Twin Star Exorcists
by James Beckett,
How would you rate episode 25 of
Twin Star Exorcists ?
Smack dab in the middle of both the Dragon Spot Arc and the series' overall episode run, Twin Star Exorcists delivers the first episode in a long time that feels like filler through and through. Don't get me wrong, it's not outright terrible. On the whole, the episode is generally entertaining enough, but this is still one of the few episodes that could be skipped entirely without missing anything of significance.
Even the show's worst episodes have generally had some sort of relevance to the overall plot. Episode 5 has been the show's low point, both in terms of storytelling and animation, but it was also the episode that introduced the Twelve Guardians and began the slow process of expanding the exorcists' world. The other episodes in this Dragon Spot Arc haven't been the show at its absolute best, but all of them have either expanded on the world building of the series or provided the Twin Stars with valuable character beats. This week though, we barely have anything to work with at all.
What hurts this episode most is the lack of any compelling characters outside of Rokuro, Benio, and Sae. The Dragon Spot Arc has essentially been a run of Basara-of-the-Week adventures, and all of those Basara have managed to capture just enough of my attention to warrant their otherwise brief appearances. This week's Basara is just a total wash though, a generic overdressed rocker type who's given little to do but spout generic bad-guy lines and pilot a giant Kegare pseudo-mecha. The other Basara haven't exactly been given Shakespeare to work with, but they were at least dynamic enough in their character designs and delivery to entertain. I can barely remember anything about what this week's Basara was up to, and I literally just watched the episode.
Things don't fare much better on the protagonist's side of things. The inexplicable decision to focus on a random baseball player could have been interesting, juxtaposing the layman's experience to Benio and Rokuro's crazy world. Kawase the Pitcher doesn't really offer that, though. He just kind of hangs out in the background, occasionally chiming in to remind us he exists while the Twin Stars do their thing. By the time he throws a meager fastball at a Kegare to prove something (I'm not sure what), nothing of consequence has occurred. The Twin Stars come to a city, meet an old baseball player, fight some Kegare, and then they leave. There is no pathos, no hints towards a greater mystery to be solved. It's simply padding things along until next week, the very definition of filler.
This doesn't make the episode awful by any means, it's just kind of dull. We got enough cute jokes and decently animated action to justify the time spent watching, and the two new Guardians we got to meet were pretty okay. It simply all feels ineffectual and slight. I'm already forgetting the main points of most everything that happened this week. Hopefully this is a one-time lull in what has otherwise been a rewarding story arc.Rating: C
Twin Star Exorcists is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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