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Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-Hen – 03

「疑心暗鬼」 (Gishinanji)
“Suspicion Will Raise Bogies”

It may have taken three weeks but I finally felt like I watched a true Ao no Exorcist episode.

No More Rin Hating

They say too much of anything is bad for you and all this self loathing and Rin avoiding has definitely overstayed its welcome. With almost everyone acting like dummies whenever Rin’s face appeared I was starting to get sick of everyone just laying back and not doing anything about it. Don’t get me wrong either, I understand that as members of an organization that is actively fighting against Satan among other things it’s a little tough to have his son as a part of your group. But god damnit, this is the second season and no one has time for these shenanigans. Which is why I was so happy to see it come to an abrupt end. Jarring or not, it’s about damn time everyone admits that they’re being stupid when it comes to ignoring or acting foolish around their own teammate! While it remains to be seen how people like Suguro or to a lesser extend Konekomaru will handle this, it feels like things are at least heading in the right direction.

Also, before anyone accuses me of not liking hardship and some instability between characters, I live for those moments when they’re executed well and don’t last for-freaking-ever.

The Actual Story

With that off my chest since it took me a while to figure out what was bothering me with this sequel (Rin’s a saint for not walking up and punching someone straight in the face), let’s talk a little about the actual point of the show! With the Right Eye of the Impure King being sought after by unknown forces and the story focusing our attention on possible culprits, let me play detective and give some of my opinions since we’re lacking any substantial information.

Obviously, it looks like Suguro’s dad is being painted as the main culprit behind the whole thing. Not in favor with the members of the Myoda Sect and having shade casted at him whenever someone gets the opportunity, I don’t think anyone would fault you for automatically assuming he’s guilty. However, just like I said last week, it’s tough not to think the story is just trying to throw you off with superficial information. And after taking some information from this week’s episode into account, I can’t help but feel like someone at the top (minus Suguro’s dad since he isn’t a member of the Cross) has to be pulling the strings. I mean, how easy would it be to throw suspicion onto someone else when you have people like Shima’s brother and Snake Girl to do all the work for you?

In any case, I still maintain my opinion that Suguro’s dad is being used as a decoy for all of this. Hopefully I don’t end up being completely wrong, but so long as we have a enjoyable ride to the reveal I don’t really mind what happens.

Looking Ahead

With the preview throwing a ton of action at our face, it looks like things are about to get real. Also, Suguro seems to be on the verge of returning to speaking-terms with Rin — a win-win for everyone in the show as well as for us watching. Anyways, I’ll catch you guys then. Hopefully.

 

Preview

January 20, 2017 at 6:12 pm
10 comments »
  • January 20, 2017 at 7:16 pmstarss

    You can tell the animation here is a ton better than in the first show! Especially when you see them back to back in Shiemi’s flashback. Though I do miss the cartoony wild takes they used to do! She has the most adorable Determination face.

  • January 20, 2017 at 7:56 pmRedRocket

    Good and tense episode. I think someone barley looked at probably the mole.

  • January 21, 2017 at 8:11 amSabishiTomo

    Angst is cool, and I’m glad his friends weren’t just like “Rin is our friend, we love him and we are totally gonna ignore he’s Satan’s son” since that’s a lot more realistic . But totally agree with you that dragging that for too long would be pointless. Thanks for blogging Ao this season :)!

  • January 21, 2017 at 11:58 amdaikama

    Pretty much the same overall comment as before – “steady as she goes”. Mentioned last time that the scene with Izumo & Shiemi picking medicinal herbs was left out. Got put into this episode instead which is fine. Works either way, but glad it was included since (a) they are main characters = deserve some screen time and (b) there is a budding relationship (no, not that kind :P) between the two as well which needs time to build.

    That being said, I know that Shiemi is a meek, kind of sort of wallflower type who’s insecure and struggling to adjust to the outside world after being so sheltered. So I get the character and there will be ups & downs during the whole process as she matures and gains self-confidence. Still, this felt a bit overplayed. TOTALLY useless? Uh, no, you’ve helped out quite a bit in the past. Bit more of a deft hand would work better here IMO.

    I don’t recall in the manga that she was unable to summon her familiar, but perhaps memory fail. Regardless, that felt off. AFAIK, there’s no reason she couldn’t summon it. Control it “due to a troubled heart”? Yeah, that’s been established, but no summons? O.o Minor point. I did get a LOL out of “Thanks! I love weeds” and Izumo’s reaction. I’ll just skip on the easy “loves weed” jokes. ;)

    “No More Rin Hating”

    Sorry Takaii. Understand your point but have to disagree with you on this one for a few reasons. First, as already noted in another post, it’s not super realistic, especially given the personal loss for some, that everyone would be “Satan’s son? Never guessed that, but nakama is namkama…” Is it fair or logical? Not IMO. Rin’s not his dad and has consistently been on the good side. However, people are not always fair/logical and these are 15-16 year old teenagers to boot (albeit some quite mature for their age). So some fear, confusion and even animosity are to be expected. Second, the “hating” could have (perhaps arguably should have) been worse. They just ignore him. Painful, especially for Rin who finally found a group of people his age he fits in with, but still could have been worse. IMO the level showed that there was some internal struggle trying to process the shocking news.

