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SERVAMP – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「Deal With」by OLDCODEX

 

「真昼とクロ」 (Mahiru to Kuro)
“Mahiru and Kuro”

Another show about vampires, supernatural creatures mixed with shounen. This is essentially what SERVAMP is, except it’s actually a shoujo manga adaptation! I guess that means it’s hopping on that bandwagon of attracting the attention of teenyboppers – and I probably am one at heart. SERVAMP starts off with our main character, Shirota Mahiru (Terashima Takuma) picking up a stray cat and naming him Kuro (Kaji Yuki); because he’s a black obviously. Returning home after school, Mahiru finds out that not only is his cat, not a cat, but he’s a vampire! Oh my gosh, what a shocker! Mahiru accidentally calls his “cat”, Kuro out loud and forms a temporary contract with him through the magic of… magic and he tries to convince his friends that his cat is a vampire. Just as his friends think he’s crazy, another CRAZIER vampire shows up and almost kills Mahiru’s friend. In order to defeat this new vampire, named Belkia (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu), Mahiru makes a formal contract with Kuro by letting him drink his blood. Kuro defeats Belkia – but doesn’t kill him and Mahiru basically passes out shortly after. There’s a lot of other stuff that happened in this premiere but let’s roll with that as the basis of our story. And if you thought that synopsis was fast, please watch the anime.

It’s incredible just how much they’ve managed to cram into 30 minutes and the story feels like its skipped so much in order to finish off where it did. First of all, Mahiru was an orphan after his mom passed away and while this was pretty much a given in the first 2 mins, the anime hammered that fact in when it replayed his flashbacks at least 3 times this episode. Did the audience really need to see that scene repeated every few minutes? Probably not, but I guess you’ll never forget it now and it might play a bigger role in the story later. Kuro is – exactly what he is – a lazy cat. He hasn’t drank blood in over a century and he has a supernatural ability that looks like Wolverine’s massive claws. He comes a “servant” after he drinks Mahiru’s blood and I think that means he also feeds off of him now in order to gain power and strength. There’s not a lot of explanations given about their roles and what this all means yet – however, the show does spend a split minute to explain that servant + vampier = servamp! I don’t claim my Engrish is perfect but hmmm… if you’re going to put another language in your show, at least get the spelling correct.

The characters are not too original for the most part and the show feels very cookie-cutter to all the other supernatural shows that I’ve seen. It reminds me a lot of Blood Lad or Tokyo ESP which includes all these supernatural characters with a mixture of action and comedy. The anime certainly leans more comedic than serious and compared to a lot of other shows out there, it just doesn’t have that uniqueness that leaves an impact. It’s entertaining and it held my attention the whole time, but not in the same way Re: Zero does. Literally nothing is explained as it goes and facts are just handed to you to be taken at face value – “Oh he’s a vampire!”; “Oh, but he’s also a cat…”; “And he hasn’t drank blood in over 100 years but now he does? Whattttt…?” So the pacing and writing can be improved immensely in order for me to feel invested in SERVAMP.

Now the premiere wasn’t all terrible – at least it was entertaining. I do love my vampire series and this one has all of that, plus an adorable vampire cat. Kuro has your typical cool, aloof, and bad boy type of vampire – while Mahiru is your boy-next-door with a traumatic past but still nice deep-down. I think their duo dynamics will be interesting (if nothing else, funny and cute to watch) and while they’re not deeply complex or interesting individually, together they can’t be boring. I can’t say much for the side characters, nor the villain yet but if the OP is any indication, I’m expecting crazier things to happen. In the end, would I keep watching? On a Tuesday, why not? But my expectation levels aren’t through the roof and the show’s likability really depends on your taste for the supernatural, comedic fluff.

Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: This is late but… finally got around to watch #Servamp. It was alright – nothing spectacular or notable but still entertaining for 30 mins. Super attracted to the bad boy type… and vampires. Apparently that’s my thing >_> #Servamp

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「sunlight avenue」 by 寺島拓篤 (Takuma Terashima)

Preview

July 7, 2016 at 6:26 pm
11 comments »
  • July 7, 2016 at 8:22 pmHenrietta

    This is like the 5th homolust anime on randomc this season.

    What happened? Demographic shift?

    • July 8, 2016 at 10:56 amTuts

      more like blogger shift, less hetero males, more females, and I’m not sure where does samu swing, gay or bi.

    • July 8, 2016 at 4:38 pmBlue

      The mangaka’s works aside, I wouldn’t exactly call this homolust yet since so far there really has been nothing substantial enough to constitute a shounen-ai label. Or even a BL vibes label in my opinion. I’m sure many people will disagree with me about that, but is masculinity really so fragile that you can’t have two male leads without it being gay, gay, gay?

      • July 10, 2016 at 8:27 pmAnon

        So, you wouldn’t label him calling his male master “Eve” as leaning towards homolust? It seems really blatant to me.

        This is only the first episode and the shounen-ai undertones are already looking more like overtones. If it quacks like a duck, it’s probably a complete homo.

  • July 7, 2016 at 8:26 pmzztop

    Servamp’s source manga is apparently the mangaka’s first non-yaoi/non-boys love title.

    The shoujo target audience likely means an emphasis on a nearly all-male cast to satisfy their target girl readers (like a manga with cute/sexy girls aimed at male readers).

    • July 7, 2016 at 9:07 pmPancakes

      Considering the writer a lot of the imagery here starts making sense.

      Vampires were always a huge draw for girls, but this one flips the script on its head. Almost all the basic girl-oriented supernatural series feature a sub/dom relationship, where the girl is the self insert and entranced by the supernatural guy (who never really commits, but always professes some form of interest). Servamp though seems to be going for “taming the alpha” by having the self insert control and dominate the guy who can have no else but her him. Couple this with the obvious yaoi allusions and it’s pretty potent chick crack.

      I might give this one or two more episodes, but mostly to see how the vampires work. Sometimes you get an interesting twist or two for such things.

  • July 7, 2016 at 9:18 pmET

    Really bland first episode. Aside from the hilarious Engrish (vampier, really?), there’s nothing really special here. The animators also couldn’t decide if Kuro is a chibi or a human-sized person in his human form since he alternates between both during the episode. ED is also an obvious ripoff of Kekkai Sensen.

    • July 8, 2016 at 11:42 amTuts

      I’d take this over Owari no Seraph anyday, that shit was so generic i could vomit for days if i kept watching it

    • July 8, 2016 at 8:01 pmstarss

      The alternating forms come from the manga actually. I think this is just so-so direction.

  • July 8, 2016 at 2:16 amJayDrink

    Yuki Kaji did an awesome job as Kuro though.

  • July 8, 2016 at 8:01 pmstarss

    Another of the mangas I actually read, which is very rare. Overall, the story felt a bit fanfictiony to me, like the writer tried to find all these ways of incorporating hot young boys into different supernatural roles, with a delinquenty, edgy tone. The anime carries that over in spades with the heavy metal OP, and the tough, grizzly atmosphere in the episode proper. I do like the soothing ED!