If you think the original series did not have enough of Shima, well, Ao No Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen OVA 2 is going to make him the ‘star’. I suppose Rin is too main character and Yukio is too serious. Suguro is too delinquent and Konekomaru is too pussy. And Shiemi and Izumo aren’t that great either while we don’t want too much obvious fanservice from Shura. So what better way than to have a comical character have the limelight in this very OVA. Oh yeah, I can see it. It’s not the kind of limelight that everybody wants to be in…

Spy Game
Shima has been transferred to the main academy for about a month and looks like he is enjoying himself. Mephisto is glad he is so he has him reiterate what it means to be a spy. A generic answer from him. Mephisto believes a spy must be steadfast and never waver in the pursuit of his goals. Yeah, whatever. Shima is to be given 3 spy missions and as a reward he will be given this ultimate legendary uncensored Playboy magazine. Basically a porn magazine? Oh yeah! He’ll do it! The first mission has him meeting up with Yukio to exterminate an abandoned factory believed to be haunted by ghosts. Shima thinks it would be an easy job until he discovers his part is to handle those bug-like ghosts. Oh, they can possess cockroaches too. Shima wants out as he complains but Yukio isn’t going to let him go because if he does, Mephisto will cut his salary by 90%! Is this legal?! Scared Shima tries to weasel his way out but starts badmouthing Yukio until he gets pissed off. That’s it. No more nice guy. Shima’s mission is considered a ‘success’ by Mephisto. Yeah, considering how he was thrown into a pit filled with those ‘cockroaches’… Ugh… Lesson learnt: Never piss off Yukio. For the next mission, he is supposed to stroll into Yukio’s room, eat his dinner and walk out like as though it is nothing. Of course he can’t do it but Mephisto dangles the magazine before him. Shima tries not to be fooled this time so Mephisto shows an article he intends to publish tomorrow that would scandalize Yukio. Imagine if it comes out now, whose fault do you think it would be? Shima reluctantly goes in as he sees Rin making dinner for Yukio. Despite warning not to eat it (and that dangerous habit of how grumpy Yukio is if he is angry – not to mention he didn’t eat anything this morning), Shima tries to distract him by praising his cooking as he eats everything quickly while Rin stays impressed with all his flattery. By the time he finishes, Yukio is standing behind him. Rin’s gone. You’re on your own. Don’t turn around now unless you want to be scarred forever by his angry face!

With the second mission considered a pass, Mephisto gives his final mission: Infiltrate the girls’ dorm without busting his identity. Shima loves this mission! This is the mission he lives for! Too bad this cross-dressing outfit isn’t going to fool anybody. Suddenly his friends and Yukio enter to see this horrendousness. Shocked at first, but let’s give him a chance to explain. It’s the case of damn if he does, damn if he doesn’t. At the height of the panic, he accidentally reveals his infiltration mission. His friends are so disappointed. Calling the police… Suguro wants to beat some sense into him so as Shima tries to escape, that magazine drops out from his bag. This is even worse. They think he got corrupted by this and is doing this sh*t. No explanation is going to get him out of this one. Pain train coming in 3, 2, 1… Oh, Suguro ripped apart the magazine… In the aftermath, Mephisto looks happy despite Shima failed. Explaining to Amaimon about the meaningless missions he gave Shima, this is just to find out if he is worthy to be his personal spy. Despite looking like an idiot, his greedy desire makes him a weak and shallow person. He also doesn’t fear Mephisto who is a demon one bit. As he doesn’t care to suck up to authority, this means he won’t be easily brainwashed. This makes him a useful asset because what Mephisto needs is not a soldier who will sacrifice himself to plant false information once but a spy who can report back to him many times. But a ‘happy ending’ because Shima plastered back the magazine and is happily enjoying it?

The Spy Who Failed Me
Well, it was funny as it was interesting. To see Shima being turned into some comical punching bag and being used by scheming Mephisto without even knowing it. This OVA is overall quite light-hearted although its darker aspects and Mephisto’s goal in using Shima in his long term plan is revealed at the end. After all, Mephisto is a character whom we all know to have some suspicious with because of his nature that he might be some sort of double agent. Sometimes I do pity Shima for falling into the obvious and thinking with his dick but he deserves what he gets. Guys like him are so easy. Not money or world domination. Just porn is enough. Damn if the internet access at True Cross Academy is so restricted that’s why Shima can’t get his daily dose of porn that is so flooded over the internet. I guess nothing beats the old fashion magazine. It was a blast hearing Shima complaining and screaming like never before because in previous instalments of the TV series in which he was just a supporting character, you don’t get to hear much from this laidback character at least not at this pitch. You’ll remember him as one of those lazy characters so when he starts panicking and being flustered like that, Shima looks and sounds like a different character altogether. So until he overcomes his boner desires, looks like he is on his way to be groomed as Mephisto’s finest spy… Imagine the downfall of mankind was due to porn. Yeah, demons not only rule in our heads and hearts but in our pants as well.

I never expected any sequel to come out. So when Ao No Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen came out as the series’ sequel, it was definitely a surprise. I mean, it has been 6 long years since the first season graced the airwaves and that is quite a long time in terms of anime seasons. Any chance of revival would be out of the question. After all, I would have also forgotten a lot about the first season and the basics are just as blurry and hazy like my childhood memories. But because I remember how awesome the first season was as well as the nostalgic effect kicking in, it was the reason why I looked forward in watching the sequel despite my initial surprise.

Episode 1
Rin is still having a hard time controlling his blue flames as part of Shura’s training. Shura gets a call to be on scene. With Yukio, they meet up with Saburota Toudou, a Second Class Upper Rank Exorcist and director of Deep Keep. His team was chasing down a thief who stole the Left Eye of the Impure King. When cornered, he took a boy hostage. He released the flask and the people in the surrounding area got affected by its miasma. There are not enough doctors to treat them. Now the perpetrator is holing up somewhere inside the building with the kid and they don’t do anything, it will turn into a disaster. Yukio and Toudou head into the building. Apparently Rin manages to slip away from Shura to join them. Once they find the cornered thief, Yukio warns him not to approach but he does not heed. Yukio fires a bullet and he immediately disappears. The flask breaks. Yukio picks up the Left Eye inside it but realizes it is fake. He is then beaten up by Toudou who is the real perpetrator. He has been corrupted and his true form is a demon. Toudou seems to be telling his failures of achieving nothing while in the Order compared to his more successful father and brother. He is somewhat trying to provoke Yukio because of his similar circumstances. Toudou has had enough fooling around and leaves. As the kid has been deeply blighted, Yukio needs to treat him now. At the risk of blighting himself, he has to carefully and calmly treat the sporangia without breaking them. However he is too nervous thinking about Toudou’s words. Luckily he screws all that because he is his own man and manages to do his operation successfully. After returning the boy to his mother, Mephisto and Shura come in to report this was just a diversion. The real Left Eye has been stolen. Shura’s familiar is trying to track it down now. Mephisto also notes there was a scuffle in Kyoto where the Right Eye is being held. With this dire situation, Mephisto wants to form a team to retrieve the Left Eye and wants Yukio on that team. Rin can’t help feel useless all the while and Yukio has that sense of maturity and adult in him.

Rin is looking forward taking a bullet train to Kyoto. Also on it are his teammates, Suguro, Konekomaru, Shima, Shiemi and Izumo. However they are all ignoring him and aren’t too happy he is with them. Rin understands that this is only natural that they have discovered he is the son of Satan. Shura briefs the team about their mission to Kyoto to provide medical support and extra security for the Right Eye while the culprit’s true objective is being investigated. In the old feudal days, the Impure King was believed to have ravaged the land and claimed lives with his plagues. A priest named Fukaku defeated him by gorging out both his eyes, believed to be his power source of miasma. Rin is still being ostracized by the rest but thinks Izumo is trying to cheer him up as she merely states the truth that the Order is just unsure what to do with him, the reason he is still alive. She turns tsundere but now Suguro gets mad. Flashback (from last season) shows Rin showing his true form before his friends to save them from Amaimon. Later when he tried to downplay it and laugh it off, he was told off by Shiemi it was no laughing matter. They get to know the rest of the details from Yukio. Suguro blames Rin’s blue flames that killed his family of temple guys that also killed other family members of their friends. Their heated argument is put to a stop by Shura who wants them to work together for the better.

Episode 2
Arriving at Kyoto, they are picked up by Kinzou, Shima’s elder brother whom he is ashamed to be associated with since he thinks it is funny to knock his head over the microphone as a gag! Suguro can’t believe the inn they’ll be staying is the one run by his mom. Family reunion! Nothing sweet though, because mom is beating her son up for dying his hair! Everyone gets down to treat the injured. Except for Rin. They want him to do something else. Like picking up garbage. Suguro, Shima and Konekomaru go to see Yaozou, Shima’s dad who is recovering from his wounds. But what Suguro really wants is to see his bone headed dad whom he has a bone to pick with. Rin is wondering around and stumbles upon a drunk priest, Tatsuma who wants him to help cut watermelons for the injured. Rin finds out this dude is Suguro’s dad! He talks about being friends with Suguro and wants to reconcile with him. Suguro stops a fight between Juuzou and Mamushi as they blame each other for the lax in security that had gotten them into this trouble. Although Mamushi badmouths Tatsuma as a laughing stock, he accepts it. He just doesn’t want them to fight among each other at a crucial time. Suguro’s flashback shows he used to listen to his dad reciting sutras and this calmed his mind. Suguro asks Shura for permission to head to the temple in the mountains to find Tatsuma but was shot down since they are on a mission. Shima is forced to be Rin’s company as Suguro and Konekomaru bail out for personal reasons. Missed his chance. Now he has to deal with a drunk Rin? Oops. Shura gave the wrong drink.

Suguro remembers more of his past. When he was just a boy, he heard many members wanted to leave the sect because they fear of the Blue Night incident repeating and they won’t be able to support their families. Suguro told them to hang on as he promises to take over the sect when he grows up and defeat Satan. However they said they can’t follow the high priest anymore because he betrayed the sect by removing and hiding the temple’s object of worship. Juuzou assures him that many are still staying. One day it is announced that after much deliberation among the high priests, the sect will be assimilated into the True Cross Order. There may be structural changes but their traditional teachings and exorcism style will be the same. Suguro was excited that dad will become an Exorcist too but he dismissed it and will let Juuzou and Uwabami be in charge. Their followers will be happier that way. Suguro is snapped back to reality by Uwabami who needs his help for internal investigations as he believes there is a traitor among them behind all this. He agrees to help but wants Tatsuma to have his say too. More Suguro flashbacks. He told his dad he was going to become an Exorcist at True Cross Academy. However Tatsuma forbade it and wants him to do anything with his life except the life of an Exorcist. This made Suguro snap back at him for being a coward. He lets him know all the insults others have been calling him behind his back. He won’t live like that. He won’t run away. Meanwhile Yukio’s team may have caught up to the culprit. But open smashing the windows of the stalled car, they find everyone dead. Toudou is contacting his accomplice to act quickly before they find out or else there won’t be another chance like this. The whole idea is to bring together the Left Eye and Right Eye.

Episode 3
Konekomaru is shocked to see Shima being friendly with Rin. Later he confronts him about and Shima just brushes it off that everybody was just overthinking. Trying to avoid Rin was more effort than its worth. He knows Rin is a good guy. Konekomaru doesn’t look convinced. All the family heads are called for a meeting. But when Yaozou says Tatsuma will not be present due, Suguro becomes obviously frustrated. He was waiting for him the entire day. Due to the pressing matter, the meeting presses ahead. Juuzou explains what happened on that day in the Deep Keep where the Right Eye was kept. He noticed something wrong with the flames and called Tatsuma to look at it. Mamushi then got upset when she asked Tatsuma and he replied he wasn’t really interested in becoming part of the True Cross Order. She reminds him of the legend when Fukaku slew the Impure King. His Right Eye was staring at him with intense hatred before he died. That is why he established a sect and its generations to safeguard it. Thus she is implying Tatsuma is abandoning his duty. He doesn’t really answer her when the flames started going wild. After telling everyone to escape, in his attempts to control it, Mamushi thought of protecting the Right Eye. She was knocked off by Juuzou for being dangerous. In the end, Yaozou uses his body to shield its explosion before the flames were brought under control.

This meeting is to reveal the traitor. As Toudou is the accomplice for the Left Eye, he was once Mamushi and Juuzou’s instructor. Both start suspecting and accusations at each other. When calmed down, Mamushi remembers Tatsuma chanting an unfamiliar mantra like as though he was controlling the flames. Now all suspicions fall on Tatsuma and his absence only worsens it. The meeting is adjourned. Konekomaru thought he could cheer up Suguro but he just wants to be left alone. Time to take a detour from the guys having their drama to Shiemi. She is nervous and thus making lots of silly mistakes. Thoughts of herself being useless is clouding her mind. So much so Izumo had to tell her off to say whatever is bugging her. Well, she really did let it all out. Beating up herself for not being useful when it counts, the reason Rin and Yukio never told her anything. Oh no. Please don’t cry so loud that the neighbourhood can hear you. In this twisted sense, Izumo thought she is pretty stubborn like a weed to go on like this. She takes it as a positive sign to be strong like a weed. Well, whatever works. Rin continues his candle training but still flops. He sees Konekomaru praying at his family’s grave and talks to him. Scared, he tries to run away but Rin puts his foot down. He lets Rin know he has no family and their grave is the only thing he can go back to. So whoever threatens them is his enemy. Rin is glad to know that if he proves he is not a threat, they’ll reconcile. Rin continues training hard into the night. Shiemi sees Rin hardworking is also inspired to make some grounds. Mamushi and her sisters and Shima continue to suspect each other.

Episode 4
Rin is happy that he finally has a little control over his flames. But Shura warns him it is only the beginning. Flashback when Rin was brought before the Vatican council. Mephisto admitted that Fujimoto was harbouring the son of Satan as a weapon to fight against him. He even dared them wage if Rin will become their saviour or the next Satan. They will consider the wager only after Rin passes the Exorcist Authorization Exam in 6 months and the first sign of threat he is to be executed immediately. Suguro finds it odd that Juuzou is going into the field office at this hour. When he tails him, he sees lots of priests beaten up. He then sees Juuzou confronting Mamushi and accuses her as the traitor. However she says she will open everyone’s eyes that the true traitor is Tatsuma and Mephisto. 8 years ago when she first enrolled in the exorcism cram school and met Toudou, he was asking a lot about the Impure King’s eyes. She didn’t know much about it then. He long harboured suspicions on Mephisto’s behaviour. So for 8 years she worked under him to uncover the truth. Nothing surfaced until a week ago about Mephisto secretly had the son of Satan spared and raised by the Order. He even had the object of worship to help do it. This means Tatsuma is in cohorts with Mephisto. She believes Toudou will take both eyes to where it will be safe. Tatsuma, Yaozou and Uwabami heard all this from the monitor room. Uwabami is sad her daughter is the culprit and has no choice but to arrest her. As Mamushi and Juuzou fight, the grounds starts shaking. An intruder alert. Toudou shows his face as Juuzou tries to tell Mamushi she has been tricked but to no avail. Mamushi uses the Right Eye to escape along with Toudou.

Once everyone is on the scene, the first thing Suguro does is to stop his dad from wherever he is going. He blames him as the reason that they are all in this mess now. He wants to know what he has been doing all the time. Sorry. It’s a secret. This only makes Suguro mad. He threatens to sever ties with him as his son. This however has a profound impact on Rin. He remembers a similar quarrel with Fujimoto. Then it was too late to regret anything. He’s dead. Surprisingly it is Rin who stops Tatsuma from running away. Is he going to let it end like this? Then he punches Suguro and wants him to apologize to his dad and not abandon him so easily. I understand why he is doing this but it feels odd for an outsider to be meddling in their relationship, no? Suguro is only madder. He tells Rin to never come back. Well, yeah. Now Rin is madder too. And disappointed. He starts emitting blue flames, much to everyone’s shock. Then they fight as Rin tries to make Suguro apologize to his dad. Only Shura’s intervention to knock him out did things calm down. Looks like she will have to explain this to everyone.

Episode 5
Yaozou wants Juuzou to follow Tatsuma secretly. Shura gets a call from Yukio to meet up. After learning the Right Eye has been stolen, Yukio says the corpse he found was a decoy. Because it had a jamming signal that made it hard for him to report back, it was an elaborate ploy to buy time. Yukio learns that if both eyes are brought together, it will unleash terrible amounts of miasma and do more damage than a single eye. He begins to wonder that Toudou might have a sinister plan because now that he has both eyes, why does he not unleash it right away? Shura then reports of Rin’s carelessness. You can see Yukio’s disappointed face. His actions now make his life hanging by a thread and they are in uncharted territory. Shura ‘warns’ Yukio about honesty and emotions being important traits to be an Exorcist because demons can easily manipulate them. Therefore Rin isn’t the dangerous one but Yukio who is the type who can be corrupted with all those pent up feelings. So try cut some slack once in a while. First shots fired: He always hated her. Rin is solitary confinement as he remembers the hearing in Vatican. After Mephisto had finished, Rin broke out of his silence to angrily tell them he isn’t their tool or saviour. He is just Rin and will become the best Exorcist. Just you wait and see. Suguro returns to his other friends and he tells them what happened. They are especially worried what will happen to Rin.

