The ExWire of True Cross Academy are beset with shock and fear in the aftermath of discovering that one of their own classmates, Rin Okumura, is the son of Satan. But for the moment, they have more pressing concerns than that of Rin's parentage: the left eye of the Impure King, a powerful demon, has been stolen from the academy's Deep Keep. After an attempt is made to steal the right eye in Kyoto as well, Rin and the other ExWires are sent to investigate the mystery behind the Impure King and the ultimate goal of the thief.
While this mission has them cooperating for the time being, Rin has never felt more distant from his fellow exorcists. In his attempt to reconcile with them, he undergoes specialized training to control his dark power. However, when the right eye is stolen not long after their arrival, the unthinkable threat of a traitor amongst them leaves them in need of all the power they can get.
I used to believe that an adaptation that follows the source is better than an adaptation that just goes anime original. Well not blue exorcist, since it somehow made me rethink that idea.
To simplify this review, and for fun i will list 5 major flaws that i disliked about the show. Why 5?
cause Rin has 5 friends.
Similar to black butler, the show just decided eh our fans have prob read the manga, so we'll just continue as if the ending didn't happen and they know the story already. I had to google it, but from what I learnt, I could be
wrong on this, but after ep 15, just before Rin's sword breaks, Mephisto steps in and stop the fight, and after that the trial still happened and such but the whole part of his friends going to fix his sword apparently didn't happen. Well what a great way to start the show, just throwing us in there without telling us what was going on. Not even a single ep to tell us what happen and such, they do later on, but it's only a few scattered info here and that.
Don't you just love it when you don't even know why your villain is being evil? I know I sure do, and so does the author. That's why she decided to introduce a villain that we know nothing about. How did he know all of this information about the impure king eyes and such? Nope nothing. Why is he doing this? Nope nada. Instead we just have it appear in the 1st episode, which gives our main cast a reason to be on guard, after like 4 eps, suddenly appears again, and such wow he managed to make everything go according to keikaku. Then oh that's not actually his plan, this is. Then he just stays there... doesn't escape, doesn't try to actively kill people, nothing. Just hangs around like a stoner.
God, like i have never been so bored by action scenes before. The show tries to be both cool action and logical at the same time. What do i mean by that?
Cool action would be a show like Dragon Ball Z, there's very little rule and logic behind their superpowers and it's all raw action.It's just people throwing their power at each other, hoping to over power them.
Logical action series would be something like Hunter X Hunter where their power is well detailed and explained, we know about Nen, how it works and the limitations of it, and battles are fought with strategy and the person having the strongest Nen doesn't automatically make them a winner.
This show tries to be both, which isn't a fault by itself, but does it so badly. Like the few fights there is in the show just makes no sense. They have guns, exorcist spells, those staff things, familiar, but there's no semblance of strategy or explanation about how they use any of this and the differences and situations to use them. Then there's suddenly also elemental rock paper scissors and bullets blessed by holy water can stop the main villain.
continuing on from point 3, where i mentioned how the show handles fights so horribly. Well continuing on from there, the show has very little action to offer in the first place. I know i shouldn't be expecting much for a 12 ep anime series, but come on. Keijo had better fights going for it, and Keijo is a freaking anime with a stupid premise. Due to the previous mentioned point, the fights are usually boring since they dont go either way. No over the top action or destruction and also no logical thinking that puts you on the edge of your seat making you think oh crap what are they gonna do next. Add on the main villain is overpowered as hell, and that being 1 of arguably 4 fights in the series. There's no tension in that fight at all. Regen is a lame way to make your villain overpowered, and like always the mangaka didn't bother to set a limit, making that whole fight a beat down, even when they overpowered him, there's no joy in it. Don't even get me started on the final fight.
This is one of my major grievance with this show. Like the show has this whole serious atmosphere. Yes i know this is a serious event, and there's people who's lives are in danger but come on. It made me more apathetic towards them. It's just bleak, and what's more since the main character, I mean Rin, doesn't seem to care all that much and does nothing to help, why should I?
I don't have a good closing line, so you get this.
My overall score for the show:
*insert feelsbadman emote here*
Ao no Exorcist is one of those show with interesting plot but goes downhill as the series progresses.
Story 6 - The story to be honest is not interesting at all, unique plot idea but the setup and build up are so generic, the story is predictable and the executions were kind of sloppy. It holds down the true idea of the main plot. I seems like A-1 didn't put an effort on this series. Overall kind of fair story yet with rough direction and very cliched setup ( predictable ).
