Anime of Tomorrow
Blue Exorcist (review)
Final impression – a blast of awesome (8/10)
Spring 2011 to summer 2011 (25 episodes) (Japanese title – Ao no Exorcist)
Rin Okumura, an orphan raised by a catholic priest, has a terrifying secret hidden in his past. He’s actually the son of Satan. His old man also has a secret – he’s the world’s strongest exorcist and works to keep the dark lord of hell from discerning the whereabouts of his lost son. But few secrets this big can be kept hidden forever, as Rin accidentally uncovers the truth of his identity when he gets into a fight with a delinquent and subconciously releases a bit of his power. Faced with the risk of being captured by Satan and dragged to hell as well as the loss of his adoptive, human father, Rin decides he’s going to use his demonic powers towards the goal of following in his old man’s footsteps. He commits to becoming the world’s strongest exorcist in order to kill Satan with is own hands.
Blue Exorcist marks the triumphant revival of shounen anime. With the unending, filler-saturated, steaming piles that Naruto and Bleach have become over the past several years, I’d pretty much all but given up on this subgenre. But then Blue Exorcist arrived and helped clean things up. It’s got action, comedy and story all in equal measures. The cast is just the right size to provide a nice variety of roles without spreading everyone too thin; characters are likeable and their motivations are clear and concise. I do have one complaint, and it’s that there are several “fooling around,” episodes whose existence completely ruins the flow of the plot at a few very crucial moments. Besides that though, Blue Exorcist was a real treat to watch and I recommend it to anyone who misses the days when mainstream shounen anime were still good.
As an interesting little aside, I’m an English teacher in Japan and one of my students is named Yuuki Okumura (a coincidentally similar name to Rin’s brother, Yukio Okumura).