Yuuichirou Hyakuya is finally reunited with his childhood friend Mikaela Hyakuya, whom he had long presumed to be dead. Upon their reunion, however, he discovers that Mikaela has been turned into a vampire. Determined to help his friend, Yuuichirou vows to get stronger so that he can protect Mikaela as well as the comrades in the Moon Demon Company.
Kureto Hiiragi receives information that a large group of vampires will be gathering in Nagoya, preparing for their assault on the Imperial Demon Army's main forces in Tokyo. Led by Guren Ichinose, Yuuichirou's team is one of many selected to intercept and eliminate the vampire nobles.
With the Nagoya mission quickly approaching, the members of Shinoa squad continue to work towards fully mastering their weapons, while learning how to improve their teamwork. Yuuichirou must gain the power he needs to slay the nobles and save his best friend, before he succumbs to the demon of the Cursed Gear.
Generic: such a simple word, yet one that can also encapsulate a great deal of information with its utterance. Simply attach it to the title of a show and it works as a description without any need for further elaboration. Just say "it's generic" and a picture is immediately imprinted onto the minds of the audience as to what is to be expected. It's even better saying it out loud, follow after me and let's say it together:
"Owari no Seraph is generic!"
Now doesn't that just roll off the tongue with so much ease? Fits like a glove doesn't it? It's like the word itself was tailor-made for this show. And perhaps that word is all that's needed to sum up this series.
There's really no change when it comes to this ill-conceived hogwash of clichés and overused tropes. It's still a poor man's version of better shounen stories, it's still subpar in quality, and it's still an intoxicating pile of throw-away excerpts from better-established premises and ideas. Owari no Seraph is the "How to make a Basic Shounen for Dummies" in visual format. If 1st season didn't hammer that point in, then this season surely made sure to get the job done. But I guess there is one noticeable change worth noting, and that's that the show somehow manages to get worse. Through the magic of fujoshi bait, God awful writing and the power of friendship, this anime becomes a firework display of stupidity rarely achieved by many. It pushes forward into the throw-away abyss at breakneck speeds. And in its own way, it succeeds. It has proven that when you really try hard enough, when you really push long enough, and when you really care enough, you can enter even denser shounen bullshit territory. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you 'Generic: the anime'.
Picking up from where we left off, we follow our protagonist MustProtectMyFamily-kun and the squadron of vampire slayers, as they gear up for an impending all-out battle with the vampires, in what is to be an attempt to regain control of Earth for the sake of humanity's survival. And while all this is going on, in the background, there's an even more sinister plan being conjured up by ImTheObviousBadGuy-sama and his cohorts.
Now the setup for this season isn't all that bad, in fact, it's a traditional one that, if done right, can be quite rewarding to watch unfold. It's the classic clash of ideals, where opposition reaches a breaking point of unreachable compromise. The end all be all fight where the stakes are set on the highest pedestal. A Zero-sum dice roll, where only one side can walk away rewarded. These are the kind of stories that litter literature, cinema and TV on constant rotation, but despite that, can still offer up the same thrills and chair-gripping engagement expected from the best of them. But even when considering the long shelf-life that these kinds of stories offer, if it's poorly written, no amount of the garnishing and repacking can be done to salvage it. And to no one's surprise, Owari no Seraph isn't going to be a show that defies that unspoken rule.
You see, the problem with Seraph isn't the premise or idea, but rather the piss poor execution of it. The show just doesn't seem to have the proper comprehension of what is needed for it to make this kind of story work. Its ineptitude runs deep into the core foundation of the show, from the garish narrative decisions to the downright terrible plot conveniences tossed in to bail itself out of a tight squeeze. Every turn and corner lead into another questionable writing decision that really exposes the lack of foresight on the part of the creator, and improper planning on the part of the scriptwriters. Throughout the show's run-time, this leads to numerous situations where our characters come face to face with death, only to have a last-minute dues ex machina tossed in to fish them out of troubled water. And this doesn't just happen a few times, it happens in an endless cycle, most notably with our main protagonist MustProtectMyFamily-kun, who inexplicably survives more shit than even what's possible with the aid of basic plot armor. It's like he himself becomes the embodiment plot armor, to the point where his existence is met with guaranteed immunity, regardless of consequence. This creates some of the most uninspired character struggle imaginable. There is zero tension to a story that goes out of its way to perform back flips around its lead.
