Guren Ichinose (一瀬グレン Ichinose Guren?) is the tritagonist in the Seraph of the End anime. He is a Lieutenant Colonel of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army and the leader of the Vampire Extermination Unit's Moon Demon Company. He is also the squad leader of the Guren Squad and works with them, and prepares Shinoa squad to defend Shinjuku from a vampire invasion. Guren is then tasked by Kureto to lead an operation, targeting vampire nobles in Nagoya.
|Note: This is the page for Guren in the anime, for the article detailing Guren in other formats see: Guren Ichinose|
He is a tall, young man with small purple eyes. His medium length black hair is parted in the middle with the bangs hanging over his forehead. Whilst often slightly tousled Guren occasionally has his hair slicked back during the midst of skirmishes on the battlefield.
For clothing he wears the standard JIDA uniform, which consists of a long-sleeved, double-breasted black coat with two rows of gold buttons down the front, red details including shoulder epaulettes, gores at the bottom, and stripes on sleeves. Other decorations include gold aiguillettes and white fourragères worn on the right shoulder. This is attached to a stylized cherry blossom decoration pendant at the center of his collar, and two bars with unit insignia medal below them on the left.
He further wears a pair of white gloves, a black on white armband on his left arm, and a similarly striped black and white web belt with a frog for his sword on the left, and a gold waist-plate. In addition, he also wears the uniform trousers with two white belts strapped around his left leg and black shoes.
When a Namanari, Guren retains his violet colored iris yet they are circled by a bright red color.
Guren would become a wise leader who values teamwork, co-operation and friends, and determined those were necessary to ensure the survival of the human race from demons and vampires. When Yūichirō Hyakuya tried to join the Moon Demon Company, Guren refused until he made friends.
Whilst Kureto lists them as weaknesses, Guren is felt to possess love, friendship, and honour but never learns to set aside his emotions in order to lead. Guren felt it was barbaric that vampires were being starved in experiments to turn them into cursed gear. Yu describes Guren as someone who likes to talk and he gives good advice.
Sometimes pretending to be lazy, in truth, he really works hard. He keeps many secrets to himself, and has no difficulty lying about them. He also plans to dethrone the Hīragi Family. It is made clear when Guren is possessed, and his true desires come to light, that he, along with Shinya Hīragi, wants to change the status quo and hierarchy.
When enduring hardships in battle he will focus on winning and take the most direct path to that. Whether working as a squad and never intending to fight a foe one on one, to using a spell tag to keep Mika's sword in him to allow Yu to make the hit, Guren will persevere. This applies to when he is being beaten, he will joke and only speak with misinformation when being questioned.
Guren's personality changes drastically when he is overtaken by his demon blade, Mahiru-no-Yo. According to Ferid Bathory, it happens more often than shown, and his demon side is capable of hiding his true nature from his close friends. Yu only realized something was amiss when Guren was crying with his face at odds with the display. It only clicked for Shinya after a hint from Kureto and when he was confronting Guren on how their comrades were dead where Guren had a serene expression. Guren is described as being just a single step away from becoming a complete demon.
When Mahiru is in control of Guren's body, he becomes utterly ruthless in the pursuit of his goals and whilst in this state he will kill both vampires and his own human comrades for use as sacrificial pawns for the Seraph of the End experiment. This Guren was aware beforehand that the test would be taking place at Nagoya airport, and freely shared this information with a third progenitor vampire, Krul Tepes.
Although murderous to those he comes across, he enacts less extreme in comparison, but still heinous actions, to those he knows such as kicking Mika to stabbing Kimizuki and Yu. In this state he was familiar with who they were and in Yu's case he welcomed him after Guren perceived that he had gone crazy.
Whilst he can feel pain, he does not appear to have any survival instincts. He was unconcerned at approaching a seraph with a clear desire to murder all before him. Guren was apathetic to Shinya pointing a gun directly at his face and a similar detached attitude to reality is seen in his manner of speaking.
Capable of rational discourse, he remembers Mika from the battle of Shinjuku and told Shinya he was doing it for their childhood goals. Feeling that Yu was crazy when he was active as the King of Salt, Guren welcomed him to the club. Guren was happy to see that Narumi was alive and seemed under the impression that Narumi would hurry up and hand Yu over to him even after Guren had killed his comrades and did not see anything amiss with his request.
Unlike demons which are different creatures inside people, Guren is still somewhat himself as a Namanari yet exhibits a fundamental detachment with how to act in certain settings. The Namanari may as well be Guren who can murder freely and take such extreme measures to get what he wants, with added bizarre traits such as a compulsion for violence mixed with feeling peaceful where he is at ease around dangerous situations.
