「虚心坦懐」 (Kyoshintankai)
“Candid and Open”

At least Rin got to go to Kyoto Tower!

Before we leap into the Final Impressions, let me just say how happy I am that the series managed to turn things around right at the end of the season. I don’t know what they have planned for the future, but boy do I hope that the show runners drop all the half baked explanations and give us what we really want.

Anyways, let’s jump into those final impressions!

Final Impressions

As a huge fan of the first season of Ao no Exorcist I was so excited to see all my favorite characters back on screen. With the opportunity to continue on from where we left off, the first episode had be so pumped since it really felt like we were going to see the repercussions of the end of season one directly play into the start of season two. Except, by the third episode, you could tell that the pacing was starting to move a turtles pace and all the things I was expecting were taking their sweet time showing up. At roughly the same time it looked like no one else wanted to pick up the show and seeing how I’m the resident sequel cover-er, I took it upon myself to suck it up and continue coverage of the show.

Which in all honesty I’m super happy that I decided to do so since in a different dimension there’s probably a version of me that put Ao no Exorcist on the back burner and never got to see that amazing payoff that we got after enduring so much. However, as much as I hype up the payoff and the pretty good resolution to everything, I don’t think it makes up for all the individual pieces of this payoff feeling so lackluster. If anything it really feels like we got hit with the problem that Spiderman 3 had — too many things going on at the same time. We had Todo and his demon woes, Yukio stressed out about himself, Rin’s lack of confidence, the Myoda sect’s internal issues, the Impure King reviving, and even Mephisto made a cameo right at the end to remind us that he’s always scheming and has something big planned for the future. Only some of which got a resolution that felt even halfway worth it by the end of it all.

Now, it might sound like I’m doing a lot of complaining and I’ll admit that I was a little bitter about some of the decisions the team behind Ao no Exorcist’s team made, but overall I think we were still given a pretty damn good show. When it counted the most, the show managed to remind us of all the great things that made the first season such a fantastic watch. When the story wasn’t too busy trying to develop a grand story, I loved it when the characters and their unique personalities took the spotlight. You had Kamiki and her tsundere nature, Shiemi finally finding some self confidence, Suguro with his head out of his butt (or at least the misconception we had), Shima and Konekomaru doing their thing, and Rin busting out some blue flamed ass kicking. Things that are simple in concept but feel so good when wrapped around the hustle and bustle of some good old fashioned action scenes.

All-in-all I think this second season was pretty good even with some stumbles here and there. Hopefully we’ll get a continuation somewhere down the line and hopefully it builds on top of what was done here instead of spending a lot of time trying to build another huge story. Also, thanks to all the viewers still out there and I’ll catch you guys next season!


  1. Definitely in my top 3 anime of the season for me. I had so much fun with this arc although it dragged along. The impure king was a bit underwhelming as a threat (not much presence or personality) but the climax was great in terms of fleshing out characters. I love this kind of show that dares to set aside spectacle to focus more on characters. Kinda like Birdmen, which I hope will get an anime adaptation in the future. For the time being, I gotta re-read the whole Ao no Exorcist manga now. Thank you for blogging this Kytoto arc to the end! I saved a lot of screenshots.

    Jon Oscar
  2. First thanks to Taikaii for blogging. I probably don’t write that sort of thing often enough.

    I’m probably taking the proverbial road less traveled here. Pacing and execution wasn’t always the best, but I get a sense of some viewers saying “lets just see some battles”, and I disagree with that sentiment – mostly. Mostly because, yeah, it was a bit slow at times. Whether that’s 1/2 episode of time or up to a full episode, can’t say, but around Ep. 03 or 4 things slowed down. However, IMO it’s necessary to this series’ story. Good execution, judicious material cuts, etc. can alleviate a sensation of bogging down. So I do agree a better job could have been done, but I wonder how much better.

    “…too many things going on at the same time.”

    I can see your point, but to me what elevates this series above typical shounen is the multiple plot lines and time spent on multiple characters. JMO of course, but battle laden shounen series are ubiquitous. The potential downside to this approach is that it takes time, but to me in the grand scheme of things it’s worth it.

