Manga Review: Blue Exorcist Volume Five, by Kazue Kato

Blue Exorcist volume five opens with a dangerous hostage situation and a stolen Magical Doohickey. The magical item in question is “The Left Eye of the Impure King.” The entire situation turns out to be a feint of some kind and it turns out one of the Order Operatives has become a black hat and the Magical Doohickey is now long gone. Mephisto turns up to tell Yukio and Rin that they are going to be going with the group looking for the Left Eye. He also reports that there had also been an attempt on The Right Eye of the Impure King.

Meanwhile back at the cram school Ryuji and his friends discover that their respective families are having some problems. Ryuji is extremely reluctant to go back to check on them because he had decided to go become an exorcist of the Knights of the True Cross without his immediate family’s approval. Then Mephisto turns up and tells them that everyone is going to Kyoto.

Rin is extremely excited about this trip because he had not gotten to go back in middle school. (Rin is a dork and joking asks about getting a sack lunch.) Rin encounters Shiemi and the other kids and various awkward interactions take place. The kids are extremely uneasy about Rin and are not shy about expressing their discomfort. Izumo is extremely annoyed the way her classmates are treating Rin, so she elects to sit by him, much to Rin’s surprise.

Everyone gets debriefed on the details of the Kyoto mission. The mission involves acting as support personnel for exorcists who had been injured during the attempted theft of the Right Eye. Shura stresses that EVERYONE WILL WORK TOGETHER AND MAKE THIS MISSION EASY FOR HER. Then she decides to take a nap. (Again, we see a repetition of the main theme of this series: everyone must work together as a team.)

Izumo and Rin have a little chat and we discover that many exorcists have demon blood. Rin unfortunately, is a special snowflake because his dad is the most powerful demon. Rin is thrilled that Izumo is still willing to talk to him, and Izumo guilt trips the other kids for their behavior. This in turn starts an argument that ends with everyone getting the Bariyon punishment. (That would be the thing where everyone has to hold super heavy demonic rocks until everyone agrees that cooperation and friendship is Important.) The kids argue a lot and Shiemi nearly gets squished by a Bariyon that was not as tame as advertised.

In Kyoto, we learn that there are a number of families who have various exorcism responsibilities and they are all supposed to be led by Ryuji’s father. Ryuji’s father however is suffering from a great deal of emotional upset as a result of the “Blue Fire Night,” and has not been acting on his leadership duties. (There is also a matter of the other families deciding to ally themselves with The Knights of the True Cross, something he does not approve of.) There is a great deal of bickering among the families who are starting to break out of their various alliances without someone to mediate.

Everyone ends up at the inn Ryuji’s mother runs. Everyone is happy to see Ryuji though his mother is not please with Ryuji’s hairstyle. The class gets assigned to various duties helping out the people who had been injured during the attack. We learn that Ryuji has some major issues concerning his father. Rin ends up having a heart to heart discussion with a monk who turns out to be Ryuji’s father.

Meanwhile Shiemi is having some severe lack of confidence problems. Izumo ends up giving her a motivational lecture, much to Izumo’s complete bafflement. We learn some more details about the exorcist families and see evidence that they are extremely divided due to Ryuji’s father not being around to mediate. We get a trip down memory lane with Ryuji when Shura accidentally gets the kids drunk. (I would like to know how it is possible that the kids did not realize they were drinking alcohol and not soft drinks. They seem to be pretty unaware of this.) Rin and Shima spend time together and we learn that Rin has a List of Cool People and Shima is so uncool that he falls off the bottom of the page. (It is interesting to note that Rin puts himself near the bottom and his brother at the very bottom even though he has sworn that he’s going to do something that impresses Yukio someday.)

We end the volume with the guy who stole the Left Eye talking to someone over the phone. He is wearing the Eye and indicating that there will be another attempt to steal the Right Eye.

Blue Exorcist, Vol. 5 on Amazon

Blue Exorcist, Volume 5 on Powell’s

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Filed under Blue Exorcist, fantasy, manga/anime, Review: Manga

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