Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 5 takes place in a world where vampires rule the earth and enslave children to serve as their food source. A boy named Yuichiro escapes from the vampire city, but only after seeing the other orphans he lived with killed in front of him. Unknown to Yuichiro, his friend Mikaela had been turned into a vampire, so Yuichiro was surprised to see him during the battle at Shinjuku.
Volume 5 opens with Yuichiro being called in to the Shinjuku Central Army Headquarters First Office, which means he’s being summoned by the Hiragi family, the army’s highest-ranking officers. But on his way, he encounters Guren and learns about the animosity between Guren and the Hiragi family. Not surprisingly, this schism becomes important during Yuichiro’s meeting.
Yuichiro discovers that he’s suspected of having vampire ties because of his connection to Mikaela, and that the purpose of the meeting is for him to prove his loyalty to the Japanese Imperial Demon Army. It’s a grueling confrontation, especially when the higher-ups bring two of Yuichiro’s teammates into the interrogation to try to force him to talk. In the end, Yuichiro proves his loyalty to the army but that he will only serve under Guren. This had to be rough on Yuichiro, since his reason for joining the army is to be able to slaughter vampires in order to exact his revenge.
The remainder of Volume 5 focuses on Yuichiro, Kimizuki, and Yoichi being trained on how to use their Cursed Gear, since they never received the training before heading out to the front lines in Shinjuku. This includes learning about the two types of demons and how to summon them. Yuichiro does something rather foolish right at the end of the volume, which should end up serving as the starting point for Volume 6.
Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 5 also shows the reader some more interactions between Yuichiro and Mitsuba, as well as between Yuichiro and Shinoa. Kimizuki also wonders if keeping what happened on the battlefield from Yuichiro is right or not. In addition, this volume also reveals the demon in Guren’s Cursed Gear and the connection that it has with Shinoa. While Kimizuki doesn’t consider himself to be Yuichiro’s friend, at least he’s willing to be concerned about him.
Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign seems like it’s trying hard to reveal important information slowly. On one hand, it allows for revelations to be spread out throughout the series. But on the other hand, it can be a little frustrating to readers who may want to have some more information to help them better understand and appreciate the story that they’re following. But there’s an interesting enough story being presented that readers may be able to overlook the fact that important information may only come in small dribs and drabbles.
The artwork in Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign continues to look as if Yamamoto is trying to capture details, especially in the backgrounds. I can especially see the details when an emphasis is placed on the destroyed buildings that litter the landscape. When I read this series, I am thoroughly convinced that the characters inhabit a post-apocalyptic world.
Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 5 is a strong continuation from where Volume 4 left off. It’s logical that the higher-ups want to interview Yuichiro after what happened during the battle in the previous volume. Readers who have read and enjoyed the previous four volumes of the series should enjoy and appreciate what they read and learn about in Volume 5.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media