It is a little awkward for Rin to see Yukio now. Shura hands over a letter from Tatsuma he handed to her for him before he left. Can’t read. Terrible handwriting! Well, Yukio may be able to since it is partly calligraphy. This letter has Tatsuma asking Rin an important favour. But he starts off with his past first. Back before his son was born, Tatsuma’s pregnant wife, Torako was severely ill from being exposed to miasma. Although very worried, his father who was then the current head priest continued to tell him to do his daily duties and rituals. Tatsuma was sceptical if it would save anybody because the situation has worsened since. Father told him that he will inherit his duties when he die. Then he will learn the secrets of this temple in which he must keep forever till he dies. If Torako dies, find another stronger wife. It is important they have a successor. Being naïve and afraid, Tatsuma continued to follow his father’s words. One day while doing a fire ritual outside. A giant monster came crashing down. It was slain by Fujimoto. It was the first time they met. It was then Fujimoto took the Kouma sword, sect’s object of worship that is now in Rin’s possession. Rin and Yukio are shocked to realize that the sword belonged to Suguro’s family this whole time.

Episode 6
Mamushi and Toudou arrive at Gouma Hall in the mountains where Toudou believes the eyes will be kept for safekeeping. Continuing Tatsuma’s story, Fujimoto collapses since he was seriously injured. Tatsuma took him in and treated him. Fujimoto explains he was sent here to retrieve the sword since he might use it to kill a child. Tatsuma didn’t like hearing that and ordered him to leave. He won’t until he finds it with or without his help. When Fujimoto sees an entire hall filled with sick people, he stops their futile prayers. He chides everyone for being cowards playing the saint. Fujimoto quickly prescribes ingredients and herbs to save everyone. Soon everyone gets better including Torako. As happy Tatsuma can be, Fujimoto still wants the sword. However the head priest and his men are out to arrest Fujimoto. They believe he has tainted their temple with his foul rituals despite he saved their lives. Besides, those who know the temple’s secret must die. Tatsuma is sad that his father is only protecting the rules. Hence he goes to help Fujimoto escape and even gives him the sword. That was the last time he saw him. A few months later, the Blue Night incident happened and after his father died, Tatsuma was told the horrible secrets of the temple.

As Mamushi is holding the Right Eye, she is at her limits. They find the secret passageway under Gouma Hall as Toudou feels bad for having her shoulder this burden and to let him have the eye as they are already close to their destination. But what shocks Mamushi once she enters the room is a large sealed body belonging to the Impure King. Toudou further explains that Fukaku couldn’t just defeat the Impure King so he forged the sword with a fire demon, Karura to subdue it. After plucking out its eyes, Karura left the sword. It is just an empty shell. That is the dark secret the temple have been keeping. So if both eyes are returned to the Impure King, he will revive. Toudou has no use for her anymore but before he can dispose her, Tatsuma protects her. Further flashback reveals after his father died, Karura appeared before him. It seems there is a secret pact between her and whoever the head priest is. In exchange to serve him and keep the Impure King sealed, Karura wants her existence to be in secrecy. The guilt of that secrecy is what feeds her existence. Otherwise the pact is nullified. Now Tatsuma calls upon Karura to fight Toudou. However Toudou turns the tables when he returns the eyes. Now the Impure King revives. Its mould form is spreading fast. Juuzou arrives just in time for Tatsuma to hand Mamushi back and call for reinforcements. He is counting on her to tell what has happened. Tatsuma stays back to try and seal the Impure King. Although Karura’s secret is now known and she will no longer serve the head priest, there is another separate pact with Tatsuma personally that should still stand. As he tries to use his flames to subdue the swelling Impure King, Toudou stabs him in the throat! He reveals his true intention was to lure Tatsuma out since he is rarely shows himself and what better way than to use the Impure King whom he believes Tatsuma was using Karura to seal. His true goal is in fact Karura. He eats the fire demon and forces it to inhabit his body. Toudou is happy he is a step closer to his ultimate goal. The letter ends with Tatsuma asking Rin to use the Kouma sword to defeat the Impure King.

Episode 7
Yukio is against Rin helping since there is no proof his blue flames would be effective. However Shura wants to hear it from Rin since the letter is addressed to him. He wants to help. Shura gives him back the sword but Yukio is still against it. Shura argues the Impure King is a bigger threat right now than Rin and it has been proven his flames have been effective against demons before. Suddenly Rin cannot unsheathe the sword. Shura realizes he is scared. He just mastered controlling his flames so there are thoughts he might hurt somebody if he draws the sword. Mephisto pops up and puts Rin in an impregnable prison, Das Starkste Gefangnis. He just got word from the Vatican. They voted for him to be executed. Although saying taking care of the Impure King is important now, Mephisto can’t join in the fight since he is showing allergies of it. However he leaves Shura with some camouflage robes. Mamushi returns and tells the whole story and begs to save Tatsuma. Everyone gets ready to their fight. Shura sees Suguro and co and told what has happened to Rin. He passes the sword and the letter to Suguro. She hints that they need to bust Rin out secretly and prove that he can save the day since the Vatican has a tight leash on her and she cannot move openly before their eyes. So I guess after reading the letter and having their eyes opened, everyone is somewhat geared up to save Rin as they don the camouflage robes. Don’t want to leave any regrets if they let Rin meet his fate, do they?

They manage to pass the guards but now they have to face off with Das. This goofy talking prison blatantly states how easy to open him from the outside. But nobody ever could. Why? Suddenly all but Shiemi freeze in their tracks. Das detects animosity and those who are a threat will be frozen. Because Shiemi is weak and useless, she isn’t a threat. Yup, that is what the prison said in her face. A relief or insult? Shiemi walks in to find Rin who is really depressed. He doesn’t want to go with her, fearing he would hurt her. When his blue flames burst, Shiemi felt its warmth. She realizes she had been preoccupied with her own problems instead of looking from Rin’s perspective. She hugs him as proof she didn’t get burn. A little sorry is all it takes for Rin to get back. After smashing out Das, the rest are free from the spell. Time for a little reconciliation and welcome back. Always trust in your friends, right? Of course the usual angry tension for Suguro with him. Because it seems he is mad at Rin for trying to shoulder this alone instead of telling others. How is he expecting others to trust him like that? So that’s the reason why he is mad? So once everyone makes their peace, it is time to go kick some mouldy Impure King ass.

Episode 8
Light miasma is starting to spread around the town nearby. Shura is roped in by the higher priests to summon Ucchusma, the most powerful fire demon. To combat the Impure King which belongs to the Kingdom of Rot, fire is its weakness. Once summoned, Ucchusma demands the blood of 10 high priests but since there are only 5, he only helps out via giving their staffs his flame. Rin and co stumble upon Tatsuma. Karura pops up from Tatsuma albeit smaller. It still exists because of Tatsuma’s other personal pact. As long as he has Eon Flames, Karura will continue to exist. After learning everyone has known the secret, Tatsuma tells a way to destroy the Impure King. It will grow into a giant sporangium which will then burst and release a cloud of toxic spores. In the middle of the sporangium is its heart. Fukaku who sealed it before wasn’t aware when he cut through the sporangium and its heart to seal it. Its heart is what everyone knows as its eyes. Tatsuma meant to use his Eon Flames to draw a barrier at the expense of his life but it didn’t work. It was meant as a last resort. And now that Rin cannot unsheathe his sword, Tatsuma still needs to do up a barrier for one last time. He will die after that. It will be the last thing he will do. Suguro realizes what dad had meant all these years about those secrets. Karura realizes Suguro is Tatsuma’s son and can pass on the Eon Flames pact to him. However Tatsuma is against this. He didn’t want his son to get involved with this as the pact ends with him. Suguro tells him off he is in no position to tell him this because he wants to shoulder it with him. Even Karura agrees Suguro is more rational. After Karura is passed to Suguro, Tatsuma teaches him the method to seal the Impure King.

Suguro has the girls tend to his father. He tells Konekomaru and Shima to head back to Shura and tell her what is happening. So is Suguro going to be a hero and stop the sporangium with his barrier? He’ll die! Don’t worry. This is where Rin comes in to protect him. But he can’t unsheathe his sword. Don’t worry. He’ll use his blue flames. Or something. Hey, you got to be positive at this point. Thus before our guys get to work, a little reconciliation between father and son that says you-better-not-die-or-I’m-gonna-kill-you. The herbs of Shiemi and Izumo can’t work so they decide to carry him down to hospital. They have to. Konekomaru and Shima’s path are blocked by the Impure King’s ever expanding mould. Yukio thought he saw Toudou writhing in pain in the middle of the forest. Curiosity kills the cat because Toudou senses his presence and traps him in with his flames. Yukio is shocked at his newfound power. Toudou would love to talk and answer his questions but first he wants play around with Yukio. Yukio finds it hard to keep up with his immense strength and speed. At the same time Toudou is trying to toy with his mind about his past and ‘forced life’ as an Exorcist. Since Fujimoto is dead, all he has now is Rin. What would he have then if Rin dies? So could he just be a tool raised to protect Rin? So for all the lengths Yukio went for Rin, could it be that the truth is he hates his brother?

Episode 9
Yukio’s shots are missing more and more. Could it be that Toudou has hit a nerve? Turns out it was just distraction so Yukio is able to make some insignia and summon water demons to trap him. Yukio tells him he doesn’t hate his brother. It is his weak self he hates. Unfortunately Toudou is too powerful to be confined in that water bubble. He bursts out and prepares to kill tired Yukio. Rin and Suguro ride Kuro close up to the sporangium. They know they’re both scared so they calm each other down by the way they know best. Mocking each other and pissing each other off. Conveniently there is a free spot in the middle of the mould. Suguro gets off to do his barrier. Karura is impressed with his devotion and unleashes a huge fire barrier to prevent the mould from spreading. Suguro has to maintain his position as Rin and Kuro keep the invading mould from getting closer to him. As the mould gets closer to Konekomaru and Shima, the latter thinks they should give up and run. Everyone will understand. But Konekomaru chides him about everyone, their friends and family fighting out there. This is when Shima loses it. He has had it with this responsibility, blood and all that crap. It’s not worth risking his life. He admits he isn’t that noble and abandons Konekomaru. As he thinks how crazy everyone is, he remembers Juuzou telling him how their eldest brother, Takezou died protecting Shima and Suguro. Shima didn’t really care. Even more so when Yaozou passed on to him the family staff so he could help protect Suguro and Konekomaru. He never asked for that responsibility. However he turns back to save Konekomaru before he gets overwhelmed by the mould. He realizes he can’t walk away from it all that easily. But he might be regretting it again because now his staff is lit with Ucchusma and Konekomaru thinks it is a good way to burn a path through. This means he is back in fighting in the front lines. Yeah, he had the chance of walking away but he blew it.

The girls aren’t going to carry the heavy priest down. Izumo summons her cute fox familiars to do the job. Deep in concentrating guiding her familiars, deep in thinking about why she decided to hop on this rescue train in the first place and annoyed by Shiemi’s, uhm, annoyance, Izumo didn’t realize the mould crept up on her and now she is almost submerged in it. Time for Shiemi to stop being useless and do something. She tries to summon her familiar out. Yeah, all you need to do is put in your earnest feelings and poof! Here it is. As easy as summoning ABC. So to fight the mould, she tells Nii-chan to get bigger and grow twice as many green plants. The sporangium reaches its limit and explodes. Luckily the fire barrier contains it from spreading further. Yukio is scared he will be killed when suddenly blue flames lit in his eyes. His vision is all in blue. He doesn’t understand what’s going on. For that moment there, Toudou too was afraid and his instincts to jump away kicked in. After Yukio calms down, his eyes return to normal. Now Juuzou and his side has come to Yukio’s aid.

Episode 10
The stench of the spores is unbearable. But now they have a bigger problem. And I mean a real big problem. This big blob is the Impure King’s true form? Hideous. Juuzou and his team fight Toudou. Uhm, but is it not effective? I know they’re trying to fight fire with fire but only Toudou is getting stronger absorbing their attacks. Can’t blame them. They now only realize he has Karura inside him. Yukio has an idea. So while the rest distract fighting him, Juuzou then pounces him with a super big fireball comet. Did they not learn anything, you ask? Toudou’s body starts breaking up and turning into ash. Yukio’s plan is that the host will take on the traits of the demon residing in its body. So if Toudou is possessing Karura, his body cannot contain the intense heat and will overheat and turn into ash. But Toudou regenerates thanks to Karura’s regeneration. Yukio has also accounted for that. Toudou’s body starts breaking up into lumps of hardened cement. As it is raining, the regeneration will not be so quickly since his body turned to ash and mixed with water. Now all they have to do is to contain his body in separate containers before he could revive. But then again, maybe they’re too slow to act because his hardened mould now attacks them and Yukio can still hear him taunting them. So is he now haunting them as a ghost? Once Shima and Konekomaru return and report to the main group, Shura praises them for a good job and will go back inside the fire barrier to help Rin.

The Impure King is going to dispose Suguro. In a desperate attempt, he summons Karura to protect him. He manages to push back the blob. However, now that he is putting up 2 spells, it puts a great strain on his body and will not last long. This means the entire barrier will collapse at the slightest loss of concentration. Rin is upset he still cannot draw his sword even after Kuro takes a hit. Suguro tells him to run. Evacuate as much people as possible before the barrier breaks. Oddly, Rin starts talking casually like how he wants Suguro to show him and the rest of their friends Kyoto Tower tomorrow. So please let’s win this and go home. In typical retort fashion, Suguro scolds him for wanting to go to Kyoto Tower of all places. That place is an embarrassment he has never set foot in his life! But it did give Suguro great motivation to hold up. When the mould starts to overwhelm Suguro, Rin gets mad as his ponder about Fujimoto’s reason to save him. It is only then he is able to draw the sword and covered in blue flames. Time to slice down this big mother.

Episode 11
Even though Shura is here to backup and protect Suguro, Rin has a hard time taking down the Impure King as it can generate and it is trying to kill Rin as well. However Suguro reaches his limits and passes out. The fire barrier slowly starts disappearing. Luckily thanks to the rain, the spread of the miasma will be lessened for now. Yukio continues to face off with Toudou as he is shocked by his regeneration rate. Toudou can still toy around with him in his incomplete ash body. He wants Yukio to show him those eyes again and likes that angry demon look on his face. Yukio almost forgot the basic Exorcist lesson of never being tempted by a demon. He is assisted by Juuzou to pin Toudou down. But Toudou won’t tell him anything yet as it is still too early. Yukio shoots him to pieces. He then tells the rest to forget about capturing him and regroup with the rest to stop the miasma’s spread. Since Rin continues to not make any headway, Ucchusma appears before him and mocks how pathetic he is. As the Impure King is his sworn enemy, he will teach Rin how to defeat it. Whatever works, right? Ucchusma joins with his sword and turns blue. Rin will use this Fireburst Samadhi to burn and cleanse everything. Wait. So everyone in the mountain radius will be caught in it? Sorry, Rin. You can’t be picky about it now. You can’t let a speck of spore escape otherwise everything would be for naught. Rin chants the mantra as Ucchusma says. A huge blue fireball emerges and smashes into the Impurity King. Ucchusma doesn’t feel the power and wants Rin to put in more power into his hit. Rin is afraid he might go berserk and he is already feeling the strain of losing control of his blue flames.

Meanwhile Shiemi continues to fail in plucking Izumo out. So she’s going to now pull her out by herself? Yeah, her stubbornness is what irritates Izumo. She’s trying to save you and you’re mad at her? And would you have guessed it? Shiemi actually pulled her out! Power of friendship? Everyone now sees a big burst of blue flames. It is that oh sh*t moment. They fear the worse when they get hit by it but not Shiemi. Everyone is shocked to feel how warm it is. In the aftermath, not a speck of the Impure King and its spread is left. Nobody died and only the Impure King was destroyed. Best of all, the miasma affecting them were also cleansed. Ucchusma is done and will now leave. He wonders if Rin is human or demon. He warns the day will come when he must choose. With everyone regrouping around Rin, now let the thanks flow. Let the tears flow. Rin is super happy because he can control his blue flames. Albeit not perfect but at least he can choose what to burn. The celebration is put to an abrupt halt when Yukio is not amused about what Rin had done. Remember, he still thinks Rin is in prison. With Rin happily laughing, Yukio punches him and tells him he doesn’t understand his position. Oh, Rin understands it well. He is the son of Satan. He has always been afraid to admit that but that was a mistake. It is part of who he is. He easily draws the sword and adds until he accepts his power, he’ll never get anywhere. Then he collapses from too much use of power. That’s Rin for you.

Episode 12
Time for the long awaited good news. Tatsuma survives and is brought back to the inn. Though, he gets scolded by Torako for doing such reckless stuffs. Mamushi breaks down upon hearing their success from Juuzou. Rin wakes up and is shocked to see Shiemi lying next to him. Suddenly she wants to confess something important. No matter what happens, she will always be his friend. That’s it? Man, you just got totally friend zoned. Definitely disappointing! No wonder Shima is laughing his ass off. Mephisto talks to Yaozou and praises him for a good job although the latter credits it all to Rin. Mephisto tells him if he ever gets summoned by the Vatican, appear and testify what has happened. After that, Shura seems to be trying to seduce Mephisto. But she is trying to find out about his grander plan. From Igor to Amaimon and now this Impure King, what does he have in store next? Even all the students in the cram school of Rin’s class were put together by him. All he says is that he doesn’t want to see a beautiful lady die before her time. Shura quickly backs out and leaves. Then she assures Yukio that Rin will no doubt be safe. Even if the Vatican wants to execute him, Mephisto will definitely find a way to protect him as he is somewhat part of his larger plan.

