Blue Exorcist season 1 – anime review

After becoming massively addicted to the manga where I pretty much read the first 16 books in record time, it was time to check out the anime. With such a good story, relatable characters and some really epic scenes, Blue Exorcist (Ao no Exorcist) is an amazing series that has potential to grow into something as vast as Naruto. Minus the filler episodes of course.

Blue Exorcist is a story about a 15 year old boy named Rin Okumura, who is the foster son of Assiah’s best exorcist, Shiro. However, Rin has his world shattered when he discovers he’s the biological son of Gehenna’s worst demon, Satan. After witnessing Satan murder Shiro, Rib vows to avenge Shiro and become the world’s greatest exorcist. But will his vengeance and the powers granted him at birth be enough to protect him and his loved ones? Is Rin strong enough to beat Satan?

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Blue Exorcist starts off strong, mirroring the manga as it throws both the viewer and Rin into unfamiliar territory leaving you with no time to stop and think…’what on earth is going on?’ Before Rin can mourn over the death of his foster father and process the news of being Satan’s son, he’s thrust into a world where demons are a part of everyday life and one of the country’s most prestigious high schools is the True Cross Academy for training exorcists. Learning about Rin’s heritage and the state of the world our protagonist inhabits, Blue Exorcist will grab your attention quickly, heavily investing yourself into the series.

There’s a constant comedy tone throughout the series, but it’s dealt in a way that doesn’t downplay the seriousness of the tough situations our group of teenagers often find themselves in. The relationship between Rin and his younger brother, Yukio, often provides lighthearted moments, as Rin struggles to process Yukio being his teacher at the academy.

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The pace drops a tad when we reach the middle of the series, as the writers can’t seem to decide whether they want to advance the plot, develop characters or just throw in some side stories that don’t make the main story advance in any way. It’s as though the writers struggled with the decision of keeping the route the manga goes down, or introduce a new story. However, the series is still entertaining enough to keep you gripped.

Season one of Blue Exorcist establish the individualities of each character very well, making them all interesting enough to want to see more and learn more from their back stories. Blue Exorcist isn’t limited to Rin being our main protagonist. Whilst he leads the story, the anime can afford to seclude him from an episode from time-to-time to help develop other supporting characters, and the series wouldn’t suffer because of it. That being said, one of the main charms of the series is seeing Rin adapt to the power of Satan that lives deep inside of him and seeing the teen grow his skillset with the sword he carries on his back (serving as a gateway to hell) is…and how do I put this professionally…pretty freakin’ awesome.

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The only real negative I can point out with the season is the ending. While it doesn’t lack from the quality of the rest of the series, it felt a little rushed offering tiny indication that the conclusion of the story was approaching within the last few episodes. At the time of release it wasn’t clear whether Blue Exorcist would have a second season, so the rushed ending could be the result of a writing team feeling like they had to clear everything up before the end of the 25 episode season. The season done such a great job establishing the supporting cast and each of the unique ‘familiars’ (powers they can call upon to help them fighting demons) that they didn’t get much of a reward at the end as they faded in the background a little.

But alas, Blue Exorcist released a second season earlier this year, so hopefully more will be made of each characters journey to become the ultimate exorcist.

The animation will leave you picking your jaw up from the floor. A-1 Pictures continue to produce animes with an incredible look. From background scenery to facial expressions, everything is so pleasing to look at and the character designs themselves is nothing short from brilliant.

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Verdict

Blue Exorcist was so much fun to watch. You’ll find yourself thinking how quickly you watched all 25 episodes, as the series becomes very addictive. Towards the end, the series suffers a little from the usual adaption pains from manga to anime, with a lack of power development which is a little let down but not enough to ruin all the good that comes from the anime. Blue Exorcist is an anime that has all the potential to grow into something special.

4/5

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One thought on “Blue Exorcist season 1 – anime review

  1. I enjoyed the first season of this but never really fell in love with it. The show does the action sequences well and there are some nice moments for some of the characters where they really get to shine, but a lot of time just felt like going through the motions. Most of the school scenes kind of bored me and I’m not a big fan of the main characters so it makes it hard for me to really care about a lot of the emotional stakes the show keeps trying to pull out. Still, the first season had quite a bit of fun and high energy moments.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

    Like

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