The addition of Merlin to the Seven Deadly Sins has been implied for some time. Most of what was known about her came from a long forgotten wanted poster at the start of the series. However, it wasn’t until the most recent chapters that anything about her identity or what kind of power she wielded was detailed.
Her overall design and abilities feel as though they should be more shocking or hard to accept than they are. Her outfit holds no bearing on real physics and was designed to show off as much as humanly possible. This would be upsetting, but Nanatsu has had characters wearing that little or less before, and Merlin’s calm attitude never draws much attention to it. Her abilities are horribly broken so far, being able to wield magic stronger than the best mages and counter magic on a level reminiscent of Toaru Majutsu no Index. When placed next to abilities like a perfect counter, complete immortality and lifelike illusions, though, having anything less would almost be inappropriate.
The problem so far is that while Merlin is an interesting character, she doesn’t feel like a member of the Seven Deadly Sins. Each of the other members have the same type of quirky attitude, which comes across even in some of the more dramatic moments. While Merlin does not feel like a completely serious character, she’s yet to show why she falls into that same category. There’s not even a solid reason given why she’s the Sin of Gluttony yet. It’s still fairly early for her, so there’s a good chance she’ll receive more later on, but it’s hard to see what traits could mesh with her projected personality.
The remainder of the chapter is spent dealing with exposition regarding the events that lead to the Sins becoming fugitives. The information provided is important for the story, but having it bluntly explained to the reader like this is awkward. Dreyfus himself goes from driven by vengeance to a sobbing mess in only a few pages, which is rather sudden for one of the current leaders of the Holy Knights. Nanatsu no Taizai has had some incredible flashback chapters before, and the story of the Great Holy Knight sounds like it would have been better presented that way.
The chapter concludes on Hendricksen not only preparing to fight the Sins, but having apparently gained demonic power of his own. After everything he is stated to have done, possessing the power of demons is suitable for him. It also provides a plausible chance for someone to have an even fight with Meliodas, which has been desperately needed for a long time.
Final Flash: Not a bad chapter, although a little confusing in places.