Suguro thought of finally giving his dad a pep talk to do his priest job properly. To his dismay he finds him now as a janitor of the inn as he has no reason to be a priest. They are interrupted by Konekomaru who tells them something ‘interesting’ has happened. It seems Juuzou has proposed to marry Mamushi! But she didn’t agree! Heck, their siblings are now arguing with each other. Don’t worry Mamushi. Marrying him is your punishment! Is that some sort of a married couple joke? Jokes aside, despite she will be kicked out of the Order and her right eye never to recover, Juuzou will still take her in as his wife. Uwabami could only give his blessing. So Tatsuma’s lesson to his son is that even if he tries to do everything by himself, others will carve their own lives without him. Just let it be. But why did Tatsuma try to shoulder it himself for years? Because his son is important to him. Now everyone makes good on Suguro’s promise to tour the place. Everyone becomes Rin’s ‘bullies’ and does whatever his says. Because you don’t want to get burnt by the son of Satan, right? Lastly, Rin talks to Yukio personally. Yukio still doesn’t agree to him being an Exorcist. He is just riding on the wave of defeating the Impure King. He regrets letting everyone force him into using Satan’s powers. His heart will not be at ease till he is sure he doesn’t put others in danger. He promised dad he would keep him safe. Rin is okay with that. He isn’t asking him to change how he sees things. But they should rely on each other as they’re brothers. Rin is envious Yukio got to fight alongside dad. He hopes to tell stories of that. Yukio will but only when Rin becomes an Exorcist.

If you’re interested in the long drawn out drama between Mamushi and Juuzou, well, this OVA is it. During a time before all that betrayal and sh*t hits the fan, Mamushi accidentally met Toudou during recess. Because she seemed troubled (about Tatsuma not joining the Order), he suggests helping him out with some errand and it might answer what she is looking for. She ends up picking bariyons (stone face monsters?) at the river bank and oh look, Juuzou is also commissioned by Toudou for the same job. And thus this is where our bickering drama between 2 teens who aren’t honest to their feelings start. Especially Mamushi trying to act tough while pondering about Tatsuma’s intentions. She got careless with a bariyon and it almost killed her but luckily Juuzou was quick enough to save the day. Even after he lectures her, she still tells him to shut up. All in a day’s work of being a tsundere. Since Mamushi is injured, he decides to carry her back instead of the bariyons. That can wait till tomorrow. At first she is stubborn but finally gives in. She tells him about her dilemma being Tatsuma neglecting his duties. All Juuzou can say he is putting his blind faith in him. Toudou is relieved that Mamushi’s injuries are light. He speaks to her privately about the need to be herself instead of becoming like someone else. There is a very emotional reaction from her as she leaves. This makes Toudou grin with glee as this confirms she is easily manipulated. In fact he was observing Mamushi and Juuzou during the errand (pictures of them too!) and decides to use Mamushi. The rest is history. The final few minutes of this OVA seems to be ‘cheating’. They replay the same tumultuous scene when Juuzou proposed his shocking proposal to Mamushi. Just insert a few scenes in between of Rin and co commenting on it, that’s all.

Exorcist Blues: Brotherhood
Well, well. I even surprised myself that I did not expect to enjoy this season a lot. What do you mean I was expecting not to like this series when I said in my opening paragraph that I found the series awesome? Well you see, after a few episodes in, I thought with all the personal issues and drama, I thought this series would sadly fall into that category of awesome first seasons and very disappointing sequels. But that is where I was wrong. Yes, there are personal issues and dramas permeating the entire season whenever it gets the chance to. Somehow they were not boring or dreary as I thought it would be. In fact, I’m surprised to say this myself but I find them rather interesting. For a guy like me who only takes interest in ecchi fanservice high school comedies, this is very rare thing to happen. So whatever formula or hypnosis they have done in this season, they really have done a good job because it was quite interesting and in the end, I am left ‘disappointed’ that this didn’t get extended for another cour like how the first season had over 2 dozen episodes.

Despite almost all the characters have their own issues to deal with, their insecurities and the uncertainties that go along with it, it is these factors that we can all somewhat connect to that makes the overall season an interesting success. For instance, Suguro’s long outstanding daddy issues with Tatsuma and ultimately the ‘wobbly’ and ‘unstable’ brotherly relationship between Rin and Yukio. Maybe it is me getting old but each time such dramatic instances pop up, I would start to tear up or feel my heart strings being tugged. That is one reason why I really found this season to be fascinating. It stirs up emotions inside me and made me feel that despite our protagonists are just young Exorcists in learning, they are just ordinary kids having to deal with supernatural issues that complicated their ordinary human lives. This strong emotional level is what bonds the characters together as well as the characters with the viewers. Perhaps some may call these dramas to be cheesy and cliché but hey, if it rouses some decent heart-warming emotions, I think I can call it a success.

The plot for this season itself is interesting although at the beginning I was a bit confused. It isn’t the fact that the series was just rolling and there was not information or revelation to the plot and story. It is rather the fact I remember that Rin’s friends were on good terms with him at the end of the season. So when they were ignoring him in the first episode like as though something bad in between happened, I was confused. It was then I found out that in the first season, after 2/3 of the series, the plot started to deviate from the manga. Thus this second season ignores what happened in that final third and continues off from where the anime left off.

Then there are a few absurd situations like Tatsuma dad surviving which is a catch-22 situation. Because he was clearly pierced through his throat! A normal person would have instantly died! And here he is, still able to talk, pass down the secrets and teachings to his son, hold out even longer and then made it back alive as though the whole thing was just nothing. It would have been devastating and totally sad and a shame had Tatsuma really died. So him surviving is like the package of good news delivered in the end. Because had Toudou struck him in a different non-vital part, we would have been wondering if he is such a bad aim at close range. Hey, at least not his brain or heart and maybe he missed thanks to the gaps in the throat? I’m no doctor but I’m figuring this could be it. Also, the part Shiemi was trying to save Izumo felt a bit silly. Everything didn’t work till she put in her feeble strength and effort. Like as though there wasn’t enough girl time and drama so they purposely had to cut this little piece out and give them some little more screen time. Yeah, it was the only way Shiemi could become ‘stronger’ in this season without Rin.

The character development is pretty decent this season with most of it focusing on Rin and Suguro. For Rin, it wasn’t the case of an ordinary kid in extraordinary circumstances. It was rather coming to terms with the real fact that he is the son of Satan. Therefore he isn’t an ordinary kid to begin with. However you can’t blame him for wanting to be one or trying to be one because teens his age are going through the phase where they are seeking acceptance and a place to belong. Once he accepts himself for who he is, only then his friends could. As for Suguro, we get to see a lot of why his character is such a teen angst and has lots of pent up frustrations. The estranged relationship with his dad has certainly put a huge strain on the father and son ties. Many of us feel like we can connect with them because of how similar their situation is to real life. So the general moral of the story here is to appreciate and makeup with your parent when they are still alive while you still can. Nothing can be more devastating and regretful when you lose that chance forever. In a way, Rin and Suguro’s weird confrontational friendship did what is best for both of them and made them grow into better characters.

The rest of the other characters in the group also have their decent fleshing out albeit on a smaller scale. Konekomaru has his insecurities about being friends with Rin since his entire family was wiped out and is now the head of his Miwa clan. Shima finally showed his true colours why he is such a lazy laidback dude since he never really wanted to be in this supernatural business in the first place. That’s why he is so carefree and doesn’t give a damn. So could you say that peer pressure is what kept him in line? Thankfully he isn’t a total dick (though he could really be one if he really wants to) since his long term bond and friendship is (a bit) stronger. Then there is Shiemi who is just reduced to being some whiny damsel in distress. Distress as in stressing out herself for being useless. Probably she felt guilty for giving Rin the unkind cut and reflecting for most of the time how she isn’t any different. Izumo isn’t much and sometimes I feel her actions speak tsundere.

I am making a guess that Yukio is also a demon like Rin. Yes, this is one of the mysterious foreshadowing questions thrown to us that would be answered in the future if there is ever a sequel. It might have already been in the manga but since I don’t read it, I’m not sure. My guts tell me that he is also a demon. Because it only makes sense that the brothers are twins so why is one a demon and the other a complete human, right? Just that Yukio didn’t really show traits of being an obvious demon, might have been hidden or sealed by something or somebody as we are not told of it yet (for future shock revelations, I guess) or certain conditions needs to be triggered in order for those traits to show itself. Yukio and Rin might be as different as night and die but remember, they come from the same flesh and blood. I fear that Yukio may succumb to his dark side since I feel that he is still bothered by Toudou’s words of being just a tool. He might seem over it and made peace with it but you know Yukio. He has got a good poker face.

There is more to meet the eye about Mephisto. Just like big incidents from last season, all he does is watch everything unfold on his floating chair and make comments-cum-explanations. There is definitely some sort of grander scheme that this demon has laid out for everything. For now, we could just speculate that he might be doing this out of boredom or training his handpicked Exorcists to fight a greater evil or just be pawns when his ultimate plan is unfurled. Whatever it is, it is best to thread with caution as you don’t know what is going on in this demon’s mind. It is hard to tell if he is friend or foe with his charismatic exterior. After all, he is a demon whom the Vatican ‘acknowledges’ into their ranks. Who knows? The Vatican may be used by him all the time or they might just be his underlings. You’ll never know… Truly and ironically a devil in disguise?

Same goes to Toudou although he is portrayed as the main antagonist this season, he could be just a pawn for a greater evil lurking in the background. For now there are too many questions that cannot be answered immediately and only made ‘worse’ thanks to his teasing. Now we have to wait for another season. Or read the manga. Shura, whose role is to be Rin’s guardian and train him, feels more like fanservice and eye candy. Who else shows greater skin exposure and has the bigger bust in the series? Finally the series’ mascot Kuro didn’t do much but nevertheless still important as Rin’s partner. Like as though somebody needs to give this cat some screen time. At least better than Nii-chan whose ‘comeback’ feels forced. It’s just to show that Shiemi has gotten over her whatever dilemmas and is now able to summon this green little thing back.

The new characters are also likeable like Tatsuma who is just a dad trying to be a dad like any other normal dads in the world. You won’t know the sacrifice and silent suffering a father has to make until you are in his shoes. He might look and act like a slow retard but I think being clam instead of being overwhelmed with emotions like his son makes him think and make judgments better. Juuzou and Mamushi from the moment they started bickering from the start, I had a feeling they would end up together. True enough, it came too quickly in the end suddenly they become an engaged couple. Oh well, at least they moved on faster than say fans of Rin x Shiemi? Don’t be too disheartened by this friend zone thingy. Things might change in the future. Maybe… Just maybe… I also want to mention about Kinzou being an oddball despite his limited appearance. He felt like some sort of comic relief but not to an extent like he is the idiotic joker (like Spongebob Squarepants…). His first appearance is already a head scratcher trying to ‘break the ice’ and when he is in the battlefield, he turns into some adrenaline junkie eager to kick some ass. And then he opposes Juuzou’s marriage to Mamushi just because he always wanted him to snag a blonde bombshell but got this ‘skinny snake’ instead as betrayal. Oh Kinzou…

The one thing that constantly bugged my mind throughout watching the series isn’t related to the story or the characters that are involved in it. Actually, more precisely if you remember that ventriloquist puppet kid, Takara. Yup, this kid’s absence is what bugged me the most. I remember spotting him on the train in the first episode (he was really that obvious). And then for the rest of the series, he disappears! Where the hell has he been too?! Because it somewhat feels like the producers forgot all about him as he is nowhere to be seen, not helping our friends anyhow in the battle against the Impure King. He is after all a mysterious character back in the first season. So just when I was about to write him off as a character whom they totally forgotten about, then boom! Suddenly he pops back up in the final episode. Albeit he didn’t do much either. Just following the gang like as though he has been there but nobody notices him! Yikes. Takara is even mentioned during Shura’s ‘interrogation’ with Mephisto as some sort of foreshadowing so definitely the producers didn’t forget about him and suffice to say that his great absence from this arc means that he had other plots and roles at the time we might have known or seen. Or maybe he just didn’t do anything in particular.

The action sequences are still worthwhile and entertaining even if they are nowhere near the level of Jackie Chan’s fight choreography. At least it is still decent and kicks some ass. Be it Yukio’s futile bout with Toudou or Rin a Suguro teaming up to take on the giant and mighty Impure King. It’s a nice balance to complement and supplement the drama for this season. Hey, all drama and no action make a series a dull one.

The same anime studio, A-1 Pictures was roped in to animate this sequel. It is good since we can all have our familiar characters looking the same instead of shocking us with a new look. Uhm… Except for one: Shiemi! When I first glimpsed her, I was thinking OMG, is this really Shiemi? Why does she look different? Not to say that she is totally different but there is somewhat obvious difference that will make you realize she just looks different from the first season. I am pretty sure it is not her slightly changed hairstyle is the one making her look different either. While trying to compare pictures of both seasons, the Shiemi of this season somehow looks a little more bland. I don’t know. Maybe she spends so much of her screen time having low self-esteem. Hence she wasn’t as cute and lively as she was then. If so, to a lesser extent. Maybe she is missing wearing that trademark kimono too. The other thing that raises my eyebrows (literally) is that do you not noticed that Izumo’s odd eyebrows and Tatsuma’s odd moustache are the same design and pattern? Woah. It’s like mind blown… And those fire demons like Karura and Ucchusma, I wonder if their design is inspired by Pokemon. No? Never mind.

The initial seiyuus from the first season are also maintained and reprising their roles. So no shocker too in the voice acting department. However the only change I noticed is that Fujimoto who was voiced by Keiji Fujiwara is replaced by Hiroaki Hirata (Sanji in One Piece). The new casts joining this season include Kazuhiro Yamaji as Toudou (Bang in One Punch Man), Jin Urayama as Tatsuma (Clark in Francesca), Katsuyuki Konishi as Juuzou (Oga in Beelzebub), Mao as Mamushi (Papika in Flip Flappers), Hideyuki Tanaka as Yaozou (Doflamingo in One Piece), Masaki Terasoma as Uwabami (Kanbei in Samurai 7), Kishou Taniyama as Kinzou (Jean in Shingeki No Kyojin) and Ayumu Murase as Karura (Kazuo in Hatsukoi Monster). The opening theme is Itteki No Eikyou by UVERworld and the ending theme is Kono Te De by Rin Akatsuki. Both are rock outfits that fit nicely the genre of this series.

Overall, a very good season that should warrant another season if it ever wants to justify its greatness. It is a very much welcomed comeback for fans of the series and viewers who watched the first season and thought they would never hear of it ever again. Well, you know what they say about rewards coming to those who wait, right? After all, with all the potentials and interesting developments, it would be a waste not to. Oh God. Don’t tell me we have to wait another 6 years for the next sequel to come out. Please, I’m not a demon whose average life spans for centuries. This series gives a whole new meaning to better the devil you know than the angel you don’t. I would certainly want to be part of Rin’s groupies if Satan and his demons decide to come end humanity. Watch out people. There will soon be a new Exorcist in town and he is the son of Satan. What a way to fight fire with fire.

Ao No Exorcist

September 16, 2012

We’ve often heard about stories from the movies how the big bad Satan himself wants to destroy humanity by coming down to Earth himself via some vessel, right? How often do you hear Satan sending his own son instead? After all, God sent his only son Jesus to Earth before so why can’t the devil do it himself too. However if you think that Ao No Exorcist is about the prevention of Satan’s son from awakening his true powers to destroy Earth, I won’t say you are totally wrong but that is not what this series is about.

Rin Okumura in the eyes of many seemed like a normal kid. Only thing is his penchant into getting into trouble. Lots of trouble. It’s like as though trouble follows him everywhere. Unlike his twin brother, Yukio who is a total opposite, polite and considerate. If not for them being placed under the church, father Shirou Fujimoto‘s care, who knows what Rin would turn out to be. A delinquent turned mobster maybe. Worse. As you probably would have guessed, Rin isn’t an ordinary kid. He is in fact the son of Satan whom Fujimoto has carefully sealed its powers with the demon sword Kurikara for 15 years. And when Satan attempts to claim his son back and has Fujimoto killed in the process, Rin vows to become stronger and beat the crap out of Satan! Woah. Can the son of the demon lord do this? Well, I can guess that Fujimoto who has been a real father figure would have more impact on Rin’s life than Satan himself. Just like in some cases whereby kids grow up in an adopted environment instead with their biological parents. And thus this series chronicles Rin’s struggles to become an Exorcist with his other comrades in order to achieve his goal. Yeah, I know. It’s pretty ironic. The son of Satan joining an elite group bent on eradicating the devil. Oh, Rin must make sure his real identity isn’t found out either. You know how many people hate Satan because their loved ones were killed by him.

