In the immediate future, a giant meteorite has collided with earth. All living organisms, including mankind, have been wiped off the face of the planet. The government, who had foreseen this outcome, took measures to counter the worst-case scenario. In particular was Project "7SEEDS," in which five sets of seven young men and women were carefully selected and placed into teams (Spring, Summer A, Summer B, Autumn and Winter). Each participant was then put under cryogenic sleep in hopes of preserving the continued existence of mankind.
When those men and women awoke, they found themselves suddenly thrust into a cruel world. While bereft and grieved over forever losing their loved ones, they sought to find ways to survive.
The series was nominated in the Comic category for the 49th Seiun Awards this past April. The manga also ranked on the top 20 list of manga for female readers in the 2018 edition of Takarajimasha's Kono Manga ga Sugoi! (This Manga Is Amazing!) guidebook last December. The manga won the Shōjo Category of the 52nd Annual Shogakukan Manga Awards in 2007.
You’ve just awoken years after the apocalypse, stranded on an island. This island is infested by giant man-eating insects, dinosaurs, diseases, and deranged survivors, how do you survive? You don't. You cannot survive because you are braindead. You run around screaming in terror like a failed abortion because you are a useless, annoying, brainless shoujo protagonist. Sorry, but someone thought it would be funny to put you—a helpless idiot—into horror anime.
Yet again, Netflix’s algorithms have shat out an awful anime. This time, it’s a blend of shoujo and horror with visuals ripped straight of the early 2000s. 7 Seeds is a fitting title because
it will take you 7 Seconds to realize it’s shit. Seven seconds was all I needed to know it was on par with Mars of Destruction in terms of quality, at least for the first two episodes. It’s so bad because it tries to be gruesome and scary, but the art is terrible and the writing’s worse. Rather than being shockingly awful, after episode two it leans more towards boring. The plot setup is interesting; different countries put groups of people in cryosleep to avoid extinction during the apocalypse, then the show does nothing with its premise. Dozens of random people awaken to find themselves on the island, we see the various groups beginning survival strategies, and big bugs eat some of them. In the first episode, everyone is either screaming in fear or at each other, and not even the animators know what the hell is happening. It’s wild, stupid, and it had the potential to be a so-bad-its-good comedy. Detracting from the humor is the infuriatingly annoying main character.
Natsu, the first protagonist, is the epitome of a useless shoujo protagonist. For some reason, she tells us how weak, cowardly, and awkward she is. It’s all said in one big long run-on sentence because the show is paced incredibly poorly. We immediately know how useless Natsu is because of how she acts, her pathetic ‘woe-is-me’ internal monologues are completely unnecessary. Who needs well-written characterization when you can just info-dump the main character’s entire personality in 10 seconds?! When a huge manga is condensed into twelve episodes, it really shows. Scenes jump from one character perspective to the next with no transition whatsoever. The tone shifts wildly at the drop of a hat from cheesy shoujo drama to people dying violently. Then suddenly we’re thrown into some random guy’s backstory lasting half the episode. 7 Seeds may have worked as a manga, but this adaptation borders on incoherent.
Fortunately for us, the writers forget about Natsu after the third episode. From time to time we’re told how she’s doing as if we care. All Natsu does is silently lust over a generic handsome bishounen. The bishounen is committed to someone else, and Natsu never pursues him out of fear of hurting his feelings. She did nothing for the whole show because she was such a whiny pussy bitch. For some reason, Natsu and the Bishounen stay with a long-haired dude who smacks her ass in the first episode, he’s a one-sided asshole but he sticks around to bully her for some reason. Thankfully the asshole's voice acting in the English dub is fucking hilarious. When he or any character calls out Natsu for being useless, it sounds genuinely real. You can hear their hatred for Natsu in their voices. For all the verbal beat down she takes, I couldn't care less about her. There is no way to sympathize with someone denser than a two-ton boulder, just solve your own problems dipshit. The second protagonist, Hana, is thankfully less infuriatingly stupid. I call her the second because she gets introduced in the second half of episode one. Eventually, she gets the full protagonist role. Hana is far more adaptable to her environment and automatically better because she’s not a whiny bitch. Even without any worthwhile characterization and a blank slate personality, was a far better perspective to see the story from than Natsu.
Aside from Hana, there are dozens of other named characters. By the time you learn someone’s name, three more will be introduced. Any ‘development’ no matter how poorly written won’t matter at all if you can’t remember who the character is, and so few of them do anything worth remembering in the story. 7 Seeds attempts to make its cast memorable by over exaggerating all of their emotions and reactions, which just makes them more obnoxious. Some of them scream every other sentence, and the rest treat every slightly bad thing like it’s the end of the world. Stubbed your toe? Must be the be fatal, scream about it. Swatting someone away? Oops, looks like I fell into a river with 30mph rapids, better scream bloody murder. Either the dialogue is quiet, monotonous, and boring, or it is over-acted to the point it’s funny. There are some hilarious one-liners in the dub because even the actors know it’s shit. To make the character acting worse, the audio is so lazily edited; no matter how far apart characters are, they will sound just as loud as if they were right next to each other.
