「鬼事」 (Onigokko)
“Tag”

Now that represents a solid return to form for Ao no Exorcist. No other currently airing series does filler as well, but last week’s was pretty flimsy even by those standards, and it’s nice to get back to some plot-advancing development.

Mind you, there was plenty of amusing stuff happening here. We got to see Shiemi in a school uniform, for starters. Turns out it suits her rather well, and she has a, shall we say, generous figure that catches every boy’s eye. It’s nice to see her slowly being integrated into the modern world after being holed up in her garden for so long. It’s also nice to see some real development between she and Rin, too, as that’s certainly the pairing that I’m rooting for here. In a way, the vibe reminds me of Fruits Basket – with Rin as Kyo, Yuki as, well – Yuki – and Shiemi as Tohru. In that case I rooted for the hot-tempered, screw-up outsider with the heart of gold over the overachieving, conceited “good boy” – and here, too.

The premise for all this is a trip to “Mepphy Land” to chase down a mischievous ghost – in this mythology defined as a demon who’s possessed the vapors of a dead person (in this case apparently an ill little boy who died in his PJs). There are lots of good things about this setup, not least of which is that it gives the crack animators at A-1 Pictures a chance to have great fun with ridiculous Mephisto theme park attractions, never forgetting of course the Mepphy Shop. With the gang of eight students and two teachers (Yukio and Tsubaki-sensei) on hand, everyone splits up into pairs to go ghost hunting, and fortunately Rin and Shiemi end up as a team (bad move for you, Yuki).

The mischievous ghost manages to get Shiemi one-on-one while Rin has other matters to attend to, and proves himself to be a pervy little fellow. After feeling her up, the ghost boy takes Shiemi for a dizzying ride on the teacups as Rin deals with problems of his own.

Into this steps Amaimon, finally emerging from the cameo stage to full-on action. We know he’s Mephisto’s otouto and he calls himself a Demon King (and later he’s called the Earth Lord) so there’s a little more background on Mephisto as an omake. His job is clearly to test Rin’s limits, both in terms of power and self-control, which he does first by stealing his sword and teasing Rin mercilessly by unsheathing and re-sheathing it (Rin’s powers with it) and then by beating the crap out of him. Well, mission accomplished – he manages to piss Rin off to the point where he loses himself in rage, but a cry for help from Shiemi (trapped under some debris from the struggle between Amaimon and Rin) snaps him out of it. And the arrival of Shura on the scene causes Amaimon to drop the fight – for now.

Who? That’s right, one of our mystery students has been unmasked, and “he’s” a she. It’s Kirigakure Shura (Satou Rina), Upper First Class Hottie Exorcist. She’s an inspector from the Vatican sent to investigate “risks” in the Japanese branch, which I take to mean Rin. She’s a sword-wielder too, and clearly she’s going to be a force to be reckoned with. With that fight avoided for now, things are settled as Shiemi has sorted things out with Ghost-boy on her own. Apparently getting to second base and tearing up Mepphy Land was enough to satisfy him for the moment, and with an “Arigato, Onee-chan!” he disappears.

All in all this ep worked equally well as an entertainment and as a canon episode. Amaimon finally got some real development, and proved himself to be both extremely formidable and a bit of a smart-ass (runs in the family, clearly). We finally have one mystery student revealed, with only Bunny-boy left as a cipher. We know more about Rin’s sword, thanks to Amaimon – the scabbard is the gate between Gehenna (where Satan’s flames reside) and Assiah (where Rin’s body does). Maybe best of all we got to see Shiemi running in a school uniform, and she certainly shimmies like jelly on a plate. Ao no Exorcist definitely behaves like a series that has all the time in the world to tell its story, but it sure is nice to get a substantial episode like this sometimes.

 

Preview

41 Comments

  1. Shura is awesooooooome!!! (‘3’)
    Never would have thought that guy with the hoodie would have any importance, I thought it was a gag from the show…
    Nice post!

