Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen – 05

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Alright: I’m officially frustrated with how slowly this arc is moving. It’s one thing to spend an episode or two in one place, but this is getting ridiculous. Yaozou holds another tedious meeting to bring everyone up to speed, and we keep seeing the same flashbacks of Rin flaring up and standing trial. The show seems to be spending so much time reminiscing while setting the table, I’m starting to lose my appetite.

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Mamushi, still being portrayed with the possibility she could still be redeemed, if barely, is having difficulty bearing the evil of the Right Eye, but Todou claims he can’t bear them both alone. Mamushi honestly thinks she’s doing what’s best for her order, so a little suffering is par for the course.

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The sitting around back at Myoda HQ is all the more frustrating because no one, save Tatsuma, seems to be in any hurry to follow Todou and Mamushi. Granted they vanished without a trace, but…you’re exorcists. Do something exorcisty to detect and find them! Instead we get more meetings, then are treated to Yukio reading a letter by Tatsuma that’s as big as a goddamn book.

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Granted, at least the book-letter takes us to a different place, namely the Myoda Temple years ago, when Tatsuma was a young man with a dying pregnant wife and preparing to take over from the master, his ailing father. We also learn that Rin’s Koma Sword was once the main relic of the Myoda sect…until one day Rin and Yukio’s dad…stole it.

Now that sounds like an interesting story. But in the back of my mind, I know that back in the present Rin and Yukio and Shura are sitting around in a jail doing nothing. What little momentum had been built up isn’t likely to survive such a leisurely stroll down memory lane.

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Youjo Senki – 05

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The Gist: After only 20 recruits pass Tanya’s initial test (a test to see through the illusion of a fake officer telling them they’ve failed) HQ gives Tanya a free month to train her soldiers anyway she wants. Training is brutal, starting with being shelled with live munitions for 36 hours, followed by a 48 hour march across the wastes.

All her men can do is shout in frustration… which causes an avalanche. But the tortures backfire on Tanya, who’s impossible odds were set to break men’s wills and prevent her forces from being deployed into battle. Seeing her ‘bring a man back to life’ and calmly take all hardship with purpose only hardens her men’s resolve and fear of failure.

As the episode neared the credits, Tanya’s first regiment finds itself in the south eastern edge of the empire, facing 600,000 soldiers invading from a new threat, the Dakian empire…

screen-shot-2017-02-03-at-12-20-43-pmTanya’s team lands in the enemy’s HQ camp, bewildered that communications are not encrypted and no air defense is in place…

Suffice it to say, the Dakians are completely out of their league. No air defense. No contemporary tactics. Just countless corpses and burning factories — in their capitol city no less. Tanya’s force will certainly fight harder foes in the future, and may risk over confidence, but, for now, they can breath a sigh of relief.

The Verdict: This week brought us a few moments of levity but was mostly focused on the fighting of war, and the prowess of Tanya at war, which is not all that interesting. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it when Lieutenant Serebryakov she grabs a shovel at the first sign of ‘training’, reinforces it with magic, and digs a fox hole to hide in. Her quote “I’ve been thinking your idea of what constitutes a threat is a little…” was a nice touch too.

But really, the only meat to the episode was watching soldiers normalize around the world view of their ruthless leader. They agree with Tanya’s assessment that Dakian’s efforts aren’t really war, they buy into the death and glory of graduating boot camp, they celebrate above the burning wreck of Dakian’s capitol. I could see this story moving ahead, to the next world war, with Tanya holding Furer-like power, and the likely horrifying consequences to follow…

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