What Makes Seraph of the End Enjoyable

People rightly point out the flaws in Seraph of the End.  The middle of the show exhibits many high school anime tropes, some facets of the animation can be lacking despite the incredibly immersive backgrounds, the plot is not so straightforward, and it may be accused of being an Attack on Titan look-alike.  However, with Attack on Titan, the story only dragged me along by way of suspense.  After nine episodes, the only character I cared for was Mikasa, the world was too horrific to be loved, the society was filled with too many treacherous and cowardly people for me to root for their survival, and the bold lines of animation and still frames bothered me.  With the exception of the use of still frames, Seraph of the End proved to be the exact opposite and provided some interesting ideas for me to chew on.

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Recently, my friends introduced me to a fascinating book called The Way of Men by Jack Donovan.  They had been prompted to recommend it by my article “The Post-Modern Fallacy on Manliness.”  (A while back, I mentioned that I was contemplating an article on the topic of manliness, and the result of that meditation seemed to fit Aquilon’s Eyrie more.)  Few works explain male psychology so well.  In particular, Donovan displays a perspicacious degree of Classical learning (he quotes Cicero, St. Augustine, Livy, and others) and knowledge of psychological and sociological studies.  Though, I will say here that his atheistic perspective gives an incomplete picture of man, and one wonders whether the tactical virtues of strength, courage, mastery, and honor are a good replacement for the cardinal virtues of temperance, courage, prudence, and justice.

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General Endorsement of Humanity has Declined

I did promise a review of this show, didn’t I?  The only problem is that I feel quite unable to do justice to this rather amusing show which covers a diverse grouping of topics.  You see, my viewing of this show was rather sporadic with weeks passing in between certain episodes.  Then, the episodic nature of the show prevents me from latching on to a thread which I might delineate in the show.  As a matter of fact, the only two reasons to continue reading what I’m about to write are that 1) it’s short and 2) you will be directed to proper reviews of this show.

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The most omnipresent theme running through the show appears to be Watashi’s (watashi is the polite form for “I” in Japanese) cynicism, skepticism, and perfect contempt for any projects or ideas which moderns themselves devise or draw from the past.  This makes her a very droll character, whom bloggers across cyberspace have extolled.  She even takes on the topic of yaoi and manga in general through commenting on Y’s (a former school friend) efforts to spread the genre’s influence in the modern era.

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I thought that Marlin-sama had an article on the episode which commented on this show’s portrayal of religion, but I can’t find it.  Another great article on this show was Avvesione’s discussion of the effect of light on the animation.  Then, there were a couple on Beneath the Tangles which were also quite enjoyable: Lessons from the Decline of Humans and Possibility of a New Race.

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In the end, all I can say that this show was a lot of fun; although, GoodbyeNavi has a profoundly different opinion.  The strongest points for this show are the main character, her cynical commentary on just about everything, references to outside works like Gulliver’s Travels, and the humor and zaniness of certain scenes.  If you want more than that, you might be disappointed.  Though, I wouldn’t mind watching this fun little show again.

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