Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, Volume 1 by Takaya Kagami with art by Yamato Yamamoto

A deadly virus has nearly annihilated the human race.  All that remains are children under the age of 13 years.  Vampires have surfaced from their underground cities to take control of the world and mysterious creatures have begun to roam the earth to devour what remains of humanity.  It is in this world that Yuichiro "Yu" Hyakuya fights to break from the yoke of the vampires and to no longer be their livestock.  Yu and the other orphans that have become his family struggle to survive in the underground vampire city.  His best friend Mkaela "Mika" Hyakuya has devised a plan of escape, but it all goes wrong.  Yu is the only one of his family to survive and escape the clutches of the vampires.  He emerges from below to discover that the earth is not as destroyed as he was lead to believe and joins up with the Japanese Imperial Demon Army to destroy all the vampires.  Yu must become stronger and make a contract with a demon to possess a cursed weapon in order to be able to make his wish become true. Will Yu be able to overcome his aversion to making connections with others to join the elite Moon Demon Company?

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, Volume 1 is an apocalyptic tale with an interesting horror twist.  Kagami blends two genres well to create a most interesting narrative. The foundation laid in this first volume sets the stage for the continued series and makes the reader want more.  For those who are avid readers of shonen manga, there are recognizable character types.  Even so, there is much to enjoy in this volume.  The world that Kagami has created is rather interesting to see (especially the vampire "technology").  Yamamoto's artwork is very clean and really supports the narrative.  Fight scenes are really well done and it is easy to differentiate characters and follow the action.  The modification to the Japanese Imperial Army uniforms was interesting touch.  This title is for teens and adults and does include some violence (vampires can be so cruel) and mild language.  Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign is an action packed romp through a post-apocalyptic world that leaves you not sure who to cheer for.

You can find Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, Volume 1 by Takaya Kagami on the VBPL Catalog. If you enjoyed Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, you may want to try Sword Art Online by Reki Kawahara or Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida.

Review by Michelle L. Chrzanowski, TCC Norfolk Campus Library

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