I…. I must… finish this… eliminate it from my backlog…
We begin with the Twin Stars at Hinatsuki Dorm in a trip that should have happened a long time ago. However, a moving bonding moment is interrupted by awkward exposition, recapping the major events of the previous arcs. We also see the Twelve Guardians moving, still looking for Arima, and the Basara preparing for a final showdown.
This is quite possibly the most awkward clip show episode I’ve seen… ever. Half of it is Rokuro and Benio finishing each other’s sentences and telling each other things they already know.
But then a miracle happens. About 2/3 of the way through, they drop a bombshell on us. Rokuro’s parentage has apparently been a mystery all this time, and that’s something that just plain never dawned on me. As it turns out, Seigen found Rokuro 10 years ago in Magano, much like how Rokuro and Benio found Sae. There was almost zero foreshadowing for this, and yet it somewhat makes sense. I am impressed. What’s disappointing is that that’s pretty much all there is to that revelation. Seigen offers no additional information, likely because there is none. Still, I would have expected just a little bit more, like “we looked into the matter but couldn’t find any clues about your parents.”
Suddenly, Basara fight.
The Basara starts singing rather than fighting, and, well… Benio decides to start dancing as well. And Rokuro joins in. Because, why the fuck not?
So uh… after the dance, the Basara just leaves, making this the very definition of filler. Holy crap, what?
The episode starts off with a bit of a recap. If you’ll recall, we were talking about Rokuro’s origins before suddenly being taken to a pointless music video. We start off just before that music video shit happened and continue with that plot point. I wish I were kidding.
The acting head priest performs an oracle that reads that Arima is dead. There’s also some random backstory for one of the Twelve Guardians (the not-Arietta loli, Miku), and I don’t care.
We move on to Kuranashi and a Basara named Moro, and we learn Moro’s backstory. We’re just piling on all the random backstory, aren’t we?
On to Kuranashi’s plan. It seems the intention of the miasma spreading was to trick the exorcists into exorcising the miasma, which in actuality resulted in them absorbing the miasma into their own bodies. Then, Kuranashi would be able to control all exorcists like puppets.
Benio and Rokuro finally return to school and find Ikaruga waiting for them. There’s a Basara extermination order, and the Twin Stars aren’t invited. That’s kinda rude.
We get more backstory into Miku. Apparently, she was in love with an exorcist who would later marry another girl and become the father of another of the Twelve Guardians, the loud not-Atoli. That man was killed by Moro, who has conveniently shown up in front of them for maximum dramatic effect.
Moro easily beats Sada, but is pushed back by Miku, who uses her specialty of dolls that zap spell power. Miku is about to finish her off when Moro’s desperate final attack seems to hit Sakura, causing Miku to lose concentration. So, not only is Sada super-annoying, but she’s also super-useless and ruins everything.
In the end, teamwork takes down Moro. Good for those two characters, but Moro was literally just introduced one episode ago, so who gives a fuck?
Kuranashi arrives to see Moro’s final moments and agrees to eat her to add her to his power.
We move on to the Twin Stars reading of Abe no Seimei, the greatest exorcist who ever lived. They have a huge gap to cross, and no one is willing to train them because the Twelve Guardians are dicks.
In a scene that COULD HAVE HAPPENED EARLIER, we learn that Ikaruga is assigned to bodyguard the Twin Stars, and to that end, he’s transferred to their school.
Finally, we see Kuranashi’s plan is moving forward, and masses of exorcists are being herded into Magano.
Chijiwa’s gone completely mental after the death of his brother Momochi.
Kuranashi grants him a charm drawn by controlled exorcists that allows Chijiwa to travel freely in the human world.
We seem to get development for Ikaruga, pushing him to be more friendly. He doesn’t get the hint in time to prevent the Twin Stars from falling into Chijiwa’s trap.
As you might guess, they’re completely outclassed by the powered-up Chijiwa, and Ikaruga has to save them.
Ikaruga seems to win, but his final attack strikes a doll, and he gets caught in a web trap. In a twist, we learn that Chijiwa has also taken control of the entire school sends the students to attack the Twin Stars, forcing a choice between submitting or fighting to survive and killing the students in the process.
Chijiwa starts things off by controlling Ikaruga to make him attack the Twin Stars he was supposed to protect. If they try to free him from his strings, he’ll die, as the severance triggers the spell power stored in the string.
The Twelve Guardians seem to be catching on to the fact that exorcists are disappearing. And appear slow to react to that fact.
By the way, that dilemma about the strings? Mayura quickly learns that they can just exorcise the strings quickly after severance and the trapped person won’t die. Kind of a lame oversight.
