To just show how popular and anticipated this anime is, I couldn’t stream it for 2 days after it released because Crunchyroll had their servers swamped and/or powered by a potato. So as a quick explanation of this article’s purpose and POV, this will simply be a recap and assessment of the first episode of the new season of Blue Exorcist, being the Kyoto Saga with minor references to the first season outside of general plot (thankfully, if you’ve never watched the first season you can mostly jump into this episode and pick up what’s what). I’ve never read the Blue Exorcist Manga and have no idea of the long-standing plot (as I was with Drifter). Mostly that I had watched this show some 3 years ago and managed to gun through it and remember it as a very entertaining anime with a number of nuances that intrigued me about the brother relationship between Rin and Yukio. As the oldest brother of 4 total siblings (one female and 2 other boys) I always find sibling relationships to be interesting and such a complex set of relations that can be done, especially if done well.
What to say about this show. The gist of it is summed up in this:
So that being said, Blue Exorcist Season 2 picks up right where Season 1 left off with Rin trying to come to terms with his “Blue Flames” (the signature of Satan himself) and Yukio being cold and professional on the inside yet screaming internally about his issues with aspiring to be like his brother and adoptive father. We begin with a moment best summarized as “DAMN IT CHILD” as a boy is grabbed by a gas-masked figure and then treated to a sudden release of evil miasma from some strange vial. Then the viewer is quickly shown and reminded of Rin and Yukio (specifically that Rin is a loose cop son of Satan on the edge and Yukio is only 3 days away from retirement the most serious and cynical person in the world (probably comes from being the equivalent of a police detective at 15 and all the stress that is associated with).
Anyway, with this in mind, the boys meet [COMPLEX RANK SYSTEM HERE] Saburota Todo who is in charge of the Deep Keep and essentially monitors all the complex evil type artifacts. The one mentioned above is the “Left Eye of the Impure King.” Spoiler alert, but Todo ends up being a daemon. Now normally I’d give a bigger warning but one thing I actually really enjoyed about the show was they somehow put in the subtle nuances that something’s awry. And I’ll be damned if it wasn’t. So pretty much the boys enter the building with the gas-masked figure and boy (with a comical canary in the coal mine to detect the miasma). After Yukio shoots the figure, it disperses and Todo then reveals that he was really the bad guy all along! (Insert Dio meme here). But his rationale for being evil was not some convoluted pants on head stupid cliché reason. In fact, he calls out Yukio for being a younger version of himself, constantly aspiring to meet the expectations of his father and brother and fight the good fight because. Not for any particular reason but just because. Upon this rather effective mind screwing, Todo vanishes into the darkness Ninja style.
From here we are treated to a few flashback sequences where Yukio tries to treat the boy for his miasma poisoning. At first, he’s shaky and you get the feeling he’s going to punk out. But does he? HELL NO! He man’s up and full out stabs himself in the arm to center himself, successfully focusing and saving the boy. A few direction and revelations that this was all a distraction so that the Left Eye could be stolen and the Right Eye in Kyoto was also attempted to be burgled leads us to seeing off our protagonists to Kyoto. After a few awkward moments with the classmates of Rin (who still get kinda freaked by the whole “son of Satan” thing), the plot moves on and we are given a borderline clichéd morale speech from Eyebrows McTsundere-Chan, Izumo. (Seriously, tell me she doesn’t look textbook Tsundere)
To wrap up the episode we are given what initially seems to be an unnecessary flashback and then culminates into a confrontation between Bon and Rin. This is like the nuances about Todo in my opinion that are things that at first seem strange or out of place but is then wrapped up into a rather well put together showpiece. All in all, this is definitely one of my anticipated shows of the season and I look forward to following this throughout the New Year with high hopes.