Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blue Exorcist Episodes 2-4 Impression

Viz Anime is serving up some devilishly tasty anime with Blue Exorcist

We took a look at the premier’s episode of Blue Exorcist on Viz Anime a few weeks back and since there are now well over 10 episodes to watch. So how is the series stacking up to the lofty sights set in episode 1? Quite well as we see in episodes 2-4. These three episodes, when combined with episode 1, would make up the average DVD 1 release for an anime so let’s take a look at the three as a whole.

Story – As Rin and Father Fujimoto flee pursuing demons the truth about Rin’s lineage is revealed. He is the son of Satan and as such, and coming into his power, is sought to return to his father’s side, something he has no desire to do. As choices come to a head Rin makes a choice that leads to a tragic loss and enrollment at a very unusual school. Sent to originally assassinate Rin, Mephisto Pheles ends up agreeing to let Rin train as an exorcist so that he may seek is revenge. Rin enters the exclusive True Cross Academy with the Koma Sword and heavy heart in tow. As he settles in, the transformed Mephisto teaches Rin about his cram school and his first teacher is a bit of a surprise. An encounter with some low level demons while arguing with his twin brother Yukio reveals even more about Rin’s past while the duo must work as a team to help free Shiemi from her cursed garden. The daughter of the schools supply shot carrier her own burden and soon finds herself next to Rin in class, learning to be stronger.

The action seen in episode 1 rolls along in episode 2 with everything coming to a head. The actions of these episodes lead to enrollment and introduction to True Cross Academy while episode 4 starts to extend the core character set with a new introduction and evolving of Rin’s powers. The story is unfolding nicely revealing more about key characters, introducing new ones and exploring the overall world that both Rin and Yukio inhabit. The past and present are front and center and even being four episodes in feels like nothing as there is so much more to be seen. Nice progression to what looks to be a hell of an anime ride.

Animation and Art Style – Awesome; yes the characters are unique and bring style that fits the topic and just rocks. The action unfolds incredibly and the entire battle between demons and Father Fujimoto’s exorcist shows a glimmer of what is to come. The inner power of Rin is not even touched on all that much yet it’s hinted at with excellent animation and style. True Cross Academy itself is a living, breathing character that has so much personality and depth to be explored. Yes folks the art style and animation in Blue Exorcist marries modern day Japan and society into supernatural in a manner that reeks of awesomeness.

Voice work and Music – Online, nobody can hear you scream … in English that is. The sub-titles are ok but it’s a shame if viewers don’t fully understand Japanese as the voice talent is rock solid showing off anger, sadness and emotion that brings the characters to life. Opening and closing themes rock but the background music, while decent, is not super memorable.

Miscellaneous – Can’t say it enough, getting anime of this quality for free online is just plain sweet!

Overall, with the shock of whom and what he is behind him, Rin can now focus in with viewers on his life at True Cross Academy. The strange world he is now part of, it’s mysteries and intrigue are the path that lies ahead and for an anime only four episodes in there is much promise here. Mix this story with solid animation, great action and some outstanding music and this is indeed an anime to sell your soul for … ok, lend the soul but keep it long term.

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