    Saco
  2. I’m really glad to see Exorcist getting back to the main story. I was really pumped to see this was the next episode last week, and was hoping we’d get all the way to the introduction of everyone’s favorite Stripperiffic exorcist! I’d say they made up for last week’s episode in spades!

    michiowatanabe
  3. Good post on the episode! I enjoyed your writing style a lot. The episode itself was as you said; suspenseful. Having already read the manga and being an avid fan of the series as a whole, I recognise this episode that was covered as the first step that steps up the following arc; which is my favourite so far and expands the plot even further.

    I cannot wait for the next few episodes to see how they cover the story now. 🙂

    1. In case anyone wants to know early…

      Show Spoiler ▼

      BabyChooChoo
  4. heh…i thought the flaming “big bang attack” was animated quite nicely in this episode ^_^!!

    hope there is more action next episode…but from the preview…maybe not >_<"

    * old girls face was too funny, in this episode *

  5. I’m really starting to dislike Mephisto and his brother. Thery don’t seem to be up to no good. Always screwing with Rin and Amaimon was hella reckless to do what he did almost killing the other kids in the process and Shiemi in particular.

    On a side note: damn she looks good in that uniform and the way she runs its like she doesn’t notice she has tits.

    Karmafan
  6. I quite liked Shura’s appearance. With her interrupting Yuki, and flinging off her hoodie (the music matched quite nicely here, and throughout the episode). What wonders that bandage(?) could hide. Having not read the manga, I’m curious to see what will happen once Rin appears with her looking like that, as seen in the first pic of the preview.

    Evident
  7. I haven’t read the manga but I felt the pacing for this episode was a little off…it cycled too quickly from comedic/slow with Shiemi and the ghost to dramatic and fast with Amaimon and Rin. I’d prefer to see the battle in whole rather than stopping and starting. I’m guessing there’ll be more battles later though now Shura is involved. (and with a chest like that, you’d think she’d have more trouble bandaging them up!)

    Sereni
  8. I really like your blogging style! Thanks for the great summary. I couldn’t help cracking up when I read your comment about Shiemi: “she certainly shimmies like jelly on a plate”

    Magical Poof
  9. During all of my anime days, I’ve never jaw-dropped so in sync with the on-screen characters before. And not once, but TWICE! (..twice!) T_T

    Also,
    I refuse to believe that a high quality Fruit Basket can be arrested with but only a mere bandage! Blasphemy, I say! Off with her bra!

    1. Yup, AoEx and S;G are going to be simulcasts since I’ve been blogging those over there and I can’t stop in the middle! I did focus on slightly different things in that review but honestly, there’s only so many things you can say about a 22-minute anime episode (unless it’s some freak like AnoHana) and time-wise, it would be hard to write two completely different reviews of the same show every week.

  10. Okay, that pouty face Shiemi made? I know it’s supposed to be cute, but to me it’s simultaneously the most unintentionally hideous/terrifying face I’ve ever seen in an anime in recent years. Yeesh.

    As much as I like Shura’s big reveal, I wish she didn’t do a complete 360 in terms of characterization. After this all she seems to be good for is being Ms. Luscious Boobs La-rue and *gasp!* she just has to never wear or make any mention of her pre-stripperific scenes ever again.

  11. Great post! I found it to be very readable, though it did lean more heavily to the plot summary side. I guess there isn’t much to say about a 22 min episode in a series like this, though, and I know how hard it is keeping those two in balance. Keep up the great work!

    The only thing that really bothered me was some of the random Japanese? Maybe it’s just me. Reading “otouto” really caught me off guard for some reason, and I know that I personally didn’t know the meaning of the word for a long time in my anime watching career. (Also, “between she and Rin,” grammatically, should be “between her and Rin.” Dumb and irrelevant of me to say, but it’s a big pet peeve of mine.)

    ren

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