But this isn't only limited to him, almost everyone that's given a name and a back-story is automatically in the safe-zone, even if they're stabbed through vital organs. I can't properly explain this without taking a special mention of the show's ending. For the sake of avoiding spoilers, just pay attention to the numerous times where our main characters not only live through death marker injuries but also walk it off like it wasn't that big of a deal, it's quite laughable. The only ones 'biting the bullet' are characters that are clearly introduced for the sake of dying a few episodes later. The moment they're introduced, a death flag is planted smack dab on their forehead. It's an old trick that wasn't good in other stories and isn't good here either.
But Owari no Seraph S2 isn't all bad, if anything, there was a noticeable improvement in its art and animation. The fights carry more weight behind it (non-figuratively speaking), the character models remained far more consistent from frame to frame, and the issue regarding the flat backgrounds are better worked around. It's a more palatable experience overall, and that, at the very least, deserves some credit. Also, the color choices seemed better implemented. For example, the reds (burgundy to be more specific) and greens were far more eye-catching than the often acid washed look of the 1st season. It wasn't that big of a change but it was enough to be noticed on a panel to panel comparison.
As far as the soundtrack goes, most of the content from season one finds itself worked back into this season. If you liked S1's music score then S2 should suffice. However, the opening wasn't as instantaneous as the first. It feels more commonplace in comparison to the harmonious balance found between the vocals and instruments of the 1st season's musical number. Not a bad opening per se, just not as catchy as bellowing out "I'LL BE THERE, HOLD ON, THEY'LL CHANGE US SOMEHOW, SO WHERE ARE YOU NOWWW?", but it still gets the job done in its own way. Not singing in the shower level, but hey, music is subjective, so that depends entirely on the listener.
Owari no Seraph's 2nd season does improve a few aspects that 1st season was lacking but it also implemented things that wore far worse as well. It took one step forward only to take two steps back. It's not the most aggravating title to watch but at the same time, it doesn't have a reason to exist (outside of Wit Studio milking a fanbase it helped establish).
Despite the more noticeable issues this season had in comparison to the 1st, I still can't bring myself to hate this franchise. It's really just a soulless product that comes and goes without registering any sort of response from me. The fights were better put-together but the narrative was more stupid. The animation was more eye-catching but the content being animated was dumb. In a way, it just balanced itself out. A series that's forever just "ok" in my head.
Owari no Seraph is a show that's either passable or outright rejected betting on one factor, and that's personal experience. Like I've stated in my season one review, this anime serves as a gateway title to help you get a little insight into the medium's norm and season two only furthers that trend. But where the line is drawn is that factor, that personal experience. If you've been an active follower of anime for an extended period of time, you've undoubtedly seen numerous of titles that play out in the exact same order to what Owari offers. And from that vast selection, you've probably seen it play out far better as well. So with that in mind, this anime isn't made for long time anime viewers, it's made for the bright-eyed newcomers who haven't consumed enough of these fast food titles to grow sick of them yet. Owari no Seraph can serve as a title to get others into the medium, but as far as those already steadfast in it, I cannot in good conscience recommend this 'John Smith: serial number 28927'.read more
The characters are shallow but the story is interesting.
Do not watch this anime if you don't like waiting for answers to plot points. Do not watch this if you only plan to watch a few at a time.
This anime requires a binge session to finish it as it can get tedious, but it is (kinda) worth it.
I have now finished this anime and as such my review has changed, slightly.
I will leave my old review up as I still agree with it as i wrote it, 9 episodes in. Go to the bottom for full season review.
Up to episode 9:
[Such a waste of an intriguing plot idea and character (Mika)
The first season was not the best, I will admit. Yet I felt that the story had promise and Mika was way underdeveloped.
The second season is everything that is wrong with the first on steroids, all beefed up and loud. One dimensional characters that are just the tropes of typical animes. No character development or really plot progression.
All that happens could be summed up in a fraction of the time if there were not purely random and unexplained scenes mixed with boring drawn out flashbacks. The only thing that kept me watching was the story, and I found out that it is really not all that complex after reading a summery.
The characters are stuck in a time paradox. One where any actual character development is stuck and all that they can do is spout the same exact lines over and over.
Art and sound are good. Yet, as hard as you try to dress up a pile of trash to make it look fabulous, it's still garbage.
Only watch if you need anything to watch and have no better options to binge.
