‘Blue Exorcist’ Season 3 Release Date - Ao No Exorcist: Illuminati Saga Spoilers

Patrick Frye

Did Blue Exorcist Season 2 leave you confused? The Blue Exorcist Season 3 release date is anticipated, largely because the story will finally put the narrative back on track with the manga source material. Unfortunately, there's no Episode 13 for Ao no Exorcist Season 2, but this time A-1 Pictures should be able to use the Blue Exorcist manga as a clear guide for future episodes.

Six years is a long time to wait for an anime to be renewed, but the real reason anime fans were befuddled by Ao no Exorcist Season 2 was because it appeared as if someone hit the rewind button on the character development. Brothers Yukio and Rin Okumura still had emotional barriers they have yet to overcome. Yukio went full-on Satan mode at the end of Season 1, yet inexplicably, he's surprised when he begins to assume a demon form when his eyes turned blue. Rin was practically bursting with powers when battling Satan, and yet now he can't even pull his sword. What gives?

Never mind the most confusing part: in Season 2, Rin's ExWire friends from True Cross Academy are fearful of Rin after discovering one of their own classmates is the son of Satan, the being responsible for the Blue Night and the death of so many loved ones. But didn't these characters get over those fears during the Season 1 finale?

The reason for all these setbacks was that the epic ending of Blue Exorcist Season 1 never happened. Back when the first season was being produced, author Kazue Kato had only produced nine Ao no Exorcist manga volumes. To put things into perspective, she has written and published 18 volumes as of December 31, 2016. This means that Episodes 18 through 25 of the first anime season was a special story arc intended to fill in the story gap.

The plot of Ao no Exorcist Season 2 makes way more sense as soon as you realize that it picked up where the manga and the anime parted ways. This is a major story reset and since the anime followed the manga's Impure King story arc, it can be safely assumed that Ao no Exorcist Season 3 should follow suit.

If you have not watched Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga, it's highly recommended that you watch the first season up to Episode 17. The second season was not friendly to newcomers to the anime series, since it does not explain the full context of prior events, nor why characters are behaving as they are.

The focus of the Blue Exorcist Season 3 story arc will be on a mysterious group called the Illuminati. They may share the same name as a different worldwide conspiracy theory, but in this case, their agenda is aligned with Demons. The Illuminati is led by the strongest Demon, Lucifer, who is called the King of Light. Their goal is to revive Satan, but they're also experimenting on human zombies and working on an elixir intended on reviving demons across the globe. But in order to create a perfect elixir, the powers of a certain ExWire will need to be coerced.

As you can probably guess, the traitorous Saburota Todou is a member of the Illuminati. While Rin's brother, Yukio, managed to defeat the demonic Illuminati agent near the end of Ao no Exorcist Season 2 by overloading his body with magical fire energy, Todou escaped while in an ashen form due to his incredible regenerative abilities granted by Karura. The battle revealed to Yukio that he may have inherited powers from his father, Satan, which came as a shock. Unfortunately, instead of being honest with the ExWires or Rin, Yukio chooses to hide the fact that his eyes turned blue with flames when at death's door.

The Ao no Exorcist Season 3 story begins with the discovery of an artificial Gehenna Gate, a portal between the material world, Assiah, and Gehenna, the realm of the demons. It is believed the Illuminati have created this gate within a Russian waste facility, but the demonic portal has yet to open fully. The Exorcists are able to slow its opening, but eventually it'll open within several months.

The demons claim that Assiah and Gehenna were once a single realm from which both darkness and light originated. Besides reviving Satan, the Illuminati desire to forcibly merge the two realms into a single whole. The Illuminati have been running a variety of experiments, many of which have failed with unpleasant consequences for those involved.

It should not be any surprise that Mephisto Pheles is at the center of the Illuminati Saga considering how he treats Rin, Yukio, and the ExWires as his personal pawns. While anime watchers already know that Rin and Mephisto are related, it is revealed that this Exorcist's true identity is the Demon King of Time, Samael, who is the second strongest demon of Gehenna's eight Demon Kings. Mephisto invites Rin to his mansion only to transport Satan's son to Gehenna for a battle test against a demonic cuckoo clock.

After this battle is ended, Mephisto tasks Rin and his friends with solving True Cross Academy's Seven Mysteries, which leads to hijinks involving wedding gown-wearing ghostly cross-dressers, moving statues, portraits, and all sorts of mysteries. Really, the biggest mystery is how the guys and gals of the ExWires feel about each other since the upcoming student festival involves a dance party -- which requires a date in order to attend.

While a festival night should be all about fun, this party is crashed by Lucifer himself. The barriers protecting True Cross Academy are destroyed by demonic Seraphim, and Lucifer declares war between his Illuminati and the True Cross Order. The Illuminati use this distraction to infiltrate the academy in order to achieve their true goal.

Another major plot point for Ao no Exorcist Season 3 should be the shocking discovery that there is a traitor within the ExWires. Don't worry, this person's identity won't be directly revealed within these Blue Exorcist spoilers, but audiences will learn this person became a spy for the Illuminati before joining the True Cross Academy.

Why would anyone spy for demons? It turns out this person takes secret pleasure from deceiving friends and family. The people in this person's life have pushed high expectations, generating hatred in this traitor in return. This deception culminates in the kidnapping of a fellow ExWire when Lucifer attacks the True Cross Academy and the traitor leaves with them.

What becomes of this traitor? Obviously, a fight with Rin is bound to happen, and Mephisto's scheming plays a large factor, but otherwise any possibility of redemption for the traitor will have to wait until Blue Exorcist Season 4.

The Blue Exorcist: Illuminati Saga should end with Rin and his friend invading an Illuminati base located within the Inari apartments in Kyoto, Japan. Rin is trying to rescue a kidnapped friend, but must fight through rooms filled with failed demonic experiments. Everyone becomes separated. Yukio is tempted by Lucifer in person. Something bad happens to Shura Kirigakure, aka Boobzilla. You name it, this story gets exciting.

How will the third season end? Let's just leave the ending for the Illuminati Saga's finale episode a surprise, shall we?

However, it is reasonable to speculate that a full anime season could be planned for 2018, with another 12 episodes covering the manga source material discussed above. The Kraken story arc was only three chapters nestled in at the ending of volume 9 (the same volume which finished the Kyoto arc). The first anime season covered only the first four volumes of the manga, and the True Cross Academy Festival and Illuminati saga was volumes 10 through 15.

The author has drawn up enough content to cover even Blue Exorcist Season 4, which should focus on exorcist exams and events which take place in the Japanese city of Aomori. The latest, incomplete story saga is focused on an investigation of the Blue Night and Blue Exorcist volume 19 is scheduled to be released on April 4, 2017. It will be interesting to see where Kazue plans on taking Rin on his next adventure.

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[Featured Image by Kazue Kato/Viz Media]