Ao no Exorcist – 07
So this week decided to focus on the girls in Rin’s class – which isn’t a good thing since they’re all pretty weak characters that irritate more than entertain. Still at least we were given a bit more detail on this series’ class system and a half-naked Rin!
Sometimes its quite handy that Rin is such an idiot – it means that we get things spelled out for us in black and white; that must be the reason why writers like to have their protagonist be a bit mentally challenged at times. Anyway, this week we’re filled in on the different classes of meister exorcist in the True Cross Order, which are:
- Knight – uses a sword as their primary weapon
- Dragoon – uses guns as their primary weapons
- Tamer – uses demon summons to fight
- Aria – employs the power of words – reciting scripture/chanting etc
- Doctor – knowledgeable in pharmacology and healing spirit wounds.
Exorcists aren’t restricted to only one meister class, for example Yukio is both a Doctor and a Dragoon, and Bon aspires to be both an Aria and a Dragoon; Rin of course latches onto the notion of being a Knight since he has a katana ready to go. However this episode mainly deals with the potential Tamers in the class – Shiemi and Izumo Kamiki, as when eyepatch-sensei has everyone attempt a summoning, only these two are able to do so. It’s interesting to note that the Tamer class is the only one which you must have a natural affinity for – all the others can be learned with enough time and dedication, but to be able to summon a demon requires a very particular mindset. Shiemi’s familiar is a Green Man spirit, which is very fitting considering her affinity for plants and the fact she was once under the thrall of one. Izumo comes from a family of shrine maidens and so a pair of kitsune answer her summons. None of the others in the class succeed in summoning (although interestingly Rin isn’t shown to even try – probably wouldn’t be sensible for the son of Satan to try that in a crowded classroom!)
The bulk of the episode is spent with Shiemi and Izumo as Shiemi attempts to befriend the snotty purple-haired brat for some incomprehensible reason (although Shiemi isn’t exactly someone I’d like to be stuck with for any extended period time either). I imagine Izumo’s portrayal at the end of the episode was meant to make her a bit more sympathetic, but really it was too little to late, just because she herself had a rather lonely childhood until Ms Bland (seriously can’t remember her name) took pity on her, doesn’t excuse her behaviour towards Shiemi for the majority of the episode. I suppose Izumo saw her past self in Shiemi and tried to put as much distance between them as possible, which isn’t really fair on Shiemi – the child is irritating but she means well.
Izumo’s tough exterior proved to be as fragile as an eggshell when shit goes down and Ms Bland is attacked by a ghoul just when Ms Bland proclaims that Izumo is being a bitch and that she wants to quit the exorcist cram school. Faced with the loss of her sole friend and lifeline, Izumo completely loses her cool and her kitsune summons take advantage of that to turn on her – if Rin hadn’t of shown up in time Izumo would have been in real trouble. I doubt Izumo’s personality will do a 180, but she probably will be a touch softer and more accepting of others in the future.
Shiemi’s development was the other primary focus. We know she was a lonely isolated child who hasn’t had a true friend before, and this week sees her determined to make friends with the girls in the class, seizing on the fact that only she and Izumo managed a successful summon to approach the other girl. Shiemi’s still bothered by the fact Rin denied they were friends (out of pure embarrassment no doubt) and is fairly determined not to rely on Rin’s good nature and easy-going personality to help her fit into the class. Rin for his part seems to accept that, but is still visibly bothered by Izumo’s treatment of Shiemi.
I don’t much like Shiemi, and I think Kana Hanazawa’s way of voicing her character is making things worse – Shiemi is a clumsy, naive little girl with some odd notions, but she isn’t a retard and does have a quiet sort of strength and willpower of her own. In this episode it was annoying to see her acting like such an idiot around Izumo, but thankfully she showed some backbone when faced with some real danger – where Izumo’s facade of strength crumbled, Shiemi’s quiet inner strength kept her head clear when it was apparent a classmate needed her help. I hope we see more of this kind of confident Shiemi in the future.
Rin didn’t get much time in the limelight this week unfortunately. He and Bon are still sniping at each other, but its more like friendly banter and exasperation on Bon’s part than anything antagonistic – you do have to admire how easily Rin worms his way into people’s affections, you’d think he and Bon’s group had been friends for years! Rin just seems to know how to deal with people – it’s not like he goes out of his way to win them over, he just has a natural sort of charm that attracts people to him; Yukio seems to have that too, but it feels like a much more calculated charm on his part than the natural ease Rin has.
Rin also seems to have a hero-complex. He sees Shiemi struggling to win Izumo over and is itching to say something even if he knows it’s not his place. Rin only steps forward when it becomes apparent that Shiemi herself has noticed how badly she’s being treated – Rin doesn’t want things to go too far or it will badly damage Shiemi’s confidence and determination to try approaching others. Rin then goes flying to Izumo & Ms Blands aid without a second thought for his own safety – he barges into the room with no plan and just tries to wing it until Yukio shows up. Rin is reckless when others are in danger, and he basically uses himself as a shield while Shiemi performs first aid on Ms Bland. Even after the ghoul has been chased off Rin can’t help himself from going to Izumo’s side to offer a few comforting words (& his shirt), it’s like thinking of others first is a natural impulse for him.
The other thing of interest this episode, was the fact that the ghoul that attacked the dormitory was Eyepatch-sensei’s summon, and that Eyepatch-sensei himself says that he’s working for the demons – not even True Cross Academy is completely safe for Rin (although Satan seems to want Rin alive, so god knows what they were trying to accomplish by attacking him!).
Next week looks like the training camp is continuing and Rin is back in the spotlight.