What They Say:
After the world was infected by a mysterious virus, a pair of orphans named Mikael and Yuichiro find themselves being enslaved by vampires. One day they try to escape alongside the other orphans and all end up being slaughtered by vampires leaving only Yuichiro to escape. Upon reaching the outside world, he joins a group dedicated to defeating the vampires and swears to one day have his revenge.
Content (warning as some portions of this review may contain spoilers):
Well played, Wit. Well played. I didn’t think it was
Well played, Wit. Well played. I didn’t think it was possible, but somehow you managed to pull it off. We have managed to achieve a non-ending that’s somehow simultaneously more and less ridiculous than the one we got for Gangsta earlier this year. I suppose under the circumstances it would have been strange to expect anything different but man I don’t think I was fully prepared for what we witnessed here.
Kicking off from last week’s cliffhanger, Mika manages to save Yu from Guren’s attack but gets injured fighting him as Guren kickstarts the Seraph of the End ritual. It results in bringing down an angel…and one that also happened to possess the body of Shiho’s sister, Mirai. Neither he nor the audience get too much time to process that though as Kureto attempts to capture it in order to harness its power. Mika and Yu attempt to fight Guren but seeing that Guren appears to be broken up about fighting him and Yu of course not wanting to fight his “family” makes him hesitant to strike him seriously, and it results in Guren completing the process to control the Seraph. By this point, we’ve already more or less diverged from what was happening in the manga and things only get more crazy from here.
As the Seraph starts absorbing everyone, the gang tries to make a run for it but Shiho isn’t willing to leave his sister behind. That goes double for Yu who despite Mika’s protests once again tells him he’s not willing to abandon his family in order to save himself. To save them, he stabs himself and decides to fully embrace the power of the angel that resides in him regardless of the risk involved. Thus Yu transforms into a Seraph himself, which Kureto is none too pleased with since that power could destroy the world a second time, but despite his efforts, his forces prove to be no match for Yu’s Seraph powers and neither does the other Seraph as Yu destroys it in a well-animated blaze of glory. Frustrated at having his plans foiled, Kureto has a straight up tantrum and tries to attack Yu himself, but fails hilariously and Asuramaru manages to bring Yu back to normal before the transformation goes too far.
If this already sounds pretty nuts then rest assured it gets stranger because Mika and Krul try to tack advantage of the confusion to grab Yu (which seems kinda weird considering Mika seemed to have left the vampires) but Crowley tries to stop Krul himself. This backfires however as Krul just straight up kills him…but the joke’s on her as Ferid sneaks up from behind drinking her blood dry and Crowley turns out to be not so dead. Ferid exposes Krul as a traitor to vampire kind and orders the vampires to kill what remains of the army while Kureto and Guren both try to get their hands on Yu. However Narumi ends up helping the whole gang to escape leaving Mirai behind in the process…and then cut to four months later where the vampires and the army are both still individually scheming and Yu’s merry band of family decides to head back to the battlefield in order to rescue Guren and Mirai. The end?
So uh…yeah that sure is…an ending I guess? To be totally fair to Wit, they literally had only half a manga chapter’s worth of material to go off of here so I was expecting something kinda bizarre, but even with that this is just a downright headscratcher. Like what was the point of doing a random time skip at the end if it’s literally just bringing things back to square one? What was with teasing all those character deaths at the last minute? It really felt like Wit was going out of their way to make those last few minutes as incoherent as possible, but I can, at least, say it was a ha-ha kind of incoherent which I suppose would have been better than being left frustrated. More significantly I suppose this also leaves room for another season which I assume was more or less the goal here, but it sure would have been nice if they could have found a less silly way to pull that off. Well, not much to you can do about that I guess.
As a whole, I’m willing to give credit where credit is due, as Seraph’s second half proved to be a heck of a lot stronger than it’s first. While the show never fully managed to separate itself from the pseudo-Blue Exorcist/Attack on Titan vibes it produced at the beginning, it at least managed to succeed in making the cast more likable, and even managed to make me warm up to Yu a bit more as opposed to how frustrating I found him in the beginning. It also proved to be a way stronger production than the first half, as it managed to successfully avoid notably cratering and even the “finale” here had a few really standout moments of cool-looking animation. As far as this “ending” here goes, though…I’m not really sure how to feel about it but it at least managed to wrap up the current story arc (albeit in the most ridiculous way possible) which at least puts it front of Gangsta in terms of shows I reviewed this year. Not quite sure if I can say I’m really hoping they’ll pump out more after those last few minutes, but I’d certainly watch it and I suppose that’s enough to make me look back on this season fondly.
Seraph’s “finale” both met and exceeded my expectations of a downright bonkers ending, given how close in proximity the anime is to the manga material. What we get here manages to wrap up the current arc and delivers on a flashy big battle to go out on, but those last few minutes are downright nonsensical and make almost no sense whatsoever from a standalone point of view. From a “we want to make more of this” point of view, though, it was probably the right call since it certainly leaves room for more and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of that was based off of the authors’ instructions. At any rate, while it certainly wasn’t a “good” finale it didn’t leave me all that cold either and overall I enjoyed the second half of the series quite a bit. In regards to any future adaptations of later material, though, I can’t say it’s left me particularly excited for the prospect.
Grade: B (???)
Streamed By: FUNimation, Hulu