Blue Exorcist – Learn To Control Your Flames
This may be an ironic thing to discuss, considering his fighting style, but I really think Rin needs to stop getting so fired up at every little thing. It’s usually traditional to have your protagonist be rather hot-headed compared to everyone around them, and usually that sort of thing didn’t annoy me. It’s just one of those things you get used to after your tenth shonen action series. With Okumura Rin, it’s very different because of the situation he’s in. The job of an Exorcist is the sort of thing that’s much more strict and focused than your average team of heroes, so it becomes clear that his style of action doesn’t fit in properly.
A good example comes from the most recent chapter and the defensive effort against an attack by a Kraken. Didn’t know those existed in the Blue Exorcist universe, and it all feels like an excuse to have a few beach chapters after that last lengthy story arc. But anyway, the attempt to hold him off was the type that relied on a larger number of people in very specialized roles, since getting too close to something that size is a bad idea. Since Rin isn’t the type to sit still for more than five seconds if he can help it, it isn’t long before he hijacks a boat in an attempt to take on the beast himself. In the process, he ends up endangering himself, Yukio and Shiemi.
So not only is he defying his direct orders and getting his friends in trouble, but this situation shows how bad he is at learning from his own mistakes. One major plot point in the previous arc was that Rin would likely be put to death for his heritage if he was unable to keep his temper in check, which he wasn’t. It took the convincing of Pheles for him to be let off the hook, and it was close enough that you would think he’d have at least a bit more self-control than this. I know the excuse he has is that the Kraken was attacking one of the helicopters, but that would only make sense if it were close to him. In the time it would take to run over and start that boat moving, it should have occurred in some small part of his head that he should wait and let the professions work.
The Blue Exorcist universe never felt like a traditional setting for a shonen, so giving the protagonist the standard main character attitude doesn’t feel appropriate here. There are serious consequences to his behaviour that he’s only narrowly avoiding, and I don’t want to see something bad happen to the main cast because of his arrogance. If he really wants to become an Exorcist, he needs to start acting like one at least a little bit.