Episode 1
Many years ago, there were several attempts by priests to prevent Satan from coming into our world known as Assiah. Unfortunately many of them were burnt by the blue flame of Satan. Rin gets into another trouble. He beat up a few guys till his knuckles are bloodied. Not because he has a penchant for blood. Rather, he wanted to stop them from mindlessly killing innocent pigeons. Even if he gets a part time job, he doesn’t stay long. Each successful one is like a big thing for the other fathers of the church. His records speak for themselves as he may not stay long in his supermarket part time job. Yup, he already encountered a few problems that are enough to piss the store manager. However. Yes, however. His cooking for a food sample booth may just turn things around. Delicious! A good news that warrants celebration! For the first time, Rin may be staying longer than a day. Later in the day, Rin spots a girl, Yui who earlier visited his church (she was complaining she can see spirits). A naughty spirit stole her scarf and since Rin can also see this mischievous spirit, he goes after it. Causing a hell lot of ruckus during the chase inside the supermarket, he manages to save Yui from a falling stack of beer cans. However, Yui is bleeding and unconscious. Ah well. There goes his job. Yup, he got fired for his violence and sits dejectedly at the park swing. Yukio and the fathers are wondering why Rin is late for the celebration which also doubles as Yukio’s farewell party to True Cross Academy. Yukio goes to find his brother and brings him back. Yui’s father also thanks them for saving his daughter but scoffs off about Rin’s remarks about seeing spirits. Before Rin could rant his mouth off, Fujimoto shuts him up and gives Yui a charm and hopes daddy won’t pin the blame on her. Oh, Rin is also grounded for the bill Fujimoto received for the supermarket’s demand for reimbursement for what he destroyed. Next morning as Yukio has left for the academy, Rin could see strange little floating spirits, Coal Tars. Rin meets up with the bullies who plan on paying him to shut his mouth over the pigeon shooting incident. He doesn’t want anything untoward since he too will be going to True Cross Academy. But when he makes fun of Yukio, Rin blows his top and gets violent. He gets pinned down and before the bully can burn him with a hot iron rod, blue flames start to emerge from Rin’s body. While the bully’s underlings run for their lives, it is apparent that the bully has been possessed by a demon named Astaroth. He greets Satan’s son as blue flames are proof he is so and wants him to return to Gehenna (the demon world). Fujimoto has already predicted this and exorcises the demon out from the bully. Telling Rin about the 2 different worlds and how they should never be connected, he warns that now his true identity has been revealed, many more will be targeting him. Now he must run and hide for he is the son of the evil Satan himself. Can Rin fathom all this for the day?

Episode 2
While Fujimoto takes Rin and run across the rooftops, Rin remembers when he was young, other people kept calling him a demon which he furiously denied. Astaroth revives in the bully’s body (because his body is easy to possess due to hatred) and resumes his hunt for Rin. After dispatching demon corpses, Fujimoto and Rin safely arrive back at the sanctuary of their church. But they have lots to prepare in setting up barriers since it’s going to be a big battle before the break of dawn. Fujimoto shows Rin Kurikara in which his demon powers are sealed within. This sword is more previous than his life and he must protect it at all cost. However he must never wield it and doing so will have him awaken as the devil. Rin must be thinking, if he is a devil’s son, what does that make Yukio? Fujimoto explains that they are fraternal twins and since Yukio had a weak body since birth, he could not bear the power and only Rin has the devil’s powers instilled. But why did Fujimoto kept this a secret? Raising him as a human was the only best way and condition they would let him live. Astaroth crashes a truck into the church to pick Rin up. Fujimoto wants Rin to run and gives him a handphone containing only a number of his trusted friend before locking him down in the cellar. Fujimoto and the fathers fight back Astaroth but the night has made him too powerful to be contained by simple spells. Stubborn Rin busts out of the cellar and demands the truth from Fujimoto. What Rin says next hurt Fujimoto’s heart. Rin doesn’t want him to call himself as his father since he isn’t a real one to begin with. The slap across his face isn’t enough because Fujimoto’s heart starts to waver. Oh crap. Satan possesses Fujimoto and is please to see his son. He opens the magical gate and beckons Rin to return with him to Gehenna. Fujimoto is still strong enough to fight back and the only way to end this madness is to kill himself. Oh sh*t!!! It is then Rin started realizing things. Flashback of Fujimoto’s kindness flashes through his mind. Rin draws out Kurikara and slices the gate. Worried Yukio returned to check on things. All he sees is the church totally destroyed, the other fathers wounded, Rin crying and Fujimoto dead. As everyone pays their last respects at Fujimoto’s grave, Rin thinks of calling the number on Fujimoto’s handphone. Suddenly, Mephisto Pheles, the Japanese division of True Cross Knight Order and his men appear before him. Noting that the presence of Satan’s son walking around Earth would only be a threat to humanity, he is here to exterminate him. Rin has only 2 choices. Let them kill him or he kills them and run away. But Rin wants a third choice. What’s that? Make him his comrade and he’ll beat the sh*t out of Satan’s ass! He asserts he is not the son of Satan but Fujimoto. Too late of saying that now when he’s dead, eh? He doesn’t care if he’s a devil or human and there is no other way than to move forward. Mephisto finds it amusing and allows Rin to join them becoming an Exorcist.

Episode 3
Mephisto is also the principal of True Cross Academy and goes under the public name of Johan Faust V. The academy is so big, it’s like a big city sitting on an island by itself. Even the halls and rooms are so lavish that you wonder if this is really an educational institution. Something a country bumpkin like Rin finds it totally wow. He is surprised to see Yukio as an honours student giving his speech as the first year students’ representative. He is glad Yukio turned out to be someone like this because he was always a cry-baby and it would be better if he didn’t get involved in the demon world thingy. Rin follows a funny looking dog that turns out to be Mephisto. He gives him a key that leads him to the Exorcist cram school in whichever door he unlocks. Making his debut in class with his other new fellow Exorcists, here to receive Exorcism training. The odd students include a delinquent looking guy with a blonde streak of hair, a bespectacled baldy, a carefree but insect-phobia guy, eyebrow girl and her friend, a hooded character and some kid with a bunny hand puppet. Do Exorcists have to be this weird too? To add to Rin’s surprise, Yukio is also in this class. But as their teacher. Yukio has been studying Exorcism since 7 years old and at this age after all that training, he is like a genius now. Rin is shocked that it seems Rin also knew about this and confronts him for an answer. He points out that Rin was the only one among them who doesn’t know. Ever since their birth, Yukio has been stigmatized by Rin, the reason why he can see demons. They accidentally break a beaker that attracts low level spirits. While Yukio coolly fires his gun at the spirits, he asks Rin why he wanted to be an Exorcist. If it is for revenge or his sins forgiven by father, he should better off be dead. So was Fujimoto’s death Rin’s fault? Well, Fujimoto’s body, the strongest Exorcist that lived was the only body that won’t fall apart after being immediately possessed by Satan. That’s why Satan was always targeting him and he was able to keep the devil out with sheer willpower. Therefore Rin must have said something hurtful that would’ve weakened his heart. Yukio accuses Rin as the one who killed their father and points his gun at him. Rin is full of rage and unsheathes Kurikara, warns Yukio about ever doing that but if he wants to shoot, then shoot. The sword was meant for the large spirit appearing behind Yukio. Rin admits he may be an idiot but he’ll never fight his own brother. Fujimoto died while protecting him and he doesn’t want to become an Exorcist for revenge. But rather to become stronger so others would not share the same fate. Yukio remembers that was the same reason why he became an Exorcist. So the duo will be living together in an abandoned dorm in True Cross Academy. That way, Rin’s identity will have less chance of being discovered while ‘jail keeper’ Yukio can keep an eye on him.

Episode 4
Rin may be the son of Satan, but he’s still like a normal high school kid when it comes to studies. He’s not good with them. Bummer. It’s going to be a long way to become an Exorcist. Rin gets permission to follow Yukio on an errand to a medicine store within the campus. While waiting outside, Rin spots Shiemi Moriyama tending her garden. She gets spooked when she thought Rin is a demon. Taboo word. However Rin notices she can’t use her legs. Before you know it, they’re on good terms as he learns this garden belonged to her grandma who died in an accident last winter. She may be in Amahara Garden, a fabled place with all the beautiful plants and flowers of the world. Yukio has just finished his business with Shiemi’s mom and of course she has him take a look at Shiemi’s feet, believed to be possessed by a demon. Though it is not threatening yet, Yukio knows the demons is trying to enter her heart via her unprotected feet and its main body is somewhere in the garden. But Shiemi treasures this garden so much and even claims she doesn’t see any demons whatsoever. Then when she collapses, they take her in and mom relates how ever since grandma died, she has been tending the garden. All Shiemi thinks is about her grandmother now. Shiemi dreams that she saved up to travel around the world. Erm… I don’t that amount will be enough to get her anywhere. Then after her grandma’s death, Shiemi was distraught that her garden will lay to waste when she heard a voice claiming to be a fairy of this garden agreeing to lend her its power to protect this garden. Shiemi felt guilty that she was too late to save grandma when she was crushed under the vines scaffolding collapsed. Rin finds her in the garden again that night and he realizes she is the same with him. Trapped in the past and blaming herself. With some tough works to cheer her up, Yukio notes that her feet will be healed soon and everything else was just a problem with her broken heart. Shiemi is suddenly consumed by the flower demon who wants Shiemi all to herself. Rin can’t do anything rash as Shiemi is being held hostage. But Yukio threatens to fire his gun and he is not bluffing. He really fired! The demon chickens out, releases Shiemi and Rin uses this chance to slay it. Shiemi’s feet are healed and she can walk again as mother and daughter have an emotional reunion. Yukio reveals the bullets of his gun are just vitamin capsules. Rin gets a surprise when Shiemi becomes a new student in the Exorcist class. Sure she’s not here because of Yukio?

Episode 5
Rin dreams that he is a cool hero in front of his classmates. Better for him to keep dreaming but not right in the middle of class okay? Yukio returns the test results and Shiemi could’ve scored higher if she had written correct names of plants instead of the names she made up. Well, Rin fared worst. He only scored 2 marks! To rub salt to his wounds, the delinquent-like Ryuuji Suguro scored 98 points! So we’ve got 2 stubborn hot heads arguing right in class… Rin learns that Suguro is the son of a famous temple head in Kyoto and his marks aren’t just fluke because he entered this academy via scholarship. While Rin and Shiemi talk about being an Exorcist or having friends, Suguro teases them for flirting in broad daylight. Rin flusters and denies that Shiemi is even her friend. Disappointed, Shiemi? The gang have a physical training under Kaoru Tsubaki. A training that will have them get use to how demons move. But starting off with large frog demons called Leapers? Of course Suguro and Rin try to outdo each other and end up in another big quarrel. Suguro gets warning not to get too involved with Rin while the latter finds out from his buddies, Renzo Shima and Konekomaru Miwa that Suguro’s aim is to be an Exorcist and kill Satan (doesn’t this sound familiar?). 16 years ago, Satan killed off lots of prominent clergymen around the world and that incident has been known as Blue Night. But their temple head who was just an apprentice then, hid and prayed in a corner. Just like Suguro, they want to rebuild the temple and restore it to its former glory so they came here to become Exorcists. Tsubaki had to leave due to an emergency (his darling must be calling him) so he leaves the student to their own devices. Suguro thinks Rin is a spoilt brat and had connections to make his way easily into this academy. He challenges to look into the eyes of a Leaper as they can look into the past of your soul. So you must stay strong and not waver a single bit. If Rin comes back in one piece, he’ll acknowledge his determination. Rin isn’t going to take up this ridiculous dare and Suguro gets even upset knowing that his friends has told Rin about his ambition. Flashback reveals Suguro followed his temple head around but people shunned him. Despite that, he never had bad thoughts about them. Suguro couldn’t understand why the people turned on them seeing it was Satan’s fault that their temple was destroyed. He vowed to be an Exorcist and beat Satan and not be cowards like everyone else. Suguro decides to do the challenge himself but because he was thinking back about his past, that slight window of opportunity has the Leaper attack him. Rin leaps down and manages to get in between and calms the demon. Of course the guys start arguing again when they both claim it is their original idea to defeat Satan. Yukio watching from afar contacts Mephisto about what happened. And Mephisto, he is seen meeting the Earth King demon, Amaimon. Yeah, you should have guessed with Mephisto weird looks, he isn’t from this world. He doesn’t want to return to Gehenna because he views this place as a fun playground. Sounds like he has an ulterior motive.

Episode 6
Even if True Cross Academy is like a high class institution, why is everyone fighting over to buy bread? Don’t they have enough? Well, Yukio doesn’t seem the need to go through all that because he has a group of fan girls who would gladly share their bento with. He rather ditched them to go have scrawny lunch with Rin? I know. Things can get scarier if he chose one over the other. Because every other meal is bloody costly (it is a school for the rich after all), Rin goes to see Mephisto for a monthly allowance. Is 2000 Yen per month enough? Rin better learn to keep a cool head. So to solve their food woes, the brothers go out shopping and cook themselves. Rin is good in cooking since the fathers back at the church are a hapless lot. I guess this is the only thing he is good at besides getting into troubles. Next morning, Rin thought Yukio stole all the dishes he made last night. Then it hit them. Since they are the only ones living in this dorm, who the heck was the one who cooked their breakfast every morning. Oh sh*t!!! Hey, there’s somebody cooking there now. Turns out to be… Mephisto?! Actually he is here to cover for Ukobach, his familiar who was the one making their breakfasts. Seems Ukobach stopped working when the brothers barged into his territory, the kitchen. So till he recovers, Mephisto will be in charge of making their meals. Oh God. That curry just knocked Rin out! Ukobach, come back!!! When Rin encounters Ukobach, they both have a cooking competition that ends with not only delicious food being made but friendship as well. Shiemi visits the dorm to deliver something they ordered and the stalking fan girls think she is Yukio’s girlfriend. They wait for her outside but she never turned up because she went home straight via dimension gate. I can’t believe they stalked this late. Curiosity has them entering the dorm and in the kitchen they thought the sumptuous side dishes were created by Shiemi (Ukobach actually). They sabotage it by throwing them all in the bin. This enrages Ukobach as he dumps them into a big cooking pot! Is he going to cook them?! The brothers come in to see the commotion so Rin handles this one. Not with violence. But he reminds Ukobach that he would be happy if people said his cooking was delicious. So would anybody think the dish he is making now will make everyone say it is delicious? If you’re a cannibal maybe. Then they hear the girls murmur and lament why Yukio won’t eat their lunches and for once, Rin knocks his brother as the source of the problem. He makes Yukio eat all their bentos packed with every bit of their feelings in it. Yeah, he got sick… Don’t worry. Ukobach has made a special stamina restoring meal for him. Get the puke bag!

Episode 7
While Shiemi is worried about making new friends, for the next step to become an Exorcist, the Esquire Authorization Exam is required. For that, Yukio prepares a week-long special training programme. Because Rin is a total noob in this area, the guys explain to him the different specialties Exorcists are classified into (Knight, Dragoon, Doctor, Aria and Tamer). One can specialize in more than 1 area like Yukio is both a Dragoon and Doctor. In a class with Igor Neuhaus to summon demons to use as their familiars, seems Izumo Kamiki and Shiemi are able to pull off the summoning process. They have potential to become Tamers, Exorcists who fight using familiars but must never give in to their weaknesses because the familiars will turn on them once they sense their master is inferior. And if a demon goes astray, just destroy the array you summoned it with. Because Shiemi was persistently and annoyingly bugging Izumo and Paku Noriko to be her friend, she agrees to let her be one but from what others would call it, an errand girl. I guess Shiemi was desperate not to even notice this. She thinks this is what friendship is. So the training camp will be held no other than the dorm. Hey, it’s cheap, right? Izumo continues to let Shiemi do the work so Rin had to tell her not to allow herself to be used like that. Shiemi disagrees and reasons she doesn’t want to rely on others and need to be stronger to help someone. Paku is worried the way Izumo treats Shiemi but Izumo feels everything will be alright as long as they both stick together. Flashback reveals Izumo was always a loner and when only Paku came to help her, that’s when they’ve been friends ever since. A hideous monster attacks them and Paku is knocked unconscious while its liquid threatens to burn through Paku’s skin. Izumo summons her familiars but they turn on her seeing her heart is wavering. Rin and Shiemi show up. Rin fights the beast while Shiemi summons her cute little green familiar, Nii-chan to stop the wound from spreading on Paku’s body. The monster pins Rin down and laments he is under someone’s order to kill him. It escapes when Yukio fires a shot into its back. Izumo cries alone in a corner that she couldn’t do anything to save her only friend (Paku still lives and thanks Shiemi for saving her). The monster returns to its master who is no other than Igor.

Episode 8
As Izumo talks to Paku, Paku drops the bombshell that she has decided on quitting this cram school. She assures her that even so, this will not change their friendship. Izumo couldn’t concentrate and made silly mistakes in class that otherwise she never would have. This causes a tension between her and Suguro about ‘being smart’. Rin didn’t want to get involve but with them loudly bickering, he tells them off to shut up. Well, I guess this means everyone gets punished. Guilty or not. Call it team spirit. That’s right. They are reminded Exorcists do not fight alone and must complement each other by covering each other’s faults. So with a heavy stone on their lap each, they’ll take the 3 hours of Yukio’s absence for a mission call to cool off and get to know each other. Three hours?! Suddenly the lights go out and it only seems the dorm is affected. That same monster comes attacking again. Shiemi summons Nii-chan to stall it with some plant root growth. However it won’t last long because the monster splits itself into 2 and unleashed some foul ghoul smell that is weakening them. Rin offers to be the bait, much to Suguro’s dismay because he is doing something reckless on his own. Suguro and Konekomaru start reciting long fatal verses that are deadly to such demons and Suguro tells Izumo to butt out if she’s not going to help. Far away, Rin lets loose his blue flames as he confronts the monster’s half. He sees Igor and this is his plan to lure him out and wants Rin to demonstrate his powers. In a single strike, the monster is defeated as Igor escapes. Back to the rest, the monster breaks through Shiemi’s defence. Shima has a hard time warding it off since Suguro and Konekomaru aren’t done with their reciting yet. Izumo summons her familiars but this is only temporary because the monster is stronger. Suguro is just a moment from having his head crushed when the lights come back on and he finally finishes his reciting. BOOM! Goes the monster. Phew. So while Suguro and Rin as usual getting hot headed about the latter’s recklessness, Izumo and Shiemi make amends. I guess with Paku leaving, she’ll be the only girl friend she’s got, eh?

