Manga: Seraph of the End

And so began the battle at the end of the world, between vampires, angels, demons... and us.

Years ago, a lethal virus spreads across the world, wiping out most of humanity and allowing vampires to enslave the human race. From there, Yūichirō Hyakuya and his fellow orphans at the Hyakuya orphanage are treated as livestock, only being allowed to live for their blood. Desperate for freedom, Yūichirō and his best friend Mikaela hatch a plan to escape with their family to the outside world, hopefully free from vampires—only for their attempts to end in tragedy. As the only one to make it out alive, Yūichirō allies himself with the Japanese Imperial Demon Army—Japan's only hope against the vampires—in order to avenge his fallen friends.

Seraph of the End (Owari no Seraph) is a manga series written by both Takaya Kagami, author of The Legend of the Legendary Heroes and Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi, and Daisuke Furuya, illustrated by Yamato Yamamoto, artist of Kure-nai, and serialized in Jump Square. Viz Media began serializing the series as of October 2013 with the subtitle "Vampire Reign".

The series also has a prequel light novel series by the same name, focusing on Guren Ichinose, eight years before the start of the manga.

An anime adaptation is in the works and will have 2 cours, the 1st half will air in April as part of the Spring 2015 Anime season and the 2nd half will air in October 2015.

Tropes associated with Seraph of the End:

