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Sousei no Onmyouji – 03 »« Sousei no Onmyouji – 01

Sousei no Onmyouji – 02

OP Sequence

OP: 「Valkyrie -戦乙女-」 (Valkyrie -Ikusa Otome-) by Wagakki Band

「双星交差」 (Futaboshi Kousa)
“Intersection of Twin Stars A Fateful Fight”

Shipping furiously!

Showing How Good These Two Are

If the premise of this series is that Rokuro and Benio are the strongest exorcists, that needs to be shown, not just said. That’s what this episode set out to do, and it did it well. Aside from a worrying habit of showing unnecessary flashbacks to moments that happened last episode or even earlier this episode—a sign of either padding or not trusting the viewer—this was all laser-focused on setting up the rest of the premise, and that meant Rokuro and Benio’s strength had to be shown. And it was.

Granted, there was a certain amount of us being informed that something was impressive due to the in-universe audience’s reactions—reacting with surprise to Benio’s strong enchantment, or being aghast at Rokuro pushing her back—but I’m fine with a little show and tell, and the fights were good. After last episode making it seem like Rokuro was the stronger, it was nice to see Benio match him blow for blow. It’s not that Rokuro is strong, it’s that he’s focused on strength while Benio is focused on speed, so a big monster is a better fit for him. Neither is better than the other right now, or so it appears.

Marriage Time!

If there’s anything I’ve learned from Kami-niisama, it’s that the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. As a matter of fact, strong feelings of any kind can lead to love, and that includes hate! (I really ought to finish that manga sometime.) I like that Rokuro and Benio started out being annoyed at each other, because of course they would. With how their personalities are, and the cross purposes they find themselves at (Benio wanting to be the strongest, Rokuro wanting out despite being so strong), it’s only natural.

That doesn’t mean I’m not shipping them, nor am I the only one. Head Exorcist Tsuchimikado Arima (Namikawa Daisuke) is a great shipper on board, muahaha! I knew when he started talking about the miko it would end up being their child, and he didn’t disappoint. And sure, it’s problematic for two 14-year-old kids to have their choice of a future spouse taken away from them, but c’mon. They’re so alike! Can’t help but ship ‘em. Or at least I can’t. I’m a huge softie. We’ve gone over this.

Looking Ahead

After last episode I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to blog this, especially after some people started saying this might be 4-cour (with only ~30 chapters of manga to draw from). But now some sources are saying 12-episodes, and I liked this episode even more than the first, so guh! My blogging choices are hard this season. If I don’t end up covering this, it won’t be because I’m not enjoying it; I’m spoiled for choices this season. Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing how the two of them deal with their new fiancés next episode.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Benio & Rokuro prove their strength. They’re matched. Which means it’s time for a baby! #sousei 02

Random thoughts:

  • Bunny pajamas. I’m glad they’re not fetishicizing Benio, the odd leg flash or towel scene aside. That makes the odd scene more fun!
  • Normally I hate coincidence in storytelling, but if it’s reasonable, it’s fine. Sometimes things just do happen. Ex: Ryougo overhearing Rokuro and Benio in the hall. He lives there, so that’s totally reasonable.
  • The chief exorcist is a dangerous, conniving guy. Not just for obvious reasons. Insulting Rokuro’s dead friends, even though I understand why he did it (and he did apologize, to his credit)…he’s a guy to watch out for.

My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel novella. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Even if you see it coming, it can still work, Batman does not kill. Superman does not kill., Inside Out: What Emotion Drives You?, and Superhot: Storytelling through gameplay.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「アイズ」 (Eyes) by Kaji Hitomi

Preview

April 13, 2016 at 7:49 pm
43 comments »
  • April 13, 2016 at 7:52 pmSilivious

    Wewt, best girl next episode (IMO). =V
    That aside, good episode. I do believe only 1 cour, as there’s not a whole lot of source material they can really draw from as of yet.

  • April 13, 2016 at 8:02 pmWraith

    Well that’s one way to announce a arranged marriage

  • April 13, 2016 at 8:07 pmzztop

    http://randomc.net/image/Sousei%20no%20Onmyouji/Sousei%20no%20Onmyouji%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2004.jpg

    How does everyone find the original mascot character? Manga readers say a lot of its bitchiness to Rokuro was originally from the grandma in the manga.

    • April 13, 2016 at 8:18 pmStilts

      Seemed kind of pointless to me, but that might have just been because he/she/it didn’t have any kind of effect this episode.

    • April 13, 2016 at 8:57 pmSwarz

      Pointless addition indeed. On the contrary he was really annoying.

      • April 13, 2016 at 11:56 pmdaikama

        @Swarz: Agree. So far pointless and more annoying that anything else. Not sure why he/she/it was added.

