Simplistically but beautifully animated, playing with action, humor and an irreverent tone, Scissor Seven is a surprisingly engaging Chinese anime with much more to offer than first impressions suggest.
This review of Scissor Seven (Netflix) is spoiler-free.
While I’m still not sure who, exactly, Scissor Seven (Netflix) is for, I’m certain whoever it is will get an awful lot out of it. A Chinese anime originally titled Killer Seven — like that massively underrated Suda51 game from before he got lazy — and chronicling the exploits of an unlikely amnesiac assassin who charges a fair price for his services, this is a very well-made and surprisingly deft show, all fourteen ten-ish-minute episodes of which debuted globally on Netflix today.
Mostly frame-by-frame and hand-drawn, the simplistic art and animation is nonetheless a pleasure to gawp at, and is an obvious labor of love. That kind of craftsmanship belongs in a show so deceptively simple in concept but refreshingly exact in execution. Scissor Seven is largely a comedy series that lends an equal degree of precision to its jokes, with a fine balance of tone and the ability to keep you looking at the left hand while the right busies itself setting up the next gag. Telekinetic scissor-wielding hairdresser Wu Liuqi is a funny enough creation on a conceptual level, but the humor runs through every aspect of the show, including the action.
The episodes — which mostly work as both standalone shorts and pieces of a larger puzzle — breeze by, messing around with tone and genre to varied effect, while solid English-language voice acting and a great soundtrack keep Scissor Seven compelling on an auditory level. While ultimately a bit too slight and perhaps unoriginal in its broad strokes to qualify as great, this is nonetheless very good indeed, and an undeniable win for Chinese animation.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.