Ao no Exorcist | 08

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此に病める者あり | Koko ni Yameru Mono Ari | “Now a Certain Man was Sick”

Tooth decay spares noone.

Izumo’s nightmare recaps the girls bathroom attack from the last episode. The shame of rejection by her only friend, loss of power over her familiars, and she froze when she needed to fight. Her humbling experience brings out her vulnerable side especially in front of Rin.  She’s still waspy but he can tell she’s trying to extend an olive leaf.  Lucky for her Rin is such an easy-going guy. He doesn’t dwell on the past and is quick to forgive.

<3 infused laundry.

There are many ways people express interest in someone they like. For Izumo, it’s through laundry. “Wow! You washed it! You’re a nice person after all. I misjudged you.” Foolish Rin. She did it only for you! Looks like the story is setting up a rival for Rin’s affection because Shiemi does a mean load of laundry.

Aaaaaahhh!

Or perhaps she intends to literally impress herself on him by making a habit of banging heads with him like on the dormitory rooftop.

Even though she's abrasive as a Brillo pad with razors for a tongue, she's good at heart. Bon just can't see it atm.

The episode is all about being true to yourself. Even a minor character like Paku experiences a major transformation after standing up to Izumo. She’s more confident and outgoing compared to the mousey girl she used to be. She makes sure Izumo understands they are still friends even though she’s resolute about quitting cram school because she doesn’t want to be an exorcist. “I love you the way you are.” This is Paku’s way of encouraging Izumo to make new friends. During her 2nd confrontation with the ghoul, Izumo finally understands what Paku was trying to telling her. She doesn’t need to change her personality to make friends. She just needs to be herself and find people who accept her for who she is like Shiemi and Rin. And with the magic of speedy character development in a 30 min anime, she regains her self-confidence and her control over her familiars.

This would be so much funnier if he copped a feel. Shima would've done it.

The rest of the story focuses on Izumo as she grapples with the prospect of being alone. She can’t focus on schoolwork or classes. It’s not that she doesn’t want friends; it’s more like she doesn’t know how to make friends. Paku was her lifeline since elementary school so she never bothered to developed social skills to get along with other people. She’s so stressed out, she takes it out on Bon. Silly girl. Buddhists view all creatures as equals. Meaning he’s not going to hold back because she’s a girl.  Strangely enough, of all the things he says, it’s his astute observation about her that shuts her up.  “You really are an annoying woman!… You’ll scare everyone away that way.”  Only a few days before she would’ve sneered at his comment but now she’s mortified. I can’t say I’m a fan of this side of her. The hesitation is annoying because isn’t her; Shiemi has that aspect covered and one is enough.

Yukio punishes the class.

They have to hold ghost rocks for three hours straight to learn the concept of collective responsiblity by sharing Izumo and Bon’s punishment for fighting. The constipated rocks is by far the best scene. What makes it hilarious is the strained faces on the rocks trying to be as heavy as possible.

Gardener's worst nightmare.

Watching Shiemi use her powers, I can’t help but think she’s being distanced from the “useless girl” title. As long as she stays the comedic relief it’s fine with me. I don’t want to watch another Sakura (pre-Shippuden Naruto) for an entire season (her only skill was tear bending and acting like a human target).

What is Mr. Eyepatch’s beef with Rin?  He’s clearly testing Rin with his familiar but there’s an undercurrent of animosity in his actions. For a moment it looked like Rin was going to spill the guy’s guts all over the floor but he stabs the ghoul instead. It provides the teacher with insight into Rin’s power which is why he says “I see” before slipping away.  Perhaps he realized Rin hasn’t mastered the flames or that he gets stronger the more he uses the flames.

The fatal verse was in the last chapter.

Remember Bon and Izumo’s fight? She said, “Memorizing isn’t that great a skill… Aria are totally defenseless while chanting, … They’re just luggage!” Bon’s memory skills ultimately save them from the ghoul but like she said he was sitting target for the demon. He was only one verse away from losing his head. Which kinda proves Izumo right too. He wasted a lot of time on superfluous verses (20+ chapters!) before finding the correct one because he mindlessly memorized text. I’m not sure who’ll end up the teams strategist but lets not hope its Bon anytime soon.

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