    • April 14, 2016 at 3:04 amBlazingFreeze

      This thing is supposed to be the replacement for the old lady, and I’m not okay with that :[

    • April 14, 2016 at 5:32 amzztop

      If I told you Fukuyama Jun voices the mascot, does that improve things?

    • April 14, 2016 at 8:06 amdrzero7

      I dont like this rat-rabbit-bear-pig-whatever thingy. I get it. They wanted a marketable mascot character for plushie/toy/etc. But yeah, pointless and annoying. I dont care if he’s the voice of Lelouch.

    • April 15, 2016 at 12:20 amGuile

      His expressions were pretty great, at least.

  • April 13, 2016 at 8:18 pmhjerry

    Sooo am I the only one that was wondering what happened to the little kids from the last episode? I mean, they clearly pick up where they left off with the dialogue last episode, and then show our protagonists leave the demon world, but you never see the kids leave, and you never saw them leave last episode either. They even pan out after their argument in the human world, and the kids are nowhere to be seen.

    Sorry, but this just bugged me all episode. Am I alone here?

    • April 13, 2016 at 9:50 pmcryarc

      They already left Magano with the talisman from Benio, in the manga they stated it explixitly while here it seems they assumed that the audience figuring out themself.

    • April 13, 2016 at 11:00 pmStilts

      Unnecessary detail that coulda slowed down the narrative (though with those unnecessary flashbacks, maybe there was time). They’re fine. It would have been notable if they weren’t.

      • April 14, 2016 at 1:53 pmhjerry

        All it would have taken was 2 seconds while still in Magano at the beginning of episode 2, before the episode 2 specific dialogue began. They wouldn’t have had to even focus on it. They could’ve just had their backs entering the portal as it closed, in the background of another shot.

        Also, weren’t they injured? They just sent them back with no medical care?

      • April 14, 2016 at 4:43 pmcryarc

        Um… Benio already healed him with recovery talisman right before fighting the enemies mob remember?

      • April 14, 2016 at 8:52 pmhjerry

        No, you’re right. I had forgotten that.

        They still should’ve shown the portal being opened for them though, if not them going through it.

      • April 14, 2016 at 11:53 pmStilts

        You shouldn’t expect the author to do all the work for you. Not even in manga or anime, where they provide the pictures, and certainly not in books. The author/reader relationship is collaborative, so if the author doesn’t tell you something, it’s your job to intuit what happened to the best of your knowledge.

        In this case, it would have been an important plot point if the kids died, but it wouldn’t have been worth mentioning if they survived. Since their fates weren’t mentioned, they probably survived. Explicitly stating as much would have been a waste of time.

        **Note: One of the above sentences originally read: “Not even in manga or anime, where they provide the pictures (and certainly not in a book, where you need to conjure those yourself).” I cut the last fragment because I trusted you’d intuit the meaning from my reference to pictures in the first part. This is the same idea, writ small.

      • April 15, 2016 at 9:37 amhjerry

        We’re going to have to agree to disagree here. There had been nothing to show that the gates could be opened by anyone other than exorcists. It makes perfect sense that they’d show them being sent through the gate. If you disagree..fine, but this, imo, is not some OBVIOUS plot point that should just be assumed.

        It’s a plot hole, a forgotten plot point, and an error by the anime creators.

        It’s by no means a deal breaker, and I’m not saying that it makes the series suck or anything, but it certainly isn’t a waste of time.

  • April 13, 2016 at 8:21 pmhjerry

    Yeah, I kinda saw the whole forced mating thing coming once they started talking about a single great exorcist. There was really nowhere else they could have gone with that.

    This is all still setup so far, so I guess I’ll have to give it an episode 3, to decide if I’ll follow this one.

  • April 13, 2016 at 8:31 pmmr anderson

    • April 13, 2016 at 9:11 pmArcad

      I am so glad Im not the only person who thought that

    • April 17, 2016 at 4:08 amKF

      Ozpin?

  • April 13, 2016 at 8:33 pmRan

    It’s not that Rokuro is strong, it’s that he’s focused on strength while Benio is focused on speed, so a big monster is a better fit for him

    Problem is, all the major enemies to come are powerful and tough, which renders Benio pretty much useless against them. I don’t want to spoil anything specific but you’ll see soon enough.

    Btw, if Arima didn’t stop the fight when he did, Rokuro would have blow Benio to pieces. Benio fell into his trap and was about to eat his demonic fist head on.

    • April 14, 2016 at 5:31 amn30nl16ht

      Totally agree! and with the speed benio was going at against rukuro’s fist she would have turned into paste but still its good she didnt necause now we can ship them! haha

  • April 13, 2016 at 8:53 pmZeroEdge

    I found Tsuchimikado’s underwear man intro in the manga a whole lot funnier.

    And… that mascot character just doesn’t do it for me.

