So a few months ago, I posted about how there wasn’t a whole lot of anime that I was excited to watch for the Spring season. I recommended two, and moved along.
I’m here to tell you, as spring anime season comes to an end, that I have led you astray, my friends.
When I was looking through the list of anime back then, I saw an anime called Seraph of the End, and was interested in the art style, but then read the synopsis:
One day, a mysterious virus appeared on Earth which killed every infected human over the age of 13. At the same time, vampires emerged from the world’s dark recesses and enslaved mankind. Enter Hyakuya Yuuichirou, a young boy, who along with the rest of the children from his orphanage, are treated as livestock by the vampires. Even in captivity, Yuuichirou dreams big. He dreams of killing vampires. He dreams of killing them all.
So you see, I read this and I thought. Eh. Kids? I don’t like kids. Vampires are okay but with kids? Pfff. Post-apocalyptic? Ehh. Over it. I guess this is part of the problem with my tendency to just pick animes based on first impressions, and not look into anything [like the manga] before making decisions.
I have learned my lesson, everyone.
About two weeks into the spring season, I saw a specific gif set come across my Tumblr. As I hit the reblog button, the exact words I typed were
“Oh no I think I have to watch this anime now shit”
And that was that. I have since watched each episode as it released, and read the entire manga that is available. I am running around screaming about this anime to anyone who will listen. Usually they back away slowly.
But why did I take to this so quickly? I have been thinking about it, and I realized there are some things that have made me feel like when I first stumbled upon Fullmetal Alchemist, which is my all time favorite anime/manga.
WARNING some spoilers ahead but I will try to avoid major spoilers as much as possible.
The Guren and Yuu Dynamic
In Fullmetal Alchemist, the colonel/soldier relationship between Roy and Ed is pretty obvious straight from the beginning – Ed is a hotheaded young brat and Roy doesn’t have time for his shit, but actually does.
This is Guren and Yuu in a nutshell. Guren is the Lieutenant Colonel of the military branch Yuu is involved with, and on the surface appears to be lazy and generally not caring. But there is a lot of depth to his character, especially if one is familiar with his story from the light novel series that is the prequel to this show [see omg look how deep I am in this that thing isn’t even officially translated yet]. I guess I for some reason find this interaction endearing, or something? Maybe I’m crazy.
I am a sucker for angst in its purest form. It’s a sick pleasure. In Fullmetal Alchemist, the angst centers around the two brothers and their unwavering dedication to each other, their family.
In Seraph of the End, it’s very similar – the main characters are driven by their desire to protect their family, to be there for one another, under very dark circumstances. I mean, you can probably LOOK at the art and pretty much see how this is going to pan out. :3
Another major factor of FMA was the political shenanigans going on in the background that eventually came to the forefront and shit got real. FMA dealt with homunculi and alchemy, a search for ultimate power. Seraph of the End has vampires and demons and curses, and also that fight for power in this post-apocalyptic world. It’s not really clear who is on what side, or really which side are the bad guys, and who is moving certain pieces. Even 35 chapters into the manga, there are still so many questions. I really like that in the end, it’s more than just vampires versus humans.
I know you are saying “BUT ALEX there are so many tropes in this show. Geez. What the hell.”
I’m here to tell you that the bread and butter of anime/manga, hell, entertainment in general is TROPES. Let’s look at some of the line up for summer anime:
I mean, come on. The challenge with these stories I don’t think isn’t about not having tropes. It’s about how you make those tropes interesting and refreshing. I think that Seraph of the End does that, and I think it’s why I’ve just jumped into this fandom without any remorse.
Also, the opening and ending songs are pretty much the best songs I’ve heard in an anime in years, and are pretty much two characters talking to each other. Be warned if you watch the videos there are spoilers but you should just open and listen. Also the full songs have amazing lyrics that make me cry. I should just stop talking now. Why are you backing away? WAIT.
You can check out Seraph of the End’s first 12 episodes at:
Second season starts in October!