While Benio and Mayura exorcise the students, Rokuro and Ikaruga team up, with Rokuro focusing on defense to serve as a decoy so Ikaruga can use his ultimate enchantment: turning into the ugliest fucking Suzaku in recorded history.
Ikaruga’s Suzaku enchantment can only be used for a short amount of time and leaves him exhausted afterwards. After spending too much time fucking around, Ikaruga’s time draws close to an end, so he goes berserk and finally finishes him off. However, Chijiwa’s final plan goes off: once he dies, hidden doll bombs he planted around the school will explode, taking everyone out. At this point, Rokuro just uses an attack that attacks Chijiwa and his dolls simultaneously, and… that about does it. This seems to be Rokuro’s new final attack BTW, and… it could’ve been flashier.
We learn that Ikaruga has been called back suddenly, as if now that his character-focus episodes are done, he’s served his purpose. The Twin Stars are left behind to train and close the gap that they should have closed during the time skip, but bullshit.
Oh, and Rokuro seems to be popular suddenly.
As it turns out, the girl that wrote Rokuro’s love letter is the same girl Rokuro confessed to (and was subsequently turned down by) in the first episode. Huh. Wasn’t expecting a call-back like that.
Meanwhile, the Twelve Guardians learn that there are spots where massive amounts of spell power have gathered. This is most likely part of an endgame after the Dragon Spots and Basara attacks were used as decoys. Before they could do anything about it, the town of Narukami has been covered in a barrier. It appears that the Twin Stars are being targeted. To counter the plan, the acting head priest says to use the Rikujin Shinka, a ceremony that will vastly increase the Twelve Guardians’ power. And luckily, spell power is concentrated in positions that correspond to the Twelve Guardians. It’s almost as if this may have been part of the enemy plan and to pursue this course of action would be incredibly bad.
Out of fucking nowhere, the gang gets called together to witness Ryogo proposing to Haruka.
So uh, Kegare appear to interrupt the ritual, and not-Onceler appears to let us know that the missing onmyouji have been sucked dry of their spell power to strengthen the Kegare.
Kuranashi finishes his ritual, interrupting a romantic moment between Rokuro and Benio, which I assume is Kuranashi’s true aim: to cockblock. Oh, and for some reason, Yuto is involved.
Kuranashi’s ritual seems to scoop Narukami up out of the ground.
As it turns out, the same thing happened 600 years ago, when 7 cities in the Kingdom of Noto were scooped into the sky and their inhabitants completely drained of spell power. The Basara Kuranashi was responsible.
Speaking of Kuranashi, he appears in front of the Twin Stars to tell them of the game he has set into motion: an enormous Kegare has sprouted in Narukami and will absorb the town’s spell power in two hours. They need to beat the Kegare by destroying an underground bulb that stores the spell power it absorbs, as well as tearing its main body apart. The remaining onmyouji at Seika Dorm make plans to attack.
Team Seigen and Mayura head underground to purify the bulb, but it’s protected by kegare.
By the way, there’s been this whole side fight going on with the Once-ler Basara that really serves no purpose other than to remind us that the Twelve Guardians for the most part entirely consist of their personality quirks.
Seigen uses his Byakko enchantment one last time to protect Mayura.
The Twin Stars continue attacking the main body despite knowing it’ll keep regenerating until the bulb is down. One would hope they had better coordination than this.
For 3 minutes, instead of a recap, we get actual advancement. I’m briefly hopeful that we won’t get that horrible OP, but we do. Le sigh.
Kuranashi appears to protect the bulb from Seigen, who we are constantly reminded is much weaker and shouldn’t actually be doing exorcism work but is anyway because fuck rules.
OUT OF FUCKING NOWHERE, Kuranashi reveals that Seigen’s role was once as the leader of a group of assassins who kill other exorcists. Also, Mayura’s mother is here. What the actual fuck?
Kuranashi attempts to use the fact that he killed his wife’s brother to guilt trip him. It doesn’t work. So he moves on to challenging Seigen to save her before her spell power is completely drained. Sorry, but I still can’t get over the fact that Mayura’s mom is alive. She was never mentioned before this episode, so I just assumed she was dead.
We move on to the fight with the notOnceler Basara. We get inane chatter and the guardians agree that they need to defeat him ASAP. Ironically, this is a complete and utter waste of time.
Back to the Kuranashi fight, Seigen uses his divine form enchantment, but is only able to use it for a moment. It barely fazes Kuranashi, and Seigen is out for the count. We’re led to believe that it’s up to Mayura to defeat Kuranashi. As amazing as that would be, it’s just not happening.
