Owari no Seraph – 03

Owari no Seraph - 03 -7 Owari no Seraph - 03 -18 Owari no Seraph - 03 -28

Sometimes, the three-episode rule just isn’t enough.

I’m still not sure where I stand with Owari no Seraph.  On the downside, it does seem to be getting progressively more conventional with every episode.  But there’s a creative spark behind the series that I find quite appealing – the art design and cinematography is really interesting.  Also interesting is the vaguely shounen-ai vibe that’s reminiscent of shows like Pandora Hearts or 07 Ghost – something that was a lot more common among this sort of series 5-10 years ago than it is today.

As for the story, well – I’m still on the fence there too.  At least we got an explanation for why the series has settled (for now) at a school – the whole thing is a human experiment being run by the Demon Extermination Army.  I don’t think it’s an especially good explanation though, nor the setting an especially interesting one.  I hope the series stops teasing us that the story is going to move on and actually moves it on, because there’s a bit of a treading water feel to what it’s doing now.

After opening with an explanation from Shinoa about why virginity is evil (I’d avoid repeating that in Akihabara) we quickly segue into a development that’s a pretext to get Yuu to the next stage.  The bullies from last week are back, and one of their number has gotten himself trapped inside the “Forbidden Chamber” – actually a kind of training ground for the D.E.A. (that means something different in America) that containing a demon.  The whole idea here is that the power in the “cursed gear” comes from a contract with a demon – and anyone who enters the chamber unprepared (as decided by the army) is taken over by said demon.

That’s a very standard way of going about a mythology like this one, but again the execution is pretty well-done.  When Yuu – arrogant to the last, but seemingly able to back it up – defies Shinoa’s orders and tries to claim the axe from the possessed Yuji (I assume he’s a goner, but we’re never told), he’s transported to an illusory world inhabited by his deceased family.  He’s strong enough to resist the lure of possession (which is apparently pretty rare), Mikaela’s urging to seek revenge being the tipoff that something was off.

So is now the time when Guren is going to finally acknowledge Yuu and let the plot get to the next stage?  We’ll see, but at the very least Mikaela is back in the story for reals.  As expected, there was no way Ferid or he were actually dead, and Mikaela is now a vampire – though whether that means he’s lost himself and become a willing ally of Ferid is hard to say.  Again, I would say this angle is pretty reminiscent of sci-fi/fantasy anime from the mid-late 2000s – I’ll be interested to see where Owari no Seraph takes it, but I do hope it takes it wherever that is a little faster from this point forward.

Owari no Seraph - 03 -6 Owari no Seraph - 03 -8 Owari no Seraph - 03 -9
Owari no Seraph - 03 -10 Owari no Seraph - 03 -11 Owari no Seraph - 03 -12
Owari no Seraph - 03 -13 Owari no Seraph - 03 -14 Owari no Seraph - 03 -15
Owari no Seraph - 03 -16 Owari no Seraph - 03 -17 Owari no Seraph - 03 -19
Owari no Seraph - 03 -20 Owari no Seraph - 03 -21 Owari no Seraph - 03 -22
Owari no Seraph - 03 -23 Owari no Seraph - 03 -24 Owari no Seraph - 03 -25
Owari no Seraph - 03 -26 Owari no Seraph - 03 -27 Owari no Seraph - 03 -29
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3 comments

  1. M

    Yeah the school setting, no matter how good the reason why the MC is in school (but I have to congrats Owari no Seraph at least bother to give some reasons compared to other shounen) is still much better when it doesn't exist. It feels like the story is still trying to toe the generic shounen tropes when actually if it goes against the tropes the story will be a hundred times better. I mean when you can combine vampires, apocalypse, demons and demon extermination army in one pot and still able to make a sensible story out of it then it means the writer is actually a capable writer, just still not pushing out of the comfort zone in writing shounen.

  2. R

    I don't know what sort of pacing the anime is going for (2 chapters an episode ish so far) but the manga was a bit slow in the beginning as well, so I'm not too surprised. I'm never going to understand the appeal of high school to anime/manga writers. I really don't. I liked high school, but there are plenty of other settings I would've rather romanticized in every day life. High school settings are just one of those things that have been so oversaturated in anime I don't think breathing new life into it is really possible anymore.

    That beings said, expect to stay in high school for a while Enzou. Owari no Seraph is kind of a slow starter.

  3. E

    No more high school! I want to see those fights being teased in the opening…

    For me much of the problem comes from high school not really fitting with the themes of the series instead of it being oversaturated, action settings with high schoolers are pretty common anyhow too.

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