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[Anime] Servamp Review

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Servamp in 3 Sentences:

Servamp revolves Mahiru Shirota, who accidentally meets Kuro, the Servamp of Sloth. They create a contract because Mahiru and his friends are both in danger. This event leads up on Mahiru being involved in the battle of the 7 Servamps and their 8th Sibling.

Characters:

Mahiru Shirota

Mahiru Shirota is a 1st year High School student, who lost both of his parents at an early age. His uncle took him, but they never really made any interactions. Hence, Mahiru is always alone, and this leads to him being able to be independent at a young age with a special talent in household chores.

He meets Kuro in his cat form and he takes him in. Little does he know that they will both create a contract that will change his life forever.

Kuro:

Kuro is the Servamp of Sloth. He is the eldest among the Servamp siblings, and he is assumed to be the most powerful. However, his personality hides how powerful he truly is. He has a lazy personality and does not want to participate on any activities unless he is forced to.

Tsubaki:

He is the Servamp of Melancholy, the 8th sibling, and the main antagonist of the series. His personality is erratic as it keeps changing in a snap of a finger. His change of personality makes an eerie and disturbing feeling whenever Mahiru encounters him. He also wants to battle other Servamps for some reasons.

Alicein Misono:

Alicein Misono is the Eve of All of Love/Lily. He is the same year just like Mahiru, but he has a weak body. He comes from a rich family and tends to be quite bossy sometimes. He cherishes his friends since there are only a few of them.

All of Love:

All of Love, also known as Lily, is the Servamp of Lust. He is the 2nd youngest of the siblings. He lives up to his name since he likes to show off his body to acquaintances. He has been serving the Misono family for a very long time, and it is the reason why he is the servamp of Alicein.

Licht Jekylland Todoroki:

Licht is a gifted pianist and he is known worldwide. He considers himself as an Angel while posing a unique stance. He is also one of the powerful Eves since his attack can slow down Vampire’s regeneration and his piano skills affect everyone who hears it. He totally hates Lawless, his Servamp, as they have opposite ideals in life.

Lawless:

Lawless is the Servamp of Greed. He is also the 4th youngest among the siblings. Just like Tsubaki, Lawless has an erratic personality. He is also the only Servamp that kills their Eves if he his bored of them. However, he manages to stick with Licht since he loves Licht’s personality.

Tetsu Sendagaya:

Tetsu is the Eve of Old Child, and a year younger than Alicein and Mahiru. However, he is far larger than them in terms of stature. His family owns a spa, which becomes the HQ of Mahiru, Alicein and Tetsu. He usually holds his Lead/Weapon to advertise their business since he has no idea how to hide it.

Old Child:

Old Child, also known as Hugh, is the 2nd oldest of the siblings. He also has the most number of subclasses which he takes advantage to get information on all places. He is also the tiniest among the siblings, and he also has an attitude of a child.

Servamp Summary and Review:

Episode 1 starts off by showing Mahiru’s backstory. He lost her mother and he had no father to take care of him. Fortunately, his uncle took him in, although they never really had any interaction. It is a good introduction for the series’ main protagonist. In the present day, Mahiru Shirota picks up a black cat which he sees on the road. He, then, takes off to go to school. He demonstrates how skillful he is on household chores, as he does all the things his classmates want him to do. He is like the Mary Sue of household chores.

Mahiru meets Kuro the first time after he gets back home from school. It is a funny encounter. Even funnier when Kuro warns him that Mahiru should not call him by name when he is in his human form since something will happen. Mahiru does not know what to do but he says his name anyway. A contract is formed between the two, and Kuro is definitely worried.

The introduction of these two is amazing. We know that both of them are very different from each other. Mahiru wants to do things by himself, while Kuro does not want to participate on anything. The conflict is also revealed in this episode as they introduce Tsubaki, the main protagonist, as Kuro defeats one of his subclasses.

