been repeatedly mentioned before, originality and complexity isn’t
necessary in the production of great manga and anime. One need only
spare a moment to consider Gurren laggan, an anime that was as basic and
uncomplicated as they come, but which managed to entertain immensely.
So much so that most people would consider the series to be one of the
greatest anime ever made.
Entertainment; that is all an anime and manga series needs to do to accomplish its goal, entertain.
Which is what Owari no Seraph purposes to do and partially achieves.
a mysterious virus appeared on Earth which killed every infected human
over the age of 13. At the same time, vampires emerged from the world's
dark recesses and enslaved mankind.
Hyakuya Yuuichirou, a young boy, who along with the rest of the children
from his orphanage, are treated as livestock by the vampires.
Even in captivity, Yuuichirou dreams big. He dreams of killing vampires. He dreams of killing them all.
like an age since I last encountered a vampire story, both in anime and
manga; and by vampire stories, I am talking about real vampires, that
slink away from the sun and drink blood, not the red eyed
fantastical/superhuman creatures present in many manga.
isn’t to say that the typical vampire is scarce or anything in manga; in
fact vampires are pretty common in manga, the problem being that the
majority of them are shoujo. And even when dealing with shonen, most
vampire manga have a tendency to promote the romance and shoujo elements
over any action oriented plots or scares.
the relative youth of Owari no Seraph, it is difficult to determine the
exact nature of the vampire story it intends to tell, at least at the
shonen at its core; and it manages to entertain even with a paper thin
plot. The action elements are abundant and the characters interesting
enough for their interactions and plots to prove entertaining.
and group aren’t going to win any ‘character of the year’ awards anytime
soon, but the story structure none the less provides enough meat to
compel you to care about their growth and future development, though not
so much about where they came from.
villains? Decently vile. Nefarious and violent, uncompromising and
unmerciful against their human prey, basically pretty easy to hate while
maintaining that famous pretty boy vampire beauty and glow.
Bleach is your cup of tea, with its unique weaponry and powerups, then
Owari no Seraph will more than quench your thirst, with the demon
weapons of the characters providing a wide range of abilities
complimenting the fast paced and fairly interesting battles.
of the manga lies with its underlying mystery, specifically the origins
of the current apocalyptic events, this including the virus that pushed
the global population to near extinction and the origins of the
supernatural creatures that call themselves vampires, as well as their
subtly touched upon are the family dynamics that drive Japan’s counter
attack against their demonic enemies and the mysterious, and somewhat
sinister intentions, of one of its greatest heroes, Ichinose Guren.
+WHAT (SORT OF) DIDN’T WORK?
said it before and I will say it again; you do not need an original
concept to create a thrilling and entertaining manga; numerous manga
today can get away with re-using clichéd concepts and plots, their
successes coming from the author’s ability to weave a fresh story within
the cliché, plots that almost present with a new nature despite making
use of common tropes.
for Owari no Seraph, it completely fails in this regard; well, not
completely. The initial plot, the deadly virus and the emergence of the
vampire horde, could be described as being relatively unique.
being said Owari no Seraph fails in the actual execution of its story.
It is one thing to take inspiration from pre-existing manga. The
Majority of Owari no Seraph’s story execution pretty much mirrors the
thousands of anime and manga that came before, many of the chapters
imitating story elements almost panel for panel and page for page.
put, it can get irritating, especially when it seems like the mangaka is
injecting almost no effort into separating his story from the masses
that have come before, to the extent where I kept skipping whole pages
for the ridiculous lack of originality.
the primary protagonists’ origins, which were a fairly tragic and
entertaining read, the rest of the manga’s 20 or so chapters lack
Yuuichirou is the hero of his story.
naturally he’s bald, brash, boastful and egotistical, quick to ignore
authority and almost always getting his way by flouting the rules. The
only thing holding this young, clearly inexperienced, genius back are
the several adults that simply cannot comprehend his talent.
to be the strongest, so naturally he gains quick possession of the
highest class of demon weapons on his very first try, this despite the
heavy risks to stronger, more experienced soldiers.
rival? Who else but an even smarter genius, one that stands superior to
him in every way, but whom Yuuichirou obviously supersedes because of
his main character mojo. Naturally their antagonistic behavior, there
obvious dislike for each other supposedly conceals a strong bond between
the pair, one that will continue to grow through out the series.
female companions? You could call them strong, enough to stand at the
center of the plot in the beginning, except that with each passing
chapter there relevance is slowly but steadily reduced to one of a
Sayuri mirrors Yuuichirou’s boastful nature, is considerably more brash
and even angrier, all mannerisms that are obviously hiding some tragic
past; she spends a considerable amount of time assaulting Yuu, both
physically and verbally. Why, you might ask? Why else? She can’t
suppress her growing feelings towards our hero without her antagonistic
behavior, incited by the Yuu’s brash and bold actions in battle, this
including that one time he risked his life to save her from a fatal
blow-not particularly special an act in light of the fact that Yuu did
the same thing for his other comrades.
Hiragi is Yuu’s superior officer, and she’s always smiling; the same
smile that will draw them closer together, specifically after that one
moment he learns to see through it to the sad interior, which will
apparently prove something about their relationship.
she stands ready to discard all that she is, even now questioning the
intentions of people she has known for most of her life, in favor on
remaining by the side of the boy she hasn’t known for more than a few
can you expect from a shonen hero, but a dark uncontrollable side, the
berserker kind of power that cannot separate friend from foe and with
which Yuu is able to immediately overwhelm initially superior enemies.
If you’ve been reading manga long enough, you can probably guess what it takes to save him from this berserker state.
embrace, and our raging hero is immediately reduced to a remorseful
warrior. And that isn’t even a spoiler. It’s basic shonen 101.
Owari doesn’t try to stand apart, it takes the typical shonen formula and runs with it, step by step.
Mikaela, a somewhat important villain the series, has to be the worst
thing in Owari no Seraph so far, with his presence doing more harm than
good to the story.
in play, the series seems set to initiate some sort of irritating
Naruto/Sasuke dynamic, with Yuu playing the role of Naruto in this
regard and basically sacrificing all to save his friend, Mikaela, from
Dragging out that particular plot is bound to force Owari no Seraph down less interesting and even more predictable paths.
less one would be hard pressed to argue against the relative quality of
the manga, with the lack of an original structure and presence of
predictable plots doing little more than making certain that Owari no
Seraph will not be making any one’s “ Top 30” manga list.
lengthy chapters (over 40 pages), great art and some decent
demon/human/vampire action, Owari no Seraph is anything but boring.
Nothing mind blowing but a passable casual read.