Category Archives: Owari no Seraph

Owari no Seraph Episode 6

Episode Director: Kei Ajiki (2nd Key Animator on Sword of the Stranger / Key Animator on BLEACH Opening Sequence 12 / Key Animator on Nisekoi Opening Sequence / Key Animator on Mushishi episode 23 / Animation Supervisor on PSYCHO-PASS episode 2, 20 and 22 / Key Animator on Kekkai Sensen episode 1)

Storyboards: Masashi Koizuka (Animation Supervisor on Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 episodes 2 and 7 / Episode Director and Key Animator on Robotics;Notes episode 5 / Episode Director and Key Animator on Shingeki no Kyojin episodes 13 and 17 / Director and Storyboard Writer on Owari no Seraph: Nagoya Kessen Hen Opening Sequence)

Script: Hiroshi Seko (Script Writer on Kill la Kill episode 5)


Yuu and his friends confront their demons in order to become stronger.  He confronts Mika in a dreamlike state only to be quickly given his power through his desire to save him.  That flew by. As did Kimizuka’s possession of  his own abilities.  While this part in the story is about earning a new family for Yuu, this episode focuses on Yoichi, what happens to his sister and how he becomes a demon after losing to her.

Everything about this episode has been beaten to death before and it doesn’t help the fact that it was Yuu that helps Yoichi gain his resolve and turn back into a human.  A lackluster episode that reminds me of Ao No Exorcist and how that series handled it’s character relationships.  Too cliche and cheesy when Yuu talks Yoichi out of fighting them.

On the up side, at least WIT STUDIO knows how to animate debris, smoke effects and the dark fog that represents the demons throughout this episode.  The background visuals are still gorgeous it’s just that the story in this episode isn’t as solid as the previous ones.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 3/10

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Owari no Seraph Episode 5

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Episode Director: Shuuhei Matsushita (Storyboard Writer on Tokyo ESP episode 6 / Episode Director on Yahari Ore no Seishun Lovecome wa Machigatte Iru. Zoku episodes 1 and 10 / Episode Director on Owari no Seraph: Nagoya Kessen Hen episode 10)

Storyboards: 

  • Minoru Ohara (Episode Director on Neon Genesis Evangelion episode 17 / Storyboard Writer on Fulmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood episodes 18, 29, 36, 42, 47 and 53 / Storyboard Writer on Galilei Donna episode 9 / Storyboard Writer on Diamond no Ace episodes 11, 16, 19 and 22)
  • Norifumi Jo (Started out as a 2nd Key Animator on Bounen no Xamdou episodes 6, 8, 11 and 13 / 2nd Key Animator on Michiko e Hatchin episode 3 / Key Animator on  One Piece episodes 637 and 655]
  • Kou Yoshinari (Key Animator on Black Bullet episode 1 / Key Animator on Sora no Method episode 13 / Key Animator on Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos film)

Script: Hiroshi Seko (Script Writer on Shingeki no Kyojin OVA “Ise’s Notebook” / Script Writer on Zankyou no Terror episode 4, 6, 9 and 11)


What a great episode this was.  The soundtrack–using a slow instrumental version of ScaPEGOAT was very cool. It’s also great to hear that Hiroyuki Sawano hasn’t overtaken this anime’s score.  Much of this episode gives the other composers a chance to deliver some variety.

I enjoyed the animation where Mika goes back to his home it pays tribute that he hasn’t forgotten what happened to his family. That they had been murdered by Ferid.  We’ve already known for awhile that Yuu hasn’t forgotten it but I feel that it’ll be their family bond that unites the humans and vampires and ends this long war.  He’s gradually becoming the very monster that frightened him and the other orphans when this series began and I like how this fuels his determination–never sucking the blood of a real human to become a true vampire.  There’s his resolve right there.

The greatest scene in this has to be Shinoa stealing Yuu’s exam.  Saori Hayami is doing a splendid job this year–portraying two entirely different characters (Shinoa and Shirayuki from Akagami no Shirayukihime) and with 17 more roles under her belt it’s about time we’ve got another strong female seiyu in the industry!  She’s quite fitting for Shinoa’s sassiness and tsundere personality.  Her range with this character is really incredible!

