「賭」 (Kake)

This appears to be a critical time for AoEx. The series is doing very well in terms of ratings and BD/DVD sales, and the manga is selling well in the US. Yet the manga is nowhere near far enough along to support a second season of the anime. So which direction does A-1 choose – an anime-original ending à la Kuroshitsuji, or perhaps a total “jump break” like Deadman Wonderland with the intent of waiting at least two years and hoping the audience is still there? I haven’t read the manga so I won’t be able to answer that authoritatively, but judging from the reactions I’m seeing it looks like this was the week where two roads started to diverge in the yellow wood, and the anime began making major changes.

The episode split up the cast into two storylines, connected but independent, with Rin, Shura and Mephisto off to deal with the matter of the church authorities. Meanwhile the others headed off to Kyoto (via Yukio’s magic door), there to try and find a swordsmith to repair the cracked demon blade and contain Rin’s powers again. Yes, you can infer from that that the others seem willing to overlook the fact that Rin is the Son of Satan and stand by him anyway. Shiemi is unsurprisingly the most forgiving (she is in love with him, after all) but it’s Konekomaru, surprisingly, who’s most resistant to the idea. The most severely injured of the group, he stays behind with Tanaka while the others zip off up Mt. Hiei to find the swordsmith who forged the demon sword, Kurikara.

I can’t help but feel that the decision to stand by Rin was a bit too one-sided and considerably too quick in the making. Bon, especially, seemed to go along much more quickly than I would have thought – though I would have expected him to go along eventually. It’s his childhood crush who’s taken over as the Yoshikuni swordsmith, and she’s the one who’ll have to remake the sword. She speaks in a very odd accent which to my very poor Japanese sounds something like a cross between an Osaka dialect and Hideyoshi from Baka Test, but she reveals all sorts of embarrassing things about “L’il Ryu” so I’ll forgive that. The most interesting element of this thread was probably the appearance of Mara possessing the Buddha statues at the temple where the sacred nail the swordsmith needs to remake Kurikara.

Meanwhile, Mephisto in on trial in front of the Grigori, the top authority of the Church. Leading the arguments against him (and for executing Rin, encased in a kind of holy carbonite) is Arthur Augusto Angel (Ono Daisuke), the newly appointed Paladin and no fan of the last one, apparently. The whole issue of Mephisto and what his true intentions are is really at the heart of things. He claims to be grooming Rin as a weapon against Satan, and even the Grigori admit they don’t have any real weapons in that battle at the moment. Arthur is considerably more skeptical and believes Mephisto has betrayed Assiah altogether. Just as Mephisto appears to be winning the argument Amaimon shows up, intent on taking his revenge against Rin. Mephisto is unflappable as ever, suggesting that Rin be released to demonstrate his powers by battling Amaimon.

Considering everything that was going on, that actually played as a pretty low-key episode I thought. Perhaps a calm before the storm. There’s a ton of uncertainty at the moment, much of it stemming from the fact that we don’t know whether A-1 intends to wrap up this story in 8 episodes or not. There’s the matter of Arthur’s spy at the Academy, as referred to by Shura – and it occurs to me that there’s one cast member (and his puppet) whose purpose at the Academy has not been explained. Mephisto – as he usually does – seems to be at the center of things, and he’s the great wild card in all this. I’m not sure whose side he’s really on except his own, and his agenda probably transcends either that of the Church of or Gehenna. But what he really wants is another matter, though I suspect he needs Rin alive to obtain it. It seems likely he gave Yukio the demon sword specifically with the belief that Yukio and the students would get it repaired.

Basically the entire episode played out with Rin immobilized, and it was odd not having his intensity as part of the dynamic. Given the greed in the voices of the Grigori at the prospect of such a powerful tool in their hands, my suspicion is that they’ll rule to let Mephisto develop Rin, choosing the wishes of the last Paladin over the current one.




  1. Yep, it’s looking like Ao no Exorcist might go a different direction. I would assume this to be filler, but it seems to directly contradict the comic in a few regards. In the comic Show Spoiler ▼

    I can’t say that I would be surprised by a unique anime ending. After all, the story arc that follows this is still ongoing, but it is a little disappointing to see them going a different route with the characters.

    1. Yeah it’s true that there isn’t much of chapters ahead.
      I hope they will still use them thought, at least for the flashback chapter on Rin and Yukio’s father.

      I don’t understand why the didn’t wait a little before doing this adaptation, the manga is way too young but it future looks good.

      Well last week episode was better with Rin cuting through Mephisto’s jail since I wasn’t expecting it at all.

      1. The reason they didn’t want to wait was so that they could gobble up the chance to do it first. The longer they wait, the more studios there will be to compete against.

        Plus, they want to take advantage of its current popularity. There is always the risk that it will shrink in popularity down the road, and they want to capitalize off the series before that happens. It was a similar situation with FMA. When BONES was making the original anime, I guarantee you they weren’t thinking about doing Brotherhood. It wasn’t until afterword that they decided that it was worth it to faithfully adapt the series.

        Whether or not AnE will garner the same level of popularity to make a future remake viable is yet to be determined.

