Anime: Ao no Exorcist

A quote from the anime pretty much sums up Blue Exorcist:

He’s so stupid he’ll forget to die even if he’s killed.

I must admit the Spring 2011 line up is one that I’m going to fondly look back and remember. It has after all given me two (maybe three) of my current favourite shows.  Ao no exorcist is one of them. (Along with Tiger and Bunny). But yes, back to Blue Exorcist.

This is typical shounen at it’s best, good characters, good plot, good action, nothing too draggy, the usual girl with big boobs, guy with loads of power and a touch of comedy. Unlike the big three of shounen (Naruto, Bleach and One Piece), Ao no Exorcist isn’t that popular, neither does it boast a huge cast of characters, it’s plot is not original (exorcist – refer to D. Gray Man, Soul Eater which also has the whole gothic theme with catoonish aspects – Death city anybody?) but everything is put together well.

Let’s start with the characters – Rin and Yukio, twin sons of Satan, Rin has inherited the power while Yukio has not. The fact that Rin has to hide his powers gives an interesting twist, it gives him character separating him from the rest of the boys who have great power for no real reason. His problem is very real – his powers are satanic, it scares people, it hurts people and because Rin has no control, he is a danger to others. His struggle is real and his longing to be accepted while at the same time trying not to be consumed by his “evil” powers makes him an interesting character. Also as the stupid older brother, he plays his part well, dependable in times of need. Yukio (the younger twin) is everything his brother is not. Smart, hardworking, popular with the girls, responsible….the list goes on and of course he suffers from a bit of a brother complex. The desire to protect his stupid older brother is very apparent throughout the series, also his slight jealously of his brother’s power  and learning to depend on his brother is something we see as the story progresses. Both start off as pretty typical shounen characters, but they grow in unexpected way, and show us that people can change – that stereotypes aren’t always accurate. Yes, some of it is cliché but in a yes we want that to happen kind of way.  The support cast were okay, they served more as a response to Rin, and while there were some good episodes on the secondary characters, I think the brother’s relationship was really at the forefront of the series.

The story progresses in a pretty expected way, there are some mysteries that remain unsolved (there is going to be a movie after all) and personally I felt the backstory/ending was quite weak. It didn’t really make sense to me I suppose, in a there has to be a more logical way of going about this. Still the plot in general was good, there were the heartwarming episodes, the comedic episodes, the character growth episode, the training episodes, the fights were good. Essentially it kept me hooked, I watched the entire series in one sitting and didn’t get bored! Some characters keep you guessing, although admittedly few will surprise. I guess there’s a lot more that could be explored but it was good for a 25 ep series. Enough interesting stuff for each episode, didn’t feel too rushed, neither was it too slow.

Animation was well done, the demons were well created, the fights were cool, I liked how Yukio had moles (how many main characters do you know of has moles?), music was okay, I think you can tell by now I don’t pay that much attention to the technical aspects of the anime. I’m all for characters and plots!

One of the better shounen series to have come out recently, so save the shounen genre and watch it. Support good shounen!

One Response to “Anime: Ao no Exorcist”
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  1. […] Ao no Exorcist was a surprise find for me back in 2011. I really enjoyed the series and look forward to reading the manga when it eventually ends. I’ve anticipated the movie since it was announced, and was hoping it would be more of a continuation, rather than a “spin-off”. Sadly, it was a one episode kind of event, which is typical of shounen series movies. I cannot say I am surprised, nor am I disappointed. It has brought back what I really loved and enjoyed in the series and the animation is gorgeous as usual. […]

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