The Blue Exorcist – Secrets within Secrets, Plans within Plans
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious!
In Blue Exorcist Kyoto Saga episode 6, called A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, Saburota Todo and Mamushi Hojo arrive at Goma Hall, where things take a turn for the worse — at least for Mamushi. Yukio Okumura continues reading Tatsuma Suguro’s letter to Rin Okumura and Shura Kirigakure, and that letter yields even more surprises. We finally learn the terrible secret that the Tatsuma’s father had passed down to his son, and it’s not clear if any of them will survive it.
What’s In This Post
- Todo leads Mamushi further into the mountains, towards the Myōō (Myoda) Dharani sect’s old and abandoned settlement. Their target is Goma Hall, where Todo says the Right Eye had originally been kept. He convinces her that this place has their best chance to protect the eyes from Tatsuma. She expects to find Goma hall empty; instead, she finds the sacred flame is still burning bright. She feels her conviction wavering.
- Rin and Kirigakure urge Yukio to keep reading the letter Tatsuma wrote for Rin. The letter’s story continues: Shiro Fujimoto had just arrived to take the ancient demon fighting sword, Kurikara. That sword is the Myoda sect’s main object of worship, because the sword’s flames had been used to seal the Impure King. But when the priests try to take it from him, Fujimoto collapses from the wounds incurred during his recent battle with a demon. Fujimoto awakens after being treated and immediately reaffirms that his goal to take the sword. He doesn’t win Tatsuma’s trust when he goes on to say his bosses will use the sword to kill a child. Fujimoto then goes on a rampage, bursting into buildings looking for the sword, until he finds dozens and dozens of the inhabitants in sick beds, faces covered in miasma-induced boils.
They protest that his entry will disturb their prayers. Fujimoto’s furious at their naiveté, asking if anyone had gotten better since they started praying. He then teaches them how to make the medicines that treat the infection. Soon, almost everyone is on the mend. Tatsuma’s angry that Fujimoto still wants the sword, and Tatsuma’s father is enraged and orders the temple’s priests to kill Fujimoto. Then he berates Tatsuma for letting Fujimoto help them. Tatsuma rejects that line of thinking and helps Fujimoto escape — after giving him the sword and telling him that it no longer contains a demon.
Todo and Mamushi find a hidden door, and they descend. Before destroying the seals and entering the chamber, Mamushi almost collapses under the strain the Right Eye inflicts on her body. Todo convinces her to give it to him. When they enter, she can’t understand what she’s seeing: what looks like a giant animal carcass is chained in the air above another flame. Todo tells her how her sect’s founder used the demon sword to attack the Impure King, but to no avail. It was only after Karura, the sword’s spirit, left the sword and made a pact with the sect’s founder that they were able to pluck out the Impure King’s eyes and seal him. That body hangs above them now. Mamushi finally understands how badly she’s been betrayed. As Todo tries to kill her, Tatsuma appears in a flash of gold flames. The flames belong to Karura, and the final secrets fall away: the spirit served the sect’s high priests in secret so it could general lies and mistrust — its food. That was its price for helping them. Todo attacks, and during the fight, he tosses the Right and Left eye to the carcass, which takes them in and begins coming back to life. It swells, doubling, tripling its mass. Tatsuma escapes the chamber with Mamushi.
Juzo Shima, who had been tailing Tatsuma but had lost track of him, arrives at Goma Hall just as the ground starts to shake. Tatsuma arrives above ground with Mamushi just moments before the Impure King’s mass blasts up and through Goma Hall. Tatsuma asks Juzo to take her back to her father, and he asks her to tell them everything she knows. The high priest intends to stay behind and keep the Impure King from advancing. As Juzo and Mamushi leave, Tatsuma unleashes his most powerful spell through Karura, and they freeze the Impure King where it is. But he didn’t see Todo come up behind him stab him through the neck. As he lies dying and paralyzed, Tatsuma can only watch as Todo consumes Karura and begins masterings its strength. Muttering that he’s not yet quite up to the task, Todo leaves Tatsuma to bleed to death.
