THE STORY IS: Battle in Nagoya picks up right where the first part of Seraph of the End left off. This time around, the gang comes back together & gets orders to partake in a raid on Nagoya to try and kill any and all vampire nobles.
The story overall for Seraph of the End holds a lot of promise to be a great story. With the pacing issues of the first season & the annoyance of the character's personalities, the first season fell flat. Battle in Nagoya is, honestly, no better. The pacing is better this time around, but the characters are still the same & the story didn't get anywhere until the last few episodes. Otherwise, the story for Battle in Nagoya was more erratic than fluid. It kept my attention throughout, but slowly over time began to lose interest when the anime started playing very heavily (and when I say very heavily, I mean very) on the "family" card. Everything in Battle in Nagoya was all about family this, family that, and it became more of a nuisance the more it came around because it took a lot of interest away from what was actually going on. "I have to save my family." "They're my family." "I can't leave my family." There are only so many times you can listen to these lines before you just slam the table in annoyance. The story was good for what it was. Definitely was one of those that seemed like it was going to be good, but failed to keep up.
CHARACTERS: They are just as annoying in Battle in Nagoya as they were the first time around. Yuichiro (our story's protagonist) is still the over-confident teenager who wants to "leave nobody behind because they're family." After a while though, it becomes really annoying to watch the stupidity of a character just repeat itself. I undertsand they were trying to make him seem like a hero or someone who has nothing to lose by trying to save everyone, but it's very tiresome to watch something like that. Most of the other characters were the same. No real change from the first season.
OVERALL: Battle in Nagoya was better than the first season, but it still lacked on some levels from acheiving the potential it had from the beginning. In terms of watchability, this second part was more entertaining than the first season was for action nuts. I overall liked the Seraph of the End series. Albeit, it isn't the greatest, but I have seen way worse than this anime. It holds up on it's own fairly well.
I don't know why there is only one review for this so far but I'll add my two cents. Lame vampires (still better than Twilight though).
This includes my review for season 1 & 2
I wasn’t sure about this anime and waited until it was dubbed before trying it. Then I watched the first episode and just had to start writing the review right after.
You want my attention, you got it. The first episode pulls you in immediately from the very beginning. I didn’t need any character or background information to understand what was going on which is what makes a good opening along with starting the story right away instead of introducing everything before actually starting. I quickly understood the characters, felt for them, and understood the situation.
I enjoyed the different various personalities of the main group of characters. For some reason Gurren reminds me of Fullmetal Alchemist, don't ask me why. Each character has their own story and it's not like all of them are fighting for revenge. The stories behind each character tend to play a role throughout the main story and while it is very obvios the connection between their past and their current personality, it doesn't make them one dimensional. Even though it's largely about revenge for the main character, there is more too him than just revenge. I do feel the the two female teammates don't have as strong of characters though.
I was drawn in and held captive through the whole first episode (although a little disappointed at the end when they skipped ahead four years). To make things even better, this is the more serious and heavy type of story where people bleed and die and there isn’t any ridiculousness, at least at the beginning. They mood kind of reminds me of Attack On Titan but with a more powerful opening and a bit less powerful follow up.
Overall I enjoyed the first season. I felt it was waaaay to short still but I liked it and at least there is a second season. The story wasn’t quite as strong after the first episode but I still like it. One thing I don’t like is sitting at the edge of my seat wondering if they will rush the story. They released the first and second season so close together they could have just made it a 24 episode first season. That is how many episodes SHOULD be in a season, not that anyone over in Japan is actually listening to me.
I forgot to mention one little thing. The vampires are crappy vampires. They may not be as bad as Twilight at least I didn't see any sparkles, but in my opinion the only differences between these vampires and the humans is never aging and drinking blood. That is it. The nobles are a bit more different, but if you don't like shows with vampires, don't worry, this is hardly vampires. If they hadn't kept calling them vampires and they didn't turn to ash when dead I would have forgotten they were vampires! I can't give this show any higher of a score than 8.5 since the vampires are hardly vampires.
The second season doesn’t have the strong start of the first season and at some points feels a bit weaker than the first season. I’m not saying it bit the dust or exploded. It was still and enjoyable watch that had me at the edge of my seat (or more like gripping my blanket in my fist and getting all tense). I was disappointed that the characters didn’t develop as much in the second season except Gurren and some others I don’t really care about. The action on the other hand increased and the fights were enjoyable. The story did answer some questions but I still felt like there were too many things I didn’t understand. Hopefully these things will be further explained in season 3. I’m not entirely positive I know exactly who the seraph of the end is or what that means or what the point of the human experimentation was but maybe I’m just stupid or oblivious. Maybe I was distracted by my noisy neighbors during the explanation. I sure would like to throw a fish at them right now or better yet, release this seraph of the end thing on them! Lovely lovely thoughts. I love when anime gives me good ideas and hate when I realize I don’t live in an anime and those ideas aren’t possible.
