In a world where most of humanity has died and vampires have risen up in their place, what becomes of society as we know it? That’s the main premise to Seraph of the End, which is a character-focused story involving vampires, demons, and a battle to control it all. The 18th volume is out today and it’s one of the last as we close in on the finale.
This book opens with a very helpful summary of how we got to this volume along with character bios for the 17 characters that are featured in this story. Yuichiro and his friends are on their way to the Demon Army in an SUV in the opening of the book and soon come under fire from soldiers. This allows artist Yamato Yamamoto to add some much-needed action, which frankly is quite limited in this book. Soon our heroes are parleying with Kureto Hiragi who is the Lieutenant General in the Demon Army and the big boss as of right now. There are subplots with other characters who are hanging around the Demon Army facilities chit-chatting too, though these scenes aren’t very interesting.
The most intriguing element of this volume is Hiragi due to a giant white angel looming over his shoulder. It’s something some of the characters can see, but most can’t. This angel is beautifully drawn with every feather detailed to perfection. This angel doesn’t play much into the plot until the very end, acting as the climactic high of the volume before we reach the cliffhanger. What this angel is, and what it means for our characters, ends up being an interesting question mark to figure out. Writer Takaya Kagami does a good job establishing how this angel may affect all of the characters as well as give us a hint on a magic sword too.
Sadly, though, this manga is intensely boring. Characters seem to blather on for ages, never leaving a room until a scene change lets us escape. Most of what these characters talk about are unimportant politics or worrying. There is a lot of telling and not a lot of showing. I found it hard to carry on reading this manga due to the focus on the unnecessary worries and thoughts of these characters. They live in this post-apocalyptic future with incredible fighting abilities and spend all their time chatting? At one point two characters decide to go fight some of the soldiers for fun and instead of seeing that, the story cuts away. When we cut back to them they are imprisoned, which was mildly infuriating to see since that was far more interesting than what we were given.
Aside from an interesting curiosity in the angel character, and some good action to open and close the book, I had a hard time getting through this manga. For such an interesting premise this book reads in a clunky way and will make you wish it would just get on with it.