Nagitsuji Ryogo, a character who has existed since episode 1, finally became something worth mentioning in these reviews. The opening scene involves Ryogo detailing to Benio how he and Rokuro are both without family, and thus act as surrogate brothers to one another. This is a much needed scene, because it gives Benio and the audience more reason to empathize with Rokuro, as well as bestows a purpose to Ryogo’s existence in this series. Up to this point, he has basically just been the guy who lived in the same dorm as everyone else and might have been the leader of that cell of exorcists. He is the leader, by the way. It’s an easy mistake to make, considering his staggering lack of skill as both an exorcist and a leader. I think it’s just because he’s the oldest? Maybe?
We are briefly introduced to a man named Fushihara, who is deliberately unspectacular in appearance or presence. This misleading gimmick is used to add shock value when we learn he’s the ace exorcist of another dorm. I think that’s supposed to be important, but when you consider Ryogo was the “ace” of his dorm up until a few days ago, it could mean absolutely nothing, since, as I’ve addressed, Ryogo amounts to little more than a moist cupcake in terms of intimidation or authority. However, Fushihara is actually interesting, because his day job involves being a childcare worker, where he uses his powers to ward off Kegare that might try to haunt the children. So that’s good.
Rokuro has an exchange with an elderly shopkeeper, who provides him with free, sugary treats, and helps him reminisce about his brotherly relationship with Ryogo. Here we learn via flashback that Rokuro made a deal with Ryogo in their youth, that when Rokuro became the strongest exorcist ever, he’d bless Ryogo with the opportunity to be his “servant.” Weird, but not out of character, so I can roll with that. Random old lady also prods Rokuro’s romantic pursuits, asking if he’s yet kissed Mayura (green-haired, class-representative girl who gained her worth in episode 3), to which he recoils in youthful abashment and denial. Which is true, I guess. He hasn’t kissed her, just fallen into conveniently awkward situations where they are given intimately little space, if any space at all.
Ryogo and a couple other exorcists from his dorm—each of whom will remain nameless because they are somehow less relevant than Ryogo himself (despite being around since the beginning of the series)—are sent to investigate a haunted house. Ryogo ultimately gets kidnapped into the dark world of Magano, forcing Rokuro to encounter Benio and prostrate himself before her in request for help. Rokuro announces that he’s afraid to fight (remember, he has some emotional trauma from his childhood which affects his desire to be an exorcist), but he’s more afraid of losing his family. Benio respects Rokuro’s honesty and promises her aid, if a little too formally.
In rescuing Ryogo, I made an observation about Rokuro and Benio’s utility in combat. The pattern seems to be that Benio’s skills are outfitted for mass extermination of small-to-medium Kegare, while Rokuro expends most of his energy in a single burst to kill one, very powerful Kegare. Benio can’t seem to handle an opponent with too much physical might, while Rokuro is quickly overwhelmed by sheer numbers. In this way, they perfectly compliment each other. D’awwww.
A brief aside to Rokuro’s abilities: he has never failed to kill an adversary in one hit so far in this series. I almost didn’t want to check the comments after the video, because I could smell the sickeningly predictable One-Punch Man references which I knew would be waiting for me. My hesitation was well-placed, as that was the only thing the top three comments mentioned. Some people’s children, I tell ya.
To taper off the episode, Rokuro and Benio have their first real connecting moment, with Rokuro thanking Benio for her assistance. They each blush for their own reasons, and then proceed to chastise each other with all the abandon of to-be-lovers-in-denial. Their relationship is my favorite part of this whole show. Which is good, since it’s kind of the driving force of the narrative.
It’s everything else to which I can’t seem to shake my passive-aggressiveness.
In conclusion of this segment, I’ll say I’ve finally developed an appreciation for the music in Twin Star Exorcists. Only the music of Magano, though. Everything else is too generic. Magano supplies some eldritch, haunting songs, incorporating everything from a slow organ and choir, to something faster-paced and thrumming with synth. It’s really hard to shake the feeling that the studio who made this series really loved working on Magano and didn’t much care for anything else.
Matthew 7:7 – “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
I emphasize this biblical passage because of the defining scene in this episode where Rokuro lays down his pride before Benio to request her help. It’s in a similar way that God would ask we approach Him. We might not be comfortable with our requests or needs, but that’s why it’s called being humbled. Sometimes we must cast aside our vanities and recognize when we aren’t strong enough to rely on ourselves alone. In this episode, Rokuro understands that despite his dislike for Benio and fighting, he would rather exorcise (excuse the pun) his pride for the sake of protecting one of the only people he truly cares about.
One of the gifts Christ gave us was an open door into The Spirit, to approach Him wherever we are in life, regardless of our social status, emotional state, or any other demographic. It was Christ who embodied humility in his walk with God. It is Christ who we must mimic if we wish to develop a similar intimacy.
Spiritual Content: Ryogo and some lesser exorcists of his dorm are tasked with investigating a haunted house, where new homeowners consistently end up vanishing. Naturally, this is due to Kegare influence.
When encountering a particularly powerful Kegare, Ryogo makes note of how the air itself seems thicker and heavier. From what I understand, this is a common statement used by people in real life who have encountered proactive, demonic presences. Though, all I could think of was the Reiatsu concept from Bleach. They’re basically the same thing.
Violence: During this episode’s battle with the Kegare, Ryogo is beaten horribly, with a bloodied temple, arm, and leg, the latter of which gets stabbed by a tendril and used to suspend him in the air. Otherwise it’s all par for the course. Kegare explode into dark matter when destroyed. Minor scuffs and scrapes adulterate a few minor exorcists who fell into a Kegare ambush.
Language/Crude Humor: None in my translation (Crunchyroll). However, this time I actually noticed a word in the spoken dialogue which I’ve seen get translated as “d**n” before. While the version I’m using did not mirror this, I’m sure other translations will be more liberal in their use of profanity. I also suspect this means that Crunchyroll simply didn’t copy over any of the swearing from the original series into their subs. Moving forward, assume that other translations might have swearing in the subs, while this one does not. If anything changes on Crunchyroll’s end, I’ll be sure to make a note of it.
Sexual Content: None. Probably because Mayura wasn’t in this episode.
Drug/Alcohol Use: Sugar is a drug, right? Sure it is.
Other Negative Themes: The general tone of the Kegare is steadily getting freakier. Their overall design combined with the menacing music that accompanies them could unnerve some audiences. The Kegare of note in this episode was dishing out major Attack on Titan energies, which if you’re unfamiliar with that series, means it was grossly aloof in its violent existence, little more than a giant zombie which has been killing and eating people for so long that it’s basically on autopilot. Plus it has two heads, so yeah, eww.