In the aftermath of Yuichiros berserk mode Shinoa does some investigating into what Gurens been doing to her squad member. The lieutenant colonel assigned Yuichiro a special dosage of stimulants and Shinoa thinks thats what made her teammate go all Sephiroth. On the way to confronting Guren she finds out that the Japanese Imperial Demon Army has been performing experiments on both live vampires and humans. Guren claims that he hasnt done anything to Yuichiro and Shinoa leaves suspicious and unnerved.
Meanwhile Yuichiro finally wakes up from his coma. His squad mates have been keeping vigil over him and are ecstatic to see him conscious. Yuichiro doesnt remember going all onewingedangel and Shinoa decides to keep this from him. Shes developing some feelings for the guy and this episodes major misstep is making that too obvious when Guren gets on her case for it. While it makes sense that Shinoa might start to like him now the point where it might become love or even a relationship is still far off. It wouldve been best to keep this on the back burner.
Overall this episode was a resonant depiction of how much the Shinoa Squads members care about each other. They were all taking turns by his bedside. Even Kimizuki Yuichiros blood rival in hotheaded idiocy was part of the rotation. Its appropriate that Yoichi was there when Yuichiro woke up however. The only truly nice person in this cast of jokers Yoichi is Yuichiros closest substitution for Mikaela. His personality is just like Mikaelas as a child before he became a depressed obsessive vampire. Yoichi also has an important role in the group dynamic – he deflates the tension before their squabbling become too heated. Mitsuba is still an odd man out – somewhere between Kimizuki and Shinoa personalitywise – but she wields a giant axe so I can deal. I like how these three formed a conga line by shoving each other as soon as they entered the room.
Yuichiro has found happiness within his new makeshift family but still isnt willing to let Mikaela go. Can Mikaela find happiness in his new situation or break free somehow This tension will serve as the series emotional throughline. Other mysteries include Shinoas deceased sister. She seems to have been an important person to both Shinoa and Guren and she wielded a katana much like Yuichiros. She perished due to Hiragi family infighting and Shinoa stays low in the ranks to avoid her fate. I wonder what role shell play in the future.
Another revelation the vampires and Japanese Imperial Army are cooperating to some extent in their science experiments. The episode leaves us hanging on the identity of the liaison but its someone whos willing to work with Ferid. Guren looks like the obvious choice but Ferid recently tried to kill him. Whoever the mole is they arent very happy to be dealing with Lord Flounceypants. I like how the vampires arent really villains. Theyre more of a sympathetic counterfaction combating the secret nasty things that humans are up to. At some point Seraph of the End will probably see an alliance of humans and vampires against the true villains something to do with demons. The audience is acclimated to this reality through banter between the vampires theyre relatable rather than sinister.
The production has also improved somewhat. Much less is going on its mostly people walking through hallways or sitting but theres some nice character animation sprinkled throughout. Seraph of the End is a wellmade show and one of its strengths lies in how it uses body language to convey character information. Yuichiros relaxed postcoma emotional state comes across in how he moves his head while a lot can be read about Shinoas feelings from her clenched shoulders. Even when it falls apart Im always impressed by how much creative effort is put into Seraph of the Ends production.
This was a calm moment in the aftermath of last weeks explosive conflict but it ended up one of Seraphs strongest episodes. Its also an odd point to cut off for a shonen series – not with a loud resolution or jarring cliffhanger but a quiet emotional moment between friends. It draws a contrast between how Yuichiro started out angry and alone and how he is now surrounded by people who care about him. Still Mikaela is calling out for him and theres no way Yull be able to leave his old friend hanging. Surprisingly enjoyable Seraph of the End Vampire Reign may not have brains but its full of heart. For what its worth I would not call any of the cast strong characters but Id be willing to hang out with any of them in the real world. I look forward to the shows return in Fall.