A classic Shounen,what else to say. I think a lot of studios thinks about making anime about son of satan. But then they said "Oh no. It will be too stereotyped" When A-1 pictures said "hm...why not?".And they weren't mistaken. Now we have one of greatest anime of summer 2011. I enjoyed it so much and I hope you will too.
+:The story is just masterpiece. As i said, it stereotyped,but it does not affect at fun of watching. You just watch and say "oh Sh**t! That was awesome!"
-:The story little bit slowly accelerates. I mean when you watch 1-2 episodes you think
"in the next episode he definitely will kick someone's ass!". But in 6-7 story become boring a little bit. Because Rin collect his own team or smt else.
But I completely sure it will be briliant story. We just need to wait...
+:I really love how ANE are drawn.It doesn't lose quality at battle scene, how does bleach or smt like that.
-:Nothing to say. Just 10/10
+: Rin's voice actor is Nobuhiko Okamoto. He famous for acting in Bakuman, Bleach, Durarara!!, Shiki, Toaru Majutsu no Index, etc. Of course he great and I totally approve set of voice actors.
-: Opening, ending and soundtrack isn't so cool how it could be
+: All the characters are charismatic and hilarious. Especially Rin. He is really character with balls. I definitely love moments when he release his demonic power. It looks amazing. Also in anime we have kinda tsundere, nerd, foolish beauty, badass friend and brother. Yes, I told you it is cliched. But it's doesn't nary irritate.
-: Too many minor characters. Trolls and atc...Why did you do that, men? they don't need to anybody! why you made the whole episode about it?
Nothing to say. I just in love with it since first episode.
If you whant a classic shounen, which will cause you to scream "OH MY GOSH!" and all it conjugate with wonderful art, marvelous sound and damn good fightings so this is anime for you! m/
"Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He has kept it in business all these years!" - Anton LaVey
One of the constants of many religions is the idea that sin and evil stem from a higher power. In some cases this means another deity that works in opposition to all things good, but for Christianity, Islam and Judaism such things are viewed as the domain of Satan (or "Lucifer, Fallen Angel, Prince of Darkness, Bringer of Light, Ruler of Hell, Lord of the Flies, Father of Lies, Apostate Supreme, Tempter of Mankind, Bringer of the Apocalypse, Old Serpent, Prince of
this World, Seducer, Accuser, Tormentor, Blasphemer" - Glen Duncan).
Whatever name is ascribed to this being, the idea of him being the enemy of all things good is so deeply ingrained in society, he is usually depicted as the epitome of darkness and evil. While there are tales out there that try to cast Satan in a different light (for example, DC Vertigo's "Lucifer"), most writers find it easier to go with the prevailing opinion - which is a bit ... lazy to be honest.
Adapted from the ongoing shounen manga by Kato Kazue, Ao no Exorcist follows the adventures of Okumura Rin, a boisterous teenager with superhuman strength and a problem controlling his temper. Together with his younger twin brother Yukio, they live in a small Christian monastery run by their father, Fujimoto Shiro, and several monks who have helped raise the two boys. The series opens with a group of priests who are frantically praying in unison, but one by one they are being killed by a mysterious blue fire.
The scene shifts to Rin, who has just punched a delinquent for shooting pigeons with a crossbow.
Because this is a shounen anime, the plot adopts the action oriented, fight-of-the-week format that is so common in the genre. While this method is formulaic, it does have two advantages, the first being that the story becomes very easy to follow. Overly complex details and anything truly thought provoking have been discarded, which is more than a little ironic as, in true shounen anime style, this simplistic approach is reflective of the content of the series. The second advantage is familiarity, and while it doesn't seem like an important factor, it does play a key role when it comes to enjoying this show.
Sadly, Ao no Exorcist also suffers from many of the problems that plague the shounen genre, partly because of the formulaic plot, but mainly because the series lacks the much of the depth needed to keep the story interesting. The lacklustre narrative is filled with bland humour and pointless angst, and because of these factors, the series has a tendency to veer off track. Although there are attempts to keep everything running smoothly, the underlying lack of creativity and complexity make this difficult to achieve. In addition to this, only a part of the manga has made the transition to anime, and much like the first adaptation of Full Metal Alchemist, the latter portion of the series is completely original - and it shows (more on this in a bit)
When it comes to looks, Ao no Exorcist is on surer footing, although a part of that is because this is a manga adaptation. The majority of the character designs are very typically shounen in style (even down to the short, bald guy), but while the source material adds a degree of refinement to their composition, there are also a few inherent limitations. That said, there's a surprising degree of creativity in the supernatural elements of the series, and a few of the weird and wonderful concepts really steal the show. There are also a few imaginative settings that make a nice contrast to the rather humdrum everyday scenery, and when everything comes together the overall effect can be colourful and slightly outrageous (in a good way).
As for the animation, A-1 Pictures have done a decent job for the most part, even with the typical shounen posturing and theatrics. The characters move well, if at times a little unrealistically, and the majority of action scenes are fluid and well choreographed. Unfortunately there are some noticeable occasions where the standard drops, and sadly these aren't limited to periods of frenetic activity.
The strong shounen theme is prevalent in the two opening sequences, both of which are filled with action, posturing, and a smattering of angst. In addition to this, the two introductory tracks, "Core Pride" by Uverworld (episodes 1 to 12), and "In My World" by Rookiez Is Punk'd (episode 13 onwards), are very typical rock songs that one might find at the beginning of any shounen anime. Ao no Exorcist also features two ending sequences, the first one being a CG "journey" through a city that is accompanied by "Take Off" by South Korean boy band 2PM. The second features a montage of the characters against a variety of patterned backgrounds, all to the tune of "Wired Life" by Kuroki Meisa. The rest of the soundtrack is features dramatic orchestral pieces and strange little comic relief ditties, and while these are generally well choreographed, as a whole there's nothing really special about the background music.
One of the biggest problems with the shounen genre is that it can often be too formulaic, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the dialogue. The script appears to have been written by people with no idea of how teenagers actually talk, and the conversations are filled with pointless banalities, angst ridden diatribes and cumbersome bravado. Everything's a bit too contrived, and to further compound matters, the voice actors have obviously been instructed to play their parts with extra "oomph". The result is that emotions like anger, frustration, joy, fear, etc, often involve lots of shouting, while the rest of the acting has enough ham to start a business making sandwiches.
