As a gardener serving in a rural manor, Avin wished nothing more than peaceful days along with his lord's daughter, Marie. One day, he accidentally woke up a demon sleeping in a nearby mountain. What she wished was to have him as a servant before felling the heaven and turn this world into her garden. Avin of course declined the offer. However, not long after that, the town Avin staying was suddenly raided by Knights Templar who supposed to protect the country. Avin was then presented with choices: Will he perish along with the garden and his dear ones, or become demon's servant and have this world perish instead...
So I just finished the first volume of this series and since there are no reviews yet, I will give my first impression.
7th Garden is a fantasy shounen series and it's about as generic as it gets, though that's not necessarily a bad thing.
(I advice you to only view this as help if you are unsure wether you should give this manga a shot as I did only read the first volume)
First off, the story is your typical "you and your magical partner go off and beat X many bad guys to become the ultimate ruler" kinda thing, but with a nice twist because
the bad guys are angels and your "magical companion" is the devil. So right off the bat we are dealing with way more interesting thematics of religion and how it's used to control the people of this world. Other than that, the story is nothing new and you can probably tell where it's going to go, so I don't have that much more to say about it. It's serviceable. Nothing more,nothing less.
Same deal with the charcters, our lead is a nice guy with a dark past he tries to hide and the supporting cast did not leave that big of an imperssion after the first volume, though that might change as I continue with the series.
The pacing is really quick in this first volume, which I found odd at first but came to appreciate a lot as I kept reading. As this is, at it's core, just a typical shounen manga, getting all the plotpoints we've heard a million times out of the way quickly is a good idea. This way we get the gritty backstories, the training with the new weapon and the first major fight in these first chapters and never get bored by drawn out, repetitiv exposition. That really works when you want to keep the old tropes that everyone loves but don't want to bore us with them.
Where this maga really shines, in my opinion, is with it's presentation. The artstyle is really rich and pretty. The small details on every panel keep your eyes glued to each page and really make this world feel alive. The characterdesgins (except for some "questionable" female fashion chioces, which I will get to in a second) are also really imaginative without feeling out of place. The shading and use of light makes for very effective visual storytelling at times. In the style department this series excels.
Occasionally I even noticed some really smooth panel layout, which guides your eyes through the page perfectly, though all in all the layout was nothing too special.
One thing that DID bother me stylistically was the fanservice.
Look, I don't have anything against fanservice at all if it's used to accentuate a certain thematic point or if it's just part of what the series wants to be, but in 7th Garden it just seems to have no reason to exist. It's not trying to give you top tier waifus en masse, like with Monster Musume for example, and it also doesn't use it as a means of storytelling, like with Highschool Of The Dead. It just kind of exists. If you were to take out the fanservice it would change absolutely nothing about the series which makes it an unnecessary in my opinion. Though ultimatley it doesn't "hurt" the series, so this is just a minor complaint.
In the end I enjoyed my time with 7th Garden. The quick pacing, interesting themes and beautiful artstyle make me want to dive into this series head first. Though the needless fanservice and the generic story make me wonder if this manga will sustain itself in the longrun.
I would recommend you check out the first volume for yourself and see if it's your thing.