  2. wow, with this episode I’m thinking this story going a different route than the manga.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    The majority of this episode felt like filler to me, having read the manga. I hope they go back to the original story, but at this point, it may not make much sense.


    1. I think they could go back to the original. The manga arc that takes place after the forest trial thing hasn’t been completed yet, so I bet this will just be filler, either until the end of the season or just for a few more episodes and then they’ll end on a mid-arc cliffhanger.

      1. I am going to say it’s a semi-filler instead of full fledged one. Parts of it still happen like Mephisto going on trial and his talks with Gregori group. I would assume that they added the extra stuff to it for more substance to work with. I don’t remember if all this happen only on two chapters or three but does look like part of episode 17 will be back to the original storyline.

  3. Very minor spoilers throughout my post but I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of it so I am putting a tag on the entire thing.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    The point I am trying to make with this post is that its just like FMA with anime original interwoven with source material. Although some parts were lacking to me in this added content, it shows promise and I am eager to see what they do with the rest.

  4. I think they’re going to follow to manga and end up like Deadman because the plot it’s still in the very beginning. Even if they want to produce an original ending, they won’t be able to do do it because they don’t have enough content for it.

  5. They are definitely going to go down the FMA route. With what happened here, continuity is pretty much irreconcilable. We’ll have to wait for the manga to end (which is probably gonna be a long time) and then wait for the Ao no Exorcist version of Brotherhood, assuming the franchise survives till then.

    While waiting, might as well enjoy it for what it is. There are a few jarring re-characterizations (e.g. the ones you pointed out Enzo) in order to fit their immediate needs, but if they don’t mess up the characterization too bad and the writing is still fairly good then it can turn out relatively well. And hey, if this does well, they’ll be much more likely do a remake in the same vein as Brotherhood later.

    I’m looking forward to see where this is going.

    1. Its not really going the FMA route. FMA anime was produced before the manga was and the creator of the manga herself decided to go a different way with the manga. Then since the manga was so popular they decided to do another anime. So BE isn’t doing that.

  6. Well, from the viewpoint of someone who hasn’t read the manga, I’d say this episode was actually pretty interesting. Action without base is pointless and I’m glad they spent the time elaborating on some of the minor details, even if it’s non-canon.

    That scene with Shura vs Angel was a massive tease. Looking forward to seeing them actually fight sometime.

  7. I agree with most of everyones posts. There were a few fillers added and some changes but I really do think there going to end the anime series probably at least close to one of the ending chapters. so then when th manga is longer then they can make a second season. I just hope it doesn’t end to a cliff hanger or at least some filler ending.

  8. Personally, I believe they’re going with original ending. There really was too little content to fill the whole series. Especially considering that this most recent arc (the camp one) seemed to have bundled at least two chapters per episode (though I’m not 100% certain of this) in comparison with the rest which had been 1 chap per ep. But, since we already had two fillers (more like one and a half, not counting whatever’s happening here now), and the arc following this one in the manga hasn’t finished, I seriously doubt they’re going to give us anything manga-based anymore. So, anime-original ending it’ll probably be. Sad, but very likely. I will be overjoyed if they go back to manga, but it’ll have some contradictions (someone said this already). Anyways, we’ll just have to wait and see. Ao no Exorcist was just too good a manga to leave it a manga. Having an anime already filled my joy for the year.

  9. Argh…They took out Rin’s awesome momment. -_- Why would you freeze the guilty party? No such thing as freedom of speech? Plus, I hated how they randomly jumped from scene to scene. Focus!

    I don’t have a bright outlook on the way things are going. All the changes in this episode from the manga spell out a poor filler that will tie up loose ends of the trial and camp arc. I was hoping they’ll continue to the Kyoto arc and make an anime-ending, but no…they went wit this. ….hmmm….at least Kononekomaru stayed in character. Here’s hoping that the next episode will get better and give a bit more cred towards the manga.

  10. Buuuuh, I agree with annamoss. The directions they took with this just did not do it for me. I’ve read the manga and loved it but this, no. I disliked the way everyone reacted to Rin’s true identity, it was supposed to shock most of them and it was one of the parts I looked forward to the most. :\

  11. I was really really disapointed with this episode. It is like totally differente from the manga, i don’t even know where they are taking it.

    1) sword broken, wtf?
    2) everybody fine with rin being satan’s child and want to help? Seriously? From the little already shown to us about everybody character even for people who just watch the anime it seems weird.
    3) Rin on a crystal? How the fuck do they have that kind of “technology” to begin with??? It was never pointed anywhere that something like that could be done.
    4) Amaymon appearing? Com’on, it is completly out of context, they are on vatican for god sake.
    5) The major important stuff hapening it this chapters could possibly be Rin TALKING on that trial, but no, here he is frozen…


    I’m seriously annoyed, i’m not even sure i want to continue to watch the anime…

    1. Aren’t you being prejudiced?

      From a viewpoint of not having read the manga,
      1)There is nothing wrong for swords getting weary and end up broken.
      2)The very least, Konekomaru is showing resistance.
      3)Is it even appropriate to question these things in a fantasy/supernatural genre? If yes, then why don’t we also question the technology used for the magical-door keys?
      4)Mephisto just said in the episode that he wants to display Rin’s capability of being worthy of use, and he plans to do so by using Amaymon. From that point of view, isn’t it reasonable for Amaymon to be in that place, in a crucial time?