The characters are a veritable "who's who" of stereotypes, and it can sometimes seem as though the mangaka has followed the instructions in "How To Make A Shounen Character" to the letter. Rin is the typical lead male - all brawn, very little brains, and tries to solve every problem by hitting it, and surrounding him are people who epitomise their archetypes. In addition to this, Ao no Exorcist makes the age old mistake of assuming that overcoming trials and tribulations equals development, and while some of the characters do learn a thing or two over the course of the series, much of what passes for growth is nothing more than window dressing on a mannequin.
In all honesty the only interesting person in the whole show is Yukio, but given how shallow everyone else is, this may not be saying much.
Ao no Exorcist isn't a new concept, and much of the inspiration for the story has obviously come from Mike Mignola's "Hellboy". The sad part is that although the latter work is a gripping supernatural horror/thriller that touches upon many different cultural beliefs, legends and aspects of folklore, virtually none of that is present in this anime. The decision to make this a shounen tale has placed severe limitations on what can and cannot be done, and this means that the narrative can't achieve the atmosphere, the tone, or even the level of complexity of Hellboy.
Which brings us back to the latter portion of the anime.
Once the series moves away from the source material the story takes a slightly darker turn, and several themes are introduced that, if they had been used earlier, could have raised the show above mediocrity. Unfortunately these concepts are only lightly touched upon, which is a shame as there was an opportunity to take the anime in a direction that would have made it far more interesting than it actually is. That doesn't mean it should have gone done the path used by The Omen trilogy though (i.e. Rin becomes The Antichrist), but it would have been nice if the wistful, almost melancholy desire of his father was examined in more detail.
With all of its flaws it may seem as though Ao no Exorcist has nothing to offer, so it's surprising that the show is reasonably enjoyable. That said, the best way to treat this anime is to think of it as a rather long action movie that has difficulty getting to the point, and if it's watched for the sole purposes of no-brain entertainment, then viewers can expect a decent return for their time.
That said, with two live action movies, two animated features, and a world of difference in content, some people may find Hellboy a better proposition.
I started this show with high hopes; needless to say I was let down. I liked the aesthetic, the characters seemed ok and I liked the premise. All signs pointed in a positive direction.
Unfortunately, that's exactly what this show lacked: direction.
Aside from establishing the premise, very little is done to advance the plot throughout the show. Most of the show is episodic, and the archs don't build up to anything. It really seemed like the creators didn't know where it was all supposed to go.
One of the things that disappointed me was the fighting, or the lackthereof. From the beginning they establish a universe with
potential for awesome, supernatural fighting, and even introduce a number of characters that would probably be pretty awesome for that kind of show. In the end, there was really only a couple of fight scenes, and most (if not all) of them involved the same couple of characters.
It's also disappointing considering those fights ultimately meant nothing. They had nothing to do with any overarching plot because there was none; at least, not until very late in the show.
The ending for this show was pretty bad. It didn't do anything interesting with what the show brought to the table, and was downright terrible from an action standpoint. If it had introduced some kind of twist or something, then it might have redeemed the show a little bit, but it didn't.
Since both the action and the plot were nonexistent, there's really not much reason to like this show, though I will give it that the aesthetic and comedy were nice. It's a show that could have been nice had they decided whether or not fighting was what they were going for, but they couldn't make up there mind, and in the end they had nothing to show for it.
An interesting enough premise, but Blue Exorcist turns out to be just another school-setting shounen with a main character with the typical daddy complex and a shallow/unfinished romance.
The colors were bright, which is always enjoyable, but the character designs were lacking and some features came out awkward-looking. Ex: Shura's oddly boxy midsection and Yukio's unusually wide face
None of the OSTs stood out to me, but I loathed the jazzy opening.
I really enjoyed Rin and Shirou's relationship, and Shiemi's smidgen of character development was nice to see. But there was little depth in the characters otherwise. Instead, the writers took the
easy route and focused on Izumo's (spoiler) easily-predictable somewhat transformation and Rin and Yukio's unorthodox relationship (which came off as awkward and forced to me). Though I must applaud the series for (spoiler) letting Noriko go, which shows some resolve.
Concept & Execution: 5
The daddy complex was nothing new, though I thought the religious overtones and occasional references were interesting and almost Neon Genesis Evangelion-esque.
I was rather let down by the series after hearing so many good things from friends. The first few episodes are still wonderful and emotion-filled, in my opinion, but the rest of the show fails to follow-up and the conclusion is horrifically anticlimactic, (spoiler) with the exception of the relationship between Rin's mother and Satan, which I found surprisingly touching.
Overall, it feels like a textbook shounen that could have taken an edgy turn with the religious overtones and instead wimped out.
Ao No Exorcist is set in a battle of exorcists versus demons. It is a typical shonen with a good main character as the backbone.
The backdrop of the story is that Rin and brother Yukio are the sons of Satan and a human mother. Rin inherited the demonic powers, while Yukio didn't. They are taken in by the current Paladin, Shiro, who raises them as sons. Soon, they are thrust in an ongoing battle of the Exorcists versus Demons. The story gets off to a very fast start, but from what I understand, lack of material for the spots the manga covered caused some
more prolonged fillers than usual. Towards the end when the story picks back up, there are some "jumping the shark" moments which try to add to the intrigue and plays well on the Rin's character, but ultimately falls flat.
Rin makes an excellent main character. As the son of Satan who wishes to fight demons his very existence challenges the traditional views of the vatican, the major "good guy" base, in the series. He's foremost, a character you like to root for.
His brother Yukio is somewhat a foil to Rin. His personality is pretty much the opposite of Rin's, and even his weapon choice (guns) are contrary to his brother's (A sword). The strong point about both characters are that both of them have a good mix of personal strengths and weaknesses.
As good as the brothers are, the supporting cast fails to meet the same marks. Most of them have some sort of character episode or small backstory, but none of them really have any true development. In comparison, a show like Soul Eater (while having twice the episodes) managed to handle all of the characters in a way that made all of them seem important, this is not true for Ao No Exorcist.
The show has a fairly good mix of comedy and action. Some of the more comedic episodes are actually the stronger ones as they tend to focus more on a characters personality rather than the kinda middling story.
Ao No Exorcist is nothing new to the Shonen world, it suffers from some pacing issues and a bland supporting cast, but has strengths with the mains and overall theme. It's a decent show with some demons to deal with.
Ao no Exorcist is a short shounen that has become memorable. That's not the same as saying it's great though. Here's why.