The only character I cared about was the bearded nomad guy with all of the cute wolves, but he became so forgettable I cannot recall his name. Once he shaved his beard, lost his wolves, he became a generic bishounen to fall in love with Hana. Only three of the characters get developed beyond one trait, and the rest don’t even get that much. Some of the side characters exist solely to comment on their surroundings and look helpless when monsters attack. Right as a random girl thinks she will be eaten by big bugs, she suddenly says “I wanted to be a doctor and an astronaut.” Wow so relatable. I am definitely going to cry when she dies violently. Strangely enough, she doesn’t die. After the second episode, very few people die at all; it becomes a boring slice-of-life drama rather than a campy horror. The giant bugs and badass dinosaurs were never seen again. We never learn how the bizarre monster filled future came to be, the writer simply grew tired of them. Instead, the story becomes a generic shoujo about the interpersonal relationships between people we have no reason to care about. There are at least four loosely connected stories being told at every moment in 7 Seeds; each story follows a different group of people in different locations. Trying to keep track of all the locations, characters, and plots is like studying for a test right before class; I couldn’t remember anything because the pacing is so unimaginably awful. That's why episode 10 is the least shitty out of all twelve. It is still poorly animated, melodramatic, and disjointed, but it entirely takes place in a flashback. There are almost no sudden jumps between character perspectives and distant locations. Rather than having to follow the giant cast, we follow one main character and four side characters. Episode 10 is the only reprieve we get from the horribly written story and whiplash-inducing editing. Each episode ends mid-scene with no closure, abruptly cutting to the ED. From the begin to the end, the editing is appalling, this even happens at the end of the last episode. Supposedly this is "Part 1" of the 7 Seeds adaptation; the ending was incomplete for sure, but it did nothing to set up a sequel.
Another effect of the breakneck pacing is a lack of any transition between shots. At one point someone suddenly said, “We’re going to fly together on my glider!” Random, but it sounded cool! Smash cut to them on a glider being slid across the screen on a motion tween, then another smash cut to an unrelated scene. This all happens over the course of FOUR SECONDS. It’s like watching a Michael Bay movie. At any given moment in 7 Seeds is telling multiple stories across multiple locations with little to no connection. It jumps from one story to another flippantly; the editors do not care if you're able to follow the sequence of events. All of the characters look similar too, making the many story lines it even harder to follow. The character designs generic and everything else in this show is an eyesore.
Who would have thought the end of the world would look so ugly? The action scenes, character animation, background art, effects, everything. Monsters slide across the screen on motion tweens, the monsters are just repeated assets sized differently from one another. Close-ups of the characters' faces look fine. But when they move, or if they’re a bit too far from the camera, the look hideous. The background art is mostly repeated assets and blotchy green colors. Whenever it's raining (it happens a lot) the effect is haphazardly slapped onto the screen over a normal shot. It is not integrated into the art in any way. Gonzo has adapted plenty of great stories surpassing their mediocre art. This is not one of them. I can only praise Gonzo for attempting to use 2D art for everything, but the little CGI they used looks bizarre. The CGI ocean is such an eye-sore; if someone is swimming, waves just clip through them. Boats don’t affect the water at all. It’s like someone stuck poorly drawn anime stickers onto an over edited photo of the ocean. Awful visuals like this are enjoyable ironically, but the inane directing of the action scenes is where the true hilarity comes from. A tiger is about to attack three, newly introduced people. One of them randomly pulls out a baseball, then another grabs a stick and says to through it at him, and somehow it hits the tiger square in the face. The whole scene looked like shit, but it was fucking hilarious. My suspension of disbelief did a 360, rolled down a ditch into a dumpster, then it exploded.
7 Seeds straddles the line between being ironically funny and taking itself far too seriously. Horror, romance, drama, shoujo, action, mystery; it wants to be the jack of all trades, but in the end, it is the master of none. The result is a tonally maligned shitfest that isn’t funny, scary, relatable, sympathetic, or entertaining. As for the romance? There is nothing aside from crushes only mentioned in internal monologues and sexual assault. Great. I would recommend this anime to people who want a free lobotomy, those who like bleaching their eyeballs, and basically anyone else who finds pleasure in torturing themselves. Shoujo and horror are two genres that should not be combined, and this dumpster fire demonstrates why.
Dear Netflix, please stop making shovelware garbage like 7 Seeds.
