Title- Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign
Publisher- VIZ Media LLC
Release Date- December 2nd, 2014
Synopsis- “Yuichiro survives the trial to acquire Cursed Gear-demon-possessed weaponry that is humanity’s only hope for combating the vampire scourge. But times are dangerous, and instead of getting to celebrate his newfound power, Yuichiro and his friends are given their first mission: head to Shinjuku and investigate vampire activity. Unbeknownst to Yuichiro, Mika, his best friend and now a vampire, is headed for the same place.”
Team Yu now has Cursed Gear and this gear comes at a heavy price for Yu who’s constantly having nightmares about his lost family. Yu’s nightmares are concocted by the demon Asuramaru, who’s attempting to emotionally manipulate Yu; it’s a fact of which Yu is well aware and he’s not planning on surrendering his body anytime soon. Volume 3 builds up the inevitable faceoff between vampires and humans and boy is the build-up nerve-wracking and action-packed. We kick off the volume with the introduction of the fifth and final member of “Team Yu” thus kicking off the long awaited mission to Shinjuku, but before they can venture onto Shinjuku territory, they’re ordered to make a pit-stop at Harajuku in order to crush a vampire enclave and free any kidnapped humans. The new team member is the feisty and determined Mitsuba Sangu, who’s immediately made aware of Yu’s reckless behavior and she makes it known how much she dislikes him and people like him. Mitsuba spends a good portion of the 3rd volume claiming she hates Yu and repeatedly scolding him for his stand-alone actions. Mitsuba’s “hatred” for Yu stems from her own reckless actions in the past which led to the deaths of every member of her squad. She doesn’t want history repeating itself and tries to get Yu to be more of a team player.
What Mitsuba quickly learns throughout the course of the 3rd volume is that Yu may act as a lone wolf, but when put on a mission he acts the complete opposite. Yes, he makes a number of rash decisions and rushes head first into battle, but he’s always looking out for his teammates. Yu saves not only Mitsuba from near death, but Shinoa as well in just this volume alone. I was initially irritated at Mitsuba for her obnoxious personality and clear dislike for Yu however, by the volume’s end my slight dislike for Mitsuba faded away and instead turned into an attachment. Mitsuba’s hatred for Yu doesn’t appear to be hatred at all, much to her annoyance, and instead her feelings could develop into more romantic ones; Shinoa even jokes about the two falling in love.
The group’s Harajuku mission ends in apparent success as they manage to rescue a little girl who informs them of the vampire’s current location, which is an abandoned subway station. Yu and company head over to said station and are quickly attacked by several vampires, confirming that they’ve walked into a trap. Yu shocks Mitsuba with his display of power and strength while Shinoa watches on knowingly; it appears as though Yu is considered Guren’s protégé and is even one of Guren’s favored students. Yu then saves Mitsuba’s life even though she ordered him to leave her behind. The team effortlessly takes down all of their vampire foes and can breathe a huge sigh of relief for a mission well done. The relief lasts for only a short amount of time because as the group heads over to Shinjuku, they quickly realize the city is already under attack and soon found themselves being attacked by three vampires; one which Yu identifies as a vampire noble based on his attire. We’re briefly introduced to Lord Crowley, who’s about two seconds away from attempting to exterminate Yu’s squad, but he’s ushered away because Ferid requires his assistance elsewhere. Before leaving, Crowley makes it obvious how much more powerful he is compared to Yu.
The team finally makes it within Shinjuku and start disposing of the vampire threats around them. Guren is also close by and spying on Ferid, who is in charge of the current attacks. Ferid spots Guren almost immediately and the reader can tell these two are bound to face each other in the upcoming battle. Team Guren is meets soon after and it consists of 2nd Lieutenant Sayuri Hanayori, Colonel Mito Jujo, 2nd Lieutenant Shigure Yukimi and Colonel Norito Goshi. Guren and his team are ready for battle and quickly confront Ferid, Mikaela and several other vampires. Let’s take a quick break in regards to the battle and quickly recap what Mikaela has been up to.
It’s revealed that Mikaela refuses to drink human blood and is dependent on vampire queen Krul’s blood instead. Krul refers to Mikaela as “her dog” while other vampires also acknowledge that Mikaela is Krul’s favorite “pet.” I’m not a fan of the relationship between Mikaela and Krul and I sincerely hope it’s not turned into a romantic relationship because even I can tell that Krul has a soft spot for Mikaela. Upcoming volumes will tell the true nature and course of Krul and Mikaela’s relationship. Mikaela has a brief conversation with Ferid before Team Guren arrived in which he confesses he resents himself more than he resents Ferid because he didn’t have the power to protect his own family. Like the previous volume, volume 3 has hardly any Mikaela in it and readers are instead left with just bits and pieces of Mikaela here and there. I do wish Mikaela made more of an appearance, but the slow pacing of his story does add more of a mysterious element to his character.
Yu, Yoichi, Kimizuki, Shinoa and Mitsuba are made aware of Guren’s presence in the city and are ordered to join Team Guren immediately in battle against the vampires. They head out to join Guren and the volume ends with Yu proclaiming, “We’ve got bloodsuckers to kill.” Yu is clearly in for a surprise considering Mikaela is there as well. The two are guaranteed to meet in volume 4 and I simply cannot wait to see what happens next.
My favorite part in the 3rd volume happens right after their victory in Harajuku. Kimizuki is trying to start a car via its wires as Yu watches on in fascination. Yu continues to pester Kimizuki and although he appears annoyed, Kimizuki is clearly flustered and pleased by Yu’s compliments and awe. Yu asks to drive but Kimizuki refuses, stating he’ll teach him another time. Obviously, Yu doesn’t heed Kimizuki’s warning and instead attempts to drive which leads to Yu almost running Kimizuki over. It’s a hilarious moment which provides some much needed relief in the midst of an intense arc. And could Yu get any cuter? His expressions and child-like wonder towards the car was completely adorable and I reread those couple pages a number of times. Shinoa also attempts to drive, but she’s simply too short to drive leading to Yu and Kimizuki endlessly teasing her about her lack of height; Shinoa is quick to shut them up with a good beating. This moment was not only funny, but it also focused on the group element which is one of my favorite things about Seraph of the End. Team Yu is precious and my love for them is so immense that killing any of them would send me into a feels coma. I give major kudos to author Takaya Kagami for creating such lovable characters and an engrossing plot.
Seraph of the End continues to excel and has become quite an addicting read. Each volume progresses the story so brilliantly that one can’t help but eagerly await the next volume. Volume 4 is bound to advance the plot by leaps and bounds and will hopefully bring Yu and Mikaela face to face.
+Pros: The introduction of Mitsuba is a welcome one because another female character was needed to balance out Team Yu. The action is jam-packed and the plot kept me at the edge of my seat from start to finish. The humor and art remain consistent and on-point; I absolutely love the uniform design of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army, it makes me wish I had a uniform exactly like that. This volume really solidifies Yu, Yoichi, Kimizuki, Shinoa and Mitsuba as comrades; the five finally engage in battle together and succeed in having each other’s backs.
-Cons: Not enough Guren and there certainly wasn’t enough of Mikaela this time around either. The Krul/Mikaela tid bit, however brief, served as a con for this volume because I’m honestly not too fond of their relationship.
Overall Score: 9/10
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