Rin and Yukio were raised by a priest, yet are the sons of Satan. Sadly, it turns into more of a school setting- based anime. While there are still some good, fast action scenes, there are too many plot holes as the story goes on. They train to be exorcists in this school, even though they are part demon themselves, so that becomes a large plot device. One of the better ones too. It's OK, nothing spectacular.
I love the art. It complements
the action scenes real well. It can be dark or light depending on the scenario. Well animated and colorful enough to not loose my attention.
Cathy openings and endings. The ost's, though could use some work outside of battle themes. The English dub was not quite as good as it could have been, as it does not fit the character roles all the time.
This has to be the most memorable part of the show. Rin is calm and collected, and only freaks out when a normal person would, unlike most main characters. This is not to say he's not fun, he knows fun more than any stuck up snob in the academy. This is what I do NOT like. Yukio is the most legalistic person on the show. Whenever they argue, I find myself wanting to have Rin beat the living shit out of his brother.
Good popcorn flick. The beginning was great, then slowly turns into a typical shounen that has semi-fulfilled potential, that does show up at times in the series. Once I was finished watching it, and listening to the ending themes over and over, I could move on with it always in mind. Don't rush into it expecting very much and you'll like it.
This review has been edited quite a bit. Ok, first off, this anime does not seem to following the manga closely anymore. Up until ep 13 it was, but after that, who knows where the story will go~
Story 9: The story was so tightly packed into the first three episodes, it felt like I was watching some kind of epic movie. I'll admit the basic plot has been done before, we have all had our share of Son's of Satan, but it still manages to be interesting anyways. Somehow it has that spark which makes it amazingly unique, yet it still
includes anime cliches at the same time. The good thing about this show is that you'll know if you like the story just from the first episode.
Although this is true about the first few eps, I can't say it is the same for the rest of the show. Ao no Exorcist is still enjoyable, but the action is far less than it was in those eps. The action did pick up like for example in ep 12, but I can't say it's consistent. Read the manga if this bothers you~
Art 10: The art is perfect for me. Honestly though, it's a matter of opinion. I don't like my characters too bishounen or too muscular. The characters are drawn, for the most part, in between the two (leaning on the bishie side), so I love it.
Sound 10: Sound I love the sound as well. There was appropriate music in the appropriate scenes that's all I can say. When the tragic moments occurred, really sad music played. When they were running/fighting against demons, it was more upbeat. It was well done in my opinion~
Character 10: Characters now this is my favorite out of everything (even though everything is rated the same). Rin, the main character, is not too whiny nor really bad ass. He acts like a normal 15 year old for the most part, although a bit on the bad side until, of course, he finds out he's a demon. The main enemy on the otherside, Satan, is extremely creepy and scary (imo). But this is good because who wants a sappy enemy? At least you know that he won't be one of those villains that switch sides. If you like your main characters not too over the top and your villains totally villainous, this is your show.
Enjoyment 10: I REALLY enjoyed this show. I've been pretty much obsessing over it so much the past few days it's sad haha. Maybe you'll end up the same way, but that won't happen unless you give it a try. Demons and exorcists fighting, that's the basic point, although that's definitely NOT the entire story.
Overall 10: Overall, I love this show. Hopefully it can continue being this good in the future. -edit- I'll admit it does get slow eps 4-8, but as I have read the manga, believe me there is action to come.
Generic, generic, generic. This anime oozes from genericism.
Story: 2, Character: 2
Your typical shounen story done a million times, only now with exorcists.
The story starts as Rin, the protagonist and the guy who gets the most favorites of the show in MAL, becomes an exorcist because of certain circumstances (I don't want to spoil you why).
He enrolls to an academy, which deals with many things, along how to become a full fledged exorcist.
Sounds interesting at first? Well, NOPE.
The execution is so generic and bland.
*We have a protagonist who is short tempered and likes to fight alot? check.
*His brother is a cool calculated guy who
the protagonist want to surpass? check.
*A useless female heroine/supporting character? check.
*A chock full of cast of annoying and useless characters? check.
*A female character with weird eyebrows that is even more useless than all of the other characters in the show? check.
The story is your typical Naruto/Bleach/One Piece, only with ten times more annoying and bland and useless characters. Even Heroman has more story going on than Ao no Exorcist, and Heroman doesn't have any story! EVEN HEROMAN HAS A CAST OF BETTER CHARACTERS...Wait... does Heroman has any notable characters?
The single interesting character of the show WAS Rin and Yukio's dad. But because of certain circumstances, he's not in the show anymore (I don't want to spoil you why).
Rin main goal in the story is to defeat SATAN. How is it different from your typical shounen goal of becoming the Pirate King/Hokage/whatever Ichigo from Bleach wants to become? Well, it's NOT.
Art: 5, Sound: 5
The art and sound are the strongest point of Ao no Excorist, but the art and sound are wasted on this bland show. The opening theme and ending theme songs are catchy at first, but then become annoying after a few watches because of their bland contents. The voice acting is bland too, because the script is bland and the lines are straight from a B-side shounen show. Did I mention the word Bland?
The art inconsistent, because many times you will notice the QUALITY. You feel that all the budget of the animation went to the damned and notorious cooking filler episode, because the foods look awesome, man!
What Enjoyment? Nothing is enjoyable about this show. But... it's possible that it will be enjoyable as your first anime, because baby's first anime is always enjoyable and unique.
I can't recommend this show to anyone and not even as a baby's first anime, because there are much more interesting and unique anime shows out there that you can watch as your first compared to Ao no Exorcist.
If you like generic stuff/Naruto-One Piece-Bleach you might enjoy this anime. Otherwise, steer away. It's not worth your time.
Hey guys, this is my first review on this site and frankly it's my first review I've ever written so here it goes.
Ao no Exorcist is an classic shounen anime as you may know judging by the hype it has gotten. Well to cut to the story, it revolves mainly around Rin whom is a demon spawn living in a chantry with his father, brother and a bunch of munks/exorcists.
The theory of the story is good, but not well made, a battle between exorcists and demons, a struggle to fit in where you should not belong, a strive to be the
best. The pace in the story line kicks of in the first two episodes which frankly I think is great but after that is slows down more and more 'til the end of the anime where it speeds up 9999% without warning or preperations. That is a bad sign, to speed up an anime just to fit the ending in 4 episodes, I haven't read the manga so I can't say if the story is copied 100%. In my opinion the first episodes was freaking awesome, it was battles, hearbreaking and were exiting. After those episodes it slows down as I said before, to a pace were it resembles fillers that you can find in Naruto and other animes that are over 24-50 episodes. That is bad my friends in a 25 episoded anime, and it cuts down the enjoyment.
