Episode Director: Tomokazu Tokoro [Storyboards for Hikaru no Go episodes 9, 13 and 21 / Episode Director on Nanatsu no Taizai episode 1 and Storyboards for episode 22]
Storyboards: Tomokazu Tokoro and Tokudo Daisuke [Episode Director on Bounen no Xamdou episodes 4, 5, 19 and 25 including storyboards for episode 26 / Episode Director and Storyboards for Sengoku Basara Ni episode 4 and Key Animator on episode 12 / Storyboards and Key Animator on Shingeki no Kyojin episode 17]
Script: Seko Hiroshi[Overall Series Composition Writer for Owari no Seraph and Owari no Seraph: Nagoya Kessen Hen]
Hiroyuki Sawano is without a doubt one of my favorite composers because he knows how to elicit emotion from a scene. He’s not Michiru Oshima–her work on Rokka no Yuusha and Akagami no Shirayukihime are some of the best scores this year. However, this episode works in his soundtrack very well by introducing Yuu’s fear to us and the power he holds from overcoming that fear.
What’s also great is how there’s a strong disparity between the drama and the comedy of this. Shinoa is slowly training Yuu into an Imperial Moon Demon Company fighter and how to control his power. She’s there to protect Yuu and make him stronger–their relationship is fantastic because it’s not super serious. Here is where Tachibana Asami’s soundtrack comes in nicely–straying far away from the heavy drum beats and emphasis on string instruments that Sawano is known for. Perhaps this will help him grow as a composer!
This episode main focus is fear and I like how this theme is used as the backdrop for Shinoa training Yuu and Yoichi. That scene between the demon impersonating Mika and Yuu is fantastic–his desire to know if Mika is still alive or not and find his own resolve and crashing down anything that stands in his way builds a lot of questions on how Yuu will turn out later on in this series.
Something interesting about the singers Hiroyuki Sawano gets for his soundtracks seem to be pretty well-hidden. Remember the song “Home- This Corner” that was an insert in 2011’s Guilty Crown? The English in that was strongly enunciated and her vocals are ridiculously high ranging. According to information I found she scored a 930 out of 990 on the TOEIC test (The Test of English for International Communication) and moved to France after production for Guilty Crown ended.
OP: “”X.U.” by SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]: Gemie
Directed by: Yasuomi Umetsu
Storyboards: Yasuomi Umetsu
Animation Supervisor: Satoshi Kadowaki
Heavy electronic synthesizers, bass beats and keyboard melody. Generic for Hiroyuki Sawano but it works really well for this series. Love the visuals in this what helps this is character designer Satoshi Kadowaki.
The fight sequence with Yuu and the giant monsters are highly impressive. Debris and smoke effects come off nicely–the fluidness of the animation is by animator Shinya Takahashi. He’s basically known for this–it’s his trademark. It’s not polished and pretty but it does line out every frame (for the most part) especially with sword streaks. His work on GANGSTA episode 5’s fight sequence between Nicholas and Doug highlights his talents wonderfully! Takuma Ebisu handled the smoke and debris effects for a lot of this opening segment! Very awesome sequence! This minute and a half long opening included around 20 different key animators!
ED: “scaPEGoat” by SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]: Yosh
Directed by: Yasuhiro Akamatsu
Storyboards: Hiroki Shinagawa
Animation Supervisor: Ayumi Yamada
Singer Yosh comes from the J-Rock band Survive Said the Prophet. His english is very good especially in the parts of scaPEGoat. The visuals by Studio Pablo in this ending sequence are toned down from the rest of the show. Giving off an eerie, post-apocolyptic world that focuses on survival of the fittest. In Seraph’s case humans vs. vampires and who will rise on top. Great ending love the use of shadow’s by Zankyou no Terror‘s key animator Ayumi Yamada!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10