Owari no Seraph (Manga) Review
Chapters so Far: 19
So lets begin with introducing you to one of my most anticipated mangas and in the future an anime. This time I will be focusing on ‘Owari no Seraph’, or ‘Seraph of the End’, this manga is a dark fantasy manga. An anime adaption for this manga was announced on August 28th.
Owari no Seraph was serialized in Jump Square by Shueisha and written by Takaya Kagami and illustrated by Yamato Yamamoto.
Although there may not be many translated chapters so far, each chapter is rather long, each chapter has approximately 40-50 pages, and each is pretty in depth, there are the occasional cliffhangers at the end of some chapters to keep the readers on edge and waiting for more.
Why does it seem likes it’s set in a school? Read and Find out
There will be ‘some’ SPOILERS…
Plot of Owari no Seraph
Owari no Seraph follows the journey of the MC, Hyakuya Yuuichirou, this manga is based in the future, so I guess you could say its dystopian but then again it’s supernatural so maybe not. Moving on, in the near future, a new virus has appeared on Earth making the world’s population a victim. However, the noticeable problem is that only those who are over the age of 13 are infected. At this same point in time, Vampires appear from the depths of human life and thus enslave human kind, humans are treated as livestock for the Vampire’s own needs.
The MC, Yuuichirou has always dreamt big, he and his adopted ‘family’ have been enslaved since the age of 8 and during his and his friends enslavement they try and escape. One friend in particular who he loves like a brother, reaches his demise, this character plays a huge role later on, his name is Mika. Their escape fails however and a tragedy befalls on them, instead we go through a time shift, I’ll skip one time shift, so if you want to know more, then heeey, better read the manga sweetie!
Ok, since the plot gets more complex here on out, Yuuichirou sets his thoughts on total revenge on the vampires, his wish is to kill them all, and to successfully complete this goal he has to join a special squad that allows him to do so. At this point we see the emergence of a female lead, by the name of Shinoa Hīragi.
Breakdown of the Plot
Moving on, in terms of plot, I would have to say it is pretty cliche, it begins with an event in the past that influenced the MC. Furthermore, if you have read this manga some of you may argue that the beginning first chapter is pretty similar to Ao No Exorcist, I can agree with this, but in some ways, the plot itself tricks the reader into thinking that it is unique. On the other hand, I could also argue that the idea of revenge is used incredibly often in plots as it gives the characters something to strive for, and in this case the eradication of the Vampires.
However, one underlying aspect of this manga which I found fascinating was how it pit the themes of innocence and cruelty so clearly by using children as a device to imply purity and naivety. The beauty of a child is marred by the cruelty that is witnessed and the contrasts in white and black.
Furthermore, as with any typical shonen plot, the main character usually values the power of friendship. Yuiichirou also picks up on this, but as I was saying with the underlying themes, we have to take into heart that this manga’s genre is also ‘mystery’ and at certain points in the plot the author is skilled in making you think that something isn’t quite right, for instance, the title is ‘Seraph of the End’ (if I am to use the English translation), and usually there is the link between a title and the plot, now at various points in the plot there are also mentions of the word ‘Seraph’ and all these different hints make the reader think, something which should occur in any good mystery.
Upon even further reflection, another theme in this plot is the use of political unrest and possibly corruption, torture and blackmail, the two best friends in information extraction, the implications of this and how the character reacts to this conjured up a feeling of interest in myself. And though I may not seem it, I also love the idea of politics and all the power plays in this manga, in terms of class and status and also military power added a unique variety of flavour that I very much loved the taste of.
Characters of Owari no Seraph
Leaving that behind, let us focus on the different characters; Yuuichirou is the blatant and perfect example of a MC that holds a deep inner pain or loss yet is surrounded by friends and support. The beginning of the story introduced us to his eight year old self who has been adopted into a greater family, (keeping this spoiler free as possible), his ‘father’ is killed by the Vampires, and he and his ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ are enslaved by the Vampires, resulting in his hatred and goal of defeating their captors. His character development is fair, although a little rushed in some areas, especially after a time shift, but his growth in personality is certainly one to admire, from the point of view as a reader.
On the whole, the characters are pretty simple to understand, but the varying archetypes and personalities are all unique, to the very core. The main female lead, is also strong in personality, and holds an important status; she’s teasing and ‘manipulative’, in some aspects her character is very quite amusing, adding some important comic relief in certain situations.
Moving on, as I stated before this manga revolves around the idea of military power and therefore status and class play a great role in differentiating between characters. The method in which class is used to separate the Vampires into their individual roles and parliamentary seat, a model of this would be the Vampire Queen, or head, each individual supernatural power depends on their seat. On a similar scale, on the battlefront of the humans, their link with demons and other supernatural forces depend on their personality and mental capability. All in all, character development could be better, but the variety of characters sidetracks the reader from this smaller defect.
Art of Owari no Seraph
Onto art, to be completely honest, art is the one deciding factor that gets me to read a manga, and this manga does not disappoint. You may think I am exaggerating when I say that the art is one of the best I have seen, but honestly speaking I do not see that as the case. In terms of digital art, the colours are superb, the layout of the panels in each page, are not always regular and used to their finest so that the scene strikes and emphasises the context in that particular part of the story. However, despite being a shonen manga, the tones and dark colours are rather heavy; the dark colours truly bring out and accentuate the cruelty and contrasting fronts between Humans and Vampires.
If you do go on to reading this manga, it is not very long, but what is ironic is that some Vampires are drawn and coloured with little to no tone, does this symbolise the differences between the two species, or does it have connotations that actually, we as humans are the more dangerous and disgusting species?
Penultimately, I could not help but notice all the symbolism and binary language that was present, so I will be making a future blog to analyze and assess this region of manga, and storyline. This manga, gave me so much to enjoy, and although I did a long ass review, the most important thing for me was that I enjoyed it to the fullest, and hopefully you do too!
So I’ll be ending this soon, but in terms of the short mangas I have read this probably breaks into my top 10. So, I guess I’ll give this a rating of around 8.5, this is mainly due to the fact that there is still so much to develop in terms of plot and character growth, but I look forward to some more chapter releases and also the anime adaption which is soon to make an appearance, so yay.
Ginny T. UK.Surrey based/AnimeAmino Original blog.