No matter how much anime I watch, at heart I'm still a book/comics fan and I'm much more likely to spend an evening binge reading 20 or so chapters of a manga than marathoning a single show. Which is how I was already familiar with this story, I was actually sad to realize that this first half of the anime ends precisely where I left off in my binge reading, I watched the show to see the parts of the story I hadn't read yet!
Seraph of the End (Owari no Seraph)
Years ago, humanity was decimated by a plague that killed off nearly all the adults and everyone who was left had to contend with the other horrors and vampires that simultaneously appeared and wrecked their world. Yuu, Mika, and the rest of the kids from their orphanage were some of the unlucky ones as they were captured by vampires to become livestock and Yuu wants to escape back into the real world no matter what's left out there. The world is even more complicated than he thought and, soon but not soon enough for Yuu, he's on the front lines of humanity fighting monsters and vampires to try and bring security back to everyone's lives.
Like a number of other shows from the spring season, this was a fluff show for me, abet in a slightly different way than Wish Upon the Pleiades and Show by Rock were. Kelly Quinn of Tor.com nails it when she says that this show is for people who were fans of other shows like Blue Exorcist since it reminds me quite a bit of that show but it's not as good and even BE was solid but not over-flowingly original shonen fare. The basic premise (vampires! invading forces! teens are some of our best fighters!) feels tired and funny enough, by having a slightly smaller main case (5 or 7 to BE's 7 or 9) actually made the characters here feel even more similar and bland. I would say we haven't had time to dive into character backstory yet but actually all five of Yuu's closest comrades have had their backstory on screen in varying degrees, they just weren't particularly engaging stories and that sums up this whole series quite well: it's competent but not stand-out.
So why is it good for at least fluff/popcorn entertainment? Well, once again to cribb from Quinn, if you're into angsty teens fighting with star-crossed friendships and the promise of dark mysteries then this is enjoyable. Sadly only a few of the action scenes are really interesting to watch (overly complicated fight scenes almost always make good popcorn entertainment) but that doesn't mean the show looks bad, it looks fine. Mostly I'm curious how the vampire apocalypse only happened about six years ago and yet we have vampire fighting clans with side families and everything, that usually takes a few generations! I've read a spoiler or two by accident which helps explain that but still not as fully as I'd like so I guess I'll stick around for the second season and see in what direction the story ends up going. More likely than not I'll watch it the same way I did this season, let a few episodes build up and then marathon through it when I need background noise. It's simply not a show where I feel like I need to read it week to week.
Missed it? Catch up on Crunchyroll or Hulu