“Reunion of Childhood Friends”


「幼馴染のサイカイ」 (Osananajimi no Saikai)

Exceeding Expectations:

I knew this was going to be an emotional one from last week’s cliffhanger, but this totally exceeded my expectations. This battle between the vampires and the humans has been a bit a slow burner over the past month or so, but in a way it has all paid off with what was delivered in this episode. It honestly felt like I was reliving the horrors of the first episode all over again, which is only a good thing in my books. Everything had been set up nicely, even if it still doesn’t look as good as it could. Regardless of animation quality… this episode delivered.

An Emotional, Violent Reunion:

Yuu and Mika’s reunion was everything I wanted it to be. Their interactions were loaded with emotional trauma. In those moments, it’s clear that they just want to speak with one another and explain this situation away, but Ferid is teasing Mika, and Yuu’s allies are screaming at him to finish Mika off. Obviously, they don’t know the history between these two, which adds another layer of drama to to the mix. I loved seeing Yuu and Mika shouting at each other, or to those around them, as the battles go on around them and the danger level reaches new peaks. But in the end, Yuu seeing his friends being bitten by the vampires was what ended up sending him over the edge.

This has to be the worst possible situation for them to reunite, especially from Yuu’s point of view. For so long he has sworn vengeance against the vampires for killing his family, yet here Mika stands as one of those vampires, and Yuu doesn’t know what to make of it. Mika’s perspective is a little hazier, but it doesn’t seem that he wants any active participation in the killing of humans. I thought he would eventually defect from the vampires, but that seems less likely as time passes. Also, Mika’s decision to protect Shinoa was a bold one, but I can’t pinpoint whether he did it more for Shinoa’s safety or Yuu’s sanity.

Human Experimentation & Morality:

Clearly, good and evil isn’t as obvious as it seems on the surface, which is one thing I appreciate with Owari no Seraph. There are certainly identifiable ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ from the get-go, but motives on both sides of the war are shady, especially as the curtain is pulled back and more is revealed. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get to a point where the humans are presented as the real villains, especially when it comes to their human experimentations – I mean, Guren is completely aware of what was going on with Yuu, and didn’t show much remorse for his sanity.

As cool as the rescue was at the end, I still can’t completely get behind the Imperial Army without feeling that what Mika is trying to tell Yuu is the hard-to-swallow truth. But the vampires have arguably showed a more evil side to them – at least, a more identifiable evil that threatens humanity as a whole. I would love Owari no Seraph to explore the morals of these armies and families more, allowing the audience to decide who they want to root for.

Overview – What’s Next?:

I was still annoyed by Shinoa being reduced to a frightened girl who can’t protect herself (yet again), but some other standout moments have to be Yuu becoming Mika’s princess, and Yoichi seeing the vampire who killed his little sister – one which made me giggle despite the situation, and the other that made me feel for Yoichi freezing on the battlefield. Asuramaru’s return was brief, but one important point that stood out to me was that this little demon inside Yuu’s soul clearly wasn’t the one causing Yuu to change so drastically and lose his humanity. This ties back to Asuramaru’s dislike for the humans, and makes me wonder where the Imperial Army is going to go from here, and how they’ll be presented to us. I doubt that Yuu will be as trusting of them after what went down this episode, especially If Mika’s words stick with him. I hope we see the effects of the Imperial Army’s methods unravel in next week’s final episode (for this cour, at least).

Full-length images: 36.

 

Preview

30 Comments

  1. Well to be fair, Shinoa had a valid reason to be scared since she was easily repelled and attacked by this metamorphic monster that was Yuu. It would be difficult to say you could stand strong when something this unexpected comes up in the midst of the battle.

    Dualash
    1. Regarding Shinoa and differences between in the manga and anime, I’d say that in the manga I felt Shinoa was protrayed less “like a frightened girl who can’t protect herself”.

      In both the manga and anime, Shinoa comes back to consciousness after Yuu’s massive attack.

      In the anime, while Guren and the nobles talk, Shinoa sits there frightened, is finally startled into action when Guren tells her “to do something”, and feebly attempts to block Yuu, which ends up in her falling backwards defenselessly and almost being pierced by Yuu’s blade, before Mika takes the blow.

      In the manga, Yuu attacks Shinoa almost instantly after his massive attack, Mika steps in which confuses Shinoa as she asks, “ah…you…why…” to Mika, Mika gets flung aside, Guren orders Shinoa to “Embrace Yuu!!”, at which Shinoa, in my opinion, bravely rushes at Yuu, tackling his monstrous body while screaming, “Please, come back to your senses!!”

