Owari no Seraph: Nagoya Kessen-hen Review – You are my family


  • Episodes : 12
  • Genre : Action, Drama, Shounen, Supernatural, Vampire
  • Airing Date : October 2015 – December 2015
  • Studio : Wit Studio

Owari no Seraph Preview / Plot (No Spoilers)

Brought by the one of the studios that brought you Attack on Titan, Owari no Seraph follows the course of the manga very closely. Finding out that his only family, Mika, is still alive, Hyakuya Yuuichirou sets out to rescue him from the clutch of the vampires. He begins to search for ways to return a vampire into human, and at the same time, in order to protect the family he’d made out of his squad, Yuu presses Guren to teach him more about his Cursed Gear and trained hard.

But everything has only just begun. Discovering the vampires’ plan to attack Tokyo, the Moon Demon Company is ordered to go to Nagoya and intervene the vampires’ attack. All the while, something else is going on in the background—something closely related to Yuu and Mika’s existences, and the dark mystery of the Hiiragi family and their plans begin to unfold.

What does Owari no Seraph cater to?

Owari no Seraph is an anime adaptation from a manga with the same title, published by Shueisha in JUMP SQ, which means its aimed demographic is shounen. Those who love shounen series with a dash of mystery and supernatural elements should definitely give this series a chance.

What’s so appealing about this piece of work?

The best thing about Owari no Seraph is that it doesn’t have the concept of black and white justice that shounen anime usually have. It gives fair exposure to each side of the conflict: the human’s point of view, the vampires’ point of view, and those who stand between the two sides. Owari no Seraph weaves typical shounen fights and emotional conflicts well, and keeps them up even as it advances the plot forward.

Another thing that might appeal to you from Owari no Seraph is the music and seiyuu line-up. Sawano Hiroyuki handles the music for Owari no Seraph, which fits perfectly with the supernatural shounen feel the series has, and among the seiyuu line-up are Suzumura Kenichi, Sakurai Takahiro, and Nakamura Yuuichi, which guaranteed you excellent shounen feelings for the whole series.

Seraph of the End “Battle in Nagoya” Official Trailer

Owari no Seraph Main Characters List

Hyakuya Yuuichirou

Voice Actor :Irino Miyu

Probably one of the sulkiest and angriest shounen anime main characters, Hyakuya Yuuichirou was orphaned when he was little, and was taken into the Hyakuya Orphanage, where he first met Mikaela. Yuu is, in every sense, a true main character—he’s brave, reckless, and narrow-minded in a way that makes people grow fond of him.

To Yuu, family is the most important thing. Having lost his own when he was a child, he turns to the Hyakuya Orphanage kids, who accepted him as a part of their family, and later, to his squad in the Moon Demon Company. He hates the vampires for what they did to his family, and swore that he would kill every single one of them. He will do literally everything to protect his family, even if it’s the wrong thing to do.

Hyakuya Mikaela

Voice Actor :Ono Kensho

If there was one person who teaches Yuu to treasure family, that would be the Hyakuya Orphanage kids, but mostly Mika. A kind-hearted, upbeat child who uses his head as much as his fists, Mika was the responsible big brother of the orphanage. He wished to run away from the vampires with Yuu and the rest of their siblings, and was the one who devised the plan to escape, which later failed horribly and resulted in his separation with Yuu.

Over the course of the story, Mika grew to be more cunning and darker as he attempts to find and talk to Yuu about the dark side of humanity. He hated both vampires and humans—one for what they did to his family, and one for his conviction that they were using both Yuu and himself. He is favored by the Third Progenitor of the Vampires, Krul Tepes, who encouraged him to find and take Yuu away from the humans. Their reunion, though, did not the way everyone imagined…


Contains Spoilers

Owari no Seraph Review

For those who have read the manga before watching the anime, there’s always this conflicting feelings of looking forward to the anime as well as dreading it at the same time. “I’d love to see this scene animated, but what if it isn’t as good as it is in the manga?” is the constant thought that the manga fans would have when the anime began airing, especially if the manga itself isn’t finished yet. Owari no Seraph, however, executed everything that happened in the manga rather well. There were, of course, the expected issues of pacing in several of the episodes, but overall, it was very enjoyable, and most importantly, it managed to bring people’s attention to the manga.

Owari no Seraph: Nagoya Kessen-hen manages to translate the whole Nagoya arc into animation very well—the battle with Crowley is especially enjoyable, but no more than the last episode’s battle, with the bright effects, really good camera movements, and the plays in depths of field. For some people, the ending would feel somehow rushed and anti-climactic, but considering it was aired around the time the newest chapter on it was published, it translated pretty well on the screen.

The concept that shines the most in Owari no Seraph is the concept of self-made family. The series brings up a different kind of family, stretching the definition of nakama that is usually very prominent in a shounen series, and touches on having a family with no blood ties. This especially shines in the second cour. The feeling of I want to protect my family is what drives Yuu through all of his ordeals: facing the Japanese Imperial Demon Army, trusting Guren, training hard with his Cursed Gear, purposefully unleashing the King of Salt, and most importantly, having his own self-made family that he could protect in the form of the Shinoa Squad.