For the comprehensive account of Guren's experiences in the Seraph of the End anime view:
Powers and Abilities
The possessed Guren is able to move at a remarkably rapid speed even though his monstrous movement was shortly anticipated and then countered by the third progenitor, Krul Tepes, leaving him pinned down on the ground in defeat. The physical prowess bestowed by the demon weapon, Mahiru-no-Yo in this state proves so great that Guren could casually overwhelm Mika in terms of physical power, despite the large boost he acquired for becoming a true and complete vampire, as well as wielding a first-class vampire sword (though at the time he had not fortified himself by having it drink his blood). In addition to fending off Mika in their exchange, he also could lift him by one of his feet, and then hurl him into Yu to knock them both over. It was while Guren is also fighting him hand-to-hand in close combat to his own advantage for a very short period of time.
Magic and Spells
- Spell Tags: Unlike in the manga, where Guren was able to attach a spell tag on Mika to create an explosion upon range, it also devastates a building where the ruined structure begins sinking into the ground below with a gust of whirlwind blowing by its surrounding vicinity. Additionally, Guren deploys multiple spell tags to explosively bombard the thirteenth progenitor, Crowley Eusford the moment he came into contact with him, yet the latter remains undamaged from the attack after parrying them.
While slashing each and every one of them with his Mahiru-no-Yo sword, Guren can easily repel away the Tenjiryū decoys set up by Mitsuba's demon weapon ability at a quick succession. Unlike in the manga, where a sword fight between Guren against Yu and Kimizuki never occurs, it actually happens in the anime. Guren was able to effortlessly fend off both of them at once simultaneously, and then low-kicking Kimizuki away while handling Yu on his own with little effort even though he calmly praised him for his improvements.
Unlike the manga, Mahiru-no-Yo's appearance is portrayed differently in the anime. Mahiru-no-Yo's facial appearance is seen and they hand down the weapon back to Guren's possession. Guren would go on and further use the power of Mahiru-no-Yo to summon forth a red whirlwind cloaked with thin layer of crimson-like demonic aura. More so, the demonic aura can be seen concentrating all around its inner layer and then being destructively launched at targets through him up front within his range. This emission was able to demolish the concrete wall of a building, casting out the likes of Yu, Shinoa, and Mitsuba and leaving them at a standstill temporarily.
When Guren spoke of drinking the blood of human sacrifices, demons, and the progenitors, his katana drastically underwent a sudden change of color scheme. Through doing so, the katana itself went from being almost black in color to purely red throughout the blade's length. Furthermore, the transformation of his demon sword's color scheme is almost identical to that of a first-class vampire weapon, namely those used by the progenitors, when they allow it to drink their blood, giving the blade a deeper red shade. Guren managed to change a cursed gear weapon's color scheme from that of the Black Demon Series, into fully red without placing any sort of talisman on it.
- Main article: Guren Ichinose/Relationships
- Main article: Guren Ichinose/Image Gallery#Anime
|“||Looks like Yoichi didn’t have the strength to overcome possession. But I guess having two out of three students pass the black demon try-out isn’t that bad at all.||”|
|“||Look at him, your classmates body is just a vessel now. The only way to save Yoichi is to destroy it.||”|
–Words for Yu and Kimizuki. Episode 4
|“||Okay. It’s time we join this fight. Pretty sure I know where to find the vampire commander. This might be over fast if we take the leader’s head.||”|
|“||Let me ask you something. Do you really like the taste of human blood? Or is this a twisted re-enactment of the last supper.||”|
|“||Well well, you’re a strong one. A challenge at last!||”|
–Finding his sword blocked by Mika. Episode 10
|“||And this is check mate, vampire!||”|
–After Shigure and Goshi’s attacks, Guren is ready for Mika. Episode 10
|“||Damn. It’s worse than I thought. The silver haired one must be a noble. He’s way too strong.||”|
–Punched through multiple structures and commenting on Ferid. Episode 10
|“||Well aren’t you a polite vampire. Would you let us have a little more time to regroup?||”|
–A question for Mika. Episode 10
|“||What are you waiting for?! Hurry! Activate the curse and kill him! Hurry! That’s an order!” - Ordering Yu to kill Mika and he holds Mika's sword in place.||”|
|“||So how do you like my trump card? For a rookie he puts on one hell of a show.” - Aware of Yu’s capabilities and asking Ferid how he likes them.||”|
|“||What are you hoping I’ll say? That I have no idea what you are talking about. Or would you feel better if I told you that you’re delusional.||”|
|“||Then don’t get angry if I mention human experimentation. Think carefully now. What would you do to ensure the future of humanity. How can we survive in this ruined world, and kill the Four Horseman of John? More importantly, how can we completely eradicate the vampires? A human victory will require sacrifice. Just think how many people died so your older sister Mahiru Hiragi could complete the cursed gear.||”|
–Justifying the methods they use. Episode 12
