Okay, so because of the new season of anime, I’ve been re-reading Blue Exorcist.
And I keep getting reminded of what a sweet little cinnamon roll Rin really is. Seriously, as one fanfic said he’s more likely to try feeding you than killing you.
But to me, it’s super clear in the School Festival arc before everything goes to heck.
Because here’s Rin who, even before finding out Shiemi now went to school fully, just wanted to ask Shiemi to the Dance Party. Partly so he can actually go and also because his crush is on full display here.
Before he can ask her though, she tells him she wants to ask Yukio. (Mainly as a friend but the point remains.)
And what does Rin do? He bows out gracefully, showing his support and wishing her luck. Sure, he mopes about it later around the Kyoto Gang, but he respects her wishes. Even after he finds out that Yukio turned her down, he doesn’t try to butt his way in or anything. Instead he gets mad at Yukio for turning her down.
It makes things a bit awkward for them but they get over it eventually.
Then at the actual party, he does ask her to dance. However, and this is the important bit, he doesn’t force her to choose. He understands her and doesn’t force her. Instead, he drags her over to Yukio and the three of them have a quick dance together.
And this is something I really love about Rin. He respects Shiemi and every other person’s decisions for the most part (he will get pissed off though if he sees you making his mistakes though and urge you not to do it, or see you throw your life away, like with the situation with Suguro and his dad). He is incredibly empathetic and lets people go at their own pace.
You find out he’s Satan’s son and you don’t want to talk to him? Yeah, he’ll be upset but he accepts it. Don’t want to see demons including half-demons like him? He’ll be bummed at the missed friendship but he’ll go on his way. Accuse him of killing your father and try shooting him? He’s actually okay with that (get some self-preservation, Rin).
Choose Yukio over him? He’ll accept it.
Especially in regards to the Shiemi situation, he’s always been aware of and understood that Shiemi probably has a crush on Yukio. It’s pretty clear from the start and that’s part of the reason he held back how he really felt. Her declarations of friendship didn’t help either.
If you’ve fully caught up to the recent manga chapters, you’ll know that even after Shiemi rejected Rin’s confession (mostly because she’s still really confused about how she feels and she wants to focus on becoming stronger), Rin made it clear he’s content with them just being friends.
I love this kid and how he respects others, especially when it comes to romance. I love when protags maturely handle love and rejection like this.