Normally I would say this is the start of a new arc, except Blue Exorcist can’t be broken down into arcs quite so readily. Instead I will say that this is the beginning of the end of act one of the series. The excrement has hit the proverbial fan, and we now move on to the second act.
At the start of summer break, the esquires get together for a training camp. They hike up into the forest behind the school, and start setting up camp. Since none of the girls know what they are doing, Rin shows them how to cook dinner.
While they are sitting around the fire, Suguro asks why Shura is drinking when she is underage. Yukio says she isn’t eighteen, and almost reveals her actual age but is interrupted when she throws a beer can at his head.
They explain the mission, that the esquires have to go into the forest, find a lantern, light it, and bring it back to camp. Shura adds, in private, to Rin that it’s a test to see if he can control his flames. The forest is so dark that if he lets his flames get out everyone will be able to see them in the darkness.
They all split up and go into the forest on their own, where they are immediately attacked by swarms of demon moths. Shiemi tries to repel them with Nee, but her paper is taken and destroyed. Rin hears her scream and rushes to her help. He finds her unconscious, and bleeding from a wound to her head. He loses control of his flames for a moment, and chases off the moths.
Suguro comes out of the forest, asking Rin what the blue light was. He did not see Rin using his flames, but he realized that their lanterns are attracting the moths. So they will need to extinguish them if they want to get through the forest. Shima attacks them, before breaking out of a trance.
They get text messages from Konekomaru (name?) who tells them he’s found the lantern, but that he can’t move it on his own. When they get there they realize why. It is a demon lantern, that once lit will consume anything it comes across to keep its flames going. Its favorite fuel being cute girls.
They get the lantern into a wagon, seal it before lighting the fire, and attract moths to keep the fires going. When they get to a river filled with bugs, they remove the seal, and use Shiemi to lure it across the river, where they reseal it. Everything goes well, until Rin accidentally destroys a seal placed on the river, and releases a giant moth demon. The episode ends with the moth attacking Rin.
I love seeing characters solve problems in smart ways. And with a decently sized supporting cast as this, it’s important to show that everyone is competent in some way or another. One of the most important ways to make a character sympathetic is to show that they are competent. And A Fun Camping Trip does that in spades.
Rin shares his world with a strong supporting cast, once again proving that the best manga all have a strong supporting cast. Even manga I’m not such a fan of, like Naruto, know that a strong supporting cast is vital.
Kato’s demons are pretty imaginative. I was a little disappointed with some of the earlier demons, the zombie dogs were cool and all, but the goblins looked goofy, and the flower demon was only so-so. But I’m a fan of the lantern demon. It is set up as being threatening, but in the end is pretty silly, acting more like an enamored school boy rather than a consumer of virgins.
The cliffhanger is pretty strong as well. It isn’t quite as frustrating as some cliffhangers can be, but it builds interest for viewers to come back the next week. Though by this point I think anyone who has reached this point won’t be going anywhere. Highly recommended.
If you liked my review, Watch the Episode Here