A reminder of the impressive plot going on here
It’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).
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