If the story is grabbing you then look it up online]
On a whim I decided to finish this anime late one night, and I am glad I did. Kinda. It is still not the best anime by any shot but I can kinda see it going somewhere next season, so I hold out hope there.
The main issue with it is that it is trying to be the next big hit anime *cough (Attack On Titan) cough*, but FAILS hard. It has a great story, I knew this from the start; this was why I even continued to watch it and why I finished it. Too bad the characters and writers let the story down.
There are simply too many mysteries in the story and more keep coming the longer you watch. With no answers to solve the past questions you just end up lost in what is going on always. Characters motivations are there, but we have not got any idea what they are.
This is the shows biggest failing, the writers are writing in too many character traits without fleshing out the others added before. This leaves you with a confusing mess of a "family" of characters whose motivations are one dimensional and come off as just lame.
Read the manga if you have the itch for answers that I have after finishing. Maybe it is the better read, or at least it is more complete at this point.read more
Owari no Seraph is back. Initially, I was disappointed with the first season. With heavy amounts of exposition and lack of charisma for quite a bit of episodes, my expectations going into the sequel wasn’t high. However, season 2 turned out to be pleasantly different. No, I wasn’t expecting this to be a significant improvement but it does set its foot a bit further than mediocrity.
Branded as a sequel, it’s absolutely imperative to be familiar with the first season to get the full experience. As the title implies, the majority of the second season takes place in Nagoya, a city on the surface that is also home to noble vampires. Originally, it was actually home to humans until the Apocalypse. What is the Apocalypse? For a brief recap, it’s pretty much when a lethal epidemic wiped out a major part of humanity years before the start of the show. From this event, vampires became the rulers and treats human like livestock while also keeping some human children alive for their own purpose. One of these children named Yuichiro Hyakuya managed to escape and was taken in by the Japanese Imperial Demon Army, a group of resistance who plans to liberate themselves from the vampires’ rule. Flash forward to present day and we got a resistance group fighting not for pride or liberty. But for survival.
Adapted from the manga, the second season is actually quite faithful or at least captures the magic of the story especially in the first 10 episodes. The first season had a ridiculous amount of info dump and exposition, so much with the buildup and to the point that it became distracting. Luckily, this sequel is more about the action and the execution. A few concepts in this season deals with how humans desperately fight for survival in the face of unimaginable circumstances, the higher-ups of the Japanese Imperial Army taking a keen interest in Yu, and Yu’s own personal goal to make Mika into a normal human again after realizing that he has turned into a vampire; the very thing he loathes. A lot of the episodes also deals with interpersonal problems and how certain characters such as Shinoa bears responsibility for herself and others. In the face of danger, characters make decisions that gambles on life and death. Some even defy orders for their own personal reasons.
As such, expect the sequel to bulk emotional drama as well. The latter half of the show will easily get the viewers to recognize how dangerous the vampire Nobles can be. Death is reality and the humans realizes that whole earthly. While there is a lot of battle on the frontlines, the show also seems to enforce human drama. The most prominent would be the relationship between Yu and Mika. The latter is no longer human while Yu tries to restore him back to normal. Their conversation unites them with both delightful and painful memories of the past. Just do note that there’s a bit of feeling of subtle BL that fans likes to play their minds with in one of these episodes. While the show isn’t actually a BL, it’s easy to fantasize after seeing the deep chemistry between Yu and Mika.
Other characters in the series also makes an impact of various degrees. Shinoa’s character is much more serious as she has a lot of burden on her shoulders. Meanwhile, Guren shows what his comrades means to him when faced against unprecedented odds on the frontlines. What’s much more interesting though is the presence of the Hiragi family. Kureto, the heir of the family’s current heir, is a character that is a bit different from his comrades. With a cold personality and strong emphasis to accomplish any task at whatever the cost, he also often demands respects from others. To me, he is like the anti-thesis of the main characters. Although he is fighting for the good of mankind, his ways of doing so often puts odds against his own comrades. One could even speculate that he is a manipulative individual as he assigns Guren’s group into near impossible missions. Speaking of family, it still remains a main theme throughout the second season. Besides Yu and Mika, the Moon Demon Company still has a prominent presence. Yu treats it like his own family and often seeks to protect them. Even if this takes toll on his own body and spirit, Yu is selfless in nature. Obviously, this also translates into his desire to turn Mika back to what he was before – a human. The way the sequel is directed improves as each episode adds more and more to the main themes and concepts. Even the storytelling gets more interesting with the developments despite some pacing issues and omitting some parts of the manga. On the negative side, the antagonists of the show still remains dense and stereotypical. Characters like Crowley hardly gets any characterization while most of the fights against the strongest vampires lacks excitement. (most of them are more like one sided fights). Furthermore, Kuel continuously hides secrets from others and we don’t get the chance to know her true purpose. I suppose Mika is more like an anti-hero in this season although his actions are questionable with his vampire nature. But in retrospect, the antagonists aren’t appealing either in character or role.