  • Abusive Parents: Apparently common among the Hyakuya orphans. Yuu's father tried to kill him and his mother kept raving about how he was demon spawn, and Mika's parents got sick of him and threw him out of a moving car. Shinoa's family also treat her very badly, as shown in the prequel light novel.
    • This may or may not have been a factor in them being chosen as test subjects for the demonic experiments that took place there.
  • Action Girl: Shinoa and Mitsuba. Any female member of the Imperial Demon Army qualifies.
  • Adults Are Useless: Averted. While Yuu's team is composed of Child Soldiers and they're typically the ones getting the spotlight, the adults form other and very competent divisions.
  • After the End: The series began after a virus has decimated most of mankind.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Yuu towards Mika in the first chapter.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The higher ranking members of the Imperial Demon Army such as Guren, Kureto and Shinya are also easily its most powerful fighters. The Vampire nobles are also more powerful than ordinary vampires, especially the Founders, who are the leaders and most powerful of the Vampires.
  • Bad Dreams: Ashuramaru repeatedly inflicts these on Yuu. All of the demons do this to their masters.
  • Badass Army: The Japanese Imperial Demon Army.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Yuu and his team show up to save Guren just before Mikaela tries to kill him.
  • Big Heroic Run: The artist is rather fond of scenes of the heroes heading out to battle.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: The Hiiragi family, who are the most powerful clan in Japan even before the virus attacks are totally screwed up, most evident in the prequel Light Novels.
  • Bio-Augmentation: A staple of Kagami's works. It's implied from the very beginning that the Hyakuya Orphanage was running experiments on people, which was what caused the virus.
  • Bishōnen: Mikaela and a lot of vampires qualify, on the human side there is Shinya.
  • Blatant Lies: Some bullies at the school lie about being selected for the army in order to intimidate people.
  • Bonus Material: There is quite an extensive amount. There's a gag 4-koma manga spin-off, a regular Q&A with the author submitted through twitter, a prequel light novel series, drama CDs, and character blurbs at the end of volumes! The light novels in particular fill in a lot of holes in the manga and anime that go unexplained.
  • Bridal Carry: Mika attempts to make off with Yuu this way in chapter 13. And the shippers rejoiced.
  • Celibate Hero: Guren, now that Mahiru is gone.
  • Child Soldiers: A fair number of the major characters.
  • The Clan: In this series' universe, there are many different families with varying authority in the country. The largest and most powerful are the Hiiragi, which Shinoa belongs to. Guren belong to the Ichinose family, which are a splinter family from the Hiiragi.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Guren is totally fine with fighting dirty to win against the vampires. The only thing he will not do is hurt his comrades.
  • Cooldown Hug: On Guren's demands, Shinoa gives one to Yuu after the latter goes berserk from what is presumably his 'seraph' entity.
  • Corrupt Church: The Hyakuya Church in the novels are a crazy cult.
  • Crapsack World: The world after being decimated by the virus. Humans are usually kept as livestock to provide blood for the vampires and as long as they don't rebel, the vampires will keep them alive. Those who rebel will be killed without mercy. There's a chance you can join the Imperial Demon Army and get a Demon Weapon that can kill the vampires, but this requires getting a contract with a demon who will take over your body if your will should waver, not to mention it won't stop the more powerful vampires from killing you. The Imperial Demon Army themselves aren't exactly saints, with the top brass being comprise of members or subjects of the Hiiragi Family who will destroy anybody who tries to defy them, be it human or vampire.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Losing his 'family' was this for Yuu. See My Greatest Failure for Mitsuba's.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: In a world like this, most characters have one.
  • Demonic Possession: What happens if you touch a cursed weapon but lack the willpower to overcome the demon within it.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Almost everyone here has a dark past and unhappy life.
  • Enemy Within: Ashuramaru is one for Yuu, threatening to take over him should his desire for revenge waver. As a matter of fact, it seems like poor Yuu's hit with this twice, and the second one might actually be worse.
  • Facial Markings: These occasionally show up, thanks to usage of the cursed weapons.
  • Family of Choice: The Hyakuya Orphanage was this. Team Shinoa eventually becomes this too. Guren has also put himself in the position of being Yuu's father.
  • Fanservice: Shinoa and Mitsuba's shower scene, which also mysteriously cuts away.
    • We also get a shower scene that shows the reader how well Mika's grown up. His two vampire comrades also get an obligatory shower scene.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: We have vampires, demons, angels, horsemen of the apocalypse, cursed weapons, supernatural human experimentation, and superpowerful magical religious organizations.
  • A Father to His Men: Guren cares for his troops more than he likes to admit and tries his hardest to make sure as many of them survive as possible, at great personal risk.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Kureto's Modus Operandi. He regularly controls Guren by threatening to hurt his subordinates.
  • Foil: Mika to Yuu. Whereas Yuu is Hot-Blooded, prefers brute force over wit, and has a dark colour scheme, Mika is composed, prefers using his head, and has a light colour scheme. Oh, and one of them's a human and the other's a vampire.
  • Four-Star Badass: Lieutenant general Kureto Hiiragi and Major general Shinya Hiiragi.
  • Feuding Families: The relationship between the Hiiragi family and the Ichinose family is not exactly great.
  • Good-Looking Privates: Shinoa's first comment upon seeing Yuu in his new uniform is that he looks really good in it, with Yuu returning the compliment.
  • Harmful to Minors: Yuu's bitter relationship with his parents at a very young age was the start of his anti-social tendencies.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: To no one's surprise, Yuu ends up with a sword for a weapon. Guren and Kureto's weapons are also katanas, though Kureto is far from being a hero.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Yuu and Mika want to be, but the whole 'being on opposite sides' thing complicates it slightly, though.
  • Hope Spot: The Hyakuya orphans were this close to escaping...
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Demons and vampires seem to believe this, at least.
  • Hurting Hero: Virtually all of them.
  • Hypocrite: Yuu tells Yoichi that his sister's death wasn't his fault and that the boy shouldn't live for revenge—that is, advice opposite from everything that Yuu is doing. He's aware of this, though.
  • Internal Reveal: The reader learns relatively quickly that Mikaela is alive and a vampire. Yuu doesn't get to know until Chapter 12. After ramming him through with a sword. Ouch.
  • I Owe You My Life: Yuu feels that he owed Guren his life, this is one of the reason he sticks with Guren even after finding out that Guren is planning to use him for his own ends.
  • Ironic Echo: After being repeatedly told by the other orphans at the Hyakuya orphan about how they're family and repeatedly denying it, Yuu finally acknowledges them as this at the end of the first chapter, as why he can't abandon Mika.
  • It's Personal: In the Battle of Shinjuku. Yuu when he realizes Ferid was the vampire who killed his family years ago. He goes off the deep end when Ferid and the other vampires start hurting his new family.