- Rin finishes reading the letter, which ends in Tatsuma’s plea for Rin to use the sword to defeat the Impure King.
What I Liked
What does Fujimoto do as soon as he awakens from treatment? He tries to light a cigarette. And then he jumps up, still in a bathrobe, to begin rummaging through their buildings in search of the sword. Not much slows him down, and even fewer things deter him!
Whatever else Tatsuma may be, he’s an intelligent man. He knows that everyone is getting more and more sick, and that all of their prayers yielded no results. He immediately recognizes the value of Fujimoto’s offer to help. I thought Tatsuma’s reaction to seeing his pregnant wife Torako sitting up, clearly on the mend, was heart-warming. For a moment, she tried to be brave before breaking down sobbing and saying she was afraid she was done for.
This means that Fujimoto saved Torako, who was pregnant with Ryuji Suguro. Which means Rin’s foster father saved Ryuji’s life. That an interesting turn of events!
Last week, I awarded Tatsuma’s father the “Harsh Quote of the Season (So Far)” award for saying that if Torako dies, Tatsuma should find a more “hardy” woman. Building on that theme, Tatsuma’s father demanded that Fujimoto be killed because he intended to steal the sword. Tatsuma rejected the argument that these things — letting his wife die, killing Fujimoto — had to be done in the name of preserving the sect. So, I got to see plot development, thematic development, and character development in a single scene! How cool’s that?
Tatsuma recognized right away that Juzo was only there because his father, Yaozo Shima, had sent him to tail Tatsuma. However much he tried to act like a clueless old man, Tatsuma was well aware of what was going on all around him. I particularly liked how he told Mamushi that he was counting on her to tell her father everything that was happening. She had to feel devastated by that point, and his vote of confidence (giving her an important mission) would both sharpen the guilt she felt and rally her remaining strength.
Did I say that Tatsuma knew what was going on around him? Well, that sense seemed to fail at the end. He let Todo get behind him, though I can certainly understand how the Impure King would be distracting! Todo’s knife protruding from Tatsuma’s Adam’s apple was quite a shock.
Looks like Yukio was right: Todo’s up to something much bigger than it appears.
What I Liked Less
I’m conflicted. I hate monologuing villains. They’re cliche and annoying. When Todo describes how he freed the Impure King simply to draw Tatsuma out of hiding, I should not have enjoyed it! But I can’t think of a better way to get those facts out, and I had to admit Todo’s plan was pretty effective.
In last week’s review, I complained that I thought the episode was a little too slow. Looks like I was just impatient. Things really kicked into high gear in this episode!
I’ve been wondering why Tatsuma had been so secretive. I wondered why it wasn’t better for him to tell Ryuji what was going on; or bring others like Yaozo into the fold. I shouldn’t’ve been surprised that the writers here had a perfect explanation: as condition for the spirit’s help, Karura demanded the secrecy so it could feed off the mistrust that secrecy generated. That’s a great explanation!
I am enjoying the way the plot’s playing out. I didn’t anticipate that Todo’s real goal was to obtain Karura’s power, and I didn’t anticipate that freeing the Impure King was simply a technique to make Tatsuma show himself. I have a feeling our heroes are going to have their hands full with the Impure King, whatever Todo’s plans are.
The one thing (well, one thing I know of) that I’m unclear about is how Tatsuma intended to finally destroy the Impure King. I think that his going off alone was to practice the techniques he’d need to finally achieve that goal. At the end, he seemed to have enough power to at least temporarily hold the Impure King in place; so maybe he still needed more practice or better technique to actually kill it?
What do you think? Am I close? Do you have an another explanation? Let me know in the comments below!
Other Posts of Interest
- The 2016 Holidays Are Gone – Must Be the Winter 2017 Anime Season! Preview Part I
- Blue Exorcist Kyoto Saga Episode 1: Small Beginnings
- Blue Exorcist Kyoto Saga Episode 2: Strange Bedfellows
- 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 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