|“||It’s true that your sister is in here. But I am the one who’s in control.||”|
|“||I saved your life and now I own you. So don’t go wagging your tail for them.||”|
–Reaching his point, Guren gives a blunt response when Yu does not understand that Guren needs him to remain loyal to him and not the Hiragi family. Episode 13
|“||Like I said before, everyone here is your family and that includes me. That means we’ll work together to get the rest of your family back.||”|
–Speaking after Yu thinks he was just saved so that Guren could use him, and an intention to get Mika back after Guren nearly died by his hand since he is similar to Yu in that he was experimented on. Episode 13
|“||Besides you won’t get rid of me while I’m of use to you.||”|
|“||This mission will probably be the most dangerous you will ever have. Many of you will die. Remember, everyone here is family, that means those who fall in battle are our brothers and sisters. But they won’t die in vain! Their sacrifices will ensure our success! Let me be clear, our goal isn’t to come back alive, it is to be victorious no matter what.||”|
|“||You should never challenge someone who is stronger than you are.||”|
–Advice to Shinoa after disarming her. Episode 16
|“||What a disappointment. You’ve got three black demon holders in your squad and this is the best you can do? The nobles are stronger than we are and they won’t hold back.||”|
–The verdict for Shinoa after the sparring match at Ebina rest stop. Episode 16
|“||And that’s why I left Shinya above ground. If I die in battle then he’ll step forward to lead.||”|
|“||I knew there’d be losses, our comrades deaths are on my hands not yours.||”|
–Shouldering the blame for the losses in Aihara’s squad and to alleviate her distress he continues “Listen to me, you saved six of your men” to frame the outcome positively and successfully have Aihara feel better. Episode 18: "Sword of Justice"
|“||We’ll snipe and see how they react, just to test the waters. There are three targets inside, powerful nobles named Crowley Eusford, Chess Belle and Horn Skuld. If it looks like our enemies are too strong for us to defeat, we’ll leave the hostages.||”|
–His knowledge of which vampires are at city hall and the plan for the hostage situation, with the reasoning that “we can’t afford to lose any more troops, especially elites like you.” which is said to Shinoa and Narumi squads. Episode 18
|“||I’m already dead Shinya, you need to take command and finish the mission without me.||”|
|“||A long time ago I couldn’t save someone important to me. But I’m still here. Still alive and miserable. That’s life, it’s full of things you can’t escape.”||”|
–Guren shares details of his loss and its impact to Yu when he was experiencing night terrors and shared “The thing is, one day you might be able to keep someone else from hurting the way you do. You can help them. So you just have to endure and wait for that day to come. Until then, whenever life feels like it’s too painful to go on, just concentrate on killing vampires. That will help give you some focus at least.” Which helped Yu feel better at the time. Yu would continue heavily concentrating on killing vampires. On the same conversation Guren concluded that “All you have to do is survive, Yu. Until that moment you find something that makes life worth living again.” The words Guren said to Yu would be applied to him some years later and Yu would partially transform into a demon to attempt to rescue Guren from vampire nobles. Episode 20: "Demon's Lullaby"
|“||We got them out of some vending machines.||”|
|“||You’ll have to hit me harder than that.||”|
|“||All right, this is starting to get a little painful. Time to leak some false intel and buy myself a break.||”|
–Guren’s inner thoughts on how to handle being beaten by a vampire noble. Episode 23
|“||Then go ahead and kill me. Oh that’s right you can’t do it. You’ve already betrayed your kind and need the humans to bail your sorry ass out, right? The seraph of the end? The experiment has to succeed today or you’re totally screwed.||”|
–His words and knowledge of Krul Tepes. Episode 23
|“||Smart thinking. Make ‘em believe you’re still on their side, not a complete traitor.||”|
–Complimenting Krul for striking him. Episode 23
|“||Drink the blood of a human, a demon and a progenitor.||”|
|“||Whoa, interesting. You’ve gone crazy. Welcome to the club.||”|
–Not afraid of approaching Yu who has just single handedly destroyed Abaddon and where it is still clearly the seraph that is in control of Yu. Guren is also possessed by a demon, speaking to a seraph, and has a self-awareness of how crazy can be applied to himself. Episode 24
|“||You can’t be mad at me, Shinya. I’m just doing what we dreamed about way back when we were kids.||”|
–His motive for what he done, and asked what he is talking about, Guren replies “I’m changing the whole world. It’s going to be a different place. One where second tier people like you and me can actually move up. Episode 24
- Guren 「紅蓮」 means "crimson lotus."
- Ichinose 「一瀬」 means "one rapid."
- According to the TV Anime 108 Fanbook:
- Guren's favorite color is blueish-gray (or gray with a hint of blue), he said there's no particular reason for it.
- He loves cola.
- If he were to become a demon, he believes his demon form would appear at about five years old, the age when he first met Mahiru Hīragi and felt like he could do anything until the Hīragi retainers tore them apart and crushed his hopes and dreams.