Seraph of the End Review

PLEASE, PEOPLE! It’s not Attack on Titan. It’s not even close. Sure, the main character wants to kill every last one from the enemy side – that is pretty close to Eren Yeager’s passion, though Eren is a much more dimensional character. Seraph of the End is absolutely, without a doubt nothing like the famous Titan-smashing epic, and I can confirm that by this first half alone.

Vampires crawled out of the chaos that emerged from a mysterious disease that spread like wildfire. With this disease wiping out all humans older than age 13, the scheming vampires subjugated the remaining youth like livestock, keeping them huddled together in fear as they sucked their blood whenever needing to.

Orphan Hyakuya Yuichirou survives in the slums under vampire rule. Yu hates them with a passion, but when they threaten his orphan family, his rage ignites, and he dreams to kill all of the vampires. Every last one.

Episode one of this anime is by far one of the best first episodes I’ve seen to date. Entrancing mood, exhilarating pace, musty and dark setting – you’ll easily be amazed! Not to mention, the end leaves you with such gushing emotions you can only hope they build up as the series progresses . . .

Sadly, nope. Episode two abandons our gloomy vampire paradise to bring us, yes, our overused high school setting. Ughhh. Just wait, it gets a little better, for as soon as the next couple of episodes are over, we return to the frontlines but with opposition in mind and a “Cursed Gear” in our hands. These strangely overpowered demon weapons turn vampires into dust after a single hit! Now, our true story unveils itself as we follow the Moon Demon Company, a vampire resistance team among others composed of Yu and his new friends, which sets out to eradicate the enemy in this post-apocalyptic Japan.

I admit that after episode one I, was incredibly depressed to witness a more stereotypical yet simply conventional plot. Had they taken out the whole school training thing and spent more time rescuing some encaged children and building characters this way, then I could consider forgiving the series. At least the latter half returned some interest, though very little.

Seraph‘s cast is cliché. The cocky protagonist, the “friend” that bickers with the protagonist even though they’re close buds, the shy boy, the tsundere, the a**hole chief – it’s all there, trust me. Mikaela, Yu’s orphan brother, does stray from the norm, but there’s not enough screen time of him to uncover layers of depth. Yu himself, albeit narrow-minded, still manages to be an entertaining character for me. There is, however, one individual that stands out more than Mr. OP Shounen.

Her name is Shinoa, the female protagonist whose sarcasm and merry wit stands out as a new character type for me. She’s amazing with the scythe, which would be cooler if we saw more, but Shinoa also always seems to know what’s going on (besides the end). Her ability to remain above everyone else yet not be annoying makes her interesting to watch. Hayami Saori portrays her charming mannerisms and constant teasing with little sardonic bolts of high-pitched laughter, a joy to listen to every time! 😉

The art is absolutely phenomenal!! Sharp, bold, eye candy characters against soft pastel building ruins and sunsets adds so much to the “devastated world” theme. Actual animation by Wit Studio (Attack on Titan with Production I.G.), however, sucks the bum hole. Action scenes are super awkward, as one moment you’ll watch a soldier holding up a sword to a vampire, then we skip to a character monologuing for five minutes, afterwards flashing back to view the characters in the same pose. Who decided to choreograph this, cause this is literally so awful! There are a few neat sequences involving the Cursed Gear, but that’s all you will get from the animation.

One of the main reasons I stuck with this series was for the music, but like most of it so far, I was tragically disappointed. It’s quite true to say that it’s “just more Hiroyuki Sawano,” as one reviewer put it, but it also lacks impact and stand alone pieces I’ve come to expect from him. My biggest complaint wasn’t the low quality of the tracks, though rather the placement of them. During sit-down dialogue or transitions we get music, and that’s great, yet during the hype of battle (which already suffers from lazy animation), sometimes nothing is playing!! That’s just outrageous considering the stakes! Besides the awesome techno opening “X.U.” by SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]:Gemie, there just wasn’t much going for the soundtrack.

Seraph of the End is by no means a bad show – heck no! I found enjoyment in the characters Yu, Mika and Shinoa (occasionally from Guren, a possibly back-stabbing adult . . .), the art and the music (wherever it was).From a reviewer’s point of view, the show is a terrible pile of plot holes and poor storytelling. The whole time I felt like I was being teased, much like Shinoa does to “baka Yu.” Samples of smooth animation and intense music are few and far between, enough to tie you over until the next quality moment.  Just from a casual watcher, however, I’d conclude that the show was fairly entertaining.

Thus, I will leave Seraph of the End with a “Coffee” rating (6 ish/10) and a recommendation to NOT watch it until the hopeful second season clears this mess up (Krul Tepes do something!). I will be following the second season which airs in the fall, but do note that my interest level is already scraping the damp cobblestones in front of young Yu and Mika’s home.

“I don’t ever wanna say I survived because I left someone else to die ever again!!”- Yuichiro Hyakuya

+ Sharp, bold characters against pastel backgrounds make for phenomenal art

+Shinoa’s youthful, sarcastic, easy-going yet witty personality is a new character type

+ Thrilling first episode; final episode leaves off on a good note, one refreshed and ready for a sequel

– Fine premise, very sloppy focus so far

– Most action scenes are flat and awkward

– Music not timed/placed as well – not as effective

What did you think of this spring’s Seraph of the End? It’s only the first cour, and hopefully the second is much better than this one. Still entertaining though ~ I hope my review was interesting! I appreciate all of the likes you guys leave me and the follows are also super helpful 😀 Until next time, this has been