Episode 9
When Yukio returns with Igor, Rin wanted to point out the enemy that guy is but Mephisto comes slamming in to reveal that this training camp was just a cover up for the Esquire Authorization Exam and to look forward for their report. Yikes! There are Exorcist teachers coming out from just about everywhere in the room! So while the gang are getting treated, Suguro thanks Shiemi the most for saving their lives but chides the hooded and rabbit hand puppet kid for not doing anything. Like they care. Yukio confronts Igor about his actions that nearly revealed Rin’s true identity. He notes he was just acting on Mephisto’s orders to go all out like as though he is going to kill him. Besides, all these measures are to access Rin’s abilities and he wasn’t really planning to kill him there. Yukio sees Shiemi and they talk about the time when they first met. Fujimoto brought him here and he was nervous stiff. But Yukio can’t help think of Igor’s words on Rin. That night, Yukio catches Igor in the act of sneaking in trying to kill Rin. They face off on the rooftop as Igor summons his monster familiars (his body is filled with arrays!). Rin jumps into the fray ready to slice Igor but was kept at bay by holy water. Once they manage to corner him and erase his familiar, Igor reveals he is a survivor of Blue Night. He was slightly possessed by Satan that night and lost his left eye. When his family attempted to save him, Satan killed them all using him. Because of that, he’ll never forgive Satan and that goes for his son as well. He’ll kill him even if it means sacrificing his life. Rin takes a blow and tells him he’ll be his opponent no matter how many times he wants. Just stop getting other innocent people involve. Igor lets him live but warns there are many others like him out for his head. Shiemi comes rushing to the rooftop and sees Rin badly wounded and forces him to be healed by her. Shiemi has already made her decision. She is going to continue be an Exorcist. Soon Mephisto relays the good news that everyone has passed the exam and to celebrate it, everyone will have monjas (hot plate pancakes). What?! Nothing extravagant? Oh well, it’s still good. Yukio confronts Mephisto about Igor who gave in to his emotions so he promises he will not let this happen again. The way he smiled while saying that makes it vague… Then he contacts Amaimon about what happened and plans to let him enter True Cross Academy soon. Amaimon can’t wait to test Rin’s strength.

Episode 10
On a hot day, Rin learns about the different ranks being an Exorcist and the highest one being Paladin. Only one Exorcist can hold that title at a time. Yukio chides Rin’s fighting style which relies too much on Satan’s power because he has a habit of unsheathing Kurikara. The argument escalates till Rin accidentally breaks Yukio’s glasses. Don’t worry, he has lots of spares. But he receives an emergency call. Seems the keeper of the south gate of True Cross Academy, Kuro the Cait Sith is on a rampage. He just learnt and cannot belief that Fujimoto is already dead. Attempts to subdue him went futile but Rin could hear Kuro’s cries within his heart. A little history on Cait Sith shows that it was once worshiped as a guardian spirit and co-existed with humans. But as time goes by and the sericulture abandoned, its home got demolished and it turned into a demon. Many mystics came to appease it but nothing worked. Tells us a lot about their faith, eh? Till Fujimoto who was a Paladin showed up and pacified it. Not only that, he made Kuro his familiar. All without resorting to violence. Yukio is about to use a container he thought as a special grenade on Kuro. This container was from Fujimoto and was told to use it on Kuro if he goes berserk. Rin doesn’t want it to be killed even if this is their last resort. This is Rin’s chance to prove he is going to use his head and not rely on Satan’s power by reasoning with Kuro. Well, he did use his head to head butt Kuro! Rin’s words reminded Kuro how similar they were to what Fujimoto said when they first met. He is lonely and sad because humans have forgotten about him. He wants them to be friends. Emotion overcomes Kuro as he starts crying and reverts back to a little harmless black cat. Mephisto and Amaimon are watching the ‘happy ending’ from the tower. Amaimon couldn’t make a proper decision on Rin since he wasn’t fighting. However he decides to go sightseeing and learn more about Japanese culture. WTF?! Kuro becomes Rin’s familiar as the gate keeping duty will be assigned to another familiar. The container turns out to be catnip, something that Kuro loves very much. Why the heck did Rin drink it too?! Awful, isn’t it?

Episode 11
Rin, Shima and Izumo are working at a beach house that belongs to Tsubaki’s wife as part of their Exorcist mission. While Izumo is floating in the sea, her leg starts to cramp but a little kid, Youhei saves her. She thought he is a pervert because he grabbed her flat chests and attempted to kiss her (he was trying CPR). Then they see the ocean turning black and as the priest mentioned, it is from a giant squid that and this incident is as recent as a year and a half ago. A man went out to slay it but never returned. The trio learn that Youhei’s sense of direction is so bad that they have to guide him to the pet shop to pick up his dog. Ironic to see visitors guiding a local around! They learn Youhei’s dad was the one went out to sea to kill the creature and since he never came back, Youhei vows to be the one who will kill the squid. I’m sure all this squid talk is affecting their appetite. But who knows, Tsubaki is treating them to a squid meal! Everything is made from squid! Tsubaki wants them to watch over Youhei so he doesn’t do anything stupid. Next day, they just watch Youhei sitting at the dock from sunrise to sunset. Wow. He can sit there for hours?! Izumo goes to talk to him when suddenly the giant squid appears. Kuro fights it but becomes weak when he bites it (cats have a weakness for squid and becomes sick when they eat them raw). The squid is advancing and Youhei is not in sight. Actually, he is on his motorboat firing his harpoon at the beast. Rin swims up to the boat and tries to make him realize what he did is impossible but I guess if you’re blinded by revenge, you’re as stubborn as you can get. With a little fling from the squid’s tentacles, Youhei is sent flying and then sinking deep into the ocean. Though Rin saves him, he is in a dilemma to unleash Kurikara. He pulls it out once the squid covers his friends’ vision from the shore. Suddenly they hear someone calling out to Youhei. It is his father and he has returned. In the end, Tsubaki explains his research on the squid. It wasn’t really threatening to them. Youhei’s father did set off on a journey but got lost and tried to find his way back to Japan. Who knows, the squid too had a bad sense of direction. Youhei’s dad did fight the squid but that’s when they both realized it was worth nothing. Besides, the squid had already changed for the better. I guess Rin was the only one touched by the father and son reunion. And Izumo couldn’t help feel that everything that happened just sucks… Yeah, even Youhei’s dog has her matching set of eyebrows…

Episode 12
Finally. Shiemi wears the school uniform instead of her usual kimono. Was it that hard to get them? I’m sure the guys would love the new ‘sexier’ look. Anyway, the gang are to be paired up to search for ghost sightings as reported in Mepphy Land (a theme park with a certain principal as its main theme attraction). Rin and Shiemi spot a little boy ghost crying on a carousel and think he is the culprit. The ghost starts telling his sob story of how his parents made a promise to take him to the amusement park if he gets better but he died and couldn’t live up to that promise. But it’s just a distraction to harass Shiemi. So it’s a naughty ghost after all. Shiemi chases after as Rin was careless to let Kurikara get stolen by Amaimon. He plays with the sword by drawing and putting it back. Now you see the flames. Now you don’t. Amaimon plans to fool around with him since he has so much free time. Rin is having a hard time chasing this pest and Amaimon is making Rin look bad. He couldn’t touch him, get near him. It’s no wonder Amaimon is puzzled why Satan and Mephisto are interested in this loser. What a letdown. Rin loses himself to the blue flames and becomes a killing machine. This is what Amaimon has been waiting for. The power clash has the amusement park trembling like as though an earthquake is happening. Meanwhile Shiemi has been through lots of pranks the little ghost made her go through when the building they’re in collapses. Metal beams threaten to fall on her as she protects the little ghost and Rin couldn’t make it in time to save her. Unintentionally, his blue flames burn the beams to nothing. The little ghost thanks Shiemi for having fun with him today, something he has never experienced in life. So I guess this means he is ready to go over to the other world. Before Amaimon could finish off weakened Rin, the hooded kid gets in between. She recognizes the Earth King and wants to know how he got into this academy. Amaimon had his fun, throws back Kurikara and escapes. While Rin laments how weak he is to even have his sword stolen, the hooded kid finally chucks away her hood. Wow. She is one hot babe! She is Shura Kirigakure, a senior investigator and upper first class Exorcist of the True Cross Vatican branch sent to investigate the Japan branch’s ‘risk factor’

Episode 13
Shura has the badge and licence to prove her position as she wants to speak to Mephisto. Dragging Rin along with her, she seeks Mephisto’s explanation why he kept the Vatican in the dark about this. Mephisto reveals his plan to raise Satan’s son as a weapon against the devil himself. Since he hasn’t mastered his powers yet, presenting the incomplete weapon to the Vatican won’t do. He also answers her question that Fujimoto was involved in this and that he planned to raise him till his powers fully matured. Shura takes Rin for interrogation inside a room. She reveals how Fujimoto found her in a world where every day was a struggle to just live. Since Shura was skilled in handling demon swords and when Fujimoto told her to take care of Rin in case anything happened to him, she didn’t like him pushing to her a job of teaching a kid to use a demon sword. He may not look tough but he’ll make her laugh. Shura draws her sword and Rin and explains the day Fujimoto died, she was promoted and is under the Vatican orders. They are suspicious Mephisto and Fujimoto are hiding something so she is permitted to terminate them or anything if she gets enough information that connects to Satan. And seeing Rin’s blue flames just convinced her. Shura swings her sword and makes Rin run around like a monkey. Seeing the way he clumsily dodges her attacks, she doesn’t believe this kid can even scratch Satan. But badmouthing Fujimoto of being a coward was enough to piss Rin off. He fights back, makes a lot of useless random movements and gets beaten up. But when Rin says he is going to be a Paladin, the best Exorcist ever to beat the crap out of Satan, Shura remembers Fujimoto’s words about him making her laugh. Then she realized that the joke may be on her because what Fujimoto was raising wasn’t a weapon, but a son. Shura will continue to observe Rin but delay her report to the Vatican. This means she will be staying here though she is still suspicious of Mephisto’s true aim despite being told he wants peace for all humankind and Assiah, the reason he left Gehenna and joined True Cross Knight Order. She reminds him her superiors still don’t trust him and in their eyes, he is nothing but a demon. As for Kurikara, she’ll keep it as precaution and if Rin wants it back, he’ll have to proof he is strong enough to wrest it back from her. Rin remembers when he was young, he was throwing a tantrum and using his supernatural strength to trash the class just because everyone called him a demon and he put them in hospital. Fujimoto was the only one who can calm him down and even depart some advice that he’ll be alone if he keeps up with this, girls like those cool types and to be nice with other people. Though Rin isn’t the kind who will get an answer by sitting down and think, he trains with Kuro, the way he knows best. Shura becomes a replacement teacher for Igor in their class (she wasn’t even trying to give a proper explanation for his dismissal) and the rest note an air of difference over Rin. Till his stupidity and slacking in his studies pop up.

Episode 14
It’s the summer vacation for True Cross Academy. But for our budding Exorcists, another summer camp courtesy of Yukio and Shura. Who says being an Exorcist is easy? Trekking through the dense forest and setting up camp may seem like child’s play. Wait till it’s dusk. That’s when the low level demons will hang out. For once, Rin really felt he was doing something with his friends. Real friends. He was always a loner and even if he offered to help, his supernatural strength just frightened others. As night falls, the training begins. There are 3 lanterns hidden in the forest and those who find them will be given the right to join actual missions. They are only given basic necessities like compass, a matchstick and torchlight so it’s not going to be a walk in the park. Rin thought it was nothing hard but as Shura tries to hint to him, the darkness of the forest means his blue flames will stand out and so, try hard not to use them, okay? As Yukio flags them off, little demon moths start pestering the candidates. Since they are given only a matchstick, it’s either they use it to light the lantern or the flare to signal for help. But that means you’re out. Rin heard Shiemi’s scream and when he rushes to her, she is already unconscious. Rin is so upset that he couldn’t control his blue flames. Think nobody saw it? Yeah, Suguro may have. But Rin can still worm his way out since Suguro wasn’t really sure on what he saw. Shiemi wakes up and Shima attacks them thinking they’re the enemies. Then they get a call from Konekomaru that he has found a lantern and needs their help. Knowing this demon lantern will move once it is lit (it has a habit of attacking women too), Konekomaru plans a formation for the gang to move it back. Along the way, they see a flare shooting up in the sky. Who could have opted out? Izumo or the bunny hand puppet kid, Takara? Lazy Shura sends Yukio to do the rescue. Rin and co come across a bridge and the ‘water’ is filled with bugs! Eww!!! Shima not liking this… Suguro comes up with a smart way to move the lantern across by using Shiemi as the bait (she sits on Rin’s shoulders while he crosses the bug pit). Then when the lantern comes chasing them and reaching the other side, they’ll put a charm to immobilize it. As soon as everyone crosses the river, a giant moth leaps out from the pit and grabs Rin.

Episode 15
Of course Suguro is not going to abandon Rin even if he tells them he can somehow manage it (he wants to use his blue flames I guess). Suguro manages to strike the moth in the head with a combination of Shima’s staff and talisman to free Rin. Then what? Now run for your lives!!! Once they’re at a safe distance, Suguro chides Rin not to be a hero and to sometimes rely on them too. That’s what friends are for, right? When they return to camp, they are surprised to see Izumo and Takara already there. They’ve done their task a long time ago. What about that flare? Suddenly Amaimon drops in with his pet, Behemoth. Amaimon can’t get in with the barrier Shura sets up so she explains about the Earth King to the rest. This isn’t part of the training. Shura gives Kurikara back to Rin seeing he already exposed his flames. She tosses holy water to everyone except Rin. We all know why. But giving an excuse that he is allergic to holy water? No time to argue because earlier on Amaimon had planted a parasite onto Shiemi so she commands her like a doll to his side outside the barrier. He takes Shiemi away and as usual Rin goes off to save her while Shura has her hands busy with Behemoth. Despite being told to stay in the barrier, Suguro couldn’t contain his anger that Rin once again went off on his own so he too goes after him. Amaimon teases around Shiemi’s body to stir Rin’s anger and Rin was blown away without any effort. Amaimon couldn’t comprehend why Rin didn’t unsheathe his sword. Before he can gouge out Shiemi’s eyes, Suguro, Shima and Konekomaru fire their fireworks at him. No effect (unless you count the afro it made) but it served as a little distraction. Amaimon gets upset that he got mocked and ignored. He sends Shima flying away with a kick and breaks Konekomaru’s arm with a flick! Is this how powerful this dude is? Then as he strangles Suguro, Suguro mentions he was actually pissed off on Rin’s attitude to go alone and couldn’t care less about Amaimon himself. That’s when Rin realizes that he couldn’t hide it from anyone anymore. He doesn’t want to lie to them further. He takes out Kurikara as everyone witnesses the blue flames covering Rin. This is the battle Amaimon has been waiting for as the duo start their power battle. Mephisto enjoys the entertainment with his tea while Yukio who has returned (the flare signal was a fake and distraction) takes out the parasite from Shiemi’s neck. Rin’s power soon becomes too much for Amaimon to bear and the tables are turned on him. Yeah, that is one crazy power like Satan himself. He is his son, right? Mephisto felt Amaimon has had enough and transports him back into his cuckoo clock. However Rin isn’t going to end it all yet and slices it apart. Mephisto notes how the flames have consumed him.

