Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga isn’t your typical anime sequel
Unless you’re a fan of Attack on Titan, there isn’t usually much of a gap between anime seasons (sick burn, right?). Sure, there are exceptions, but Blue Exorcist is in a select company. We went from 2011 to 2017 without seeing a regular dose of manga creator Kazue Kato’s demon brothers on television, and it’s great to have them back.
The Kyoto Saga isn’t your typical anime sequel. The manga’s source material, the Kyoto Impure King arc, is familiar to fans of the series, but anime-only viewers may be perplexed by the first episode because it contains content from prior seasons. You’ll want to forget about most of what happened after Episode 17 or so of the original series, because the things that followed deviated from the manga’s plot in order to create a suitable conclusion.
As a result, there will be times when you’ll need to deal with some mental resets, especially while Rin Okumura and the rest of the True Cross Academy students are concerned. Outside of the more devoted replication of the source material, this A-1 Pictures production is just as reliable as ever. Rather than being trapped in a never-ending loop of introspection, this new crew is free to explore the world around them. These siblings are still able to light up the screen, despite everything that has changed in the anime industry in recent years. Beyond the action and demonic intrigue, Blue Exorcist’s characters have kept it in the news.
The first Blue Exorcist anime moved at a breakneck speed in its closing third, particularly when it came to the story’s conclusion. Due to the restricted nature of the narrative and the shift away from directly following the manga, characters were forced to adapt and move on swiftly after learning about Rin’s demonic abilities. The creators of the Kyoto Saga may, on the other hand, return to those crucial uncertain points and linger on them. Rin is charged with a time-specific objective: pass the exorcist examination in six months or else suffer the consequences.
Rin is called to duty to retrieve a demon relic known as the Left Eye of the Impure King at the start of Kyoto Saga. This mission rapidly goes awry, and Rin, Shura, and Yukio are thrust into conflict with a new adversary in the process. The heroes rush to Kyoto, where they learn that another attempt has been made on the Other Demon Relic, the Right Eye of the Impure King, which is kept in an ancient temple. A gathering of all levels of exorcists is called to discuss the attempted theft, and they reach a logical but damning conclusion: someone among them is a turncoat. Everyone is a suspect, even Ryuji “Bon” Suguro’s father, Tatsuma. So it’s time to let the narrow-eyed suspicions flow!
As a result of these and other crucial story beats, the first portion of the new season is mostly a gradual build that builds on some of the character development from the prior season. Konekomaru, Renzo, and the rest of the pupils are finding it especially difficult to accept that Rin is Satan’s son. The fact that most of them don’t want to be close to him, much less speak with him, is a welcome difference from the way it was neatly swept aside in the original anime. These individuals are all important to the narrative, and more significantly, they’re essential to Rin. Even if Rin had declared he couldn’t beat Satan alone, as with all classic shonen heroes, he eventually learned he couldn’t do it on his own. He’ll need all the help he can get if he’s going to achieve his ultimate aim.
The end of the Kyoto Arc represents another extension of that growth. The real value of following the manga more carefully is that it allows us to relish all of the crucial character moments along the way. Rin’s trial, which is one of the first obstacles he must overcome in order to gain control over his powerful blue flame, has even more significance in the new season. It’s not a problem that goes away after the narrative calls for it; instead, Rin’s training is something we observe him struggle with, understand, and complete in a realistic amount of time.
All of this talk of characters and exams brings us back to Blue Exorcist’s pacing, which may strike readers as being rather slow by shonen standards. However, that isn’t the case. The second season of Blue Exorcist is just as thrilling as the first, but it’s particularly adept at keeping the downtime amusing.
The Souls Still Burn:
There were a few modifications to the Blue Exorcist crew at A-1 Pictures for the new season, as previously stated. The first is Tensai Okamura, who is well regarded for shows such as Darker than Black and Wolf’s Rain—which he worked on at BONES in 2003—The Seven Deadly Sins. (The film adaptation of Nakaba Suzuki’s manga, not the tie-in to Hobby Japan and OrchidSeed’s flirty bishojo figures.) and, most recently, Kuromukuro.
Koichi Hatsumi, who has previously directed Deadman Wonderland as director and Gangsta. as series director, will take the reigns for another action-packed installment in this fantasy franchise. Toshiya Ono (Gatchaman Crowds, The Perfect Insider, tsuritama) takes over series composition duties from Ryota Yamaguchi (Dokidoki! Precure, Cutey Honey Flash), which seems like a better fit given the new focus.
The Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga team’s efforts proved to be beneficial in the end, and in a perfect world they would continue beyond the planned 12-episode arc. While the series is entertaining, it isn’t an ideal starting point for new people, and Season 1’s first 17 installments are at the very least must-see. However, when the cost you have to pay is “watch more Blue Exorcist,” it’s difficult not to grumble.