  • April 13, 2016 at 9:06 pmPancakes

    I was on the fence after the first episode, everything shown had been done before with different flavour, from story to characters to the edgy melancholy MC tragedy backstory. Needless to say the ending is the sole reason I’m going to see where this goes; without a doubt that arranged marriage twist was hilarious, especially after the head exorcist just dead pan announces no, you two aren’t here to save the world, you’re here to make a baby (or three) to do that job. Why yes, I’ll gladly take some more of that comedy please and thank you.

    Also I’m surprised no one else noticed the Binbougami Ga! Easter egg in the bedroom with Momiji’s Teddy. Actually explains the humour and focus on the occult here as the same author produced both Onmyouji and Binbougami Ga!

    • April 13, 2016 at 11:18 pmStilts

      I missed that! Good eye

  • April 13, 2016 at 9:11 pmxxvan

    I have to admit that I found the manga version of the fight better compared to the anime version, since they left out some bits of the fight out. Mascot character came out of nowhere and I hope he falls into the background soon.

  • April 13, 2016 at 10:22 pmseltzermx

    Liking the series. The only thing tat annoyed was that somehow Benio’s eyes were bigger when she was a child than now. It’s like looking into a giant squid’s eye.

    • April 15, 2016 at 12:22 amGuile

      That was nothing compared to Flashback Rokuro’s giant head.

  • April 13, 2016 at 11:17 pmZhinvu

    Rokuro’s power reminds of Kazuma’s alter from Scryed.

  • April 13, 2016 at 11:48 pmdaikama

    Mostly a good episode as it (kind of) avoided some usual tropes. I wasn’t enamored of Rokuro last epiosde, but he scored some points with me in Ep. 02. He didn’t take Benio’s “we must fight to see who’s stronger” bait. Granted, evidently their duel was mandated, but at least it didn’t play out the usual cliche’ way. Overall, his reactions felt natural to his (so far) established character. Also points for Benio not falling instantly in “love” after seeing how awesome ML is (which is the typical thing). That being said, Benio lost points with me with her obsession about who was the strongest/being the strongest. Competitiveness is fine, but anime (probably source) went over board IMO (and yes, I’m sure it ties into her tragic backstory, but still…).

    Also on the downside IMO was the unfunny underwear head exorcist. That guy annoyed me, and the apparently anime only fox-thing mascot felt tacked on. Didn’t do anything for me. Lastly, I’m not all that big on the whole “you 14 year olds get married and have a savior kid” plot line. 14′s a bit much. This isn’t the middle-ages, Japan. Frankly, I’ve never been much of a fan of forcing couples together to start a “romance”. Oh, I’m sure they will come around to like and eventually love each other – fate of Japan is riding on that after all, but why not let any relationship develop naturally by their own design over time? Story’s totally set up for that with just them living together and fighting together without the whole baby making prophecy. There are a couple other things, but I’ll leave it at this.

    Despite criticism above, I honestly do feel like this is above average for the genre. Just a feeling of underlying above average quality vs. others in the genre. The problem for me though is what I stated before – I’m just not a huge “pure shounen” these days which this strikes me as. It reminds me of Seven Deadly Sins which I also thought was above average for the genre. Nothing against that show either, but after a few episodes, I ended up dropping it.

    TL:DR = Pretty good follow up episode and some positives which offset negatives, but ultimately just not my thing.

    ————————-

    @Stilts: Sorry, but while I agree with a good chunk of what you wrote, I definitely disagree with “it’s that the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” I get what it’s trying to suggest (i.e. the opposite of a strong emotion is indifference), but I’ve never subscribed to that phrase. Opposite of love IS hate just like the opposite of white is not gray, but black, and the opposite of hot is not tepid, but cold (and IMO I’m not being pedantic here, but accurate). That phrase/sentiment also runs counter to my own experience. NOT saying it doesn’t happen, but again in my experience, hate->love (or even friendship) is much more exception that rule than indifference->love (or friendship) let alone like->love (or friendship). Per above, this is a fictional story so I’m sure the two will get together regardless.

    • April 14, 2016 at 6:06 amerohakase

      I’m probably of a relatively similar opinion as you in regards to this series. It’s above average so far. I like Onmyouji stuff quite a bit but this feels far too shounen battle anime for me to care.

      Being the huge sap that I am if the romance is done well I could watch/read whatever(except maybe Slice of Life) and enjoy it even if it has flaws in other areas. The character designs in this all look childish or deformed for me appreciate ‘em all. Benio being the kind of a character design I usually really like feels like the odd one out with tiger teeth main char and all kinds of shit I don’t really like.

      I suppose I’ll be watching this but probably not the second it airs since it’s just not that interesting so far.

