「颶風」 (Gufuu)

I can hardly wait to see the response on this one. An almost purely anime-original episode – and based on the preview another one next week, and a slice-of-lifer about Shima to boot – will surely set the masses to grumbling. Yet this was a really good effort, I thought, and did a nice job tightening up some of the loose ends surrounding the issue of acceptance between Rin and his little playmates.

Yes, it was a bird demon who attacked Konekomaru last week – something like a crow or raven youkai, by the name of Gale. He makes an abortive attack on Rin himself, but it’s apparent that he needs to possess a human to express his real power – and Konekomaru is the best candidate. Poor Glasses-boy is the best candidate by far – angry and sad over the murder of his parents, envious that his friends are physically stronger and spiritually more powerful, the most severely injured in the recent trauma surrounding Rin. He’s weak in all the right places – and Gale exploits this weakness by obsessively offering his powers if only Konekomaru will submit to his control. In a bit of clichéd misunderstanding, this leads to Rin being accused of attacking Konekomaru when he was actually attacking Gale – and to me wondering why Rin didn’t just try a little harder to explain to Bon and the others what was really happening.

But eventually Gale reveals himself and the truth comes out, and naturally it’s Rin who saves Konekomaru from Gale’s control (just a bit too easily). This was all played rather broadly, but it was effective. This is a shounen after all, and we can’t always expect our life’s lessons to be as subtle. And after the last two episodes it was vital that some real attention be given to Rin’s nature and how the others felt about it. Again, I would question the order – things might have made more sense if this had happened before they all went to save Rin’s bacon at the Vatican trial. But better late than never, and I’m glad this was confronted. And confronted effectively, if sentimentally. Point made, and Rin and the rest of the class can get beyond it now and deal with bigger issues.

Less obvious but equally important – the questions of how Gale got into the Academy, and the meaning of the lab that Shura discovered on the other side of the portal. On the former, it’s strongly implied that Severus Snape Professor Igor Nehaus is the one who invited Gale in – we catch a glimpse of him when Shura discovers the gate inside the van, and Pheles pretty much states that the whole thing was an inside job. His motive was established way back in episode 7, so he’s clearly the prime suspect at this point. What about the “Kunstliches Leben Lab” Shura found in the middle of the arctic forest on the other side of the gate? An artificial life lab banned by the Vatican 300 years earlier? That certainly comes out of left field at this late stage of the game. Also interesting was the little hamster on Mephisto’s desk. A little green hamster. A little green hamster with a horn. Remind you of anyone? Hamster-kun gets not one, but two close-ups, too.

If anything, it feels as if we know even less about the fate of the anime after this episode. With only six eps left now – and next week’s seemingly not concerned primarily with canon events and wrapping them up – A-1 isn’t acting as if they’re in any hurry to give us an anime-only ending. That could imply that we’re headed towards the placeholder option, with the ratings and sales for the series strong enough to give the studio confidence they can wait a year or longer and then pick up the series again. But the studio certainly could come up with some sort of original ending in five episodes, if they chose. I think that’s less likely after this week, but not impossible. Ao no Exorcist has given us very good filler so far generally speaking, so if we do go down that route I’m not convinced it’d be a disaster.




    1. i wouldn’t consider this a filler since they’re taking a different direction from the manga. the rest of the episodes have their own storyline way different than the manga.

    2. I’m glad to see Amaimon/Hamtaro, I can’t imagine Amaimon kicking the bucket that easily which is why I was disapoint with last weeks episode. In the anime spin it’ makes sense that Mephisto’s would allow Amaimon run ramped to force the Vatican’s decision to keep Rin.

      That being said, there better be some plot to next weeks episode. >__<
      Man if Amaimon/Hamtaro start to chat with Mephisto I will really start laughing.

  1. I rather liked this episode… even though it is not manga material, at least it sure helped the team to reconcile with Rin and accept him more as their ally. What is more interesting is the lab and the whole human experiment side of things, and I really hope they could put more attention on that. Hopefully next week’s filer is decent or involves Shiro somehow… oh how much I miss that old guy there… And I am not ruling out the possibility that Yukio will turn to the dark side with his large mole on the shoulder 🙁
    p.s. that hamster (the lord of earth edition) is soooooo cute :3
    p.p.s. A-1 used recycled animation of Rin drawing his sword out… a bit cheap, but that move is so awesome

  2. Dropped.

    I have to disagree on the fillers – episode 11 was bloody horrible, and the way they stretched ep 16 with the broken katana plot felt quite random.

    Overall, the show has been a mild disappointment – it has excellent production values (for your standard shonen) and started great, but the plot moves at a snail pace and it is just not that interesting. Unfortunately, this is mainly a fault in the adaptation, considering they covered less than 15 manga chapters in 18 episodes. By comparison, an adaptation with good pacing like Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood covered 108 manga chapters in 64 episodes, and the last 4 chapters of the manga are much longer than the standard 40-something pages for monthly publications.

    What leaves me dumbfounded is that the manga just reached chapter 27 and is nearing the end of the current Kyoto arc – it seems they could have easily compressed the material a little bit and finished the anime season at the same time as the arc (again, just like they did for FMA).

    Oh well, shame on A-1.

