GUEST REVIEW: OWARI NO SERAPH (SERAPH OF THE END)
Spoiler Free Review by @DragonSoulJess
Her rating: 9/10
Note: This is a review of the first season of Owari no Seraph. The second season is currently airing, and it's probably amazing, but because the evil cliffhangers have kept me away so far, I wouldn't know.
Basic Info: Owari no Seraph is set in a world like our own - except that a virus wiped out most people over the age of thirteen, killing 90% of mankind, and just to make things interesting, monsters are roaming the streets, and vampires are both killing humans and keeping them as livestock: protection from the monsters in return for their blood. As you can imagine, there are quite a few humans who aren't exactly thrilled by the idea of being kept as pets, which is where our protagonist comes in.
After Yuichiro Hyakyua goes through a very feel-destroying experience due to the vampires in episode one, he works towards joining the Japanese Imperial Demon Army to fight vampires, and the anime follows Yu and several other characters involved in this vampires vs. humans war. The trailer sums it up pretty well, but it spoils the heart-wrenching climax to episode one, so I'd only watch it if you don't mind the first episode being spoilt.
I'm going to warn you now: your feels might not make it through. If they survive episode one, they're strong. If they manage to fight their way right to the end of episode twelve, they deserve a medal. Because wow, this anime is totally inconsiderate and will not hesitate to play with your emotions and make you want to curl up and cry. Just a warning.
For a twelve-episode anime, there's quite a lot going on, but not so much that it gets confusing. It's fast-paced and constantly keeps you hooked, and definitely isn't infinitely dragged out like some other anime (totally not looking at Naruto here, which is great, but just too long for me to watch with everything else going on). There are some crazy-feel-murdering sub-plots, such as the one (without spoiling anything) involving a very loveable character who is siding with the vampires.
The only problem I found with the pacing was that some of the important and dramatic moments seem to be cut off, or shortened, to make it fit into twelve episodes. It's slightly annoying when the inspirational music starts playing, and you're waiting for this amazing fight, and wow you totally can't wait to see your favourite characters kicking vampire ass, and then... it's over. (Maybe the producers realised how battered our feels would be, and decided to spare them of longer tear-jerking scenes. But still. It annoyed me.)
I would also recommend you watch this when you have enough time to watch the episodes within a few days at least. The cliffhangers were horrible, and it was bad enough waiting the next ten seconds it took for the next episode to load, so I pity the people who watched it as the series was airing. This is the entire reason I decided to watch season two when all the episodes have been released and I'm not going to be forced to wait a week for the next episode.
Ahhhhhh let me hug them. <3
Ahem. I think it goes without saying that I adore the characters.
The protagonist, Yu, is the rebellious, kinda-stroppy, determined and loveable type. Although I've seen loads of anime with characters like this, which can get kind of cliché and annoying if not done well, Yu is amazing and I can safely say that I am obsessed. Although his confidence is usually great, it does sometimes get irritating when he's arrogant and ignores his friends completely when they're trying to help him.
The friends Yu makes in the Japanese Imperial Demon Army are awesome. There's Yoichi, the adorable but kind of wimpy character who might annoy some people because he doesn't hide his fear, unlike most of the others, but who other people (like myself) will probably want to hug. (To be fair, if you were fighting vampires, you'd probably be scared. Unless you're a brilliantly idiotic and headstrong person like Yu.) Shinoa, the main female character and the appointed supervisor of Yu, is both badass and hilarious, and I love her habit of annoying the other characters and her generally playful and light-hearted personality. Although the other female character Yu befriends, Mitsuba, is slightly less useful in a fight, she's still an awesome character. And then we have Kimizuki: Yu's rival-who-secretly-cares. And who destroys the pink-hair-is-girly-and-cannot-be-badass stereotype. So, to summarise that overload of names: the supporting characters are awesome.
Mika is life. 'Nuff said.
The villains are great, but I'd like some backstory to make them more interesting. Although, without spoiling anything, there is somebody on the vampire's side who I am absolutely obsessed with.
Art and Animation:
I absolutely adore the art style! The outfits of both the humans and vampires are generally awesome, although some of the female characters have skirts that are impractically short for a battlefield.
The animation is smooth and effective, especially in the fast-paced battles, which flow really well due to the fluidity of animation.
Although I prefer the Fairy Tail and Naruto soundtracks, this one is still among my favourites. It's really effective in the heart-wrenching and inspirational moments, and the opening and ending themes are both awesome. Sometimes music wasn't used in the fight scenes, which was sometimes effective, but I found that this detracted from the battles more often than not.
The voice acting is amazing. Yet another feel-destroying element was the emotion put into the characters.
Owari no Seraph is great! I'd suggest it to everybody who doesn't mind a bit of blood and violence, and to anybody who is prepared for damaged feels. My rating is 9/10.
Thank you to the awesome @DragonSoulJess for the amazing review! If you would like to do a guest review similar to this one, please let me know in the comments! ~ Mirlotta