The art is just great, it's classic, nice colors plain beautiful. It goes from small cute demons to rotten ghouls very well made I must say and a very high variety of characters, you won't see anyone in this anime look the same exept from some smaller demons. The sound in this anime is well placed and has a great soundtrack fitting the moments. The ''main characters'' are well placed so to say, a great kemistry and gives a nice vibb to it. They have the right voice casting for every person that fitts their personality.
Overall it's a fair anime in my opinion, it may have a good theory behind it but is crushed by the way they made it to the screen. It jumps from one thing to another so it's hard to keep track of where it is taking you. I had high expectations for this anime which is a bad thing when they are not able to pull it through the way I like it. But, I have not seen the whole anime since it has not been subbed but I know that I can make a clear statement of the score I want to give it, sadly I think it's a disappontment.
Let it stand that I have not given the manga any read whatsoever so I'm not sure of any kind of discrepancies, but I would have to say that from my experience with manga|anime comparison in general, I think A-1 Pictures has done an outstanding and top-notch job with the anime adaptation of Ao no Exorcist. To note, I have given every criteria of this review a 10 except for the story, which I granted a 9. Normally, the rating of a 10 seems to be very esteemed to me, just because it represents a perfect score. However, myanimelist's linguistic translation of the "10" as
an "outstanding" compelled me to score it as such because the series simply is o u t s t a n d i n g.
Getting back to what I surfaced upon earlier, A-1 Pictures has created an excellent adaptation. I''m compelled to think that the anime is better than the manga (probably without justification) just because of the elements included that a manga, UNFORTUNATELY, cannot implement such as color, motion, soundtrack, voice acting, etc. etc. all of which are conspicuously done with great detail in the anime.
And here I go, cracking my knuckles, preparing to review each category of rating as I listen to Takeoff by 2PM, the first ED to the series. And whilst typing that, I've decided to start in the order of appearance.
First of all, the story, it has presented itself with expansive potential. It doesn't seem like I'll be able to avoid spoilers now so you have been warned. As the first and second episode have shown, Rin's adventures can extend to the realms of working at the local supermarket, beating the crap out of a pretentious wealthy douchebag, throwing a trident at one of Satan's underlings, being absorbed by the gates of hell by his (literally) Satanic father, or attending True Cross Academy. As a shounen series, I'm particularly happy that it can include the slice of life portion, humor, and in-depth character interaction.
Art. Personally, I am a fan of mangaka Kazue Kato's artstyle. Prior to the first episode's airing, I was up and about ogling at his volume covers in excitement of the series premiere. And then A-1 Pictures comes in and provides us with such excellent animation quality (which truthfully and unfortunately, overshadows their work on Fairy Tall), subsequently whooping my ass upside-down.
Sound. The seiyuus are a part of a great cast is what I have thought since the start. The soundtrack specifically "sounded out" for me in the second episode. During the Gehena Gate opening and the funeral was where the compositions really enhanced the intensity, pushing me off the edge of my seat.
Character. Lovely. Not only are the characters witty, humorous, respectable, but the character relations have already shown heartfelt aspects in the first and second episode. Rin and Yukio's brotherhood made me reminiscent of One Piece's Ace and Luffy, which only made it more emotionally awesome for me. If it's still unclear how cool they are together, just think of them as potential Edward and Alphonse Elric or some such! Episode two nearly had me tearing up at that one, particular part... Also worth noting is that none of the main characters introduced so far are female, a very commendable achievement for Kazue Kato not to depend on erotic or sexual elements to keep the story and characters (if you know what I mean) driven.
Ao no Exorcist is fun and you should watch it. As for those who are looking for a more in-depth review:
In one sentence, Ao no Exorcist is about a rowdy rambunctious teen who not only discovers the existence of "demons", but is actually the son of Satan himself, and decides to attend a school of Exorcism to strengthen himself and learn to control his demonic power.
Extremely predictable and unoriginal. For those who are not afraid to be disappointed in a story they've seen many times in many different places, this anime is still quite bearable. I won't go into detail, but for
the most part it is reminiscent of Naruto, Bleach, and Hellsing.
Clean, consistent, great color-composition. You won't be disappointed.
Generic and doesn't leave an impression.
Tying in with the story rating, the characters and their roles are in essence unoriginal. They are nonetheless fun and have a solidified personality that completes this anime.
All in all, what makes this anime shine is the characters and how they find their roles as they strive to achieve their own personal goals. Watch it, seriously.
Meet Rin. Rin is the son of Satan. Rin is training to become a demon exorcist- talk about ironic.
Overall, this anime so far has been extremely entertaining and actually has had some surprises, which makes it more enjoyable.
The storyline in connection with the characters and their motivations actually seems believable. It's not some far-fetched concept with characters that don't do anything at all related to the plot. The way the story of Ao no Exorcist is connected by and through the characters if very realistic and makes the story very enjoyable to watch.
I really like the art style, it has angular
lines with some soft coloring in contrast with bright colors. It makes it very appeasing to the eyes, lol. Also, the city in which the school resides in is very cool.
The opening/ending is pretty good, but other than that, the sounds in the anime are just general so far, nothing too fancy but not bad either.
The character of Rin is well developed and he actually sticks to his motivations and personality. His personality supports his actions and vice versa. He wants to become stronger after seeing his father die, and wants to deny his demon self because he wasn't brought up that way, and demons have harmed his family. His slacker attitude fits him well and provides comedic relief.
Yukio actually has surprised me. His character as first is different from what is shown a couple of episodes later. But in fact, his actions in the first episode completely make sense once you know more about Yukio. Most of his reactions completely make sense with his studious, serious personality. It is a nice balance when Yukio and Rin are next to each other since they are so different.
It's been a really good 3 episodes. I definitely recommend it. The characters are fun and genuine, and the story is extremely compelling. Plus, there's nothing wrong with watching a teenager burning with blue flames and slaying demons with a katana.
I ‘m making a Review just after watching 1 episode.
I first heard of Blue Exorcist (Ao no Exorcist) few weeks ago in the new issue of Shonen Jump issue 5 April 2011. They introduce it as a new series. I thought it looked pretty awesome. The main character looked pretty good. So I start to read a little of it. But yesterday I just finished watching the first episode of Blue Exorcist, and I must say it was pretty awesome. I love it. The story and plot got my hooked.