The next episode, Mahiru thinks everything that happened last episode is just a dream. Although, he realizes that it is not really the case. When he goes to school, both of his friends, who have been from the battle last episode, do not remember a thing. It really bugs Mahiru. On their way home, Belkia, the enemy from last episode is annoyingly noisy. This scene shows off the lighter side of this anime, although it is really branded as a comedy anime.

Tsubaki suddenly shows up, and the anime turns into a serious tone again. This scene with Tsubaki is really edgy, even though it tries to be funny. He is really unstable and his reasons are unclear by this time, although it is quite obvious that he wants to be recognized by his siblings somehow. It also introduces us to all 7 Servamps.

On the second half of the episode, Mahiru and Kuro meet Lily and Alicein. At first, they are pretty cool, but they suddenly attack Mahiru and Kuro. It is a miscommunication since Alicein does not know how to properly socialize with others. In the end, they become friends after clearing things up. I find it hilarious that Alicein cannot run for long. He may be weak, but it is a little bit exaggerated.

Mahiru gets his weapon from Kuro in episode 3. It is the first time Mahiru gets inside Kuro’s mind. The guardian in Kuro’s mind is really creepy and cute. Mahiru also practices how to draw out his weapon, which turns out to be a broom. Meanwhile, Sakuya is revealed to be a vampire and a subclass of Tsubaki. Mahiru tries to give him food since he thinks he has gotten sick, but he cannot remember anything about Sakuya when he tries to think deep. Apparently, all of his memories of Sakuya are seeded by Sakuya himself. Sakuya hates liars so much, even though he lies most of the time. Mahiru also loses the will to fight Sakuya as Kuro explains that drinking his blood will be useless.

Suddenly, Alicein shows up and rescues Mahiru. He also shows off he and Lily’s fighting combo to destroy Belkia. Sakuya, on the other hand, manages to trick Alicein by saying lies about how they could have become friends. This leads to an ambush by another subclass, Otogiri, who uses Belkia’s body to attack Lily when the contract with Alicein is broken. Mahiru is pissed off and he uses his newly found weapon to strike Sakuya. Kuro, however, keeps having thoughts of Mahiru being consumed by his own despair as he hits Sakuya repeatedly.  Mahiru keeps having doubts on what he is fighting for, while Sakuya thinks of his secret plan to be with Mahiru until they graduate from High School.

This episode is such an amazing development for the characters as we get to know more of them. Sakuya is not really that bad of a person as he thinks of Mahiru as a legit bestfriend. This confuses Mahiru since he wants to protect Alicein and Sakuya at the same time.

Episode 4 continues the fight of Sakuya and Mahiru. However, the resolve of Mahiru becomes more confusing as the battle proceeds. Kuro’s conscience tries to belittle him because of what is happening to Kuro, and without hesitation, he bites Mahiru to create a contract. Kuro suddenly gets consumed by his own conscience and his dark and evil side are revealed. It tries to drown Mahiru into darkness, but Sakuya tries to save him. Kuro abruptly get shot from behind by another Servamp, Jeje. He subdues Kuro by shooting him repeatedly until he turns into his cat form. Jeje tries to shoot Sakuya but Otogiri manages to drags them out of the battlefield. The Eve of Jeje introduces himself as a simple antique dealer, but he obviously knows far too much to be just a “dealer”. He even knows how to break the contract with Servamps.

This episode is the start of Mahiru’s slow progress as the main character of the series. Mahiru coincidentally meets Tsubaki in a restaurant. Tsubaki cracks a joke or two to Mahiru before saying how uninteresting it is. It shows his erratic personality even though he does not have the intent to kill Mahiru at this point. Tsubaki tells the tragic backstory of Tsubaki, who had lived his whole life in a town full of liars and deceit before he became a subclass of Tsubaki. He also mentions how a person can become a subclass of a Servamp by drinking their blood. It frustrates Mahiru as he tries to understand Sakuya’s feelings. He decides to go to school to check on Sakuya, but he apparently has transferred to another school. Sakuya has also removed his classmates’ memories to an extent. However, he decides to leave a legacy, his name, behind. The next day, Sakuya shows up in the school festival and Mahiru chases him toward the rooftop. Sakuya tries to escape by jumping off from the rooftop, but Mahiru grabs him and they fly away using his weapon.