    Now some may not give a crap about Jouzou & Masmushi, but it’s little things like that which I think add overall depth to the world-building and give some realism (characters feel like actual people) beyond what normally might feel like nothing more than extras often there just to show how awesome the protagonist is. It’s a balancing act to be sure – you don’t want to spend to much time on such side characters, but I think the show handled those two fine in this example.

    So when I look at Takaii’s list: “We had Todo and his demon woes, Yukio stressed out about himself, Rin’s lack of confidence, the Myoda sect’s internal issues, the Impure King reviving, and even Mephisto made a cameo right at the end…”, I don’t have a problem [OT: The worst thing about Spiderman 3 was godawful, cheesy “emo” Peter]. If you’ve read the manga, ALL of this has it’s place in the story – whether for world-building, the central plot of this arc, future plot lines. There’s a purpose for why all that stuff is there.

    Again, I agree things got a bit slow at times, but I see the need for doing so. The payoff to me is what was built upon in previous episodes – Rin finding confidence (albeit that perhaps was drawn out a bit too much), expanding upon Yukio’s growing issues (good stuff IMO), resolving doubts Rin’s comrades have with his lineage, Shiemi finding her resolve (which was an OK plot line to be fair) + her building some rapport with at least one member of the group ( Izumo), Bon coming to terms with his family situation (which was started way back in 1st season), Rin achieves a major victory for the exorcist giving solid reason/evidence not to kill him, and again laying the foundation for future events/plot lines. If you think about it, maybe slow at times, but quite a bit was accomplished in one cour.

    To be clear, I’m certainly not against against battles/actions per se, but if I’m going to be truly honest here, the climactic battle in Ep. 11 was… OK. Rin jumps around a bit swinging his his flaming sword and the big bad is defeated by our protagonist. Sorry, but wasn’t the most exciting battle for me. Honestly, I found Yukio’s battle with Todo (Toudou?) better and more compelling. Rather, the payoff in this arc is what’s mentioned above. Sure not everything was resolved, but don’t see how one would expect that to happen. Whether it was “worthwhile” nor not, is a matter of opinion = to each his/her own.

    TL:DR = Not without issue, but given the material and the story foundations to be laid down, a pretty good season with character driven payoff rather than mostly battles. True, this did slow down towards the middle some, but I see that necessary to the story as a whole rather than fluff to be discarded.

    1. Proofing fail. >_> If not clear, should have been “battles/action scenes per se” in second to last paragraph. Also, “worthwhile or not”. Meh. Sorry about that.

    2. Thanks for the thanks!

      Also, I can see all of this working in a grand scheme — especially under the assumption that we’ll eventually get more episodes of AnE. And while I may have had my gripes as an anime only watcher, in hindsight it does make sense that you can’t really rip up a section of the story to fit into a certain number of episodes if you want to keep it canon.

      All I can say is I really hope we get more AnE and it builds off of what happened here because I’m really excited for whatever’s coming next.

  3. Wait this is over??? Aw, I was totally expecting 24 episodes like the first season. I thought the pacing was actually good, but since it’s only 1 cour I can understand the complaints.

    Honestly though, I enjoyed it quite a bit, as much as I did the first season, or maybe even a bit more (episode 1-17 of season 1, not what came after that). I enjoyed the character development of Rin immensely as well as the other characters like Bon, Konekomaru, Shiemi, etc. It tied up rather nicely, and I admit I got a bit teary eyed when Rin was finally accepted and he overcame a bit of his lack of self confidence. I also love Rin as a protagonist, the way he acts is very charming and fun to watch.

    Will probably give the manga a shot now that this is over.

  4. It was pretty entertaining and a fun ride especially near the end of the season. It was a good shounen and now I’m hyped for the new season of Boku no Hero Academia to continue with my weekly dose of over-the-top shounen battles.

    And thanks, Takaii, for covering this show, since when I saw that Enzo had no intentions of continuing the coverage of AnE after reviewing the first season here, I feared that no one will pick it up, but in the end it all worked out nicely.

    Faolin Eye

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