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 Five focuses on Yuichiro and his desire for Cursed Gear. Yuichiro confronts Guren about it at a time when he doesn’t want to potentially deal with higher-ups, so Guren says they’ll sign a contract with a demon so Yuichiro can go on the front line. I couldn’t believe it was going to be quite that simple, and it turns out that I was right.
When Yuichiro gets his written exam back that will determine the Cursed Gear rank he will receive, he gets a 0. Apparently, due to his captivity as a child, Yuichiro doesn’t know Japanese as well as he knows other languages, so he uses hiragana to answer the questions. Meanwhile, his rival Kimizuki aces the exam, and the two of them begin arguing and fighting with each other. Guren comes into the classroom and uses his Cursed Gear to determine who will be eligible to try out for the Black Demon Series Cursed Gear. Those still standing include Yuichiro, Yoichi, and Kimizuki.
This episode is important for Yoichi’s character development. When the other students try to get him to back out of this, Yoichi says he needs to try to get through this test to avenge his sister and to get more strength. It turns out that he has high psychic resistance, but the instructor for the class thinks he’s physically weak and will be unable to defeat a demon in the Contract Ceremony. Yoichi’s Contract Ceremony will definitely be one to watch when it happens. It appears that Kimizuki may have some trouble as well, since he only managed to remain standing in the classroom because he held on to a desk.
The episode also establishes that the Hiragi family holds the power within the Japanese Imperial Demon Army, and that Guren’s family is a branch family of the Hiragis. It’s made very clear during a meeting that Guren isn’t respected much amongst the Hiragi higher-ups. This does seem to help explain why Guren acts the way he does at times, because he seems willing to be flippant toward the Hiragis and willing to do things that will end up rankling them. There’s definitely a hint of a power struggle going on there.
In the end, there really isn’t much in the way of story progression by the time Episode Five ends. It’s primarily an exposition episode that leads into the Contract Ceremony, even though the title is, “Black Demon’s Contract.” We have three characters in very different sections of the spectrum who will be taking the challenge. Yuichiro failed his written exam, but he has already resisted a Cursed Gear once and was able to withstand Guren’s challenge in the classroom. Kimizuki did well on the written exam, but has already shown a slight weakness when it comes to the demons. We don’t know how Yoichi performed on the written test, but he has a high psychic resistance even though he is physically weak. It’s going to be interesting to see how these three fare in their respective challenges. From what I saw in the preview for Episode Six, along with its title, it appears that we will see all three of the characters going through the Contract Ceremony and the audience may even know the result by the end of it.
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