Directing in Seraph of the End Episode 11Posted: August 16, 2015
I normally don’t get to talk about directing and such when reviewing shows since most of the time it’s just “okay”, as in it just really gets the job done and that’s it, so I tend to just skip it. But when it’s noticeably positive, negative, or special in some way, I like to draw attention to it.
The eleventh episode of Seraph of the End is one of the few times where I can actually focus a bit more on the directing rather than the writing for an anime, so even though this won’t take long, I wanted to take the time to talk about one scene in particular.
At least that way I’ll get something positive out of it.
A very common story element in anime, especially when it comes to shounen, is the unleashing of some kind of hidden power. The exact details tend to differ from story to story, but the core concept is frequent.
It is, for obvious reasons, a pretty climactic moment in a story, so it’s usually the chance to crank the directing up to eleven, to really drive the moment or scene home. Yet this episode didn’t really do that when it needed to.
The initial transformation bit was solid, the yelling from Yuu was spot on, but then everything sort of just dies down. When he’s fighting that vampire lord person, the sound effects and music were pretty muted, and there were parts where it seemed like some sound effects were straight up missing. The fight choreography was also really lacking despite how short their scuffle was.
The one bit in particular that I feel encapsulates the oddness of the approach taken is when Yuu has to fly upwards to dodge a sword swing. The background music is just sort of droning and there’s no sound effects at all. Except maybe his wing thing, but it’s hard to hear since it’s sort of quite and blends into the BGM.
It sort of seems like they were going for a more ominous tone with the whole thing because there are parts of the track that’s playing that seem to be going for that, which is a perfectly valid approach by the way, but it was poorly timed with the events that happen, and the lack of sound effects is still an issue.
Rather than loud explosions and whooshing and such, the ominous angle would obviously require the sound effects to be more on the creepy side. Perhaps the “wing” can make some sort of constant hissing noises, or something more demonic since the idea is that there’s some sort of monster in him that even the demon-possessed weapon he has is afraid of it. It’d need more than just that to work, but it’s just an example.
I mean, maybe they were just running out of time and had to skimp on the scene a bit and it’ll be fixed up in the disc releases, who knows. I just found it a bit odd since the rest of the show has pretty decent directing, so for a pretty important scene to be kind of underwhelming was odd. But hey, at least it still has Shinoa.
In the next post, I think I’ll switch to the other end of the spectrum and cover some phenomenal directing. Well, at least for part of the post.