“Alright, the count is 2 balls and 1 strike, aaannnnndddd here’s the pitch.”
**Ball smashes tiger in the face**
“You can, put it on the BOOOOAAARRRDDD!!! Yes!” — Ken Harrelson, baseball announcer
Bear Grylls would be disappointed by the ignorance in this camping expedition, not to mention the lack of urine consumption. Trust me, though, that’s the least of 7Seeds problems. In a post-apocalyptic world, five sets of seven boys/girls (“seeds”) attempt to survive despite being chased by bizarre tigers, massive insects, and f—kn’ dinosaurs. It sort of sounds exciting, but the mismanagement of the plot and character left much to be desired.
odd events occurred for 7Seeds to be taken seriously. To start, when meteorites were colliding with the earth, a preponderance of the population seemed ambivalent. They displayed distress about the calamitous situation, but were more than willing to forget their troubles for a live concert. Then, when resources became scarce, large swaths of people (obligingly?) got turned into human slushy’s. One would think that society would be in a frenzy from the fears of imminent disaster.
On that note, 7Seeds is littered with rape, calamity, disease, and death; yet, it feels devoid of impact. At no point in the series did I empathize with the fictional characters. Probably because most of whom I couldn’t relate to, given their superficial qualities.
While most of the characters were stale and wishy-washy, there was one who stood above the rest. Mark — the ventriloquist — decided to dress up as Santa to visit the beach as the world was going to hell. Had sex with an infected women (Acari X virus), because his erection wasn’t going anywhere. Locked people in a freezer because he’s a (n)ice guy. And wore a purple ‘Joker’ suit as he talked to Scarface (Pete) during his last moments. Dude was a legend!
The rest of the characters made no positive impressions, they were vacuous. In fact, it was challenging to differentiate them as the number of cast members proliferated. There was some dude playing music all the time, a ‘grim reaper’ who choked Ms. Hana to propagate sexual asphyxiation (or prevent suffering, whatever), and a girl with the hots for this dude with a girlfriend. The number of cliched character was off the charts!
The Animation was bland, with no discernment of creative brilliance; the fights, in particular, were unremarkable. The whirlpool in episode 12 was a fine example of terrible CGI, and character designs were conventional, recycled, and uninteresting. The OST was tedious and the enjoyment was paltry-to-non-existent. It seems like the production staff attempted to rely on the mysterious backdrop to inspire excitement, but it was all for naught. 7Seeds was a bore to watch and I would vehemently recommend you watch something else.
This anime had a lot of potential which in some ways it met and in others it squandered. Where it triumphs I believe are in creating a more mature story that misses some of the pitfalls of Shonen storytelling. There are no eccentric characters with pink hair, and no villains of the day popping up every other episode. The story it tells is engaging and offers a more realistic take on post-apocalyptic storytelling. Nobody has special powers, they won't triumph over evil by the power of friendship. It's a tale of survival and inter-group tension.
As far as character development, when dealing with a character
list as large as this one has it's understandable that not much time is spent on it. Even so, the main characters are all given enough time that their personalities are distinct and relatable. I don't think it's necessary to know the minutia of every characters' thought process so in some ways it's a plus that streamlines the story telling to an extent. At the very least, none of the characters is a caricature (the loli, the pervert, the shut-in, the idol, you know the rest...) and this is certainly a breath of fresh air.
The animation, pacing, and sound were mediocre but didn't really take too much away from my enjoyment of the series. A slight spoiler is that the ending is quite abrupt and open-ended. There is no resolution, there is no climax or denouement. It just ends.
Cut the long story short, this is everything you'd expect from 100+ chapters condensed into 12 episodes.
Story got butchered with most character development taken out. No element of survival is covered more than in brief. Monsters get simplified to your typical cut-out creatures that appear whenever it suits the plot. We don't get a glimpse into most characters' thoughts. Also, you'd find one of the heroines unrealistically fake in that everything she says is morally correct, there's not a single flaw on her.
Still, I'd give the sound an 8/10 for the opening and some better voiced characters, like Natsu. You can clearly hear some
of the more popular VA in some of the characters, but some feel as though they've been forced to abandon all creative freedom with regards to the characters they voice. Like Arashi, who is a replicate of Korosensei from Assassination Classroom. And Summer Team B artist, who's now Shousei from Hypmic. Key point: It feels like the producers forced them to use their more popular voices without concern for whether it suits the characters.
Overall, I came into this hoping it'd be good since I enjoyed the recently ended manga. I come away thinking it's a pity. But oh well, at least I've seen some of my favourite characters animated. It's a nostalgic summary of the franchise I've followed for nearly a decade.
That said, if you're not a manga reader, you should probably watch this only for laughs.