Wit Studio adapts the sequel although the artwork hardly improved. The character designs still looks essentially the same as they did for the previous season although I like the way the Hiiragi family members are designed. Kureto in particular expresses a ruthless nature that is decorated quite well. In addition, most of the demons has a credible design to induce fear. We also get the introduction of some new noble family members, antagonists that looks even more menacing than before. The battles they participates in are some of the main highlights of the sequel as camera angles and action scenes features them quite well. Match that with the stereo soundtrack and we got quite a season. The OP and ED theme songs also conveys what the show is capable of that gives off more of its atmospheric setting – a battlefield with nothing but potential for destruction and chaos.
After taking a breath in and out, I think this second season is an improvement of the previous. It capitalized the main story’s purpose while delivering memorable fights and expressing a variety of emotions. While the technical features still generally remained the same, the show is easily watchable for those looking into some stylistic action. I can’t say for sure that the sequel will be a pleasurable experience for everyone though. It still omits manga material at some parts and can seem a bit too serious for its own good. One particular episode with Yu and Mika in the second half of the show can be uncomfortable to watch for some people. And also, I feel like they stuffed a lot into the finale, perhaps too much and leaves too open. But for all its downsides, the battle in Nagoya will be one to remember. read more
* Hi there! This is my first review, so bear with me if it's badly written or judged. Constructive feedback is welcomed. *
Did you enjoy Seraph of the End (Owari no Seraph) Season 1? Then you'll probably enjoy this sequel. Personally, I don't like Seraph of the End as a whole, but the show has a few merits that keep it from being unbearable to watch.
NOTE: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS FROM THE FIRST SEASON.
From what we've seen so far, the animation is generally a lot more realistic and fluid than the first season's. In the first season, the animation was quite rigid and unrealistic, barely showing any kind of fluidity at all (e.g when Guren goes flying through the air in ep.10) and episodes would often use cheap "action lines" as a means to show multiple people fighting.
Honestly, the soundtrack isn't anything special, it works very well when it needs to but otherwise the sound is above average. The opening music is nice.
I think the art style of this show is beautifully done. Some might not like the hazy, painted and generally greyish background style (which really shows during scenes set outside) but I think it really captures the story's wasteland/apocalypse setting. These backgrounds always compliment what is being animated. The same can be said for the character and weapon designs, which also suit the story very well.
The story continues where we left off, and is based on the battle at Nagoya. The actual plot, so far, as boring, stale, and as shounen as the first season, so don't expect much development there. There are, however, more action scenes, which is what this show does a lot better than the first season. The second season, more so than the first, loves to shove themes of 'family' down your throat every single episode. I'd appreciate these themes if they were implemented with even a bit of subtlety, and would let the viewer make a personal connection rather than having it constantly spoon-fed to them, but instead these 'familial themes' get in the way of enjoyment. To its merit, the second season's premise is quite promising and interesting so far, and has a lot of potential to turn into something engaging.
What saved the show from being unwatchable for me were the moments based entirely on character interactions, episodes where the whole gang would just talk to each other and have a fun time. Yes, all of the characters are modelled off of common shounen stereotypes but that doesn't mean they aren't entertaining. The second season shows us how the characters have developed from the annoying and arrogant kids they were in the first season and are becoming slightly more mentally mature. If you don't like shounen main characters and common character types (e.g tsundere) which all receive below-standard development then you probably won't enjoy Seraph of the End's characters.
Seraph of the End's second season is quite enjoyable for fans of the series but to the people like me who didn't really find the show to be to their liking, skip this continuation. The only reason I'm not dropping the series is because of its (shounen, but) enjoyable characters, great art style, and okay animation.
Owari no Seraph depicts a post-apocalyptic struggle between humans and vampires. Both races seek to reclaim or claim the Earth for themselves, leading to a bloody war that blurs the border between monster and human being. Here are twenty quotes which question humanity!