The Watchening: Sousei no Onmyouji 14-20

It’s been a LOOOOOOONG time since I touched Sousei no Onmyouji.  I want to get rid of all the anime in my backlog, and the key is to actually start.  So, let’s do this!

Episode 14

Recap episode. SKIIIIIP!

Episode 15

Ryogo’s friend Fushihara introduces him to another exorcist named Kaibara Haruka and falls for her.

Can’t fault him for having good taste.

This… looks familiar.

FUCK, I actually watched this episode months ago.  I swear I did a writeup of this episode then, but I guess this was around the time we switched servers and I lost some blog posts.

Anyway, despite stacking heaps upon heaps of death flags, Haruka doesn’t die.  Fushihara does.  Damn.

So you’d think this might be a level-up episode for Ryogo.  You’d be mercilessly wrong.  As usual, it’s up to Benio and Rokuro to fight the Kegare that appears, which turns out to be a Kegare Corruption of Fushihara.  But it seems despite being closer to each other and getting a power-up, they’re not quite up to the tier they have to be at to face a powerful Kegare Corruption.  They have to be bailed out by Mayura’s asshole father, Seigen, who says they have no business being exorcists with a “half-assed attitude” like they’ve been showing.  Naturally, not only is this the height of hypocrisy from a character that looks like he’s half-assing everything all the time, but it isn’t supported AT ALL by Benio and Rokuro’s actions.

Go to hell, Seigen.

Episode 16

Turns out that chastising by Seigen is being used as a PLOT POINT to drive Benio and Rokuro to improve.  I’m sorry, but I cannot stress just how bullshit that is.  They’ve never been as serious fighting against a filler Kegare than they were in the previous episode, and to imply that the reason they lost to the Corruption was they weren’t serious enough just doesn’t wash.  What, is THAT the secret to having stronger abilities all this time?  Resolve?  Fucking RESOLVE?  You ought to have a small army of Onmyoji roughly as powerful as Benio and Rokuro then, but that’s not the case – they’re easily in the top percentile of Onmyoji.  And again – Seigen is casual as fuck when dispatching the Corruption.  It’s one thing to claim they don’t have enough power or they need to learn not to fight battles they’re not equipped to win, but accusing them of half-assing the fight?  FUCKING. BULLSHIT.

Anyway, that was just the first 20 seconds of the episode, so let’s see where we’re actually going with this.

Mayura figures out pretty quickly that Benio and Rokuro are down in the dumps because of something Seigen said.  They say they’re not so much bothered by what he said than  being annoyed at how weak they were in the face of a true Kegare Corruption.  Still, they’re a little too depressed regarding what happened.  Luckily, Mayura proves she’s the best character in the series and cheers them up.

You make watching this anime easier to swallow, unripened banana-chan.

Suddenly, just to break everyone’s hearts, Mayura gets overtaken by a Kegare Corruption.  Out of fucking nowhere.

Still best girl by a longshot.

Naturally, Seigen shows up to save the day, but rather than reveal some kind of secret about her like “she’s been like this for years,” he treats this completely seriously like Mayura was suddenly taken over and there’s no way to save her, so she needs to be exorcised.  So yeah… with absolutely zero buildup, Mayura was just suddenly corrupted into a Kegare.

So how do we get a happy ending out of this situation?  Turns out the Twin Stars can use a technique called Resonance to combine and amplify their Spell Power and pull off spells that normal exorcists are incapable of, such as the Furu no Koto, the most powerful purification spell.  They manage to save Mayura, but Rokuro immediately goes into another guilt depression since, if he had this power during the Hinatsuki Tragedy, it could have been avoided.

But there’s no time for that shit, because Yuto’s there.

Episode 17

So it turns out Yuto turned Mayura into a Kegare Corruption. Okay…

Seigen reveals his full power transformation and takes on Yuto, but Yuto easily oneshots him.   After a shitload of time-wasting in the form of incessant goading, Seigen gets back up and shields the Twin Stars, ordering them to escape Magano (and pick up a talisman to power up Rokuro) while he charges at Yuto with a self-destructive technique.

Yeah, those calm “untouchable” villains are the lamest.

It’s basically the cheapest form of drama you could hope for.

Idiotically, Rokuro and Benio DON’T take this opportunity to escape, and Rokuro gets a punch in on Yuto.  Yuto basically lets Rokuro go and tells him to meet up again in a couple days for a real fight or he’ll go and turn all of Rokuro’s friends into Kegare Corruptions.  Because he’s evil.

