Moriyama Shiemi, the female character not liked by many

ao-no-exorcist-1077107

Today I decided to do an essay about my feelings for Moriyama Shiemi. Ninety percent of the reason is that I am bored to death right now and my tumblr dash is kinda dead, then there’s this update in chapter 56 of Ao no Exorcist manga so it’s all I’ve been thinking right now. I know there’s already three posts about Shiemi in fuckyeahcontroversialcharacters in tumblr, but like any other casual fan, I, too, want to voice out my personal opinion on her.

*SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT UPDATED IN THE MANGA. THE WHOLE THING IS FULL OF SPOILERS. BEWARE*

First impression:

To be honest, the reason why I started watching ANE is because of her. I saw a gif of her and Rin together in her garden and it made me think how ANE isn’t as what the fans made me think it was—which is a show full of twincest fanservice. I gave it a shot when I saw that there are some fans shipping Shiemi and Rin together. But then, I thought she wasn’t a recurring character. I thought she was just like Izumo no Okuni from Demon Eyes Kyo. Or just a random princess who the main protagonists visit from time to time or go to when they’re injured or something. So I was a bit surprised when she transferred in True Cross Academy and became a Page.

Also, I thought she was only 14 years old or just generally younger than the main characters. Like seriously, I thought she was a child that would grow up to be Rin’s girlfriend or something. Like Lise from Hector Malot’s Sans Famille

After watching episode 4 and 5, she became the Shounen Manga heroine in my book.

Personality and character development:

I am not fond of shy, air-headed, moe characters. I have neutral feelings for them, but not to the point where I hate them. So I was having a bit of mixed feelings for her for the first few episodes.

Then in came that episode when she was trying so hard to be friends with Izumo. Izumo’s character trait then was really horrible that it made me feel sorry for Shiemi. The poor girl just wanted to have friends and step out of her shyness and she was taken advantage of. Naturally I felt rooting for Shiemi and was happy with the end results of the episode—with Izumo bit by karma HARD and Shiemi proving how useful she was, even for just a tiny bit. (Good thing Izumo’s character development improved a lot as the story progress)

I was starting to like her bit by bit because of how she handles situation with her chosen meister. For example, in their exwire exam, she was quick to react and protected her classmates very well. They even thanked her for it. This is what she wanted to do. This is what drove her into wanting to be an exorcist. And seeing Rin hurt was her trigger.

ao-no-exorcist-1020102

And oh boy. She was getting stronger personality-wise. Like Yukio said, she was becoming more active than before and she was beginning to grow out of her shyness.

In came the Amusement park episode/s. Her moment with Rin there was what made me really board the RinShie ship. I really like how cute Rin acted when he was alone with her. But alas, she was made as the damsel-in-distress again. She went back to square one the moment she relied on Rin to save her from the falling… roller coaster metal railing (in the manga, at least)… But then again, if I were in her situation, I would probably be paralyzed like her, too.

ao-no-exorcist-1159168

During the camping arc (by the way, I’ll go with the manga from here on since the anime changed the storyline from here), she was pretty weak and useless. She was the damned damsel-in-distress AGAIN. Rin rushed to save her from the moths and almost got seen by Bon using his blue flames (I face-palmed in this part because 1) Rin you stupid dumbass! You’re too careless how could you just snap like that it was just a minor wound! And 2) Oh Shiemi why) Then Amaimon used her against Rin. Way to go Amaimon. Use the weak damsel-in-distress as bait for the protagonist. Cliché.

Then everyone found out that Rin is the son of Satan.

I. Felt. Sorry. For. Rin.

Just as he was starting to think that he has comrades, that happened.

Surprisingly though, I couldn’t hate Shiemi or the other characters with their reactions to Rin’s revelation. Why? Because it’s so REALISTIC. Not the typical “Oh you’re the son of Satan? That’s okay, since we’re FRIENDS! Even if your father killed our relatives, THAT’S OKAY because we’re FRIENDS! Shounen anime like us value FRIENDSHIP more than anything in the world! Now let’s dance happily in a field of daisies because WE’RE FREAKING FRIENDS!”

