Yuichiro Hyakuya News

Yuichiro Hyakuya is a anime/manga character
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As has 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.

THE PLOT:
One day, 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.

Enter 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.
MY REVIEW:

It feels 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.

That 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.

Considering 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 moment.

+What Worked?
Owari is 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. 

Hyakuya 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.

And the 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.

If 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.

The core 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 demonic kin.

Only 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?
I have 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.

Unfortunately 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.

That 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.

Simply 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.

Precluding the primary protagonists’ origins, which were a fairly tragic and entertaining read, the rest of the manga’s 20 or so chapters lack unpredictability.

Yuuichirou is the hero of his story.

So 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.

He wants 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.

And his 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.

And his 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 romantic nature.

Hanoyori 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.

Shinoa 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. 

Already 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 weeks.

And what 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. 

Hugs.

Yes, an 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.

VERDICT:
Hyakuka 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.

With him 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 the darkness.

Dragging out that particular plot is bound to force Owari no Seraph down less interesting and even more predictable paths.

None the 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.

With 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.

RATING: 6/10
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