「十二天将 朱雀 THE GUARDIAN SHIMON」 (Juunitenshou Suzaku: The Guardian Shimon)
“Twelve Guardians, Vermilion Bird: The Guardian Shimon”

Rokuro is getting a little more motivated.

Rokuro’s Motivation

The thrust of this episode was another step forward by Rokuro back onto the path of the exorcist. I appreciate a lot about what they’re doing—the deliberate pacing, not rushing ahead without showing us his progression, etc. That said, does it feel to you like we’ve seen this all before? I think it’s because the kegare aren’t particularly interesting enemies, so seeing them get beat up gets routine after a while. I also feel like maybe this episode was about four minutes too long. Just a little snappier, and a few fewer unnecessary flashbacks, and it would have been much stronger.

But even though I don’t seem super stoked about this episode, I think that’s a symptom of having to blog about it. This might not be one of the episodes we’ll necessarily think of when the series ends, but I think it’s one of the ones that will make later episodes work better. It’s a buildup episode, and what we’re building is Rokuro—his natural progression back into, and his tsundere relationship with, exorcism. So on a macro level, I think I really like this episode. It will pay dividends, and taking the time to do that when other shows would skip to the cooler stuff is smart. That mascot is still pointless, though.

Suzaku, the Vermilion Bird

The only wonky moment was when Ikaruga Shimon (Ishikawa Kaito) was sent to Narukami, and then immediately recalled. It made sense in context, and was even quite smart—the Chief Exorcist was using him to light a fire under Rokuro and Benio’s tails, and he was successful with Rokuro at least. It just happened so quickly after he got there that it was like, bwuh? I do wish he would have explore that mysterious presence, though. I’d like a little more of the ultimate plot to be bubbling in the background, though once again, I think that’s just because the kegare as enemies (since they’re just beasts so far) aren’t that super interesting. These are all minor things in a good foundation-building episode, and Shimon’s magic was damn cool (fire!). Plus I’m looking forward to seeing Rokuro suit up next week.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Rokuro’s becoming a little more motivated, thanks to an example and a punch from Ikaruga Shimon #sousei 05

Random thoughts:

  • Rokuro & Benio’s “We are not married!” denials are chou kawaii. Face it kids, everyone is shipping you two.
  • I apologize for the posting delay this week. I was out of town on Weds to see friends and get crunk (as the kids say, probably). Next time I’ll try to alert y’all ahead of time when a post is gonna be delayed.

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: Dying idols, Frictionless routines, Even if you see it coming, it can still work, and Batman does not kill. Superman does not kill.




  1. I have to say, I thought it was stupid that Rokuro didn’t use his enchanted arm right from the start. Like, why not? You are an exorcist, fighting against demonic beings that devour humans, which means yours is not a job to be taken lightly, even if you utterly believe everything is under control. I mean, look what happened to those 2. That wouldn’t have happened if he used his real power from the beginning. Plus, it would’ve made him look better in the eyes of Shimon.

    Shimon, on the other hand, is what I believe to be the highlight of this episode. His power is cool, he’s calm and collected, he gets the job done quickly and efficiently, and his perceived impoliteness feels more like he acknowledges people with a true standing in exorcism, and so far he simply hasn’t seen enough of the twin stars to acknowledge their potential IMO. Would like to see more of him.

    And I agree about the pacing. I’m glad it isn’t rushed, with Rokuro’s slow return to his best self, even though yes the action can get repetitive at times.

    1. It’s possible there’s a reason he didn’t use his arm. It seems tiring, or perhaps even painful? But if that’s true, it hasn’t been said, so it feels like he only didn’t use his arm so Shimon could underestimate him, but then think somewhat better of him once he whips out the arm and proceeds with clobbering time. Basically, plot dictating the character’s actions. It was just a relatively small sin, so I didn’t bring it up.

    2. If you look at Rokuro’s power-up it is the exact opposite of everyone else’s. Instead of laying a spell over his body to enhance it he strips a spell off to unleash his power. So I think his arm is enchanted to look human rather then it changing as he powers up.

      That might give him a reason to hold back on using it either because it is dangerous(spreading to the rest of his body with the seal removed)or because he is loath to use it because it links back to the incident when his friends died.

  2. I think the problem of blogging shounen battle series is it will probably makes you jaded with the series. Since this type of series already have well astablished tropes and plot so sometimes it will becomes routine until some point where the author does something slightly different from the usual tropes…

    1. True. Wouldn’t be an issue if the enemies weren’t mindless beasts, but it’s harder to write those kinds of stories week after week. (Which is why I try to take the harder path myself.) I’m trying to calibrate for that in my posts, though.

      1. In the actual manga the pace is a little bit faster though, they got past trough mindless mobs earlier than this. If my memory is right this episode is almost entirely filler, with a character that should be introduced in the later part of the series got introduced lightly now.

        Producer san, please don’t mess up this adaptation…

  3. Man, Rokuro’s friends just exist to get rekt, don’t they? It’s almost becoming comical at this point.

    Anyways, I do appreciate how the show’s taking its time with letting Rokuro get over his trauma – at least it’s letting it be an integral part of his character and something he has to deal with, as opposed to a simple sad backstory that he gets over in like two episodes.

    Though it is true that bigger baddies need to show up now – can’t be fighting mooks forever, because that’s not much of a plot. We’re approaching the halfway point now, so I hope that mysterious presence thing manages to deliver.


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