Art 4 - After watching the 1st episode and the Opening at the end,
it made me think that this show had a potential. The episode 1 is very well executed with good cinematography and heavily filtered by blue and the 2D frame animation cuts were so clean that made the series high quality. But after that the series went downhill, with very stiff animation and that very disgusting weird cgi on Episode 6 made me puke aaaaAAAAaaaaAAAA. Overall very bad quality for the series ( very disappointing )
Sound 8 - Sound is great to be expected having Uverworld on their main opening theme. Soundtracks are good too, but not memorable in my opinion.
Characters 6 - Characters are kind of decent I guess, for me it seems the cast are off, It just doesn't help and to be honest makes the plot worse. Cringy interactions and sometimes very sloppy executions when it comes to major scenes.
Enjoyment - 7
Overall 6 / 10 - I mean Ao no Exorcist is really not that bad but in my opinion, the series didn't work well and the potential was wasted. This Arc is very good but A-1 Pictures failed to show how good it is when adapted. ( stiff animation, sloppy executions, cringy interactions, and a very generic setup that is obviously predictable. I prefer more the Original ending of the 1st season than this one.
So who hated the first season's ending........AND the movie?
Well, this second season VASTLY makes up for that...
Kyoto Fujouou-hen erases what the first season finale did and makes it's way to a new conflict involving the resurrection of the Impure King, however with this going on, Rin Okumura has his own personal demons to deal with along with Bon's more family issues to wring in much more character development from the rest of the cast, what can LA say ALREADY but this second season MASSIVELY helped with it's characters with how they portrayed and developed the majority of it's main cast.
***** SOME SPOILERS AHEAD YOU HAVE
BEEN WARNED *****
Because of that, let's dive into the characters a bit deeper. Let's start with Rin himself, Rin gains soo much character development, from his isolation that he was ousted as Satan's son, thus discrimination permeates the rest of the gang and it becomes even worse once they land in Kyoto due to Bon's religious sect having a deep loathing for Satan and thus Rin. His development also goes into his insistent on controlling his flames which is blockaded from how everyone sees him as a demon instead of a human wanting to protect his friends and everyone else around him. Next is Rin's brother, Yukio who goes through some personal demons of his own in the form of the main antagonist of the Kyoto arc and this main antagonist taunts him as to how a reckless brother like Rin gets special treatment while he had to work extremely hard to even get Yukio's own father's attention and his personal demons drives him through the anime. Bon gets the character development he NEEDED in the first season, as his delves into family and hierarchy issues with his father Tatsuma voiced by Jin Urayama, the leader of the Kyoto religious sect and his disconnect to his father and his way of doing things in defeating Satan through prayer?...or through brute force action?, but that is later explained by his father WHY he did what he did especially concerning the Impure King. Hmmm Shiemi and Izumo got a bit of character development in the form of their growing friendship and their beliefs about Rin, Konekomaru and Renzou also got the same things with their confused beliefs about Rin as well with varying directions on how they "tackle" the situation. LA might also add that we got the backstory of Shirou Fujimoto, Yukio and Rin's father with the Rin's Kurikara which is ALSO linked to the Impure King. Other characters like the Honjou sisters to Shura to Kuro to even Mephisto do take a backseat to these proceedings but nonetheless they do have a part in the Kyoto Fujouou-hen no mater how small. Favourite character?, for the first season was Izumo and Shiemi, but for Kyoto Fujouou-hen...goes to our resident Japanese ninja badass shameless fanservice girl Shura voiced by Rina Satou (sure she's support, but badass and has a stake in the plot concerning Rin and Yukio so she's somewhat important albeit a supporting character).
Wow that's alot about the characters...and LA isn't done, because of all these themes these character goes through, from Rin's discrimination, Yukio's grudge with Rin, Bon's family and hierarchical issues with his father and the isolated beliefs of Konekomaru, Shiemi and Renzou on Rin being a demon all manifests and ultimately resolves themselves with the main antagonists especially concerning Rin and Yukio to their respective villains, Rin to the Impure King and how even though he's a demon, HE WILL DEFEAT Satan and the Impure King is essentially his literal environmental stigma villain, Yukio on the other hand has his own personal villain to deal with his problem in the form of Saburouta Toudou. LA just loves how Ao no Exorcist manages to balance out both the "monster villain" as well as the "human villain" and makes use of both of them to Rin and Yukio respectively, something not a lot of animes does well with multiple villains let alone doing the major monster villain correctly executed!.
