Blue Exorcist anime review

Blue Exorcist anime review
Humans live in the world of Assiah, demons in Gehenna. The two dimensions are not meant to interfere with each other, but demons still possess creatures in Assiah in spite of this. The humans who can fight these demons are known as exorcists. Rin Okumura is a boy who bears the curse of being Satan's illegitimate son. His foster father sacrificed himself to save him from demons. To avenge his foster father's death as well as to prove himself, Rin decides to follow the path of an exorcist.

In almost every respect Blue Exorcist has the look and feel of a typical shonen action series. It focuses on a 15-year-old protagonist who's quite the misfit, discovers that he has hidden reserves of skills and powers because of something special about his nature, and seeks to harness those powers for an objective that audiences can easily sympathize with. He is a knucklehead who must struggle to integrate in amongst others who have and/or are developing similar powers, which naturally results in him having a bull-headed conflict with at least one of them, while also trying to figure out a way to get the attention of girls. And, like many recent protagonist delinquents, he can cook remarkably well, too.

So why does Blue Exorcist work so much better than a lot of its kindred? Production values have a lot to do with it. This is one of the sharpest-looking shonen action series in recent memory, especially in its art design; True Cross Academy is a wonder of over-the-top fantasy-styled architecture both inside and out, while the garden scenes are also beauties to behold and even the cluttered store has its own charm. Character designs for Rin when passing as a human, his fellow students, and the Exorcists are more typical (although Shiemi is drawn with an unusually broad face and no one is portrayed at extraordinarily handsome/pretty), but Mephisto Pheles is a garish pimp par excellence, Rin looks suitably nasty when his demonic side shows, and some of the demon designs are very cool. Action scenes sizzle as characters, weapons, and power releases smoothly flash about, with scenes like an attack on a church sanctuary packing all the demonic ambiance one could ask for. The overall rendering job by A-1 Pictures is splendid, too, with characters only going off-model intentionally. A hard rock-laden score whose dramatic swells hit all the right notes also helps.

But there's a little more to it than that. The dynamic between Rin and Yukio seems rather bland in the two episodes based in the church, but it becomes dramatically more interesting when events move to True Cross and Yukio finally lets his long-restrained concerns about Rin and Rin's true nature as the son of Satan show. Shiemi's efforts to find a friend when she's never had one before, and the catty way that some other girls react to her familiarity with Rin and Yukio, ring painfully true, and prideful Izumo surprises a little with the weaknesses at her core despite her outward confidence. Granted, these and other events generally play out in predictable fashion, as does the way stubborn, hot-tempered Ryuji quickly becomes a foil for Rin, but the developing relationships have at least some degree of honest feeling to it. An effective sense of humor finds a sufficient balance with the heavier elements, too, while fan service remains at a minimum; one female character (appropriately) in her undies in one scene is the extent of it, and even then that scene does not play out as if actively attempting to be titillating.

Aniplex' release of the title, as per the norm for their releases, does not have an English dub, which is a disappointment since the original Japanese dub is not a sterling effort. (For instance, Nobuhiko Okamoto does an acceptable job as Rin but seems like he's straining in some scenes where his character shouts.) On-disk Extras include a trio of “Ure-Eku!” comic shorts, Web previews for the series, and clean opener and closer. Like with their coinciding release of Oreimo, Aniplex outfits the case with a reversible cover and a mini-poster which features Rin and Yukio in an action pose on one side and Rin with Mephisto on the other.

The only place where the first seven episodes truly stumble is in the sixth episode, which focuses on Rin getting into a stupid series of cooking-related conflicts with the demonic familiar who runs the kitchen of the dorm where Rin and Yukio stay. Otherwise this is a solid start to a promising shonen action series.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Blue Exorcist. Watch it now:
Browse Anime by Alphabet:
Browse Anime by year of production:
  • 1993
  • 1992
  • 1991
  • 1990
  • 1989
  • 1988
  • 1987
  • 1986
  • 1985
  • 1979