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Ao no Exorcist – 23

「真実」 (Shinjitsu)

Whatever else you might care to say about A-1 Pictures’ anime-original ending for this season, let this be clear – they’re definitely going big.

While it was not without flaws, I liked this episode an awful lot. Pacing was still too fast, though it was definitely improved over last week’s insanity. The effect of this frenetic velocity is that character motivations tend to be lost, leaving only their actions behind, and we did see that problem continue this week. But on the whole things were more coherent and compelling with this episode, with the spine of the final arc becoming pretty apparent. Not everyone will like this direction I’m sure, but it’s certainly interesting to me.

So is Satan being made out to be a good guy, as I’ve seen some charge? I wouldn’t interpret things that way, no. What seems obvious to me is that Yuri was both reckless and dangerously naïve, and intensely drawn to the powerful mind of Satan. No attempt was made to gloss over the deaths Satan caused, and I think it was clear his presence in Assiah is nothing we should be celebrating. At the same time, though, I’m pretty confident that the flashback he showed Yukio was more or less accurate. It had the ring of truth to it, and it’s been obvious almost from the beginning that Egin was a bad man. Yuri feeling sorry for Satan is another one of those things that would have flowed more smoothly if there’d been time to flesh out Yuri’s character and show us how she came to be the sort of woman for whom that was possible.

Why didn’t Egin just use Yukio’s blood to begin with, you might ask? Logic is another casualty of the fast pacing in this case, I think. It can certainly be no surprise that Yukio would offer himself up in the place of Rin, given his current frustrated mindset of impotent protector of his brother. Arrogance was Egin’s downfall (as is pretty much the norm in shounen anime and manga) and I shed no tears for him. That he’d ordered Yuri murdered was no surprise to me, though it was fascinating to see the anime’s take on the origins of Rin and Yukio. That felt as if it could have been canon to me, especially Mephisto’s role in it – I could very easily see him taking advantage of the situation to have a little fun and gain control over two very powerful baby entities. Shiro decided to raise the boys just a little too quickly (pacing again) but is he the sort of man that would murder two infants in cold blood even in those circumstances? I don’t think so.

Also of interest is Takara’s role in all this. He finally spoke with – very significantly – the bunny set aside. Sitting on a girder, observing events on the school rooftop, reading from “Revelations”? Fascinating indeed – just what is he and whose side is he on? Might he perhaps be an angel, or – a Horseman? Hmm… And of course, Mephisto’s motivations remain as clouded as ever. He always seems to be in control no matter what’s going on around him, but where are his interests? If Satan has re-entered Assiah via Egin’s stupidity and now possesses his most perfect vessel yet in Yukio, that seems to put some pressure on the implacable Mepphy to finally choose a side once and for all.

So there you have it. With two eps left no one – even the manga readers – can say with authority how all this will shake out. It has the look of an interesting finale if veteran director Okamura-sensei can get the pacing right. We’ve seen the viewpoint Yuri seemed to live by – not all demons are bad – espoused repeatedly through the series, with Blackie and even Mephisto himself just to name two examples. But I can’t imagine A-1 going with the premise of a peaceful resolution with Satan, that notwithstanding. And who will fill the power vacuum at the Vatican, with the Grigori deposed and Egin’s group seemingly destroyed? With their Paladin currently hosting the Prince of Darkness, there are obviously personnel changes on the way in Rome.



September 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm
  • September 18, 2011 at 5:41 pmMMBinNC

    I’m still banking on a return to the status quo so a second season can occur. All that needs to be done is Rin power up and with the cooperation of Yukio, “beat” Satan- knowing that the imperfection and love in Yukio is why they were able to win. No one dies.

  • September 18, 2011 at 5:45 pmlilion

    Is satan good or bad, in the flashback it portrays satan as good but when satan went into yukio it really made it seem like satan is bad.

    • September 18, 2011 at 6:22 pmkat52

      I’m quite certain Satan is inherently bad, but that he had a genuine interest in Yuri, probably really did even love her. But, all in all, he’s bad. He is Satan after all.

