Sousei no Onmyouji: Eps. 42 – 50 (FINAL)

Owari da.

It’s… it’s finally over… Ha… hahaha….. HAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Episode 42

Doki.

Part of the reason Rokuro and Benio were training so hard the past 2 years is because they knew Yuto wasn’t gone for good.  And now that he’s probably become a living god… yeah, now’s the time.  Obviously.

Yuto leads the Twin Stars to a place where Magano and Reality are linked and reveals that Abe no Seimei has been in cold sleep for thousands of years, still alive… until Yuto stole his spell power and knowledge.  What a prick.

Yuto even taunts Rokuro with the knowledge of his origin.  Rokuro doesn’t fall for it, so Yuto traps Benio in a barrier and slowly kills her with repeated attacks.

I have been – and always shall be – your waifu.

Rokuro thinks Benio is dead and goes berserk.  Yuto reveals that Rokuro is in fact a Kegare – a reveal that probably could have been shocking or dramatic given different circumstances, but was just handled terribly.

Rokuro reveals his true power and manages to cut Yuto… then he collapses as Arima suddenly appears, revealing he’s been alive the whole time.  What was he doing?  How did he escape Kuranashi?  Fuck any of that explanation – Arima just saves the Twin Stars and shrugs off Yuto’s bragging, then gets the hell out.  I like this Arima.

Episode 43

It turns out Arima needed to be “killed” by Kuranashi so his spirit could be separated from his body as part of the Pursuit of Ages spell, which would send his consciousness back in time.  There, he learned that Abe no Seimei created Magano to border off the excess yin energy created by humans.  The creation of the Twin Stars was a failsafe in case the Exorcist Union he created wouldn’t be enough to stop the expansion of Magano and the Kegare.

Rokuro’s true nature is that of the “Cataclysm King,” a being of pure destructive yin energy intended to cleanse the world of humans, though Arima suggests his role is to merge that energy with Benio’s yang energy to create the Miko.  Rokuro, who previously seemed OK with seeing Benio as his wife, now considers himself “not human” and is hesitant to pursue such a relationship with her.

Suddenly, Basara.

Well that’s an awkward rebound.

The Death Metal idol basara shows up and pretty much hits on Rokuro now that he’s a Kegare.  The conversation they have is strangely casual.  In the end, the basara knocks some sense into Rokuro by saying it doesn’t matter WHAT he is if he knows what he wants.

As for WHY she cares enough to give him a life advice… iunno.

We get a montage of the exorcists rebuilding Narukami and Rokuro taking it easy until Yuto shows up out of nowhere and reminds us all that he was never put out of commission or anything, so there REALLY ought to be a greater sense of urgency.  Strangely, Yuto basically just shows up to talk about how disappointed he is in Rokuro for not wanting to destroy humanity.

Episode 44

Benio seems to have recovered, but she’s shaken by the revelation that Rokuro is a Kegare.  She begins to question what Kegare truly are… but only briefly.  She’s more interested in getting closer to Rokuro, even going so far as to finally vocalize her feelings for him… which is kind of redundant.  I mean, for some reason it seems as if they’ve both forgotten that they’ve already kissed.

Rokuro has other ideas, however, and decides to max up the drama by pushing Benio away and challenging Yuto to a one-on-one duel.

How to kill your waifu with heartbreak.

He seems to have some plan to fight Yuto, but if something goes terribly wrong, he tells Arima to kill him.  Yeah, because that’s totally happening.

This was by far the most cheap, cliche-ridden episode of the entire series… and that’s impressive.

Episode 45

The Rokuro vs. Yuto fight is just like every other fight they’ve had: exchange blows, stop to talk, exchange blows, stop to talk.  Benio wants to help Rokuro, but she’s in no condition to fight. Then we return to the fight.  They stop fighting to talk, then they resume fighting.  Then we return to Arima and Seigen who talk about how Rokuro is fighting by himself because he wants to.  Then we return to the fight, and the dumbest shit happens.  Yuto invokes shonen manga to explain his warped desire to fight Rokuro: in order to get Rokuro to fully understand him, talking isn’t enough – only a true “conversation of fists” where they’re trying to kill each other will work.  S-ing my D H.

