It’s safe to say that Owari no Seraph is becoming more typical as it goes on, revelling in every shonen cliché you could possibly think of. If you’re a fan of shonen action series, then this is everything you’d want, but if you’ve grown tired of the genre then this may just feel like a rehash of what you’ve already seen before. This episode – more than the others, I’d say – embraced everything you’d expect from your average battle shonen, sprinkled it with some vampire spice, and wrapped it in a gloomy and dark package. As someone who still gets a kick out of these anime, I can’t say necessarily any of this is a bad thing. Have I seen it done better? For sure. I wouldn’t label Owari no Seraph as the next big thing, or a massive success story, but there’s a nice balance of battle clichés mixed with a distinctive art direction and bleak colour palettes that I really appreciate.
Three Different Demon Interactions:
Out of the three boys, I expected Yuu to have the toughest time (since he’s the main character), but his battle with his inner demon was somewhat of a breeze – albeit a chilly breeze, with some poignant words in there as well. I’ve been anticipating the reveal of Ashuramaru (Yamamura Hibiku), a small demon child who seems more interested in conversing with Yuu than fighting him. I’ll be keen to see how these two work with one another in battles (similar to the Zanpakutou spirits in Bleach, if you wanna take a page from another battle shonen). Yuu doesn’t exactly think before acting, so I’d like to see Ashuramaru balance that out and hopefully improve him as a combatant, as well as a character.
Shihou is another that had an easy time with his demon; so much so that we never even got to see them properly interact. Still, I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing – the less time we spend with Shihou, the better. Out of the characters introduced so far, he just doesn’t ‘fit in’. Maybe that’s the point of his character, but he’s plain annoying whenever he’s on screen. Which brings me to the final boy, Yoichi. Talk about embracing clichés, seeing him transform into an evil demon form and his friends being forced to take him down before breaking free just at the right time – with the power of friendship! – was altogether unoriginal. Still, it was a fun few minutes of hacking and slashing. I’m certainly never bored by Owari no Seraph, but I do hope it instead of lunging for clichés, it tries to do something with them, like we saw with the bleak, fast-paced thrill ride of a first episode.
Humans, Vampires, or Demons?:
Amongst all the action, I feel the most important moment was the dialogue between Yuu and Ashuramaru as they seal their bond and agree to work together. We learn a few things from what this little boy demon says, but primarily it has to do with who the bad guys are here. I’ve felt this before when we’ve seen Mika and the Vampires, and I’ve been reading your comments to see what you were was thinking, and it seems like human and vampires may have a common foe with the demons. But here we have demons willing to work with humans, yet Ashuramaru himself declares humans as the ones to look out for. Are humanity the true evil here? Personally, I think the ‘everyone is different shades of evil’ approach would be the most reasonable, but if Owari no Seraph decides to dive into the morality of all sides, I’d be up for that. If it means seeing more of the vampires side of things, I’m happy.
Another detail worthy of note is that apparently 10% of Yuu is already non-human. Ashuramura suggests that the humans may have something to do with that, but it’s just as likely that his time with the vampires changed his genetic makeup. Clearly, we’re going to explore more about Yuu and who he is, so I’ll be anticipating the answers. Human experimentation, perhaps?
Overview – What’s Next?:
We’ve finally passed the boring school setting, and made work of typical shonen tropes, and going by the preview for episode seven, the story may take a shift for the better. The vampires have declared war and the Imperial Army are aware of that fact, so I expect some struggles and potential reunions on the battlefield. Will anyone switch sides? Who will die, if anyone? There’s a lot that could happen from here on out, and now that we’re half way through our first cour, I hope Owari no Seraph starts heading in the right direction once again.