Blue Exorcist: Definitive Edition Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 12)
Directed By Tensai Okamura
Released – September 9th 2013 in the UK
Published by Manga UK.
Synopsis and Opening Comments
“Raised by Father Fujimoto, a famous Exorcist, Rin Okumura never knew his real Father. One day a fateful argument with Father Fujimoto forces Rin to face a terrible truth – the blood of the Demon Lord Satan runs in Rins veins! Rin swears to defeat Satan, but doing that means entering the mysterious True Cross Academy and becoming an Exorcist himself. Can Rin fight demons and keep his infernal bloodline a secret? It won’t be easy, especially when drawing his Father’s sword releases the demonic power within him!” – Manga UK
Blue Exorcist is a TV anime series directed by Tensai Okamura at the anime studio A- 1 Pictures and aired for a total of 25 episodes, between April 2011 and October 2011. The anime is based upon a manga series of the same name by Kazue Kato and has been running in Shueisha Jump Square since 2009. The franchise has also delivered a light novel, PSP game, and a theatrical stage play production. The TNC team has reviewed the manga series and an article covering the first three volumes can be found here. This review covers episode 1 – 12 of the anime series.
The story of Blue Exorcist follows the two Okumura twins: Rin and Yukio, who have spent the majority of their lives being raised by a renowned exorcist, Father Fujimoto, who took care of them despite them not being his children. The two knew very little about their true father or their origins and spent what they thought to be a normal life living it as they thought others of their respective age would.
Despite what seemed like a comfortable life, all is thrown into disarray as Rin discovers a terrible truth, he and his brother are both the sons of Demon Lord Satan. Meaning that they both share the same blood as Satan and so to some degree share his power, they are the sons of the devil. Upon discovering the truth Rin starts to be relentlessly attacked by demons in an attempt by Satan to take over the humans world.
After this shocking revelation and the events that followed, Rin vows to go against his father and defeat him. However, before he can do this he must become stronger and so enrols in the True Cross Academy, an academy set up to train students into successful exorcists. Under the guidance of the staff at True Cross, his brother, and his companions will he be able to become an exorcist strong enough to defeat his father, Satan, or all of his training in vain?
The story of Blue Exorcist was very enjoyable as a whole, but for me it did have its problems. The major one is that it didn’t feel that developed, they had a basic underlying concept but they didn’t fully expand it and utilise it to its fullest. It just felt as if they were just gearing up towards the final battle and they didn’t really care too much about what they put in the episodes building up to that point. Despite this they did manage to throw some twists into the mix and did develop a very emotional side aspect to the show. Namely Rin’s struggle with getting to grips with him being the son of Satan, what with him being shunned by the rest of his peers after they discover the truth and how he has to deal with losses left, right and centre. It is mainly this emotional aspect that kept the show together for me.
The characters used in Blue Exorcist were strange to say the least. They were good, but strange. If I was to explain this I would clarify that it isn’t their personality, character traits, or personas that are weird, these are all quite good. It’s the looks and design of a few characters which aggravate me, one of which being Izumo Kamiki, her eyebrows are extremely peculiar and I can’t help but look at them and get annoyed by the design choice. Usually, this sort of thing doesn’t annoy me but for some reason this just gets to me. I must stress that it is only a small few that are annoying in terms of looks, the rest are fine and the personas of pretty much all the characters are well developed and sufficient.
The main protagonist and personal favourite of the show is Rin Okamura. He is the 15-year old son of Satan, who has inherited his father’s demonic powers. However, he chooses to use these powers to go against Satan and defeat him. Leading him to True Cross, but his half-assed nature and his knack for getting into trouble always leads to him being the laughing stock of those close to him. Despite this he is still an emotional individual, he has suffered and been through a lot, and the everyday of life of being shunned by his fellow peers does create a lot of compassion from the viewers towards him. Rin is also seen to cry during the anime, one of the scenes it was over a manga, but still he was crying nonetheless.
The main antagonist of the show is Rin’s father Satan, who as you would of gathered wants to take control of the humans’ world. I have a lot of strong words that can be used to describe Satan in this and they aren’t very pretty, so I’ll refrain from using them, but you can gather what I want to say about him. I mainly feel this way about him because of the underhandedly dirty tricks he pulls to try and take over the human world, if I was an exorcist I would personally punch him in the face. Despite this I don’t hate him in terms of being a character, he is an awesome antagonist and one that really gives the protagonist a run for their money throughout the show and like most antagonists there is also a bit of a good side, which is developed and shown as the season progresses, which is a very nice touch.
Artwork, Animation, and Audio
The DVD quality as a whole was quite good; the image was very crisp and sharp. As a whole it was a very pleasant visual experience. The artwork was a bit fifty-fifty for me, the general art style was very good and the backgrounds was done perfectly. But, the specific details on characters were quite peculiar as I said before.
The animation was very good. The anime consisted of a lot of battle scenes and standard scenes; both of them were animated very well. The fight scenes were smooth and flowed, making them feel natural and pleasant to watch. The standard scenes was equally as pleasant to watch and you could tell from watching the anime that a lot of work had gone into animating this show.
The audio and soundtrack was average to be perfectly honest. The opening and ending songs were good and I really enjoyed watching them alongside each episode, but upon finishing the collection I can’t remember how they went, they just aren’t that memorable. The score used within the anime served its purpose, it followed along complementing the happenings in each scene and was something used to deepen the emotions and events taking place. It somewhat felt as if the music was used to compensate for something, which really aggravated me.
This release of the anime is actually one of the first times that it has been sold with English dub. The dub is of a good quality and the voice actors chosen for each respective characters were very good. Those who enjoyed watching or would like to watch the anime in Japanese original, that is still possible. The collection comes with an option to watch in Japanese, along with two extra DVDs with just the Japanese original with English subtitles on them.
After completing the Blue Exorcist and taking everything in to account in regards to the positive and negative aspects, I would have to say that the anime is good. If all the anime was on a scale this would fall somewhere in the middle, perhaps leaning towards the better side of the scale. It is a Shonen but isn’t all about fighting, so I can say that most anime fans will find something that they enjoy in this show. The strong point of the show would have to be its deep emotional flip on the story and the negative point would be Izumo’s eyebrows. I honestly thought that this show would turn out longer and grow into a strong mainstream Shonen show, but what they did with it and ending it soon was beneficial for the show as a whole. I’d recommend that you go check it out, as I did get some enjoyment out of watching the show.
YOU CAN BUY THIS AT EYEONASIA.