By Emily Reuben
Warning: This review may contain spoilers for all previous episodes of this series.
Episode four of Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga finally gets the plot rolling. Bon tracks down one of the people from the previous episode’s meeting who suddenly goes to where the Right Eye of the Impure King is being held: The Deep Keep. Meanwhile, Rin finally starts to control his demonic powers after training this whole season. The ground starts to shake as a commotion occurs inside the Deep Keep as Bon finally finds out who has betrayed his family and his fellow exorcists. Since everyone gathers in the Deep Keep, Bon has the chance to finally confront his father.
“Act of Treachery” is the most engaging of the episodes thus far. There is definitely more of an emphasis on the action here, which is a refreshing change of pace. Though it is more engaging, it still falls prey to the same faults as previous episodes. There seems to be an over-reliance on flashbacks as well as having much less action than there was in season one. Each episode seems to have two distinct halves: one half for character development and the other for moving the plot forward. Perhaps the most glaring flaw is the pacing; the plot seems like it is being spread fairly thin over Kyoto Saga with episodes having extra time being taken up by lengthy character development scenes all the while.
Speaking of the recurring character development, the scene wherein Bon finally confronts his father, a scene that has been built up since episode two, has its emotional power severely handicapped because in the end, Rin intervenes to lecture Bon about respecting his father. What really derails the scene is that a character moment that’s been built up for Bon is turned into a scene about Rin and his feelings for his own father that are largely unrelated and already established. The audience already knows that Rin misses his father and regrets being an ungrateful jerk to him right up until he sacrificed his life for his son.
Another odd part of this episode is that none of the other exorcists in training even have lines. The show has spent a fair amount of time building up their characters, yet they have done remarkably little. Everything that is going on seems to only affect Rin and Bon. This makes the previous character building scenes feel less like the
organic evolution of emotions or motivations and more like contractual obligations to voice actors being fulfilled by the studio.
With how lackluster this season has been thus far and with this being the best it has had to offer action-wise, the main thing that this episode inspires is nostalgia for the first season.
All Images From: Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga
Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga, Episode 4 – Act of Treachery
Though this episode is the best so far for Kyoto Saga in terms of action, it still leaves much to be desired. The same flaws that plague earlier episodes have shown no sign of being fixed. If this is the best Kyoto Saga can do, Blue Exorcist fans may just be better off reading the manga.
Ryan is a Music Media Production major who wrote the first ever Byte music review and has been involved with nearly every other section at some point. He is also an event planner at Village Green Records and the primary booking coordinator for the store’s outdoor concerts.