Twin Star Exorcists
by James Beckett,
How would you rate episode 47 of
Twin Star Exorcists ?
Well that wasn't at all how I expected things to go. Last week's surprisingly excellent episode took me by surprise too, but that was because it was so unexpectedly good. This followup isn't necessarily bad, per se, but man is it weird.
Let's start with the first half, which was less weird and more disappointing. One of my main requests last week was that we finally learn more about Mikage/Abe-no-Seimei's master plan, and in true “Be Careful What You Wish For” fashion, Mikage spends half the episode explaining his master plan. At one point, Kinako even calls him out for spouting a bunch of “half-baked exposition”, and I'm inclined to agree, especially when the details amount to such a run-of-the-mill “Well-Intentioned-Yet-Super-Evil-Plan”. The whole “sacrifice most of humanity to create a lifeless utopia devoid of individuality or true humanity” shtick was kind of old back when Evangelion did it twenty years ago, and Mikage sure isn't adding anything new to the formula. I'm glad Benio was quick to point out what a creepy and lame existence that would be, thus sparing us an episode of someone trying to decide whether the real world is “worth saving”. Still, this is old hat, and for a villain who's taking over at the last minute like Mikage, this is underwhelming to say the least.
Plus, I can't help but feel his comments regarding Rokuro's life being a “waste” make little sense, given the premise of the Twin Star Exorcists themselves. Was that prophecy a mistake, a lie, or did the ghost of Abe-no-Seimei just change his mind about the power of the Miko and decide he'd scrap all of humanity and start over himself? For taking a dozen minutes to explain all the details of his thousand-year-old plan, I feel like there are still a lot of questions to be answered. Either that, or some small detail of the past few episodes got past me, but even then, for me to be questioning the validity of the show's basic premise this late in the game is worrisome indeed.
What's even more worrisome is the decision Mikage forces Benio to grapple with, which is the part that I really just couldn't get behind. In order to save Rokuro's life, even if it means never seeing him again, Benio has to transfer all of her collective yang energy to Mikage by “copulating” with him. Forgetting the flimsy-at-best logistics that led to this situation in the first place, I have to be honest and say that this a terrible development. To take Benio, who has grown into such a strong and compelling character over the past forty-seven episodes, and boil her entire conflict down to sleeping with a thousand-year-old priest? That's just stupid. And gross. And completely out of character for Benio to even consider. For almost fifty weeks, the show has been promising a badass joint collaboration between Benio and Rokuro; the last OP of the show is based around them taking Yuto on together. I don't doubt that this will eventually happen between the Twin Stars and Mikage, but why on Earth do we have to take this detour first?
Unless, God forbid, this is actually how the final conflict is going to play out, and Benio is going to become some kind of sexual hostage that needs to be saved by the series' end. If that ends up being the case, I don't know how I'll respond. The end of the episode implies that maybe Benio will reverse course, but the preview for next week shows her being held by Mikage in classic “unconscious damsel” fashion, so who knows what's going to happen. There are two roads Twin Star Exorcists could travel down in these final three weeks, and one of them is decidedly more gross and lazy and awful than the other. I can only pray the show chooses the right path.
Twin Star Exorcists is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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