I don't fully unsterstand everything that happened but I did enjoy the fights. There was a big focus on friendship and family in the second season, more than the first season, but I thought they did a decent job of not making it cheesy. It felt more mature partially because the situations were a bit more mature than some stories and the tone was more serious. I actually liked that aspect. I felt sad for Yu and Mika and the others. Yu and Mika had already been scarred by being torn from their family, Yu from two families. After Yu was kinda pulled in to relationships and caring for others again his fear of losing another family could make him completely irrational at times and was his reason for doing some pretty stupid things, but I kind of liked that. It was very human and down to earth to me.
Anyway, back on track, the biggest problem with season two is that it exists and the season three doesn’t. They practically started a new season in the last few minutes of the last episode and there is no confirmed date for season 3 yet. There better be a season 3. Or I will just have to send a seraph of the end to the studio to force them into making season three. I want to see the development of the new situation with Mika and Yu. I want to know who that girl is. I want answers. Yes I’m greedy.
Overall the story pulls you in from the beginning and while it may not always be strong, it moves at a decent pace and keeps the interest. The main characters develop mostly in the first season and the others mostly develop in the second. The second continues from the first and leaves you wanting more.
Bottom line: If you want some eye-candy and a lot of fighting, this is your show. It does well enough and excells in some areas if you're an average anime viewer. If you want something that makes you think or has inspirational characters, this isn't your show.
Lets just get this out of the way - the art is fantastic in this show. It uses beautiful possibly hand-painted backgrounds in almost all of the shots and somehow the characters blend in well during the animation. The characters are clear and well drawn, and only look derpy when the camera is zoomed out from them (which isn't that often). The character designs are great - I cant explain why I'm so drawn to how they look. Maybe it's how large and round their eyes are?? But damn it they're just so cute. This is probably one of the best looking anime's I've ever seen, though I still think Fate Stay Unlimited Bladeworks has the best CG/fight scenes, and Monogatari has the best use of visual storytelling and use of visual metaphors. This one really sells the post-apocalyptic feel.
The story is nothing to write home about. It's a story about humans fighting vampires, what more do you expect on that front? In this sequel they are exposing an even more complicated story involving politics and betrayl/loyalty, although it isn't clear what lay ahead (and not all questions get answered either). I wasn't as invested in the first season as I was in the second season, but still nothing to write home about yet. By the end of it, it reminded me of Evangelion with children being put in impossible situations and having to fight monsters. Geeze Japan, what's your deal with angels and demons??
The character personalities are garbage, yes you knew that from the first season. Reminds me of Blue Exorcist. Main character has only one goal and that's to save everyone no matter what it costs him, and of course this isn't interesting at all and makes a lot of viewers angry. Supporting love interest Mika does grow as a character in this one as he struggles to accept his current vampire self. None of the other characters really grow at all, though we do see some tender moments with Guren.
This is basically my exact review that I wrote on my hummingbird account, albeit slightly modified.
I feel a bit silly reviewing this when I never even reviewed the first season, but since I just finished, it's much more fresh in my mind than the previous season. For a real quick overview of my thoughts on the first season, I found it to have boring episodes that dragged, a cliche cast of characters with generic backstories and motivations, improbable scenarios/logic (mostly just bad directing), lazy fight animation, and a main character that is nothing but annoying.
Imagine my surprise when I found that this season fixed three out of five of my initial gripes with it! The episodes didn't actually almost put me to sleep this time around, the fight animation was actually animation and more than just shaking stills with speed lines- which we all knew that WIT could do much better, and Yuu was no where near as annoying as before and honestly had some sweet moments. Sadly, even though these problems were cleared up, it just brought forth a whole new slew of problems.
Since the story and character section will most likely be long, let's start with the easy stuff.
As I said earlier, the animation was greatly improved this time around, especially with the fights. Anyone who has seen Attack on Titan could probably cough up at least one positive- the animation done by WIT was visually impressive. We all knew that they could do better than shaking stills, speed lines, and repeated frames. Even though it's still nothing spectacular, it's definitely a great improvement.
Other than the fights, the rest is pretty mellow, but more than stiff people with moving mouths. And yes, the backgrounds are still like a painting.
The music is, again, done by Hiroyuki Sawano. Most people like Sawano, and I am no exception. He's not my favorite composer or anything, but he can certainly create adrenaline-rushing music with good composition that adds to making a dull moment epic. Speaking of the music, there was a slight problem in the first season where the music didn't fit the scenes. Fortunately, they seemed to get the hang of where to place which track so that that issue wouldn't occur.
As for the opening, I didn't think it was as cool as the first season's, but I will admit that it did grow on me, although the woman's voice made the opening seem almost enchanted and... magical. Not sure if that really fits with this type of show, but it did fit with the opening sequence. The ending was boring with the only good part being the choir-like vocals in the beginning
As for sub vs dub, I watched the whole thing in sub and only saw a multitude of clips in dub. The dub is OK... not the best dub ever, but certaintly not the worst. Shinoa's voice is good in the dub, but everyone else was just OK, in my opinion. I found that some of the voices sounded too old for the characters they were attatched to, but I obviously had the sub to compare it too. If you prefer watching your anime dubbed, then you should be perfectly fine with watching this in dub, as it is decent.
