Well… that can’t be good…
The ninth episode of Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen (Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Impure King Arc) picks up with Todo continuing to screw with Yukio’s mind, trying to make admit that he’s angry that Rin has no ideal of the suffering he’s gone through to make sure he stays safe. This fact isn’t exactly refuted by the show itself as it cuts to Rin laughing while flying on Kuro, despite heading into the mass of rot that is the Impure King’s body. It really does show the contrast between the brothers, where Rin is a lot more innocent (relatively speaking) to Yukio, despite the fact that both of them are facing serious threats.
Anyway, Yukio reflects on the past despite stating he wouldn’t play Todo’s mind-games and how he and Rin were different even then. He looked up to Rin but envied him all the same, which frustrated him to no end like most teenagers get. So Yukio does admit that he hates and loves Rin, but he also hates his past self—mind you, he only does so after setting up a summon spell to call forth Naiads and trap Todo in a bubble prison, showing that Yukio really is an Ace exorcist.
That’s how you get him to shut up. Finally.
Meanwhile, Rin’s group searches for a place to set up the barrier spell Bon has from his father. He’s nervous while Rin is calm and simple-minded since everyone else is doing their best. He even refers to Bon as a princess while he intends to play the knight on Kuro’s back. But that’s merely a front as his sword continues to shake, meaning he’s terrified and simply hiding it better. The sight of it is enough to give Bon the courage to create the barrier and seal the Impure Demon King inside of it, but he can’t move and it exhausted him.
Yukio is also exhausted since this is his first-time summoning naiads without being a Tamer. However, his inexperience allows Todo to escape and he then prepares to kill Yukio, even going so far to time it. His seemingly final thoughts reach his brother, who is still struggling to stop the Impure King from bursting since he can’t draw his sword. So it looks bad for both of the brothers I’ll admit.
The Ex-Wires themselves fare little better since Shima and Koneko end up trapped. Shima wants to wuss out, but Koneko of all people tells him to man up (albeit with tears in his eyes) since his family is still fighting and then goes off on his own since Shima wants to prioritize putting his own life above everyone else. Of course, he doubles back when Koneko is about to be swarmed, but this scene basically reveals he feels burdened by the obligations of his family and that it chains him from who he wants to really be.
Izumo and Shiemi also have their work cut out for them. The former calls her familiars, who summon a bunch of mini-foxes to help take Bon’s father to safety, while wondering why she’s softening so much. She’s basically defrosting as an ice-queen but doesn’t know why, so she acts like a Tsundere and ends up getting swarmed by the spore rot. Shiemi refuses to leave her behind when the foxes end up being dispelled and then takes a level in badass by ordering her familiar to come out. Not only does it come out, but it grows three times her size and I get a Pokémon vibe as she orders her
Shiny Bewear Green Man to go to work.
Exorcist Tamer Shiemi wants to battle!
Back with Rin and Bon, things are reaching a critical point. The spores continue to multiply and begin to explode as they reach for Bon to cancel the barrier. Even Kuro gets covered by them, but Rin still can’t pull out his sword and fully summon his flames. Then the spore bursts and everyone inside of it is screwed.
And, for our last leading character, Yukio is also screwed as Todo begins to fry him. Or so it seems until his eyes turn blue to dramatic music. He’s confused why everything looks blue until Todo gets the crap knocked out of him by Juzo, who is pissed off that he used Mamushi and fully intends to turn him to ashes as the episode ends.
As a whole, this episode was so epic in a number of ways that I just couldn’t help but feel it was perfect. We see all of our characters struggling and coming to terms with themselves, facing the ugly truths and questioning their worth in what may be their final hours. And in the process, they (and we, the audience) discover a little more about themselves, both good and bad.
These things are what make the Impure King arc one of the most well-received arcs in the series, fully deserving of being animated, and the hints that are dropped are relevant to the following arcs—which sadly probably won’t be animated because, y’know, getting a third season for something not exceeding mainstream is difficult.
Honestly, I’m just glad we’re getting this much.