My thoughts on the tenth episode of Owari no Seraph.
This episode had a fair amount of action and at the end arrived at what is probably one of the more important events in the show thus far – the meeting between Yu and vampire Mikaela. The biggest thing that bothered me this episode, aside from the occasional less than acceptable character design (something I’ve come to expect from the show) was the way the show went about executing the action scenes and sequences. The fight between Mika and Guren near the end was by far the best animated and had an interesting enough progression however the clash between Guren’s company and the vampires at the beginning of the episode and later on were both quite lackluster. The episode used stills to depict the ‘large combat’ rather than animating individual clashes or having a battlefield sequence and while this got the idea across it felt a little boring.
Furthermore, and I think this was the bigger issue, the action had no momentum. During two primary instances – Guren’s hasty maneuver to place the spell-tag on Mika and Mito’s surprise attack on Lacus – the dialogue was spoken in a nearly conversational voice, the animation was fairly slow, and the music failed to interact in any way with the scene. I wouldn’t say that the dialogue was an example of bad voice acting however it feels like the lines given were at odds with the action taking place while the animation, needing to be quick in both cases, felt sluggish and ruined the surprise and tension of the exchanges. Lastly, the music, while good, only served as an overlay to the events and never stopped or paused or swelled in accordance with the action on screen. This made the crude action sequences seem further disconnected and I think ruined what could have been the best parts of a somewhat meager episode outside of it’s conclusion.
As for the ending, both Guren and Mika ended up getting stabbed in the last 30 seconds of the episode and while I think Mika (despite being run-through) will endure whereas I can’t quite tell with Guren. From the looks of it, he was stabbed in the heart which looks pretty grim to begin with but he took a pretty severe beating at the hands of Ferid beforehand which was one of the only things this episode I thought was animated well – The strength of the punch and the way Guren blasted through several obstacles as he flew did well to provide a heightened gravity to the situation.
There is plenty of room for both Mika and Guren to live whether it be Mika’s vampirism or the activation of Guren’s pills which we know has an affect on the imbiber’s organs and so it’s not unthinkable that he could survive the wound he received. Look’s like next week will be another action-heavy episode as Yuichi will tap into the power of his demonic weapon.