I liked the sound of the voices. They match the
I liked the part when he was working at his new job. That was funny. I enjoyed it. I usually like watching anime when they are completed, because I hate waiting every week for a new episode.
So overall (after watching the first episode) I enjoy watching Blue exorcist and I will be watching this series through the end.
[SPOILER ALERT] I expected you to have watched past ep16(which is when I dropped this anime) already when reading this, so if you have not you may want to skip this review
As many people say, Ao no Exorcist is heavily clichéd in many aspects so I might as well point them out first
We have a hot headed protagonist(+1) who hold immense power he could not quite control(+1), use a sword(+1) that is not any random sword but a special one assigned especially to him(+1). Protagonist is fighting against the biggest embodiment of evil there is(+1) for revenge of his father(+1) who died trying to protect
him(+1). (Total cliché points so far +7)
The protagonist have a brother(+1) that is smarter and more skilled than him(+1), including more popular with the girls(+1), and he appears to be wearing glasses(+1). The brother have higher rank than the protagonist in their job(+1), prefer long-ranged weapon in comparison with the protagonist’s preference of melee(+1), and the protagonist wants to surpass his brother(+1).(Note: please take into account that some points regarding Yukio is meant to be taken as "secondary lead male" rather than "brother") (Total cliché points so far +14)
Now we also have a heroine who is a klutz(+1), doesn’t fight herself(in this case fight with her summoned demon)(+1). A group of people who are seemingly unfriendly at first(+1), which one of them took position as the protagonist’s rival(+1). The group grew closer to the protagonist but become hostile more than ever when they learned of the protagonist’s secret(+1), and so the protagonist must try to convince them 1 each at a time(+1). (Total cliché points +20)
So there you go, 20 cliché points altogether, but that wasn’t the reason I decided to drop the show from my list, I can live with the clichés and would even admire them if clichéd points turned out to be used uniquely. The reason I decide to leave this show is how it strayed from the manga, I have not read the manga but it simply seem rather obvious that what happen in ep16 is written by someone from the anime team who have very weak writing skill. The early eps was fine in my opinion, it was indeed clichéd but the writer still managed to make it touching to a minor extent, but after that nothing else touch you anymore and I was simply sitting there, waiting for something non-clichéd to happen, which it did not.
The usage on each terms are could have been achieved with better researches. The first example is the usage of the word “Paladin”, if you have played some RPG games you would have known that paladins, while may be a class of high rank warriors, with some saintly properties, are by no mean the best. Real historical paladins are the best guys the holy court can have, which is obvious that the king will have better men than that, and even more obvious that it is not a title suited just for 1 individual, as historical evidences pointed out that there are indeed multiple men who bear the title “Paladin”.
Further points about this ranking system, I highly doubt how Fr.Fujimoto, Rin’s father, who was appointed the Paladin when he was still living, would be free enough to live in an old church in the middle of Tokyo, raising 2 boys while keeping one away from the existence of anything magical. That logic never worked anyway in any situation, if you’re the top guy the organization have, then by normal logical thinking, you would be so damn busy that you would never get to exist in the old church you own, let alone raising boys and keeping big secrets, if you’re not gonna do it then you’d be instantly demoted. And as of anime ep16, Arthur Auguste Angel, the new Paladin along with Shura, a high-ranked exorcist could not handle golem-form Amaimon despite going 2 to 1, but then Rin awaken and bam! In 5 seconds Amaimon is history. So either Rin should be promoted uber-Paladin right at the spot, or Angel and Shura should seriously be fired from the Order.
Another inaccurate use of information is on the use of demonology, as an expert in world mythology myself(for my age, I have over 400 hours of research on myths of the world), each demon names used are either inaccurately used(Naberius being a lesser demon, while Astaroth and Amaimon are high-ranked demons, in reality all 3 are individuals among the 72 pillars of Ars Goetia and supposedly comparable in strength), self-made up demons(Leaper and Coal Tar should have been obvious enough), and for anime’s case, inappropriately used (Mara got demoted to a mere lesser demon when in truth, he should have been the Buddhist equivalent of Lucifer, being the tempter of the messiah of their respective religion, no you would not want to see Lucifer die by a single gunshot(unless the title of the anime is ‘Yondemasuyo Azazel-san’ in which a shoe would be enough to kill even Satan) so the usage of Mara in the anime as a minion demon disturbed me alot)
The art and sound are the saving grace of this series, the art is neatly drawn and the designs are actually not-so cliched as everything else the plot covers. I actually liked the second OP and ED and felt a little regret in dropping the series almost as soon as the new songs came up, the voice acting is nice with a neat selection of seiyuus that do actually fit the roles they are given.