It’s also nice to see how much closer the group is becoming–Shinoa’s relentless display of antics built up Yuu’s and Kimizuka’s relationship nicely resulting in that wonderful punch in the face.  Since this series has a second half it’s great that we’re getting comedy before the group encounters their inner demons.  It’s taking its time and doesn’t waste a moment on an overload of nonsensical drama.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10

 

Owari no Seraph Episode 4

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Episode Director: Junichi Takaoka (Started career as Key Animator on Yu Yu Hakusho episodes 79, 88, 89, 93, 99, 104, 107, 108, 111 / Animation supervisor on Monster episodes 27, 38, 52, 62 and 71 / Key Animator on Monster episodes 21, 52, 62 and 64 / Key Animator on Dennou Coil episodes 24 and 26 / Animation Supervisor and Key Animator on Death Note episodes 7, 14, 23, 29 and 35)

Storyboards: Junichi Takaoka (Animation Supervisor on Nisekoi episode 1 / Storyboard Writer on Nisekoi episode 4 / Key Animator on Owari no Seraph episode 1)

Script: Hiroshi Seko (Script Writer on Garo: Honoo no Kokuin episode 4 / Main series script writer on Owari no Seraph and Owari no Seraph: Nagoya Kessen hen)



After that reveal at the end of the episode it’s only natural for this episode to shift its focus on Mika.  The story in the first half has the tendency of jumping back and forth between Yuu’s training and Mika’s life within the Vampire walls.  That’s certainly one way to do it, however, it would have been much more interesting if the show took the first twelve episodes and chose a single perspective to tell the story.  Similar to how Shiki handled the use of humans trying to survive and solve the mystery of people dying in the village.  It’s nice to see this contrast between Yuu and Mika in that Yuu’s receiving a warm welcome from his new friends and the rest of the Imperial Demon Moon Company.  Mika on the other hand, seems more alone than he ever had been before.

I think it was intentional for Studio Pablo to design backgrounds that are strikingly different.  A lighter color palette  in the scenes with Mika to highlight the fact that there isn’t much of a comradery between vampires.  The darker backgrounds illustrate how lively humans are in this show.  Especially the best moments being the rift between Yuu and Kimizuki and of course Guren’s intentions on establishing a division that goes deeper than just pure strength.  So his idea of having Yuu make friends was in actuality, for all them including Shinoa.  To grasp the demon that is contained in their weapons and control them even through the bonds of friendship.

Krul Tepes is like Guren Ichinose in many ways.  Guren wants to teach and protect Yuu in the toughest ways possible.  Krul saves Mika’s life and notices Ferid has other plans that are far removed from the vampire’s goals of exterminating humans.  She keeps Mika close by her side in order to keep him safe.  Good to see the parallel between Yuu and Mika like this–they’ve both got a reason for survival;  Guren and Krul understand that and need to keep them safe for their own kind’s sake.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7/10

Owari no Seraph Episode 3

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Episode Director: Tomokazu Tokoro  [Storyboards for Hikaru no Go episodes 9, 13 and 21 / Episode Director on Nanatsu no Taizai episode 1 and Storyboards for episode 22]

Storyboards: Tomokazu Tokoro and Tokudo Daisuke [Episode Director on Bounen no Xamdou episodes 4, 5, 19 and 25 including storyboards for episode 26 / Episode Director and Storyboards for Sengoku Basara Ni episode 4 and Key Animator on episode 12 / Storyboards and Key Animator on Shingeki no Kyojin episode 17]

Script: Seko Hiroshi[Overall Series Composition Writer for Owari no Seraph and Owari no Seraph: Nagoya Kessen Hen]


Hiroyuki Sawano is without a doubt one of my favorite composers because he knows how to elicit emotion from a scene.  He’s not Michiru Oshima–her work on Rokka no Yuusha and Akagami no Shirayukihime are some of the best scores this year.  However, this episode works in his soundtrack very well by introducing Yuu’s fear to us and the power he holds from overcoming that fear.

What’s also great is how there’s a strong disparity between the drama and the comedy of this.  Shinoa is slowly training Yuu into an Imperial Moon Demon Company fighter and how to control his power.  She’s there to protect Yuu and make him stronger–their relationship is fantastic because it’s not super serious.  Here is where Tachibana Asami’s soundtrack comes in nicely–straying far away from the heavy drum beats and emphasis on string instruments that Sawano is known for.  Perhaps this will help him grow as a composer!