      I was surprised that in the anime they didn’t include Guren’s specific comand to hug Yuu. I thought that made Guren rather suspicious in the manga. In the manga, I thought Shinoa handles the situtation well, when her ally attempts to kill her, her enemy saves her, and her boss orders her to do an nonsensical action, all while she’s still regaining conciousness. In the anime, she seems more frightened, hesitant, and foolishly attempts to block Yuu’s attack, even when it’s clear he’s OP.

      To be fair, I think the changes in the anime were included so that there was someting going on while Guren was talking with the vampires.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      Chloesong
      1. By reading the comments of manga-fans (thanks for not being explicit in spoilers) it does seem like this episode took various liberties. If the Shinoa scene played out like you described it, I would have had less of a problem with it . You could argue that it’s a little change in the grand scheme of things, but when you alter how/why Shinoa reacts to the situation (and how proactive she is about it), it can have negative effects. Personally, I felt she was reduced to less than I expected of her as a skilled and experienced fighter. And it’s not the first time that’s happened, which is why it annoyed me even more.

        Samu
  2. I still don’t understand the purpose of the studio making it seem like Seraph-mode Yuu was indiscriminate when it came to those he attacked/called sinners. It’s very clear in the source that Yuu was targeting only humans and only attacked vampires that got in his way. His words “Out of my way, vampire” to Mika when he saved Shinoa definitely implied that seraphs, or at the very least, Yuu’s Seraph wasn’t as interested in killing vampires as it was in “slaughtering all sinners” (humans). I bring this up because there’s inevitably going to be a point where that particular plot point will be key and what do you know, WIT changed it. What with the attacking Crowley unprovoked and trying to kill Shinoa through Mika.

    Also, apparently the only kinds of heavenly creatures allowed in my cartoons are female. No offense but I’d take the creepy cherubs playing the trumpets from the manga, thanks. A lot of the symbolism was also removed, taking out one of the few really interesting things about the series. I really liked the Trumpets of the Apocalypse symbolism from the manga and I was looking forward to seeing that in the anime. But alas, I was to be denied. At this point, I just want to see how they plan on ending this cour. With the least amount of fanfare, to be sure.

    TG
    1. His words “Out of my way, vampire” to Mika when he saved Shinoa definitely implied that seraphs, or at the very least, Yuu’s Seraph wasn’t as interested in killing vampires as it was in “slaughtering all sinners” (humans).

      Yeah, I wonder why that line was left out. Without it, anime-only viewers are going to get confused.

      Though the line itself leads to a certain speculation: that in their world, vampires are exempt from divine judgment and humans are the only species that deserve annihilation.

      BlackBriar
    2. That wasn’t the only line that was left out. In the first episode during the flashback when Yuu and Mika first met in the orphanage, Yuu said his father tried to kill him and his mother committed suicide. They closed off the rest of the flashback when right after, Mika was supposed to say how he was abused by his parents before coming to the orphanage.

      BlackBriar
  3. It really had the feeling of desperation when the Yuu’s group was subdued by the vampires. What really did it was Mitsuba’s screaming as she resisted to no avail along with Shinoa’s whimpering and Crowley’s slurping as he was drinking her blood. But poor Yoichi. Shinoa, Mitsuba and Kimizuki each got fed on by a noble and the one who preys on him is a dime a dozen vampire underling. His blood must not be sweet enough to warrant nobility.

    Apparently there are comments surfacing with a bad opinion on Guren during the battle. I think some have forgotten what happened in the last episode. He had rough time fighting Mika, then Ferid jumped in, making things harder, then he got stabbed by Mika’s sword. His Cursed Gear did enough to close his wound but it doesn’t bring back vitality. Not only did he have to deal with Ferid again in weakened state, he’s a suffering a severe backlash due to the time limit being reached and the effects of the pill wearing off. It was just not his day.

    Yuu’s transformation was not Asuramaru’s doing. The clues point to the orphanage Yuu, Mika and the other children stayed before the viral outbreak. The day Yuu and Guren met in the first episode, Guren said “One of the test subjects from the Hyakuya Laboratories appeared”. Meaning Guren was tipped off and expecting someone outside. That was no chance encounter. “Hyakuya” is the name of the orphanage, the name the children took upon themselves to symbolize them being a family. The first thing Guren told Yuu was that they were going to use him against the vampires. Note that was before Yuu could explain himself after his ordeal. Then you have episode 6 when Yuu was getting his Cursed Gear, Asuramaru told him 10% of him was non-human and assumed humans may have been experimenting on him.

    In all honesty, it looks the humans are getting screwed in every direction. First, a virus that wipes out the majority of the population which might have been caused by other humans, according to the vampires. The remnants are either subjected to becoming livestock or systematically being killed by Horsemen of John as though humanity is being punished for multiplying too much, according to Shinoa. Now the rise of this black winged genocidal angel who intends to kill any human that crosses its path.

