Blue Exorcist volume six opens with a collection of hangovers. (I am still wondering how it is possible to not realize that you are drinking alcohol.) Renzo Shima is extremely friendly with Rin, much to the dismay of Konekomaru, who is still terrified of Rin. Renzo points out that Rin is actually a good person, and there is no reason to be standoffish toward him.
The Kyoto branch of the Order of the True Cross have a meeting to discuss the possibility of there being a traitor in their midst. The prime suspects are Mamushi Hojo, who has a connection with Todo, and the head priest of Myhoda, Ryuji’s father Tatsuma. Everyone seems pretty sure that Tatsuma is the possible traitor, mostly due to the fact that he is not present at the meeting.
Meanwhile, Rin is still struggling to learn how to control his flames. Though he is about ready to give up, he is inspired by Shiemi, who is still helping in the infirmary. (The kid’s talents are the most readily useful and she wants to be helpful, so she is naturally being taken advantage of.) With renewed determination, he manages to finally complete the exercise Shura gave him.
Of course, that meager control goes right out the window when a) the right eye of the Impure King is stolen b) Ryuji decides to have a confrontation with his dad which c) causes Rin to have a flashback of that time he got into a fight with his dad, and his dad died. Rin intervenes and chews Ryuji out for trying to disown his father. Unfortunately, during the ensuing argument, Rin reveals his flames, which gets him into huge trouble. Rin is imprisoned and his death sentence is renewed.
While Rin is in the pokey, he receives a letter from Tatsuma. (Which he is not able to read because he cannot read Tatsuma’s handwriting. Instead, Yukio reads it, though after scolding Rin for getting himself in trouble again.) We learn that there is a past connection between Tatsuma and Father Fujimoto. It seems that he turned up years before Rin was born with the intent to steal the Koma sword. This encounter spurred Tatsuma to think outside the box and find a more permanent solution for his situation (which is very complicated and involves the right and left eyes of the Impure King).
Also included in this volume is a side story about a ghost train. Rin and Shiemi have an argument about collateral damage with Yukio while on a mission to destroy the ghost train. Yukio feels that destroying the train has priority over freeing the dead victims of the train. Rin and Shiemi disagree. The argument ends the way you would expect it to when Rin and Shiemi are on the case. (Neither kid understands the meaning of the word pragmatism.) There is also a second side story involving Kuro, where he has a very bad no good day and briefly runs away from home.
This particular arc is kind of confusing with the expanded cast–most of whom are related to the core cast. There were some pretty strong moments such as when Rin manages to win over Konekomaru and his interaction with Ryuji. The pacing was fast and I liked the interactions between the characters, overall, the manga continues to hold my interest.