Ao no Exorcist Kyoto01 – METANORN

First Impressions – Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen

A reminder of the impressive plot going on here

winter15-ocIt’s been a long time since season 1, but Ao no Exorcist has always been in the back of mind because of how much I listen to the amazing OST. I never thought we’d get a second season though!

I see Ao no Exorcist as a solid shounen series that’s easy to recommend to just about anyone. I even used it as my secret santa recommendation choice this year. It’s one of those shows that executes the whole bullet point list of good shounen anime traits, while still providing a few unique flourishes where it can. Despite being so solid, I never thought we’d get a second season because of the way the anime ended. Season 1 had an anime original ending that basically cut off the manga, and prevented any further adaptation. It was also a pretty garbage ending, and I’m not just saying that because I’m the type of person who hates all anime original endings with a fiery passion. It just didn’t make sense.

But no need to worry about that awkward season 1 finale anymore, because this season nixes it and continues on from episode 16. Yay!

Same old, same old

I think this is a good choice, because remaking the whole show (a la Full Metal Alchemist) seems like a bit of a waste when the original was done so well. I also just hate rewatching stuff. Now, unfortunately, this means this first episode has to thoroughly explain this decision and what’s going on. Long explanations and recaps don’t make for very interesting material. It’s a bitter pill that I just have to swallow, as I admittedly needed the refreshing since I didn’t flawlessly remember the events of an episode that aired about 5 years ago. Yeah, they had a lot of ‘splaining to do.

It’s a bland episode, so there’s really not much to say that we don’t already know from season 1. We get reintroduced to Rin and Yukio, complete with a “all their major insecurities in a nutshell” segment. The side cast are also all reintroduced – which is actually quite important because we’ve reverted to the part of the story where they’re still terrified of Rin (except Kamiki). I was initially very confused by this, especially since I remember what a slog it was for Rin to regain their trust. That confusion lasted until they gave us the enlightening flashback of how this takes place after the battle with Amaimon, where everyone learns (for the first time) that Rin’s father is Satan. I’m a little annoyed we have to go through this development again, but I can at least assume they’ll start to trust Rin due to different events from the first anime (since, you know, this one is actually following the manga).

Final Thoughts

header-winter15-fosh

The first episode was a fact-heavy infodump to let us know 1) when these events are taking place in relation to the first season  2) who the hell these guys are, and 3) exactly what is happening in this arc. That last one is surprisingly straightfoward – they have to protect a poisonous eyeball from evil dudes. I’m sure it’ll get more complex later on, but for now I’m glad they’re more concerned with character drama. It feels like they really want to get things right and not lose anyone right off the bat. It’s a boring, safe choice, but I can respect it.

The real show starts next week, but thanks for tuning in to “Ao no Exorcist crash course in everything we forgot over ~5 years”!

Big eyebrows, big heart

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A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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10 Responses to “First Impressions – Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen”

  1. zztop says:

    The first episode was a fact-heavy infodump.

    I can’t blame the studio – they likely only have 1 cour to work with, instead of FMA Brotherhood’s 50+ eps. Not to mention a good cutoff point for this arc, since the manga’s still ongoing.

    • BlackBriar says:

      It’s this business of cour limitations that help kill an adaptation’s chances of success. No room to breathe and because of that and time constraints, material cut-outs are an inevitability. What should be allowed is a show can have an ample amount of episodes if it means adapting the source material in clean manner. Cut-outs are bound to bring in incoherency. Especially for the anime-only crowds.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah…I understand why they did it, but it was dull nonetheless. At least this will end neatly with a good stopping point!

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Ah, the nostalgia. I can still remember the time former writer Hime was covering the first season back in Spring 2011. Man, did so much time really pass? But it feels good to see the characters again. Nice to see you taking up the torch, OC.

    Like you said, given the word of mouth on the first season’s ending being anime original (After all this time, I’m still in the anime-only group), it’s a surprise to see a sequel. So by what’s shown, everything after Rin and Amaimon’s fight is being overwritten. With that in place and if there’s ample material, the studio can adapt as much as they please. On the other hand, that currently puts things back to having Rin’s classmates giving him a hard time because he’s Satan’s son and the grief they give him makes my blood boil. It’s something I’m not fond of seeing happen to a character who only means well even if the way they go about it isn’t advised.

    In my opinion, if an adaptation of any material is to be made, it’s indispensable to have the author onboard. Otherwise, the production will go off track and doing so staves off the need to do any “adjustments” that shouldn’t be needed in the first place if they were actually following. The authors for Attack on Titan/Shingeki no Kyojin and Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign/Owari no Seraph were closely involved with the adaptation of their works. Need an ending but running out of material? Leave the job to the author because it’s going to be in the manga anyway.

    Basically a mildly eventful start-up episode to get things in gear but if the PVs are anything to go by, a lot is in store when things get rolling. The downside is the season is unfortunately a single cour which implies the Kyoto Impure King arc/Kyoto Fujouou-hen is relatively short.

    Side note: Something I noticed and found odd going back into the Ao no Exorcist universe after so long. It’s Shura‘s name, whose meaning is rather contradictory considering her profession as an exorcist. “Shura” is another term for “demon” aside from “akuma”, “yokai” and “oni”.

    • Overcooled says:

      I went back to those posts to refresh myself about what happened haha now it’s my turn

      I haven’t read the manga either, but I’m kinda excited they’re adapting more faithfully now since it sounds good. Guess for this one they’ll keep the authors intentions in mind more.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Yes, it’s good they’ve decided to follow faithfully this time. Pleasing the readers and telling the anime-only group what really happened.

        It wouldn’t be able to fit every detailed story development due to time constraints but I’ve always believed that if an adaptation doesn’t follow its source material to a certain degree, it’s no longer an adaptation, it becomes something else entirely and doesn’t deserve to bear the same name as the source it’s betrayed.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    Can someone help? Spammy’s at it again.

  4. Di Gi Kazune says:

    A reminder of the impressive plot going on here

    Bweeebs.

  5. Foshizzel says:

    Yay time for moar Ao no Exorcist! While it might not be the best shounen series ever created I do enjoy it a lot, but it certainly feels odd going back to the point when everyone discovered the truth about being a demon! I mean sure nothing will ever change the fact that he IS and will always be the son of SATAN…

    Still its great to be reunited with a familiar cast of characters again.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, it’s going to be hard to get used to going back into “everyone’s scared of Rin” zone now. He’ll always be the son of Satan, but they should eventually find a way to see that he’s a good guy despite this.

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