Twin Star Exorcists
by James Beckett,
How would you rate episode 27 of
Twin Star Exorcists ?
Every road trip needs a detour, so this week the Twin Stars get to take a break while we check in with Mayura and the gang back in the city. The Dragon Spot Arc continues, though as I understand it some of these scenes were taken from the source material, which might explain not only the more streamlined writing, but also the bump in animation and art direction. This wasn't a perfect episode by any means, but it upheld this arc's general quality standard, which is good enough for me
Generally, I just enjoy it when Twin Star Exorcists takes time to flesh out its growing cast of supporting characters, since that's an area where the show has historically underperformed. I especially like getting more screentime from Mayura, since she's my favorite character that isn't Benio or Rokuro. Her charming earnestness is a solid counterpoint to the melodramatics TSE can slip into, and I maintain that adding her on as a full-fledged member of the exorcist team was one of the best decisions the show has made yet. Instead of serving as comedy relief or a half-hearted Other Girl for Benio to fight with, Mayura has grown into her own as a likable and compelling exorcist in her own right.
As the show dives into what motivates her to train and become stronger, we also get some more time with Shimon, which was very refreshing indeed. Ever since he was introduced way back in the show's first handful of episodes, I've been expecting him to take more of an active role in the story. Much to my surprise, he's largely been relegated to background appearances and cameos; this week is the most screen time he's had since his very first episode.
Pairing him up with Mayura was an excellent choice all around. Since he was trained by her father, their shared history gives them a common ground that works to develop both of their characters. At the end of the day, it's clear that these two aren't motivated by tortured pasts or a thirst for revenge; they simply want to use their abilities to help others. It's a simple sort of decency that fits perfectly in a world that's sorely lacking in simplicity. Mayura's perky zeal plays foil to Shimon's aloofness in a familiar way for anime, but TSE manages to make the familiar feel cozy instead of cloying once again.
That burgeoning relationship is really all there is to this episode. We get an obligatory Kegare fight and a couple of hints at foreboding rumblings down the line, but all of it took a backseat to the low-key story of a clumsy green-haired girl who spends some time training with a grumpy red-haired boy. It was simple, entertaining, and cute, which are pretty much Twin Star Exorcists's best qualities in a nutshell. After weeks of Rokuro and Benio's Basara Bashing Bonanza, it was a perfect little palate cleanser.
EXTRA #1: Stay tuned for an after credits scene!
EXTRA #2: We got another new set of openings and endings this week! The new OP is definitely a switch-up, trading the 2nd OP's raw emotion and gorgeous animation for a more abstract, stylized approach. It reminded me of some of the flashier AMVs you might find on YouTube. I can't say it's as good as that 2nd opening, but it's better than the first. I think I like it. The ending, however, is a different story. All I will say is that I was bopping my head along to the music thinking: ‘The only thing that would make this nicer is some Ohagi Man’. And lo, in that very instant Ohagi Man appeared. This automatically qualifies it as The Greatest Anime Ending Sequence of All Time.
Twin Star Exorcists is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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