They land onto a forest, and they laugh at each other. Sakuya explains that Tsubaki came to rescue him so he cannot betray Tsubaki. Mahiru realizes that he has to be the one to stop Tsubaki so they can be together again. Earlier, I mentioned that this is the start of a slow progress of his character, but this episode shows further development for his cause than any other episodes after this.

Episode 5 introduces us to Tetsu, Eve of Old Child, the Servamp of Pride. To be honest, the tandem with Tetsu and Hugh (Old Child’s given name) is amazing. Tetsu does not care if he is around with vampires and treats them like a normal human. Hugh likes Tetsu since he has a lot of potential and his stature is one of the best among the Eves. Mahiru meets one of Tsubaki’s subclass, Shamrock, on the street and Mahiru receives a silver suitcase from him. Mahiru does not know that Shamrock is Tsubaki’s subclass yet. He wanders around the festival, where he meets the Tetsu, who is holding a coffin. A bomb explodes nearby, and Mahiru realizes that the suitcase is probably a bomb too. He doubts for a second since he does not know who Tetsu is, but he trusts him, nonetheless. Kuro throws it in the sky but it is a little too fast. Tetsu catches it with his coffin and it controls the explosion inside. Hugh complains that he is still inside when he caught the bomb into it. Kuro gives Hugh his blood so he can easily recover. Tetsu and Hugh introduce themselves properly to Mahiru and Kuro. Mahiru is shocked to learn that Tetsu is just 14-years old.

On their way home, Mahiru encounters the C3 Organization, the neutral party between vampires and humans. They manage to transport Mahiru to a laboratory away from Kuro. Tsuyuki, whom Mahiru meets before, introduces himself. He tells Mahiru that they have the same goal of stopping Tsubaki. However, it differs in concept. C3 wants to eliminate Tsubaki, while Mahiru wants to stop him. Tsuyuki explains the 52 doors around Mahiru. If Mahiru decides to leave, he has to look for each door to safety. However, he also mentions that there is a maximum distance of Servamp and Eve, otherwise, the Eve will start dying. Mahiru manages to break free by doing some absurd dance and destroy the ceiling. Mahiru, then, rescues Kuro from the C3 members who are hunting him.

Episode 6 is about the Servamp of Greed, Lawless and his Eve, Licht. At first, Mahiru thinks of him as an enemy since he fights Kuro the first time they meet. Also, Lawless does not want to participate the battle of the Servamp siblings. Lawless hints about the Servamps’ past and it triggers Kuro. Obviously, Lawless hates Kuro for a deep reason.

Tsubaki plans to ambush Licht on the night of his concert. However, Lawless is too much for 90% of Tsubaki’s subclass and they are massacred. Mahiru insists that they should join their cause, but Lawless gets pissed and attacks him. Lawless tells a little bit of their past as it holds a significant moment in Kuro. Kuro loses his reason and he battles Lawless. Meanwhile, Tsubaki mourns as he receives the news that Lawless annihilated most of his subclasses.

Licht also shows off his piano skills that can affect people and vampires. Mahiru is reminded of his mother, Lawless is reminded of a certain woman, and Kuro is reminded of what happened in the past. Lawless tries to attack Licht but they are both stopped by Gil, Lawless’ subclass. They also find a survivor and Mahiru stops Lawless when he is about to attack her. Mahiru also decides to take the survivor with him. Meanwhile, Lawless is walking in the hallway when he is attacked by Tsubaki. The scene shows how powerful and scary Tsubaki is. It even terrifies Lawless, who is not afraid of his older brother, Kuro.

