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Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 2 Review

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Choose your weapon

Vampire slayer. It’s one of the oldest professions in the horror world. Those who take up the mantle of said profession are generally your rogueish types, those who have seen the violence spread by these fanged foes and learn the methods to end them. Now imagine if somebody decided to organise these hunters of the hunters of night. To create a trained group, a military if you will. Now bestow upon them weapons of immense power, add in a few high school students and you’ve got yourself one hell of an anti-vampire brigade. Did I mention the demons yet? Because there’s totally demons.

Having proved himself against a rampant demon, Yu has officially earned his place in the Moon Demon Company, the best of the best. As did Yoichi, good for him. Of course, owing to Yu’s lone wolf philosophy on life, which he scarcely follows, he manages to immediately butt heads with fellow classmate Kimizuki. Actually, he manages to butt heads with him before he even gets to class. Impressive. Not wanting to waste any time, Homeroom Teacher Lieutenant Colonel Guren Ichinose weeds out the students who possess the talent to wield the strongest weapons available to the Japanese Imperial Demon Army: Black Demon Series Cursed Gear. As said weaponry feeds upon greed and desire, those who attempt to form a contract with the demons are often consumed and destroyed. Of course, this does not phase Yu in the slightest and his bravado remains firmly in tact.

As the Cursed Gear has a nasty habit of drawing upon their prospective wielder’s most painful memories, we come to learn a little more about Yoichi’s past. It’s sad. Not as numerous as the tragedies in Yu’s life, but you still wanna give the guy a hug. Kimizuki also hasn’t led the happiest life, though joy is somewhat of a fragile concept in this vampire plagued world. Mysteries, however, still surround Guren and what led him to be the relatively chill Lieutenant Colonel he is today. Although, we do see a little of the ambition that drives him, as he muses about pushing the head family out of the command chair of the army. The Japanese Imperial Demon Army is a family business by the way. Seems legit. Speaking of families, the vampire pack seem to be making use of their former human ally Mikaela, you know that guy who was Yu’s friend? Yeah, things probably won’t go too smoothly when they meet up again. There’ll probably be emotions involved and stuff…

In regards to the previous volume (Volume 1 for those of you counting at home), I noted that the pacing seemed a tad on the fast side. Which it was. Now that all of the initial introduction of characters and locales has been made, I feel that the manga has really started to hit its stride. Though once again a fair amount of plot occurs, it feels more natural in its progression. The glimpses in to the lives of those around Yu have also started to open up the world itself and some hint towards future developments that will greatly affect everyone.

As I have come to expect from this manga, the visuals are fantastic. Each element is presented with an intricacy that sells either emotion or action, depending on what takes precedence in any given panel. The vampires also decide to show off exactly what eternal life/youth can do with the arrival of Krul Tepes, who appears as a young girl with a flair for the dramatic…and the violent. Said elements certainly help her stand out from the cast visually, due to the more…male-ness of most of the characters. This  station was previously held by another cute girl vampire in Volume 1, though she’s kinda non-existent at the moment…probably forever actually. So we got another one. One of the illustrious Black Demon Series Cursed Gear also briefly reveals a similar form, contrasting the more terrifying creatures seen thus far.

With the end of Volume 2 comes the round up of what we’ve expected since the beginning. Yu and friends have made it into Moon Demon Company, Cursed Gear has been acquired by the series’ heavy hitters and the vampire’s have begun to make their move. Don’t get me wrong though, there is still plenty more to come. Mikaela will certainly prove to have an extensive effect on Yu, opening up a whole can of worms in regards to the evilness of the vampire race. We have already seen how Yu reacts when demons attempt to control a human, imagine what he’ll do when he meets his friend once more. Be shocked I bet…then probably punch something.

Are you worthy to wield Cursed Gear? Head over to Madman and find out…if you dare

Grade: A

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