Review: Blue Exorcist Kyoto Saga, Episode 1: Small Beginnings

Review

Blue Exorcist Season 2 Poster TextlessThis review assumes you have a basic understanding of the first season’s events, as the two seasons are linked, and watching the first season before this season (or being familiar with the manga if the events are similar) is critical.
Set after the end of season one, where Satan is (temporarily) returned to Gehenna and his plan to merge it with Assiah is stopped, season two starts off after things have settled back down… sort of.
After his accidental outburst (season one, episode fifteen) revealing that he is a son of Satan, Rin is now required to be under constant supervision (by Shura). He is also required to learn how to control his flames, or risk being treated as any other demon and executed.
Rin’s twin brother, Yukio, having unknowingly awakened demonic powers of his own, has been demoted from Paladin back to Intermediate Exorcist First Class. When an important and highly dangerous artifact is stolen, True Cross Academy is called to handle the situation. As Yukio battles with his frustrations toward his brother, Rin struggles to control his demonic powers, and Rin’s former ExWire friends grapple with fear and doubt after learning the Okumura brothers’ true heritage. The heroes must overcome their problems if they hope to unite and stop the malicious plans of the Left Eye’s thief.
I thoroughly enjoyed this first episode. One thing I have always appreciated about Blue Exorcist is its ability to keep a solid balance of humor alongside darker, more serious scenes. This first episode of season two, Kyoto Saga, achieves this well. The major plot points are mostly expressed during the episode’s more serious moments, but the humor peppered throughout keeps things from feeling too depressing.
The characters are still true to who they were in season one, from the Okumura’s playful banter, to Shura’s laid-back attitude, to Izumi *cough* Eyebrows *cough* acting completely passive-aggressive. The art is gorgeous, the music choices are well-selected, and the ending song (which will be the opening from episode two on) by UVERworld is fantastic. Due to how much I enjoyed season one, I had high expectations coming into season two, and I wasn’t disappointed in the least.

Christian Perspective

1 John 2:9 ~ “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.”
One scene during this episode revolves around a character revealing themselves to be a demon. This character struggled with feeling inferior and useless next to their older brother and father, acting as if things were fine, but hanging onto anger, bitterness, and hate. They express these sentiments to Yukio, someone who has also struggled with very similar feelings for many years. The character goes on to say how great it felt to just embrace and be honest about his feelings. Despite this turning him into a demon, at least he no longer has to hide his true self. He states that, “There is weakness lurking in the hearts of all men.” The viewer can see this speech striking a chord with Yukio and rehashing a painful struggle.
A similar struggle is shown later as Rin reunites with his former ExWire friends, who, as noted above, are trying to decide if they can trust him after he lost control. Each of them, Yukio especially, has unknowingly opened themselves up to darkness by thinking they’re not threatened by it, either via ignorance or justification of their feelings.
Yukio remember's his attacker's words about weakness in all mens' hearts.The greatest threat is always the one we do not recognize, or the one we wrongly think is not a threat at all. Sometimes Christians do this, too. We convince ourselves we’re doing better than we really are. For example, someone who struggles with anger may choose to view an outburst not as “Well, I still had an outburst, so I need to keep working on this” but instead as “Well, I didn’t get as mad as I could have, so I’m doing okay.” It’s human nature to compare, and Christians do it, too. When we lie to ourselves about our struggles–be they sins or just the temptation to sin–we put ourselves at risk, just like Yukio and Rin’s former friends are doing by trying to ignore or justify their negative feelings. We turn a blind eye to areas where Satan may be trying to creep into our lives when we tell ourselves “It’s not really a problem” or “It’s okay because of ____.” Whether Yukio and Rin’s ExWire companions will realize this threat before it becomes a problem, or have to fight it after it becomes a problem, I’m not sure, but it will be interesting to see either way, as both outcomes happen in reality, as well.

Content Guide

Spiritual Content: Well, for one, the show centers on protagonists who are the sons of Satan, despite being the “good guys.” Additionally, as implied by the title, there are heavy elements of exorcism in the show, with many of it aspects based on various religions (e.g. Izumo’s familiar spirits she summons are based on Japanese lore, but Aria’s such as Ryuji and Konekomaru recite chants from the Bible, Buddhist teachings, and other religious texts, to fight). The entire show has a heavy focus on many spiritual and religious aspects.
Violence: There isn’t any severe violence in this episode, but there are a fair number of less violent moments. A demon/spirit grabs a child and holds them hostage while the child struggles to break free (they’re not injured). Yukio shoots the demon/spirit, but they vanish without any damage done. Yukio is kicked from behind–he’s not injured, but he turns his gun on the attacker (who shall remain nameless due to spoilers). The attacker attempts to stop Rin, carrying the hostage, with miasma, before turning on Yukio and tackling him again, pinning him and pulling his arm back as if to break it (he doesn’t). Yukio stabs himself in the arm with a needle at one point–we see blood dripping down his arm. We see a flashback to Rin’s fight with Amaimon, which features a few violent moments.
Rin stating his Exorcist ExWire position.Language/Crude Humour: One use each of d*mn, crap, “screw that,” and h*ll. (Based on HorribleSubs)
Sexual Content: Shura is overly-busty and wears very little clothing (if you’ve seen season one, you know this is typical of her). Rin calls her a few sexually-suggestive nicknames related to her bust size (e.g. Boobzilla).
Drug/Alcohol Use: None, unless you count medical drugs, in which case the hostage is injected with an antidote for the miasma (we do see the needle being injected into the miasma pockets).
Other Content: Some characters shout some mean/nasty stuff out of anger. Otherwise, everything’s covered above.

The Bottom Line

 

none

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Emma

1 Comment

  1. Iron Wasteland on February 7, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    Nice review. Like the anime good to be back.

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