Ao no Exorcist – 06
So this week is basically filler – they’ve taken a short omake chapter about the twins’ search for living expenses and Rin’s unexpected skill in the kitchen, and padded it out with a cooking demon & Yukio’s fangirl woes. The results were pretty fun & entertaining, if slightly jarring given the way things were going at the end of the previous episode!
If there is one thing that this episode succeeded in doing, it was softening Yukio’s character. He’s been skirting that complete arsehole line for the past few episodes, so it was nice to see him in a different light this week – be it dodging his trio of fangirls, or being completely nonplussed by his brother & Mephisto’s behaviour; Yukio showed much more variety in his character during this episode. However I’m not really sure if this was the best place to put this comedy episode precisely because the previous episodes worked so hard at making Yukio a tough character to figure out – seeing him act so goofy this week was a touch jarring after the extremely srsbns “I’m fully willing to shoot my brother if he steps out of line” of last week (especially when Rin threatened to draw his sword multiple times).
Strangely having Mephisto acting so flippant about the twins meager living expenses and then trying to poison them with his unique cooking when they piss off his familiar, didn’t come off as jarring at all – it’s just classic Mephisto behaviour! I suppose Mephisto’s innate weirdness and irreverent personality covers any discrepancy there may have been about his actions at the end of episode 5 and this week – he’s clearly getting some sort of kick out of watching the twins’ struggle to feed themselves in his ridiculously over-priced school!
Reaction faces were pretty damn hilarious this week, Rin has always been quite animated, but Yukio had some quality expressions this week too. It was nice to see the boys acting their age and messing about, with the major upheaval in their lives both the twins have been a touch subdued and lost, but this episode just allowed them to muck about and be stupid teenagers – the ordinary, everyday concerns about food & girls grounded the characters, while firing in a cooking demon familiar ensured the series didn’t stray too far away from its unique selling point.
This episode also eased the tension between Rin & Yukio quite a bit. The brothers have sort of been at odds since the death of Fr Fujimoto, with Yukio taking on an authoritative role in Rin’s life were beforehand they were on a much more even keel. The interplay between the two was much more natural, and the fact that Rin is much better at cooking than Yukio affords him a bit more self-confidence when contrasted with Yukio’s perfectionist personality.
The whole demon familiar aspect of the episode was rather pointless, as it only provided a means to highlight Rin’s cooking skills. The weird monkey like design of the creature wasn’t the most imaginative, and the fact it chucked a hissy fit and went on strike when Rin used its kitchen, was just a handy plot device to keep this episode ticking over. Ultimately this demon isn’t really important and I doubt we’ll see it again. Rin is perfectly capable of taking care of the twins domestic needs (so long as Yukio provides the cash with his teacher & exorcist salaries) so really the demon is superfluous, but it was fun to see Rin battle it out with the creature.
The weakest part of the episode was probably Yukio’s trio of fangirls – three characters so devoid of personality or purpose that they just killed any scene they were in. I was kind of hoping the demon would finish cooking them at the end of the episode (had to laugh that Rin was more concerned about the correct way to cook them rather than the fact they were being cooked!), but I’m fairly sure that they won’t be turning up again regardless. I suppose their only real purpose was to show another aspect of Yukio – he’s a bit uncomfortable with people his own age when not in his professional role (girls in particular seem to unnerve him). Rin doesn’t have any such issues given his outgoing, affable personality, but Yukio behaves in a much more stilted manner – he’s old before his time, but is still a teenager with those pesky hormones to contend with. At the end it was nice to see Rin giving Yukio some pointers on how to deal with people (even if that did involve making Yukio eat until he threw up).
Next week is back to the main plot, with a class trip, some proper exorcist classes and a bit of Shiemi character development fired in too. Should be interesting!