But I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Rin during these times.

Izumo did a good job of making Rin feel better about the situation though. I salute her for that.

This arc is a dark time for Shiemi’s character development. The look on her face when Izumo told her (well, technically everyone) how horrible of a friend she is when worse comes to worst made me see how real this fictional character is. She looked obviously guilty and disappointed with herself.

ao-no-exorcist-1649711

When Rin saved her (again) from the stone-thingamajig (from Shura’s punishment for them for being too noisy in the train) that was pinning her to the ground, when she felt Rin’s blue flames were ‘warm’ and ‘not-burning-her-alive’, I saw in her eyes how confused she was and was starting to feel conflicted with how she acts around Rin. It was a bit disappointing though when she didn’t try to defend Rin to Bon and the others when they were arguing about Rin burning her alive with his blue flames, which he didn’t.

We see more of her thoughts and inner conflicts when they were helping at the Ryokan. At that time, Rin thinks that his ‘friends’ are judging him because of his lineage. At the same time, Shiemi thinks that her ‘friends’ Rin and Yuki-chan don’t think of her as their friend since they couldn’t tell her something so important. During these times, she was too focused on herself, and she wasn’t even thinking about Rin… or that he is the son of Satan. She was thinking on ways to improve herself to be worthy of being called Rin’s friend.

She brushed it off and decided to distract herself with the mission in Kyoto. She remembered her main goal at being an exorcist: to help and protect everyone. She told herself that she would try hard to be worth being friends with Rin. She did her best but was still awkward with Rin. This went on until Rin was locked away in “The Strongest Prison”.

When she learned of this and after reading Suguro’s father’s letter to Rin, she was back to normal. She was determined in making up with Rin. She was extremely courageous here and decided to face Rin. She found her resolve and made up with him by reassuring him that she “Wasn’t afraid” and that Rin would never burn her because “He made it so”.

ao-no-exorcist-2454997      ao-no-exorcist-2454999

Again, I was happy with her development. She saved Izumo (even Izumo is surprised at how stubborn this girl was) despite being told off several times. I like her expression when she said to Izumo “Even if you don’t like me, I still like you.” Because she is Moriyama Shiemi. An optimistic ball of sunshine that wants nothing but to be like Rin and Yuki-chan and protect those people she likes.

ao-no-exorcist-3109109

The Impure King Arc was by far the largest character development for everyone in the series. (Especially Bon, Konekomaru, Yukio and Rin!)

Oh yes, after this arc, in came the manga-version of the Kraken arc—which, instead of focusing on Izumo, Shima, and Rin like in the anime, focused on the three main characters Rin, Yukio and Shiemi.

We get a glimpse here of Shiemi in a bikini… which is actually not as fanservice-y as I thought it would. How she tried to wear a bikini even though she was extremely shy about it only tells us how this shy girl is slowly, but surely, coming out of her shell.

Also, what made me happy about this arc (beside some alone time with my three favourite characters) was the fact that Shiemi saved herself from the Kraken. Yes. She saved herself. She didn’t rely on anyone this time. The twins were even surprised about it. She grew up so well after the Impure King arc.

ao-no-exorcist-3432921

I will skip to the seven mysteries of the True Cross Academy arc since this the time the Exwires appeared again. It was already set in my mind that Shiemi had grown and become capable of taking care of herself and that I am happy for her. She was Izumo’s savior again. She made everyone see how strong she has become.

ao-no-exorcist-3748931

I’ll leave the True Cross Academy Dance arc in the “Relationships with other characters” section because there wasn’t a personality development there—just an improvement with her relationship with the twins.

