Seraph of the End 2
If you recall back to Spring, you’ll remember that I wasn’t too impressed with Seraph of the End’s first cour of episodes. It started the Spring 2015 season with a shocking story that quickly petered out. The momentum did pick back up after a few episodes, but it never seemed to recapture the spark it had in that first episode. The ending of the first cour left us with a cliff hanger, and it left me personally with a sour taste in my mouth for the whole affair. After time to cool off on the show, it has returned with a vengeance here in the Fall. Since seeing the first episode of the second cour, I am cautiously optimistic about this show again.
They jump into the action in this first episode as Shinoa and Guren spar on a rooftop. Shinoa is angry at Guren both for the his use of Yu as a weapon, and for her sister’s death. Apparently Shinoa’s sister loved Guren, but he didn’t reciprocate her feelings and now she’s his cursed gear (sword). They don’t really get into how this was done, but I imagine it’s something we will see in the future. We also learn that Shinoa is in love with Yu, though she wont admit it to him. When the duel is over Shinoa finds Yu in a library, and it seems he’s made a full recovery. Yu seems to be looking for a way to make vampires back into humans for Mika’s sake. It is during their conversation that the Hiragi family calls Yu in for a meeting.
Guren confronts Yu before he meets with the Hiragis, and he affirms his “ownership” of our protagonist. Unfazed by Guren’s show of force, Yu then runs into Mitsuba who has been promoted by the Hiragi family. Mitsuba cries because she feels her promotion was all due to her family name, and not her merit on the battle field. Yu lays her fears to rest by assuring her that her promotion is indeed earned in his eyes, and Mitsuba in turns warns Yu to beware of the Hiragi family. Upon entering the room of his interrogation, Yu is attacked by a vampire! He dispatches his would-be murderer, and is told by a man that emerges that the vampire was a test. Due to his closness with the now vampire Mika, the Hiragi family wanted to know if Yu was a traitor. Once their fears are sated, Yu learns the man he is speaking to is none other than Kureto Hiragi, Lieutenant General of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army.
Yu fights with Kureto, and his subordinate Shinya as a test of his swordsmanship. After they assess his sword skills, the group of high ranking officers take Yu to an interogation room. Through one way glass he can see Shihou and Yoichi are have been beaten and tied to chairs. Yu is told that he is to answer truthfully or his friends will be met with more torment. Through this line of questioning Kureto deduces that Yu was a lab-rat in his youth due to the orphanage he was raised in. Once the questioning is over Yu harshly rebukes Kureto’s methods of gathering intelligence, and we see him moving closer to Guren’s side. Guren and Kureto apparently have no love lost between them, and this in turn has somewhat split the army. The show closes with a scene of Ferid tempting Mika with a child’s blood, and mentioning the Progenitor Council that Mika will soon attend.
A rather extreme start to the season, but then this show has done extreme beginnings in the past. We can only hope that the tempo it has set stays the same, and that they don’t randomly cut out action scenes. One thing that did bother me was the torture scene, not because of the nature of the act but because of how strangely it was animated. There were two parts where the torturers were commanded to “continue”, and they sort of stabbed or cut them. It was oddly animated and I was left confused as to whether they were giving them paper cuts, or if these guys were perforating main characters. Other than that mishap the animation was stellar, and even the short fight sequences were entertaining. I’m left with a sense of hope for the rest of this show, though I admit I’d be a lot more hopeful if Yu was less stupid and Mika was less alive.
Why the Mika hate? Well let me answer that question with a slightly off topic question. Where the hell was Krul this episode? The vampire queen is absent from this first episode entirely! What was the one thing I said in the previews? More Krul! This a drastic decline in Krul Tepes levels I was hoping for. Ahem… now the reason I hate Mika is because I feel that the reason for Krul’s possible downfall will be this worthless character. He’ll play right into Ferid’s hand, by accident of course (he’s not smart enough to be devious), and Krul will fall with him. For this I am predisposed to despising Mika, and his unwillingness to be even slightly intelligent. Then again his friend Yu is just as idiotic, but he’s the main character of a shonen so it’s expected of him.
I know for all the hate I give some of the characters it might seem like I dislike the show, but I assure you I plan on following “Seraph of the End” till its… end I suppose. I’m not a fan of shonen anime, and despite its darker themes this show reeks of the genre. Still now that I’m invested in a cour of it I have to follow it till it ends, or until the moment I can no longer stand to watch it. If it becomes an epic the second option might come sooner rather than later. If you’re interested, and haven’t seen the first cour, Funimation has the whole series. If nothing else watch the very first episode, as it was the best thus far. I’ll keep you up to date on my thoughts on this Vampire vs Demons anime as the fall season progresses. Till this anime’s next episode…
Arigatō my fellow BrOtaku!