Ao no Exorcist – 02
「虚無界の門」 (Gehena Gēto)
Anime beating manga in terms of an adaptation is rare, but A-1 pulled through a thousand times over. After constant disappointment over a multitude of terrible adaptations, I don’t take it lightly when one as good as this just strolls by. The dynamic of the father son relationship felt much more realistic and relatable due to the added exposition of flashbacks, a longer struggle, and naturally, just by it being animated. As a result, the story had actual impact, and by the end, I almost shed a tear when Rin did. Despite having already read the first chapter and knowing what to expect, the emotion totally caught me off-guard, so cheers to A-1 for a fantastic job in actually knowing how to direct scenes. The choice of a soft piano piece during the unleashing of the sword might have seemed odd at first, but considering the scene followed to Shirou’s death, it was perfect. But seriously, Fujiwara Keiji? Stop dying as awesome characters. Not cool.
Being able to build upon “rules” already given by angel and demon lore could have been bland since it’s so often used, but similar to zombies being animated in Highschool of the Dead, it’s a fresh sight. This holds true especially with some wicked animation to support it, as shown in the chaotic battles of this episode. I’m so used to demon takeover, holy water, and summoning symbols from Supernatural (TV series) that seeing it happen in Ao felt like second nature. Demonic possession is definitely one of the more sadistic things demons are capable of doing, but it’s a peculiar feeling seeing the exact same rules apply (Satan’s power being too much for a human, human able to take back control).
The obvious development here would be Rin for finally accepting who he is, finding out which father really mattered, and acquiring the hatred to kill the one that doesn’t. The irony here, as hilariously pointed out by Mephisto Pheles (Kamiya Hiroshi), is a demon becoming an Exorcist to kill his own father, Satan nonetheless. I guess that’s one I haven’t I heard before. With such an incredibly well-done setup, I’m extremely psyched for the meat of the story where he actually trains to become an Exorcist. Seems like it’ll be a school setting, similar to Soul Eater, with a gigantic cast of characters (here are your females), and… Yukio. Someone’s pissed.