Anime Reviews: Blue Exorcist Episode 21 – Secret Garden

Introduction

Blue Exorcist has gone the filler route, but episode 21 has made me want to stick around. Even though this is the only series I will be reviewing for a while, I am having more trouble catching up than Derek is with his own reviews which consists of this entire blog. I’m still trying to get used to this new lifestyle.

Plot Summary

Shiemi watches the news and finds out that the boys at the cram school were attacked. Her mother tells her to mind the shop which she does. Shiemi then hears something and finds Noihaus’s wife lying outside in the garden. After trying to move her, Nee and his fellow Greenman plus a tree with a face (whom I shall call Treebeard) appear to help her move the woman.
Yukio sits and has a one-on-one talk with his grandfather, Ernst Frederic Egin. Ernst talks about how the Blue Night ultimately ruined him, taking away everything he loved including his daughter. He says that the photograph that Yukio sees is the last photo of her taken as Yukio goes into saying how he and Rin never knew who their mother was. Ernst declares that with Mephisto gone, he will become Rin’s new guardian.
Yukio had always believed his mother died at Satan’s hands but Ernst tells him that it was the who were Vatican at fault. She was used as a scapegoat for those looking to blame the events of the Blue Night and burned as a witch. Having lost all hope, Ernst was resigned to the next fifteen years in prison but during those fifteen years, Fujimoto showed him a photo of Rin and Yukio, giving Ernst hope that he is not the last of his family. He says that now that the Grigori are no longer a threat so the two can be together as family; he cannot take Rin in since he awoke to his demon powers. He shows Yukio the Dragoon Laboratory and asks him to join him so they can save mankind from all demons.
Rin returns to the school and sees that Yukio is nowhere to be found. He goes to listen in on Noihaus and when asked why, he answers he has the right just as anyone does. Inside the interrogation room along with Shura and a few other exorcists, Noihaus continues to deny that his wife is a demon. Rin reminds Noihaus of the time he told him his family was killed by Satan and exclaims how can a dead person be walking. Shura mentions Anti-Soul, a forbidden technique used to bring back the dead and banned by the Vatican six hundred years ago. Noihaus decides to tell them about how he found his wife, Michelle, possessed.
Sir, we have evidence that you are lying.
Despite knowing that she was not the very woman he loved, Noihaus found himself unable to kill her. It was not long before the Vatican learned of this that they apprehended her and set fire to the lab that was keeping her alive. Michelle saw this and her demon powers went out of control, killing the soldiers. Noihaus escaped with her to Japan in order to find a new life but his wife was a corpse and when she realized that she had died, she went to vow vengeance on any that were related to Satan.
Thus came the birth of Spider-Woman.
After hearing Noihaus’s story, Rin decides to go find Noihaus’s wife. After a talk with Shura, she hands him a talisman and tells him to use it to find the wife. Rin does not go far until he finds out he has no idea how to use the talisman and thinks about calling Shura for help. He gets a call shortly after and learns it is Shiemi. She tells Rin she has something she needs help with as Rin leaves shortly after to meet her at her shop.
Michelle finds herself in a garden. Shiemi tells her she found her lying outside in her garden. It was thanks to Nee, his Greenman friends, and Treebeard that Shiemi was able to bring her to her garden.
Rin arrives at the supply shop only to see Shiemi is not there. He decides to check the garden and finds a secret entrance in the shed. Shura’s familiar appears from the talisman, letting Rin know that Noihaus’s wife is nearby. Rin decides to check what is down the secret stairs.
Shiemi goes into talking about the secret garden her grandmother used to tend to and apologizes for her rambling. Michelle mentions the Amahara Garden and that the secret garden is what she believed the legendary garden would look like. Enthused by this, Shiemi asks Michelle to be her friend.
Rin barges in and attacks Michelle and mass confusion is had. Michelle ends up taking Shiemi hostage but eventually falls unconscious as Shiemi tries to help her but Rin tells her it is impossible. He tells Shiemi that Michelle is already dead and that she’s the one who tried to kill Suguro and the others. After managing to convince Rin that Michelle is not a bad person, Rin decides to leave and calls Shura that he found her before hanging up suddenly: Arthur and his men have found Noihaus’s wife.

In the secret garden, Shiemi finds herself, along with Michelle, apprehended by the Knights of the True Cross as the two are dragged out. Shiemi sees Rin has lost to the superior Arthur who condemns Michelle to her death. Noihaus stops him and asks for him to punish him but Arthur hears none of it and proceeds to do what he was doing earlier. Rin gets in and protects Michelle who sees that the son of Satan has protected her.
He and Arthur start fighting only for Shura to stop him. Shura tells Rin if he keeps fighting with Arthur, his standing with the Vatican will sour. Rin fails to listen and charges at Arthur as Michelle takes a shot for him. Noihaus runs to help her while Rin tries to find out which one of the exorcists had shot her. Arthur goes to issue an order to kill them all only for the Greenmen to form a protective green barrier around Noihaus and his wife as they are presumed to have disappeared in it.
Before he can continue, he hears the bell, a signal for him to return back to the Vatican headquarters. After Arthur and his men have left, Rin wonders where Noihaus and his wife have gone as Shiemi tells him where she believes they have gone.
After the credits have rolled, Arthur appears to report before the Grigori, only to learn that they have been replaced and the new leader is none other than Ernst Frederic Egin as he issues an order to eradicate all demons. Arthur turns and comments on who the one leading the Anti-Demon squad is as Yukio has joined up with Ernst in his campaign against all demons.
My Opinion
I’m going to get this out: I like Shiemi. A lot. There’s just something about her character that makes me want to hug her. It’s because I see her as a more toned down but just about-right version of another favorite character from another series I used to love. But I digress, Shiemi’s role in the episode did not go to waste, unlike Suguro, Konekomaru, and Shima who were just held hostage in episode 20.

I liked this episode except for the scene where Ernst was talking to Yukio about his and Rin’s mother. Actually, I’m shocked at how early their mother’s appearance was shown as she gets mentioned later on in the manga and it is just a mention. If her image is shown in a filler episode, it could mean the manga-ka herself has no intention of even bothering to show her real appearance since manga adaptations would need to be supervised by the manga-ka themselves. I won’t forget to say that I do not like what they have done with Yukio, turning him into such a melodramatic character. Sure he isn’t that fun but it’s a pain seeing melodramatic characters, even in filler.

Just to put in my two cents, but I’m not too keen on the church turning out to be giant, flaming douchebags. Every story that involves demon fighting priests, or any story that involves the church in general, turns them into the antagonists. I would prefer if the series didn’t deviate this much from the original, but all things considered, I guess as long as the overall story turns out good I won’t mind. -The Editor

If you liked my review, Watch the Episode Here!

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