I’ll just stare at this lovely picture of Rin while you go catch up on Ao no Exorcist/Blue Exorcist #73, “Love Awakens.”
The chapter begins where the last one left off… sort of. We don’t actually see what happens to stop Yukio’s fall, but he wakes up in a smoldering crater.
Yukio assume’s he’s been saved by his demonic powers and is super pissed off that somehow he missed seeing the transformation. He sees his gun lying on the ground and decides it’s time for more drastic measures.
As you can see, he’s ready to pull the trigger when his cell phone rings.
Then the action shifts to plant girl (Sheimi). She’s back in her mother’s herb shop talking about exorcist school and the exams coming up. Turns out, mom appreciates how much school as brought Sheimi out of her shell, but doesn’t really want her to go through with becoming an exorcist because she feels it’s too dangerous.
Very mom-like, honestly.
Then Sheimi and Rin get assigned to exorcise a rickety-old house that’s been infested with ‘coal tars’. Mostly, this appears to involve using spray bottle of holy water. Rin, not satisfied just doing the assigned task, goes looking for the big bad, the coal tar lord koks. He ends up crashing them both through the floorboards into an abandoned well tunnel (?)/giant hole in the ground. Because they’re stuck down there, unable to move for fear of bringing the whole house down, they end up confession their true feelings to one another.
Rin tells Sheimi he likes her. She seems really grateful, but then Rin blurts out ‘just as friends’ and says he knows she’s got her eye on Yukio. She says that it used to be that way, she admired Yukio, but things have changed. Rin yells, “Does that mean you’re not in love with either of us??!!” Then, she’s all wait, “Love? Who’s talking love?”
And that’s, of course, when they notice the tar critters coming from below and Rin decides he has to lay waste to the whole place, Satan-style, and he fries the whole house and everything in it. Sheimi is super-embarrassed about their conversation and starts to run away, but she gets pulled back in by the fact that Rin is injured. She remembers why she joined up in the first place and wonders if that’s where everything started between them.
It’s a nice moment, so it’s interrupted by Rin’s cell phone ringing.
Mephisto tells the brothers that Ms. Kirigakure (Sword Boob Instructor Lady) is missing and their job is to find her. He also says he knows where she is, and frankly, I think I do too, since the last time we saw her she was with the mysterious Lewin Light.
As I was telling a friend I feel like this chapter felt like a bit of fluff filler before the new adventure arc begins. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, one of the reasons I’m a fan of Blue Exorcist is because Kato-sensei gives us all these moments soft and hard, loud and quiet, and the in-betweens.
It wasn’t like things weren’t happening… I mean clearly part of the point of these quiet chapters was to build up the question “what’s the deal with Yukio’s superpowers?” in the reader’s mind. And, of course, to introduce Light and let us grow deeply suspicious of him. I think, too, one of the other issues this new adventure arc is going to be about is “why ARE the Exorcists so understaffed???”
But, I’m glad to be heading in a direction again. I like the meanders a lot, but I like them best when interspersed between bouts of action, which is what Kato-sensei seems to do.
I continue to really enjoy this manga. It’s stayed very fresh for me. It’s not always ‘OMG WHAT’S NEXT’ but it’s consistently a good, strong story. I’m sold.