    • April 14, 2016 at 10:36 amStilts

      @daikama

      Nope. Indifference is definitely the opposite of love. And the opposite of hate as well. It’s the difference between a strong emotion and a lack of emotion that’s important. Yes, indifference will segue into romantic love more often because there are a lot of damn people in this world and the ones you don’t have an opinion of far outnumber the ones you hate (and most people don’t hate many people, in my experience). But that doesn’t mean it’s not the opposite. It’s an immaterial fact to the argument, even though it can be utilized in practice.

      Trust me, as a writer and a marketer, I’d much rather people have strong opinions of my and my work than no opinions. Haters can be useful, as crazy as it seems, and at least those who get annoyed care enough to give you a bad review (and warn people who might think like them, and therefore hate your book or whatever, which is a useful service). It’s the products met with a “meh” that die, unless they’re needed.

      Oh, and you’re totally being pedantic. I’m fine with saying that cold is the opposite of hot, though actually cold doesn’t exist; it’s the absence of heat. Same with dark, which is the absence of light. And there’s an argument to be made that white and black are NOT opposites, but merely two items in the same category. Why must there be an opposite color? Brown doesn’t have one. It’s unnecessary.

      And yes, I’m totally being pedantic as well :D

      • April 14, 2016 at 1:23 pmAex

        Actually white/black is kinda the same. Put in all the colors, black, take them all out, white.

        And I consider hate to only be a gate to love as a first-impression result, though only if you’re stuck together like here or you’re really competitive, otherwise avoidance is more likely. Here they hate each other so they’ll be at each other’s throats, learning about each other along the way by pure circumstance, which is probably Arima’s entire ploy. On the other hand if you already know someone well and you hate them then, barring a misunderstanding, it’s just hate. Do not pass go, do not collect two-hundred dollars, go right to jail.

      • April 14, 2016 at 8:58 pmhjerry

        Yeah, if we’re being absolutely technical here, than anything’s opposite is it’s absence. It’s actually a misnomer that the opposite of black is white. Technically the opposite of black is not-black, so following in that manner, opposite of love would be not-love, though indifference, or the lack of love could be considered a synonym here.

      • April 14, 2016 at 9:21 pmdaikama

        @Stilts: Hate is an antonym of love (as is cold for hot). That’s how the definitions work. The lack of strong emotion may be more useful to you because of feedback, but that’s a separate judgment criteria – usefulness/feedback. As for products, “indifference’ products tend to last longer than hated ones in my experience. Who’s buying something they hate? I’m not. However, especially price dependent, one might buy an “OK”/”indifferent product” (e.g. good enough).

        We’re definitely going to have to agree to disagree on this. OT anyway.

        @Aex: Agree – IF it’s a first impression, then maybe you can go hate->love, but there’s a LOT more ground to make up than “indifferent”->love. I have some RL experience with the latter, but never the former (i.e. “hate”->love).

      • April 14, 2016 at 11:35 pmStilts

        Ignorance (not knowing someone) –> love is common enough. Knowing indifference –> love, less so. And I was referring to being hated by SOME customers (and loved by others—preferably more than the former group) as useful, ’cause yeah, it’s not useful to be universally hated.

        I would also watch out for confusing the language of a thing for the reality of it. Language is imperfect. But yes, we’ll have to agree to disagree, ’cause I have no further interest in semantic arguments :P

  • April 14, 2016 at 12:59 amAmiluhur

    I dunno why, but that white haired megane dude was easily the best thing of this episode. From his half naked entrance, his taunt, to his calculative look. He’s such an amusing guy. Please, please, please don’t delegate him into comic relief of this show!

    • April 15, 2016 at 12:24 amGuile

      He annoyed the hell out of me, frankly – way more so than the Lelouch Plushie. I was hoping Rokuro would get to punch him right in his smug prick face, but no, an apology and he’s off the hook.

  • April 14, 2016 at 6:13 amDvalinn

    I hope it becomes apparant soon how many episodes this show will get. 12 I can deal with, 50 is too much (because of the inevitable fillers).

    Either way, I enjoyed this episode just like I did the last one. This show might not be the most original thing in the world, but it sure is fun. The main characters are quite likeable (they both scored a lot of bonus points this ep), the fights look pretty cool and the comedy usually works.

    Mascot character can sod off though. I have no idea why Japanse games and anime like to slot them in that much, they usually annoy the hell out of me. Is it because they’re marketable or something? If so, they should focus on making them actual worthwhile additions to the cast (á la Teddy from Persona). In their current state they just want to make me burn them in a ritualistic fire.

  • April 14, 2016 at 8:13 amsonicsenryaku

    The animation towards the end of the fight between benio and rakuro started to falter quite significantly towards the end. Second ep in and the production is kind of taking a hit; at least it’s still colorful. Supposedly the best girl shows up next ep; hope she’s not the annoying childhood friend type but from what we got of her in ep 1, she seems pretty cool. I like the gradient of her hair……that’s all i got

  • April 17, 2016 at 4:02 amKF

    The ED is good.