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[OWLS] Seraph of the End: Guren Ichinose, The Cost of Friendship

The one thing I learn through the years is that friend always play an important part in our life, even if some are more like so-called friend than real friend. Due to various even happening during my high-school year, I came to not trust people easily, I got backstabbed more than once, even if I wasn’t the one in the wrong. Now I look back and I know that if those thing didn’t happen to me, I wouldn’t be the person I am right now.

Also, because of that, I always had trouble to give the “title” of friend to people around me, but now it’s different, because now there is people in my life who I’m happy to call friend, even if I haven’t met them in real life, most of them are part as the same group as me, OWLS

OWLS stand for Otaku Warrior for Liberty and Self-Respect, is a group of bloggers and vloggers who promote the acceptance of everyone without taking in consideration their ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation disabilities. If you want to know more about us, feel free to visit the group blog here and you can found the full tour schedule here.

At Lita’s request, this month topic for the OWLS Tour is “Squad”:

“Although some people may like to be alone at times, we all have that one special friend or a squad of friends who we kick it and have some good laughs and fun with. However, there are friendships that don’t last a lifetime and usually, they end due to a falling out or a misunderstanding. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring some of the best friendships in anime and pop culture as well as the friendships that ended suddenly. We will talk about what a true friendship means to us, what we learned about ourselves and others through broken friendships, and our definitions of a “good friend.”

When I read the prompt, the sign-up sheet wasn’t up yet, but I made sure to secure the series I wanted to talk about, mostly cause to me it’s probably one of the best series to talk about friendship and how it is important to have good friends surrounding us. This series is Seraph of the End. The show present us how deep bond create through friendship can be. Some might even sacrifice a big part of the Earth population in order to bring their friend back.

Seraph of the End is a manga written by Kagami Takaya and illustrated by Yamamoto Yamoto, the series began to be published in September 2012 in the magazine Jump SQ. In 2015, WIT Studio adapted a part of the story in anime series (up to chapter 47). The franchise also have two light-novel series. For more information about the series you can click here and here

©Yamamoto Yamato

When it come to Seraph of the End, example of good friendship can be seen all through the series since the very beginning, even at place you will not think of. We have Yuu, who truly care about his squad members and he will do anything to keep them safe, even if it’s mean to sacrifice his own humanity, he even call the demon, Asuramaru, with who he passed a contract with, his friend. He doesn’t only care about the his squad member but also about their family members. We can also take a look at Ferid, he might be a vampire a being who doesn’t care about anything other than blood (Ferid is a special snowflake tho, so he does care about other thing than blood), but he still care about Crowley more than he will let it appear. Both progenitors know each other since centuries, this is why Ferid doesn’t always say everything to the red-haired vampire, he care about him and doesn’t want him to be tortured by the higher-up. Ferid might be surrounded by a veil of mystery, we doesn’t know much about his plan, but I can tell you one thing, he will always look over Crowley making sure he never feel lonely, or get to bored.

©Yamamoto Yamato

Like Yuu there is one other character in the series who will do a lot to keep his friend safe, that character even sacrifice the majority of the earth population to have them back. This character is Guren Ichinose and one of the reason why the Catastrophe happened eight years prior the event of the anime/manga series.

Guren come from a prestigious magical clan, the Ichinose use to be at the top with the Hiiragi, but due to some unfortunate event they dropped down the ladder and now everyone look down on them. When Guren started his high-school year thing were hard, but despite that he managed gain the respect of some of his school mate and become close to them.

He formed strong bond with people, three, who normally someone of the Ichinose family couldn’t even think to become friend with, even if that someone is the heir of the Ichinose clan.

Font: Ichinose Guren, Second from left to right : Hiiragi Shinya, Goshi Notiro, Third from left to right: Hanayori Sayuri, Jujo Mito and Yukimi Shigure.
©Yamamoto Yamato

First we have Hiiragi Shinya. Adopted son of the highly respected clan, Shinya is/was  also Mahiru, the oldest girl of the head of the clan, fiancee. Everything should have set both boys apart, Shinya is at the top of the ladder, Guren at the bottom, Shinya was the fiancee of Mahiru but Mahiru loved Guren. However their situation make them become friends. They both wanted the same thing, bringing down the Hiiragi clan and change how they things were going.

Then we have Goshi Norito, the Goshi clan is one of the clan branch of the Hiiragi. While the family is renowned, people have more expectations for Norito’s younger brother than for Norito himself, more than once the tall blond man used that as excuse to hang-out at Guren’s place, since people wasn’t expecting him to do anything spectacular, whi should he care about the people he hang-out with.

Lastly we have Jujo Mito, heir of Jujo clan one of the oldest and more powerful clan under the Hiiragi. Their loyalty to the powerful head clan know no bond and they are strong and talented warrior. At first she was, like everyone, looking-down on Guren, telling how he should act since he is an Ichinose, but with time she warmed up to him and even developed feeling for his squad leader.

How those 3 people came to become friend with someone the other students called “mongrel”? Simple they knew they could trust him, Guren saved them once, they knew what he was able to do and they were ready to follow him into the battle. They would be there for him whenever he needed them.

Of course we could argue about the fact it’s normal since he is their squad leader, not following him could cost them a lot, but also it’s during war-time the strongest bond are made. It’s during those time you learn who you should trust and you see who will be able to lead you in the battle.

Guren will never admit it but he always like seeing them crashing in his apartment. With them he had some good time and create good memory. Those friend never let him down, even when he got possessed by a demon, they were there for him, they were there to help him. Guren know he couldn’t do much alone, even if he saw those friend as a weakness, somehow deep inside him he knew he needed them by his side, he knew he needed these people, the first he could call friends. They were his friend, they were his squad, he was their captain, he was the one they would follow in the death.

The reason why Guren’s squad member died is still a mystery (one day the light novel will tell us what happen), for now all what we know is that Guren committed a taboo and use the experimentation called “Seraph of the End” to bring them back to life, he sacrifice nearly 7 billion people to bring back five people from the death, even if he knew they would only be back for ten years. Now Guren have his squad back, with him, now he have his friend back with him. However Guren still need to work hard to keep them alive. Guren have to make sure they never come aware what happened, if any of them came to know they were revived, they would die, therefore to protect them, to avoid that faith, to let them live those ten years, Guren always made sure they never came to know the truth even if for that he had to lie to them. Lie about what was happening, lie about his plan. With time, Guren squad came to know their squad leader was hiding something from them and despite that they are still following him, not because he is their leader, but because he is their friend and because they trusted him, they are together since their first year of high-school, the six of them got through a lot together, they are loyal to him and they will continue to follow him until death do them apart.

The bond of friendship Guren had with his squad cost a lot, this squad it’s the only thing Guren have left and he is ready to do a lot to protect them. Guren will never admit it, but his friend are probably the most precious thing he have left in this unforgiving world.

____________________

Howdy Everyone!!

This was my fifth participation the a OWLS Tour, I hope you enjoyed you reading. Make sure to read Naja’s post that was on the 23rd and Scott post coming on Wednesday the 28th.

~ Thank you for reading ~

See you next time!!

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