Table of Contents
- Animation and Art
- Final Verdict
TAGS : Action, Drama, Shounen, Vampire, Supernatural
STORY – 7/10
In your everyday world, a sudden crisis appeared. Unknown virus killed presumably everyone who was older than 13 years old. At the same time, Vampires and monsters resurfaced from the darkness, and either killed or took in the children as their livestock. In this world, we follow the story of Yuichiro Hyakuya, who wants to kill all of the vampires, as he is kept captive in their city. One day, he and his new family try to escape. His friend, Mika, devises a plan, but it fails. One of the vampires is waiting for them, killing nearly all of them, and Yuichiro is forced to escape alone by Mika. He is found by Guren, Lieutenant Colonel of Japanese Imperial Demon Army, and offered a way to kill the vampires.
Owari no Seraph, or Seraph of the End, whichever you prefer, is a story about a kid who lives for revenge upon the vampires that murdered his family. It’s been done so many times in the past, and this story is no different. It’s a story of humans vs vampires, rather dull and cliché scenario. With all that said, the plot is relatively interesting for the most part, carried by the characters, but more on that later. It’s a post-apocalyptic world filled with monsters and vampires, with 10% of humanity left, and they are the ones that fight their way through it. We get to see time and time again that Noble vampires are leagues above humans, and that they are force to be reckoned with. With that, the show manages to show that they aren’t really all talk. The blood-suckers, as they are often referred to, can, and more than likely will, kick some major ass.
Vampires aren’t the only supernatural element in this show though. The other being monsters, and Cursed Gears. Monsters need no explanation, giant creatures killing humans left and right. Cursed Gears however, are weapons with demons sealed within them. They vary from weak demons, and weak weapons, or Black Demon Series – the strongest of them all. Our characters on the human side have to struggle in a tug-of-war pretty much throughout the whole series because the demons aren’t that willing to share their power, they want to take control over the user and go berserk.
Depiction of the poast-apocalyptic scenario is really good. Everything outside the “walls” is destroyed, ruins wherever you look.
With all that bragging, the story does have some assets, like the depiction of aforementioned scenario. Yes, it’s a cliché human vs vampire theme, but it’s done in a relatively good manner, and accomplishes the task of keeping you entertained. It’s poorly paced though, as such, first episodes may get pretty boring. Also, the show struggles with keeping the tension on a episode basis. The opening spoils the survival of one of the characters, and that automatically removes any shred of tension or surprise. However, imo, this is what Twilight should’ve been, but it wasn’t. It shows vicious vampires, not the lovey-dovey kind.
Seraph of the End is carried by it’s characters. While the MC may seem pretty dull, and to be fair, he kinda is for 3/4 of the show, the side characters are just fantastic. They are keeping the show fresh and fun for the most part. Change even one of them, and the whole thing becomes..well..pretty damn bad. Their interactions are simply astonishing, especially the ones between Yuichiro, Shinoa and Guren. The latter two being one of the better designed characters this show could ever hope for, along with Mikaela. The rest is fine, and much to my surprise, get developed really well considering it’s the first part of the 2-cour show.
Vampires – the villains deserve their own mention. Throughout the show, we are shown time and time again that they aren’t just simple-minded monsters. They have their own hierarchy and ranks. Noble vampires are much more powerful than normal ones, and in order to kill them you need typically more than 1 vampire extermination unit. Their motive is world domination, but it’s the same as the human side. The catch? They feed on humans, treating them as livestock, and are much more powerful than them. Throughout the series I sometimes wondered which side should I side with, as the vampires view of the things seemed sometimes better than humans’. They are definitely one of the better written villain organisation in recent years.
Yūichirō Hyakuya – Member of Japanese Imperial Demon Army and a 16 years old teenanger. He escaped the vampire city when he was 12 years old alone, as most of his family was murdered attempting to. He was saved by Lieutenant Colonel Guren, who picked him up and trained him personally. He lives for revenge upon blood-suckers. He has dark, semi-long hair and green eyes. He is very impulsive, and usually fueled by emotions.