      • September 19, 2011 at 7:11 amNolan

        Well, our perception of Satan as the bad guy is really because that’s the only press he’s ever gotten in the ancient mainstream media. Remember that all of the accounts of Satan have come either from God or his servants. Do you trust only what you hear from Guy 1 on how bad his enemy, Guy 2 is? I would spare some thought into classifying such opinions as merely that, opinions. You’ll need to hear from both sides, cross-reference and obtain more evidence to be able to piece the truth.

  • September 18, 2011 at 6:24 pmHoshi_Akari

    “Why didn’t Egin just use Yukio’s blood to begin with, you might ask?” – Egin explained that the combination of Yukio and Rin blood is what he was aiming all the time so no real mistery here. I guess he knew that Yukio would offer his own blood in the end.

    • September 18, 2011 at 8:45 pmGuardian Enzo

      I heard that as “it works better if their blood as mixed” – but that it would have still worked if it was just one or the other.

    • September 19, 2011 at 6:56 amTez

      I think he hoped to keep Yukio around to carry his family name.

      • September 20, 2011 at 8:35 pmAni_BEE

        I honestly think he was keeping him as backup just in case something didn’t work according to plan. Unlike the free spirited and proven destructive Rin, Yukio has always put his duty first and foremost and Egin could keep him under control with protocol. Strategically it makes sense to use Rin first over Yukio, Rin would go pretty ageshit if Yukio was used as a sacrifice even if he was will.

        Egin kill his daughter just being associated with Satan. You think he wanted Satan’s children to carry his name… >__>

  • September 18, 2011 at 6:25 pmDaniel

    Anyone know what seiyuu voices Yuri?

    • September 18, 2011 at 7:49 pmseigarou

      @Daniel: Hayashibara Megumi-san. Lina Inverse of Slayers, Haibara Ai of Meitantei Conan among other things. It wasn’t till the preview that it finally hit me.

    • September 19, 2011 at 3:14 amDjisas

      The one and only, the queen…

      Megu-chan just made the episode a whole lot better to me…

  • September 18, 2011 at 6:40 pmreminbee


    • September 18, 2011 at 7:20 pmCharles (^-^)

      hahaha agreed XD!!!

      i mean if satan tried to do that with me first id resist then i would kinda give in…XD!

  • September 18, 2011 at 6:40 pmredlupine

    There goes my Bunny-kun = Satan theory. Just who is that guy?

  • September 18, 2011 at 6:47 pmalabaster

    As much as I was surprised hearing bunny-kun talk, the talking hamster Amaimon took second place.xD

  • September 18, 2011 at 11:30 pmWhee

    lol@satan- so out of character by definition…

  • September 18, 2011 at 11:49 pmTan-Tan

    Bunny-kun is God 8D

  • September 19, 2011 at 1:29 amx

    Heh, as Enzo said, pacing continues to be the problem. Otherwise, this looked really good. I love the detail they put into the story, considering it is an anime original. It rings true even though I have read the manga. Can’t wait for next episode :p

  • September 19, 2011 at 2:47 amshio

    my theory:
    rin & friends somehow save yukio.
    yukio & rin (& bunny-kun maybe?) defeat satan -> mepphys goal.
    mepphy will become the new demon king -> everyone is happy

  • September 19, 2011 at 3:56 amKud

    Bunny-kun is Jesus! lol

  • September 19, 2011 at 8:16 amjay

    god damn Yuri was a total cutie. i require more flashbacks with her.

  • September 19, 2011 at 5:46 pmhaitechan

    Satan was so OOC lol. Anyway, it’s an interesting take on Yuri, because she only was mentioned on the manga and we never knew more of her. Anyway, I wonder how will this turn out. Probably Rin saves the day but I’m guessing Bunny-kun is somewhat involved too.

  • September 20, 2011 at 1:41 ammilkman

    revelations 9:1-3.

  • September 21, 2011 at 3:50 amdilantin

    deceiving is the specialty of demons.

    bunny-kun maybe someone powerful haha.


  • September 27, 2011 at 7:51 pmneks

    god.. it was too good to be true.. that Yuri-Satan thing was so retarded…