Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign starts off with vampires infecting people over 13 with a virus and killing them off. With the adults gone, the vampires take the children into their “protection” and use them as livestock to feed on. Four years later, Yuichiro, Mikaela, and the other kids from their orphanage try to escape from the vampires. However, Yuichiro is the only one who succeeds. Yuichiro is found by Lieutenant Colonel Guren of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army and is offered a chance to join them so he can kill vampires and get his revenge. It’s also revealed that humanity wasn’t exterminated like the vampires had told Yuichiro. Instead, the world’s population was reduced to 1/10. Also, thanks to the Trumpets of the Apocalypse, weird creatures began roaming the earth.
Episode Four finally reveals to the viewer what happened after Yuichiro escaped and how Mikaela became a vampire. This flashback also introduces Krul Tepes, the queen who rules over the city of the vampires. This explanation for how Mikaela became a vampire was well-done, and it was definitely needed. When it was first revealed that Mikaela had actually survived and become a vampire, the audience had just been expected to accept it. As a viewer, it’s nice to be able to move from simply accepting that something happened to knowing why that event happened. As we end up seeing later in the episode, Mikaela is intending to save Yuichiro from the humans, so we know that the two of them being on opposing sides will play an important role later in the story.
This episode also introduces a new character named Kimizuki, who has a run-in with Yuichiro. We see that Kimizuki seems to have contempt for Yuichiro, and the two of them get in a fight. When Yuichiro and Yoichi transfer into the training class for the Moon Demon Company, Yuichiro discovers that Kimizuki is also a student in the class. Even though Guren is in the room, they decide to try to continue their fight from earlier. At this point in the episode, it appears that Yuichiro and Kimizuki are poised to become rivals.
It’s later revealed that Kimizuki is desperate to make it into the Moon Demon Company because his sister is ill with the Apocalypse Virus and traditional medicine isn’t enough to help her. Guren makes it clear to Kimizuki that in the current state he’s in he’ll be turned into a demon if he tries to touch a Cursed Gear. But Kimizuki is still determined to become a member of Moon Demon Company.
Before the big aptitude test for the Cursed Gear, the students are partnered up for a cooperativeness training evaluation. Yuichiro and Kimizuki are forced to pair up, and it doesn’t seem to go well for them. The training is stopped, though, when word is brought that Kimizuki’s sister has taken a turn for the worse. Kimizuki is surprised when Yuichiro keeps insisting that Kimizuki should go see his sister instead of continuing the training.
In a lot of ways, Yuichiro and Kimizuki are rather similar. They both have very clear reasons for wanting to join Moon Demon Company, and both of their reasons have a connection to family. Because of this, neither one of them is all that eager to make friends. They’re only concerned with becoming stronger so they can achieve their goals. But it’s ultimately those similarities that cause them to butt heads. By the end of Episode Four, Yuichiro seems to have a better understanding of Kimizuki, but they’re definitely a long way from being anything close to resembling friends. I expect that Kimizuki’s rivalry with Yuichiro will last for a little while longer.
From what I saw in the preview for Episode Five, there were scenes of Guren with his Cursed Gear while Yuichiro and Kimizuki are looking on. And with the title of “Black Demon’s Contract,” I expect it will have something to do with these two particular characters and Cursed Gear. Perhaps it will tell how either of them get Cursed Gear?
I have appreciated how the Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign anime series has managed to convey its exposition and do it in such a way that it doesn’t bog down the story. By the end of the each episode, I feel as if the story has made some significant progress with what feels like natural pacing. Hopefully the series can continue progressing this way and never has to resort to trying to stretch out the story because the anime has gotten too close to catching up with the manga source material.
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