Episode 7 continues the Licht and Lawless’ Arc. It is also the episode where Mahiru is starting to recognize his resolve. Misono scolds Mahiru for going out on his own, but he is thankful for having a hostage they can use to interrogate and get information from. Tetsu and Hugh want to question him by using force, but Mahiru stops them and says that Tsubaki will definitely look for her since he is not the type of person who leaves a comrade behind. Kuro is still messed up because of his memories that resurfaced. Mahiru follows him in a tunnel where he feels the darkness that is consuming Kuro from the inside. Mahiru still does not have a concrete resolve so he cannot talk to Kuro properly, either.

The next day, Kranz, the manager of Licht, realizes that Lawless might have been kidnapped by Tsubaki since he has been gone since the concert. Meanwhile, Licht encounters Higan, who easily dominates Licht. Mahiru and Kuro also try to join in the battle, but they eventually fail when Kuro suddenly succumbs to the darkness inside him and he turns into a black ball. In the end, Licht is the one who saves Mahiru, but he is defeated by Higan. Higan brings him back to Tsubaki after the battle.

Mahiru blames himself for being weak and having doubts on his resolve. He realizes that he has never developed after all the events that have happened. He promises Kuro that he will save Kuro, no matter what.

Earlier, I mentioned Mahiru’s slow character development in episode 4. The anime tries to shove new characters in every episode, and it hinders Mahiru’s development as the main character. Only Licht and Lawless’ arc is the most fleshed out arc in terms of supporting cast. Lily and Alicein’s arc is actually skipped, so does Tetsu and Hugh’s arc. This episode is actually the start to make Mahiru a great character in the series.

Oh yes, an episode that focuses on Mahiru and Kuro’s development! Episode 8 is such a good build-up episode. Mahiru decides to seek help from the antique dealer, while Alicein and the others start off their rescue mission.

Tsubaki is still looking for his subclass and he tries to terrorize all of Mahiru’s friends. Mahiru, on the other hand, manages to find the antique dealer, who introduces us yet again to another new character, Johannes. The antique dealer also introduces himself as Mikuni, Alicein’s older brother. Johannes lets Mahiru drink a tea which has a side effect that will let Mahiru go inside Kuro’s mind.

Meanwhile, Alicein and the others disguise themselves to do a surprise attack at Tsubaki’s headquarters. Unfortunately, Sakuya already knows their plan and he butchers it.

Most anime get better in later episodes, and this is one of those examples. The story gets better as it progresses, although they have skipped a lot of arcs just to cramp into 12-episode series. As likable the other characters are, they just lack the backstory to actually care for them and it is already the 8th episode.

Episode 9 focuses on all the subplots at once. I must admit it is a very well-paced episode. At first, it shows off Tsubaki taking the bait so Gil and other Lawless’ subclasses can distract him while Alicein rescues Licht and Lawless. They have a cunning plan to trick Tsubaki from leaving. Meanwhile, Alicein’s plan is stopped by Sakuya. He realizes this since nobody is on the underground floor.

Licht wakes up in a room adjacent where Lawless is. It is a funny scene and shows how both of them hate each other. Lawless does not believe in humans, and he thinks of them as nobody. On the other hand, Licht is the very opposite of a nobody and not unique. They start a heated argument between them before Licht destroys the wall that separates them.

This is only the 1st half of the episode. The 2nd half is all about Mahiru and Kuro. Mahiru finds his way to go deep inside his mind and see the problem that burdens Kuro. It is the meeting about killing their own creator. Kuro was the one who killed their creator because he thought it was the right thing to do. However, his guilt and doubt consumed him. Mahiru realizes this and tells him that he did not do the right thing. He tells him that they should face his problem together, accept it, and move on. Kuro finally starts to accept what he did. This is a huge development for both of the main characters in the series. Mahiru finds his resolve, while Kuro accepts his wrongdoings in the past.

