Only watched two episodes but it’s basically Ao no Exorcist for girls in case the pretty boys wasn’t a dead give away.
Like AoE’s bloody and fiery inferno intro, we’re presented with a similar scene feature a [gender bending protagonist] called Shino. Shino looks like a girl in the intro because the boys in Ootsuka Village dress like girls until the age of 15 (E02). According to Sousuke, the village is razed to the ground to stop the spread of an unspecified disease but he’s forgotten the details like how he was dead. Or near dead along with Shino. The fire was purposely set but its uncertain if it’s by the church (perhaps Rio saved Shino out of guilt back then), monsters, or if the village was simply caught in the middle of a battle. The answer probably lay with the monster that lures humans with a doppelgänger that looks exactly like Shino from five years ago.
Rio is basically Fujimoto. He saved Shino in the intro and tries to help him live a normal life (like Fujimoto tried to do for Rin). Much to his dismay, Shino is ultimately found by the Imperial Church because he’s a survivor of Ootsuka Village and in possession of their property, Murasame.
The overall tone (dark, supernatural, comedic fantasy), setting (like where Shino lives) and characterizations (Shino’s personality) is the same as AoE. He has the same bratty attitude like Rin, though it’s implied he’s older than he appears and acts bratty on purpose.
Shino and Rin both carry a magical katana. I could nitpick and say Rio gave Shino a sentient, magical sword but in the end it’s still a kind of sacred sword that belonged to the church and imbued with special powers which they both use to transform in a way. A side effect of merging with Murasame is Shino doesn’t age, confirmed in E02.
He even lives with kind priests like Rin did. They are given a surprising amount of personality for side characters and provide great dry humor.
Sousuke, the brother figure, looks after Shino much like Yukio looked after Rin in AoE. Shino insinuates he’s not blood related to Sousuke and Hamaji. Which is confirmed in an exchange between Rio and Kaname showing Shino and Sousuke have different family names. Later, during an exchange between Hamaji and Kaname in E02, she confirms she’s adopted. He was merged with Yoshiro, a dog, and the side effect is he’s loved by canines even demon dogs like Rio’s familiar.
Like the church was keeping tabs on Rin, there’s a domineering church keeping an eye on Shino.
Shino and Rin fight the same thing, for the same reason: they battle demonic monsters to protect friends and family.
The anime is unique (enough) even though it liberally borrows ideas from AoE. I liked the comedic parts, expressions, and supernatural elements. The entire exchange between Kenta and his father is rather amusing because the father is about as mature as his son. (baka slap explained)
Stuff I didn’t like:
Man woman. Thought Hamaji was a boring character until I saw her trying to pummel Kaname with a coffee table. Now she’s .2% less boring.
Sporty dude. How do you not realize you landed on a person and stepped on him for that long? (ﾟ⊿ﾟ)
The no shirt guy. Wierd how in One Piece, the no shirt thing is fine for Ace but in this anime it looks cheesy, like a poor scenario to remove his shirt.
BL vibes. It’s mild but it’s there. Could live without the “very well framed composition to appeal to a specific viewer demographic” or this particular kind of fan service.