Blue Exorcist Episode Twenty One “The Secret Garden”–Review

This episode begins with a view of the herb shop where Shiemi lives with her mother. We can hear a news report on the radio (about the hostage situation at the Academy) as we get a view of Shiemi at the front counter. Her mother leaves on an errand. Then there’s a loud crashing noise. When Shiemi investigates, she finds an unconscious woman in her garden. Shiemi attempts to lift the woman, but the woman is too heavy. Volunteers to assist in the form of a horde of plant spirits arrive, and then we go the opening credits.

When we get back from the opening credits, Yukio is meeting with some variety of Church official. This gentleman states that he is Yukio’s grandfather. (Special note: Among the many things the creator of the series may not care about, the fact that Roman Catholic priests are celibate is apparently one. This tends to be a recurring blindspot with many mangaka.) He explains that since Lord Pheles was named as the twin’s guardian by their dad Fujimoto has been arrested, that he will be taking over as their guardian. Yukio is a bit ambivalent about this overture, but the old man explains that he was unable to care for the twins because he had been imprisoned after the Church executed his daughter as a witch. The church official manages to win Yukio over, and reveals to Yukio a grand scheme to protect the human world from demons.

In the next scene, Rin returns to the school from the monastery. When he learns that Mr. Noihaus is in the Great Cell being interrogated, Rin decides that he wants to sit in on the interrogation. The scene shifts to the interrogation, where Noihaus is being extremely uncooperative. Rin walks in and has a question of his own. He points out that Noihaus had told him that his family had died on the Blue Night. Rin would like to know how a dead person could be walking around.

Shura deduces that this was the result of an “Anti-Soul” and that Noihaus somehow brought his wife back to life using his forbidden knowledge of creating artificial life. (And that this is why Noihaus is wanted by the Vatican.) Noihause denies using artificial-life technology on his wife Michelle. He states that while he had kept his wife cryogenically preserved, some unknown person resurrected her while he was away. A short while after that, exorcists from the Knights turned up, accusing him of using the forbidden technology. (In other words, he was framed in a particularly horrible fashion.)

When the exorcists burned down the research facility, Noihaus’ wife Michelle had a flashback and flipped out, attacking the exorcists. Noihaus joined in, and the couple went on the lam to Japan. Unfortunately, Michelle was extremely unstable, and the instability became worse until she finally snapped when she became aware of Yukio and Rin’s existence. She became a “demon of vengeance.” Noihaus had been trying to apprehend her, not help her. Rin wanted to know why Noihaus hadn’t come to them for help. Noihaus states it’s because there’s nothing that can be done for Michelle. She’s reanimated, not “alive.” (What this means is, her body is eventually going to fall apart.)

Rin heads off with his usual “no actual plan, I’ll just stumble around until I hit something, or something hits me,” approach. He’s briefly stopped by Shura who gives him a talisman to help him find Noihaus’ wife. (Of course, it turns out that Rin has no idea of how to operate the talisman, or where to start looking.) He is contemplating calling up Shura to ask her how the talisman works, but he gets a phone call from Shiemi instead, asking him for help.

Michelle wakes up and finds herself in a garden full of plant spirits. (This little garden is apparently in the cellar of the toolshed/shack where Shiemi usually lives.) Michelle is a little confused, but more or less sane. Shiemi turns up and answers her questions. During the conversation, Michelle mentions the Garden of Amahara, which prompts Shiemi to ask that Michelle become her friend. (Shiemi has never heard of anyone else who’s heard of the Garden and is absolutely thrilled.) Of course then Rin turns up and Michelle flips out again.

Michelle immediately takes Shiemi hostage, and there is a great deal of shouting. Shiemi oddly enough, just wants everyone to calm down, and does not consider Michelle to be a threat. Rin of course does not agree with this assessment, and this is the cause of at least half of the shouting. Michelle faints, Rin charges, and Shiemi yells at Rin. She states that since her flower spirits and Greenmen seem to like her that she can’t be evil. Rin does not agree, but eventually relents..

Rin heads outside to report that he’s found Michelle. Unfortunately, Arthur Angel and a very large contingent of exorcists have turned up. They capture Michelle and clobber Rin. Just as Arthur Angel is about to kill Michelle, Mr. Noihaus and Shura arrive. Noihaus tries to get Arthur to let Michelle go, but Arthur doesn’t care. He gets ready to kill Michelle, but Rin steps in, blocking Arthur’s attack. (Michelle is kind of shocked that Rin would try to help her after what she’s done already.)

A fight almost ensues between Rin and Arthur, but Shura blocks Rin. This doesn’t stop Rin for very long; he charges at Arthur again, causing one of the other exorcists to fire on him. However, Michelle decides to jump between Rin and the bullet. She collapses, and Noihaus rushes over to her. Rin is furious, and wants to attack whomever it was who shot her, but Shura gets to him before he can do anything stupid.

Michelle is dying, and talking about the Garden of Amahara. Noihaus tells her they’re going to go look for it, and picks her up. He starts to carry her away, but Arthur tries to arrest them. This upsets Shiemi and before Arthur can do anything, all of her Greenmen cause a lot of plants to grow up around Noihaus and Michelle. They vanish, but it’s not really clear whether they were buried, or if the greenery somehow covered their escape.

Arthur is about to order some drastic measures, but then church bells start tolling, causing him to retreat. This is some kind of emergency summons. He heads off, along with the exorcists with him. Rin is looking at the greenery where Noihaus and his wife and been and wonders if this was a good ending. Shiemi says that she’s sure that Noihaus and Michelle will find the garden, and then we go to the closing credits.

After the closing credits, we see Angel reporting. The Grigori however are not there. Instead, Yukio’s grandfather (who introduces himself as Ernst Frederic Egin) is there. He says that he is now in charge of the Knights of the True Cross. Apparently, there has been a coup, and Ernst is now in charge. Ernst also states that that instead of fighting defensively, they will be fighting offensively from now own. Among Ernst’s followers is Yukio.

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