Mahiru and Kuro finally tighten their bond, as Mahiru realizes his resolve, and Kuro accepts his wrongdoings with the help of Mahiru. Episode 10 follows the backstory of Lawless and how he became who he is right now, an unstable and erratic character in the series.

Lawless apparently had an Eve, Ophelia, who was a princess of a country a long time ago. He watched her grow into a fine lady, and slowly, he fell in love with her. One day, Ophelia announced to Lawless that she would marry a prince of a neighboring country to stop the upcoming war between their nations. Lawless insisted that he and Ophelia run away, but Ophelia said she wanted peace for this country, so she could not leave it behind. Peace truly came, but it was short-lived. In the end, Ophelia was executed, but her speech really paved the way for both countries to unite in a long time. A statue of Ophelia was erected in the town center, and Lawless guarded it. It was around that time that Old Child told him that they received the letter from C3. Lawless was angry when Kuro said he would be the one to kill their creator, since it was very similar to Ophelia’s situation. When he got back to Ophelia’s country, it was totally destroyed by a bigger neighborhood country. It triggered Lawless’ erratic personality and he stopped caring about human lives.

As Licht finally sees Lawless’ past, he plays the piano for him. He tells him that everyone is unique, even him. Lawless realizes that he can be anyone he wants himself to be. Lawless accepts his regrets and decides that he will protect Licht with his life. Finally, Lawless and Licht have come into terms with each other, it is such an amazing scene with the right music playing in the background, and we finally know the name Licht gives to Lawless, which is Hyde. It is easily one of the best parts in the series.

Episode 11 continues the story as Lawless and Licht break up their prison wall and encounter Higan once again. They both manage to get solid hits to Higan with their creative cooperation to each other. However, Higan becomes serious as he drinks the blood of Licht. Meanwhile, Sakuya does a pretty good job of attacking Lily since he has a special sword who is given by Tsubaki himself. Jeje and Mikuni stop Sakuya by shooting him, and Mikuni tells that Alicein should go to the top floor and help Tetsu and Old Child. Tetsu and Old Child are doing pretty decent until Old Child gets captured and transported to somewhere. Alicein is having a hard time to grasp the situation when Mahiru and Kuro finally show up on the battlefield. We finally see Kuro’s true form, which is a lion.

Mahiru also shows off his weapon’s true form, which is a spear. They easily defeat the three subclasses below. Who would have thought that Mahiru is really quick? Meanwhile, Lawless and Licht are almost defeated by Higan. Lawless is surprised to see his brother’s true form, and he realizes that Mahiru might have changed him. Licht uses Higan’s body as a piano key, which Lawless finds really cool. Lawless decides to be reborn and to be changed. They do their last combo to Higan where Lawless’ sword becomes spikes like a hedgehog. They defeat him and both Licht and Lawless collapse on the floor.

Kuro says his thanks to Lawless by not forgiving him. Lawless is embarrassed, but he tells him that it is good that Kuro finally gets back to his true form. He also thanks Mahiru for saving Kuro from despair. Mahiru, then, asks if his name will change from now on. Lawless gets embarrassed again, but he obviously takes a liking with Licht now. All of them start laughing until Lila takes Lawless’ dog tag from him. Mahiru is once again in a dilemma when Tsubaki suddenly shows up.

Episode 12 is the finale of the series. “Most” of the subplots are resolved, but there are many questions still unanswered. Tetsu asks Tsubaki where Hugh is, but Tsubaki hints that he might have killed Hugh. Mahiru asks his motivation to start the war, and Tsubaki wants to achieve their creator’s expectations. Tsubaki slices Lawless’ dog tag and he starts to break. Kuro manages to stop Tsubaki’s attack. Tsubaki asks if their creator says something about him before Kuro kills their creator. Kuro tells him that they never talk when he kills their creator.

