Seraph of the End at a Glance

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I Can’t Believe My Shounen Vampire Slaying Anime is This Horrible.

I keep starting to write, but then I stop and start to stare blankly at the wall instead. I am genuinely upset about how very bad Seraph of the End is. While the visuals are great – polished animation, gorgeous background – this adaptation is terrible. There’s a very rote, aseptic quality to it; it feels lifeless. If I wasn’t a fan of the manga, I wouldn’t have felt any reason to even finish the episode, because there’s nothing here that truly acts as a hook. Sure, things get pretty violent, and it should feel traumatic, but the delivery is completely flat.

Seraph of the End’s story isn’t unique, and what set it apart in the manga was how cruel the first volume feels, how harsh the depiction of its world is. The second volume moves much more in the direction of being like every other shounen battle manga, unfortunately, but that first volume packed a punch. Wit’s adaptation, and excuse the pun here, completely defangs this. Content-wise, its very faithful, but the atmosphere is missing. I especially felt its absence when it came to the climactic mass-slaughter scene, and also in every moment having to do with Mika’s interactions/involvements with the vampire Ferid. In the manga, Mika’s relationship with Ferid feels skin-crawlingly sleazy – its very clearly meant to bring to prostitution to mind. Ferid spends a lot more time fondling Mika in front of our lead Yuu, and Yuu’s distress over the arrangement comes across more clearly. As for the slaughter at the end, its more drawn out… and, well, it lacks the poor voice acting on display here. Honestly, what the hell was going on with the vocal work in this episode? Yuu and Mika sound much too old, and their delivery is downright wooden! They’re not even new talent, either (Yuu’s VA voices Akito in Code Geass – Akito the Exiled, and Mika’s was Slaine, among many other credits), so I can only presume that the direction was poor.

I’m so disappointed! This was one of the shows I was genuinely looking forward to this spring. I wasn’t expecting it to be perfect, although that PV looked sharp as hell, but this is simply awful. I’m really quite upset, and to an extent that surprises me a bit. If only the show was as good as the visuals.

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Guess I’ll just buy the artbook and stick to the manga.

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