Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious!
Episode 1, Small Beginnings, picks up after Season 1’s 17th episode. That means season 2 opens just after the Order of the True Cross found out that Rin Okumura was actually the son of Satan. Rin and Shura Kirigakure join Yukio Okumura to rescue a boy taken hostage by an attacker trying to get the Left Eye of the Impure King. On a train en route to another incident, Rin comes face to face with his friends for the first time since everyone found his parentage. Even Shiemi Moriyama shies away from him. Yukio reflects on his relationship with his brother.
What’s In This Post
A thief trying to steal the Left Eye of the Impure King takes a child hostage. Saburota Todo, director of the Deep Deep (branch of the Order of the True) tries to intervene, but the assailant releases miasma and infects everyone in the area. Meanwhile, Rin tries to learn to control his blue flames, but he’s frustrated at his lack of progress. Kirigakure informs him that the two of them are to join Yukio at the hostage situation.When they arrive, they find dozens of people infected by the miasma, including Todo. He’s distraught, and he convinces Yukio to let him go into the building to rescue the boy. Telling the boy’s mother that she should prepare for the worst, Yukio and Todo enter the building. Rin joins them.
The find the assailant. The boy is severely infected by miasma. Yukio is forced to shoot the masked assailant, who vanishes in a puff of smoke. As Yukio discovers that the Left Eye was fake, Todo kicks him in the back. Todo goes on to reveal that he was the mastermind behind the attack. He’s now a demon. He explains to Yukio that only after he admitted to himself that he hated everything — the Order, people, and the world — could he feel whole. He subdues Yukio and escapes. The boy is in critical condition, and Yukio has to administer the antidote by hand. Initially hesitant because of Todo’s taunts, he overcomes his doubts and saves the boy. They reunite him with his mother.
Mephisto Pheles arrives on scene with Kirigakure to tell them that the Left Eye was really stolen. Kirigakure has her familiar searching for it. In the meantime, another assailant tried to steal the Right Eye from the Order’s Kyoto office, but the exorcists thwarted him, thought at some cost. Mephisto puts Yukio in charge of retrieving the Left Eye; Rin and Kirigakure are to head for Kyoto.
Rin’s excited to go to Kyoto, but the rest of the exorcists already on the train are hard-pressed to hide their dismay. Moriyama enters the train car, but seeing Rin, she finds herself unprepared to deal with the recent disclosure that he’s the actual son of Satan. She withdraws until Ryuji Suguro, Konekomaru Miwa, and Renzo Shima enter the car. They make no secret that they are not in the least bit happy to see Rin. Izumo Kamiki, though, doesn’t even hesitate: she sits down beside Rin. In response to his surprise, she tells him that many people, even exorcists, are of mixed human/demon parentage. Rin’s delighted that she’s trying to cheer him up. She causes a stir when she points out that she hates people who try to sound tough, then fold when things get tough — “tough” meaning something like finding out Rin’s the son of Satan. Suguro takes exception, and Rin tries to use the moment to patch things up. Suguro recalls the many deaths in his family’s temple because of the blue flames — the same kind of flames that Rin’s trying to control. Rin reaffirms that his goal is the same as Suguro’s: to kill Satan.
What I Liked
Rin hasn’t lost any of his enthusiasm or confidence! Even though he introduces himself to Todo as an ExWire (a student exorcist), he says that he’ll save the day.
Kirigakure has always been more sharp than she lets on. As soon as Todo told her no know knew if the masked assailant was human or demon, she suspected something was going on. She even let Rin “escape” her supervision so he could go help Yukio as she researched Todo.
When Todo kicked Yukio in the back, did Yukio simply fall down in pain? No! He performed a handstand and landed on his feet! That’s good exorcist training, that is!
Back when I watched the original Star Trek series, some of my favorite episodes involved the characters overcoming their inner demons. For example, both Kirk and Spock had to overcome their inner weaknesses in the original Naked Time (not that travesty of an episode with a similar name from Star Trek Next Generation*). Seeing Yukio confront his fears of inadequacy, and then overcome them by his own strength and conviction, was very cool.
Not content with a common entrance, Mephisto arrives eating a blue ice pop. He’s delivering dreadful
Poor Rin. He tried talking to Suguro, Miwa, and Shima as if nothing was wrong. They were still angry not only that he was the son of Satan, but because he almost killed them as he tried to defend them in the previous episode. Not having had many friends in the past, Rin didn’t really know how to react. He even moved to the window seat (from the aisle seat) to be less conspicuous.
Perhaps my favorite moment in the episode is when Kamiki sits down beside Rin. Their classmates may have been terrified of Rin, but Kamiki wasn’t even a little concerned. She’s an interesting character: she can be cruel and arrogant, but she has a keen understanding of how things work. She also has a well-developed sense of justice, and she isn’t pleased with his Rin’s being treated. When Rin asks if she’s afraid of him, she respond, “Me? Afraid of you? Why in the world would I be afraid of you?” Did I mention she’s confident?
* Generally speaking, I liked Star Trek Next Generation. That episode (The Naked Now) almost ruined it for me, though.
What I Liked Less
I’m glad that Anime News Network published their review of this episode, where they described that this actually starts after episode 17 of the original series. Otherwise, I would have been really confused. Once I understood the starting place, though, I was all set. I should note that in Crunchyroll’s comment section for the episode, there’s discussion that parts of episode 16 and 17 weren’t canon and may not be reflected in this season.
I’m really excited to see this season start. There are so many things I liked about the original series, from the themes to the characters to the little touching moments.
This episode showcased one of the themes I most enjoyed: the injustice of the fury directed against Rin in spite of his record of (mostly) helping his friends. Their fears and their prejudices worked against Rin as soon as his secret parentage became known. It took a little gesture from Kamiki — just sitting beside him — to put all of that in perspective.
Kamiki’s probably my favorite character. She’s arrogant and vain, but she’s honest and hates to see people treated unjustly. Having some amount of demon blood in her background, she’s aware of what Rin’s going through, so she sticks up for him. Though I’m pretty sure that she wouldn’t admit that’s what she’s doing!
Rin’s attitude continues to impress me. He’s the son of Satan. His friends have (mostly) turned against him. He could easily give into despair. But he showed the resiliency and defiance to fate that he’s always showed. He’s determined to forge his own fate, and he’s not going to accept anything less. It was even endearing to see his reaction to Kamiki sitting next to him. For the first time that I can remember, he was actually uncertain!
What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
- The 2016 Holidays Are Gone – Must Be the Winter 2017 Anime Season! Preview Part I
- Blue Exorcist Kyoto Saga Episode 2: Small Beginnings
- Blue Exorcist Kyoto Saga Episode 3: Suspicion Will Raise Bogies
- Blue Exorcist Kyoto Saga Episode 4: Act of Treachery
- Blue Exorcist Kyoto Saga Episode 5: Mysterious Connections
- Blue Exorcist Kyoto Saga Episode 6: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
- Blue Exorcist Kyoto Saga Episode 7: Like a Fire Burning Bright
- Blue Exorcist Kyoto Saga Episode 8: From Father to Son
- Blue Exorcist Kyoto Saga Episode 9: Through Thick and Thin
- Blue Exorcist Kyoto Saga Episode 10: Unbowed and Unbroken
- Blue Exorcist Kyoto Saga Episode 11: Shine Bright as the Sun
- Blue Exorcist Kyoto Saga Episode 12: Candid and Open