I’ll now go to the latest arc, which is Illuminati arc (I don’t really know how to call this arc). Okay, here, I am disappointed with Shiemi. Why? Let’s see…

She made a promise to Paku how she will save and bring back Izumo. Like, I thought here that Shiemi would do something that would slap Izumo a wake-up call of friendship… maybe a speech or something. But no.

She’s fainted right now.

And is about to get eaten by the zombie-ish experiment by piggy.

Shiemi, I thought you graduated from being a damsel-in-distress already?!

(Well I can’t really say for sure since the arc hasn’t ended yet. But wow. Shiemi you fainted again. I know you are physically weak, and we can’t really do anything about it, but please wake up and not rely on anyone else to save you like the first arcs. You can now protect yourself. Go do it! Btw, your skirt is lifted up and the zombie-monster hybrid can see your panties)

tumblr_n3dvyzfc171s7gihto1_500

Maybe the mangaka just wanted this to happen because she needs Rin to see how being an exorcist can sometimes mean that you have to kill a human… even if it’s already a zombie.

Relationships with other characters

With the twins:

Her main inspiration for protecting the people she cares about are the Okumura twins, of course. The two of them were her first friends ever and the first people outside her family who interacted with her. She saw how the two of them protected her from the demon flower in her garden and wanted to be like them. She even decided to enter (cram) school (and eventually regular school) because of them! The only problem with this though, is that she sees them as perfect people with perfect lives.

In the kraken arc, she saw a different side of her boys. She finally saw that Rin and Yuki-chan aren’t perfect and they also have issues. I suppose during these times, she’s beginning to think about them, too and not just herself. Up until now, she was only thinking about herself and her own faults that she failed to see how her two inspirations were having self-issues as well. Which is a good thing, because she would see herself as someone equal to them rather than just her idols.

ao-no-exorcist-3352195 ao-no-exorcist-3352197

I am sure about one thing though. She doesn’t think of them romantically. Even at the start of the anime, I didn’t see her having romantic feelings for Yukio (Yes, even with all the hearts around her I seriously couldn’t understand myself why). All I see is idolatry. I don’t know, that’s just my point of view. I have read several reviews and analysis of how she has a crush on Yukio but all weren’t enough to convince me. Even to Rin. Especially towards Rin. She even friendzoned him (unintentionally) in the Impure King arc. But of course, right now, she’s focused on gaining friends rather than having a boyfriend so it’s pretty understandable.

On the other hand though, Rin and Yukio are canonically in love with Shiemi. If not, a teenage crush. Before the Impure King arc, I was unsure of Yukio’s feelings for Shiemi. But when he fought Todou, that confirmed my suspicion. In Rin’s side, it was obvious since chapter 4/episode 5 that he has a crush on her.

I SHIP RINSHIE BUT IF RIN AND SHIEMI GET TOGETHER I WOULD FEEL SORRY FOR YUKIO SO I ALSO SHIP YUKISHI. RIGHT NOW I DON’T KNOW WHO I SHIP MORE. THEY’RE LIKE TAKUTO, WAKO AND SUGATA SERIOUSLY.

In the True Cross Academy Festival/Dance arc (is that even an arc? Or a premonition before a storm?) her feelings towards her two b*tches (sorry) was tested. Paku raised a question of who she likes more. In the end, she never had an answer, but it made her think quite a lot about it and the possibility that her two first friends might like her more than a friend.

She wanted to invite Yukio to the dance because she wanted to cheer him up ‘as a friend’, not because she thinks of him romantically. She was worried about him. Of course, a love triangle conflict between the three was inevitable because of this. Good thing Rin and Shiemi made up immediately after Rin thought that she likes Yukio.

In the part when she said, “Rin, thank you. I really like you,” it wasn’t enough to convince me (of course, I have to keep my shipper heart locked for this) that she likes him romantically. To be honest, I see she values her friendship with them more and would rather not get involved with them romantically (but jfc they were so cute in this volume).  At least, not when she’s still not ready. And I think Rin and Yukio respect that.

ao-no-exorcist-4324647ao-no-exorcist-4324649

With Izumo:

At Izumo’s first appearance, who would like her? She acted such a bitch towards Shiemi. Even after the revelation of her backstory with her mother and sister wasn’t a good reason to act like that towards anyone.

