WARNING: The following contains spoilers from The Seven Deadly Sins: Cursed By Light, now streaming on Netflix.
The Seven Deadly Sins: Cursed By Light showcases the full potential of this remarkable series. An ambitious action/adventure anime on Netflix, The Seven Deadly Sins has stumbled a few times during its run, but this film shows off what the series is capable of at its best. The movie is a fitting send-off to the series, despite not technically being the ending. With an uptick in animation, tying up loose ends left by the anime, and staying true to its characters, Cursed By Light is a smashing success.
As the anime has recently come to an end, this film takes place roughly between the penultimate and final episodes of the series. While Cursed By Light is canon, it's not required viewing to understand the show's last episodes; rather, it helps fill in a few blanks and provides additional context to some character moments in the finale. The Seven Deadly Sins stuck its landing in the anime, and the film is the cherry on top.
Cursed By Light's Animation Matches the Ambition
Despite its stellar first season, The Seven Deadly Sins unfortunately became notorious for its low-quality animation from Season 2 onward. Complications with its animation studio hit the series hard, as battles between gods began to look like battles between stick figures. The Seven Deadly Sins' dependence on large-scale battles between godlike beings compounded its animation problem, as the impact of the story itself was lessened tremendously by animation that was hard to watch, and even harder to take seriously.
Fortunately, Cursed By Light knows no such issue, as the titanic battles that take place in the film are the most beautifully animated Seven Deadly Sins content since Season 1. Granted, the animation isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but seeing the series how it was meant to be seen is a relief not felt by fans for a long time. Meliodas and Zeldris have the most dynamic and exciting fight scenes in the movie, and the joy of seeing the brothers fighting together plays even better when there's no distractingly bad animation, as often happens in the series.
The Supreme Deity Finally Matters in Cursed By Light
There have always been two gods responsible for the Holy War that has plagued Seven Deadly Sins from the get-go, but viewers would hardly be able to tell with its hyper-fixation on the Demon King. Understandably, a character with an on-the-nose name like "The Demon King" is the obvious choice for primary antagonist. However, the Supreme Deity hardly ever played any kind of role beyond lore exposition. Even the Demon King's death in the anime was strange because there was no discernible reaction from the Supreme Deity regarding the demise of her longtime adversary.
Cursed By Light finally addresses the fact that the Supreme Deity, well, exists. The film's true antagonist, the Supreme Deity has decided she will restart the Holy War by mind-controlling a former Fairy King, a Giant weapons maker, and her own Goddesses, turning the clans against each other once more. When she appears, she explains that she and the Demon King never intended for the Holy War to end and that it was their role to stay in conflict and maintain balance in the world.
It's not clear how true that actually is, considering the Supreme Deity is more worried about Chaos' return, which puts her own existence in jeopardy if the creator of the universe decides to do away with her. It was interesting to see the Supreme Deity finally take an active role in Seven Deadly Sins, despite the fact she is swiftly defeated by Meliodas and Zeldris. It was also good closure for Elizabeth, daughter of the Supreme Deity, to confront her mother and reject her once and for all before siccing her Demon Prince boyfriend and his brother on her.
The Seven Deadly Sins Shine As Brightly As Ever
While the primary focus of Cursed By Light is on the relationship between Meliodas and Zeldris, the rest of the Sins still have their moments to shine, both on the battlefield and as characters. The film's early focus is on the wedding of King and Diane, and the first shot inside the Fairy Forest is of Gowther. This choice brings emotion to the forefront right away, reminding the audience of the bonds shared by the Sins and that they are lifelong friends, not just teammates. Ban and Elaine are also present and have an amusing yet touching exchange where they express their desire to get married, and their abhorrence for a big to-do like King's and Diane's wedding.
At first, it seems like a disservice to the Sins' bonds that Meliodas and Elizabeth have planned their honeymoon for the same time as King's and Diane's wedding. However, the end of the film reveals Meliodas is still a true friend, considering he was the only one who actually knew when the wedding was. Hilariously, King and Diane forgot the initial date they told people and held the ceremony a month early. The only (living) member of the Sins who does not play a major role in the story is Merlin, who has remained by Arthur's side as he mourns the people of Camelot. The domestic bliss of the Sins as they each spend time with the people they love is a rarity for the series, and Cursed By Light has it in spades.
When mind-controlled Fairies and Giants attack the Fairy Forest and Liones, the Seven Deadly Sins reestablish why they are the heroes of the realm. A combo move from Gowther and King allows them to quickly figure out the cause of the problem, and Ban's Snatch ability solves it with a flick of the wrist. Ban, Gowther, King, and Diane even manage to hold their own against and do some damage to the Supreme Deity. While there's a focus on Meliodas and Zeldris, who are also superior warriors, the film still reminds everyone the rest of the Sins are forces to be reckoned with rather than deferring them to the sidelines.
The Seven Deadly Sins have always been a family, and Cursed By Light goes out of its way to make sure the bonds between them are front and center. Even in the face of certain death against the Supreme Deity, the Sins still bicker like children over whose fault it is that she has decided to stop toying with them. Meliodas' arrival on the battlefield gets him a warm welcome from Ban and tearful relief from Diane, as they and the others never lost faith that Meliodas would come to their aid.
Zeldris Can't Even Pretend to Hate Meliodas
The emotional core of Cursed By Light is the relationship between Meliodas and Zeldris, as Meliodas starts the film lamenting all the pain and suffering he caused his brother. In a private moment with Gelda, it turns out Zeldris is quite like his brother -- enthusiastic, playful, and romantic. When the two siblings reunite, Zeldris' emotional shields go up, but it's clear from the start he doesn't actually feel any enmity toward his big brother.
When they discover the Demon Realm has been attacked, Zeldris is shaken by Meliodas' declaration that if he has no right to fight for the Demon Realm, then he'll fight for Zeldris. From this moment, Zeldris and Meliodas begin to bond, even settling disputes with rock-paper-scissors contests -- only for Zeldris to lose each time because he always chooses rock. The brothers share a fish and even vomit together because any food Meliodas touches immediately becomes disgusting.
After Meliodas and Elizabeth are captured by Dahlia, the former Fairy King, Zeldris swiftly comes to their rescue, just after Elizabeth had told Meliodas to have some faith in his brother. The two sons of the Demon King become one mind on the battlefield, using flawless teamwork to defeat Dahlia and Dubs, the Giant weapons maker. Once they arrive at the fight against the Supreme Deity, they unleash a devastating combo move and join swords to defeat her once and for all. In the aftermath, the brothers smile and share a fist bump as Zeldris says Meliodas now owes him a drink.
They later bond over that drink after Meliodas' coronation, where he gives his approval of Gelda and Zeldris requests that Meliodas come to visit him in the Demon Realm sometime. Now that the brothers have reconciled, Meliodas has well and truly redeemed himself for everything he did in his 3,000 years-long quest to save Elizabeth. Meliodas' and Zeldris' brotherly bond is everything Seven Deadly Sins fans never knew they needed, and is unquestionably the highlight of Cursed By Light.