This episode main focus is fear and I like how this theme is used as the backdrop for Shinoa training Yuu and Yoichi.  That scene between the demon impersonating Mika and Yuu is fantastic–his desire to know if Mika is still alive or not and find his own resolve and crashing down anything that stands in his way builds a lot of questions on how Yuu will turn out later on in this series.

Fantastic episode!


Something interesting about the singers Hiroyuki Sawano gets for his soundtracks seem to be pretty well-hidden. Remember the song “Home- This Corner” that was an insert in 2011’s Guilty Crown?  The English in that was strongly enunciated and her vocals are ridiculously high ranging.  According to information I found she scored a 930 out of 990 on the TOEIC test (The Test of English for International Communication) and moved to France after production for Guilty Crown ended.

OP: “”X.U.” by SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]: Gemie

Directed by: Yasuomi Umetsu

Storyboards: Yasuomi Umetsu

Animation Supervisor: Satoshi Kadowaki

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Heavy electronic synthesizers, bass beats and keyboard melody.  Generic for Hiroyuki Sawano but it works really well for this series.  Love the visuals in this what helps this is character designer Satoshi Kadowaki.

The fight sequence with Yuu and the giant monsters are highly impressive.  Debris and smoke effects come off nicely–the fluidness of the animation is by animator Shinya Takahashi.  He’s basically known for this–it’s his trademark.  It’s not polished and pretty but it does line out every frame (for the most part) especially with sword streaks.  His work on GANGSTA episode 5’s fight sequence between Nicholas and Doug highlights his talents wonderfully! Takuma Ebisu handled the smoke and debris effects for a lot of this opening segment! Very awesome sequence! This minute and a half long opening included around 20 different key animators!

ED: “scaPEGoat” by SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]: Yosh

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Directed by: Yasuhiro Akamatsu

Storyboards: Hiroki Shinagawa

Animation Supervisor: Ayumi Yamada

Singer Yosh comes from the J-Rock band Survive Said the Prophet.  His english is very good especially in the parts of scaPEGoat.  The visuals by Studio Pablo in this ending sequence are toned down from the rest of the show.  Giving off an eerie, post-apocolyptic world that focuses on survival of the fittest. In Seraph’s case humans vs. vampires and who will rise on top. Great ending love the use of shadow’s by Zankyou no Terror‘s key animator Ayumi Yamada!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10

Owari no Seraph Episode 2

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Episode Director: Koizuka Mavashi [Director and Storyboards for Owari no Seraph‘s opening sequence / Animation Supervisor and Key Animator on Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 episodes 2, 9 and 11 / Episode Director, Storyboards and Key animator on Shingeki no Kyojin episodes 13, 17 and 25 (Assistant Chief Supervisor on Shingeki‘s episode 4]

Storyboards: Miyaji Masayuki [Episode Director and Storyboards on Space Dandy episode 10 / Episode Director, Script Writer and Storyboards on Bounen no Xamdou episode 1 / Storyboards on Haikyuu!! episode 16]

Script: Seko Hiroshi[Script Writer for Shingeki no Kyojin episodes 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 15, 17, 18, 23 and Ise’s Notebook OVA / Script Writer on Zankyou no Terror episodes 4, 6, 9 and 11 / Script Writer on Kill la Kill episode 5]


 

Looking at the staff for this episode and seeing as how WIT STUDIO is animating this series it’s amazing how production is truly handled.  General Series Director, music composers and if I recall general script writers are subcontracted.  What’s interesting with the staff of this episode in particular is how many of them have worked together previously for WIT STUDIO, and I bet it’s a lot cheaper to use them rather than a completely different collection of staff that are either from another animation studio ( e.g. Production I.G., Studio Pierrot) or freelanced.  It also depends on their caliber of work too.  Makes me think how quickly these jobs within animation production are paid more quickly than on-hand staff at WIT STUDIO.  This episode doesn’t look like the premiere it had a few disjointed shots– the fight sequence between Yuu and the vampire had a lot of “cutting corner” techniques in order to save money.