Note: as someone who have spent 400 over anything you could have find on fantasy-JRPGs(mythology, middle age weaponries, etc) I know the terminology problem pretty much bugs only me and no one else, so yeah try to ignore my own little paranoia
Well guys let’s start off with the awesome characters in this awesome manga. First and foremost we have Rin Okumura our principle protagonist, followed by his younger twin brother Yukio Okumura, and then we have Rin Okumura, and then Yukio Okumura, Rin Okumura again, some blond haired chick, random people and some dude named Shiro (and guess what he has white hair, har har har… weaboo) oh and did I mention Rin fucking Okumura. Theatrics aside, we essentially only have two or three characters with important roles throughout the whole TV show. The rest are just ballast. However, seeing as this is a review and
not a rant, I must divulge in the sweet juicy details. As I said earlier our primary protagonist is Rin Okumura, but what I neglected to mention earlier is that he is the son of satan (oh sh-). Now would be a good time to hide your nuns. It is almost as if the Japanese people live in an unreligious society and are completely unaware of the ramifications and controversy that would ensue from pursuing such a plotline. That being said, as far as shounen characters go he’s as typical as they get. Out of place, just found out he’s not like everyone else, has a tendency to fight a lot, not very intelligent. You’ll find him very reminiscent of Naruto(among others) character wise. Through his character we are expected to sympathize with him, the son of satan. Likewise, his younger brother Yukio, serves pretty much the same purpose. Although, much more akin to the role of a character like Alphonse from Fullmetal Alchemist. I mention these well-known shounen because that is essentially what this anime (and I assume manga) is; a bastardization/ hot pot of various other well-known shounen titles. While originality is not really known to the shounen genre (or all anime these days) this anime makes it blatantly obvious which minds it is melding from. More on this though when we reach the story section. The blond girl has a role but it’s more of the not really romantic, love interest that we are so used to in anime by now. Her and this big voluptuous chick named Shura are pretty much this show’s cockteases. The rest of the characters are not really important and seeing as the show simply abandons them half way in, I will do the same. Sure we have an episode where they celebrate everyone’s birthday but that’s just an excuse to do stupid crap for 30 minutes while displaying the whole cast. Those crazy Japanese! And that even crazier Daimyo for watching shows not originally intended for Western audiences. 6/10
Indeed going by the story it would not be hard to pinpoint who this show was originally intended for. A predominately nihonjin audience, most likely in school, more specifically junior high- high school, and while the manga is published in a shounen magazine, it is subtle enough to appeal to both males and females. In other words, it’s a McDonald’s anime, full of everything but substantially nothing overall. Yea you’ll eat it when you’re hungry but after you salivate it for a while you’ll feel nothing but cold guilt, despair and diarrhea as you ponder on why you didn’t find anything better and less regurgitating to eat. Opps, did I ramble off again? Sorry about that. The story is pretty much this, troublemaker boy who everyone avoids finds out he has a demon side to him, then goes to school for exorcism, wants to be the strongest exorcist which is called hokage…Paladin. Does this sound familiar to anyone yet? That was just the basic plot outline. We also neglected to mention that this show steals…gathers inspiration from other shounen titles like d.gray-man, souleater, fullmetal alchemist, among others. As naruto like as this anime is you’ll be verily disappointed to find out that a filler episode of Naruto has better and more exciting fights than this. Action- wise this show climaxed when Rin had to face Amaimon the earth king (2 lazy to add him to my character section). Everything else after this moment was just depressingly bad. Many times I looked forward to this character named Mephisto(opps left out another) to kickass but every single damn time he failed to deliver. Ultimately, that is what this show does, it fails to deliver. It tries to cater to a shounen audience but lacks the impact of better more successful shounen. Now Daimyo you might say that this anime is more story driven and thus does not need to rely on cheap acts of violence. Well, then OBJECTION! This show’s story is just as terrible as any other is, if not worse. There are a lot of useless plotlines that don’t even get properly resolved. Like who was it that brought Neuhaus’(at this point just screw the character section) wife back to life in the first place. That eyebrow’s girl story was pretty much thrown out the window too. We do not even know who the antagonist is the majority of the show’s run. When we finally find it out it’s satan, of course the Japanese have to make us try to sympathize so they paint satan as more of an anti-hero or at the very least an anti-villain(tv tropes motherfucker). He is trying to usher in a new world where the demons of Gehenna and the people of Assiah (more terms I ignored) can live together. So we get a satan that sounds more like Lelouche fucking Lamperouge than well satan. You know the absolute evil, cursed by the big G(google?), hated by all, yadda, yadda, yadda(for more info pick up your nearest Bible, Torah or Quran). Just as they had extinguished Mephisto’s flames right before his crowning moment of awesome, I felt they had extinguished my ability to enjoy this show.5/10
Let’s recap this a bit shall we. We are given a show with essentially two or three characters, a poor clumsy attempt at a storyline, topped off with disappointing fights. Basically, what we have is a wet mess. However, seeing as we had 3 paragraphs full of my failed attempts at comedy let’s get serious here. I am left somewhat confused as to how to finally score this anime. There were many moments throughout the course of the show’s run where I felt this show truly did deserve its rating of 8.20. Had this show ended right after the fight with Amaimon I would have scored it somewhere between the 7.0-7.5 range. The reason is not length. I mean the show is only 25 episodes, so perhaps I might be able to add this to the oh so common manga-anime adaptation failure’s list. Then you might say that this show is simply not my taste. Not quite if you were to view my anime and mangalists you would see that the majority of the shows I complete are in the category of shounen. Some might say this has caused me to lose out on other great animes from different genres/demographics over the years (alas only shounen and seinen satisfy my young manly soul). I feel modern anime in general tries to cater to too many different tastes at once and overall just ends up being tasteless. This is not to say I did not enjoy this show, it just felt rather bland. It’s not the type of show that left an impact. And ten years from now if someone asked me to name the animes from this era that left the biggest imprint on me, ao no exorcist most likely would not be part of the conversation. Who knows though? Anime is like fine wine, much better when it’s aged. Hopefully, by then Daimyo will be sufficiently aged as well.
At first I became curious of this anime. Seemed a lot of people wanted to watch it and the name "Ao no Exorcist" Popped up everywhere. It was always in my recommended bar. Finally i decided to watch it and now that I have I feel like it was a complete waste of time.
I'm sure the manga is great. I thought the basic story was a good one. Son's of Satan and then coming of age to inherit his powers, Great! The anime had a few great things in it. Some parts of the story was really beautiful but when you put it all
together it was just a big mess.
(I'm only reviewing the anime NOT the manga).
There were plot holes everywhere. They would end an episode in a certain way and then start the next one entirely different with a new character all of a sudden.
I also had a problem buying the fact that they were twins. Yukio felt more like a middle aged man throughout the show and it kept bothering me a lot. I see how he couldn't have been older and I see why they couldn't be half brothers but the least they could do was give him a personality fitting a 15-year old.
This anime also contains a love story with no end.
Not to mention the poorly set up episodes.
What i mean is (judging from anime only, haven't read the manga) They had filler episodes that really weren't needed at all which they could have replaced with more important episodes that would've carried the main story better. What happened now is that they waited with the actual mission till there were only 5 episodes left. Everything felt rushed and i couldn't really comprehend what the heck was happening.
The goal was kind of unclear through the whole thing until the brothers revealed what they were fighting for in a final battle with fancy words.
Beautiful personality change in Satan, Yukio and Shiemi. (Add a ton of sarcasm)
Fear of killing main characters turned in to constant reviving or ridiculous "solutions"
Satan only wanted to unite the two worlds so that humans and demons could live in harmony in honor of his beloved "Wife" (apparently). Rin and Yukio should have wanted that more than anyone considering how they have gone through life, still they refuse to help Satan in the name of friendship. They killed their parents dream and the potentially wonderful lesson you could learn from this anime was killed along with it. instead they settled with a weaker message turning the entire series into a joke.
I don't know how to rate this anime. I feel guilty for even liking it all. Everything is so cliche. If you based a drinking game on this show, where whenever someone or something cliche came up, take a sip. You'd be sick for the rest of your life. So why did I even like this as much as I did? I don't know! As a reviewer, it frustrates me not to know what I even sort of liked about a show, so in this review I'll be attempting (probably in vain) to find that reason.
