Twin Star Exorcists
by James Beckett,
How would you rate episode 32 of
Twin Star Exorcists ?
You know Twin Star Exorcists, when I said I was ready to dive back into the thick of battle last week, this is not at all what I meant. What a weird episode, especially after the emotional heaviness of the past few weeks. I understand the show wanting to sit down and take stock before (finally) returning to the main story, but it's getting a little silly at this point.
Scratch that, it's getting a lot silly.
Before we get to that, I should briefly touch on the first two-thirds of the episode, though there isn't too much to say. It's essentially a clip show, with Benio and Rokuro recapping everything they've gone through in the most recent arc, including the Basara they've fought and the Guardians they've met. The only real scene worth mentioning is when Seigen tells Rokuro that he was found as a baby in Magano, similar to Mae. It's an interesting morsel of backstory, but a morsel nonetheless. Right now, it feels less like important character information and more like setting up for the real answers down the line, which leaves the revelation feeling a little hollow. I'm sure it will be important later, but right now it's just another piece to a puzzle that TSE is taking a good long while to actually show us.
We also get to see the Guardians resume their search for Arima and Kuranashi, though it's just more padding for future episodes. Even Kuranashi's appearance amounts to little more than “Find Out Next Episode” teasing, which would be all well and good if the rest of the episode didn't also feel so lightweight.
And then we have Suzu's big reentrance. The punk-rocker Basara was one of the more interesting of the Dragon Spot Arc, and I was disappointed that she never reappeared. I am glad to see her again, but man, her scene with the Twin Stars was just bizarre. I get that she's being set up as an ambiguous character, not strictly evil, so I wasn't surprised when she didn't straight up attack Rokuro and Benio. What did surprise me was when she started blasting metal right in their faces, complete with over-the-top scream-sung vocals, followed by an even bigger surprise: the Twin Stars' hilariously awkward dancing.
Look, I'm all for Rokuro and Benio being awkward dorks together, so I enjoyed this scene more than many viewers might have. Still, it was a weird moment, the kind of non-sequitur that this show hasn't really dealt with much, so it felt tonally inconsistent as well as narratively out of left field. I think I understand what the show was going for in having Rokuro and Benio learn to embrace the uncertainty of their future together, but I'm sure there had to be less strange ways of communicating that.
As I've said many times before though, I have a high tolerance for this show's awkward charm, so this odd little diversion wasn't necessarily a deal breaker for me, though it couldn't save the episode either. This week's episode was padding, pure and simple, making it unessential viewing. If you tuned out this week, you didn't miss much of anything at all, except for a really cringey dance session between Benio and Rokuro and Kinako. Tune in next week, when the show hopefully, finally, maybe gets back on track.
Or maybe we'll get another crazy concert from Suzu. Who knows?
Twin Star Exorcists is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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