Friday, December 4, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: SERAPH OF THE END Volume 18


STORY: Takaya Kagami
CARTOONIST: Yamato Yamamoto
STORYBOARDS: Daisuke Furuya
TRANSLATION: Adrienne Beck
LETTERS: Sabrina Heep
EDITOR: Marlene First
ISBN: 978-1-9747-1065-2; paperback (February 2020); Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
184pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 U.K.

Seraph of the End is a Japanese dark fantasy manga written by Takaya Kagami and illustrated by Yamato Yamamoto, with storyboards produced by Daisuke Furuya.  It has been published in the manga magazine, Jump SQ, since September 2012.  VIZ Media has been publishing an English-language adaptation of the manga as a paperback graphic novel series, entitled Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, since June 2014.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign is set in a world in which the trumpets of the apocalypse proclaimed the fall of humanity in the year 2012.  Vampires rose from the shadows and began their reign over the Earth.  A mysterious virus killed almost all adult humans, sparing those younger than 13 years of age.  The children were subsequently enslaved as livestock for vampires.  In 2016, the orphan, Yuichiro “Yu” Hyakuya, stepped forward, seeking revenge; his goal was and is to kill each and every vampire.

As Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, Vol. 18 (Chapters 70 to 74) opens, Lt. Guren Ichinose leads his team back to Shibuya, Tokyo.  There, he has a meeting with Kureto Hiragi, who is the cold, cruel, and ruthless heir to the Hiragi family.  But the high-and-mighty Kureto has a problem.  He led a coup against his father, Tenri, and defeated him, but the godlike being, Shikama Doji, that possessed his father now possesses him.  Kureto needs Ichinose's help, but in what way does he need it?

Meanwhile, Shikama has his eye on Yu and the demon in his sword, Asuramaru, and he won't be easily stopped.  After all, Shikama also has his eyes on possessing someone else in the Hiragi family!

[This volume includes an “Afterword,” miscellaneous text, and a full-color mini-poster insert.]

THE LOWDOWN:  The Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign manga is a dark fantasy series that features lots and lots of vampires.  I like vampire comics.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Graphic Novel Volume 18 pairs with Vol. 17, so that creators, writer Takaya Kagami and illustrator Yamato Yamamoto, can initiate major changes in the narrative.  This is a pivotal point in the narrative, but the authors make the story clear and clean.  The internal mythology and back story don't clutter so much as they illuminate.

Adrienne Beck's translation is clean and straight to the point.  Letterer Sabrina Heep offers steady lettering and emphasizes subtle sound effects.  So, like Vol. 17, Vol. 18 is certainly one of those payoff volumes for longtime readers.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of vampire manga will want to try of the “Shonen Jump” series, Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign.

9 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2020 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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