Author: Kazue Kato
Publisher: Viz Media
American release date: June 5, 2018
Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/manga/paranormal/194 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★
Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
True Cross has a new student – Ambrosius Faust. But he’s actually Amaimon, passing himself off as Johann Faust’s nephew. What’s up with that? To Rin’s dismay, he claims Shiemi is his bride, but she quickly sets him straight on that count. Meanwhile, Lightning and Suguro have been investigating in the monastery where Rin and Yukio were raised. Afterward, Lightning storms into Mephisto’s bath to confront him an unofficial contract of Morinath, which is completely against order rules. Mephisto tells him the location of the treasure he seeks, and advises he go at night, and to “place the key in the hand.” Off Lightning and Suguro go!
Shiemi has been wrestling with whether or not to take the exorcist exam, conflicted between her desire to please and her wishes for the future. Having made her decision, she approaches her mother, who asks that Shiemi hear her out before she makes a final decision.
Lightning and Suguro find themselves beneath the monastery, in the place that was the predecessor of the cram school. This place was dismantled sixteen years before, because it was ground zero on the Blue Night! They talk to one another about their backgrounds, and then they run into an unexpected blast from the past. When Lightning accuses the newcomer of signing a contract or Morinath, he tells them where to find the Section 13 they seek. Lightning and Suguro find the ruins of what was once the cram school, as well as Section 13. It seems as though someone was experimenting with finding elixirs for immortality! Worse than that, they were delving into cloning! Mephisto, you have some ‘splaining to do!
Christmas break has arrived, but the Exwires decide to stay at the school in order to study for the exorcist exam. When a discussion of birthdays arises, they decide to hold a Christmas party/birthday party for the group! The students split into groups to take care of preparations, even as they speculate on what Shiemi has just told them, trying to figure out why she made the decision that she did.
I love following the ongoing investigation of Lightning and Suguro. What they are uncovering is totally fascinating, even if I’m not sure how it fits into the scheme of things. Cloning, immortality and elixirs? We learn more about the Blue Night, as well as Lucifer, while Mephisto continues to protest that he is not the enemy, and he’s certainly not helping the Illuminati. The plot is definitely thickening, and as usual, the Okumura brothers in in the midst of it, whether they know the truth or not.
I also love Suguro’s character development. At the beginning of the series, I thought of him as a muscle-bound lunkhead, but there is a lot more to him than that. I’m dying to find out about why Shiemi decided what she did – what did her mother say to her? And is Yukio ever going to confide his fears to his brother? After all, two heads are better than one!
The beat goes on in this volume of Blue Exorcist. Unfortunately, now I have to wait for the next one to arrive! I’ve reached the end of what is already published. I’m greatly looking forward to the next volume, whenever it comes out!