Seraph of the End is a weird anime whose last two episodes ruined the entirety of season one. There must be a season two in the works and I’m sure the manga goes even further than necessary because damn, talk about a build up to something great only to be dashed, in two convoluted episodes, that doesn’t render an End of any kind. It just leaves the audience with a weird form of blue balls.
The Story in a Nutshell (spoilers)
The world has ended because humanity experimented with a virus called Seraph of the End. This killed 90% of humans over the age of 13. Twist as soon as this occurs, vampires come out of hiding to take over the world on the grounds that the ‘livestock cannot be trusted.’ At this point we’re introduced to the two love birds Mika and Yu.
Long story short: Mike and Yu try to run away from the underground vampire city but get caught by a guy named Ferid, who was sucking Mika’s blood on the DL so that Mika could provide better food for his family (foster kids) and also so he can steal a gun and a map. Alas, Ferid ends up killing everybody and Mika sacrifices himself so that Yu can escape to the outside world. Twist Krul Tepes, the third progenitor and ruler of Japan, makes Mika a vampire. I’d like to take a brief moment to say Krul Tepes that this character exists solely to bring in a vampire with pink hair and a gothic lolita vibe. Otherwise, she does nothing but slap people and lets Mika drain her blood. She is superfluous. That being said I was very, very disappointed that she didn’t do anymore more than fidget and cackle. She seemed to be a very interesting character and deserved something so much more. While Mika is being turned into a vampire, Yu is rescued by a man called Guren.
We soon find out that humans are actually alive albeit very limited in number, but can make contracts with demons in the form of weapons. They can pop pills to become stronger to stand toe-to-toe with vampires as well. This leads to some incredible action scenes.
As the story progresses, he learn that the leader of the Humans in Japan has a secret plan to unleash something that has no real name that is actual the dying sister of a sidekick to Yu. While we find this out, we also find out what the concept of Seraph of the End is: a virus-gene-demon-thing that Yu has (because of experiments performed on him when he was a kid) can turn into an Angel which are scarier than Demons. This sounds dumb but visually, he has to blow a trumpet to turn into this not really powerful, powerful thing. (Like, it’s powerful but he transforms once, levels half a city block, kills nothing, and collapses. He does it a second time, saves his sidekicks sister while spouting cryptic things about salt and lives? Dies? Who knows. The final battle is below and because the concept of the Seraph and the Demon of Destruction exist outside of every single plot and character arc, it’s not a spoiler.
The most irritating thing about this entire show is that the characters, the war between Vampires and Humans, the plot to overthrow power within the Vampire hierarchy and the plot to bring a new world to Humans, is 100% more interesting than the concept of the Seraph of the End OR the Demon of Destruction. There are literal moments characters secretly tell each other things (that the audience can’t hear) with surprised reaction shots of things that I can only assume are important. It literally feels like there are two different anime shows going on in unison in Seraph of the End: a really interesting post-apocalyptic world of a battle between Vampires and Humans, and a super crappy attempt at ‘the chosen one.’
I don’t think this is a bad show. I found many of the characters to be compelling like Shinoa. I found the concept of Vampires taking over the world because Humans can’t be trusted to not kill themselves off is a super interesting idea that gets clouded in a larger, stupider, concept. We don’t need Yu to be some chosen one or some nefarious leap of faith concept that is the Demon of Destruction to COMPLETELY ruin the ending.
I leave you now with an image of Shinoa. She is super cool. She uses a scythe as a weapon and if the show was better, you could argue it’s actually about how a creature of whimsy becomes a battle harden squad leader. Alas. Hopefully season 2 will fill in the enormous plot holes the show created in the last six episodes.