– Takuto, your host

15 thoughts on “Seraph of the End Review

  1. This is kind of funny, just finished watching it yesterday night and was planning to write a review today xD but I agree with everything (especially the battle stuff, I had to hold myself back from pulling out my hairs, this is war! But it didn’t feel like it…) Lol I really like Shinoa too but I’m hoping it doesn’t take a too romancy feel with her and yu, I liked their banter but for her to suddenly be blushy…hmmmm

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s also the threat of Shinoa interfering with the fanbase: clearly people, it’s Yu x Mika, Shinoa is her own thing :3 I know you fancy that kind of romance after reading that Aldnoah.Zero post of yours. Haha, fanfic steals so many of my hours!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Haha yes I’m a yu x mika :3 but even if there’d been some sort of dvp with the romance I wouldn’t have been too harsh (maybe) lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL, maybe. I won’t lie, I thought Shinoa would fall for Mika, but run I realized how that wouldn’t really work considering that Yu and Mika have been longing to see each other. I’m curious as to the direction this second season will head in, too bad we have to wait until the fall. Thanks for the comments by the way! I’m glad you enjoyed the review!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m curious about the second season too! Ah I hope it gets better or at least a bit more interesting xP it’s one series I was disappointed with haha yes yes I enjoyed 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t watched the anime adaptation, but I have read the first volume of the manga. I liked the first chapter, but it started to lose me when the story shifted to a high school. Good to hear that the setting changes to the front lines after that. Not sure why people compare it to AOT. I agree that they are nothing alike aside from the studio animating it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, right! Why the hell is this compared to Attack on Titan? This is a Dark Fantasy anime series and Attack on Titan is a Fantasy.

      If that wasn’t all. Attack on Titan has giants, the titans who eat humans while this has vampires who abuse humans and keep them like oppressed. In general, these are unlike story setups. My guess is people very much want this to be the next Attack on Titan. Something that don’t exactly see happening. The manga, yes, but not with the anime.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. To disclose, Takuto, I am not in consensus with you on the first episode being all that great but pretty much everything else. Part of the reason, I held a sort of disdain for Seraph of the End in anime form is the lazy cinematography and animation. Sure the anime setting backdrops are pretty impressive but when the animation is so awkward that dampens my enthusiasm toward the anime adaptation. It hurts precisely over me seeing the manga series and knowing it could have been directed in a more spectacular way.

    Another thing I am sort of in disagreement with you but that could be our preferences in what we look for in character profiling in anime is I thought the cast especially Yuu were charming. I guess I have a thing for rebellious main characters. Rebellious anything. I find that attractive!

    Oh, and I love how you gave a possible perspective from a reviewer’s point of view and a casual watcher’s point of view! Please, do more of that. I wonder why I have never thought of that myself when I do reviews. But, yeah, I am sure some would enjoy the series regardless if the cinematography and overall direction is uninspired. Yet, as a reviewer I cannot be sympathetic at all because not only is it terrible but I was looking forward to actually seeing my favorite series rendered into anime. Regardless, if the series was adapted closely to the manga or not. I could care less about the anime following the manga series like others in the anime/manga community but in general I am saddened that it wasn’t given a chance to flourish in anime form.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The lazy animation, though pretty, was definitely one of the weakest points, considering the studio hype. And I must have made that unclear: Yu is a very cool guy! I enjoy rebellious characters, too, considering that some of my favorite characters are Eren Yeager, Satsuki Kiryuin, Asuka Langley Soryu and many more. But yes, charming is one way to put it; I enjoyed Yu a lot!

      And I’ve never read the manga. I usually stick to anime only, so I cannot chime in on your other disagreements. I’m glad you found my alternative viewpoint enjoyable! I’ll try to add posts like that more often, considering that I am more fan-based than reviewer-based, though I do love a good analysis.

      I’m sorry we had different views – I suppose we can both look forward to the second season, and hope for the best that this all gets patched up *fingers crossed*

      Thanks for your views! I love hearing from you, Cassandra!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I guess I’m one of those people who related this too much to Attack on Titan (it was the first post I made on my blog xD), but that was really only a comparison of the central trios and their character dynamics. My greater problem with the series was that it seemed to glorify those tropes too much rather than focus on the interesting world and premise, which felt glossed over with basic expository dialogue.

    I really liked how you made it clear that being critical of this show would make it crumble, but being casual about it keeps it more entertaining (especially if you’re a fan of the cliches they exploit). It reminds me that since I watched Attack on Titan before making anime criticism one of my internet mainstays, I haven’t really had a ‘reviewer’s point of view’ of that yet. I’ll have to give AoT another go someday to see how my impression thus far holds up.

    Great review. Looking forward to reading more from you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Firstly, I love the hell out of Attack on Titan! Wooot!

      I did compare it at first like everyone else. I mean, trio of characters (brash, skilled/mostly silent, and coward/planner), same studio minus Production I.G. assistance, same dude doing the music, a race of enemies that, though they don’t eat people, they suck the blood – Who wouldn’t try to make a comparison?? It’s super obvious at first, so don’t feel bad!

      After going a few episodes in, however, we start to realize that they are
      1) not going to flesh out the world much more
      2) not going to explain the Cursed Gear/Four Horsemen of John (was it John? I can’t even remember)
      3) not going to develop the characters as well as AoT did

      Yeah, I added in that double view thing and apparently a lot of you guys liked it – which is good! That just means more text I’ll have to add to an already probably dreadfully long post LOL

      Thank you so much for the comment, the like and the follow!!! I’m even more glad that you enjoyed my review 🙂 I’m looking forward to hearing more from you as well, as I hope you become a regular here at the cafe!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, the cursed gear was the real turning point for me, that and the giant monsters. I just screamed ‘marketing ploy!’ and nothing afterwards kept any of my prior interest. xD

        Enjoying your style and how we have a lot of similar taste. I’ll probably be frequenting this cafe often. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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