So yeah, he basically admits that all he really gives a shit about is enjoying the moment and nurturing his weird hard-on for Rokuro.

Rokuro’s had enough and transforms, and we finally learn that he asked Arima to place a spell on his heart that will instantly kill him if he loses control of his power and truly becomes the Cataclysm King.

I just realized – 30 episodes later, we finally have an explanation for his BS powers from the last Yuto fight.

Episode 46

Yuto and Rokuro have both transformed.  Meanwhile, Arima approaches Mikage, who we finally learn for sure is up to no good.  As it turns out, he is in fact an incarnation of Abe no Seimei.  This revelation serves only to provide more exposition rather than be an actual twist.

We learn that Rokuro was born as a personification of Yin energy while the Adashino Clan inherited converted Yang energy.  Under normal circumstances, Rokuro and Benio would have simply found each other and given birth to the Miko, but an irregularity occurred: Yuto was born as Benio’s twin, and as a counterbalance to her, he became a second personification of Yin.

That lack of spatial awareness tho.

In order to beat Rokuro, Yuto taps into the spell power he absorbed, but it’s too much for him to handle on his own, and it begins to leak.  He resorts to creating a Dragon Gate to escape into the real world, and in order to prevent it, Rokuro gives in to his power, slowly losing his memories.  In the end, the two end up in reality as he delivers a fatal blow to Yuto, then fully becomes the Cataclysm King.  Arima’s ritual triggers, but the Cataclysm King swiftly regenerates, triggering the end of the world as we know it.

We Fire Punch now.

This is all according to Abe no Seimei’s plan, apparently, as he has given up on humanity and wishes to see it all purged and rebuilt anew.

Episode 47

Holy crap, there’s four more episodes?  Yuto’s fucking dead!

Ugh… So, we’ve got an out-of-control Cataclysm King and Rokuro’s inner self trying not to let go of his memories of his friends.  Benio is still recovering, but we all know she’s going to have to be the key to snap Rokuro out of it.  Please don’t be a King Kong thing…

Benio instantly recognizes the giant Kegare as Rokuro, while everyone else in the town just sort of stares dumbstruck at it while it just stands there, apparently collecting spell power.  It eventually releases a wave that absorbs the spell power of weaker beings.  This is all part of Abe no Seimei’s Grand Cleansing.  However, one additional element is needed: Benio.  Abe no Seimei needs the stored Yang energy in her body, and the most effective way to draw it out of her is, well… sex.

Where’s Chris Hansen when you need him?

Benio is against the cleansing plan, but there doesn’t seem to be any way to stop him, and he promised to return Rokuro to human form.  So… Yeah, forget Chris Hansen.  This is an NTR story now.

You had your chance, Rokuro. Oh, it’s true. It’s DAMN true!

Episode 48

In the cold open, we see Mayura and the remaining exorcists delve into Magano.  Presumably to save Rokuro and prevent NTR, the true villain.

Benio gives herself up and is immediately put into a spell sleep.  Abe no Seimei returns Rokuro to his human form, gets updated on the situation, and the arc at last devolves into our greatest fear: a rescue mission to save Benio.  Fuck me.

While Rokuro is wallowing in despair, his Basara stalker shows up and attempts to lift his spirits with… a Disney song?

She’s like the fucking gargoyles in Hunchback of Notre Dame.

What is life?

She literally breaks into a song and dance routine to give Rokuro the hope and resolve to save Benio.  The fuck am I watching?

And I’m sure someone at the studio just fell in love with your design. That’s the only thing that makes sense.

And so, with absolutely zero plan and close to zero power, Rokuro resolves to go after Benio and save her with the help of their friends.

