Thursday, December 22, 2011

Review: Blue Exorcist (2011)

Blue Exorcist (2011) is a Japanese fantasy anime about two twin brothers who are the sons of Satan. Unaware of their birth origin, Father Shiro Fujimoto raises the boys as their guardian. The series contains 25 episodes plus an upcoming movie (December 2011 release).

Humans and demons live in two dimensions that are not meant to interfere with each other. Despite this rule, demons from Gehenna (hell) still enter and possess creatures and objects in Assiah (earth). Humans who fight these demons are known as exorcists, professionals trained in the art of combat and holy scripture.

The story revolves around Rin Okumura, the older teen brother who possess abnormal strength. Despite his aggressive behavior and clumsiness, he is a good kid with a strong sense of justice. When his younger brother, Yukio Okumura, leaves the monastery to study at the prestigious True Cross Academy, the monastery is attacked and Rin discovers he bears the curse of Satan (blue flames). Father Fujimoto sacrifices himself to save him from demons. To avenge his guardian's death, Rin ends up doing what his guardian asked him never to do: he draw the demon-slaying blade Kurikara, which restrains his demonic powers, from its scabbard. He not only gains demonic physical features (fangs, pointed ears and a tail), but also the power to ignite himself into blue flames that can destroy anything they touch.

From this moment forward, Rin decides to follow the path of an exorcist in order to defeat his father, Satan. He meets Mephisto Pheles, the preceptor of True Cross Academy, to enroll in the school. Much to his surprise, he finds that Yukio is already a veteran exorcist and will be one of his instructors. Rin will face many trials to control his blue flames and protect those he cherishes.

Initially, I had low expectations about this show because I am generally not a fan of demon shows. However, I became instantly hooked with the plot. Each episode made me more curious; I had to know what would happen next. Rin Okumura is a male protagonist that makes you want to like him for his courage, tenacity, and will-power. He cares deeply for his younger brother (although Yukio does not realize this until the end) and the well-being of his friends. Although he is the son of Satan, he manages to persuade others that he still has a human soul. Other common themes throughout the show were the importance of teamwork and trust.

The plot was invigorating and fun to watch. The action was solid, and the pacing kept me interested for more episodes. In my opinion, Blue Exorcist was one of the best supernatural anime shows in 2011. If you have not watched it, I highly recommend this show. For serious fans, the manga is still ongoing if you desire more stories about the twin brothers.

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