Seraph of the End (Owari no Seraph) is an anime that is currently airing this spring season. The seventh episode just aired, and as a result of its writing, I feel the need to expand on my rant of the first episode. In my first article I tried to tell everyone that the show was not godsend like some people claimed. To reiterate some of the points from that article: Just because people die, it doesn’t make the show outstanding, and just because it’s animated by the same studio that made Attack on Titan does not mean Seraph is automatically its equal.
I’d like to start off on a positive note; the Opening and Ending for Seraph are pretty good. Even if a show can’t impress me with its writing, it’s good to know that there’s at least something minimal to fall back on. I’ll keep coming back each week if only to watch them. I watch the show on Funimation which is not special in its own right, what is though is that this week’s episode hosted Universal Studios’ opening credits alongside Funimation’s. I found this very amusing as you don’t see giant american corporations tagged on a currently airing anime very often.
Now to begin the rant.
*THERE ARE MANY SPOILERS FROM THE SEVENTH EPISODE*
There are some things that stand out as more than questionable in this dystopian world. How silly does it sound when I say, “I know human society is merely trying to get by at this point, but don’t worry, everything is okay because we still have 200ml cartons of milk.” You’re telling me that in the span of eight years, children have somehow recaptured cattle, and resurrected a packaging company?
How is this anywhere near essential to the survival of the human race? Don’t you think the world’s priorities should be focused elsewhere? Even just getting electricity working and managing to activate subways again is pretty unbelievable, but I’m supposed to roll with the idea that pre-apocalypse nonessentials are just hanging about? There was clearly no thought put into the limits of this world. It might be a polite custom to buy someone milk, but it’s not something that should even be possible in a dystopian future! This is all besides the main problem I’m having right now, which is practically everything that happened in the seventh episode.
To give a little backstory of what happened in the seventh episode: we’re at a point in the story where the main characters finally get to leave the human safehaven and explore for vampire hideouts outside. It’s made clear that in order to do so, they have to remain in formation. This formation is not explicitly explained, but it’s clear from how the five members of the party travel that it just means they have to stay side by side. We’re told that if they break the formation, it makes it easier for a threat to kill a single person. Fair enough, but there are some things wrong here.
This definition of “formation” is vague, and the problem I have with it is that it’s apparently the number one rule when surveying, yet the characters go through no training for it. If the most important thing is to stay alive, why are they doing this with no preparation? Not only that, but walking in a tight group is in no sense combatively strategic; it’d make more sense to spread out and attack in unison if a threat occurs. Even if there was an ambush or a trap, the party is more likely to succeed if there is no chance of all being killed at the same time, unknowingly. These are just small nitpicks, what bewilders me is what actually happens in the episode.
The the vampires set a “trap”, yet it makes no sense. The vampires release a small girl out into the streets along with some giant monster to apparently lure out a human party. My first problem with this is that the damn party wasn’t even hidden in the first place. The party was in the open, a single block away from the incident; they didn’t need to be lured out at all! How does this trap accomplish anything? Not to mention that setting this trap is said to be the oldest trick in the vampire’s book, so it’s obvious that they were hiding somewhere. If the goal of the vampires was to hunt humans, why would they blatantly reveal their presence through this trap? Couldn’t they just sneak over to the humans and get the job done in secrecy?
Now the humans, instead of doing the logical thing (saving the girl as a group while paying attention for the imminent attack, which is what the MC wants to do), the rest of the group wants to let the girl die so the group isn’t endangered. What ends up happening is the MC breaks the formation and goes to save the girl. Now instead of following him and trying to support each other (like the party should if they want to keep everyone alive), the rest of the party is like, “nope, we must stay here,” and they let the MC go in alone, putting him in danger. This nonsensicality only gets worse. Two minutes later, when the vampires show up, the party changes their mind about essentially letting the MC die, and they all go in to help. If they were going to go help anyways, why did they wait until the whole situation became more threatening to take action? Why did they make the rule about staying in formation at all costs if they were just going to change their mind two minutes later?
Going back to the vampire’s problems: they didn’t even have a sensical plan to kill any humans that fell for the trap. Instead, they just pop in with no strategy! It’s as if they just show up like, “now that you finally moved from that block to this one, we will fight you head on because we’re too dumb to just strike you when you’re paying attention to the girl and the monster.” Honestly, if this is what the vampires had planned all along, why didn’t they just confront the party outright on the other side of the block? Or better yet, actually sneak up on the party when they don’t expect it before hand! Why does there have to be an intermediate step that, blatantly, only serves to reveal that the vampires are there? Just wait until the party walks one more block on their own accord and strike them when they have no clue!
What did all of this accomplish? How does the girl, who the party ends up saving, who has been locked up for her whole life, who was planted outside as bait by the vampires, somehow know exactly where she came from? For the love anime, how stupid are these vampires? They had full control of this girl, yet she knows enough information to lead people to the secret base? If the vampires knew she had this information, why didn’t they kill her before retreating? These vampires honestly have no idea what strategy means.
If the vampires are stupid for their actions, the humans are even more stupid for theirs. Now that the party knows where the vampires are, their goal is to go to the base and kill them all. It would make a ton of sense for the humans to go home and get more parties for this because we all know that the vampires in the base are going to be plentiful and aware. Guess what? They don’t! Instead, the mere five humans of this dumb party go in alone. What was the point of putting in the effort in to be careful and safe before? Now they’re just throwing themselves in harm’s way!
This whole situation is horribly written. There are easy ways to prep a scenario or an episode, but Seraph is doing it in a way that just ruins its cause. Instead of feeling drawn in, I’m left laughing at how dumb every faction is as a result of their actions. The show continues to make rules, but it instantly throws out half of them, and abides to the other half stupidly. The scenarios it’s writing are worse than cliche or trope-filled, they’re flawed and inconsistent. It doesn’t make sense to me how a show like this get such a good standing.
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