      On a different note, do mind the proper syntax of spoiler tags. It’s ” not ‘[ ]’.

      1. Show Spoiler ▼

        I don’t know if you’ve ever read a manga/book that’s later turned into a anime/movie which has major changes in it. It can be very annoying, especially when Show Spoiler ▼

      2. True enough, and it does happen most of the time. It explains why shows like FMA: Brothehood came to existence.

        But still, I am sure there were few times people appreciated the anime original ending more than the manga.

  12. I am among the gang who haven’t read the manga (tempted, but managed to hold back)

    Personally, I am agreed to what Kabayongtao said. Story wise, this series still going on with a very interesting development. Filler or not, I am fine as long there are still some character development or some progression in the story line and most importantly enjoyable to watch.

    Though I can understand that people most people will started to turn off once they found out that the episode is anime original arc a.k.a filler arc. Maybe to much dosses of Naruto and Bleach filler arc perviously has changed our mindset in this matter.

    Kuma Kuma
  13. If they’re taking an anime-only route, I think thats fine. Im stopping myself from reading the manga until this show concludes so I wont make any comparisons. The only big problem I have is that Suguro and co. are a little too accepting of Rin’s identity. I would like to see some internal conflict over the situation. Next episode has Rin come back but gets hit in the head by a ball? Hmmmm……..

  14. I actually enjoyed this episode. I don’t want an episode dedicated to everyone questioning whether they should help Rin or not despite his true identity. I’m hoping for an anime original ending.

  15. Honestly speaking, I am hoping that the studio will take the FMA route and create AnE Brotherhood version when the manga ends. Maybe that way, the viewership for the manga and the number of fans will increase, allowing them to have a higher incentive to create Brotherhood.

    But if they are going to continue down the manga route, there are a few flaws made in the filler.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  16. Ughh… so far the episode I least enjoyed. :/
    I’m starting to get so annoyed with Shiemi now. (Liked her at first.)
    Show Spoiler ▼

    I have a feeling there going with an all-original anime end. :'(

  17. I got the impression this isn’t an anime original ending, but rather a filler arc. The main reason is because they don’t seem to be doing any of the character development that happened in the manga. Thus I think they are just creating a filler arc that will end without much actually having changed and them able to continue the story afterwards. This works even better if Rin doesn’t spend much time with with the rest of them during this filler as then they don’t have to resolve the tension between them.

  18. Besides the seemingly rushed nature of the Exwire’s reconciliation with Rin’s true nature, I don’t really see how this episode makes following the manga impossible. There will be filler (this broken sword business helped fill out the episode), but the next episode looks like it’s straight out of the manga. I personally thought this episode was a bit rushed, but I’m not worried about this series as a whole.

  19. Personally, I do hope they do make light of each characters uncertainty with Rin. Like perhaps he comes back all cheerful which causes friction as they know more then what meet the eye. Then end this season of Ao no Exorcist with the Kyoto Arc. That’s just my take on it. Cause it’s a very interesting and real aspect that people engage in. When someone hiding something from you, or a burden that you never realize, you can’t sometimes feel angry at them for not telling your or at yourself for not realizing. It’ll be great if they do explore it a bit. Not that I’m against a Ao no Exorcist: Brotherhood in the later years (Ironically enough, it does work as a title), but if they let it go off again for another 2 years, or perhaps the author switches up schedule and releases bi-weekly instead of monthly releases.

    Sora no Kaze
    1. Speaking of which, might as well make my greeting to you Enzo. I’ve really enjoyed reading your post on both RandomC and lostinanime. Your review on Natsume Yuujin-Chou San has gotten me to start watching the anime again. Keep up the good work!

      Sora no Kaze
  20. Well, none of them, apart from maybe Bon, were actually angry with him. The friction is mostly related to other things. So it’s still possible to continue with the main plot after this filler if they make it last the rest of this season. I don’t see any point with this filler otherwise as there were enough chapters for this season if they was willing to end it in the middle of the ongoing arc.

  21. I think AoEx is going an anime-only route. What’s happened in this episode changes some chain of events and relationships that take place in the manga.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    So unless there’s some major ass-pulls committed, I think AoEx has pretty much committed to telling a slightly different story. Depends on how long the filler “Fix Kurikara” arc lasts, because I don’t think there’s enough material with Impure King as of yet, otherwise the anime will catch up again and risk entering a Bleachesque cycle of filler arcs.

  22. My my my, I’ve really gotten Inuyasha Vibes from this ep 🙂 Poor half-demon-guy overwhelmed by his demonic powers only his sword can hold back is saved from totally freaking out by the girl he loves … 🙂 Loving it!

  23. Personally, I hope they leave it open for another season. It’s been really good thus far and anime-only endings tend to suck. I would totally wait for a new season, just like what I’m hoping with Durarara!! :O
    I will also mention that the anime has gotten me into the manga, though I only have the first volume so far. (and haven’t finished it since I loaned it to a friend >.> )


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