Owari no Seraph – Ichinose Guren, Jyuurokusai no Catastrophe
- Seraph of the End: Guren Ichinose: Catastrophe at Sixteen (German release 2017)
- Light Novel
- by Takaya Kagami
The light novel tells the story of Guren Ichinose at the age of 15. He has already been trained as a kid to persist the ruling magic clan, the Hīragi, to bring his own family on the throne. Even at his new school, the Hīragi clan is ruling again and Guren has to experience a lot of harassment and bullying. Instead of defending himself against the humiliation, he does not do anything at all and secretly searches a way to destroy the powerful Hīragi family. However, during his first school day, disputes between both clans develop which unleash a power able to destroy the whole country.
‘Guren Ichinose: Catastrophe at Sixteen’ is the prequel of the manga series ‘Seraph of the End’. The novel presents the story of Guren Ichinose before he becomes the head of the Ichinose family. Another important character is Shinya Hīragi who seems to be different than his family: Just like Guren, Shinya hates the Hīragi family.
The storyline takes place before the apocalypse in ‘Seraph of the End’. It shows how everything has begun. Moreover, the light novel also explains the experiments done on the Hyakuya orphans. Not only the Hyakuya sect but also Mika has an appearance in the book. The beginning of the usage of demon weapons and the existence of vampires, who have no interest in humans beings at that time, are mentioned.
The main topic in the novel is Guren’s life as a student in a school where he should not belong. He makes many bad experiences especially on his first school day. Bullying and mocking are the main part of it. The fact that Guren’s family status is lower than the one of the Hīragi, he is treated like trash even from the teachers. The Ichinose family is supposed to respect other families and is seen as weak and useless. He is mocked by students in explicit ways but the teachers do nothing about it because for them it is normal to treat an Ichinose like ‘trash’. Guren Ichinose hates being at that school, because sometimes the humiliations are unbearable. However, he tries his best to hide his real power from other students. Guren acts like a fool also in front of Shinya even though Shinya also hates the Hīragi clan, Guren does not fully trust him. In contrast, the Hīragi family are treated as Gods: other student fear them and show a lot of respect. For example, as Shinya enters the classroom, the students stop talking and even the teacher gets nervous. The contrast between both families depicts the unfair treatment very well and so one understands why Guren hates the Hīragi clan that much.
Furthermore, the light novel shows the beginning of the development of a relationship between Guren and Shinya. Indeed, both characters share some similarities: the hatred against the Hīragi clan and the discrimination they have to face. Shinya is treated as trash in the Hīragi family because he is adopted which means that the Hīragi blood does not flow through his veins. Shinya wants to become friends with Guren because both want to destroy the Hīragi clan. In fact, the characters in the light novel are really interesting, not only Shinya and Guren but also the members of the other family clans such as Norito Goshi and Mito Jujo.
Supernatural elements are also included in the novel. Magic, demons and curses play an important role. The school is for students who train their demonic powers. Competitions between classes are taking place to prove their magic powers. Indeed, it may happen that students die during these fights which means that this school follows different rules and regulations.
Besides dramatic and supernatural elements, the novel is also filled with many comedic aspects. The conversations between Guren and Shinya are very funny because Shinya tends to tease Guren. For instance, he talks to him even though Guren is avoiding him. Shinya pushes him to be his friend and claims that Guren just pretends to be a loser and hides his real powers. This teasing of Shinya gives the novel a comic relief.
Finally, the novel contains some illustrations which are well depicted, especially the character design. The cover has a mixture of bright and dark colors. All in all, we really like the novel of ‘Guren Ichinose: Catastrophe at Sixteen’, it is very thrilling and we can not wait for the next part.
Side Note: There also exist a series of light novels dealing with the origin of the vampires in ‘Seraph of the End’. The title is the following: “Seraph of the End: The Story of Vampire Mikaela”. Unfortunately, the series hasn’t been translated yet neither in German nor in English. So we have to be patient. 🙂 Even though we understand Japanese, reading a light novel is a bit too exhausted and tough. 😉