This anime not only has it's character development and eats it too, but it also delves world building wise, from Bon's religious sect to the lore of the Impure King, heck even some of the battles instills a bit of battle lore concerning the exorcism of demons and the entire elemental rock paper scissors format of defeating demons and LA just thrives in this kind of battle lore especially in a fantasy shounen anime like this.
Ok, next would be the animation done by A-1 Pictures and ohh boy did they pull out all they could for this season of Ao no Exorcist, from the polished character designs and upped detail from the first season, the AMAZINGLY detailed and crisp and fluid fantasy battles and sure they use CGI, but they used it CORRECTLY enough it was hardly annoying at all considering how well the animation is and how much an upgrade this season is from the first season. What can LA say but, A-1 Pictures outdid themselves and that is no understatement.
For voice acting, the majority of the voice cast did amazing with no annoyances at all. Special praise goes to Kazuya Nakai as Bon, Kazuhiro Yamaji as Saburouta Toudou, Rina Satou as Shura Kirigakure and the MVP's of this voice cast going to Nobuhiko Okamoto and Jun Fukuyama as Rin and Yukio respectively. STELLAR voice cast.
What can LA say about Ao no Exorcist Kyoto Fujouou-hen, LA can't even think of any flaws to talk about, the character development is stellar and desperately needed and delivered, the lore of this season was amazing along with the interpersonal issues the character did manifested itself well with it's villains to it's themes it did subtly to the amazingly well done and fluid battles and lore to it, animation is top-notch and the voice cast is no better. If your an Ao no Exorcist fan, DEFINITELY WATCH this season, if you want to see an amazingly well done second season of a shounen anime, then LA without a doubt will say to recommended watching Ao no Exorcist as a whole including this season as it will not disappoint in many of it's elements. This is obvious but, Ao no Exorcist Kyoto Fujouou-hen is definitely in LA's Top 3 Animes of Winter 2017, without a doubt.
*Note - LA has NOT read the manga for this season, thus this is PURELY LA's opinions on what this anime's second season has delivered, nothing more.
The first thing I noticed going into this is how despicable the main character, Rin, is. The mix of the voice actor which gives him this arrogant tone mixed with how he acts. He comes across as your typical shounen character but slightly more annoying than the norm. Despite his ability, he also comes across as overly brash, walking into a potentially infected environment without a hazmat suit on. You can have characters that know they are stronger than everyone else yet come across likeable yet here, it’s the opposite. This made the moments I most enjoyed the most be the ones where he wasn’t
Every other character is pretty interesting though. Characters with their own aspirations to achieve, having to battle with their inner demons and the limits of their own strength to achieve these goals. Despite being so little episodes in, the progression that each of the characters went through was extremely well written. Personally I enjoyed the character of Yukio the most, having development into his backstory merely halfway through the first episode. It made me realise his traits and who he was extremely quickly, appreciating everything he did and especially why he did it.
The art style and animation was also extremely good and had its own twinge to it. It allowed the action scenes to look somewhat cartooney without taking away from the realism. Notable examples would be the firing of the gun and the explosion from the conflict during the first episode. In the environment of the damp tunnel it looked realistic and artistic especially the smoke effects. Like this, the characters also knew when to look cartooney and when to look realistic. If there were any moments where the camera placement is in front of someone’s face, they would also have extra detail to cover up their imperfections making the anime actually look more detailed than it was most of the time. Similarly, it would not waste detail on characters that didn’t require it, however that’s not to say the character’s looked bad, quite the opposite.
The music other than the OP is unfortunately rather dull. You’ll listen to the opening and get super hyped despite the fact that it really doesn’t coordinate itself very well with the visuals. But then the background music will not really specifically add to any scenes where it’s needed and the ending doesn’t let you down slowly like it should. Making the overall experience of music pretty disappointing for how big this series is supposed to be.
Blue Exorcist is your decent action anime. You’ll have characters you like and hate, a simple story that occasionally gets developed. Other than that though, there isn’t much that makes it stand out. The characters do not feel unique or original, the story of Satan and demon lords has been done countless number of times making me ultimately confused about why this series stands out like it does. I think Blue Exorcist is one of those shows that got away with luck of the draw, and became big without having anything to show for it and I think that definitely resonates with this second season. If you want a dumb action story, simple plot and characters with nothing to really secure itself in history but more of a one off, then watch it. But if you are looking for something slightly smarter and thought out, there are plenty of better shows in this exact same category.