Welcome anime fans near and far to another week of Otaku Digest! The spring anime season is drawing to a close, which makes us sad here at The Arcade, but it means playing catch-up on the amazing amounts of series that we came across this season. It also means that a brand new season of possibilities is starting! Previously I mentioned the unanticipated amount of series that I fell hard and fast for, but this season I’m on a mission to play catch-up so I can see whether they truly were worthy of high praise or if I was just on some kind of anime high. This week, I am tackling Owari no Seraph or Seraph of the End.
Owari no Seraph or Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign originally began airing on the 4th of April and recently aired the final episode of the first season on the 20th of June. It is a shounen, drama and supernatural anime.
Imagine all things are normal and then one day a mysterious man-made virus rips through the world, wiping away the human race as we know it. The only survivors are children. In the aftermath of the devastating virus, a new danger decides to arise; vampires emerge and decide to sweep over the earth that they claim is theirs. The surviving children are all captured and enslaved; they’re taken underground and become walking, breathing meals for the vampires to feast on whenever they feel like it. Think meals-on-wheels but with children. While the kids are convinced they are there for their own protection, orphan boy Yūichirō Hyakuya and his orphan friend Mikaela know better, and they plan to escape with their adopted orphan family. Naturally, this leads to disastrous circumstances which results in the deaths of Yūichirō Hyakuya’s companions, leaving him the only escaped survivor. On the outside, he discovers the Moon Demon Company, a unit dedicated to exterminating vampires. Yūichirō joins them and vows to avenge his family.
If anyone remembers way back when, I actually watched the first episode of this anime before, and I remember loving every moment. From that first, powerful opening scene, I was hooked. I loved the opening theme as it gives the viewer a really good feel of the tone of the anime, but one glaring negative was blatantly apparent to me; it is rife with spoilers, and I mean major spoilers. However, just make sure you skip a bit if that kind of thing ruins an anime for you.
This series is so well put together from narrative to characters to animation. The narrative, although seemingly simple as it is put forward as a revenge story, has so many more aspects to it that twists and turns more than a country road. That first episode only gives you a glimpse into what is to come in this anime and, yes, there is the vampire side of things but there is so much more going on with demons and other beings. Even with the massive spoiler from the opening theme, and I don’t want to reveal too much here, but they do an excellent thing in keeping two different flowing narratives in the series from the perspective of two of the characters. Yu may be our main protagonist, but his story is told from being on the outside among his fellow humankind, whereas the other narrative thread is told from the vampire perspective, and it is done brilliantly. Both think they are the safer with the side they are on. It is so gripping because you, as the viewer, are rooting for both sides yet finding it hard to pick a side as you see the cruelty going on within both. This anime has such a strong family bond concept running through it that it does make you appreciate what you have and what it could be like to lose it.
It’s very character driven; they managed to develop their characters carefully, while making sure each have time to fully develop, even in such a short episode span. Taking a look at the main protagonist here, Yūichirō Hyakuya; he comes off as the usual revenge-seeking hothead leading character. He actually doesn’t take on the cliché role; he comes off as being unsympathetic and even arrogant, but you really feel his pain. As he thinks or speaks about the loss of his family, his pain runs deep and he keeps up this front to hide it from others. There is also this running gag within the series, and it’s hard to tell whether it was intentional or not, about every living woman having a crush on him. Nearly every female character winds up falling head over heels for him. It actually brings nice light hearted moments into the anime that can be quite dark at times.
This was one of the anime I was really excited to catch up on; its first episode really stood out to me to the point where I actually remembered it fully coming back and watching it again. Owari no Seraph is, in my opinion, a perfectly blended anime; it has action packed scenes, emotional content, a very strong narrative, some comedic aspects and beautiful animation, and you literally cannot go wrong with it. It only loses points for the spoiler-filled opening.
A perfectly blended anime for any fan to see: 8/10
If any of you anime fans out there are headed to Arcade Con on the 3rd – 5th of July, you can catch Otaku Digest’s Anime All-Stars in the screening room on Sunday from 10am – 1pm! We hope to see you there!
What spring anime series have you been watching? Let us know in the comments!