The atmosphere in True Cross Academy is lively and boisterous in the days leading up to the grand festival held once every 11 years. During this time, Okumura Rin is entrusted with the responsibility of suppressing the berserk Phantom Train. In the midst of his mission, he meets a devil whose appearance is that of a young boy.
Note: This review assumes that you have at least some insight or knowledge with the original TV series or the manga.
So what would you do if you discovered that you were born as the child of Satan? Well for starters, you probably would view your life a bit different than the way it was before. For a particular kid named Rin Okumura, his life is never the same again. Then, enters even more troubles with the demons themselves. Well, who you going to call to exterminate these demons? An exorcist of course! Otherwise, welcome to the world of Blue Exorcist. Only this time, it's adapted
as a film running 88 minutes and fans of the original series gets to experience the fun once again. It's going to be a wild ride on the Phantom Train so buckle your belts.
Well, it's here. This is the movie that fans from the original series was waiting for. I wasn't too impressed with how the original Blue Exorcist series went in the second half especially since for some reason, the adaptation went on a filler route. Otherwise, this movie is original material not based off the manga so don't expect filler but rather a brand new experience.
The movie itself is handled by A-1 Pictures so expect similar production values as the original TV series but likely also a high price tag for the BDs. (thanks to Aniplex) Is it worth paying for? Perhaps this review may or may not convince you open your wallet.
As for the movie, it blasts off in full action mode with no time wasted. In fact, the premise immediately comes to fruition with the Phantom Train. The ride is a tough one though for Rin and the others especially since it's not like anything they've faced before. Luckily, we can see that Rin and his abilities has not gone to stale and is able to fight effectively alongside his brother Yukio. The movie itself is also pretty straightforward. What you see is what you get a – fun supernatural ride, or at least in the beginning. The setting still takes place in the same place as the original series so don't expect any certain twists in terms of the location.
Most of the main characters makes their appearances in this movie including the shy Shiemi, the confident Yukio, the hot-headed Shura, the stubborn Izumo, the wise head Konekomaru, the prodigy Bon, flamboyant Mephisto, easy going Shima, and among others. Even a familiar demon makes his cameo. One new character viewers might not be familiar with though is Usamaro, a strange kid with a pair of ears and curiosity. Voiced by the famous Kugimiya Rie, aka the queen of tsundere, she plays the role of this character. However, the kid has some secrets than meets more than the eye.
The movie still feels like the standard shounen type of anime just like the original series. There's the action. There's the humor. Then, there's the bonds as well as the flashbacks we see here and there. There's not much change to Rins' character. He still remains himself throughout the film as cheerful and willing to help others. In fact, most of the characters' personalities remains generally the same. Then lighthearted backgrounds of the movie also contrasts greatly in comparison to its beginning. The mood in fact is much more pleasant when the students are in their casual wear and enjoying life through sports and hanging out. But of course, we can't forget our newest member Usamro. He brings that certain feeling of cuteness towards the movie. Despite not being human, the kid displays human behavior through interactions with Rin as the movie is progressed. However, there's definitely something mysterious about this child. In particular, there are certain scenes where the camera focuses on him with enhanced visuals for more than just aesthetics purposes.
For the plot itself, it begins to unravel itself later on so expect to have some patience. Blue Exorcist is known to have a backbone to its plots and often or not strives to make the most of it through some form of development. Perhaps some of this comes from memories as there is sense of memories flowing back to a particular character's head. Then, there are the other paths the movie tries to follow through the usage of certain flashbacks and what goes on in the present time. The interactions between the main characters throughout the film is a bit lackluster though. Besides some of the heartwarming moments between Rin and the new kid, there's hardly any brotherly bonding between the two brothers throughout the film. The original series' presentation of the family theme is scarce. Instead, it plays on what's present as well as ways to make more of those happy moments in the wrong way. Then, there's a problem with the supporting characters as only a select few gets highlight moments. And even so, they are easily forgettable.
By shounen standards, the movie does maintain a good execution of action. As mentioned before, the movie gets into the action mode right away with little time wasted. Thus, expect some good full throttle movements in the beginning. The movements are fluid accompanied by a strong soundtrack to give that feeling of intensity. As intense as some moments it gets though, it still falls under a typical mindless shounen standards with nothing too special to boost about. The weapons remains generally the same as well with the chants, swords, and guns. Well after all, it's what exorcists needs in order to fight off the bad guys – the demons of this movie just like the original show.
