Episode Director: Koizuka Mavashi [Director and Storyboards for Owari no Seraph‘s opening sequence / Animation Supervisor and Key Animator on Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 episodes 2, 9 and 11 / Episode Director, Storyboards and Key animator on Shingeki no Kyojin episodes 13, 17 and 25 (Assistant Chief Supervisor on Shingeki‘s episode 4]
Storyboards: Miyaji Masayuki [Episode Director and Storyboards on Space Dandy episode 10 / Episode Director, Script Writer and Storyboards on Bounen no Xamdou episode 1 / Storyboards on Haikyuu!! episode 16]
Script: Seko Hiroshi[Script Writer for Shingeki no Kyojin episodes 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 15, 17, 18, 23 and Ise’s Notebook OVA / Script Writer on Zankyou no Terror episodes 4, 6, 9 and 11 / Script Writer on Kill la Kill episode 5]
Looking at the staff for this episode and seeing as how WIT STUDIO is animating this series it’s amazing how production is truly handled. General Series Director, music composers and if I recall general script writers are subcontracted. What’s interesting with the staff of this episode in particular is how many of them have worked together previously for WIT STUDIO, and I bet it’s a lot cheaper to use them rather than a completely different collection of staff that are either from another animation studio ( e.g. Production I.G., Studio Pierrot) or freelanced. It also depends on their caliber of work too. Makes me think how quickly these jobs within animation production are paid more quickly than on-hand staff at WIT STUDIO. This episode doesn’t look like the premiere it had a few disjointed shots– the fight sequence between Yuu and the vampire had a lot of “cutting corner” techniques in order to save money.
The apocalypse from the very beginning actually occurred and the vampires use this in order to strike fear that the outside world is a place to stay far away from. The premiere shoved a ton of sequences in our faces between the annihilation of mankind, Yuu’s life as an orphan and his escape with his friends. This episode takes a backseat and introduces one of the most well-rounded characters of the Spring 2015 season– Shinoa Hiragi (voiced by the amazing Saori Hayami!). Yuu’s discovery that the outside world isn’t so bad (for now) is a strong build-up to his reckelss behavior at the academy. The punishment he receives? Making friends. After losing his family to the vampires its clear to anyone that he’s got attachment issues.
Shinoa is snarky, she’s honest and can sometimes be a downright pain for Yuu but this compliments his naivety about The Japanese Demon Army’s duties wonderfully. His other friend, timid Saotome Yoichi joined the army after his sister was brutally murdered by a vampire and setups his revenge motives nicely. Somehow I feel we will be returning to that in another season. There’s a lot of kids in this show, for a grim world like this one, it will (hopefully) allow for these main characters to mature as the story progresses. For now though we’re barely touching the surface of the main cast. I just hope this first half will flush out more background on the vampire/human situation rather than the intense emotions we had this episode. Bringing me to my next point.
Commander for Imperial Demon Moon Company, Guren Ichinose, knows his duty but still acts like a child at times. His promise with Yuu to make him a part of his army if he makes friends fits this tone nicely.
As for the quality of this episode there’s a lot of still shots. It doesn’t detract away from the visually impressive premiere we had one bit. It’s refreshing because the background designs by Animation Studio Pablo are absolutely stunning!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 6/10