Episode 16
Even the blue flames are too much for Rin to control himself. Rin couldn’t differentiate between friend or foe and targets Yukio’s group. They are ready to take the necessary precautions when suddenly Shiemi hugs him to bring him back to his senses. If you think the trouble is over, it’s just the beginning. The new and current Paladin from the Vatican, Arthur Augusto Angel has seen everything. You can say he is Shura’s superior and wants to know why she hasn’t been reporting back to the Vatican. Furthermore, Shura tries to protect Rin when Arthur was going to crush him with his Caliburn sword. Arthur isn’t convinced with anything even if Mephisto comes into the picture. I guess the only way he could stop his execution is a well-timed communication from the Vatican itself. They want Arthur to rope in Mephisto for a trial order. Rin will also be taken as evidence. Mephisto gives Kurikara back to Yukio. It is broken and can no longer suppress the flames. Mephisto attends the interrogation while Rin is crystallized. Mephisto is cool and confident in telling everything and the truth, all that they want to know since there is no point hiding it anymore. This includes about their plan to raise Rin as a weapon against Satan since humans lack any weapon that could defeat the devil. Elsewhere, Yukio reveals the true identity of Rin to the rest. Though they are shock, they’re not going to stand around to let Rin get executed. Suguro mentions his family was once in possession of a demon sword and if they bring it back to Yoshikuni, the blacksmiths there may be able to fix it. Upon arrival, they are greeted by the blacksmith (with a heavy kansai-ben) supposedly Suguro’s childhood crush who has taken over her family’s tradition. Taking a look at Kurikara, she is able to repair but needs demon metal. You can’t create them from your own hands, can’t you? So where are they going to find that? As Suguro remembers, there may be some shrine nails leftover that was burnt down during Blue Night. Reaching the shrine, they are stumped to see nobody around. But further investigations reveal that all the monks have been knocked out. Furthermore, demons impersonating as the voice of Buddha are playing on their mind to make them succumb and turn against Rin. Though tempting, we know they aren’t that weak. They overcome the mental attack with their determination and destroy the demons. On an unrelated note, I guess the monks in this aspect are considered weak, aren’t they? They get the nails they wanted and return to the blacksmith to reforge Kurikara. Meanwhile the judges are in a dilemma whether to trust Mephisto or not because he has been in their service for 200 years (Arthur on the other hand is just directing guilty-don’t-trust-this-snake comments all the way). Suddenly the ground shakes. It is Amaimon and he wants to get his revenge on Rin. As Mephisto notes that this is not his plan, this will be a fine time to demonstrate what Rin is capable of and convince those Vatican people. And yeah, clear him of his charges while they’re at it. The choice is in their hands…

Episode 17
I guess when Amaimon is in a rage, nothing can stop him. Not even the Paladin. Is he all talk? Well, if you’re fighting that crazy powerful golem, it might be a different case. I guess those Vatican duds couldn’t care what Mephisto do as long as he gets rid of the menace. Though Amaimon has Rin in his grasp, Yukio and the rest appear just in time to give Rin his repaired Kurikara. Rin awakens with the blue flames engulfing and in a powerful strike, kills Amaimon just like that! Super power!!! After Rin collapses, Arthur wants to finish off Satan’s lineage (loser!) but the judges tell him to back off because they decided to cast their lot on Mephisto’s gamble. Oh the irony. Worshippers of God trusting in the demon… So with Mephisto receiving a new decree to look after Rin, he informs all his Exorcists about it back at True Cross Academy. What’s in it for them? Nothing! Damn. Curse you, son of the devil! But as Mephisto reveals to Yukio, he too isn’t sure if Rin can be Assiah’s saviour and said that only in the spur of the moment so they would let Rin live. And to make sure this plan must work, they must fulfil 2 conditions: 1) Rin must pass the Exorcist Authorization Exam in 6 months; 2) He is to be under 24 hour surveillance in case anything goes out of hand. He’ll leave it to Yukio and Shura. Impossible, right? Well, they have no choice either. Then make the impossible possible. So Rin returns to class with his pals but of course with their newfound knowledge, it’s hard to see him other than the son of Satan, though they still try to act normal. As they’re cleaning up the class, a bunch of Coal Tars deposit fell onto Shiemi. Without hesitation, Rin’s blue flames become visible to save her but he is restrained by Suguro to remind him that his flames kill people. He continues how everyone in this room had their family members killed during Blue Night (the reason why they’re in this class now) and though they still have doubts on him, Suguro will not hesitate to kill him if he harms his friends. Yukio takes Rin away for a special training. It might look simple to just light the candle without over-burning them but I guess for a guy like Rin, he’s going to need an awful lot of time. He better master it within 6 months. Or else. Yukio and Shura also do their own brand of training (they’re on a much higher level than Rin) as they talk about Yukio too is under surveillance. Though he has no powers of the devil, seeing what has happened, the Vatican is not going to leave any stones unturned. Rin is so awed by their training that he forgot to control his own flames and burns their clothes. At least he left their underwear intact. A slight improvement that he can control his flames? Not! Konekomaru finds Suguro studying hard because he wants to be strong and become an Exorcist soon or else he can’t face his relatives when he meets them again. As Konekomaru sits alone in a dilemma, a voice tempts him to give in to his dark side. Rin is still having trouble controlling his flames so Izumo helps him out with some advice. Rin finds it odd she is helping him on her own accord. She says she isn’t afraid of him because half-demon people aren’t that rare and most of them are Exorcists. Suddenly something from the shadows attacks them.

Episode 18
A strong demon attacks them but Yukio’s holy bullets makes it run. Mephisto has every able Exorcist to search for the demon that had infiltrated the school. There are only 2 possibilities for this to happen: 1) There are defects in the barrier; 2) Somebody let it in. The Esquires are to check on the barriers. How many are there. Twelve thousand. Oh shi… Shima wonders if Konekomaru will quit but Suguro doesn’t think so as they make a pledge to defeat Satan together. The demon, Gufuu, was actually possessing Konekomaru and he is trying to convince him to accept him and give in to the darkness of his heart to be stronger. Rin is forced to continue his candle training and he wants to look for the demon as well. Like he will listen. Then Konekomaru appears before him. Yukio is in the toilet and there are hideous spots growing around him when they hear Konekomaru’s scream. What he, Suguro and Shima see is Rin (with his blue flames) trying to cut Konekomaru down. They didn’t see Gufuu possessing their friend. If only Rin had explained better instead of wanting to cut it down… Rin is so upset that he accidentally fires his blue flame at Konekomaru. Suguro dives and saves him though his back got a little burnt. He reminds Rin that he’ll kill him without hesitation if he tries to kill his friends and that his flame can kill people. Meanwhile Shura and Tsubaki follow a trail to a van that turns out to be a dimensional gate. On the other side, Shura treks through the snow and comes across a burnt down lab. Konekomaru finds himself in bed with Suguro keeping watch. He asks Suguro about what he thinks on Rin. Let’s just say an idiot with scary powers is among his answers. Konekomaru thinks of quitting because he can’t take this anymore so Suguro reminds him how his mother died protecting him from Satan’s flames. Suguro leaves to continue checking the barriers as Konekomaru catches glimpse of his burnt back. Gufuu sows guilty mind games onto Konekomaru that this wouldn’t have happened if he had accepted him. In that moment of weakness, he accepts Gufuu and gets possessed. Suguro saw what happened and went after him. Gufuu finds Rin and attacks him, using Konekomaru’s hatred as fuel to kill Satan’s son. Rin has thing or two to say about his reliance on that demon because he’s supposed to rely on his other friends. He wants him to believe in him to jump. Konekomaru gathers his strength to jump out from Gufuu. Rin catches him and at the same time slices Gufuu. Shura reports to Mephisto about her discovery of the lab that was banned by the Vatican 300 years ago for doing research on artificial life. Konekomaru’s friends pay him a visit but he’s not in his room anymore. They fear the worst. He’s trying to leave the academy when Rin comes by. Konekomaru explains how he was taken in by a priest after his family was killed and the reason he became an Exorcist is to repay his kindness. Calling himself a coward and a burden to others, Rin didn’t care about all that because he considers him as his friend. But he tried to kill him via a demon and it might happen again. Will he still consider him his friend? That’s why Rin wants him to believe in him. Just that simple? And with their other friends coming into the picture, it’s safe to say Konekomaru will be staying.

Episode 19
Shiemi notices Izumo’s birthday is coming up soon and suggests holding a surprise party for her. Because the rest are arguing about petty stuff, Suguro puts his foot down and delegates duties for each of them. They also have to try not to let Izumo know about this. Shima sees Paku to ask for advice on what Izumo likes. Izumo gets the wrong idea in seeing the duo close together. Later Izumo talks to Paku to find out if she’s dating Shima. She covers herself by saying they’re talking on the topic of migratory birds. Konekomaru is still wary of Rin as they are both being assigned to make the cake. But he observes Rin isn’t as bad as he thought. When Yukio visits Shiemi, she asks if the brothers ever celebrate a real birthday party. Not exactly because their birthdays are so close to Christmas that it seemed like a Christmas party altogether. Which means the birthday cake that Rin is making turns out to be a Christmas cake! Time to remake it. Oh, the Christmas cake they send it to Mephisto as appreciation. Shima and Paku are out to choose a present so Izumo tails them like a stalker. The way she observes, she starts thinking they may be moving too fast in their relationship. The last straw came when she spots them almost trying to kiss but actually Shima was just trying to get dust out from her eyes. So with Izumo revealed, the duo also accidentally revealed the birthday bash. Izumo gets upset and confronts the rest for keeping her in the dark. She thinks they want to have all the fun by themselves. The point she wants to say is that it is unfair to throw a birthday party now when some of their birthday has already passed. If they refuse to do that, she’ll refuse to participate. So I guess they’re going to hold a simultaneous party for Suguro, Shima and Paku too. So as the party gets underway Shiemi notices Yukio hanging out by himself and goes talk to him. Yukio reveals he has no idea who their parents are or when they were really born as they were told their birthday is on 27 December. Each time they tried to ask about their real parents, Fujimoto would dodge the subject or give ridiculous answers. Thus the truth was never told except for one. On the day he first met them, it was on a snowy day. Shiemi is happy for them to be born no matter what day it is. Yukio gets a shocking call that the fathers from his church have been murdered.

Episode 20
The brothers rush back to the church only to find the fathers being wrapped with magical threads. They are barely alive due to the defensive barriers they put on before being attacked. However they have the most 8 hours to live is they are not freed soon. There is also a message in Polish on the wall that says he will not forgive those connected to Satan. Rin runs out in hopes of finding the perpetrator because he is after all the target. Yukio thinks this is a trap by the culprit and reminds him of his promise to protect him. But Rin doesn’t listen and scoots off. Rin finds the masked perpetrator at an alley. He uses the same sticky tread so that Rin cannot draw Kurikara. He tells Rin he isn’t going to make him die so easily and wants to make him suffer like he has. Then he escapes and Yukio this time chases him. In a tower, he spots Igor and thinks he is the culprit based on some of the evidence. However Igor rubbishes his logic and claims he has not done anything. A small explosion distracted Yukio and Igor got away. Back at the academy, Shura explains more on the lab how the experiments involved fusion between humans and animals. They may be linked to Igor since he quit being a teacher and returned to his native country, Poland. Rin wants to go after him but Yukio makes sure he doesn’t this time as he shoots a tranquillizer into his brother. Yukio and his group of Exorcist track Igor deep down in the sewers. Yukio went after him but soon realizes that one of his members got mummified in magical threads. Once Rin wakes up, he still wants to play rescue hero. Shura reminds him how he can’t control his flames still and flashing it around has caused lots of trouble for others. She gives him one more shot to control them in this real life training, not practice. The masked culprit is attacking Suguro and his friends at the dorm, turning them into hostages. The only demand he made was that the son of Satan can only come in. Mephisto is going to teach this bugger a lesson but his fire magic is doused by Arthur shooting a fireman’s hose. He is here to arrest Mephisto on grounds of suspicion that he is behind the banned human experimentation. Mephisto agrees to go with them since he has a thing or two to say to the Vatican. Yukio sneaks in to the dorm and witnesses the culprit using Shima’s phone to call Rin to get over here. Yukio uses holy water as distraction but it didn’t work and he too ends up as a hostage. The culprit is going to kill the hostages for breaking the rules when Rin crashes in. He further surprises everyone that he now can control his flames. The flames also burn through the thread. The perpetrator gets upset and attacks but is fling outside the building in a swing of Rin’s sword. Shura unmasks the culprit and is surprised to find see a woman. She gets up and runs away. Igor obstructs Shura and tries to go after the woman but was pinned down. He wants them to let him go after that woman who is his wife, Michelle. While Rin frees the fathers from his church, Yukio is sulking that it was his aim to protect Rin. Now it has turned the other way round. He is picked up by a man and brought to Ernst Frederick Egin, his grandfather.

Episode 21
Shiemi finds Michelle unconscious in her garden but since she is heavy (I figure Shiemi hasn’t the strength) so her little Greenman Fairies help to move her. Yukio listens to Ernst’s explanation about their mother Yuri. She was not killed by Satan but the Vatican for bearing the child of the demon. So burning the witch at the cross still exists even today? On the other hand, Ernst lost everything. His face, family and honour and was imprisoned for being the father of a ‘witch’. He knew he had grandchildren but couldn’t make any move to claim them as the Vatican wouldn’t have taken it lightly if they have found out about them. He is telling him this now because the reign of Grigori (the head of Vatican) is coming to an end. And with Mephisto who was assigned as the brothers’ guardian, now in prison, Ernst will be Yukio’s guardian. Noting that Mephisto’s manipulating can no longer save Assiah, Ernst takes Yukio into a secret Dragoon base, an anti-demon weaponry research centre. He wants Yukio to join him in creating a new era to ensure peace for all humanity. Rin joins in the interrogation on Igor as the latter reveals Michelle is actually dead but reanimated. Igor confesses he was once the head of that lab and cryogenically preserved his wife’s dead body but wasn’t the one who reanimated her. When he returned to the lab, his wife’s capsule was already open and Michelle ‘alive’. He knew a demon was possessing her but couldn’t bring himself to inflict more pain on his wife. When other Exorcists came to arrest him on grounds of experimenting reanimation on his wife, they burnt the lab down but Igor manages to escape with Michelle via dimension gate. That’s when he noticed she started to change. She started remembering the painful memories of Blue Night and became the Demon of the Dead and went on to hunt down all those related to Satan as revenge. He also mentions even if a demon possesses her, she is nothing but a corpse and will return to the earth in a few more days. Rin of course is going to track down Michelle so Shura gives him a talisman to trace her familiar who is already tracking her down. Rin gets a call from Shiemi who urgently needs his help.

Michelle wakes up in what she thought is Amahara Garden since the little Greenman Fairies and Shiemi are taking good care of her. They started talking about the garden and could become good friends if not for the circumstances which follows. When Rin arrives at the place, he is disheartened to see Shura’s familiar and this means Michelle is already here. Rin tells Shiemi to stay away from her but Michelle grabs her as hostage. She is hell bent on exacting revenge on Satan and is going to take everything away from Rin like how Satan did to her. But Michelle weakens and collapses. Shiemi disallows Rin to slice Michelle even if he explains about reanimation for revenge thingy and his vow to protect his friends. She feels Michelle isn’t really a bad person because if she was, Nii-chan and the other Greenman Fairies won’t get so attached to her. Rin backs down and reports to Shura what happened. But soon Arthur and his Exorcists show up. Rin gets beaten up as he takes Michelle into custody and will slay her in the name of Vatican. Igor’s timely appearance prevented Arthur from doing his job. He wants him to let Michelle go and will pay for her sins in her stead. Arthur ignores Igor and as he is about to strike Michelle, Rin gets in between them. He couldn’t care less about all that Vatican crap and won’t forgive him for trampling other people’s garden. Michelle watches the guys clash swords and is in a dilemma that the son of Satan is fighting for her despite she trying to take revenge. Shura stops the fight and wants him to calm down since this is going nowhere. Stubborn Rin charges but Michelle takes a shot meant for him. Michelle talks to Igor about Amahara Garden, a place where they can live in peace so Igor takes her to go find it. The Greenman Fairies engulf them in their plants before Arthur and his men could make their move. However after hearing the ringing of the bells, they immediately leave. Shura explains this is an emergency call from the Vatican. Arthur is surprised to see Ernst in place of Grigori who has been dismissed. From today onwards, Pope Ernst claims he will be in charge as he rallies the men that they will eradicate every demon in this world and restore peace. What do you know? Yukio must have taken up his offer to be working on his side now.

Episode 22
Rin may be late for school but True Cross Academy is temporarily closed since Mephisto got arrested (resigned as it was nicely put as). They suspect something fishy since at the same time Vatican got a new head. Yukio has got a big promotion. He is now a Paladin and the head of the Japanese branch. Yeah, Rin is upset that his brother beat him to become a Paladin first. Anyway, Yukio is in charge to carry out Vatican’s plan to eliminate every demon that exists. He hopes Rin will lend his strength. This means the rest of the Exorcist will have access to cool firepower. However as the Exorcists go on a demon hunt around the world, Shiemi is very troubled that this looks like a mindless genocide and massacre. Yukio reflects upon Ernst’s words that this plan will allow Rin to become human again once Gehenna is completely destroyed. Can mere humans destroy Gehenna? Well, he claims his team has toiled for 15 years to create some super bomb. However they need to open the dimensional gate to Gehenna. Though Satan can only open it, recently they have found a way to do so and it requires a large amount of demons’ blood. Yukio still has his doubts but Ernst mentions it will also cure him from being a demon. Yup. So I guess this confirms those growing spots on Yukio we’ve seen so far. While Rin and his friends are resting in a camp, a demon charges through. Before Yukio cold-heartedly kills it, Rin sees how it was crying and was just trying to avenge the death of its kind by the mindless killings of the Exorcist even though they were not provoked. Rin confronts Yukio about killing the master of this forest and wants to know if he is going to kill ever demon that exists, including Kuro and Ukobach. Yukio. Looks like Yukio is willing to go that far and even knocks out Rin. He gets orders to take Rin to the Vatican. Meanwhile Suguro’s blacksmith friend has did her research and relays her findings to him that the strange markings on the weapons absorb demon blood and warns not to rely on it too much.