Visual wise, the movie has a good composure. In terms of character designs, everyone are dressed in the way they should be as exorcists rather than out of their style. During some of the more lighthearted moments, their casual designs shows that they are also ordinary students. Unlike the ordinary though, the demons are abnormally designed with twisted body figures and shapes. It gives them a dangerous look in which viewers should take seriously. The architectures also gives off a fantasy like feeling with its standards.
The soundtrack of the movie is strong. It's safe to say that the movie should be watched with the volume on HIGH with headphones especially during some of the more intense moments. The movie reuses some of the OST from the original series so perhaps that might also bring back some nostologia. Most of the VA does their work well. Rie's performance in this movie should be given some attention to with her character not being tsundere but rather as someone who cares about the memories they make.
Blue Exorcist is one of those shounens where you're going to have get really into it to enjoy the experience. For a particular character in this series, they sure enjoyed the experience they shared with someone. As for potential viewers, this can have various results. If you're coming completely fresh into this film, be aware that some things might not make 100% sense at first stances. Therefore, it's recommended from my perspective to watch the original TV series first before venturing on this adventure. Overall though, this was a shounen adventure of 88 minutes. It's not a ride of masterpiece but does have its fun moments here and there.
Woo! I waited 2+ hours in a super long line in a cramped room to see this today! WORTH IT. I was extremely skeptical about a movie adaption of Blue Exorcist like many of you probably were when you first heard the announcement. I must say it was VERY well made in ever aspect imaginable, great story and art especially. Getting into the story a bit more the movie opens as a story book read by Father Fujimoto to the Okumura brothers and throughout the movie this particular little book is explored, talked about and experienced by the characters as the movie progresses, later Rin
Yukio and Shiemi go on a mission to destroy a Ghost and possessed train. There is also the side story of the 11 year festival and a seal that is needed to be set by Shura, we also have to True Cross Academy students preforming missions that end up very "sticky" continuously throughout the movie.All of these sub-plots converge later and very well I might add. Overall It was an adorable, funny and touching movie that I deeply enjoyed very much. The "new" characters include Cheng-Long , a strong (and gorgeous) exorcist with an interest in a particular myth and the Okumura brothers and an ADORABLE little demon named Usamaro by Rin in the movie. These two characters were good add on's that did not seem out of place, in fact they made the movie better. The story mainly revolves around Usamaro, a demon Rin is charged with taking care of when he is suspended due to an accident that is caused earlier in the movie. He appears to be half bunny in appearance and about 4 in human years (although he is 1000's of years old in actuality). He is an extremely cute kid and Rin is such a good father/big brother to him. There relationship is rocky at first although everyone grows to love him. This move was good and worth the pain of waiting, I give it a 8.6 , an amazing movie...although the ending did not make me feel happy I would gladly watch again
The ideals of two brothers clash, as the lines between demon and human fades before their very eyes. A diverse journey of fun, exitement, amazing animation, beautyful music, feelings and mild symbolism? This movie is one of the few side story movies I could recommend for anyone, fan or not!
Normally, I don't waste my time with movies attached to anime series. Lately though, I've been seeing alot of them, and it truly is like discovering one pearl after another, very much like discovering anime for the first time all over again.
I will not waste your time with a lenghty synopsis, as summarizing the movie
is not my intention. Nevertheless, the movie takes place somewhere between Rins classmates discovering his identity, and the end of the anime. A festival for a historic exorcism is about to be held and Mefisto puts the care of a demon, sentensed to exorcism in the care of Rin, for reasons I will withhold in this review. Rin ends up spending time with the demon and uncovers a side to demons he has never seen before.
Most of the cast from the anime return for this film, from Rins classmates, to Mefisto and his brother and even Rin and Yukinos father in more than one flashback. The voiceacting cast returns as well, and right there you have a plus in the movies favor.
The producers are mostly the same as in the anime as well, with some of Aniplex finest at the helm. The best description I can demiver on the animation is "cool and colorful". As those who have taken a look at my anime list, I drive a mostly unjustified crusade against the use of CG animation in my anime, but in this movie it is onky used as polished, and only when animating beings supposedly from a different world, something I actually can get behind.
