Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign has one of the best openings of an anime I’ve seen in a long while. It begins with everyone on the planet dying and me telling you that isn’t a spoiler because you really need to see it for yourself. From there we see these cloaked dudes taking to the streets and you’re like “what the fuck is happening here?” After the opening we meet a group of kids and they’re running from something. An announcement goes out overhead and the gist is that humans fucked up the world with a super virus, but it doesn’t affect anyone under the age of 13. Meaning these kids are some of the last bastions of hope for humanity.
And then they’re captured by Vampires.
If you can’t tell already this is one of those shows that’s going to flash forward in time or at least this first episode does. It has that Attack on Titan vibe to it. With that said we flash forward four years and our two main characters Yuichiro and Mikaela, aka Yu and Mika, are on their way to get their blood drawn because they’re cattle for vampires. Afterwards they’re giving a Capri Sun looking thing and Yu doesn’t want it because it tastes bad and of course he hates the way things are. Some Vampires approach and two random kids don’t move out of the way and get their hands stepped on which was fucking awesome. Yu jumps in their face and attempts to beat their assess, but is suddenly hung over the ledge and about to be dropped when a Vampire noble shows up. This noble likes to personally suck Mika’s blood so of course Yu is saved.
Through this scene and a few others we learn how Yu and Mika are different in personalities. Yu will never give up or give in while Mika will do whatever to protect their family of orphans, but only as long as he has Yu’s spirit beside him. Mika’s found a map and gun in the Noble’s home and now they’re going to try and leave the Vampire underground city… too bad the vampire Noble is waiting for them because this is all a game to him. Cool shit ensues.
You may notice I’m talking very causally about this show and there’s a reason for it. It’s an entertaining show and while the formula is very transparent, it’s still fun. It has enough happening to make it new and fresh that I actually really enjoyed it. No surprise, the story flashes forward another four years because that’s all this first episode was meant to do… age our main characters while establishing their backstory and motivation.
And I really enjoyed it. I liked that the vampires didn’t mess around and that when everyone died there were no clichés just death. It was a super virus that did exactly what a super virus would do.
The character types are obvious and maybe a bit too much of the archetypes, but they work for a reason. It’s fairly obvious that Yu and Mika are going to grow up on opposite sides of the war of Humans vs Vampires and that’s okay because it should prove to be interesting. That childhood bond skews the line between black and white, good and bad and likely our two main characters will make decisions that hurt themselves and their cause for the other.
The animation is very detailed, especially for the action. The world looks like its ending and when we see it again towards the end… it’s clearly a different world now. With the Vampire world being underground it wasn’t too interesting to look at. Basically it was a lot of grey rocks and everyone is either wearing white or grey so nothing stands out.
The action is enough to bring me back, but I am a little curious about the story and the mystery that lead to these events. The characters might be too heavy rooted in archetypes to enjoy, but we’ll see. Overall it’s an interesting series that’s caught my attention, but we’ll see what happens with the second episode which will be the true first episode in some ways.
Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign 1.1 Official Website