  3. This really wasn’t too bad for an original episode, especially when compared to episode 11. But you know what? It doesn’t even matter. Everyone’s still going to hate on this episode for not being canon, and they’re all gonna crap all over it just because.

  4. While I prefer the road the manga took, this isn’t too bad either. I liked this episode, as clichéd some of it might have been. If they can come up with a good anime-original ending, I wouldn’t mind that either, although I would like to see this series to continue further, not least because I want some progression between Rin and Shiemi, as they are a great match in my opinion…

  5. I wonder if I should pick up the manga as well or wait til the anime is over to pick up the manga. What Chapter in the manga does it start changing from the anime. I don’t want to spoil myself with the anime, but I am unsure what to do.

  6. I wonder if I should pick up the manga as well or wait til the anime is over to pick up the manga. What Chapter in the manga does it start changing from the anime. I don’t want to spoil myself with the anime, but I am unsure what to do.

    Sorry for double post.

  7. I liked this episode even though it was a filler created by the writers. They wrapped up the whole “I do not like Rin because he is Satan’s son” pretty quick which was great because I could not stand it if it was dragged on for the next six episodes. I particularly enjoyed the Anaimon hamster and Ryuji’s expression when he said that Rin had nothing.

  8. Pretty good episode. I suppose they might be thinking of continuing with anime original stories from now on? Maybe even with a second season on anime original with influence from the manga storyline? Could happen. If they get a good writer and collaborate with the manga writer, it could turn out to be good as well. Though I suppose many manga fans might disagree. Personally, I like what they have done in the anime so far. I can’t say I was crazy about the manga, but I didn’t hate what they did in the manga either. So I’m not that attached to the storyline in the manga.

  9. I haven’t been watching for a while since I read the manga.. By the looks of it, they have been mixing in the anime only plots with the original plot.. Very interesting, but I’ll hold out a bit more for a marathon. \m/^_^

  10. If the Gale didn’t posses Kononekomaru, then I think I would’ve liked the episode better. Why? Because Kononekomaru is usually thinking things through, not run around blindly in fear. Stubborn too, so why did he give in so easily to the Gale? The bird wasn’t even that convincing.
    :/ Ep was too cliche for my taste, though I’m interested to see what they’ll do next week. Seems funny.

  11. A LOT of valid points by the “purists” a.k.a “those who reject the filler/original content” and of course there are reasons behind these moves that were propagated by the almighty $$$$…with that said, as one who has simply breezed through the manga not really reading, but more “speed manga reading/looking.*fo comparison*”…..if that exists”..I’m CURIOUS to see how I’ll take it now that I’ve absorbed a bit of the subjective criticism/opinions.. it seems most people are not liking it on this blog…WILL it CRASH AND BURN?!?!? or WILL it THRIVE!?!?! …..interesting, BUT either way i don’t give a sh!t, I still got a NEW HELLSING ULTIMATE episode 2 watch!!!!!!

    BROOKLYN otaku
  12. as i thought, they were going to go their own way with the anime -_- i guess it’s fine since if they did go the same way as the manga they’d catch up with it in know time. maybe they should’ve waited a little bit. but its whatever.

  13. That was an excellent divergence. This episode was quite enjoyable. I believe the anime can stand on in it’s own separate continuity it’s own if the storytelling continues to be decent.

    I’ve said this before, but I think an FMA-style divergence with a second ‘run’ FMA:Brotherhood style after completion would suit this production the best. The execution of generally thoughtful original story and writing means I think they have a decent shot of producing a good, anime-original alternative continuity.

    I just hope they don’t go on to mix the manga continuity with the anime continuity after this, since it’ll likely get very awkward and messy, especially on the characterization side of things (as we saw during the trial). If they steer clear of that one pitfall I think the remaining season has a chance of being pretty good.

  14. Yeah guys…that’s real smart. Dropping the series is a sure way to have the anime continue or even get a remake like FMA. The fillers arent that bad, the worst fillers out there are Bleach and even the Bleach fanatics still watch it (mostly cuz the fillers are better than the actual content anyway.)

    So what if it’s not the same as the manga? Enjoy both as an entity. Besides, it’s shounen, it’s a given there’s gonna be filler. EVERY SHOUNEN series has filler in it and it’s only up to the fans if it gets continued or not. I hate manga fanboy purists. If you guys are so into seeing the manga story in all it’s perfected glory, then just stop watching anime.

  15. One question I have to ask. Did Suguru say his father was dead at some point in the anime? I think it was like last episode. Cause then I know that it’s definitely going to divert away from the manga.

    Sora no Kaze
  16. It wasn’t a bad episode at all, but part of me wishes I hadn’t crave more and started reading the manga after about the 4th ep. I’d like to see it be more like the manga, but the Anime is holding strong on its own.

  17. I thought this filler was decent actually, and it does a much-needed job of fleshing out Rin and his friends’ relationship.
    and it looks like I wasn’t the only one who thought of Snape/Nehaus 🙂

  18. I couldn’t tell this was an anime-only episode. This is a good anime and continues to deliver each week. Obviously there will be differences from the manga, I don’t know why everyone’s hating. Then again, I felt the same way about Bakuman until I started reading the manga. Now that goes at a snail’s pace (basically one 20 page chapter per episode).


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