Tsubaki goes to the roof and Kuro follows him. Kuro is stabbed by Tsubaki’s several swords, Tsubaki feels depressed since their creator did not mention him at all to Kuro. It surprises Kuro. Meanwhile, Mahiru and Mikuni meet, Mikuni tells Mahiru that it is now Kuro’s problem that he has take alone. Mahiru declines, and Mikuni realizes that Mahiru finally is matured. Mahiru saves Kuro from Tsubaki, but he gets attacked instead. It makes Kuro angry and he transforms into the black lion.

Misono and the others manage to escape the building because of C3’s help. Kuro manages to pinch Tsubaki and he is about to kill him. Mahiru stops him but Tsubaki tries to attack him with a sword. However, Sakuya gets in the way so he is the one that gets stabbed. It surprises Tsubaki since it is his subclass. Sakuya tells Mahiru he can never choose sides. Kuro, on the other hand, is about to eat Tsubaki when Mahiru steps in front of him. Kuro stops, and it shocks Tsubaki as a keyhole opens in his chest. Mahiru’s weapon also transforms into a key, which he uses to go inside Tsubaki’s mind. Tsubaki only had his teacher, and it was taken away from him. It is his motivation to kill his siblings. The fight continues and Kuro and Mahiru create a contract to defeat Tsubaki. This is the first time we see Kuro smile as he realizes that Mahiru is really his partner. Mahiru reaches Tsubaki, but he does not stab him. He actually hugs him, instead. Tsubaki’s swords start to disappear.

The next scene shows Mahiru going back to his friends, while Tsubaki heals Sakuya and tells him that Sakuya should tell others to forget about him as he will be away for so long. Overall, it is a great episode and finale, but it still feels rushed, just like the other episodes. There are also too many questions unanswered, so hopefully we get to see season 2, even though fans do not really like it that much.

Other Impressions:

Now, technicalities of the anime. I still wish they could have gone 24-episode to flesh out more characters. The anime spends so much time on introducing new characters until we reach episode 9, where things start to become interesting.

I must say, for a rushed anime, the quality in animation is really good and mostly consistent in every episode. It is definitely Servamp’s strongest point. Although the fight scenes are not really that good in terms of choreography. They also try to make some scenes in a poetic way which is actually really cool and confusing, at the same time.

The characters are all amazing, and they are not just a one-dimensional character. Although, you may say Mahiru is one of the most annoying characters ever. Anyway, they have their own differences, and it shows with the Servamps and their Eves. Tsubaki is a good villain since he is really mysterious until the last episode. He is really edgy and unpredictable most of the time. He also cares his family, his subclasses.

Voice acting is surprisingly good. The dialogues are on-point and you really feel the emotion especially Lawless when he talks about Ophelia.  Same with Tsubaki since he keeps changing personalities on a whim.

Have I mentioned about the amazing opening and ending soundtrack of this anime? Both are way different from each other, but both of them are really amazing. Same with the background music within the episodes as it is mostly spot on and match the situation. The tension really builds up when the music starts to kick in.

Overall:

Servamp is a hit-and-miss anime. Some of you may like, some may not. Story-wise, it is below average. The lack of extensive backstory for our supporting cast and the character development is really slow. The pacing for this anime is out of whack, to be honest. Although, the concept and the story itself are actually good. The art and animation are Servamp’s strongest point, but it is not really groundbreaking. At least, it is consistent until the end.

Characters are all likable, but Mahiru is probably the most annoying character. It is probably because of the  slow pacing of the story. Most of the characters are amazing, though, especially the Lawless and Licht duo. Again, it is probably because it is the most fleshed out story for the supporting cast.

I really enjoy this anime, especially episodes 9-12. However, the other episodes just lack the enjoyment sometimes since it is very rushed.

Rating:

Servamp is a solid 6/10

Servamp is for:

→people who like vampires
→people who like all-boys anime
→people who is a fan of the animation studio, Brain’s Base and Platinum Vision
→people who like comedy, drama, and action

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