Trinity Seven – Honesty is the Best Policy

This season has had quite a few harem anime… some less obvious about it than others. But none that I’ve watched this season, or really ever before, have embraced this genre quite like Trinity Seven.

Trinity Seven stars Arata Kasuga, a perverted young man with incredible magic potential. At the start of our story he’s living with his cousin Hijiri, and while walking to school with her he notices the sun is black. While wondering at that, since it seems strange to him, a strange girl walks by and tells him he to wake up or she’ll kill him. Stranger still… she disappears and Hijiri didn’t seem to see anything…

Trinity Seven’s best feature is the fact that it doesn’t try to cover up what it is. Trinity Seven is a fantasy harem anime, and it utilizes both of these genres to the fullest. It maintains the intrigue of a unique magic system while also successfully pulling off the humour of an incredibly self-aware harem anime… where Kanojo ga Flag wo Oretara failed, Trinity Seven succeeds by not trying to pretend at any point that it has only one focus.

Execute Thema

In Trinity seven, you get a full on fantasy story complete with a magic system based around the seven deadly sins and mystical research. I kind of wish they’d make a game or something using this system, because I think there’s a lot of potential here, but it’s not explored nearly enough to say for sure. Mages at the various mage schools devote themselves to researching a specific subject, known as their Thema (theme), associated with one of the seven Archives – the seven deadly sins. Their Thema and Archive determines the style of magic they have access to.

For example, one of the characters researches Justitia – justice – within the Ira Archive – pride. Her magic is focused on negating and countering dangerous magics, which allows her to be the head of the school’s security. It’s quite interesting, and although the lack of time to really focus on it makes a lot of things seem kind of arbitrary, it has a ton of potential and I, for one, would really like to see more.

Gotta Catch ’em All

And no, I don’t mean pokemon… Arata is, during the first episode, advised by the school’s headmaster that if he can ‘make the Trinity Seven his pawns’ he will learn a lot about magic very quickly. To clear this up… the Trinity Seven are seven female master mages at the school who each represent the pinnacle of their respective Archives. They are Lilith Asami, Arin Kannazuki, Levi Kazama, Mira Yamana, Akio Fudō, Yui Kurata, and Lieselotte Sherlock.

So yes, from the first episode the show makes it absolutely, abundantly clear that this is a harem anime. And the main character embraces the task, immediately setting to work on Lilith – the strange girl mentioned in the intro – and Levi, who is the second that he meets. The characters are constantly making jokes poking at Lilith’s prudeness or Arata’s perversions. One of the characters even blatantly asks Arata if he’s into harems… it is this type of self-awareness that you just simply don’t see often enough.

Visualize

I’ve already spoken to the quality of the magic system, but I just wanted to call to attention the detail in this show’s presentation. While I wouldn’t say the effects used for the magic and everything are treading new territory, they are very well done. The animations, visual effects, and design decisions behind the various abilities are all very fitting.

More notably, though, most of the characters’ Magus Mode transformations – which can basically be read as a battle uniform – are pretty cool. Lilith and Liese are probably my least favourites since they’re pretty much just going for raw sex appeal, but the rest of them all have really interesting designs. I particularly enjoyed Mira’s, Levi’s, and Arin’s even though they were a lot more tame than you might expect from a harem anime.

From the Archive

Now I’m going to say something that will likely shock you all… Trinity Seven’s story is actually pretty solid. Ya, you get all the expected scenes… but within those are glimmers of a really interesting concept. I really hope we get a second season of this, because there is some very fertile ground to be explored based within the loose ends left off at the end of the first season. More important than just having an interesting story though is the fact that they actually paced it quite well. Progress flows fluidly and the story develops at a good pace. Every episode has something happening that reveals more of the story – both immediate and long-term – builds the harem, and establishes the world.

Overall

In all honesty, this is what a harem anime should be. With great humour and by being aware of what it really is, it is able to exploit its strengths to great effect. It creates characters that are interesting beyond simply their part within the harem, it tells a story that is strong enough that it could potentially stand on its own, and it creates a fantasy world that has me incredibly curious. This reminds me a lot of Sabagebu from the summer season, and that is among the highest praise I can give. This show is hilarious, it’s honest, and it’s exciting… and if you can tolerate a lot of crude humour and some very suggestive scenes, you’ll be in for a real treat here.