    Third, I don’t think it went on too long (though it could have). Couple reasons here. Compare to Re Zero Subaru suffering which was THE focal point for a LOT of minutes. Here, the “Rin hating” is spread out within each episode. Other parts of the plot, other struggles the characters have (e.g. Bon, Shiemi), etc. all help to diffuse the “Rin hating” aspect. Not only that, there’s fairly quick progress towards resolution. Saw that last episode with Renzou and getting there with Konekomaru. That also helps IMO. TL:DR = didn’t have an issue with the way it’s playing out so far.

    Can’t comment on the rest because I’m spoiled.

    • January 21, 2017 at 3:00 pmTakaii

      When it comes to all the hate coming Rin’s way though, I don’t remember any of this from the end of the last season. From what I’ve read though, apparently the ending of the first season was anime-only and this second season is picking up right after Rin lost his shit against Amaimon instead of whatever happened to Yukio?

      In any case, a slightly longer refresher of where this is supposed to be picking up from would help alleviate all the cold shoulder treatment that I just found a little jarring since it’s not like these characters haven’t already experienced a ton of crap together. Also, unlike people like Amaimon and Mephisto, Rin’s half-human for god sakes. This is just my opinion, but when characters spout shit like “Blue Flames Kill” or “Blue Flames killed my family” it makes want to walk up to these imaginary characters and go — okay, sorry, but tell me what does Rin have to do with what Satan did?

      ANYWAYS, to cut things short I think I would have been more okay with everything if the show had given us an episode 0 or something with a brief recap of what we’re supposed to remember. (I personally loved/hated the Subaru suffering plot which culminated into me breaking down when Rem [bestgirl2k16] and Subaru had that 20 minute conversation that just hnnnnnnnnnnnnnng).

      At the end of the day though, I feel ya. It could have been a lot worse (I get flashbacks to Endless 8 for a studio trying to prove a point), it’s just I wanted this second season of Ao no Exorcist to start with a bang. Luckily, next week’s episode looks like it just might be that bang!

      • January 21, 2017 at 4:40 pmdaikama

        @Takaii: Correct. Season 1 went anime only after episode 15 (or maybe after first part of episode 16 – roughly chapter 14 or 15 in the manga). That’s where this picks up, so you effectively throw out first season’s eps. 17-25[end] (and probably most of ep. 16 as well). Thus, you should look at this as picking up from Ep. 15 or so (i.e. after the camping trip when they first learn about Rin and his lineage). If you want to refresh your memory, I’d re-read the manga up to say chapter 16. Quicker than watching 15 episodes of anime + get a bit more info.

        Ep. 01 did a little “refresher course” in that respect towards the end. Still, if you hadn’t read the manga/watched S1 in a long time, then yes, it can be confusing. I looked at it as a bit of damned if you do damned if you don’t for Ep. 01, and on the whole thought it did what it could. Mostly/all recap is not a good way to start of the season. An Episode 00 could have worked, but you’d still have this issue to resolve. Can’t do a refresher recap and resolve it all in one episode IMO. Too fast. Don’t want to drag it out unnecessarily, but don’t want to hand wave fix it either.

        However, if one did look at this as picking up from the end of S1, then yeah, I can definitely see your point because you’re going over “old ground” again, “ground” which was already resolved. Doesn’t make sense and I’d be complaining as well.

        “…okay, sorry, but tell me what does Rin have to do with what Satan did?”

        Right, and I mentioned that as well in my post. It’s not fair, it’s not logical. Rin’s is not his dad (Satan). However, I think what I posted on that is reasonable: (A) people are not always fair/logical, especially concerning circumstances where family members have been killed and/or some other horrific experience. It’s an emotionally charged situation. (B) These are teenagers (15-16). Also emotional. Think of it from Bon/Konekomaru’s POV. Every time they see Rin, every time they see the blue flames, it’s a reminder of what happened, what was lost. Not easy to deal with.

        Not only that, Rin did go berserk at the end of that one battle = their concern about him losing control is warranted for now (something Rin notes this episode). As for Mephisto, might be wrong, but while obvious to us, his true identity isn’t that widely known. Pretty sure the group as a whole doesn’t know who he really is. Amaimon is Amaimon – random evil/demon person. Bad guy, but wasn’t responsible like Satan for killing off Bon’s, Konekomaru’s & Renzou’s family & friends.

        Keep in mind that Izumo’s been cool/normal with Rin (Ep. 01). Same goes for Renzou (Ep. 02) and Konekomaru’s on the way (Ep. 03). There’s some resolution, piecemeal (which is better IMO) right off the bat. As for Bon, eh, dude’s got family issues to deal with as well. As for Shiemi, honestly I’m not sure what her deal is other than maybe she’s not sure/uncertain how to handle the situation.

        Anyway, that’s why I don’t have any issues here. JMO though. [OT - as for Re. Zero, I also thought Rem was "best girl" (in general terms, not really "shipping" her) and it was a very heartfelt speech for sure. Have some issues with other things, but different show which is already over.]

      • January 22, 2017 at 5:28 pmTakaii

        True, true.

        I’m not disagreeing with you — if anything it’s nice to see a different take on it. I’m also probably really biased right now because of some real life stuff.

        Nice to see comments that differ in opinions though — helps me see things from a different perspective.

  • January 25, 2017 at 7:44 pmsealouse

    There’s Rin’s training I was wondering about when the filler started last season. It’s just that now that I’ve seen it I kind of hope they don’t spend too much time on it.

  • January 26, 2017 at 10:38 amSherrisLok

    I laughed when Shiemi started crying. Rin set the roof ablaze and Kamiki was just staring – nobody gave a flying duck about Shiemi! Brilliance! XD

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