Well, I said in my Blue Exorcist season one review that I would be back to post a review of the next season, the Kyoto Saga, so here I am. After seeing the trailer, I had my hopes up with this new season, but I did not know how I felt after watching the first few episodes. There are times where the episodes that left me wanting more, but some left me bored out of my mind! Altogether, though, this season is…not bad, but I wanted more from the season because there are only twelve episodes instead of twenty four!
After defeating Amimon, Mephisto’s brother, the Okumura brothers and the gang travel to the city of Kyoto to the Impure King who stole an eye of the demon Fuju-O from the True Cross Academy secret room, after the Suguro clan failed to protect it.
Yes, the synopsis seems shorter, but the story revolved around this plot continues throughout the twelve episode season. According to what I have read from the manga so far, the Kyoto Arc places itself after the sixteenth chapter, right between where after Amimon fights Rin and before the huge battle between the Okumura brothers and the Gehenna Gate. With this in mind, the whole story flips around to where side characters go back to ignoring Rin and not all the important characters have the development they had in the last few episodes of season one, especially Yukio Okumura, my favorite character in the series. Yukio goes back to acting as the “jerk of a brother” the audience thought of him before the season one conclusion and he does not get as much screen time he deserves. Not to worry, though, this season has a bit of development for Bon, Shima, and Konokomaru, a few of the supporting characters in Blue Exorcist. The viewers will learn a bit about their pasts, why they despise Satan, and why they want to become Exorcists. In addition, the audience will get a good look at Bon’s clan and how they affect the series greatly. Before the second season, I liked the few important side characters, but not as much as I do now.
There is another reason why the characters do not get the development need for the season: the season only has twelve episodes! I can’t stress this enough because I had hoped to receive a twenty four episode season, but I only got half of it. When I watched the last episode this morning, I came close to throwing my remote at my TV screen because of how aggravated I was at the end of the episode, even though the ending was really sweet and light-hearted for the fans.
Since this is 2017, the animation has to look newer compared to a season made six year back, right? Well, you viewers who have not seen the new season will be lucky! The art and colors look so much more smoother and beautiful looking. All of the colors are toned out evenly and none of the outlining for the characters look rough and out of place…except for the noses on the characters. I know I’m being nit-picky, but I cannot help but notice how blushed all the characters’ noses look! The blushed noses may bother some of the viewers at first, but they will probably get used to the look after a few episodes. To add another good element of the animation, the cinematography and video editing are gorgeous and jaw-dropping, especially in the opening theme. All of the transitions for each of the special effects are so crisp and mesmerizing that I just stare in awe from looking at just the backgrounds.
In the previous season, the music had the cool, catchy tunes, but this season brings back more tracks to listen to. The opening theme Itteki no Eikyou by UVERworld, the band who composed the two openings in season one, makes a comeback with yet another astounding opening. Along with this song, the background music improves immensely and add some more significance to the important scenes, especially with the battle between Rin and the Impure King. From snazzy techno music to a few acoustic pieces found in the most heart-felt scenes, this soundtrack will definitely end up on some of the viewers’ music playlists.
Now, since the season only came out two and a half months ago, there has not been an English dub out online yet, but I did not mind that. The Japanese voice acting can be stellar at times, except for Yukio’s voice. One would think that he would have a younger voice since he is just a teen. Instead, the audience receives a kid with an adult like tone to his voice. Before getting into the Kyoto Saga, I watched the first season in English and I enjoyed Yukio’s shy yet polite tone of voice in that version, but hearing an almost gruff tone would make me cringe almost every time I heard his voice in Japanese.
Disappointed with the story, character development, and lack of episodes, it hurts me to say that I will be rating this season a three out of five stars. The first season started out with a huge bang, but then Kyoto Saga places itself in a whole new season that confuses the fans of the Blue Exorcist franchise. I mean, the second season does have its perks, but the way the cast and crew followed the manga strictly turns away from how the Kyoto Saga should have fit in season two. Since there will probably be a third season coming out soon, I hope it makes a better comeback for the series and develops more of the characters in a memorable way. For those of you who are looking to watch the series, I would still recommend it, but be aware of confusing story lines and lack of developments from both old and new characters.
Warnings: Violence, Profanity
Aired from January 7th, 2017-March 25th, 2017