Who’s ready for some bullshit?
We begin with your run-of-the-mill Kegare extermination, which happens to be Mayura’s debut as an Onmyoji.
She does okay, using a sealing spell to immobilize a giant Kegare long enough for Benio and Rokuro to dispatch it. Yada yada yada, Mayura plows her breasts into Rokuro “accidentally.”
Anyway, we learn that it’s been 2 years since Rokuro and Benio started living together. Yep. That’s right. Right after they were told they have 2 years to surpass the Twelve Guardians, we have a 2 year time skip. And I suppose absolutely fuck all happened in that time span. FYI, Mayura has pretty much given up on Rokuro, which is appropriate since she was never at any point presented as a serious threat to the obvious pairing. So yeah, we go over what’s changed and the main thing is that Rokuro is more serious than ever and Benio is seriously considering the possibility of having a baby with Rokuro.
So… things are going swimmingly on the social front. What about that pesky “becoming stronger than the 12 Guardians” thing? Well, we do know that the Guardians are investigating an ominous hole in the sky and a gathering of Basara… and that’s about it.
In another investigation, the team finds a child in Magano and take her with them back to the real world. No one finds this situation the least bit suspicious for some reason, and no effort is made to find the child’s parents.
The child is named Sae, and she clings to Rokuro, calling him “Papa.” Immediately, several tired plot threads come to mind, and whatever you’re imagining is likely going to happen, chances are you’re right.
The episode ends with a mysterious fog appearing in the real world, knocking people out. We going Persona 4 up in here? We’ll see.
But ugh… Sae’s introduction was the most unnatural, blatant plot device ever. Rokuro and Benio’s relationship seemed about to reach new heights organically – there was no reason to introduce a child to live with them to trigger a maternal side in her.
And I’m sure there’s nothing malevolent about Sae’s origin or intent whatsoever.
The fog envelops the entire town, corrupting all the normal humans within. The visuals are creepy as fuck.
Oh, that’s right. The 12 Guardians know that their target is “Kuranashi,” whatever that is. And now we know that the holes in the sky are called “Dragon Spots.”
Turns out a Dragon Spot is the source of this fog, and at the center is… probably a Basara. In one of the strangest scenes of the series thus far, we see a douchebag human encounter a Basara and say douchebag things so we don’t feel sorry when the Basara kills him. Said Basara is some sort of death metal pop idol, and shortly after killing her prey, she starts some kind of impromptu music video performance.
Seigen gets the remaining Onmyouji to aid in the Kegare fight, and he joins the fight despite that whole “he’ll never be able to work as an exorcist again” deal. For some reason, the Basara, Suzu, shows up and kills the Kegare the Onmyouji are fighting, then confirms what any idiot could figure out: there’s something special about Sae. She pretty much just drops that information (and introduces herself) and leaves. I guess she entered the real world through the Dragon Spot, and… now we know? Now we know.
With that distraction… suddenly gone, the Onmyouji close the Dragon Spot (okay, who am I kidding? Benio and Rokuro use Resonance to close it), restoring normalcy to the town.
Now that I think about it, the Dragon Spot is surprisingly similar to the Hell’s Gate in The Last Blade. So I guess that makes Suzu and other potential Basara the equivalent of Makai spirits like Setsuna. I mean, they do share the same dark skin…
With reports of additional Dragon Spots potentially opening up, it seems that the focus of this new arc is Benio and Rokuro traveling throughout Japan to close Dragon Spots as they show up, exorcising Basaras, and some shit about Sae. Swell.
Kinako has the ability to possess vehicles. And Mayura is jealous of the family situation Rokuro, Benio and Sae have gotten themselves into.
Level with me here… This is a filler arc, isn’t it? This is a goddamned filler arc! When Kinako has an actual role and characters start to reverse character development, it kind of raises a lot of flags.
Our heroes arrive to a new Dragon Spot area and encounter some douchebag exorcist that doesn’t trust Benio because she’s Yuto’s sister. Oh, and we have people butting into Rokuro and Benio’s relationship. Yeah, when outside forces want them to move closer together despite how close they already are… it’s gotta be trash filler.
So yeah, we’re introduced to support characters that I don’t particularly see any reason to get invested in because… well fuck, just give me a reason to think otherwise. They’re bland, introduced in a location-of-the-day episode in a filler arc, and provide absolutely nothing of value to the viewing experience. Of interest is that these side characters have black uniforms, which means they’re elite exorcists…. yet they don’t appear to be any more skilled than the Narukami B-squad.
Perhaps the worst part about this episode is just how casual the exorcists are despite the decidedly darker direction of the arc. We see dozens of civilian bodies piled up as food for Kegare. We really shouldn’t have to deal with the slice of life romcom shit.
Anyway, as expected, our monster of the day is a Basara, Moro.
Moro proves to be rather out of their league when not using Resonance, and she destroys the talisman needed to seal the Dragon Spot. But then Sae arrives to deliver a spare… making a complete mockery of the mood.
Expertly depriving us of a real battle, Moro is disabled by the combined forces of the other exorcists while the Twin Stars use Resonance to seal off the Dragon Spot. Moro breaks free just long enough to flee into Magano before the spot is destroyed, so we’re likely to see her again in the future.
Oh yeah, there were some bonding moments with Benio and Sae, but it’s hard to say where they’re going with this (outside of a generic “make her gain maternal traits!”), so I can’t be bothered to give a fuck.
Another Dragon Spot appears near a Basara that looks like this series’ version of Leomon.
We return to Narukami, where Mayura is for some reason drawn off-model. We’re also treated to crappy, lazy CG paint and off-model Rokuro and Benio. Hoo boy. The sooner we get past this phase, the better.
Oh god, the further into the episode I go, the worse the off-modelness hurts.
We’re also introduced to two girls from the Twelve Guardians.
They’re annoying as fuck.
Oh, and there’s more black uniform exorcists. I can’t take the whole black uniform thing seriously when all these nameless exorcists are seen in them.
Sae does Sae things and runs off on her own. It’s kind of her thing. That’s when she befriends the Basara. Hoo boy.
So, the Basara just wants to find “something beautiful” and gets attacked unprovoked. And guess what his name is? It’s Leo. Hahahaha…
Oh god, they’re not seriously going in this direction, are they?
So, notLeomon sort of kidnaps Sae, and Rokuro and Benio pursue him, but stop short of a climactic battle and allow Leo to bask in the sparkling beauty he was looking for (it’s a long story). But then two bitches from the Twelve Guardians show up and wreck shit up.
It seems they’re also capable of sealing the Dragon Spots, which I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand it lesens the Twin Stars’ role in this arc. On the other, it makes the Twelve Guardians look halfway competent again.
Sae asks what happened to Leo, and she’s told he “went back home.” But then she spots the fallen lion origami she gave him and, I assume, realizes what really happened to him, perhaps foreshadowing something along the lines of… oh, I dunno… beings like her don’t belong in the human world and will be killed. If that isn’t where this whole Sae thing is going, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.