Manga: Owari no Seraph

Wow. It’s been almost 2 months since the last time I posted. I… A lot of things’ve been happening and… Yeah, well… Nah. I won’t make excuses for my procrastination. It’s not a lie that things have happened in the last 7 weeks though. I’m sure it’s the same for everyone else too. Now that it’s been a month into a new university semester in Australia, things are picking up. I’m going to get on track. This includes sharing stuff I’ve been into lately because my hobbies are as part of my life as school and work is, HAHA.

Caught up to the latest chapter in two days because its been on my to-read-list for awhile; Plus I just found out the anime will start airing in a week and a half. Might as well, huh.

Manga: Owari no Seraph「終わりのセラフ」a.k.a. Seraph of the End

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Owari no Seraph chp 1 cover

Owari no Seraph is a Shounen, mystery, supernatural, action, drama written by Kagami Takaya and illustrated by Yamamoto Yamato, with storyboards by Furuya Daisuke. It started serialising in 2012 and is currently ongoing with 27 chapters in 7 tankobon volumes. A prequel novel titled Owari no Seraph: Ichinose Guren, 16-sai no Hametsu (Seraph of the End: Guren Ichinose’s Catastrophe at 16) started serialising in 2013 and an anime is scheduled to air next week, from April 4 2015. As of late, 30 chapters of Owari no Seraph has been scanlated. This post will only cover what I’ve read until for the manga itself.

In 2012, a mysterious virus appears on Earth, killing every infected human over the age of 13. Fearing the loss of food source, vampires emerge from the recesses of the earth  and enslave mankind. Twelve-year-old Yuuichiro Hyakuya, his friend, Mikaela, along with the rest of the children from his orphanage are treated as livestock by the Vampires, forced to donate blood as a price for “protection”. In captivity, Yuuichirou dreams big. He dreams of killing all the vampires.

WARNING: ‘Shounen violence’ pretty much covers it I guess.

To be very honest here… Owari no Seraph didn’t immediately catch my interest. Chalk it up to how unprepared I was to a stereotypical Shounen onslaught when I never bothered to read the story synopsis.

I should have read that synopsis.

A good Shounen is gold, but my bias is and will probably always be Seinen for their more mature themes which give leeway for unpredictability. Owari no Seraph was, unfortunately, a very Shounen, cliche start. Conflict was introduced and the hero’s journey began fast, but I found it really hard to let go and just enjoy the story with my brain constantly going, “Dammit, that was predictable.” or “Knew it.” On the other hand, thinking about dropping the manga made me feel like I was losing some sort of battle with myself in “not keeping up with popularity”, what with an anime airing soon. I persevered. And I’m pretty glad I did.

It’s a little hard to continue without spoiling much, but I’ll do my best.

With so much of the story focusing on the stereotypical main character’s growth and power at the beginning, it takes awhile before side characters get their time to shine with backstories or snippets into their own conflicts and personalities. As the series progresses, the web of story gets a lot more complicated and everything isn’t as straightforward anymore. Many hints regarding further development and conspiracies are dropped (I’m excited for this), and I’d like to think Owari no Seraph got more interesting because the conflict doesn’t just encompass the over-powered main character anymore. Although, I have to admit, Yuuichirou’s conflict tension rockets sky-high eventually. I should stop here.

Other than that, I kind of missed Shonen themes like “family and nakama” and Sekai no Owari is choke full of that. Plus, there are level-headed, reliable female characters present (woop \o/) and that they were the ones in charge of looking out for the ‘main character’ team and keeping them in order (somewhat)… Uh, well, until later on I guess. Personal preference? I’m not very fond of Yuuichiro’s character and definitely lean more towards all the side-characters.

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Jump Square Oct 2012 issue cover

My favourite part of Owari no Seraph’s art is definitely be the uniform design. I really love how it looks similar to the Meiji era policeman uniforms. Totally have a thing for cool uniforms 😀

Because posting any part of the manga as an example for the art style is already a spoiler in this case, I don’t want to do that. Owari no Seraph has extremely contrasting toning and backgrounds are sparse throughout the series. They’re relatively detailed when they’re drawn though; Enough to portray the location and idea of the scene. I haven’t actually thought about it much while reading, but the fast pace and fluidity at which the manga progresses is definitely because of how easy-to-read the panels and pages are laid out. Looking back on it now (I actually have a tab of the manga open, heheh), there’s so much focus on the characters and action; The well-planned storyboards make it look and feel good.

I guess Owari no Seraph takes awhile to progress and develop, but stick with it long enough and you find yourself getting pulled into its high-tension atmosphere and story.

Ahh… had some trouble getting back into the hang of writing a blog post. This took much too long to write although it’s not like I write fast in the first place. I hope I get back into the groove soon. Gotta work hard on that.

EDIT: Check out my first impressions on Owari no Seraph’s anime here 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Manga: Owari no Seraph

    • I know right! Was actually pretty darn happy with the females in this series. Here’s hoping they don’t regress to be useless characters OTL

      Like

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