Saturday, September 26, 2015

Owari no Seraph

Owari no Seraph is a really pretty anime with great character design that’s based on a manga.  So far it’s also fairly predictable, plot-wise.  Despite that, I watched the first season and will pick it back up when they bring out the next season.  And not just because I’m something of a vampire fan.

The premise here is that a human-created virus got loose and catastrophically decimated all of the human population over 13 years old.  Vampires have taken over much of the world and keep human children “safe”, using them as food in return for their “protection”.  The story centers around two of those human children, Yuuichirou (Yu) and Mikaela (Mika).   With several other children they consider “family”, these two boys attempt to escape the vampires.   All of them but Yu are killed by one specific vampire.  Mika sacrifices himself so that Yu can escape.  Yu does escape and discovers that humans are still around and are fighting the vampires for control of the world.  Yu vows to destroy all vampires who held and then destroyed his “family”.

Most of the first season is Yuuichirou learning to fight and learning to get along with other humans.  The other main characters are introduced, including the captain of the Moon Demon Company, Guren.  Yu’s classmates and fellow vampire fighters are also introduced, including the girl who helps Yu cope among the humans, Shinoa.    Yu-tachi aspire to fight as members of the Moon Demon Company, and train toward that goal.  They learn to work together and all of them gain demon-weapons during training.  These are weapons powered by demons, that must be controlled be the wielder.

It turns out that during this time that Yu has been growing up, so has Mika.  Mika wasn’t killed, but was turned into a vampire by the vampire Queen and has become her aid.  Despite his human beginnings, Mika has sided with the vampires.  This has got to be a plot device because it’s hard to imagine him siding with the vampires who killed his “family”, but he also blames the humans for the original destruction of everyone’s way of life and seems to believe that the vampires are better equipped to rule the world.  So of course, Yu and Mika care for each other, and are on opposite sides of the conflict. 

They discover this fact during a raid/battle between the human and vampire forces.  They find out that each other is alive when Yu stabs Mika, and then both try to “save” the other.  During the battle, as Yu’s friends are out-numbered and getting beat, he loses control and becomes a monster and begins killing everyone/everything around him.  It turns out Yu is himself a weapon of sorts, with demon-based powers even his own demon weapon is afraid of.  Both humans and vampires retreat from his monster presence.  Guren tells Shinoa that she can stop Yu from his rampage, and she does manage to bring him back to himself.   The first season ends with a break as Yu recovers and apologizes to his friends for his loss of control.

 All this with Yu and Mika happens late in the series first season, so the first season is kind of setting the stage for the future.  Both Yu and Mika are alive, and on opposite sides of the conflict.   It will be interesting to see if one or the other convinces the other to their perspective, and one of them switches sides.   Or if the next season will be all cross-purpose battles.  Or if they’ll eventually decide they must all work together.   That last option is probably the least likely because there’s really very little common ground between the two groups. There are also hints along the way that Yuuichirou and Mikaela are “special” – meaning their physiology has been messed with from early on.  Yu already demonstrated that with his demon powers.  It will be interesting to see where this all goes in the next season, and whether Yu can control his power. 

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