The rest of the episode is surprisingly better, with Rokuro remembering old times with Seigen and revealing the significance of the black uniform he left Rokuro.

Eh… a little too Gantz for my tastes.

Although the Exorcist Union has called the rest of the guardians to form an anti-Yuto unit, Rokuro is ready for a fight.

Episode 18

The Twin Stars have decided to fight Yuto before reinforcements arrive, but to win, they need to master the only tool they have available to match Yuto: Resonance.

That’s how we’ll beat Yuto: awkwardness. He won’t be able to survive the cringe.

They only have one day to master how to use Resonance and explore its benefits, drawbacks, and limitations.  Long story short, they manage.

That night, Benio faces her own insecurities and gets a fitting pep talk.  Basically, it’s several minutes that can easily be summed up into one sentence: It’s okay to run away as long as you don’t regret your decision.  She’d regret letting Rokuro run off to his impending doom, so she stays and fights alongside him.

“I conveniently have a black uniform as well.”

Episode 19

The battle begins, and it’s probably one of the best fighting episodes I’ve ever seen, period.  Benio and Rokuro expertly their Resonance to push Yuto back, but Yuto unleashes his true power and utterly curbstomps them.

If only he’d stay in that form all the time so I could take him seriously instead of being disgusted.

It turns out that Yuto draws his power from his entire body being Kegare, unlike Rokuro, who only lost an arm.  Being a combined Kegare/Onmyoji, he has the ability to steal power from anyone he kills, so he intends on destroying everyone in Japan to become the strongest.  To that end, he’s easily willing to do horrible things.  Like, say, permanently cripple and degrade his own sister.

I’ll wait for the BD cut.

Thanks to some selective editing, it’s difficult to tell what exactly happened to Benio, but based on the ensuing dialogue, I choose to believe that Yuto blew one of her legs clean off and severely injured the other one in the same blast.

Yuto spends the rest of his time slowly torturing Rokuro, giving the Basara Kamui time to approach Benio and offer her a deal: risk corruption and let a Kegare into her body to take the place of her useless legs – basically the same deal Rokuro has with his arm.

Benio accepts.

Episode 20

Well. That was satisfying.

With her new Kegare legs, Benio’s already significant speed has been boosted to Yuto-beating levels.

Benio seems to completely outclass Yuto with her new speed, but her power gives out fairly quickly, and she’s back to being useless at record speed. Rokuro comes to her rescue and gets a fist through his stomach for his efforts.

There goes his lunch.

And so the pattern continues, with our heroes enveloped in despair… or so it would seem, but Rokuro stays on his feet and unlocks some kind of super form that heals the GAPING HOLE IN HIS STOMACH.

Today: Super Onmyouji.
Later: Super Onmyouji Blue.

Yuto goes into perma-Kegare form and takes Roku on one-on-one in what amounts to a Superman vs. Doomsday punch-each-other-in-the-face-really-hard brawl.

Just when Rokuro is on the verge of victory, Yuto does Yuto things and turns it around with brutal impunity.  Rokuro falls, but it seems he’s being held up by the spirits of his friends from Hinatsuki.  And this isn’t just a vision created by his imagination and resolve – Yuto sees it too.

EBA! EBA! EBA!

So, strangely enough, yet also fittingly enough, it isn’t quite the Rokuro/Benio team up that ultimately defeats Yuto, but all of Hinatsuki cheering Rokuro on.  Unfortunately, Yuto falls into a deep pit preventing Rokuro from finishing him off, but the battle is won.

Rokuro awakens in Kyoto, where the two are questioned by the Union regarding the fight.  Arima pressures the two into simply focusing on making the Miko that will save the world, but Rokuro does the manly thing and exclaims that there’s no way he’ll force such a destiny on an unborn child.  HE will be the one to put an end to the Kegare war… with Benio of course.  And so, Arima gives the Twin Stars two years to become stronger than the combined might of the Twelve Guardians or it’s baby-making time.

So… win-win, basically.

The rest of the episode is Rokuro and Benio taking part in a festival, and it’s surprisingly moving.  I always said that Rokuro and Benio’s relationship was rather compelling when it didn’t devolve into standard anime romcom territory, and this is the episode that proves it.

HNNNNNNNG!

Meanwhile Mayura expresses her interest in fighting alongside the Twin Stars and wants to become an Onmyoji herself.  So… lots to look forward to.

I have to say, this was a short but surprisingly entertaining arc.  Everything from Mayura’s corruption forward is so amazing that it’s a wonder how the first season was so mediocre.

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