Perhaps the most interesting thing about Seraph of the End besides its scenario–a post-apocalyptic world with man vs. vampire (Well, that was done in Trinity Blood, but this setting feels different.)–is its emphasis on human relationships. Our hero, Yuuichiro, loses his parents to join another family in an orphanage. He loses this family while leaving the vampire held city were he was taken following the plague which broke out. The head of the anti-vampire unit, Colonel Guren, demands that Yuuichiro gain a friend or a lover before he may join this unit. In the last episode, Yuuichiro is forced to pair with another person having trouble forming human relationships. One might list more examples of how this show focuses on the importance of relationships.
However, a few remarks of Shinoa’s I found particularly fascinating: “Virginity is evil” and the above comments. (Just seeing the words on screen does not do justice to Saori Hayami’s delivery.) In another article, it might be worthwhile to compare the idea of virginity and loneliness, but I want to focus on her hearty exclamation above. It seems to me that Shinoa states two mutually opposed ideas: breeding and illicit sexual realtions. It is important for the decimated human population to repopulate the world, but that can in no way be accomplished through illicit sexual relations.
Illicit sexual relations are sought for the sake of pleasure rather than for the sake of children. Children are unwanted where adults unite for pleasure rather than out of love. This can easily be seen in modern society by the prevalence of contraception and abortion, which number among the factors for population decline in America and most of Europe. “Well, what if you eliminated the above two factors and still had illicit affairs?” One would have thousands of single mothers relying on government aid and children growing up without their fathers–which is the case in the West now. Also, many parents might still resort to exposure or turning their children to orphanages (better than the former solution, but not ideal)–as we saw in the past. There is no substitute for the family and the union of one man and one woman as a building block of society: “The love of husband and wife is the force that welds society together,” as St. John Chrysostom says.
Actually, the simplest manner of reducing the population is by reducing incentives to marry and stay married–as we see in modern society. The vampires in Seraph of the End waging direct war against free humans and enslaving the rest is no where near as effective. How many fathers and mothers with more than three children are sneered at these days? How many are compared to animals? A professor once told my old classmates and me that, while shopping with his four children, he heard this disdainful comment from a clerk: “I guess someone never heard of birth control.” As if the existence of one or two of his children were aberrations! It is not uncommon for mothers of many children to be looked at with disgust also! Are we on the brink of forming the kind of society present in A Brave New World?
What produces so many to hate the mere existence of their fellow men? Are certain people seen to actually hold the level of livestock while others are more noble existences–as we see in the dichotomy between human and vampire in Seraph of the End? The world seems to speak out of both sides of its mouth when it speaks about the unlimited potential of each individual and that the world has too many people. Perhaps, it derives from the doctrine of limited goods, i.e. that the world holds a finite amount of goods and that one person having property means that another is perforce denied property. Therefore, population reduction, sine dubio, increases one’s potential to have more property! (And what horrible logic that is except that people really believe it’s true.) At any rate, how far are the above two conceptions from the idea that there is a Supreme Ruler of the Universe who assigns everyone a specific place–that all men are useful and that Providence will provide for each. I look forward to seeing how the upcoming episodes work with these ideas.