Lesley Aeschliman

Manga Review: Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 4

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Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 4 is set in a world where vampires arise to rule the earth after a disease spreads through humanity affecting everyone except children under the age of 13. The story focuses on a boy named Yuichiro, an orphan who lived at Hyakuya Orphanage and becomes friends with a boy named Mika. The disease hits the day he arrives and the kids are taken by the vampires to an underground city to use them as a source of blood to feed on. Four years later, the orphans try to escape, but Yuichiro appears to be the only one who managed to make it out. Yuichiro meets other humans and eventually becomes part of a Vampire Extermination Unit.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 4 cover

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 4

Written by: Takaya Kagami
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Get a copy of Seraph of the End, Vol. 4: Vampire Reign from Amazon!

Volume 4 sees Yuichiro and his squad mates headed for the front lines, and Shinoa explains to them about special pills that can increase their synchronization rate with their demons. Shinoa was given a unique supplement for Yuichiro because he has a black demon series weapon.

At the front lines, Lieutenant Colonel Guren Ichinose is battling a vampire. But just as it looks like the vampire will be defeated, he receives help from another vampire.  Guren and his squad take a bit of a beating before Yuichiro and his squad mates arrive. Yuichiro is surprised to discover that one of the vampires is his friend, Mika. Unfortunately, what should have been a touching reunion is anything but that.

As can be expected, Yuichiro is torn when he sees Mika. He had assumed that Mika had died during their escape and never expected to see him again as a vampire. Yuichiro finds he is unable to kill Mika, and this leads to Mika trying to persuade Yuichiro to leave the humans and to join him. Mika’s attempts to persuade Yuichiro to come with him lasts for about five pages, and the reader can see just how desperate and determined Mika is through his facial expressions. Artist Yamamoto drew several great panels that feature Mika’s desperate expression.

But when Yuichiro discovers the vampires are trying to feed on his friends, his demon weapon activates and causes Yuichiro to act very differently. But it appears Guren had expected this to happen. So far, I really haven’t liked Guren as a character because he comes across as someone who doesn’t seem to be entirely trustworthy. He appears to have his own ambitions and motivations that may not entirely mesh with the mission that the Vampire Extermination Units have. Later, we see Shinoa confronting Guren about what happened with Yuichiro since she has her own suspicions. In the process, the reader receives some brief backstory for Shinoa. Unfortunately, I thought the backstory was just a little too brief. I would have liked to have seen a little more here to flesh this part out.

Near the end of the volume, both Yuichiro and Mika recover from the battle, and each one vows to save the other. Right after this, it’s hinted that the vampires may be getting ready to face off against the humans again. In some respects I kind of wish that the volume had ended with Yuichiro and Mika’s vow because it feels like a stronger note to end on. But outside of that minor complaint, I thought that the overall storytelling in this volume progressed rather smoothly. The couple of small time skips that are included in the story don’t feel jarring to the reader.

When it comes to the artwork in Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 4, it looks rather decent. While it may not be anything groundbreaking, it doesn’t look as if Yamamoto tried to rush through the art and skimp on details. The look that the series has works well to complement the story that’s being told. It should also be noted that at the front of this volume, there’s a fold-out color picture of the title image for Chapter 14.

From what I’ve read of Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, it’s pretty good for a series with such a strong focus on vampires. Manga readers who enjoy stories about vampires and humanity fighting against them will more than likely have an appreciation for the series. Readers who have been following the series from its first volume should appreciate the plot and character progressions that take place over the course of Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 4.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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