“Results of the Choice”
Owari no Seraph has a way of hooking me back in with all those beautiful backdrops. I know I’ve seen them all already, but anything that channels the vibe from the first episode is a good thing, even if it came with another flashback that didn’t serve much of a purpose. Of course, Yuu and Mika were close, and that matters after the end of this week’s episode, but there really wasn’t much of a point to this flashback. Like a lot of the episode, it felt like padding for the meaty stuff – thankfully that meaty stuff was some of the best we’ve seen in the anime so far.
Art Inconsistency Continues:
I don’t want to have to repeat myself for the third week in a row, but the art and animation is still all over the place. For the most part, though, this week was an improvement, since the best moments were animated pretty flawlessly. However, there was still an excess of ugly and static action sequences. The fighting between the vampires and the Imperial Army should have been tense, but the panning shots of the characters holding their weapons or scowling at their opponent totally killed the mood. Overall, the first half of the episode fell flat. Those moments could have been impactful if the effort was put into them – I’ll just assume that they put their effort into the last few minutes of the episode instead. But was that worth it?
Funnily enough, it was. Once Yuu and Shinoa joined up with their team again, the improvements became very noticeable, leading to a fantastic final confrontation between Mika and Guren. I also appreciated seeing some of Guren’s team showing their combat skills; of course it all was surface level, showing that Mika can’t deal with them all on his own. Everything that followed looks fantastic, proving that Wit Studio has it in them to deliver the goods, even if it’s not guaranteed to be consistent every week.
A Bloody Reunion:
Visuals aside, what actually went down in the last few minutes was all that really mattered. The build-up to Mika defeating Guren was gradual, if a little unbelievable. Was Guren really finished after that? Where were his comrades to help him before he was killed? I don’t think Guren is actually dead, but he fact that Mika actually stabbed him makes me believe he’s not as powerful as I’d expected. But Guren’s fate is secondary once Yuu enters the scene. I’ve been anticipating our main characters reuniting since the second episode, so I’m very satisfied with how this played out. Yuu stabbing Mika delivers a mix of emotions, and once he realises what he’s done, it’s like a punch to the gut. But damn, it was a great moment. I don’t know how these two are going to recover or grow from this, especially since it does seem like Mika is accepting that he’s on the vampire side of this war. Yuu won’t back down either, but would he make a special case for his best friend?
Overview – What’s Next?:
Count me back in. What a great cliffhanger this week, even if the first half of the episode was a let down. I can’t wait to see how Yuu recovers from this, and going by the preview it seems like he may rely on Ashuramaru, and his demon side may consume him. It could end up being cliché, but with two episodes left in this cour I think we’re sure to end on a dramatic note.