This would be a moving scene if we were given any reason to care about the lower-ranking exorcists.

Everyone does a reckless charge toward the Ame no Mihashira, and they do the thing where each member of the group gets picked off one at a time to give the others the opportunity to advance, establishing with finality how useless they are.  You see it coming a mile away.  “The Rest Shall Pass” is the name of the trope I’m talking about.

The episode ends with Rokuro alone with only speed talismans to use against Abe no Seimei.

Episode 49

We enter this episode with Benio trapped in a crystal.  Er, sorry, “cocoon.”  The big reveal is that Benio planned on being trapped and left behind a hair ornament to serve as a link to allow Rokuro to open a crack in the barrier.

Arima tries to challenge Abe no Seimei but has no power.  Suddenly, Kamui the Basara appears, having finally found an enemy in Seimei who is a proper challenge.

That was quite the loose end there. Glad they addressed it.

So uh… yeah… I hardly even noticed that he never made an appearance during the Basara arc, and he was never actually defeated at any point in the series.  We have zero concept of where his power level lies at this point.

Rokuro manages to break Benio out, and they have a lover’s quarrel while the three-way battle rages in the background.  They exchange kisses, then are interrupted when both Arima and Kamui are taken out of the picture.  Amusingly, Kamui isn’t killed but just sort of gets knocked away while he laughs contentedly.

It’s up to the Twin Stars to take on Abe no Seimei, and unlike previous villains, he doesn’t flaunt his overwhelming level difference by beating them down.  He just stands there and keeps telling them they’re wasting their time, then as if out of boredom, delivers more exposition.

In their final attack, the Twin Stars use resonance to seal away the Grand Cleansing.  They even throw in some perspective of humanity and tell Seimei why he’s wrong.  It doesn’t work.

Finally, they pull out their trump card of asking what’s so bad about the Kegare he’s trying to purge.  After all, there are good Kegare out there, including Rokuro.  Seimei says that’s irrelevant, as the buildup of Yin energy will without a doubt end up in reality’s destruction, so the Grand Cleansing will continue.

Episode 50

Grand Cleansing cannot be stopped, and Seimei shoots down the Twin Stars’ arguments rather expertly.  Only the Grand Cleansing can save humanity from the threat of the Kegare it creates.

What seems to stop Grand Cleansing from occurring is Sae fighting to hold it back long enough for everyone they’ve ever helped to give them a spiritual pep talk.

We’re in a Persona finale now.

The Twin Stars perform an all-humanity Resonance and put an end to the Grand Cleansing, freeing everyone’s spell power and turning everyone to normal.

Seimei wants to know how they were able to achieve such a result.  Rokuro takes a long time to basically say “power of love.”

Seimei decides to take another 1000-year nap.  We transition to preparations for a wedding – Ryogo and Haruka’s.

Huh. So that’s what their relationship was building up to all this time: a fake-out.

Rokuro and Benio give a stirring speech about living life to the fullest, then proceed to have a romantic epilogue.

The final end credits predictably brings back the first OP song and does a quick epilogue for everyone else and assures us that the Twin Stars will continue fighting Kegare for everyones’ sake.

Not a very conclusive ending, honestly.

Anyway, that’s finally done and I can put this series behind me.  The entire Yuto arc was pretty solid, but everything else ranged from boring to disappointing, and the final Abe no Seimei arc started out promising but then just kinda fizzled.  There was no climactic final battle, which is OK, but what we got instead was just tease after tease with no substantial character growth until we’re hit by a massive cliche.

From an onmyodo perspective, it was disappointing in that the actual mysticism aspects are hardly touched upon, and it’s completely absurd that Abe no Seimei doesn’t realize the importance of maintaining the balance of Yin and Yang, opting instead to purge an entire side.

As a whole, it’s not a good show.  It has flashes of brilliance at times, but more often than not it just fell back on tired cliches and felt like it wanted to be a JRPG instead of an anime.

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