Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen First Impressions (1): Feels like something's missing...

Overall, I thought this episode was fine. I think that resetting like this is fine if they want to get past the anime original ending from the first season. I would argue that the flashback scenes weren't even necessary.

Alright, I'm trying something a little bit different with this series. Since this second season is trying to go back to the source material, I'm going to be adding a section at the end with some differences between the manga and the anime. Let me know what you think about it.

I forgot that the music for the first season was done by Hiroyuki Sawano...that should make the series more enjoyable. I'm not fully convinced yet with the opening song (playing at the end of the episode). I like UVERworld, but the beginning of the song didn't work for me. I'm sure I'll get over it, though.

Trained Exorcist not only lets a small child run past him but also tries to stop the child by...yelling at him to come back. Seriously, dude?

Rin's still doing the candle training? That feels like so long ago...

Good question. Seeing as we were just watching Rin fail the candle training which is supposed to teach him control over his flames, I don't see how he could be helpful in a hostage situation.

Making promises you can't keep...if this weren't a shounen series, I would write the kid off here.

I don't know if they were trying to bring up a moral lesson with this scene...felt pretty minor to me. For the record, my instinct is to agree with Yukio. You should always hope for the best, but making promises based on that optimism seems foolish.

Pseudo-canary just means "fake canary", right? I mean, a name doesn't necessarily have to indicate function, but why use a canary in the first place?

Also, I'm trying to figure out whether the numbers on the hazmat suits are supposed to mean anything and I'm coming up empty.

Oh yeah...I forgot he was the culprit. Also, what exactly is he buying time for?

Why aren't Yukio's boils still on his face?

The song playing here is good, but does it really fit here? This scene doesn't seem dramatic enough to warrant it.

I see they've basically decided to ignore the ending of the first season. That makes sense, but it'll be weird for people watching without context.

Aww...she cares?

In case you don't remember what really happened at the end of the first season, here's a helpful flashback!

I have a hard time understanding the suspicion from everyone here, but that might just be because we as the audience know so much more about Rin than they do.

Manga Section

Overall, the episode covers about 1.5 chapters in the manga. It seems slow, but most of it is the section at the end of the episode spent in flashback that eats up a lot of time. Pacing-wise, it seems like it should have been poised to cover 2 chapters in total, which is more reasonable (Blue Exorcist chapters tend to have more pages than normal series). The adaptation feels mostly faithful to the manga. Few differences to point out:

  • The scene with Shura and Rin at the beginning of the episode happens later in the manga. It's used as a precursor for the trip to Kyoto, so it should have happened closer to the middle of the episode. I think the manga version makes more sense because Yukio's "catch up to me" statement is used to motivate Rin's frustration about the candles and Shura has a reason for showing up with the Kyoto trip.
  • Small differences in the scenes underground. The Impure King is introduced a bit in the manga and the pseudo-canary is treated as less of a joke. No real impact.
  • A scene is skipped in the anime where Mephisto tells the other ExWires that they're going on the Kyoto trip. He says it's because they passed the test (the one where Rin reveals himself to be Satan's son), so excluding this from the anime makes sense. There's no context in this season for that scene to work.
  • In the manga, random Exorcists brief the team on the train about the situation in Kyoto and the history of the Impure King instead of Shura doing everything.
  • And of course, the flashbacks.

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