Ao no Exorcist | 03

by

兄と弟 | Ani to Otouto | “Brothers”

RIP Fujimoto Shiro

Fujimoto is a testament to good character design.  He established himself as a powerful presence in only two episodes and left a lasting impression on the viewers.  The impact of his death is like the tragic loss of Mae Hughes in FMA.  The void Fujimoto left behind is so big it has to be filled by two people:  the dandy Faust and Fujimoto’s protegé, Yukio.  He even has the crazy lens glare going like Fuji.

When I Grow Up…

Rin’s inability to hold down a job represented his uncertain future.  He would’ve saved himself a lot of grief by going to the career councilor.  Then again, RIN:  Petrol Attendant doesn’t make for an exciting title.

The  moment he decides his future (to be an exorcist) a new world literally opens up to him (True Cross Academy).  We can liken his progress to a video game.  Destroy the Gehenna Gate, level up, gain demonic form.  Convince Faust he’s not Satan’s weapon of mass destruction, +1000000 bonus exp, level up, gain Faust as a mentor.  Declare vocation in the supernatural arts, bonus level unlocked, True Cross Academy, +1 responsibility/+1 luck.  Max out Str and Dex then Sta.  Forget trying to improve Rin’s charisma stats because it’s a bottomless black hole that will never go up until he improves his terribad social skills.

Rin has a lot of catching up to do because Yukio is already a full-fledged exorcist, the youngest ever certified, and he even accomplished his dream to be a doctor, a recognized genius of Anti-Demon Pharmacology.  A shining example of why setting goals is important.  It’s almost too convenient Yukio is there to take over Fujimoto’s role as caretaker (or warden, lulz) after his demise.  However, I’m willing to let it slide as part of Fujimoto’s genius, he’s just that prepared.  I think he handicapped Rin by not training him like he did Yukio but he HAD to raise him as a human.  He alluded to making a deal with The Order to let Rin live, and the vibe is the Order opposed his existence period.  Fujimoto did bring up taking over the abbey to Rin (E01).  Joke or testing the water?

True Cross Academy

The idea of a school set up as a front for another organization is not new (see Vampire Knight) but a cram school as an exorcist training ground is refreshing.  Thumbs up for clever, detailed application of common fantasy elements, such polymorphing and opening doors to another location.  Rin is useful here because his awestruck reactions not only provide comic relief but mirrors our own fascination with the new extraordinary setting.

Resolution

There’s simply no such thing as civilly discussing grievances in manga/anime.  If it’s not an all out fight in the middle of a city (Macross Plus), they’re destroying a classroom.  Like the song “Stuck in a Moment“, Yuki has years of resentment built up toward Rin he kept bottled up.  One of Rin’s charming points is his complete lack of inhibition in letting everyone know exactly how he feels.  So what’s a big brother like him to do but to purposely pick a fight with Yuki to help him get it all off his chest.

Rin finally gets it’s not just about him.  The secrecy was hard for everyone, especially Yuki.   They just lost their foundation, Fujimoto, and they have to rebuild one together but it can’t be based on lies anymore.  So the fight is about clearing air between them and starting over.  With that, the brothers bring closure to Fujimoto’s death.

Parting Thoughts

Rin is surprisingly perceptive.  He knew it wasn’t just Fujimoto’s death bothering him in the car ride to the Academy.  He also has a sharp sense of smell.  In E02 he comments on the stink of ghouls on the rooftop and again here, on the stink of rotten blood in cram class.  It’s either another demon ability or he’s just being Rin.  I’m curious about the same ornament worn by Fujimoto, Yuki, and Faust.  It’s featured prominently on all three characters but not on other exorcist.  It seems like it represents rank or status of some sort.

Notes

Pharmacology is the science of drugs, including their composition, uses, and effects. (sauce)

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: