「祟り寺の子」 (Tatari-dera no Ko)
“Child of the Cursed Temple”
Moving on from the transition into school, the actual schooling begins, with Rin snoring through every subject, inciting the rage of Suguro Ryuji (Nakai Kazuya, Zoro~), a man oddly with the same mission. Suguro’s had a tough life, people look at him with hate for his association with a curse, he doesn’t like it when others underestimate him, and he has a big goal, defeating Satan. Change four letters in his name and he’s Naruto! Maybe he’s a legitimate homage so that the author can imply that his main character is so much better than the rock-headed “Suguro,” and I’d have to agree. Rin’s decline at the provocation for who’s the better man was amiable, and to further salt the wound, proved himself better anyway. In the end, Suguro gains nothing as a character, and apologizes to our superior protagonist. Of course to catch up, Rin merely changes himself to study some more, as if now they’re clearly equal on all fronts, except that Rin is still superior. Which is too bad, really, because now Rin’s got nothing to learn from the guy, and he holds nothing over him, leaving Suguro to be an alternative venue for comedic relief. They do have their character interaction, which works pretty well, as I did laugh pretty hard at their last argument in PE.
Shiemi on the other hand, is having more trouble than Rin, simply because she’s apparently much more insecure. While Rin doesn’t give a damn if he doesn’t make any friends, Shiemi does, and has no real motivation from like Satan killing her father or something (where’s your determination for finding flower vahalla? was the last episode worth even less now?!). Having spent most of her life secluded from the social world, she’s like all of us (ok, some of us). Throw in that she has other compounding issues because she’s a girl for some unintentional sexism, add the Hanazawa Kana voice, and you’ve got a character asking for sympathy. So it’s too bad she has to suffer the classic “I shouldn’t say she’s my friend even though I really like her because it’d be too selfish of me to imply that she thinks of me as a friend too even though it should be obvious we’re already friends by the way we talk to each other” routine. Which… is basically Kimi ni Todoke S1’s first half in a nutshell. Sigh, her plea was so cute too.
On the overarching plot, we’ve got an event introduced like Walpurgis Night, except it only occurred once and sixteen years ago. The explanation was confusing because I couldn’t tell if Satan was killing priests all over the world, or just one temple where a lot of them were congregated. I’m pretty sure the first scene from the first episode was depicting “Blue Night,” but it doesn’t seem like the same temple Suguro is from, so I’m going to go with the former assumption. I’m also unsure about Yukio and what his gun was pointing towards, because it could be that he’s still ready to kill Rin at any moment he goes public. Mephisto is revealed to have some ulterior motives for having Rin under his “control,” something that other demons don’t seem to be too happy about, leaving me speculating that perhaps Satan’s power and position can be, let’s say, challenged.
While Suguro and Shiemi aren’t too special themselves, Rin’s reactions provide some zing, even if he pulled a shoujo move. He should have just said, “yeah she is my friend, you jealous?” The fact that it would’ve actually fit his persona is what makes it disappointing. Hmm, I do want him to mess with that Kitamura Eri tsundere though. Next week and for a few weeks after that I’m going to assume this kind of school life/mingle with other characters/gain life experience deal will keep going. It’s entertaining because the world’s so entertaining, but no more copycat characters please? And flesh out the current ones to have some more value. And don’t make that tsundere into Misaka Mikoto.