The first episode doesn’t drop you in the middle of the story. Instead, it establishes a background tale, a way of telling events from the past. We learn quickly that vampires treat human like trash and apparently, some of them are allowed to live only because they have blood. It’s a classic gimmick as vampires depends on it as a source of food. Nonetheless, the first episode shows how bloody it can be when humans tries to escape from their fate. Or rather, I can’t really call it fate because Yuichiro manage to escape. The only problem is that the rest of the orphans perish as the price. Luckily, the series also has a group of vampire hunters and Yuchiro becomes acquainted with the group. Their goal? To exterminate the vampires and make their freedom a reality.
So essentially, this show pretty much sets up a standard war-like atmosphere between the two sides – humans and vampires. Yuichiro is the central protagonist although the show also introduces others that he meets while he trains to become stronger. The problem with Yuichiro is that he is a rather narrow minded individual when it comes to his goals. Apparently, his goal is to annihilate the vampires because like many other humans, they annihilated his family. His black-and-white view of the supernatural world brings him at odds with his superiors because he tends to even ignore orders at times so that he can get a bit of retribution. In essence, Yuichiro isn’t exactly a good role model. However, I do have to emphasize that he is quite brave and often not to speak his mind. His kindness can also be seen at times when he is helping out others.
With such a diverse group of characters, the show tries to do its best to bring out Yuichiro’s character. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t. I say this because the show’s weakness is the way the dialogues are delivered. It lightens the mood to a point where it’s hard to take the show seriously at times. In a way, it’s more like unconventional humor coming from the interactions of the characters. Yuichiro’s also too brash at times to really see him as a reliable person. However, I do have to say that one of the show’s stronger aspect is the relationship he has with Mika.
Despite being separated in the present storyline, there’s still a lot of reflection going back between Yuichiro and Mika. The story essentially shows that the two childhood friends are inseparable. With the way the first episode was presented, it also gives Yuichiro a stronger motivation to kill the vampires. What he doesn’t know is that certain circumstances happened back in the past. But regardless, there’s a strong form of brotherhood that can be seen indirectly throughout the season even though the two are not together on-scene most of the time.
The vampires are the dominant force. Powerful vampires such as Krul Tepes and Ferid Bathory really shows a difference in gap of power between the two races. They also despise humans and looks down on them like livestock. As evidenced in both the past and present, a key idea of this show is to show if and how humans can overcome these vampires. Unfortunately, the show holds back on characterization on these vampires. They are too stereotypical and really too straightforward with their goals. In fact, the goal they have is too narrow as well and despite having a compelling post-apocalyptic setting, there’s little world building to go with the story.
Luckily, the series does have its mechanics when it comes to the weapons and military. Basically, the show does two things: to show and tell. This comes from the weapons that the Japanese Imperial Demon Army uses known as the Cursed Gear. While it’s still generic, I do have to give some praise to the creativity of these objects. All of them are categorized by a different type with unique prestige, shape, and powers. The way the show explains it is just enough for a viewer to understand while also showing the consequences of their usage. In general, creativity with its weapon arsenal is clever in the case of mechanics. Even the military of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army has a good set of mechanics behind it with different rankings, squads, and roles.
Soundtrack is one of the more standard parts of the show. Names such as Hiroyuki Sawano will instantly ring a bell and is easily recognized by their style. However, the show does suffer a bit as most of the soundtrack sounds similar. Unlike some the other popular works he is involved in, Owari no Seraph’s OST doesn’t create an excitement. It is on the right track most of the time but doesn’t leave behind lasting impressions. In fact, I can’t name one single OST in the show that I’d want to search for again. On the other hand, the OP and ED theme song has a creative melody to it with a lot of foreshadowing. It puts creativity to the vampire themes with decent amount of symbolism and can be memorable.