Spring 2015: Owari no Seraph
Another high-profile anime this season is Owari no Seraph, or Seraph of the End in English. I want to think it has potential, despite the flaws. I really do. Hence, it was the second anime I gave a go this season.
In the last few years, a few tropes have risen to popularity in the anime world. I’m talking about the tendency to kill characters left and right. Death has lost all meaning in anime, and side characters have literally become cannon fodder. Instead of killing one slightly more important character, anime creators opt to murder dozens of basically nameless side-characters. It was refreshing for me in Shingeki no Kyojin. But ever since then, it happens in almost every serious anime.
Owari no Seraph itself has an interesting premise. All adults suddenly die of a deadly disease, and all kids under the age of 13 get taken in by the vampires, to live as livestock. They can’t escape, and the treatment they get is far from kind. Nevertheless, we get the ambitious main character, Hyakuya Yuuichirou, who dreams of killing all the vampires. Pretty big words for a 12-year-old kid.
Yuuichirou was an orphan all along. Together with other kids from his orphanage, he was caught by the vampires 4 years ago. Now they live together in confinement, where Yuuichirou’s best friend Mikaela is giving his blood to a vampire noble. The whole situation reeks of child prostitution. However, getting better treatment isn’t Mikaela’s only goal. He gets the noble’s trust and finally steals a gun and a map of the vampire city. That night, the kids decide to escape.
As they reach the exit, they are met by that same noble, laughing at the foolish kids. He proceeds to kill all children except Yuuichirou and Mikaela. This is what I was talking about. If that didn’t happen so often in anime, it might have been impactful. Now it’s just a predictable and unavoidable scene. There’s just no way for those innocent and hopeful kids to survive. Because we need despair. Because despair is “deep”. Anyway, this makes the two remaining guys rage, and Mikaela attempts to kill the vampire with the stolen gun, just to have his stomach pierced and hand cut off. The job is instead finished by our protagonist, who shoots the vampire in the head. And so they’re all dead. Crying, Yuuichirou runs for his life and bumps into some human fanatics outside, who start talking about a prophecy and the boy’s identity without delay, as if they know the anime’s script by heart.
The art is something I like. On one hand we have the beautiful character designs and smooth animation (especially during action scenes). On the other hand we have the artistic painted backgrounds, befitting the depressing atmosphere of the vampire city. The voice actors chosen for the main roles aren’t too unoriginal either.
Another thing I’d like to mention is the music. Sawano Hiroyuki makes very good music. Just like Hanazawa Kana is a very good seiyuu. But that doesn’t mean you have to put him everywhere. I feel like I’ll start disliking his creations if I’ll hear them in a bunch of other series this year. Everything good is good in moderation. That said, the music is quite fitting.
Owari no Seraph has potential. The key is to not throw that potential out of the window. And that shouldn’t be too hard with an anime that is so much like Shingeki no Kyojin (*cough* rip-off *cough*). I’ll continue watching it, and am already looking forward to the next week, when more main characters will be introduced.
Posted on April 5, 2015, in Anime, First impressions, TV and tagged anime, first impression, hakuya mikaela, hakuya yuuichirou, owari no seraph, seraph of the end, spring 2015, TV, vampires, virus. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.