BUT!

I think the way Rin and Shiemi treats her had made a turnover for her personality for the better. I actually like her now. Oh wait. I’m supposed to talk about Shiemi here. Izumo had undergone huge character development, too, so I can’t help but praise her about it.

Anyway, Shiemi wanted to be friends with Izumo because she was a bit saddened when Rin denied her that he was her friend to Bon in the first chapters. Plus, she saw that Rin was hanging out with the boys, so why not hang out with the girls?

Her relationship with Izumo is probably one of my favourite in the show (Besides Rin/Shiemi, Rin/Yukio, Bon/Koneko/Shima). The way Shiemi acts towards Izumo made me like the former better. Because she doesn’t give a damn if she is pushed away or told that she is being hated. She’s so determined with her goal of saving everyone that she doesn’t mind what other people think of her. If she meets her bashers she’ll probably do the same thing.

ao-no-exorcist-3109107

Shiemi had more of an influence to Izumo rather than vice versa from my point of view. Shiemi’s kindness has somewhat made Izumo trust people again. (Of course the Illuminati arc made her not trust people again but I will not say much about this arc because it’s still on-going.)

Rin also influenced Izumo in a way and I think that is probably what annoys her most. She tries to seclude herself from peers and these two airheads (Rin and Shiemi) always comes back to slap her in the face with their ‘friendship’ and ‘kindness’ crap that makes her resolve falter. I think Izumo really likes Shiemi, but is just too stubborn to admit it. (Crosses fingers that the Illuminati arc will develop their friendship even more). She also needs to smile more. She could learn a thing or two from Shiemi who is constantly smiling.

Also, as we can see in the Seven School Mysteries and Impure King arc (and probably the Illuminati arc), Shiemi is always her knight-in-shining-armor. I might as well ship them if things go better. (I kinda see some yuri hints in them, but I don’t know. I think that’s just me.)

Random thoughts and theories

Mephisto hand-picked his exorcists students if I recall. He accepted Shiemi in True Cross, and it’s already been hinted lots of times, that is why I believe that she’s a hidden badass. Even Izumo is shocked at the way she uses her tamer powers in the Impure King arc. I’m kind of curious about her father though. Who and where is he? I thought about blond male characters in the series and I came up with Angel and Lucifer. Angel being her father is IMPOSSIBLE.

And Lucifier… If he is her father… then that explains her talent as a tamer and she’s a half-demon, too… but it also means that she’s Rin’s niece which is bad bad bad. Then again, that’s also impossible… because… I don’t think Lucifer is the type that would make a baby with a human.

About the thing with Maria Yoshida. I asked myself this: What if she’s her real mother? And that she was only adopted by her current mother. Maria looks and acts like Shiemi so it’s not entirely impossible. That or I’m just thinking too much into this.

I also think that when she becomes an exorcist, she will be teamed up with Rin and Yukio often. And since she’s a talented tamer, the Vatican will probably recognize her as one of the generation’s most important exorcist. The only thing she needs now is to grow stronger, physically and mentally… and magically.

In the future chapters, I think she will be used as a tool against Rin or Yukio (I think this is inevitable especially when their demon brothers find out about her). Like, to provoke them in joining the dark side, or something like that. Bon could be used like that too, in Rin’s case and Shima and Koneko.

************

Well, that concludes my review for Ao no Exorcist’s Moriyama Shiemi. I didn’t put in her relationship with her mother because that’s a given already. And her relationship with the other exwires are still vague so it’s hard to analyze.

I think in the future, she will definitely be able to see the garden of Amahara and hopefully, she grows stronger and one day be able to help people as she wishes to.

Advertisements