Acceptance and belonging is the main focus of the emotional conflicts in Owari no Seraph: through Yuu, the audience saw how he slowly accepts the fact that he belongs to others, and how the others have become his family, too. Mika and the other orphanage kids accepted Yuu and gave Yuu a family he once lost, only to lose them again when they tried to escape from the vampires. Again, in the Moon Demon Company, Yuu is offered a place—to be a member of a family once again, to have a place to belong. The struggle to accept oneself and others was the highlight of the first cour, but the struggle to make a family and protect them, is what the second cour highlights the most.

Owari no Seraph’s plot is not a character-driven one, but it tackles character developments of its main characters rather well. Yuu started off being this sulky kid, angry and is a bit of a rebel, while Mika is the rational one in their dynamics, preferring to resort to strategy and cunning options. But as the series go on, especially in the second cour, as Yuu warmed up to his squad and slowly accepted them as his family, he looked happier, much more open, and grew even more selfish in a different way than how aloof he used to be. Mika, on the other hand, grew darker as he hated both vampires and humans, convinced that both he and Yuu were being used as tools, and refused to see any other way except to run away from the rest of the world.

For a typical shounen series plot, Owari no Seraph has a lot of interesting tweaks incorporated in the story—perhaps one of the results of mixing many different fantasy and supernatural element. Of note is definitely the still mysterious Hiiragi family and the circumstances surrounding Guren. Those who read the novels might know how things became the way they are in the anime, especially regarding Guren, Shinya, Kureto, and most importantly, Shinoa’s older sister, Mahiru. It is a good thing that the anime adaptation follows the manga accurately instead of going for original anime ending—leaving it open-ended does not only leave the possibility of another season, but also entice the anime-only audience to read the manga.

1. If you’re his family, then you’re ours, too

Breaking the emotional in-battle scenes as Mika reached for Yuu and the tension as Shinya managed to stab him, is Shinoa taking a stand before the rest of the Moon Demon Company to protect Mika, swiftly followed by the rest of her squad. With Mika on his knees and Shinoa squad literally making a wall separating him and the other humans, this scene slams home the fact we all have been waiting for: Mika and the Shinoa squad on one side, even if everything in the world is against them.

Like Yuu, Mika’s world has been narrowed down to the need of saving Yuu from the humans—something Mika decided for Yuu without even asking him if he needed to be saved. In their early encounters, Mika had seen glimpses of Yuu’s place amongst the Shinoa squad, had seen how well they work and how they protect each other, but in this scene, Mika is shown how far they would go for their family, which is also something Mika could sympathize for. Anyone could tell that this is the beginning of Mika’s world broadening, which is still something the audience could look forward to.

2. Welcome home, Mika

Yuu and Mika’s reunion is, arguably, one of the most awaited things in the whole course of Owari no Seraph. Considering that their first reunion where Yuu found out that Mika is alive ended in chaos, this time, their reunion goes rather smoothly—disregarding the whole blood and the gaping wound on where Mika was stabbed. The amount of bromance going on between these two is amped up to the max here, especially with the blood-drinking scene and the heartfelt conversation that follows after, but that isn’t the point of their reunion.

This scene gives us a glimpse of how selfish Yuu is and how far he would go to keep his family members alive. Like Ashuramaru told him, “You’re broken.” Yuu, though, doesn’t seem to care. Family is family, and he would keep them alive, would protect them through any means possible, even if it means turning Mika into a vampire they both despise. But most importantly, it gives an answer to what Mika has silently been scared all this time: would he still be Yuu’s family, if he’s no longer human? If he’s no longer the Mika that Yuu knows? And Yuu answered that with a simple line of “Welcome home, Mika,” accepting Mika whole-heartedly back because to him, Mika is Mika, his family.


Conclusion

When the anime first aired in April 2015, the promotion for Owari no Seraph was rather lavish and loud: big displays in Animate, a lot of merchandise and billboards over at Akihabara and Ikebukuro. Not an unfamiliar sight for a JUMP SQ anime adaptation, sure, but enough to get people’s attention on the new dark fantasy series. For the second cour, the promotion wasn’t as big, but it proved that the anime already safely got the attention for the second cour. And yes, Owari no Seraph definitely deserves the attention. For a shounen series to deliver both good action scenes with breathtaking effects, and yet intriguing enough for fans of the darker and deeper series to get into it, Owari no Seraph managed to keep a good balance between the spirit of shounen series and the tweaks and twists it hides in its characters and plot.

If you’re a JUMP manga fan, and is looking for an intriguing new series to follow, Owari no Seraph is definitely a good pick. Whether you start with the anime or the manga, it doesn’t matter. Get into the world, see it through Yuu’s eyes, enjoy the great action, and relish the emotions—Owari no Seraph is a treat among other shounen titles.

Roti Susu

Writer

Author: Roti Susu

Roti Susu here! An aspiring writer who has spent more than half of her life actively writing in various fandoms. Currently living in Japan as a student, I'm a fujoshi who enjoys karaoke, watching a wide range of anime, reading manga and playing RPG games, and am also very much into seiyuu.

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