Anime Tuesdays: Ao no Exorcist (Blue Exorcist)

ao no exorcist blue exorcist anime review

© A-1 Pictures

This week, we’re covering Ao no Exorcist (Blue Exorcist) which, for some reason, I kept thinking was the same thing as The Devil Is a Part-Timer. Seriously. I can’t explain how many times I looked at Ao no Exorcist, just sitting in my Netflix library, and told myself, “bummer I already watched that.” Except I didn’t. And I’m here to say that as much as I enjoyed The Devil Is a Part-Timer, I was 100% more emotionally invested in Rin Okumura’s story. (I realize I haven’t covered Devil is a Part-Timer yet, so I’ll add that to the queue).

The Premise

When Shirou Fujimoto adopted the spawns of Satan, Rin and Yukio Okumura, he had every intention of raising them like normal human children. For the most part, he succeeded, having had Rin’s Satanic powers sealed into a sword. Yukio, the youngest, was too weak to inherit his father’s blue flames. However, ailed by his brother at a young age, Yukio develops the ability to see demons, apparitions that threatened the already fragile mind of the youngest Okumura. To ease him, Shirou teaches him the art of exorcism to both protect himself from the demons and to keep his brother safe.

Soon enough, Rin’s blue flames find their way to him, unleashing a series of crazy events that land both Rin and Yukio at an exorcist academy disguised as boarding school. Once there, eccentric director Mephisto Pheles promises to protect the twins from both the Vatican forces (who are upset that the spawns of Satan weren’t eradicated in the first place), and their own father. Will Assiah (the world of the living) survive against the swallowing mirrored world of Gehenna?

Why You Should Watch It

Ao no Exorcist (although it deviates from the manga) dedicates a lot of time to the sibling dynamic. Usually, siblings are supporting characters, mortal enemies, or so separate in age that they just play the role of protector or protectee. In Ao no Exorcist, however, Rin and Yukio fight their own demons while remaining close. Their relationship is jeopardized at every turn, but the anime takes care of rebuilding and strengthening their bond time after time.

The rest of the characters are unique, the story’s fast-paced and entertaining, and the show honestly creates a universe of its own. Weeks after finishing it, I still think about it and find myself missing its lore. That being said, there is a third season currently airing (maybe almost wrapped up by now?), but it picks up before the whole final arc (which was the deviation from the manga), and tries to set the record straight. It’s weird for me to accept the rewinding in character development, but I’ll give it a chance.

ao no exorcist blue exorcist anime review

© A-1 Pictures

Featured image credit.

Anime Tuesdays is a Tuesday column of The Nerd League featuring current or exceptional anime we think is worth checking out. To keep up with this week’s pick click here.

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