Twin Star Exorcists
by James Beckett,
How would you rate episode 22 of
Twin Star Exorcists ?
Twin Star Exorcists digs deeper into its anime-only arc this week, delving into the mysterious Kegare-fueled infections plaguing Narukami. After a string of compelling, resonant, and affecting episodes, it was only a matter of time until the show settled back into a more familiar groove. This is not a bad thing; a story the length of TSE can't realistically maintain top speed forever. While this week's episode is a bit uneven compared to the previous weeks' highlights, it does a good job keeping the story going and setting up an interesting conflict for Rokuro and Benio to get embroiled in before we catch back up with the manga.
After a brief recap and reintroduction to Rokuro and Benio's discovery of the adorable (and mysterious) Sae, the show wastes little time getting back into the main mystery: a rash of infections consuming people all around town. It doesn't take long for our heroes to figure out that the problem is the result of something called a Dragon Spot, aka A Giant Hole In Magano That Demons Come Spilling Out Of. This is obviously a problem, so the Exorcists get to work on stopping it while some mysterious new Basura enter the fray.
If I had one major complaint about this episode, it's that the Exorcists almost feel too good at their jobs this week. A weird issue to have, I know, but everything from solving the mystery of the infections to the eventual destruction of the Dragon Spot just feels too easy; not in your typical, over-powered shonen way, but more because there isn't much of a struggle for the Twin Stars to face. They find out about a problem, set out to fix it, and then it's fixed. The closest thing this episode has to a genuine struggle is the brief moment of time where the exorcists don't know if they're powerful enough to close the Dragon Spot. This issue is, predictably, solved via Resonance. I generally like Resonance as the main skill the Twin Stars have to master, as it serves as both a cool power-up and handy metaphorical shorthand for Benio and Rokuro's relationship. But this time, it serves merely as cheap plot convenience, a slight demonstration of power that handily wraps up the Dragon Spot problem with little tension or drama.
Even the villains we get to meet aren't much of a threat, at least not to Benio and Rokuro. The main new enemy is Suzu, a bespectacled punk-rocker with scythes in her pigtails and a cadre of grotesque backup dancers following her around. She gets an admittedly strange musical intro, but after all of the flash and showboating, she only confronts Rokuro and Benio to cryptically hint at Sae's mysterious origins before running off without a fight. It's anticlimactic to say the least.
All of that being said, I didn't dislike this episode. It is entertaining enough, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't get a kick out of Suzu's bizarre introduction. It's just obviously playing the setup game while this Dragon Spot arc gets into gear; I wish it was able to pick up the pace a little. Still, I'm still very interested to see where Sae manages to fit into the larger story of Twin Star Exorcists, and I have faith that the show will satisfy my curiosity in the coming weeks.
Twin Star Exorcists is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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