In the second volume of Blue Exorcist, we are introduced to Rin’s new classmates. Rin acquires an instant rivalry with a boy named Ryuji Suguru, an overachiever who is less than impressed with Rin’s apparent lackadaisical manner. (Rin actually reminds me of kids I have known with ADD. I am not sure if that is what the mangaka was going for though.) They spend a great deal of time sniping at each other, but it seems as if they are going to end up friends (angry argumentative friends).
Rin knows absolutely nothing about being an exorcist, so we get plenty of exasperated exposition from Ryuji and others. Once Rin learns about each of the possible avenues of study an exorcist can choose (out of Dragoon, Knight, Aria, Tamer and Doctor) Rin chooses “Knight.” We also learn a little about how the exorcists are organized, and suffer a great deal of dissonance at the implied concept of a Roman Catholic led interfaith, international organization of exorcists. (I am not saying it’s impossible, but highly unlikely.)
The conflict between Ryuji and Rin continues during a class that seems to involve being chased by giant demon toads. The main conflict continues to be about Ryuji thinking Rin is a terrible student who isn’t serious about his studies, and Rin defending himself. Ryuji tries to dare Rin into doing something stupid, and Rin surprisingly enough, refuses to do it. (He does not want to risk actually getting hurt doing something stupid and dangerous if he does not have to. Rin can be surprisingly sensible sometimes.) Ryuji continues with the dare and ends up being rescued by Rin.
Meanwhile, Shiemi attempts to make friends and become more outgoing. Unfortunately, she decides to be friends with Izumo Kamiki who decides to be a Mean Girl and boss Shiemi around. Shiemi goes along with it because she has never had a friend before. Rin is upset by this, because he can see that Kamiki is actually treating Shiemi horribly. The situation is partially resolved after an encounter with a demon and Kamiki learns a valuable lesson in not being a Mean Girl.
The demon attack turns out to be the result of a teacher who blames Rin for the “Blue Night” that had occurred fifteen years ago. On the “Blue Night” Satan murdered a large number of priests and monks around the world. (This is another thing Rin knows nothing about though it is common knowledge among the exorcists.) He has been ordered by Mephisto to “test” Rin, but decides that he would rather kill him.
The volume ends with Mephisto contacting Amaimon. Apparently, he will also be “testing” Rin.
One thing that I like about the manga as opposed to the anime is that they do not write ‘esquire’ as “exwire.” The “exwire” thing was tooth-grindingly annoy to me. Another thing that I liked was that after having watched the anime, the manga action makes more sense. (In general, Blue Exorcist falls into the same category of “like the manga only after seeing the anime,” that both Black Butler and Pandora Hearts falls into for me.) Another thing that I liked was that we got a little more information about Amaimon and Mephisto than in the anime.