in a fight is translated in the anime. The care the author gave to the harem is evident in the anime, and it translates into a wonderful character showcase. While it still comes off as generic, the interesting world building by the author coupled by the unusual circumstances of the characters really make the show a fun experience. It’s a weird one, but fun nonetheless. The author does great world building in his story, but this is actually something the anime could not carry over. Gawd almight, the exposition in this anime is incredibly overwhelming.
I Was Hit With a Sack of Exposition, Officer!
From the first episode, you can tell the anime has a horrid story. The first episode is literally the first chapter of the anime. Can you imagine? Fifty or so pages make up one episode of the anime. That is so condensed that it’s insane. In the first episode, Arata wakes up grabbing his cousin’s boobs, discovers a black sun, realizes he is in a fake world, saved by Lilith, moved into the academy, and suddenly realizes he is a demon lord candidate. Yes, what the f*ck?! All of this happens in the first episode and exposition piles up as the show progresses. You have to remember important terms like “thema”, “breakdown phenomenon”,”macro”, and “archive”. You also need to learn some latin, because the powers are classified under latin names of the seven deadly sins, but subcategorized in another latin name for the specific power of a certain mage. Your thema is opposite your actual self, and you learn your thema by doing research. When you complete your research, you submit it in the form of a grimoire that you can use in battle, and mastering your thema makes you a Trinity. If you do research by stealing other’s works or breaking some kind of rule, you turn into an evil mage. If your power goes out control, it becomes a breakdown phenomenon. If your magic power is depleted, you vanish into this world. If your evil magic consumes you, you turn into a shadow monster. Some mages have inherent abilities, and Arata just happens to be a demon lord candidate. Interestingly, there are also mages above trinity called Paladins that are stronger than them. If the latin names doesn’t confuse you, then the random explanations of a character’s power will certainly do the trick. If you can escape that, then remember the rules of this anime’s world. This anime is designed to overwhelm you, and even the manga does it.
With so much happening in a chapter, and the constant shift in the status quo, the manga also doesn’t settle down. You constantly have to adjust to the manga’s pace, and just absorb as many events that happen in one chapter. The visuals really soften the blow for the manga, but it comes undone in the anime. I personally just gave up at some point and just enjoyed the pretty faces. I admire the amazing style of the author though, since character showcase is very emphatic. The visuals are also very ambitious, and it does cancel out the overwhelming info dump. You can just skim the manga, and you’ll it. The anime is different though, because the unrefined storytelling is exposed and the uncaring info dump by the author comes at you hard. You can’t rely on the visuals, because the constant status quo shift feels like the anime is doing a hack job adaptation. It’s quite the opposite. The anime is so faithful, the awfulness of the manga is put on the spotlight.
Um, what else?! *frails frantically*
Usually, I’d dissect a show’s story or its cinematography, but this anime is pretty straightforward. It has fan service, good characters and an overwhelming story. That’s about it, really. I guess I also like the actual world building itself, but nothing to really dive head first into, since the latin names confused the hell out of me. I like how the mage’s thema is opposite their personality, so if you’re an introvert then your thema, something you’d do research your entire life and rely constantly for magic, would be something extroverted. I like that. One side story of the manga has a nun with a “faithful” thema, which means she is personally not a faithful woman. It’s a lovely wrinkle to a typical magic system. After all, fire magic is so overrated. In this anime, kuudere has the thema for destruction because she is actually a very numb person who doesn’t understand anger and destruction. The ninja has a “trust’ thema because she personally doesn’t believe in special bonds. Arata has a ruling thema, but he is actually a caring and considerate person. The story has some good potential, but I believe you’d enjoy reading it more instead of watching it. It does legitimately get better in the manga. As more chapters are introduced, a stable status quo is achieved and the world building steadily becomes better. It feels so refined and mature. The fan service doesn’t even drag it down, but actually enhances it. But as the anime goes though, I do believe the story is forgettable. In due time, I’ll forget this anime and only look back at the potential the wonderful story had.
