“Mitsuba’s Team”

「三葉のチーム」 (Mitsuba no Chimu)

The Final Addition:

It shouldn’t be too surprising for me to say this, but boy, am I glad to see the back of that school. Looking back, the first episode of Owari no Seraph is still the best – even if the second turned out better than I anticipated – but since then it has felt like we’ve been going down a bad road, chaining ourselves to a setting that is so vanilla compared to what else there is to offer. Thankfully, we didn’t spend a moment in that school this time around; instead we saw Yuu and the others back in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. I expected it based on the premiere, but our final main character got introduced as well. Sanguu Mitsuba (Iguchi Yuka) is as much of a tsundere as we’ve seen done time and time before, and by the end of the episode she was already starting to irritate me – and then we saw her backstory.

I liked that her own traumatic experiences when on a previous mission gone wrong are what shape her stance and approach when it comes to vampire tricks. It makes sense why she would hold Yuu back from doing what his instincts tell him, and Shinoa hits the nail on the head: Mitsuba has been given a duty, and even if she’s showing her tsun side, she’s just trying to keep everyone safe in case something goes horribly wrong and bloody all over again. Suddenly, a character that I thought I was going to hate has become so much more interesting. However, I expect she’ll revert back to tsundere antics next week, so I don’t know how long that will last.

The Likeability of Hiiragi Shinoa:

The vampire action was nice this week, but I think the highlight of the episode was undoubtably Shinoa. It would be easy to assume she’s the favourite character of most watching Owari no Seraph, and that’s easy to see why. After six episodes of her casually interacting with Yuu and the others, I’ve finally realised what makes her such a good character. First off, she’s fun – plain and simple; whenever she’s not serious, she’s sly and jolly at the same time, delivering plenty of funny moments.

Secondly, credit has to go to Hayami Saori for being the standout seiyuu of the season. Not only is she’s doing a great job as Shiraishi in Yamada-kun, but she’s making Shinoa even more enjoyable. This is one of those cases where I almost can’t imagine any other voice actress doing as fine a job as she has been doing thus far. All of Shinoa’s mannerisms (like the way she walks down stairs) are so very entertaining to watch, and whenever anything comes out her mouth I can’t help but love that voice of hers.

The third reason why Shinoa works for me is because she isn’t a typical character archetype that you’d expect to find here. Owari no Seraph loves to embraces stereotypical characters, as well as the positives and negatives that come with them. Yuu is hardheaded and just wants to fight, Yoichi is shy and emotional, Shihou is the determined rival (albeit a very flat one), and now Mitsuba is the blatant tsundere. When you look at these four characters, and then look to Shinoa, it’s hard to pin a trope on her. She’s far too self-aware to be a yandere, too confident in herself to be a tsundere, and has shown plenty of moments where she’s displayed how level-headed she can be when demons are involved or things get serious. To put it simply, I’ve not seen many characters like Shinoa before, especially female leads. It’s refreshing, and the more we see of her, the more I’m liking her.

A Lesson in Art Direction:

Even in it low points, the art direction of Owari no Seraph never dipped for a second. There aren’t many battle shonen anime where the vision of the world, the painted backgrounds, and the all-encompassing panning shots are this noteworthy. Not only was it great for the story to return to the battlefield, but visually it was so much more exciting as well. I loved the little details of the broken buildings and the hints of it once being inhabited. Much like Shinoa, the more we see of this ravaged world, the more I like it.

Overview – What’s Next?:

A much better episode than what we’ve been getting lately. I was worried about our last addition, but after her backstory, I’m more positive about Mitsuba’s addition. We’ve now got our 5-man team, and I like what each of them have given us so far (well, except for Shihou). Not only that, but we have five different weapons types to be used, so there should be enough variety in the action department to keep us hooked (so far I’m liking Yoichi’s bow and arrow the most). Now I just want Yuu meet Mika again and see what happens. Also, Yuu’s showing a rather demonic side to him thanks to him accepting Ashuramaru’s powers, so I expect that to become a big deal down the line.

Full-length images: 02, 05, 11, 31, 36.




    1. I have to agree with the blog regarding Shinoa’s seiyu. I wasn’t very convinced during the first episode, but now I know it was because she appeared more emotionless. Now that Shinoa’s being her usual smug and trickster self, I can’t help but look forward to the next chapter every week.

    1. Poor Shinoa, trapped in anime that doesn’t do justice to her potential.

      A lesson in art direction indeed, hats down to the animation studio, we’re seven episodes in and the animation quality has been steady, the back grounds are beautiful and well done.

      About Mitsuba, Lolis aren’t my cup of tea, but I really enjoyed her bath scene with Shinoa, so I’m looking forward for more interactions between them, though I believe we’ll be getting more interactions between her and Yuu, and honestly, I couldn’t care less about it.

  1. Something came to mind when thinking on the uniforms of both human and vampire sides. When they wear the long cloak with the broad collar around the neck, the humans look more like vampires and the vampires when wearing their hoods, it’s like they’re from Assassin’s Creed. That’s rather amusing.

  2. Dude… Shinoa’s the only one keeping me hooked in this series until this episode. Finally, some vampire hunting action.

    Too bad there was no screenshot when Yuu used that AoE attack of his sword when he was cornered by the vampires. It was bad ass. The animation and all.

    And nice tidbit there. Shinoa and Shiraishi are voiced by the same VA. Two of my favorite female leads this season. I like them more compared to Rin.

  3. only for 1 sec yuu got stuned for mitsuba boobs?¿?there still hope to him
    well i like tsunderes but rushed tsun and next episode all deredere until end is no good
    i was sure that shinoa was to sulk or go shy in shower part but lol

  4. But Shinoa is great character, when do you often see female gadflies, that trolls, taunts and tease the main character in Anime? But the homo-erotic subtext is what is keeping me hooked to this series, just as it did in Code Geass.

  5. This is ironic. I came to this show to see Vampires getting slayed. Here we are 7 episodes in and not a single vampire killed (beyond the lab rat vampire that escaped). I agree with the blog the high school setting was done poorly and felt completely out of place / forced.

    This show is not quite Attack on Titan or Knights of Sidonia quality. However! The Vampire trap was very clever!!

    Looking forward to next episode

    Rick Anime
  6. After the first EP, I thought about dropping Seraph, but when Shinoa in EP2 appeared, this show got me.
    She’s so fun to watch. Finally not your typically dumb and helpless female lead.

  7. One of the reasons why, for now, I prefer anime a li’l bit more than the manga. ‘Coz of the moving ‘n talking Shinoa, unlike the very 2D one in the manga.

    Red HeartGold ZX
  8. So glad the high-school part has ended. To war!

    I didn’t think of it that way, but Samu is right: Shinoa is interesting because she’s not your usual anime stock character. Ok, I’ve seen the word “smugdere” used to talk about her, but that is not a usual label either. Characters with more dimensions are always welcome.

  9. I always love the dilemma that soldier had to faced when they are in combat. If you are in those kind of situation, what would you do?

    Would you disobey your leader and break the team formation in order to save one little girl, knowing that is the enemy’s trap, while risking your team get killed?


    Would you obey and stay in formation to avoid falling into enemies trap, while letting that little girl kill in the process.


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