It would be a crime to review this anime without a segment avout the music. Being composed by Hiroyuki, Sawano (Aldnoah.Zero, Attack on Titan) you know you can expect some over the top quality, and he does not disappoint. Being not only well orcistrated but also well delivered in terms of timing and corespondance with the art style, it brought a little tear to my usually stern, cold, eyes at the more crirical moments of the movie. Something I found bothersome as I was traveling on a public transport at the time, and what my neigbours saw was a 21 year old man crying over some cartoons.
Was there something lacking in the movie? Yeah sort of... An aspect I enjoy about sidestories, is when two or more characters that don't normally interact get to explore their relationship, prominantly seen in the Fullmetal Alchemist specials, where Winry and Hawkeyes relationship is explored. This movie didn't take this approach, but rather focused on strenghtening the already existing relations, and exploring the unique characters for the movie.
The film sould also profit from some finesse though as the "big reveal" is something that's already quite obvious from the get go, and with the movie "holding your hand" about it, this revelation just feels slightly
I mentioned "mild symbolism" in the introduction of this review, but I will not delve into that here, but rather let you figure it out yourself, if you are interested.
Are you a Blue exorcist fan? By all means, watch the movie! If you have not seen the show, I would rather recommend you watch the movie without having seen the show, I am not saying that the show is weak, it is a strong 7 in my book, but it's nothing substantial enough to make me go door to door about it.
Ao no Exorcist Movie, was a solid watch that pulled my heartstrings, and it might just pull yours. Still, there is actually room for improvement to be had. And for that I I'll give it a nine in this review, though In my book it's a ten, because every anime is better, if watched on a train.
I was expecting something more action-packed and thrilling, but this was by no means a disappointment. This movie was perfectly fine. Just a-okay. It's a lovely chocolate cake smeared with some questionable cream and devoid of the cherry on top. And when you haven't had a cake for a while, it's a bit of an 'oh-well' sort of downer. But if you've had your fair share of sweets- from revolting, stiff wedding cakes to drool-worthy masterpieces- you will find this cake to be an ordinary dish, its expiration date a bit too soon, but far off enough to leave you munching in contentment.
movie starts off by relaying a cautionary tale (which is repeated several times throughout) of a demon who was found by a villager. She fed him food, and the demon stayed and spent time with everyone. Soon, because they became busy in laughter than in their work, the villagers forgot the village. To solve this problem, an exorcist was brought in to seal the demon. However, the village remained lost. Thus, this tale was passed down for thousands of years, so that once every 11 years, a festival is celebrated for the demon.
You'd think with such a simple, straightforward tale, that it'd be easy to patch together what needs to happen and display it in the best possible manner. Instead, we get jumbled amounts of detail on action that does not seem to be going anywhere nor following any sort of pattern. The plot-line is laid out, you can guess what role the main characters play, and you do know what happens. Nevertheless, instead of being content with meeting the watchers' expectations, the producers try to overdo it by adding in some random mission at the beginning of the movie. Missions are commissioned throughout the whole movie. And you see a bunch of 'exwires' and exorcists going around, chanting stuff, shooting blobs of neon colored monsters, and wielding swords equipped with a classical battle cry. It's not even well-done action that slightly interests us- it just sort of drags itself on for a minute or two before flopping. It doesn't help that the city looks like a downtown slum to begin with.
Besides that, the main parts are executed well enough. Rin finds a little boy who turns out to be a demon. He befriends him after offering a bottle of water which is soon followed by a peeing session. They play games together, take baths, and basically Rin takes over the role of surrogate father/older brother. Either way, it's pretty cute and I laughed and aww'd quite a bit during the baseball scene. Then the kid's eyes start dilating. And even if you've never watched anime before, you know shit's bout to hit the fan. We're then faced with zoomed in faces, people staring, and a drunk act. You can bet your lucky stars it's the village story happening all over again. This time, however, there's a little twist. The ending is unexpected- but you expected it already. It's slightly tear-jerking at some moments (if you know the back story of the characters) and overall provides closure.
