When all of the humans over the age of thirteen mysteriously died, vampires emerged from the shadows to claim the world and protect the remains of their food source, but not all of humanity is happy with the change!
Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign (Season One)
What did you watch?
So, this was another rare find in that I read the manga before watching the anime. Also, with my love of vampires and dark fantasy, I was pretty sure it was a guaranteed win. Anyhow, for the letter S of my A to Z Anime Challenge, I chose to watch Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign. Once I had decided I was going to do this challenge, I locked this one in and put it off until I got to the letter S. It’s a twenty-four-episode season and knowing the source material, I knew that even that wouldn’t be enough to cover everything, so I was curious to see how far it got. As usual, there will be spoilers.
One day a mysterious virus swept across the world, killing everyone over thirteen years of age, instantly! With only children left behind, the vampires emerged from their underground cities and claimed the remnants of humanity. They had to protect their food source after all. With the children gathered up inside their cities, they began a process to collect their blood and reclaim the world. Some areas were less cooperative and the Japanese Imperial Demon Army was at the forefront of that.
Yu and Mika were friends before the apocalypse and were quickly captured by the vampires, along with the other children in their orphanage. Yu hated the vampires and that Mika met with a noble, Ferid Bathory. However, Mika had acquired a map and a gun and planned to escape with their family. The day presented itself and they headed off to the surface, only Ferid was waiting for them and wasn’t about to let a bunch of human children get the better of him.
What did you think?
There was a lot that I liked and some stuff that I didn’t, which is probably true of most things. That said, I usually end up feeling one way or the other overall, but this one has me sitting in the middle. I love the manga and how dark and apocalyptic it is, but I’m also not a huge fan of Yu and Mika. For me, the vampires and demons are far more interesting. There are also a few episodes at the beginning of the series that takes place in a high school… seriously! I’m just glad it didn’t keep that going for long, but it also annoyed me in the manga.
What was your favourite moment?
I loved the arc in the second half where they attempted to kill a number of vampire nobles and claim an area for humanity. Everything appeared to be going well for Yu and his squad. They even managed to take down a high-ranking noble, but when they went to the rendezvous point, they learnt that most of the others had been captured and were being held hostage by Crowley Eusford, Ferid’s close friend. The action was excellent and Crowley is a great character, displaying all the confidence you’d expect from someone so powerful and with so much experience.
What was your least favourite moment?
I get it that they are children, but to think they could just walk out the front door of the vampire city was absurd. There was a scene where they were walking along, smiling and talking without a care in the world. Well, they soon regretted that. Good old Ferid showed up to teach them a lesson that they wouldn’t soon forget. It was a brutal lesson and was fairly shocking, but I was still annoyed that they didn’t seem to take the danger seriously.
Who was your favourite character?
Crowley Eusford is excellent. I love how laid-back and nonchalant he is. Even when fighting, he will glance at his colleagues and smile, meanwhile, his opponent is doing everything they can to try and land a blow on him. I also enjoy the way he interacts with Ferid and the schemes they all seem to have on the go. On top of the action and post-apocalyptic delights, they are all scheming. It makes for lots of twists and turns, and with the manga going well past the end of the anime, there’s a lot more to come.
Who was your least favourite character?
This is probably one of my biggest problems with the series and that is Yu. I don’t understand his character at all and mostly because he seems to flip-flop all other the place. One minute, he’s the angsty teenager who rebels against all authority and the next, he’s this beacon of hope who is making friends with the demon that possesses his sword. In short, his character just seemed to change to fit the scenario and rather than having to deal with anything, he was always the right person to do so at that point. I also found it crazy how many times he pretty much killed himself because of his need to do something…
Would you like some more?
I really enjoyed the manga and did like the anime, but it wasn’t as dark as the manga, which is a fairly significant part of it. If anything the anime made it feel more like a shounen series. I’m not sure if it’s the colour or how loud and shouty the heroes get in the animated versions. Obviously, someone yelling and screaming in a manga isn’t as imposing as in the anime. I would like some more, but I’m also fine with just reading the manga too. If they make another season, however, I will absolutely watch it.
What have you learnt?
I do like the idea of the weapons possessed by demons making them stronger and how the user could interact with the demon in a realm outside of space and time. It was possibly in their head, but it had the potential to run at a different rate of time. I have used something similar in the drafts for my series but as a part of a magic system rather than a weapon. It could be a really interesting way to break up the action and be able to reflect on things, especially if there is an entity that resides in this space. There’s definitely a lot of potential to play around with his idea.