Release date : 17, April, 2011
Based on : ongoing manga (by Kazue Kato)
Animation studio : A1 Pictures Inc.
Director : Tensai Okamura
Writer : Ryota Yamaguchi
Score Composer : Hiroyuki Sawano
Ao no exorcist is set against a backdrop of present day Japan with the plotline revolving around stories of demons and exorcists.
Rin and Yukio Okumura, twin brothers, witness the murder of their surrogate father Shro Fujimoto by none other than Satan himself. The primary protagonist swears vengeance on Satan who turns out to be his and Yukio’s biological father.
The story sets a wonderful premise with brothers fighting demons and ironically raising hell for the demon king. Rin Okumura enrols in True Cross academy to hone his hereditary superpowers to bring down the root of all evil, which is evil himself. At school , he is shocked to find out Yukio assigned as his teacher, who is revealed to be an experienced exorcist. The first half of the series show cases Rin as a racially awkward teenager trying to fit in the regular crowd. As tried and tested this approach may be in entertainment media, blue exorcist presents it in a completely different manner. Assumed to be evil, Rin is always trying to prove himself different from other demons and in return earns many loyal and trusting friends. The second half of the series concerns Yukio’s role in the plot. Earlier assumed to be devoid of any demonic powers, Yukio is revealed to be equally affected by his lineage as Rin and this aspect of his personality leads to a fantastic climax in the series.
The Characters :
Rin Okumura plays your typical shounen protagonist. Clumsy and always screwing things up yet never giving up, Rin is poor at his studies but extremely good at winning people’s trust and making friends. He starts out as someone who is shunned for his parentage but soon transforms his reputation into one of someone who truly cares for his friends and family. He helps a lot of characters on his way to defeat Satan, demons, ghosts and humans alike. Despite being the son of Satan, Rin swears to stand by Fujimoto’s teachings and considers him as his true father.
Agree to disagree with all those who think Rin is the sole primary protagonist. Yukio plays an equally important role in advancing the plot in the series.
He is shown like a calm personality who is beyond his brother in maturity, if not in age. Arguably, being twins he is only minutes younger than Rin. He is put in exorcist training by Fujimoto at a very young age due to his ability to see demons. His sole purpose in life as drilled into his head by his surrogate father is to protect Rin and given his ‘nee san’s’ antics, at times even babysit him. The show doesn’t take him seriously till the second half but in the end Yukio proves that he is truly Rin’s brother and Fujimoto’s son.
Though killed in the beginning, Shiro Fujimoto has his presence felt throughout the series through his adopted sons who believe and follow his teachings.
Other significant characters in my opinion are the exwire students , Shiemi Moriyama , who plays the undertones of romance with the two brothers, but smartly enough, the writer left it at that. Ryuji Suguro, a delinquent looking teenager who is anything but a delinquent, Renzo Shima, a carefree student, Konekomaru Miwa, who is at first uncertain of his friendship with Rin but soon becomes good friends with him, and Izumo Kamiki ,the mandatory tsundere for the show. The writers also provide ample fan service with character like Shura Kirigakure and Arthur Augueste Angel .
Mephisto Pheles, the oldest son of Satan , who is a mere spectators to most events.
And last but not the least, the lady who started it all , Yuri Eigen, Satan’s fling on earth who loved demons and humans alike. Although her plan to show Satan the beauty of the human world sort of backfired when he tried to take over, but well, that’s what she had Rin and Yukio for.
Score : 7/10
The Animation :
The animation is brilliant with the pallet starting with blue and ending with blue. Looking at the action sequences, you can tell the creators took the title blue exorcist quite seriously. The action scenes are well choreographed but the character boundaries become a little hazy if there are too many stunts at once. The one thing that spell brilliance however is the CG animation and picturisation of Shiemi’s underground gardens and the Gehenna gate.
Score : 8/10
Meh…………..I guess. It isn’t exactly impressive. The score is beautiful in some parts, but sometimes it’s not enough to bring out the mood for the particular scene. The opening and the ending songs in my opinion are brilliant. Both openings give us an insight in the turmoil in Rin’s life and both the endings tell you to take it easy despite your troubles because our friends are family are always there for you.
The series has its flaws, and after that kind of climax, I wished for a grand ending. But it does offer you…complete entertainment. There is the occasional humor and slice of life instances in it, all the while implying the importance of family and morals. At times it does become a little too preachy, but its all balanced out by the badass action scenes. The story has a satisfactory ending and whether they introduce a second season or not, this anime is complete in itself. Watch it for a good action experience backed by strong characters.
Overall Score : 7.5/10