Yuichiro has had a hard life. His mother was so convinced he was the spawn of a demon that she killed herself. His father tried to kill him, and as a result Yuichiro was sent to an orphanage. Right after arriving, a virus wiped out all humans over the age of 13 and vampires took over the earth. Four years pass, and Yuichiro and the other children from the orphanage are kept and treated like livestock because the vampires like to use them for their blood.
Yuichiro is determined to kill the vampires, but that’s physically impossible because humans aren’t strong enough. Mika, one of the other boys at the orphanage, likes to remind him of that. But Yuichiro is hardheaded and stubborn, and after one vampire slaughters a number of the orphans in front of Yuichiro’s eyes, the need for revenge grows even stronger. Yuichiro manages to escape the vampires, and he learns that in the outside world there are others who are as dedicated to killing vampires as he is. However, hotheadedness and revenge aren’t going to get him that far… he’s going to need training and smarts to get something accomplished.
Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign has a few nice plot twists that keep the reader guessing. So far it feels like a solid—though fairly standard—adventure horror story. Vampires and apocalypses are pretty common in manga, so what really matters is how the storytellers approach these topics. The few plot twists in the first volume could signal the promise of a more complex manga series, which would be ideal. The art has a shonen look to it, and some pages have detailed backgrounds while others skip backgrounds and just leave white space behind the characters.
In terms of character personalities, we get to know Yuichiro the best, and he’s someone who’s cold and distant because of all that he’s been through, albeit he has kindness and honor in him. The relationship between Yuichiro and Mika looks to be promising, especially with how the first volume ends. There is also the curious issue of Yuichiro’s mother thinking he’s demon spawn and seeing what sort of significance that might hold. As of the first volume, the demon spawn thing is only mentioned briefly, but it feels like something that ought to be key to the story. As an extra bonus, a small color poster is included inside.
Story: Takaya Kagami
Art: Yamato Yamamoto
Storyboard: Daisuke Furuya
Publisher: VIZ Media