The apocalypse from the very beginning actually occurred and the vampires use this in order to strike fear that the outside world is a place to stay far away from.  The premiere shoved a ton of sequences in our faces between the annihilation of mankind, Yuu’s life as an orphan and his escape with his friends.  This episode takes a backseat and introduces one of the most well-rounded characters of the Spring 2015 season–  Shinoa Hiragi (voiced by the amazing Saori Hayami!).  Yuu’s discovery that the outside world isn’t so bad (for now) is a strong build-up to his reckelss behavior at the academy.  The punishment he receives?  Making friends.  After losing his family to the vampires its clear to anyone that he’s got attachment issues.

Shinoa is snarky, she’s honest and can sometimes be a downright pain for Yuu but this compliments his naivety about The Japanese Demon Army’s duties wonderfully.  His other friend, timid Saotome Yoichi joined the army after his sister was brutally murdered by a vampire and setups his revenge motives nicely.  Somehow I feel we will be returning to that in another season.  There’s a lot of kids in this show, for a grim world like this one, it will (hopefully) allow for these main characters to mature as the story progresses.  For now though we’re barely touching the surface of the main cast.  I just hope this first half will flush out more background on the vampire/human situation rather than the intense emotions we had this episode.  Bringing me to my next point.

Commander for Imperial Demon Moon Company, Guren Ichinose, knows his duty but still acts like a child at times.  His promise with Yuu to make him a part of his army if he makes friends fits this tone nicely.

As for the quality of this episode there’s a lot of still shots.  It doesn’t detract away from the visually impressive premiere we had one bit.  It’s refreshing because the background designs by Animation Studio Pablo are absolutely stunning!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 6/10

Owari no Seraph Episode 1 [Initial Impressions]

 

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 PLOT:  Suddenly one day, the world was destroyed by an unknown virus. The children that survived, were taken away by vampires who appeared from the abyss. 4 years later. Yuichiro and Mikaela are living in “Sanguinem”, the city of vampires with the family of the “Hyakuya Orphanage”.


Hiroyuki Sawano’s is well-known after his break out soundtracks from Guilty CrownShingeki no Kyojin and last season’s Aldnoah.Zero and Nanatsu no TaizaiSeraph will be a great step forward for him in looking at other styles of music to explore.  Takafumi Wada [Higschool of The Dead and Rideback‘s soundtracks] writes scores that are slow moving without any sort of intensity like Sawano often does.  We get a group of shared inspiration from one prolific anime composer to a live-action drama music artist.  This should be good for both of them especially when considering the content that this show will be:  humans and how they struggle with surviving under vampire rule.  I enjoyed this episode quite a bit.  It has good visuals especially with those background designs looking like paintings.  Reminds me a lot of Aku no Hana  Animation Studio Pablo really brings this show to life with the contrast between Satoshi Kadowaki’s character designs!    The story sets itself up nicely to be very similar in the way 2006’s Kozuki Akane’s Noein had been–  kids at the forefront without any special abilities.  The manga basically narrates everything in the beginning while this adaptation unfolds through some stunning visuals and a powerful music score.

As the kids they try to live an ordinary life but here is where unnatural circumstances come into play that makes investing time into this series well worth it.  Yuichiro Hyakuya holds a hatred for the vampires that have taken their happiness away from them.  The very beginning portrays this human extinction card wonderfully however it is foreshadowed that nothing good can come of living in a confined city with a community reigning over you with a thirst for blood.  The first half of this episode shows the daily struggle these kids from Hyakuya orphanage go through–  their lives are turned upside down and Akane the cook of the family tries to make the best of these hard times in any way possible.  Mikaela Hyakuya if I hadn’t been spoiled in the trailers would have imagined he died by Ferid Bathory considering how this ends with a slaughter.

A good beginning to a harsh life for Yuichiro, his arrival on the outskirts of the Sanguinem and his fated encounter with Colonel of the Vampire Extermination Unity of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army should be the driving force to make this a solid dark fantasy drama series.  Let’s hope it doesn’t ruin it with too much flakey fan service:  the women in this show look surprisingly bright for such a grim anime.

So many anime suffer from information dumping the story to its viewers that this is illustrating Seraph‘s plot and its characters is much more eye-catching and out-of-standards than what even I would have expected.  Smart move on what to omit from the manga for the sake of runtime.

Daisuke Tokudo [episode director: Shingeki no Kyojin ep. 17, 25 and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0‘s ep. 2, 5] is having his first run in the director’s seat with Seraph and I expect great things from him.  Let’s just hope we don’t get a generic shonen series with this adaptation.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7/10