Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume One was released in North America by VIZ Media’s Shonen Jump, and is rated “T+” for older teens.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume One
Written by: Takaya Kagami
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 3, 2014

In 2012, trumpets of the apocalypse proclaim the fall of humanity, and vampires arise to rule the earth. A disease spreads through humanity but children under the age of 13 aren’t affected.

The story focuses on a boy name Yuichiro, who becomes an orphan and goes to live at the Hyakuya Orphanage. There, he meets Mikaela. On the day he arrives at the orphanage is when the virus hits, and the vampires come and take the orphans to their underground city and use them as a source of blood to feed on.

In 2016, Mikaela (who Yuichiro refers to as Mika) has made an agreement with Lord Ferid to serve as his personal food source. Mika later reveals to Yuichiro that Mika’s been casing Ferid’s place and finds a gun and a map of how to escape to the human world. They decide that they and the other orphans will escape that night. Unfortunately, as they make it to the exit, they are caught by Lord Ferid. All of the other orphans are killed, and Mika tries to hold Ferid off enough to allow Yuichiro to escape. When Yuichiro leaves, he believes that Mika has died. After making his escape, Yuichiro is found by Guren Ichinose, who says he can give Yuichiro a chance to hunt down vampires.

Four years later, Yuichiro hasn’t made it into vampire extermination unit. Instead, he is made to go to a high school and won’t be considered for the unit until he can make a friend and introduce them to Guren. Here, he meets Shinoa Hiragi and he rescues Yoichi when he’s being bullied. A vampire attacks the school, and Yuichiro takes it on himself to take on the vampire. He does his best, but its ultimately up to Guren to help him defeat the vampire.

After Guren sees Yoichi express his gratitude to Yuichiro for saving them from the vampire, Guren has no choice but to let Yuichiro join the vampire extermination unit. It then becomes Shinoa’s job to teach Yuichiro about Cursed Gear, which is a weapon with black magic to kill vampires. Near the end of the volume, Yuichiro and Shinoa have to go into the “forbidden chamber” and take care of a possessed student who wandered into it.

This volume isn’t my first exposure to Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign. I was first exposed to this title when I started reading VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump digital anthology in March of 2014. The first chapter of the series that I read was Chapter 12, which is later than when this volume ends. For me, the nice thing about getting to read Volume One of the manga is the fact that I now have the establishing backstory to better understand what I’m now reading in Weekly Shonen Jump. When I read the next chapter in the digital anthology, I expect that I might have a better appreciation for the series than I had previously.

With my knowledge of what’s coming ahead, I can say that Volume One did a good job of establishing not only the characters of the story, but the world that they inhabit and why and how the world of the story is the way it is.

Yuichiro is the hotheaded hero of the story, and it’s established early on that his goal is to kill all of the vampires. After he escapes, his desire to kill vampires doesn’t decrease and he remains very hotheaded. Yuichiro is very much a guy of action. Mika, on the other hand, is Yuichiro’s polar opposite. Mika tends to be more a thinker and is the one trying to use his brain to find a way out of their situation. At the end of Volume One, the reader learns something rather surprising about Mika.

Since I’m a bit further ahead in the story due to reading Weekly Shonen Jump, I’m afraid I might accidentally post “spoilers” if I say too much more about the story.

The artwork is rather decent, and there’s obviously a bit of blood since the story focuses on vampires. However, it’s not so overly gory that it requires a rating any higher than the series already has.

It should also be noted that at the front of Volume One there’s a fold-out color picture of Yuichiro, Shinoa, and Yoichi.

Between reading Volume One and seeing later chapter in Weekly Shonen Jump, I can truly say that Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign is a decent manga series, especially one with such a focus on vampires. If you enjoy reading stories about vampires and humanity fighting against vampires, then you might enjoy Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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