Hiroshi and Seven Arcs
This anime is presented by Seven Arcs Pictures. They’re a pretty underwhelming studio, since nothing of their work really stands out. I think Inukami is the exception, but the lack of fanfare kinda proves the studio isn’t really breaking any ground. I mean, for gawdsakes, three season of Dog Days and Magical lyrical Nanoha. Ok, wait, I do know Nanoha but not because it’s good. More because it kinda borders pedo territory in how dangerously sexualized the magical girls are. I think Seven Arcs has potential though, since the animation quality of Trinity Seven is gorgeous. Maybe they’re steadily improving. I love to track a studio’s growth, so I can’t wait to see their future works. Hiroshi Nishikiori has a lot of anime under his belt. He is currently getting slack for directing Index. I like Index, but people apparently doesn’t want him to direct Index III. I think he is good though, because he was able to make this anime good. The story alone could’ve crippled it, but he carried the nuance of the original source. He turned a sinking adaptation into something actually good. I always believe a good director captures the spirit of the original source and even showcase the original’s weakness, and Hiroshi did that here. He presented the strengths and the weakness of the manga in their natural beauty. Of course, this isn’t really an anime everyone can enjoy, but talented directors always rise to the top.
Sight and Sound
Here’s something unique about the manga. The writer and the illustrator are two different people. This isn’t a new thing, since Death Note is done by a duo. I guess you can just tell the story and the art didn’t get along for this manga. The writer, Kenji Saitou, seems to have a different vision for the series and the illustrator, Akinari Nao, kinda compensated to meet in the middle. Their work makes for a weird anime adaptation, I can tell that much. I like Akinari’s design though. The confidence he has with the inking, and the full feature of the characters is amazing. He knows body proportions, and he makes sure to flaunt the female characters in every opportunity. Their faces, their bodies and their full panel shot has so much care and detail to them that I really cannot fully hate the manga. You can tell the illustrations were given a lot of effort, and Nao’s style looks so refined that you’d just be in awe of it. Female characters have strong faces though, and I actually like approach of the anime to make a more uniform look for them. They slightly improved on Nao’s design, which often lacks consistency, but they don’t take anything away. If you like a character, then you liked Akinari Nao’s incredible character showcase. That’s all his, and I have incredible respect for that.
Animation is incredible. Again, Hiroshi knew what he was doing and he featured the manga at its absolute best. The result is a forgettable block of exposition, but he really carried over the manga’s appeal to a tee. Akinari’s incredible design is adapted, his ambitious camera angles are also carried over and the effort in making the characters look appealing is wonderfully captured by Hiroshi as well. I particularly like how he adapted the insane pacing and unstable status quo of the manga. He looked at the story, and he captured the flow beat by beat. It is messy as hell, but the nuance of the pacing is intact. Every panel is translated to the anime, and no detail is left behind. The fan service in the manga is pretty weird, but I think it’s mainly because I don’t really like fan service in printed form. The fan service in the anime is pretty great. As I said before, the naked bodies look great, the boob groping is animated nicely, and the perversion doesn’t ruin the flow of the story. Like the manga, it actually improved it. I also did wonder if Hiroshi could’ve done anything to make the story more palatable, but I don’t really think it’s possible. One chapter can fit one episode, so editing it down can be troublesome. If I was in his shoes, I’d also just work with what the manga gave me and produce a messy anime with strong visuals.
The anime’s OP is “Seven Doors” by ZAQ. It’s a pretty decent OP, but doesn’t really stand out that much. The lyrics feels forced with lines like “black sun” and “seven sacks” that doesn’t really add anything to the song. I like the strong instrumentals, but the song is as forgettable as the anime itself. I do like the Op sequence as it highlights the gorgeous animation and the strong character showcase. It also features a cool montage of all the stories in the show and the awesome girls that appear all throughout. I guess with the song, the OP does hype you up for watching the anime.
The anime has three different EDs. I won’t go into each one, but I do like all of them. They’re sung by the characters, and it’s a good way to follow the anime since the different ED focuses on a different girl in the episode. The ED sequences are also stylized to fit the character, so I like that nice touch. The songs are like the OP, but personality is added thanks to the sequences. Some of them are really cool, and I admire how unique each ED is. I also like the added novelty of the characters singing the song, since their personality kinda seeps into the song itself. They’re all very different from each other, so each one wonderfully stands out. I think the first song is a funky techo one while the second is an incredibly cute pop song. The last song is as serious as the OP song, and they all standout nicely. I really like the effort put into each ED sequence.
6/10 “Strong visuals in every department, but awful plot progression in every sense as well”
This anime excels in the fan service, the animation and the characters. The story and the haphazard world building can ruin the fun though. You can ignore the confusing story of the anime, but it is unavoidable. The characters are extremely likeable though, despite being standard harem characters. There are some strong positives here, but it’s balanced by some glaringly negatives as well. As it is, I don’t think a lot of people will like it, but I do recommend it.