Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign
Episode 10

by Gabriella Ekens,

Time for yet another installment of the "Yuichiro does something tactically stupid but gets narratively rewarded because of friendship" show. It's not so bad – I've grown to enjoy the squad's rapport – but it does feel like padding. At this point, I just want to make some real progress. At the end of last week, the Shinoa Squad was split up by a cave-in. They're all okay, but they resolve to work separately for a little while, eventually rejoining at the blockade where they'll be supporting Guren. He's been fending off vampires (including Mikaela) but runs into some trouble when Seventh Progenitor Ferid joins the fray. Of course, Yuichiro runs off to help his teammates rather than Guren, saves them from vampires, and is scolded for his trouble. However, Yuichiro is unrepentant about protecting his new FAMILY. Together, they make it to Guren just in time for him to get stabbed. Teamwork!

I wonder just how many vampires there are? They seem to die more easily than humans, evaporating at the touch of a cursed gear. Ferid also doesn't seem to mind causalities. Even though he could take out an entire squad singlehandedly, he's content to let lesser vampires die by the dozens. I wonder whether there's a plot reason for this, or it's just sloppy writing?

The animation budget has now 100% crashed. The major fights this episode were mostly in stills and speed lines. Just shaking illustrations with lines on the bottom. It's really bad. We've reached a point where cut corners hurt, with climactic confrontations and new character introductions. This is the first time we've seen what Guren's squad can do, and they're given a still frame each. Studio WIT has a habit of cutting corners, and I fear another The Rolling Girls may be on the horizon. Unlike Attack on Titan, Seraph of the End doesn't have the story to keep me invested in spite of diminishing production values. I don't want to reach for comparisons with the World Trigger anime, but if this keeps up…

At least the story is finally progressing. After nine episodes of teasing, the long lost lovers childhood friends have reunited. Of course, we have to wait until next week to find out what happens, since this takes place in the last few seconds. Always a tease. Things don't seem to be working out, though. Yu goes into a sort of berserk mode (shonen anime midpoint staple) and grows black angel wings. Maybe that's from the pill he popped? That should be enough to keep Ferid at bay, and I also doubt that this is the last we'll see of Guren.

Grade: B

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign is currently streaming on Funimation.

Gabriella Ekens studies film and literature at a US university. Follow her on twitter.

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