Nothing new. We've all seen
it before. When I first started this, I wondered why I was bothering. The religious subjects could have gone deeper, and then that would be my reason for liking it-- but did they? No, I think they purposely tried to keep it stereotypical. Why? There were so many dang good directions they could have gone. After I finished this, I just sat down and thought about it. I wish they could have taken this to a better light, but nah. Oh well, what's done is done I guess.
Me oh my. What to say here? Typical style for this genre, but still done very well. The movement for the fight scenes was definitely not skimpy, and was pleasing to my eye. Just because the style is a bit cliched doesn't automatically make it bad. I still think they gave us a nice bit of work of art to watch. But oh dear... When the animators DO skimp out, it's apparent, at least I thought so. Sometimes the quality takes a dip, but then raises later on. Erm... One problem though. This was supposed to be a shounen fighting anime right? Or was it? With the lack of fighting it makes you wonder. I hate drawn out fights where that's all the anime is about, and they last more than one episode-- it just bugs me. But this just didn't have enough fighting. Oh well... The art was still good when they did fight, though.
...Good. The voice actors give a lot of emphasis to their roles, though sometimes way too much, which... sometimes ruins the mood. The openings and endings were present, but not memorable by any means whatsoever. I likedsome of the orchestral music that really built upon the mood when it needed to, but for the most part it went... unnoticed. But it's still overall good.
They were very cliche, even when fleshed out. Some developed more than others, but nobody really grew up too much. They all stayed their same old selves, with their same old goals and things. But they were entertaining somehow. I kept slapping my head while watching this show, hoping my brain would wake up and tell me the truth-- these are just cliche characters. But it never did. I still somehow enjoyed them, and though a lot of humor was dry, it sort of... mademelaugh. I know, you're going to kill me. But the characters were still somehow fun to me despite being so... well, unoriginal. But because of that, I can't give them a high score, no matter how much I sort of enjoyed watching them supposedly "grow" in whatever way they did.
All in all, Ao no Exorcist does a decent job, but nothing above that. The show itself takes a darker and stranger turn which was... to me, expected in a way, yet unexpected. I don't know how to explain it. I can't find what it is I liked about this show, but I did enjoy it very much as it was on-screen. Other parts were much less enjoyable but I still had fun watching this as a whole.
Depending on your taste, you'll either love it or hate it. Maybe I liked it because I watched all of it in one day and finished at about 4:00 in the morning... so if I give it another try while my brain is less asleep (the darn thing) then I can give it a more accurate review. Overall, it's entertaining but it didn't escape its cliches, and could have gone an entirely different and better direction-- but didn't. Yet somehow it was still so much fun. AGAIN-- I'll watch this one more when I'm actually awake, and maybe I'll re-review it with a more accurate score.
All right. As promised, I watched Ao no Exorcist a second time, and my rating hasn't dropped TOO much, but it still has lowered. I'll show you why.
I don't want to go into this again. It's cliche. It takes a few twists and does this and that, and the religious themes can be fairly enthralling-- but it's just cliche. That's all.
Yes, yes, if you read my first review you know what I think here. It's again-- cliche, but smooth and cute, and I thought very nice. The movement was eye-pleasing, but when they made mistakes it was... very apparent.
...The review for the soundtrack remains the same. Please refer to my first review above.
The characters for Ao no Exorcist seemed as if taken out of "Anime's Book of Cliche Characters". The first time around, I actually enjoyed them, though they were admittedly cliche. Even when fleshed out they were still rather... overused. The second time around, my enjoyment didn't actually go down one bit-- except for Izumo and Paku's small arc. For some reason, the enjoyment there went down considerably, and I almost couldn't stand it. I pointed out every dang cliche thing about them and could only groan at it. For the rest of the series, it was still entertaining until episode 22. There's something about the ending (I have NO idea what) that just angers, irritates, and annoys me. I just dislike it, and I have no idea why. The characters are developed enough but still... yes, cliche.
All in all, Ao no Exorcist is actually very entertaining the first time around, if you don't mind cliche shounen and don't mind shutting your brain off for just a little bit of action and random yet cliche twists. I have a hard time knocking the enjoyment level down, because it's still fun for the first time around-- but the second time, I had to force my way through some parts.
If you love shounen genre, you will love this. I highly recommend this to you if you're like that. If you like a good, unique twist or something deeper, then maybe *maybe* try this if you just want to shut your brain off and not care about what happens on-screen. If you're hardcore mystery, dark plot twists, unpredictable things happening, and deep characters, don't try this at home. Just... Oh, I don't know.
Overall, I think it's another addition to the cliche shounen thing, but at 4:00 in the morning I was highly entertained the first time around. The second time-- I... wasobsessedwithRin'stail-- I mean, it was all very old and cliche. .../shiftyeyes
Basically, this entire show depends on your opinion, but the second time around I hated Yukio even more, disliked Paku and Izumo arc-thing, and hated the ending. Everything else was equally fun as the first time around. Do whatever you feel like based on this review (and some of the others).
The first impression of this show was impressive, especially the first episode. An incredible start that set the scene for the series which had me hooked. (Including the theme song!) Sadly as the show progressed, my interest began to waiver. It has to do with the bulk of the characters and lack of progressive to flesh out the main story arc which really disappointed me.
Character and Plot development. (4.5) Rin is the MC (protagonist) of this story and by far the most interesting character alongside his father Shirou Fujimoto. The rest of the cast isn't really worth mentioning because they
lack development on their identity. Sure you could argue that they have either subtle or obvious agendas in regards to their relationship to Rin but there's no growth to this intriguing introduction which sadly makes them a background addition to fill in for the off-screen time of Rin. This also translates to the plot there is no exploration of the Demon World and very little development of the outside world for an exorcist. Instead, the creators settled for a high-school setting with contrived situations and melodramas. The only substantial plot development is when Fujimoto is on-screen and given he's on-screen time is probably one of the shortest of the cast, this is pretty laughable and disappointing. One thing I will mention though is that the different forms of exorcists is interesting and is one of the few bright spots of the plot that they explore.
Art, Sound and Action. (8.5) I must admit, it is done quiet well. Especially the Art of when Rin unleashes his Demon powers. (blue flames) The fast action scenes are also very pretty and great to watch. You'll be popping eye and ear gasms throughout the series which makes up for the lack of plot. Looks a bit like the action of Bleach using their zanpakutos, only better animated.
