Since I like being as relevant as possible, I decided to bite the bit and get this review done earlier, that way I can have a review out for episode four just a few days after it airs. Earlier today I gave a good review for the second episode. Let’s see if the anime can keep it up and successfully adapt the part of the manga that showed considerable improvement over the first chapter.
Rin discovers that in order to become an exorcist he has to attend True Cross Academy, the same school that Yukio is attending. As they drive to school in Mephisto Pheles’ personal (pink) limo, Rin notices that Yukio is ignoring him. He asks him what’s wrong, and Yukio tells him he’s just really nervous.
The reason for his nervousness is soon discovered when during the entrance ceremony Yukio is introduced as the student representative for the first years. After the ceremony Rin walks around the school, trying to find his classes, and marvels at how expensive and large the whole place is. He’s approached by Mephisto–who I’m convinced is a demon, I’m calling it right here and now–and taken to exorcist cram school. Where the teacher is revealed to be Yukio, who was infected with a demonic wound, known as Temptaint that allowed him to see demons since he was a small child, by his older brother at their birth.
Yukio expresses his real feelings for Rin, and tells him that he would be better off giving himself in or just dying, since the son of Satan is far too dangerous to be left alive. This scene is made even better by the fact that Yukio is casually killing off attacking goblins with a pair of double pistols. Truly exorcists are men of god, following the peaceful teachings of Jesus Christ to…oh screw it, here, have guns!
Rin’s impassioned rhetoric, and awesome demon transformation convince Yukio that brothers shouldn’t fight. Mostly the demon transformation though. Yukio probably thought that was too bad ass to never see again.
And thus the episode ends with the two of them rooming together. Now I really like this episode, mostly because it focuses on the fraternal conflict and resolution. The emotional stakes are high, and all the right ingredients for delicious drama are available. David Welsh made note of the fraternal relationship being a focus of the manga, much like in Fullmetal Alchemist. Unlike Fullmetal Alchemist however, Blue Exorcist starts off the relationship between the two brothers as one of conflict. Unlike Ed and Al, who were both united by the same sin, Yukio is initially an outsider towards Rin, and actually a victim of Rin’s circumstance at their birth. It’s understandable that Yukio would develop a grudge against Rin, since from a young age he had to witness terrifying things thanks to his brother’s nature. But since at his core Yukio loves his brother, he is able to overcome the grudge and treat his brother as who he really is. Though if Rin’s father is Satan, and Yukio was too weak to inherit the powers, doesn’t that mean that Satan is also Yukio’s father? He just didn’t inherit his father’s powers?
Also, I would like to find out about their mother, since I get the feeling that the story behind her will be enjoyably disturbing.
This episode definitely continued the upward trend that the second chapter of the manga did. However the difference isn’t as stark because of the improvements made on the first chapter in the first two episodes.
Musically this episode experimented a bit more. The dramatic music is still there, and it’s still excellent. I’m not entirely sold on the background music for the non-dramatic scenes however. It didn’t really stand out, which could be a good thing. When it did stand out it as because it was trying to be more creative, with mixed results.
Bottom line, Blue Exorcist is an anime to be following. Three episodes in and already I can tell I’m going to be hooked for the duration.