    BlackBriar
    1. Haha… I also noticed Yoichi was the only one not being fed on by a noble.

      “Meaning Guren was tipped off and expecting someone outside.” Wow, I never considered that before and thought that Guren showed up because of the prophesy. It would make much more sense if someone told him that Yuu would arrive above ground. Very interesting.

      Chloesong
    2. It’s finally making sense now. Thanks.

      Major spoiler, click at your own discretion.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      Reikakou
  4. Samu!!! I’ve been waiting for your post on OnS, and you also did not disappoint. 🙂

    I’m glad to see other people are enjoyin OnS too. Looking forward to the finale of the spring cour. 😀

    Chloesong
  5. IIRC, Yu and Crowley’s short skirmish was anime original. That’s why it felt really flat when I read the manga. Just after that one massive swing of Yu, drama ensued, the Hiragis appeared and the vampires retreated. As non-eventful as that.

    And one more thing, going forward, Show Spoiler ▼

    Reikakou
  6. What Christian symbolism did they end up removing from the anime when the angels and trumpets descended in Yuu’s mind? I’m not very well versed on that part of the Bible.

    zztop
    1. I think they are the trumpets of the Apocalypse. The number (seven) matches. In the Bible, seven angels sound them after the seven seals are broken. It’s interesting, because the famous Horsemen of the Apocalypse appear when breaking the first seals (many stories tend to forget the Horsemen are just stage one).

      In Owari, there are monsters called Horsemen of John. It means that the trumpets come next, and if Yuu can see them… well, he could be the tool that causes the end of the world.

      Mistic
  7. Why’d Guren rely so much on Shinoa to get Yu back to normal? She was obviously in shocked/panicked state. Wasn’t there a better way of handling it? Only started watching from episode 7, but I don’t get the feeling that they were that close. Anything special about this little lady, besides being his squad commander? No spoilers please.

    theirs
    1. Yuu has already declared that his group is his new family, and Guren knows how fanatic Yuu is about the idea of “family”. If family can’t stop Yuu in his rampage, well, no one can and everyone will die. Shinoa was free and near, so she was the obvious choice. Of course, Mika might have done the same, but he was a vampire so he doesn’t count.

      It’s either that or Guren ships Shinoa x Yuu and wanted to balance the Mika/Yuu moments in the episode XD

      Mistic
      1. Yeah, that makes sense.

        Even after checking out the manga, I still expected a “Shinoa! Get the heck out of there!” instead of a “Shinoa, do something about Yu!”. Can’t deny that the teasing little big sister managed to do it though.

        theirs
  8. the scene of stop the berserk hero with hug/kiss is the role of his lover but shinoa don´t has any deployment with him yet, so the effect was poor
    i been reading the manga close to anime without spoiler and shinoa don´t freak out like in the anime, in the manga it is more like that she know about the thing in yuShow Spoiler ▼

    yaoi shit -1
    mitsu and shinoa raped -1

    dark
  9. Funny you think it was good cause for me it was really bad and shounenish in the bad meaning of this word. Everybody just staying there and doing nothing. From the 2nd episode I was waiting for something to happen and the action to kick in and when it actually showed up on screen it still is disappointing. I will remember this anime for it’s beautifull backgrounds and unique art style. I also love Shinoa when she isn’t forced for plot sake to be out of character. But sadly everything else is so generic it’s hard to watch even now (not to mention lows of this show).

    Urizithar
  10. I like Shinoa as much as everyone else, but don’t always expect her to be on top of every situation. Yes she has skill and experience…at least more than the rest of her little squad. Just because she has some experience however doesn’t mean it’s enough for this situation. They are clearly out of their league. She’s not forbidden from showing fear against someone she knows could easily slice her in two EVEN if she tried to protect herself. For that someone to be a crazy Yuu is even more unsettling.

    Not all of her portrayal in this show has been ideal, but this time I can’t blame her.

    Avalon
  11. Well, certainly this episode’s a bit different from manga.
    And the preview of the next episode is VERY spoilerish to say the least.
    In fact, I think only those that are following the light novel may understand the whole idea behind what’s going on, and the background of it.
    I enjoy the ligh novel a lot more as it is a lot darker and more serious (and bloody) compared to manga. And it also clears up a lot of plot holes here.

    Plot aside, I’d vote for Guren, Crowley and Kureto (rocking that uniform) as the sexiest guys in Owari :3

    Lawson
  12. What a powerful episode!! 10/10 from start to finish. Makes you wonder if everyone in the demon corps can go into berserk mode like Yuu. Their reunion was epic as well

    ReDeYeZer0

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