The newest chapter is out! Go get it: http://www.mangapanda.com/ao-no-exorcist/83.
This chapter begins exactly where the previous one left off: with the arrival of Amaimon. He struts up to Rin, shoving Shiemi (Plant Girl) aside.
We get a flashback from Shiemi’s p.o.v. that helps remind readers like me, who have forgotten who even Amaimon is and why he’s calling Shiemi his ‘bride’ (chapter 13). He continues to act like he has control over her, but she’s having none of it. In fact, her confrontation with him is the impetus for her to ‘come out,’ as it were. She finally confesses that she’s determined to become an exorcist.
Amaimon continues to be a a$$hole-bully, by saying “Then Die” (which is sort of interesting since one assumes, wearing the school’s uniform would mean he’s also an exorcist-in-training?) But, Shiemi’s heart-felt declaration of intent causes Rin to be able to shake himself from his rejection daze and stop Amaimon’s blow.
In typical bully fashion when his blows do no damage to Rin, he basically says, ‘well, I’d love to murder you now, but I promised my big brother I’d be a good student, so I guess it will have to wait.’
Then we have a lovely moment where the two would-be-paramours have a lovely exchange where Rin, the ever giving, decent one, shouts out to Shiemi, “Hey, we’re still friends, okay?” And Shiemi accepts with a blush and a “Yes, let’s do our best!”
What I love about this scene is that Rin’s friends are still standing thereby him, ready to take him out for a cheering-up meal, and Shiemi gets to be her own woman, too. This is the kind of romantic subplot in a shounen manga that I can really appreciate.
Just as everyone starts heading off to class, Suguro/Bon gets a text from his mentor, Light. The two of them have been doing some extra-curiculuar investigation into “The Blue Night” They end up at the place that Rin and Yukio were raised, the Southern Cross Boy’s Monastery. When one of their targets, Mr. Misumi, doesn’t want to talk about why he transferred to the monastery things get ugly. Light tempts to torture a confession out of Mr. Misumi, until Bon interferes. Light acts like Bon’s interference was all part of the plan, but the whole scene made me uneasy.
Apparently, however, it had a similar effect on Mr. Misumi who decides to confess. He starts to tell our heroes something about how he’d been in something called “Section 13” which has Light looking freaked out… and then this happens:
Death literally shows up. There’s an awesome image of Death (Kin of Time!) breaking a complex looking hour glass type thing that then causes Mr. Misumi to fall over dead on the spot.
Light notices something on Mr. Misumi’s neck that he calls, “A contract of Morinath.” Turns out Light has no clue about Section 13, but he figures this contract thing is a connection to an elixir for immortality and thus is a connection to the Illuminati.
Bon gives us this face:
Also note the blue flame like flash in Light’s eye.
So…. things are getting complicated and divisive and I’m deeply worried about my precious cinnamon bun, Bon. He’s clearly willing to stop anything that goes over his moral line, but I worry that he’s going to already be way too deep in by the time everything comes to whatever head it’s building to and he’s going to end up in a very bad place.
Meanwhile, I have no idea what Mephisto Pheles is thinking letting Amaimon out to cause trouble at the True Cross Academy. But, I kind of literally trust none of the Satan spawn except for Rin and Yukio (and I worry about them, half the time too!)
Ao no Exorcist/Blue Exorcist continues to impress me. Katō-sensei may be one of my favorite mangaka, currently. I thought she deftly handled the interpersonal stuff, and is masterfully keeping me in suspense/on the edge about the storyline/plot. Also, some of her art is downright creepy. The image of Death breaking the hourglass with their scythe is the stuff of nightmares–and very… mystical. I love when you get a sense that there are even some things that are freaky to practiced exorcists like Light.
Anyway, I’m still deeply hooked.