Mayura can take a hit, but that’s about it.
The more important part is more flashbacks to Seigen and Yukiko. We learn that his assassination group kills exorcists affected by a curse that turns them into monsters. Yukiko seeks Seigen out not for revenge, but to basically protect his smile or somesuch.
Mayura seems to have inhereted this desire to protect, and Seigen passes the power of Byakko on to her.
Well holy crap, this just got interesting.
Mayura rampages for the sake of her parents and destroys the bulb, but not Kuranashi himself, who retreats into a Dragon Spot.
Back to the notOnceler fight.
The guardians win. Blah blah blah, operations, blah blah blah thrift.
With the bulb gone, the main body of the giant Kegare is finally taking damage.
The constantly-regenerating Kegare are still constantly regenerating and proving an effective interruption for the Guardians’ ritual. Until the Guardians decide to go all out to wipe out the Kegare and finish their ritual. I am so getting sick of shit taking a lot of time “just because,” then finally resolving all at once.
The Twin Stars notice that the core is still absorbing spell power from another source: the air. To counter this, they decide to… destroy the core. Quickly. Okay. Well, to be fair, they figure that after its last attack, it’s pretty drained and needs to recharge, so they’ll have to destroy it in its weakened state.
They give it their all to scale the body of the enormous Kegare and find the core. They deliver their most powerful attack and… destroy the core. Huh. That was simple.
So… the giant Kegare is gone, the miasma is gone, people are starting to recover… Oh, and Narukami is falling back to earth, killing everyone.
At least, that’s if the Twelve Guardians don’t finish their ritual. Which they do.
At this point, I’m starting to think the entire point of this endeavor was to completely drain the Twelve Guardians of spell power and keep the other exorcists busy with rebuilding so they’ll be in no state to fight back against Kuranashi’s true endgame.
Welp. Turns out that Kuranashi’s plan was actually to TAKE the Twelve Guardians’ spell power, so close enough. While the Twelve Guardians are trying to lower the town safely and inevitably fall into Kuranashi’s trap, Rokuro saves a dog. I’m not fucking kidding.
In the aftermath of random NPC Quest, Rokuro and Benio roll down a hill, and kiss. It… had to happen at some point?
Rokuro’s redundant post-kiss declaration of love gets interrupted when Kuranashi’s plan goes off, apparently leaving only the Twin Stars and Mayura to protect the world from whatever the hell Kuranashi’s going to do.
Kuranashi appears in front of the Twin Stars and taunts them. They follow him into Magano. New OP!
The 12 Guardians are being held in a church because reasons.
They’re being held by roots that drain spell power. Kuranashi reveals that he learned the anti-exorcist methods from Yuto… presumably from taking them directly from his mind since he’s still unconscious.
Kuranashi uses an image projection to give a recap of his entire plan, and the 12 Guardians are kind enough to fill in the information he doesn’t offer himself. It’s awkward as hell, but that’s half of this anime in a nutshell.
Kuranashi’s endgame seems to be to absorb the spell power of all the exorcists, including the Twin Stars, and ascend to a higher form that rules over both Magano and the real world. A bit simple, but whatever.
The 12 Guardians get drained by Kuranashi. So, unless the Twin Stars can pull off some kind of last-minute bullshit transformation… they’re screwed.
The Twin Stars burn through their most powerful Resonance attacks and predictably accomplish jack shit.
Kuranashi proceeds to copy all of the 12 Guardians’ signature attacks. Well, most of them. I’ve been saying “12 Guardians,” but their Byakko is missing, innit? Well, that’s irrelevant at the moment, because one of the 12, Tatara, manages to break free.
Since Tatara is a shikigami, he’s unaffected by human-targeting spells. In addition, we learn that he’s hundreds of years old and bears a grudge against Kuranashi just as old.
Tatara’s chaotic power is immense, but it’s only enough to push Kuranashi back a bit. In response, Tatara uses his Divine Enchantment and overwhelms Kuranashi like a boss. This turns Tatara back into his paper doll form, but his damage to Kuranashi is severe.
Tatara’s life is enough to place a deterioration curse on Kuranashi. Severely weakened, Kuranashi takes Yuto’s body into his own, absorbing his overwhelming spell power. Kuranashi’s powerup lasts less than a minute, and Yuto tears Kuranashi apart from within and absorbs all of his collected spell power.
So now we have Kuranashi and the Basaras out of the picture, the 12 Guardians out of commission, and only a marginally improved Twin Stars to take on an exponentially stronger Yuto.
That was a long-ass hill to climb, but we’re finally back in business!