Title- Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Publisher- VIZ Media LLC
Release Date- September 1, 2015
Synopsis- “The only thing standing between humans and complete subjugation to vampires is sheer tenacity and Cursed Gear. Yuichiro has the first in spades, but to increase the amount of power he can draw from the demon inside his cursed sword, he enters a coma-like state to thin the barrier between human and demon. His power upgrade can come none too soon, as the vampire queen reveals her plans to annihilate the human resistance and claim true dominion over Japan.”
The recent volumes of Seraph of the End have been hinting at something big and unfortunate to come, and the stellar sixth volume of the series further foreshadows that particular event while dishing out some spectacular character development. The main objective of this particular volume, other than making the reader question who’s good and who’s bad, has everything to do with the close bonds these characters share, which is one of my upmost favorite aspects of the series.
This volume picks up where the fifth one left off with Yu unconscious so he can acquire true possession of his weapon by facing off against “his” demon Asuramaru. Out of all the characters present in the Seraph universe, Yu is perhaps the only one connected to almost every single character in some way; we even find out Vampire Queen Krul Tepes let Yu live, despite getting orders to kill both him and Mika. Yu can be considered the weakness of multiple characters and the heart of the series. His interactions with Asuramaru this volume are proof that even the toughest of demons can develop a soft spot for him. Despite holding great darkness and violence within him, Yu is so starkly pure and different in his mindset that others can’t help but flock towards him. Even Kimizuki, who constantly preaches about how much he “hates” Yu, is affected by Yu’s mere presence and has changed for the better due to Yu. Even as a reader, Yu is my favorite character because of how endearing he truly is.
Asuramaru is hell-bent on taking over Yu’s body, especially now that he’s had a taste of Yu’s addictive blood. He almost succeeds in his task, but Yu’s strong will to protect others wins out in the end. Yu’s dialogue was fascinating in this particular segment because, despite claiming to hate vampires and demons, he includes Asuramaru in his list of friends he needs to protect. He extends a hand of friendship to the shocked demon and states he’ll love and keep Asuramaru company so he won’t get lonely. It becomes clear to readers that Asuramaru is starting to care about Yu -- a concept with which I’m sure Asuramaru will struggle -- and I hope future volumes will continue to flesh out their relationship. This particular moment between Yu and Asuramaru is vital because a key piece of information is revealed about Yu and his past. Firstly, his true full name is Yuichiro Amane, and, secondly, Yu’s parents attempted to kill him because he’s a Seraph of the End. The sly reveal of Yu’s family name makes me think his biological family will have a bigger role in the future. Perhaps a character we’ve already seen is actually related to Yu?
Kimizuki also interacts with his demon Kiseki-O, who gives him a tougher time than Asuramaru gave Yu, which was nice to see because the series didn’t attempt to quickly wrap up Kimizuki’s storyline. Kimizuki is able to defeat Kiseki-O due to lessons he’s learned from Yu; Yu’s emphasis on “family”, especially his drive to reunite with Mika, has changed Kimizuki’s outlook on life, and he has decided to protect his comrades and sister till the day he dies. Kimizuki and Yu decide to test their power by “fighting” each other, which leads to yet another (somewhat) of a twist: Yu and Kimizuki were able to use special abilities while wielding their possession-type weapons, which is something that’s never been heard of before; even Yoichi excelled at using his weapon. Furthermore, any information on their past has been erased from government records. Guren has a meeting with Kureto Hiragi, who brings into question what makes those three so special. This particular meeting, while not my favorite section of the volume, certainly moves the plot along and sets up the premise for future volumes: an all-out war between humans and vampires is on its way with both sides taking actions to eradicate the other.
Mika finally makes an appearance, and, thankfully, he sticks around for longer than two pages. Mika becomes aware of Krul’s motives towards Yu, which are left a secret to the readers. This volume added another dimension to Krul’s character, and I’m left wondering if the Vampire Queen is truly as evil as she’s been said to be in past volumes. She has a soft spot for Mika and -- oddly enough -- Yu; the two of them have never interacted (that we’ve seen thus far), which makes me think she’s more “attached” to Yu because he’s a Seraph, making him the world’s deadliest weapon. If Krul were to utilize Yu and fully control him, she would be able to slaughter all that’s left of mankind with vampires, officially taking over.
If it wasn’t obvious in my previous reviews of the series, I absolutely love Seraph of the End. From the storyline to the characters; there’s not a single reason in the world for someone to dislike Seraph. Each volume has maintained a 9 out of 10 rating and this volume is no different. I’ll be foregoing a pros and cons list because honestly, its difficult to find a single downside to the series -- that’s how good it is! My favorite moment this time around has to be Yu’s interaction with Asuramaru; it’s about damn time we see more of this adorable demon. I also loved seeing Shinoa and Mitsuba tease Kimizuki for his feelings towards Yu. The two jokingly state Kimizuki is in love with Yu and proceed to roleplay as Yu and Kimizuki. The next couple of volumes are sure to amp up the intensity, and I’m crossing my fingers for a Yu/Mika reunion! Volume 7 will be released in December, so, sadly, MangaNook’s reviews for Seraph will only resume with the latest release.
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