Rin Okumura is a seemingly ordinary boy living at the Southern Cross Boys' Monastery. One day, however, Rin encounters a boy who has been possessed by a demon. Amidst the struggle, he not only awakens latent powers sealed within him, but also learns that he is the son of Satan! No longer able to stay under the protection of the church and with his very existence straddling the line between human and demon, Rin decides to fight against his parentage and joins the True Cross Order as an exorcist. Now, the teen must attend the True Cross Academy and begin special exorcist training alongside his new comrades all while keeping his identity a secret; but can the son of Satan really become a true exorcist?
Ao no Exorcist is one of those shows you will either hate or love, without much of a middle ground. The reason for this division of opinion is the amount of shounen cliche that makes up roughly 80% of the story. Story: Like I said, Ao no Exorcist is pretty much one shounen cliche after another. Everyone in the cram school has some special ability or they are pretty much there for comedic relief (or random plotpoint when necessary). The main character is an orphan with ties to pretty much every secret society in the anime for one reason or another, but he has no idea of that until he is abruptly made to realize that "Oh my god, I have superhuman abilities". The main action in the anime is centered about Rin learning to use said superhuman abilities without turning into a demon. Animation: The animation randomly switches from the light-bathed halls of the exorcist school to the dark, and rather eerie battles with demons. Movements are fluid and the settings are intricate. A lot of detail is given to each character, regardless of their importance, so the animation is top notch. Sound: The OP's set a pretty upbeat and quick tempo for the anime, which it needed considering how much fighting takes place. The soundtrack enhanced the fighting scenes enough to engage the viewer. Characters: The characters were a bunch of teenagers with enough personality quirks to set them apart from each other. Still, they tended to fall into certain cookie-cutter character molds. While I liked the dynamics between the characters, I wanted them to have a little more depth.
Blue Exorcist was very hyped when it came out, for two reasons. One being the only thing most people care about, the pretty colors. The animation was very good compared to most other anime which are cutting their budgets because they are just making cheap promotions of the source material. The other positive was the very exciting beginning, which was promising a lot, only to deliver nothing. In the first two episodes, the protagonist finds out he is the son of the devil, he vows before his foster father’s corpse to become the most powerful exorcist and to destroy him with his infernal powers. What followed that awesome premise had nothing to do with it. He just went to a school where he was shouting at his brother, reading manga, complaining about homework, sleeping in class, failing in all tests, and then hiting the beach so he could loaf around.See past the initial hook and you get a generic shonen with a generic team of teenagers, doing generic ghost busting. There is nothing special about the setting or the way people and monsters interact with each other. The demons are not summoned because of human grief, the characters are not fusing their powers through teamwork, and heaven is just a place full of angels. Good luck making things interesting when the concept is bare bones.It also makes no sense. I mean, they summon monsters by biting they fingers like in Naruto, or draw summoning circles on the ground like in Full Metal Alchemist. Why are they called exorcists when they are summoning demons? How are the fanatic paladins supposed to be Christians when they want to use Rin, who is full of the devil’s power? And why is a half naked bimbo able to make holy water by chanting when she never prayed to God? Why do you even need to chant anything in order to banish a monster when a simple sword slash is just as effective? And the best part is that they can’t sanctify their own school because it will drive away their own demons. As a result the school is constantly being attacked by fiends, and there is no protection against that. The defenses of Hogwarts say hello. My point is, these are definitely not exorcists. But then again Naruto wasn’t about ninjas either, so down to it this is all some lame excuse to call the characters something when they can be called anything else just as easily. Like Blue Ninja or Blue Summoner.Besides lacking identity, the show has a lot less action than it has school comedy, making it one hell of a boring fighting shonen. Also, it’s not even good as a comedy, since the jokes are average stuff you can find in pretty much any anime.Although it’s normal for fighting shonen to start light and humorous at first before they become heavy on action and drama later on, it never happens here because the show does not last long enough to get to that serious part. Even the sequel that came many years later failed to capitalize on that and practically nobody was watching it.Sure, you can still watch it for the cool animation but even then there is no theme in the setting. Soul Eater had weird suns and moons, D.Gray Man had a gothic feeling. What is the theme of this world? Looks great but feels generic.The same thing can be said about the characters who are all average. If I describe the protagonist as dumb, bored, with an OP dark side that comes out whenever he is in danger, I am basically describing 95% of all protagonists. The same can be said about the other characters which you have seen hundreds of times before.- His brother Yukio is a dull four-eyes, who offers nothing to the overall plot other than being a complaining brother.- Shiemi is the archetypical frail girl and token platonic girlfriend of the show. Being a girl in shonen she is typically a useless damsel in distress. She also is the healer of the group but that helps AFTER the battle is over. Beyond that she is as useless as Sakura from Naruto.- There are lots of other students in the school but they also feel completely flat as personalities; I find nothing special in the entire cast. Especially because many of them were made to be just fujoshi bait cardboards or half-naked bimbos for the horny teens.Then comes the cardinal sin of shonen, which is catching up to the manga and resorting to filler episodes. The adaptation came out way too soon and as a result half of the show is dead time and the rest of it is boring training sessions. It didn’t even bother to excuse the continuity, since when the sequel came many years later, the plot continues from where the fillers begin and ignores completely the anime-only changes, something which angered a lot of anime-only watchers.Down to it, Blue Exorcist is a disaster. It gave you two great episodes and then stopped trying, before resorting to fillers nobody cared about, and then had a sequel that nobody bothered to watch. But the colors are pretty, so who cares?
Blue Exorcist is a great anime for any shounen fan out there, or anyone that just wants a taste of anime for the first time. Published by A-1 Pictures (Black Butler, Sword Art Online, and various other titles), Blue Exorcist provides enjoyment with its variety of characters and nice animation. It focuses on the ironic idea of a demon killing demons; and, not just any demon, but Satan. The first episode goes directly into the story, and, at least for me, hooked my attention. The introduction to this series was well-thought out, even if it was in a few episodes. The thrilling soundtrack produced by Hiroyuki Sawano (Attack on Titan, Kill la Kill) keeps one on their feet through all the battle scenes. Because the manga is ongoing, this 25-episode anime had an original ending (much like the original Fullmetal Alchemist series). This, I feel, was one of the weaknesses of Blue Exorcist; it felt a bit rushed, and did not completely focus on the story. There are very many unnecessary filler episodes, and, while they do give the other characters the "attention" (thus the effective character build-up), it seems as though the conclusion of the series isn't focused on until the last few episodes. As I mentioned before, this anime has a large variety of characters with different personalities. And, as I also mentioned, the filler episodes help chracterize them. Each character is their own person, each with a reasonable amount of screen time. One can easily relate themselves to another character in Blue Exorcist because of this. Blue Exorcist has left an impact on me through its beautiful way of conveying the thoughts and feelings of all the characters. It teaches one about sacrifice for those close to them, and the challenges one must overcome to achieve their dream. If you are searching for an anime with a well-thought out story, Blue Exorcist is highly recommended. The action scenes will leave shivers down your spine, making you want to watch the next episode immediately. One may simply fall in love with the abstract characters and melodic soundtrack. Blue Exorcist will most certainly satisfy your anime dosage, whether you may be a rookie or an amatuer.
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