For virtuous monks, they sure have a lot of kids
Another week, another AoEx episode! We’re already halfway through!
I’m starting to think that AoEx was just an okay show that I remember as being better than it actually was thanks to rose-tinted nostalgia glasses. I still love the characters, but I feel like there’s something missing this time around. The magic is gone. It feels like coming back to a game I haven’t touched in months and losing all motivation.
As much as I enjoy learning about the side characters, they’re not quite as interesting as Rin. It’s hard to top a story about being the son of Satan and potentially being a harbinger of death via INFERNO (in a rather fetching shade of blue, I might add). The first season had a really tight focus on him and his troubles, which formed a very cohesive story about belonging amongst high stakes exorcist battles. It was the perfect mix. In comparison, this season doesn’t have the luxury of time to go into that sort of depth. It’s all over the place. I think it would have been much more powerful if it focused more on Bon (and perhaps Konekomaru and Shima) instead of bouncing around, just having everyone chip in with their five cents worth.
I like the drama with Tatsuma from the point of view of how it affects his relationship with Bon. I care about Bon more than this old dude. Unfortunately, Bon wasn’t part of the picture this week. It was all Tatsuma. He was quite boring in the past since he was a regular, upstanding guy who played by the rules. So while I liked hearing the secrets of the Myoda sect, I found the delivery to be a little dull. Even Shiro’s appearance was a bit lacklustre. It’s a shame because the Shiro here is different from the doting father we know. He originally was prepared to kill the son of Satan – not adopt him and make hotcakes for him every Sunday morning. It’s quite the flip in personality, and I wish they focused on that more. He’s clearly still a good guy at this point, just a little more rough around the edges. Afterall, instead of healing all those people and teaching them to do it themselves after, he could have just darted away and stole the sword. No compensation or anything.
“Haha, you think your father dying is bad? Buddy, this ain’t even the worst that’s gonna happen.”
Conceptually, it was interesting. The dialogue just seemed a bit…off. Shiro bluntly talks about killing kids without really explaining anything, even though that’s literally the worst thing to say in that moment. He also conveniently asks for the sword in return moments after healing everybody (or at least, that’s how it seems with the timeskip). It just all felt a little stilted. He lost trust, gained trust, then lost trust all within such a short span of time that it just made his old self seem confusing. I really think this is mostly due to a lack of time. This story is important largely for explaining the secrets about Karura and the Impure King, and that doesn’t take much time to the explain. The rest is all extra flavouring…although I wish we had more of that extra-ness, because even this huge reveal felt like it just wooshed by me without giving me time to take it in.
He regained his youth and got magical powers…but also pimples.
I was a little disappointed at the beginning of the episode, but I am pretty happy about where things stand now for next week. I had to peel my jaw from the floor when Tatsuma got stabbed through the neck suddenly and then Hodo gobbled up Karura. If Tatsuma truly dies, then he won’t get the chance to make up with Bon and this will be a repeat of what happened with Rin. Throat wounds as usually fatal, but this is anime, so Tatsuma may very well live and get to reconcile with his son. As for Hodo suddenly sucking up Karura like Kirby and absorbing fire powers..uh…can’t say I expected that either. I never really liked Hodo as a villain until this episode where he displayed maximum creepiness. He pretended to be the good guy towards Mamushi before turning 180 and revealing his true self, becoming even more badass with Karura’s powers in the process. The next few episodes are gonna be intense! Maybe they rushed through the backstory to get to the good stuff…in which case, I really can’t complain.
Now, who’s gonna bust Rin out of that jail cell?!