ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Seraph of the End,’ Volume 19

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Seraph of the End

Published by VIZ Media, Seraph of the End is an action-adventure supernatural manga written by Takaya Kagami and illustrated by Yamato Yamamoto and storyboards by Daisuke Furuya. The series takes place in a world where a deadly virus has wiped out most of humanity, allowing vampires the enslave the rest of the human race as their livestock. Yūichirō Hyakuya, a young orphan boy captured by the vampires, makes it his mission to rid the world of the vampires by joining the Japanese Imperial Demon Army.

Volume 19 consists of chapters 75 thought 79. Shinoa, one of Yūichirō’s closest comrades and friends, is in the fight of her at the Demon Army headquarters as the First Progenitor, Shikama Dōji, who is trying to possess her. Ferid’s solution to the problem is to kill her before she’s turned and possessed. With all of the pieces in place and the First’s resurrection all but complete, the vampires and the Hyakuya Sect both converge on Shibuya. Meanwhile, trapped in his own mind with Asuramaru, Yūichirō’s missing memories come rushing back to him and his mysterious past is finally revealed to him.

Takaya Kagami really knows how to build up the story’s suspense in Seraph of the End, Vol.19, due to there being multiple moving parts and plots going on all at one in this volume. In total there are at least four different plots happening on their own.

Thankfully Kagami’s writing does find a way to weave the plot back to one another into a centralized plot towards the end of the volume that will hopefully result in great action scenes and more reveals in the next one. Not to give any spoilers away but I especially enjoyed seeing how Shinoa, Yu, Asuramaru, and the First Proginiter’s plots were all connected most of all in this volume. 

As someone that has been a long time fan of this series, I found this connection and reveal in the plots to be well worth the wait. While sometimes Seraph of the End has felt like the story is moving in so many different directions all at once. I remain very impressed with how Kagami’s exceptional writing skills that keep me enthralled in the story and eager to see what will happen next.

Additionally, while I think the multiple plots help build up suspense, it can feel a bit overwhelming and confusing when you read through the first time. I highly recommend reading through a second time. I did and was interested to notice some details that I missed during my first read of the volume. The chapters are also fairly lengthy. So even though there are only five chapters in this volume, there is a lot of stories packed into it. So you are still getting your money’s worth and it has a high re-read value.

The artwork is also enjoyable. I usually enjoy the illustrated battle scenes most of all in this series. This volume does not have many battles, but there are great action sequences. One of my favorites is when the Hyakuya Sect attack the vampires in midair.

Something else I’ve enjoyed in this manga is the theme of immortality and the purpose of life. A good example in this volume is seen with the vampire Ferid Bathory. Ferid was an enemy now seemingly, if not temporarily,  turned ally for Yu and his friends. Ferid expresses resentment towards being turned into a vampire.  Now he has grown bored with immortality and he wants to know what the point of living is if he can’t die.

I found Ferid’s resentment towards his immortality interesting and felt it gave his character more depth. Originally, I always felt he was just the self-serving murderous villain in the series. That’s not to say he isn’t, but his lament against immortality and quest to learn the purpose of life does add a bit more to him and the story.

In a way, it almost makes him human. It is part of our nature as humans to wonder what is the purpose of life. So it is interesting to see that Ferid seems to have that in common with humans. Meanwhile, other vampires don’t seem to have the same resent towards immortality as he does. I look forward to this theme being explored more with Ferid in the next volumes to come.

Throughout the volume, there are some interesting reveals as you learn more detail about certain protagonists and antagonists of the series. I will say if anything you begin to questions some character’s motives more as the story goes on. For example, I began to question what Guren Ichinose’s motives were and whether he was an ally or not.

Guren is a Lieutenant Colonel of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army and the leader of the Vampire Extermination Unit’s Moon Demon Company. He is also one of the few people that Yu trusts and looks up to. From the beginning of the series, it felt like he truly cared for Yu, and because of Yu’s hidden powers, but genuinely as a mentor would care for their mentee.

However, as the story goes on it becomes unclear. You can’t help but wonder if he still has Yu and his other comrades’ best interest at heart as his allegiance and actions become suspicious towards the end. A good example of this is when he and his friends stop and attack Mika, Yu’s best friend and adopted brother.

Overall, Seraph of the End Volume 19 I recommend picking it up if you enjoy action-adventure and supernatural genres. However, I will say if you are new to the series it is best to start from the very beginning. You are definitely getting your money’s worth with this volume and it has a high re-read value. Paired with beautiful illustrations and the deeper story reveals, it keeps you enthralled until the end.

Seraph of the End Volume 19 is available at bookstores and online July 7, 2020.

Seraph of the End Volume 19
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, Seraph of the End Volume 19 I recommend picking it up if you enjoy action-adventure and science-fiction. However, I will say if you are new to the series it is best to start from the very beginning. You are definitely getting your money’ worth with this volume and it has a high re-read value. Paired with beautiful illustrations and deeper story reveals that keeps you enthralled until the end.