“Reunion of Childhood Friends”
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.