Characters look normal (except the fact that Yukio's moles are missing...) and sane besides the ones that clearly aren't. The drawing and coloring style from the anime was utilized and resulted in a faithful animation except for one detail. Why does the city look like a slum town? How is that even sanitary? Was that green swamp water we just saw?! Why are they performing magic in the sewers? Why is there no real explanation for any of this? The anime series didn't make it look dirty and grotesque at all. Everything was clean and vibrant despite the crazy architecture. But in this movie, even the festival was slightly disturbing- what with it's flashing lights and glowing-eyed rabbit faces. It's like a mixture of ancient Rome and Istanbul gone through dust showers, mud storms, and some shitload of hurricanes requiring practically everything to be rebuilt and what's left standing looks like it'd better to put it out of it's misery.
If you've seen Ao no Exorcist, you know the soundtrack is spectacular. The battle music injects adrenaline into your veins, the piano tracks make you sniffle into shedding a single tear, and the vocals encourage head bobbing. In the movie, you get some rip-off artist rapping while the characters are mid-discussion. No worries, you think, subs will do. But the subs are butchered beyond belief. I swear to God that if some grammar nazi was shown those sentences (one was, "How are understaffed, we with you, the division of Kyoto!") the poor soul would kneel over and scream "STOP IT! SPARE ME! PLEASE!" before erupting into a sobbing epileptic fit. It's as though the subber started out eager to learn the English language and halfway through decided, "You know what, screw this! I'll just stick it in Google Translate! Known by difference no one!"
The voice actors did their jobs, but the subber just stabbed their efforts straight in the gut. More importantly, the translators aren't the only pet peeve. The sound specialist has a nasty habit of incorporating a radio 'technique' at random intervals of a scene. Deciphering the subs is annoying enough but having to hear normal sounds being murdered through transmitters just made the process dreadful.
For those of you who haven't seen the anime before, here's some general info about the characters' personalities:
The main character (Okumura, Rin) is easy-going, open-minded, and easily convinced. He cooks really well, is the son of Satan, and breaks out in blue flames and a tail when he unveils his sword. His twin brother (Okumura, Yukio) is the younger of the two, but you wouldn't know it from his mature, dutiful, and serious manner. He wields two guns, wears a trench coat, and has wonderful glasses that compliment his face structure.
There's a blond chick in a pink school uniform (Moriyama, Shiemi) who has a green little palm tree bud who sits on her shoulder and whom, for some odd reason, she dubs as 'nii-chan'.The green thing wields magical powers of herbs, medicine, and saving dead people's souls in peaches. Another female character is a purple haired chick with a reverse ombre look (Izumo, Kamiki). She's a pretty normal girl- ignoring the fact they all have some sort of exorcism powers.
The main character's good guy friends are: the carefree one who's afraid of insects (Renzou, Shima), a bald smarty-pants with glasses (Konekomaru, Miwa), and a hardcore looking dude (Ryūji, Suguro) who goes by Bon and is serious about work/studies. Though seeming a tad cliche, they're highly amusing when hanging out together.
We've got a snake-sword wielding, bra-wearing, drunk-loving gal (Shura, Kirigakure) who's pretty laidback and loose except for when it comes to getting the job done. There's also the new Paladin (Arthur Auguste Angel) who is in charge of the festival and you can assume to be powerful and grand by his stark white clothing, lustrous golden locks, and ridiculous last name. You'll meet a Taiwanese exorcist, the cute demon kid (who's named later on), and the main character's cat (Kuro) who can turn into godzilla.
All the characters are tolerable, one or two provide endearing moments, but they still feel distant, so when the unexpectedly expected ending plays out into a dramafest, it can be received with little to no response. It all really comes down to how much emotional piano you can take before breaking down in tears.
Obviously, if you haven't seen the anime, it may be frustrating trying to understand what's going on, what's what, and who's who. If you have seen this anime, this is nothing exemplary. It's not spectacularly majestic nor is it worthlessly contemptible. This movie is such a blandly neutral display of work that I'll just hold my peace on this one.
There is a ton of new anime each year and it can be hard to keep up with it all. Movies are especially tricky since they are a mix of original features and follow-ups for TV shows. Here on MyAnimeList, you can find the best films of 2012 in order to cross a few things off that endless To Watch list.