Story (Minor spoilers where names aren't mentioned. Spoilers for the first season.)
Oh dear, where to start... OK, so at the end of the first season, Yuu and Mika were reunited but soon after Yuu turned into his "Seraph of the End" mode. Everyone remember that? Good. Once Yuu recovered after going on a freaky rampage, he wakes up forgetting everything that happened when he was the Seraph of the End, and Shinoa and the rest of the team decide not to tell him what happened. Thus ends the first season.
We don't really pick up exactly where we left off, and the first couple of episodes have next to nothing to do with the Nagoya arc, which is the main meat of the season. So we're just going to skip that.
Basically, the entire premise of this season is the Japanese Moon Demon Army going to Nagoya to kill some Vampire nobles. That's it. Obviously, there's conflicts, and some hidden schemes underneath the surface, but that's basically what we're told.
Within the story, there's a bunch of problems. First, we're actually going to start with the directing of the story. I guess you can argue that this could technically go under the "animation" section, but it's not the animators fault, so we're leaving it here.
If you remember from the first season, there was this one really badly directed scene that just stuck out like a sore thumb. Ferid Bathroy, the white-haired Vampire noble, had Guren in a chokehold for literally 20 minutes, but he never actually started choking him. They were just talking the whole time in the same position, so you're just left with "Is he even going to try to kill him or what?" That might be all fine and dandy in a manga, but you can't have that in an anime since time is actually ticking and it's a lot more noticeable. The director has to change things from the manga in order for things like this to not happen, but he doesn't. You don't want Guren to die? Fine. Then find a way to not have him strangled for twenty minutes before somebody comes to rescue him.
This season has even more badly directed scenes. For instance, you're fighting a Vampire who can catch arrows flying toward him with his bare hands. Clearly, if you get a chance to kill him, you're going to take it. But no. Instead, despite the fact that he's totally oblivious to your presence since he's distracted by someone else, let's instead shout out one-liners that make him notice your presence and make you miss your shot. If you were actually quiet, which is common sense, you could've saved yourself and your friend a shit ton of trouble. Ugh.
Besides the bad directing, there is even more story problems, mostly having to do with the last two episodes. I will actually admit that I was enjoying this season, kind of as a guilty pleasure, but the last two episodes were so terrible that all my enjoyment flew out the window.
There were things that were really confusing and left unexplained (King of Salt...?) There was a major plot-convenience that was nothing but plot-convenience. They could've had a random character or something, but no, let's pick her because she has a tie-in to a main character. Why? To add edginess and angst? What's the purpose? Why is there a big box with weird wire-arrows coming out of it? The entire atmosphere of the last two episodes reminded me of the last couple of episodes of Soul Eater, which is not a good thing. There's just more and more plot holes coming up and they're not getting resolved. I wonder what the writer of the original source material is thinking!?
Oh yeah, and let's not forget the amount of plot armor the main cast has. People are stabbed through their stomachs, shoulders, lose limbs, get beaten and tortured, heck, someone's organs even rupture, but no one dies and all walk away with nothing more than a blood stain. What the hell. It totally ruins any suspense and investment you could have with the series.
The characters are about the same bland caricatures as before. Yes, Yuu isn't as annoying and lost his Eren Jaeger vibes, but he's still your typical shounen protagonist who doesn't have anything really unique to add to the table. Mika could've been interesting if he wasn't so obsessed with Yuu and angsting over his bloodlust, Shinoa is as smug as ever, Yoichi is still an Armin ripoff, though his weapon is cool. Kimizuki still has his cliche motivations, Guren remains as, in my opinion, the only good character, though they did slightly ruin him with the Mahiru thing, and Mitsuba... actually, I don't really know what to say about her. She hardly got any attention at all.
Besides them, we still have the typical Vampires, which besides Mika, only three of them are really recognizable. We have some people of the Moon Demon Army who were introduced before but probably no one remembers them. Then there's the other colonel, Kureto Hiiragi, who has plans and motivations that make zero sense whatsoever.
Finally, we're introduced to a new squad with this dude who looks like a girl as the leader. Besides him, the other people in the squad aren't memorable at all. Basically, we have a bunch of new characters who mostly really add nothing to the story and are one-dimensional.
Unfortunately, Mr. I-Follow-The-Manga-Too-Closely director decides to cut out some dialogue that actually adds some character development and doesn't make things as confusing. That doesn't make me want to read the manga at all, but it does make me curious as to what else the director is cutting out, and if he even knows what he's doing. Like dude, didn't you want to follow the manga? Make up your mind. Regardless, not everything is the guy's fault, since it seems the original source material is almost as weak.
Lastly, thank you for reading this rather long half review half rant, and I hope that you have/had a better time with this show than I did. Later!
This was quite the amazing anime. I am writing this review for both the first and second season. The characters were very well thought out and the storyline kept me watching through the whole thing, unlike many other anime I have watched in the past. The animation helped contribute to the story quite nicely, and the story was perfectly thought out, and kept me entertained. The character development was amazing and how it progressed really captured my attention. I would certainly reccomend this anime to anyone who likes action and thriller genre anime as it will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire series.