  • Jerkass Fašade: Guren acts rude and arrogant all the time, but the Light Novels, which give backstory from his perspective, show that he deeply cares about the people close to him and will always try to protect them to the best of his ability.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Yuu, who veers into male Tsundere territory at times. Similarly, Shinoa, who can come across as aloof and uncaring, but has her soft side. Kimizuki, Mitsuba, and Guren also count.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Mikaela is alive and a vampire. It's not revealed until the end of the first volume, after which all art—including the cover of the second volume—makes no attempt to hide this.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In response to Mika claiming that Yuu reads too much manga, Yuu responds by saying that no, he doesn't, and "This is not a manga!" You keep thinking that, Yuu.
  • A Lesson In Defeat: Chapter 26 has the squad get Curb Stomped by Lt. Guren's squad, after which they receive a lecture about just how and where they went wrong. Yuu actually takes the lesson seriously.
  • Missing Mom: Literally every character. Few mothers are even mentioned to exist, let alone given screentime.
  • Muggles: The people who had no connections to any of the magical religious organizations prior to the apocalypse. These were the ones who were hit the hardest by the virus.
  • Neck Lift: Ferid to Guren in the Battle of Shinjuku.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Subverted. This seems to be the case at first, with one civilian pointing out that by killing the vampires keeping them captive, that group of people, forced to live outside of city walls, no longer has any means of surviving. However, Yuu replies that it's better to try and be free, no matter how difficult it might be to live afterwards, and Shinoa believes that there might be room for them as well, so it all ends well.
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: Adult Shinya and Guren have this dynamic.
  • Odd Friendship: Yuu and Yoichi have very little in common, but are still each other's first friends at school.
  • One-Man Army: Every Black Demon Series wielder. The hosts of seraphs even more so.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Yūichirō is frequently shortened to Yuu, and likewise, Mikaela gets shortened to Mika. This is nodded to in canon, where Mika is able to inadvertently convince a human to tell him where Yuu is because he refers to Yuu by his nickname.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: The kids at Yūichirō's high school think that they're this, or at least as ordinary as you can get in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but it's actually a recruiting ground for the vampire resistance. Despite having been personally trained by an elite member of the Imperial Demon Army for most of his life, Yuu gets sent there in order to find some partners to join him in his squad in the army—albeit he doesn't learn this until later on.
  • Parental Substitute: Guren to Yuu.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: All the "Seraphs" are implied to be this once triggered.
  • Pet the Dog: Guren has a few moments of literally petting Yuu on the head.
  • Power at a Price: The demon weapons give users power at the cost of getting a mental demon roommate that's always there to take over your body if you're not careful and keeps you from sleeping with nightmares of the past. Less is known about the weapons of vampires, but they seem to give power in exchange for blood at the very least.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The novels reveal the vampires attempted to stop the virus that wiped out most of humanity, but only because if the humans die out so would they. This is also why they oppose the forbidden research of the Seraphs of the End who go after sinners (i.e. Humans).
  • Prequel: The light novel series is set eight years before the manga story and show us how the demon weapons were created and the origin of the virus.
  • Promotion to Parent: Mika and Yuu to the other orphans after the collapse of the world.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: All the demon and vampire characters, sans Mika. It's implied Mika doesn't have red eyes yet as he has not drank human blood.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Yuu and Mika. Yuu's fiery, hot-blooded personality contrasts Mika's collected and level-headed attitude. That is, until they meet again.
  • The Rival: Kimizuki, to Yuu.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Akane and the other members of Yuu's makeshift family. Mika, on the other hand, subverts this by ultimately surviving.
  • Sacrificial Lion: When Guren's squad is trying to rescue the hostages from Crowley and there's no chance of winning, Guren tells everyone else to run and leave him behind. Luckily Crowley had no interest in anyone other than him anyway and let them escape. Guren reveals that this is all according to plan.
    • More generally, this is how Kureto uses Guren in his strategies. Guren's team is usually handed the most dangerous task of keeping the enemy distracted and occupied while the main force completes its objective.
  • Scenery Gorn: The series doesn't skimp when portraying the state of post-apocalyptic Japan.
  • Scenery Porn: Both the manga and anime have some very detailed backgrounds. The anime especially, with it's hand painted backgrounds, looks amazing.
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: The Seraphs heralding the end of the world are implied to have been kept inside all the Hyakuya orphans.
  • Ship Tease: There's some very strong Yuu and Shinoa vibe after the battle in Shibuya, and other hints with Yuu and Mika throughout the manga, and the author has made it known in a Q&A that Yuu's "unexpected special skill" is to make others love him — outright implying Yuu's whole squad has crushes on him. That's not getting into the ships outside of Yuu either.
  • Shoot the Dog: What's left of humanity has to get its hands dirty to stay free.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Guren and Mahiru, Shinoa's older sister, who is now a demon and resides inside Guren's weapon. They don't live happily ever after.
  • Survivor Guilt: Yuu and Mika suffer from a case of this, as does Yoichi, who survived while his older sister died protecting him. Mitsuba also seems to suffer from this, as she would rather die than have someone be killed because of her again.
    • Pretty much everyone has lost friends or family, due to the premise of the story.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: It's not like Kimizuki was worrying about the comatose Yuu or anything...!.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Guren and Kureto.
  • True Companions: Yuu's team becomes this and Guren's team are also this and he encourages this way of thinking to those under him.
  • Tsundere: There are quite a few in this series, in a variety of flavors.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Yuu, Yoichi, and Kimizuki all have Black Demon Gear, but for all that power they're still inexperienced. Their mock battle with Lt. Guren's squad is used to display this.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Yuu and Kimizuki, once they get over their initial dislike towards each other. Shinoa and Mitsuba fall into this as well, though they can still be more than a little hostile.
  • Walking Spoiler: Vampire Mika, basically.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Felid Bathory, the Vampire's Seventh Founder, so very much. He's the one who killed all the children from the Hyakuya orphanage. Averted with Shinya, who is one of more affable member of the Hiiragi family.
  • The Worf Effect: Guren's squad is supposedly much stronger than Shinoa's, but they get hit the hardest in pretty much all the real conflicts.
  • Yandere: Mika for Yuu, Mahiru for Guren.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Presumably most of the characters have lost their homes. A particularly tearjerking example is Mika visiting his old home in the vampire capitol only to see that new children have occupied it and see him as just another vampire.