Shinoa Hīragi – Short, purple haired girl with rose eyes. She is 15 years old, and she is very sarcastic. She doesn’t put a lot of emotions into her words, and loves teasing people at every occasion, usually smirking right before she attempts to do so. She comes from a very well respected family, but doesn’t care about it.
Yoichi Saotome – Yoichi has medium length brown hair and green eyes. He is very friendly, kind individual with no desire of revenge. He just wants to see his friends alive, not dead. He is very altruistic, giving him a very positive outlook on the world. That in turn gives him outstanding mental balance to guard against demons that try to possess him.
Shihō Kimizuki – A 16 years old teenanger. He has short pink hair with reddish-brown eyes and wears black thick-framed glasses. He also has two piercings in his left ear. Shiho is taller than his friends. He is similar to Yuichiro in power, and as such, both of them often “bring it on” to each other. However, he cares about his friends, even though he won’t admit it.
Mitsuba Sangū – A 16 years old girl with golden-blonde hair with ponytails and purple eyes. She is the serious and by-the-book soldier who hates anyone that breaks formations or acts on his own risking his comrades life. She has tsundere tendencies, but is usually silenced or picked on by Shinoa. She takes it upon herself to teach rookies. She shows complete dislike and almost hatred towards Yuichiro, but after a while she starts to like him, but admitting otherwise.
Guren Ichinose – Guren is a tall, young man with medium length black hair and purple eyes. He is 24 years old. Guren is a wise leader who values teamwork and cooperation, determined to preserve the survival of the human race from demons and vampires. He is very lazy on the outside, but works very hard and has many secrets on the inside. He declined Yuichiro’s will to join vampire extermination unit until the latter managed to make friends.
Mikaela Hyakuya – A 16 years old teenanger, who survived the massacre in which Yuichiro managed to escape the vampire city. He was forced to live and turned into a vampire. He lives purely to save Yuichiro from humans that “are deceiving and using him” and will stop at nothing to achieve it. He has medium blonde hair and blue eyes. He is a skilled swordsman.
ANIMATION AND ART – 7/10
The animation and art for this show is pretty..dull. While the character designs are pretty good, and the demons look amazing, it’s just that. The animation is lacking to be honest, it’s not very good. It’s decent-ish. You’d expect more of an action anime, but unfortunately, it doesn’t deliver the way you want it. While characters move just fine, the fights is where it is lacking in various departments.
The art is colourful, with great attention to detail of characters. But the backgrounds are…weird. They seem out of place, and their art style is like a drawing on a paper copy-pasted into anime format. Doesn’t fit the show at all, although as a standalone it’d be fantastic.
With all of that, it’s not an ugly show. It’s very pretty, but doesn’t live up to the expectations of an action focused anime.
SOUNDTRACK – 8/10
Another strong point of the show. The soundtrack is amazing for the most part, many tunes add to the atmosphere of the post-apocalyptic world. However, sometimes there is no soundtrack when you feel it should be there. It has many songs that can be played as a standalone kept in the overall theme of the show.
The opening is beyond amazing. It’s really great, but the visuals spoil the ending of the first episode, making it useless as a tension building-type of episode. The ending itself is pretty cool, leagues below opening though.
The show is licensed by Funimation, and the dub is present. It’s your call whether or not you want to watch the show dubbed or subbed. I haven’t come around to watching it in dub yet, but I haven’t heard anything bad about it either.
FINAL VERDICT – 7.5/10
I tried hard to justify myself giving this show an 8, however, the characters and soundtrack just don’t carry it enough. Seraph of the End has an overused story, and poor pacing with decent/below expectations animation and art. It’s a very fun show to watch, definitely will keep you interested in the story, but doesn’t stand out in the slightest.
Second season is due to come out in October, luckily, because the show left many things unanswered. It’s not bad, but isn’t great either. If you’re looking for an anime that you can relax to, or just like vicious vampires, this is your show to pick!