The 3rd installment of my Blue Exorcist Arc analysis is here; the balance between good and bad as well as Assaih and Gehenna will be explored, challenged and tested! With the ExWires back at True Cross, things will only get more intense from here.
In this installment, I will be looking at:
- ‘The Grey Area’ discussed by Mephisto and where it can be applied
- The shift in dynamic among the ExWires
- Arc transitions (and how good the transition is between the Festival Arc & Illuminati Arc
- My overall thoughts on The Festival Arc.
THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS PODCAST EPISODE
MUSIC IN THIS PRODUCTION:
ChipScape by chasersgaming
Difference by chasersgaming
Mandatory Overtime by Joth
by Eric Matyas
“Autumn of Life”
by Eric Matyas
SOURCES IN THIS PRODUCTION:
BLUE EXORCIST ARCS (BLUE EXORCIST WIKI)
MYANIMELIST PAGE (AO NO EXORCIST (MANGA)
NOTE FROM JAMAL:
Thanks for reading the show notes. Nothing special really for this week (but I did fix the audio a lot for the upcoming episodes). I think I am considering shortening the length of the show notes a bit more (but I’ll think about it a bit more). And finally remember that this content for Ao No Exorcist / Blue Exorcist is now being based off the MANGA and NOT the anime, as there’s been no news on the show returning.
Plot Summary: The Kyoto Impure King Arc has concluded and now our favourite Exwires have returned back to the True Cross Academy cram school. However, there is never time to rest in a world full of demons. Some weird events have been occurring around the school, as a result of a gap in the barrier. The reason for this breach is unknown, but now it is the job of our protagonists to clean up the ‘mess’ that created before the annual Festival!
‘The Grey Area’: This is a theme that I refer to in the show mostly in relation to Rin and Mephisto. During the ‘Mansion scene’, we gain a bit more of an understanding into this concept; neither Mephisto or Rin ‘fully’ belong in either Assaih or Gehenna, despite their identities being largely associated with the latter. After Mephisto brought this up and after I re-read the arc for the sake of this reviewing this, I came to the realisation that this could be applied to Shima as there is an awful amount of ambiguity in relation to where he stands in the good-bad spectrum (thanks to the OVA for making that clear).
The Fall of Shima: Shima’s Betrayal is what makes this arc what it truly is. There’s a high amount of anticipation building up to this one event (the Festival) and Kazue Katou is able to capitalise by doing this, by allowing what seemed to be a triumphant victory become one of the grimmest parts in the show so far. Shima’s character (although explained more in detail on the podcast) is one that embraces the elitist notion that seems to come alongside being a part of the Illuminati. This unhealthy stigma of his fellow man and friends is smartly placed at the end of this arc and then pushed substantially in the Illuminati Arc (our next Ao No Exorcist episode).
The introduction of the concept early on lends itself to a smooth transition between the Festival Arc and the Illuminati Arc; if anything, this was the smooth transition we needed since the last two arcs of the anime / manga.
The Festival Arc as a whole (although I found the middle rather monotonous) is a strong way to introduce us to some concepts that will appear later down the line and makes us question the current standing of everybody we have met so far. A shift from any one of the people in the narrative so far from one side to another will most likely influence the course of the narrative, hence the reason why it is important to pay attention to this and the role everybody has to play at the moment.