Rin wakes up in the Vatican headquarters’ prison named Cocytus and Mephisto is just in the cell opposite him. Leaning that Yukio has become the new Paladin, he proceeds to reveal something about the research lab. It is true that around 500 years ago he was the head of that lab experimenting artificial life forms but Vatican banned it. Though Mephisto left, his subordinates continued to conduct experiments behind his back. So Igor is somewhat the assistant of his assistant of his assistant of his assistant of his- you get the point. That’s how they connected Mephisto to him. But someone out there saw Mephisto as an obstacle and framed Igor for it. He thanks Rin for the great conversation they had, transforms into a dog and makes his way out since he isn’t going to miss the greatest show on Earth. Once he leaves, Ernst and his men come in. He has Arthur bolster security as he can’t afford the ritual to be interrupted. Then looking at Rin, he notes how he resembles closely to Yuri. Suguro and the rest go to see Tsubaki for answers (since he’s the kind of guy who talks a lot). They learn Rin is going to be executed at the academy’s highest point. This was supposed to be done after the Exorcist Authorization Exam but since HQ is in a mess… As they head to the top, Arthur stands in their way. He is going to execute them all for insubordination and siding with the devil. Shura sticks around the fight him so that the rest can go on. Rin is tied down as the chanting ritual begins. Demon blood gathered from all the weapons flow out as Rin experiences excruciating pain. Yukio is horrified Ernst plans to sacrifice him to open the gate to Gehenna. This wasn’t part of the plan. Ernst says that Rin will become Assiah’s saviour and be seen as a hero who helped destroy Gehenna for the sake of humanity. When Suguro and co arrive, they see lots of dead Exorcist and Yukio covered in blue flames. Holy sh*t…

Episode 23
We go back a little while in time to see Ernst explaining that the quality of demon blood they gathered was so poor that they need to use Rin’s blood. Since he is not human, they can push him to his limits without any worries. Well, all that screaming doesn’t sound convincing. Yukio points his gun at him but he cautions him of doing anything rash because the bomber plane with the super bomb is on its way here so it’s either Gehenna gets bombed or the entire academy. Yukio offers to open the gate in place of Rin so Ernst agrees. Mephisto is watching with glee from afar excited at what is going to happen. Seems Amaimon is still alive and in the form of his pet hamster. Yukio turns into his demon form as some of the Exorcist gets burnt by his blue flames. Ernst is delighted he can open the gate if they use both their blood. So when Suguro and co arrive, they see the dimensional gate opening and the bomber plane just in time to release the super bomb. Ernst revels in the true light of human knowledge called Jacob’s Ladder that is flowing out from the gate when suddenly the light stops and out comes an endless flow of demons. Yukio hears the voice of Satan laughing in delight because well, do you think such a bomb could easily destroy Gehenna? Yukio blames Satan if he had stayed out of Assiah, Fujimoto and Yuri would’ve been alive. However Satan tells him he’s got his facts wrong and the one who killed Yuri is no other than Ernst who is struggling like a drowning insect on the surface of the gate. Yukio still doesn’t believe the devil so Satan makes him see the truth for himself via his eyes. Back then, Fujimoto was a cold-hearted Exorcist and he wanted Yuri to come back to the Vatican with him. Instead, she is happily living in the winter cabin with the harmless demon friends she made. She believes humans and demons can get along. Fujimoto wasn’t amused because he was under direct orders from Ernst to do what it takes to prevent his family’s name from being tarnished if Vatican ever gets wind that his daughter is associating with demons. Fujimoto was randomly shooting at the demons when Yuri got so mad that blue flames started coming out from her before passing out. After she has calmed down, Fujimoto learnt that Satan has set foot on Assiah about a year ago. Then, Yuri and her team of Exorcists were sent to investigate strange cases of incinerated victims. Suddenly all of them got burnt by blue flames. Yuri was the only one who survived. True Cross Order retreated but she stayed behind to search for those blue flames. Eventually she met a wolf (Satan possessing it) and she heard what he said back then. Seems everything he touched in Assiah burns up in an instant and Yuri understood how lonely he was. She offers him to use her body since it can withstand his blue flames as proven. So would you believe this? Satan inside the body of Yuri went on happily frolicking with nature for days to come?! They talk about life and Satan wanted that. You know what? He learnt a lesson from her how life cannot be taken or given but can be made. And that’s when Yuri got impregnated with Satan’s children. I don’t know how they did it but I’m sure it must be the same way God did to Virgin Mary.

Fujimoto soon gets imprisoned under the impression he laid his hands on Yuri though he didn’t do anything. His warning that Yuri is possessed by Satan himself fell on deaf ears. Ernst is distraught to learn Yuri is carrying the child of Satan and worse, she will keep them (Vatican also bans abortion so doing so isn’t an option). Yuri is charged in the Vatican court for bearing a demon’s children but as she tries to make them believe humans and demons can co-exist, they shoot her down and find her guilty. She is to be put to death and on that night she was to be executed, Satan tried to find a human body he could possess but every one of them got burnt up easily (thus what many believed to be as Blue Night). Even Ernst got possessed but he survived at the expense of his badly burnt body. Satan possessed Ernst to cut her free and escape but she couldn’t leave him behind. Mephisto went to see Fujimoto in prison as he is being told about Satan coming back to retrieve his wife and children but ended up killing almost every Exorcist in search for a vessel. With every high level Exorcist dead, I guess Fujimoto was the only one left he could deploy to kill Yuri and her children (Vatican’s orders as usual). The duo trekked through the snow and Mephisto gave him Kurikara to kill Satan’s spawns. Inside the cave, Fujimoto saw Yuri had given birth to twins. Rin is the one covered in blue flames while Yukio is the pale-skinned one. Before Yuri dies, she says this is proof that humans and demons can get along fine. Fujimoto is about to kill the babies but when he saw Rin smiling, he changed his mind. That’s when he decided to raise them as a normal human. Mephisto laughed out loud but found it interesting. He made a bet that if Fujimoto successfully raise them as human, he wins. Otherwise Mephisto will claim the children as his. To be fair, Mephisto sealed Rin’s blue flames within Kurikara. They head back to Vatican reporting that they have completed their mission. Back in reality, Yukio is confused whose story to believe so Satan tells him if he still find it hard to accept, ask that drowning Pope. Yukio pulls Ernst out to confirm if he was the one who ordered the burning of Yuri. To Yukio’s horror, Ernst says to him Yuri had died a long time ago in his mind. She was already dead when she carried those cursed twins. He will never accept them as his grandchildren as they have sullied his family’s name. Yukio is overcome with rage for all his lies but he got swept away and pulled under the gate. Well, he deserves it. In Yukio’s moment of weakness, Satan possesses him and has finally found the perfect vessel he can fully control.

Episode 24
Shura can’t hang around and play with Arthur anymore despite that bugger trying to stay true to his Vatican orders. Hello, demons are invading Earth. Wake up please. Arthur remembers confronting Ernst about his illegal plans of using the weapons of mass destruction. That’s when Ernst removed him as a Paladin and put Yukio in charge. Rin and co are pretty shocked to see Satan possessing Yukio. Seems Yukio’s body as the vessel was completed before Rin’s. Since Rin shared his blood, he always targeted him. Satan isn’t going to let his dream of merging Assiah and Gehenna to waste after he has waited excruciatingly for 15 years. With the gate now open, it’ll be bad if Rin closes it and will finish him off. Suguro wants to fight Satan seeing this has been his life’s goal but Satan is no pushover. Tsubaki covers and got burnt. Oddly, he didn’t die and despite Izumo summoning her familiars to wash off the flame with blood, Tsubaki doesn’t look that all badly burnt. I guess the good part of being young is that you get to be reckless because they still want to take on Satan. Till Satan’s powers break through their barrier and knock them out. With Shura now in the picture, she has a little bout with Satan to buy time for everyone to retreat before making a snaky escape for herself too. Taking shelter in a building, Shura learns of Satan’s plans and that Satan isn’t going to leave the gate since it is important for his plans. So they need to destroy that gate and stop the demons from coming in. Rin didn’t like the fact Yukio will be sacrificed. How can anyone possessed by Satan regain back themselves. Well, Fujimoto did so there’s little hope that Yukio may come back to his senses. Shura plans the attack that someone needs to fight Satan first and the other in hiding. The latter will then sneak up on Satan and try to disable him. Shura rigs the ‘lottery’ and makes herself go upfront for the attack. As for their other friends, they evacuate the people into the deepest and safest area of the Japanese Headquarters’ True Cross Order.

Meanwhile Satan reminisces the time he spent with Yuri (somehow I’m starting to see her as a hippy flower power girl) and creating their ideal world when Shura returns to start the battle. She may be able to fight on par but as human, she’ll soon reach her limit. Satan isn’t going to fall for her trick to move from his spot. When Shura is down, the fray has an unexpected guest: Shiemi. Can this little girl actually tell Satan to stop it all? Yeah, he’s not buying it. Rin who has been hiding behind all the while couldn’t take anymore of Satan’s abuse on Shiemi so he gets out. But he’s not going to fight his possessed brother. Instead, he is going to talk to him and calls him to wake up. Deep inside, Yukio wakes up and sees his brother getting beaten up. He wants to reach out and help but his inner demons stop him, trying to play mind games that there is nothing he could do. Fortunately the power of the siblings’ bond is so great that for that moment, Yukio came back to his senses. But he shot Rin! Yukio goes berserk and Satan won’t allow Yukio to retake his body back now that he has been awakened. He wants Yukio to finish Rin off but he couldn’t do it. He points the gun at his own head and prefers to kill himself and take Satan along with him. Hey, Satan too is panicking because he can’t believe this kid would throw his life away just to take his. Yukio is crazy enough to do it when Rin gets back up on his feet and punches him. He didn’t like Yukio acting so cool. He scolds him if he does that, there will be many people left behind who would feel sad. Rin knows because he experienced it in Fujimoto’s case. He doesn’t want to feel that ever again. In that moment, Yukio’s will kicks out Satan and he returns to his normal self so that the brothers could reunite and embrace. But save the emotional reunion later because Satan is still around and the gate is growing bigger. The final fight is at hand.

Episode 25
Long ago, Mephisto made a deal with an old scientist to give him eternal life. But once he had his feel, he will come take his soul. The scientist agreed to his conditions. Back to the fight, more demons are coming out of the gate. Arthur joins in the fight. Just when Rin thought he had cut the gate and closed it, it had no effect instead and it also unleashes a fiery blast. Worse, the gate is now moving towards town. Yukio blames himself for what has happened and though Rin doesn’t deny that, he feels Yukio should try to depend on him sometimes just like old times. Kuro has had it of running away and is going to fight back. Transforming into his large cat form, he gives the brothers a ride as they chase the gate. Demons have also break through the underground where people are taking refuge. The Exorcists are having a hard time dispelling the endless waves of demons. The sun just set and they can’t possibly hold out for another 12 hours. That’s when Konekomaru get an idea that since Japan Headquarters is directly connected to Vatican and there is a 7 hour difference, all they need to do is to bring the demons there via dimensional key and door. But Suguro has a better idea. He is going to bring the sunlight here instead. So the Exorcists gather all the mirrors they could find and blam! Amazingly this is what a considerable amount of sunlight can do to demons. It weakens them. If this was a video game, Yukio must be raking up the high score because he’s blasting through the demons like as though he’s a pro shooter. When the brothers fall off Kuro, Yukio grabs and unsheathe Kurikara. He too starts to emit blue flames. Then joining hands with Rin, the blue flame they could control so well now forms a phoenix as they fly up to the gate and cut it. Satan isn’t happy the sons Yuri bore will destroy their dream. However they couldn’t give a sh*t about his dream because all they care is to protect their precious friends. A warm light engulfs the sky as the gate closes. Satan apologizes to Yuri that he couldn’t make their dream come true but Yuri says he merely acted too early and it’ll be up to those boys to find out if the path they chose was the right one or not. So Rin reunites with his friends who are of course worried sick for pulling off such a reckless stunt. Can he make a promise never to worry them like that again? As for Mephisto, I’m sure he is pretty entertained by the flashy show. It also made him remembered about a bet he made with someone hundreds of years ago. Though Mephisto won, he finally understood his final words about wanting time to stop and the wonderful feeling it will be when that happens.

A month later, the academy is restored and Mephisto has been reinstated back as its principal. Classes for the Exorcists resume and it seems there are much more students joining this curriculum now. After what happened, they’re not going to just pray to God, eh? Though, Rin still slacks in class… Yukio has been demoted back to his previous post. Soon, Yukio brings Rin to the snowy place where Yuri gave birth to them since Mephisto wanted them to. Since Yukio saw through Satan’s eyes what happened, he somewhat understood what was going on. Friendly demon familiars lead them to the cave where the brothers were born and next to it, their mother’s grave. Yukio mentions about Fujimoto finding them on a snowy day when mommy entrusted them to him before she passed away. He wonders if it was right for them to be born since had they not, their parents wouldn’t have died and everybody else would have got on with their normal lives without getting hurt. However Rin has a different thinking. They’re here now because their parents tried their best for them. They owe their lives to them and everyone else and that makes their lives precious. So it’s back to more Exorcist missions as Shura and Yukio lead a team of Exorcists to fight of a demon that possesses vehicles called Ghost Rider. Well, he may be riding a bike but no flaming skull. Yukio isn’t amused Rin and Kuro wanted to join this mission despite Rin’s reasoning that brothers are supposed to fight together. It’s okay for Rin to unleash Kurikara and slice the demon but not for Yukio to take pot-shots at it? What was he talking about that Exorcists need to give a chance to listen to the demon before exorcising it? Rin was the one who drew first blood, right? Oh never mind. If it’s going to hurt people, might as well let Rin do what he does best in taking it out.

Yeah, what a better way to give the series’ mascot more screen time than an episode of its own. The setting takes place just after Kuro becomes Rin’s familiar. Kuro’s mouth starts to water since Rin is cooking a nice meal for him. But that devil boy teases Kuro because the dish is too hot for his sensitive tongue to take. And Rin is going to eat all the meat at this rate. Kuro goes to complain to Yukio but since he can’t understand cat’s tongue, he thought Kuro was relieving at someone else’s place and thought of giving him some training exercise. Upset Kuro decides to leave the dorm and go on a journey. On his way, he meets Izumo who is totally fawning over him. Till Paku arrives. Izumo acts tough and ignores hungry Kuro. Can’t let her friend see her soft side, eh? Next, Kuro starts to get fascinated by playing with Konekomaru’s cat toy. He’s got a ‘cat’ in his name, right? However he can’t stay long since Suguro and Shima remind him they’re going to be late for class. All that playing has made Kuro even hungrier. At the fountain, Kuro sees the hooded kid (Shura in disguise then) taking of everything! He is surprised this ‘guy’ had boobs! Shura is about to slay Kuro because she can’t afford any witnesses but she escapes since Mephisto (in dog form) is passing by. Kuro passes Takara but gets creep out with his tongue twisters! Woah. Can you do that? Ventriloquism and tongue twisting! Then Kuro meets Shiemi and thinks finally somebody who could understand his hunger. She brings him back to her home and whips him up a good meal. Wait a minute. Herb stew and cookies… Are they even food? Gulp. Definitely foul! Making his way to the south gate, he thought the guards would remember him but he remembers going on a rampage and hurting them so he can’t possibly face them again and goes away. Kuro starts feeling nostalgic and wants to go see Fujimoto. Yeah, he is going to where he is now. He’s not attempting suicide, isn’t he? Of course not.

Along the way, he stumbles upon Amaimon and misinterprets he wants to eat the cat (because he’s eating some octopus food)! Kuro then hitches a ride on Tsubaki’s bike (that gay teacher suited up in biker leather?!) and drops off right before the train station. Passing by a man eating ramen at a roadside stall, Kuro is puzzled of him wearing a coat in hot summer. Turns out to be Igor and he loves the spicy ramen for giving him a good sweat out. Kuro runs away not wanting to have anything to do with this weirdo. Kuro wanders into the store Rin had his last part time job and sees the fathers buying ingredients. Unfortunately he got kicked out by the store manager when he approached her (the manager was just making an impression she needed help so bad that doesn’t mind having cats help her). Kuro is picked up by Yui who wants to keep him. But after she puts him in a cute princess outfit, Kuro changes his mind and runs away. Kuro continues to wander into the night streets till he finally reaches Fujimoto’s grave. I’m sure Kuro isn’t seeing things because he is having a nice chat with Fujimoto about Rin and such. Fujimoto is grateful to Kuro because he has lived for over a hundred years and still takes time to watch over Rin. Kuro feels reliable and assures to leave Rin in his hands (or paws). Then Fujimoto bids farewell. Do spirits have anywhere to go? Kuro sleeps by his grave till morning comes. When he leaves, he is surprised to see Rin coming to pick him up. Seems he left his portion of the food and was just fooling around. He notes that yesterday’s meal was boring without him around. His words warm Kuro’s heart. So happy that Kuro leaps into Rin’s arms. But he accidentally turned into a big cat and crushes Rin. Oops.

Ura Eku – B-Side Exorcist
What do you get when you buy the DVDs? Little extra specials of course. This is what Ura Eku – B-Side Exorcist is about. Short nonsensical random clips that last no longer than 2 minutes and have nothing to do with the real plot. When you watch this, you’re here for the little laughs, right? Hey, all work and no play makes an Exorcist a dull job.

Ura Eku 1Yukio can’t sleep so he is counting the moles all over his body. He has 10,000 of them! Woah! Then he gets shocked upon seeing a group of moles forming the Hokuto Constellation. Doesn’t it look like the Big Dipper? And he thought his moles are increasing but those were just his tits… They’re flashing red? More moles continue to pop up like the starry sky and in his panic, screams so loud that Rin had to tell him off. Thank goodness it was just a dream…

Ura Eku 2 – Yukio narrates a true story or as he pictures it, the future that is scarier than any demon. When he visited Shiemi’s home, she shows him a picture of her younger self. That picture also includes her mom and grandma. Yukio is horrified to see her mom such a pretty lady then. Now that she is a fat unattractive lady, so is this how Shiemi will look like when she grows old?

Ura Eku 3Yukio warns Rin to hide his tail and not let anyone see it. However he still fools around and swinging it like a cuckoo clock! First warning… Then in class, Rin can’t hold back his urge to play a prank on Shiemi. He feigns that something is bursting through his body (his tail randomly poking through his clothes). Shiemi believed in the horror scene she saw and got so freaked out that she got knocked out! Rin gets beaten up for good by Yukio.

Ura Eku 4Mephisto is playing a video game with Amaimon, who is just probably munching away all the snacks he’s got by his side. Amaimon is spewing words with double meaning that the food he is eating tastes good and Mephisto excellent fighting skills. In the end though Mephisto won, Amaimon starts chewing his controller!!! Does that taste good? I think all he’s ever got on his mind is either to fight Rin or eat…

Ura Eku 5 – Rin narrates some statics on Suguro. He also mentions how he cares how his mean eyes look. Next we see Suguro getting up real early at 5.30am and throughout the next few hours, notice how he talks about his hair? From being messy right after he wakes up to pinning it while jogging and then fixing it before class. Yeah, he’s feeling real good about it. But as for Shima, he’s starting to panic because he woke up late (8am) and is rushing to get ready for school. Since Suguro has already gone to school, he claims it’s impossible to wake up at 5.30am and basic wake up time should be 8am. Isn’t that a little too late?

Ura Eku 6Shima calls Rin because he needs a big favour from him. In fact, Shima is in a crisis that he can’t get out by himself. Suguro and Konekomaru have already ‘abandoned’ him and Rin is his only hope left. Whatever it is, Rin doesn’t seem too interested and wishes him all the best. You’re on your own, pal. So what’s the pinch Shima’s facing? There’s a cicada right at his doorstep. He tries to kick it away but it flies straight at him! Argh!

Ura Eku 7Izumo fawns over feeding Kuro with her meat. Despite being just ‘okay’, Kuro just eats it and Izumo is so moe by it that she could die soon if this goes on. She wants to let Kuro play with her cat toy but has to go into hiding when Konekomaru arrives and lets Kuro play with his cat toy instead. Izumo gets startled when Paku calls her so Izumo has no choice but to watch Kuro leave with Konekomaru to meet up with Rin. Paku invites Izumo to go shopping with her.

Ura Eku 8 – After Mephisto tells an attendant to leave, he transform into his doggie form, goes around the academy grounds, gets fed, sleeps around and even uses the men’s washroom as his toilet. At least he doesn’t do it near fire hydrants. Then later when he meets up with Amaimon, and notes how he can’t abandon this playground because it’s so much fun. So this is the fun he is referring to?

Ura Eku 9Yukio is having problems trying to shoot down a demon cockroach. It’s too fast. Then he lures it with his manjuu and manages to dispose the creepy crawly. Then he realizes there are more of those cockroaches crawling around. Boy, this is going to be a long night. And so he heads to the convenience store to buy all the manjuus they have. Cockroaches love manjuus? I didn’t know that…

Ura Eku 10Reiji Shiratori narrates he is a first year at True Cross Academy. This is his first time attending school since prior to that he got involved in some ‘accident’. He might not remember what happened then but he has changed a lot since. He praises the buildings filled with history, the elegant students and the kind of encounters he’ll have today. Well, of all people he had to bump into Rin who is in somewhat a bad mood. Rin seems to know who he is and since that he is ‘healed’ he better not be causing trouble anymore. Then off he goes while Shiratori just apologizes. Walking along, Shiratori has a feeling he has seen Rin before. Somewhere before. His face looks bloody familiar. Oh God! Jesus Christ! Remember that bully who got possessed by Astaroth? Yup. This is him! See his face turn into a demon! Now do you remember the pain, the hatred?

Devil Slayer!
Wow. I actually didn’t find myself to enjoy this anime from start till finish. This is one of the very few animes whereby I could sit in and start watching an episode, got so engrossed with it without keeping track of time. Yes, it’s true. Each time I start watching, my eyes are glued to the screen and when it ends, deep down in my heart I didn’t want it to end since some of the episodes leave you in suspense (in a good way). I could easily have just start watching the next episode but I thought I should take my time. Since I’m already enjoying it, what’s the use of trying to go too fast. Even the filler episodes or scenes that have nothing much ado had retained my interest. So if this became the best action anime of the year I wouldn’t be surprised. If there’s something strange in your neighbourhood, you call the Ghostbusters. But that’s only limited to ghosts and spirits. You call the Exorcists if it involves demons. There’s a difference, you know. Just saying.

As usual, the story isn’t really over by a long shot and despite having heard nothing about any continuation or sequels, I guess for this season everything is suffice. Being the son of Satan himself doesn’t mean you have to follow your father’s footsteps in destroying the world for a new one. Rin may be the son of the devil but he has a human heart himself. Fujimoto plays an important part in upbringing Rin the right way because Rin could’ve easily turned to the dark side in the case of bad parenting. With Fujimoto’s guidance, Rin realizes what is important to him and grows up (albeit he still has a long way to go) when Fujimoto dies. You never know what you’re missing when something is gone. To Rin, Fujimoto has always been his ‘real’ father because he was always there to support him in his time of need. So of course when the real daddy Satan tries to reclaim his son at the expense of Fujimoto, it is natural that Rin isn’t going to be too happy about it and be an obedient kid to return back to Satan’s arms. It’s like this. You’ve given up your baby to others to adopt. Many years down the road, you return to claim your kid back. Isn’t it unfair? All the years in bonding, building of trust and relationship and you so easy want to take back just because you were the original ones who ‘owned’ it? Rin may still be the hot-headed idiot, rash and reckless kid that charge in head on first. It’s not wrong if you say that he has the devil-may-care attitude :). But I guess he is the type that gets things done by doing instead of thinking. Good or bad, well, it worked out pretty well in the end, right? Lucky devil. It’s also good that Rin doesn’t have to hide his real identity from his friends anymore. There was this fear that they may hate him upon knowing he is the son of Satan and thus a change in direction of the story (it ended with good triumphing over evil, which is pretty predictable, eh?). Thankfully after being with him for quite a while, it’s safe to say that Rin and Satan are separate entities. Just because you’re the son of somebody with a hugely infamous massacre status, doesn’t mean you can treat the innocent child the same way. But would the world look at Rin the same way his friends do?

As we see Rin improving himself in character and skills throughout the series, we see a little of the opposite in Yukio. When Rin is rising, Yukio sort of ‘fell’. For a genius Exorcist who has excelled in many areas for his age, he thought it was natural for him to protect his brother and somewhat became obsessed with this thought so much so when Rin began to improve and surpass him (in the sense he can stand on his own without the need for his brother to come to his aid every time), Yukio became lost and jealous. His entire life he has been vowing to do just this and take away that, what is left of him? So in that moment of weakness, it led to his little downfall by being recruited by Ernst and subsequently being possessed by Satan. It was mind boggling that despite being twins, I thought it was odd that it was said that Yukio had no demonic powers because it was all absorbed by Rin. True enough, I suspected that something was ‘growing’ within Yukio when he acted suspicious so it’s not all true that he is void of any demonic powers. As twins, it is impossible not to inherit the same traits and abilities. Okay, maybe their personalities are like night and day but that’s beside the point. After all, they both came from the same father and mother, right? So did Fujimoto know this and didn’t tell Yukio so that he won’t worry? I’m glad that in the end, the bond between the siblings was greater and it allowed them to reunite as brothers that kickass. Maybe together, they may be a formidable weapon against Gehenna.

For the rest of the other Exorcist in training, they provide good support to Rin and Yukio. Each of them has their own inner demons and painful past so it makes them imperfect and more realistic. Whenever they fight together as a team, you can’t help but cheer them on to come out tops. Shiemi naturally opens up and gets used to making new friends. Also initially lacking self confidence, she slowly becomes capable to stand on her own feet (literally) and doesn’t want to be just someone who is always being protected, but someone who wants to protect what is important too. Izumo also learns to make new friends instead of just regarding Paku as her only friend. Just like in Rin’s case, it took the departure of her best friend to realize that you indeed can make friends and should give yourself and others a chance. Suguro’s hot-headed and stubbornness may rival Rin’s. He may look like a delinquent but never judge a book by its cover because this guy has strong principles that will put most holy men to shame. He always seems to scold and reprimand Rin for being reckless not because he doesn’t like that guy but in a way it’s his way of showing his concern. He is the kind of guy who believes friends should stick together and help each other out at times of need instead of going it alone since it’s not your problem. Konekomaru may be a coward and indecisive on his stand but he finds enough strength and the support from his friends to soldier on. I guess with Rin not harbouring any grudge since he got possessed, I hope this opens his eyes and realize this is what true friendship is. Shima is laidback but he still does what he can. Just don’t involve any bugs, okay? And Kuro, I feel that cat is more of the series’ mascot. Sure, the feline has his own abilities too but being cute for most of the show means that it’s just serving its role like a mascot, right? The only person in this team that is the odd one out is the ever mysterious Takara. Who is this ventriloquist kid anyway? I thought somewhere in this series there will be some light shed on this sarcastic admonishing kid but he’s just like something ‘extra’ to the team. I guess in every team there is always this kind of mysterious loner. He never helps out with the gang, always mocks them for being slow or weak whatsoever after he mysteriously gets the job done himself and is always on his own. So who is this guy who speaks through his bunny hand puppet, really? There is one short scene during the second opening of the Gehenna gate whereby we hear him say from his own mouth those biblical lines which I’m not interested in. Is he something bigger? Perhaps a second season would address this.

We’ve always been told that the demons are the bad influence and villains but you know, things are never straight whenever humans are involved. People like Ernst make the Vatican look like bad people because instead of serving God, it’s like they’re serving themselves first. It makes you think who the real demons here are. Satan or the Vatican. Maybe both. All Satan wanted was to create an ideal world with Yuri and he may be doing it the wrong way by wanting to eliminate this world. I guess it’s easier to start from scratch rather than trying to change everyone’s attitude. Looks like that ideal world will have to wait a little longer. Hey, what is a century to a demon? The Vatican are no goody-two-shoes either. They are so blinded by wanting to rid everything that has to do with the devil, they cast away their common sense and humanity. It’s too bad that Yuri had to bear the brunt of their narrow-minded thinking. I don’t really know how he used his influence to remove the current Pope but I’m sure he has his own network to do the impossible. Maybe because the current Vatican are just figureheads. Notice how weak they are? During Rin’s trial, they had to rely on Mephisto to get the job done and betting on his gamble I feel is just a cover up for their weakness because they know they don’t have anything better to counter the rampage at hand. And then when they got easily removed by Ernst, yeah, that confirms they’re just so weak. Well, that guy went to hell eventually. May God have mercy on his soul. He thought he had God’s blessing and was bloody confident he could destroy the demon world. Well if it was easy to destroy Gehenna, somebody would’ve thought about it a long time ago.

Arthur was in a dilemma to be a good servant of God, someone who upholds the law of the Vatican and someone who is trying to do something righteous. He isn’t that all a bad guy despite his arrogant nature and thankfully in the end his common sense prevailed setting his priorities right. Sometimes doing things not by the book may be the right thing in the bigger picture. Shura was once lost too and it took time for her after being rescued by Fujimoto to realize what’s important. Initially sent to spy and keep watch on Mephisto, I guess she has been observing too much that now she’s like part of the gang. I mean, what would happen if she reports the truth back? It’s game over. Why not stick around and have a little fun. After all, she wanted to see if Fujimoto stayed true to his words and how much Rin can grow. The other mysterious character is Mephisto. It is unsure if he is aligned to the humans or still has ties with his demon world. Maybe he’s a double spy? He’s cool, calm and careful in not showing his true colours and has his way around things. After living for centuries among humans, you think he hasn’t got used to how humans lived? Maybe so bored that’s why he looks forward to see the things Rin can pull off and enjoys watching the spectacle. So is he still trustworthy to the humans? Like they say, it’s better to know the devil than the angel.

Come to think of it, if there is Gehenna, the world of the demon, there should be one that would associate with Gods and angels, right? Where is that? I believe I haven’t heard any mention of it. So does this mean God doesn’t exist as far as this anime is concerned? Then why do we have the Vatican for? What are the priests preaching for? What the heck are the Christians’ faith for? Surely, there has to be God’s kingdom, right? So where do all the good souls that have been praying to God faithfully every night go when they kick the bucket in Assiah? Maybe I didn’t get something straight here. People still go to heaven or hell when they die. It’s not like Gehenna is hell but if that is where demons live, isn’t that close enough to hell? So perhaps another world where angels and cherubs exist isn’t so in this anime and even if they do, I’m sure it’ll be as much complicated, filled with conspiracies and underhanded schemes like the human world. Plus, when the Exorcists fight, some chanting and powers may have reference to Christianity and thus the existence of God may be real but what if it’s just make believe? Besides, it’s not like everyone here acted in a way that another world of God exists, right? The holy men didn’t talk about it. Satan didn’t even mention it. So, it’s just Assiah and Gehenna after all?

Something has been bugging me since the series ended. Who was the one that tried to frame Mephisto and used Igor for it? I mean the perpetrator must have gone through great lengths to do such an elaborated setup just for this but in the end, who was the culprit anyway? That same person who set Michelle loose and turn her into a revenge-obsessed Satan-related killing zombie. My guts tell me to point my finger at Ernst since the occurrences of events in the final arc were something more than just coincidence. However there is no evidence to convict him of doing so since it’s my mere speculation. I mean, Ernst had waited for 15 years just for this moment, right? And why now? I’m sure it’s not because Yukio had come to his side. So to draw the attention of the Vatican and the others away, this distraction of reanimation Michelle and framing Igor and thus Mephisto was called for.

The action is one of the highlights of the series. Not to say that you’ll be blown away but it’s enough to keep you in your seats for the duration of the fight. Each of the Exorcists possess their own unique ability to fight off demons but being low ranked Esquires our main heroes and heroines are, it still feels they need lots of training to power up if they ever want to take on higher level demons. Yeah, they just experienced it while taking on Satan. Instantly blown away. Now do you see why Fujimoto held the Paladin rank? But I was hoping that we could see more variety to than just Rin slashing his sword, Yukio firing his guns, Suguro and Konekomaru chanting their mantras, Izumo summoning her familiars and Shiemi using her Nii-chan and plants. Are there any other demon swords that Shura keeps in her cleavage? Aside the action, there are some funny moments too especially the interaction between the Exorcists. The comical parts are to relieve some tension here and there so as not to make this totally a dark demon series. So you can expect that Rin who is ‘not so bright’, this is where some of the blooper comes in as he tries to understand the theories and all. Hey, he is the kind that lets his hands (sword rather) do the talking, remember? As for the romance chemistry part, I wasn’t putting any hopes on it so I wasn’t really disappointed that nobody ended up as a couple in the end. Hah. Romance in an action genre? Though Shiemi likes Yukio but I feel it’s just as admiration and someone to look up to rather than anything more. Rin x Shiemi? Never even crossed my mind. There are some hints that Shima may like Izumo but it’s nothing conclusive either. After all, that guy sometimes is like a playboy trying to get into the good books of girls. So what happens if the girl likes bugs…

As the voice acting is superb, initially I thought Jun Fukuyama would be playing Rin’s role and have formed a perception of how the character would sound like before starting to watch this series. Well, it wasn’t Rin he voiced by Yukio instead so it threw my view a little off. Eventually I got used to everything so thinking back about it, perhaps he does fit the role of Yukio after all. So it’s Nobuhiko Okamoto who took on the role of Rin. Sounds a bit like Niizuma from Bakuman but without all the meaningless screaming but not as crazy as To Aru Majutsu No Index’s Accelerator. Kana Hanazawa was easily identifiable as Shiemi and her lively expression reminds me of the titular character in Kobato but not so much airhead-ness and Matsutaka of Hen Zemi but not so panicky. I had this feeling that Tetsuya Kakihara as Amaimon will burst into the fiery loud expression like his other role as Natsu in Fairy Tail. But throughout the series, he just sounds cool (maybe bored is the right word) and laidback. Except when he is mad of course. Other casts include Hiroshi Kamiya as Mephisto (Nozomu in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei), Kazuya Nakai as Suguro (Hijikata in Gintama), Kouji Yusa as Shima (Gin in Bleach), Yuuki Kaji as Konekomaru (Akina in Yozakura Quartet), Eri Kitamura as Izumo (Kanade in Mayo Chiki), Ayahi Takagaki as Kuro (Mitsuba in Mitsudomoe), Rina Satou as Shura (Negi in Mahou Sensei Negima series), Daisuke Ono as Arthur (Sebastian in Kuroshitsuji), Keiji Fujiwara as Fujimoto (Ladd in Baccano), Ao Takahashi as Paku (Riko in Minami-ke), Ryotaro Okiayu as Igor (Kurei in Flame of Recca) and Megumi Hayashibara as Yuri (Lina in Slayers). Both the opening themes are rock based and suitable for an action genre because it gets you into the mood of what this series is. The first one is Core Pride by UVERworld while the starting funky bass lines of the second opening theme of In My World by ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D may just draw you in. The first ending theme feels like a song from a boy band. Well, that’s because Take Off is sung by the Korean boy band, 2PM. Yes, they are singing in Japanese but it feels so K-pop. The second ending theme, Wired Life by Meisa Kuroki is more of a techno dance pop. Something that would be suitable for nightclubs I feel.

So it’s just ironic that mankind’s saviour against Satan is his own son himself. It’s like saying if you want to beat someone, beat him at his own game. Of course it’s not guaranteed that Rin will actually defeat Satan for good at first attempt. After all, Satan is Satan because he’s such a powerful badass that nobody can touch in the first place. Isn’t that why almost every living thing he tried to possessed starts burning up? Too great to handle, I guess. Speaking of the devil, despite it’s cool to have the devil’s son on your side, it should not be an indication that you should abandon your current faith and worship the devil. Don’t start selling your soul to the devil too if you think that’s your only salvation! And if destroying the world to create an ideal one is your idea, you don’t really need God or Satan’s help for it. I feel at the rate we’re going, we are going to destroy ourselves eventually if we don’t do something about it. Maybe it’ll just take a little longer. Say, 100 million years later? Would I be considered a heretic if I say anime is my religion? Don’t burn me at the stake then. Burn me with lots of moe 2D girls! Haha! Geddit? Moero moe

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