I enjoyed Blue exorcist for the most part. It has a great start and builds an ethos worth exploring. Sadly they don't venture outside the realm of school very much but when they do its very limited and thus creates unexplained plot holes. So be ready for the melodramas and misfits of high school life. I would recommend watching with a lowered expectation of the ratings on MAL (currently 8.09 at the time of this review) or only watching the first 4 episodes to get the idea and then decide whether to drop or continue. Its certainly interesting and has the pieces to become a great anime, just lacks the execution to deliver a plot to bind all its characters, art, sound and action together.
"I'm going to beat the sh*t out of Satan!!" - Rin Okumura.
If there was an award for the most pure shonen of all time, that award would not belong to any of the big names in the business... No, One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, and any other series that comprises the collective of instantly recognizable "shonen" can't touch the perfection with which the myriad of shonen tropes were implemented in Blue Exorcist.
Artwork and Animation: 8
As with most A-1 Pictures productions, Blue Exorcist looks very good. The traditional animation, particularly with the signature flames, is very crisp and smooth. There are a few moments where the
budget wore thin and some fidelity was lost, but overall a good looking series. No terrible 3D, and no overly repetitive scenes- consistent.
Sound and Voice Acting: 8
While the sub sounds rather generic, with the exception of Jun Fukuyama (Lelouch, Code Geass) as Yukio, the dub brings out some of the best of Aniplex. The every-shonen-protag Bryce Papenbrook (Kirito, Eren, Shiro Emiya) stars as Rin, with some definite imitation of Vic Mignogna's Ed Elric- at times I really couldn't tell if Vic had stepped up to the mic (which was a good thing.) Papenbrook's best role, definitely.
Opposite Papenbrook we have the ever great Johnny Yong Bosch as Yukio, Kyle Hebert as Suguro, Wendee Lee as Shura, and the spaztastic Christine Marie Cabanos as Shiemi. Aniplex always puts together a good dub cast, and this is no exception. All around well done.
As far as the soundtrack goes, there's not much to bring to attention. It does its job with tension in exciting moments, and letting the air out in sad ones. The openings and endings are solid tunes, your standard issue J rock, with a little techno for the 2nd ending.
Now, what was that I said about shonen? Oh yeah- how this show took the tvtropes list for the genre and used it as a checklist for this series. The story fares better than the characters, but with one glaring, and impossible to ignore problem: It's incomplete. Right, it's been said before that after episode 16 this show takes a turn for the filler, and this is truth. It deviated from the still-being-written manga to an anime original ending. From our experiences with this... it typically does not end well, right? Blue Exorcist doesn't have a horrible ending- it just has a non-ending. All the struggle through the beginning of the show culminates in a giant "eeeeehhh" at the end where nothing gets resolved. But hey, the big bad was defeated, right? Only for there to be another to crop up in its place and set the story up for a sequel that may never come.
It wouldn't be the first time that this's happened, nor will it be the last, but when it does happen, non endings typically stick- and audiences rarely eat them up. For an engaging start of a timeless Father/Son struggle with a unique setting, and the feeling of growing strength and power through self discovery, the story has a particularly inauspicious ending.
Protagonist with undiscovered superpowers? Check.
Protagonist with daddy issues? Checkeroo.
Protagonist who gets beaten down with self guilt and lacking the strength to go on until spurred onward by female love interest character? You betcha.
Takes place in a magical high school, with a ragtag gang of friends? Of course.
Headstrong, "must save everyone", will stop at nothing to gain more power to protect their loved ones, it goes on and on. This show gives shonen a living, breathing body.
Other things like "annoying girl that nobody likes who turns into a useful member/saves everyone", "enemy turns into friend after being defeated", and "hidden evil family member" all make themselves known. The "believe in yourself and succeed against impossible odds" trope checks in too, nearly every episode.
While these, on paper, read like "wow, I've seen this in every show already, why's this any different?" The truth is that Blue Exorcist embraces this. It's not pretentious, and it's not pushy or hamfisted in some ideal or moral, it's just taking these tropes and making a popcorn story out of them.
The dynamic between Rin and Yukio is, however, fairly interesting. While not characterized on a basis of say Edward and Alphonse Elric, there's still quite a few good moments, between them, cliche as they may be. The classic "being outdone by the other" and sibling rivalry through Rin and Yukio's disparate personalities arises. While at times it drives them apart, and they have to face their challenges alone- as expected, they manage to work together and do something great.
Enjoyment and Overall: 7
Although I've really ripped on the characters being the embodiment of shonen cliche and the story getting really off track in useless filler territory that leaves nothing resolved, I have to say, I don't hate Blue Exorcist.
I watched Blue Exorcist alongside Neon Genesis Evangelion, and it was an excellent break from the dark and depressing but intricately crafted character drama of NGE. Watching Blue Exorcist was like watching TV, where NGE is more like reading a book. It didn't require any real thought of me to watch, no presence of mind- it was just for fun.
For a lighthearted, shoneny romp through a vibrant and imaginative fantasy world, one can do a lot worse than Blue Exorcist.
Hey, if your series can't be original, you better make damn sure it's entertaining with a decent story.
STORY: Raising teenagers at a large school to become warrior exorcists that fight the forces of hell and to one day defeat the king of hell and all that's evil, satan? That's right it's time for this year's big shonen anime, Ao no Exorcist (Blue Exorcist in english).
And yes that is the basic gist of the plot of the anime, and of course it's likely that it's never going to end any time soon (The main characters want to defeat satan, so that's a pretty defty job for
a kid but someone's gotta do it, right?), but at least the anime will end, in about 25 episodes.
Now that I got that out of the way, Ao no Exorcist is the latest big name anime by Aniplex, who also produced other big name titles such as Fullmetal Alchemist, Black Butler, and Durarara.
When it comes right down to the story, I have to say right away, there's nothing original here in the least.
The characters? We've seen them all before.
Their abilities? We've seen those so many more times before too.
The setting? Come on now, it's at a freaking school for crying out loud! That not at all different!
Look, I can waste your time explaining the similarities to other stories that already used these elements all night and day, but it all matters with one (or two) simple questions: does it have a good story and does it have characters to care about?
Story: Yes and no.
The story is about Rin Okumura, who wants to defeat satan because he killed his foster father and the all time big bad priest exorcist, Fujimoto Shiro, despite Rin being the son of satan himself, and heads off to exorcist school with his brother and gains like minded allys who will inevitably befriend and aid him on his resolution to fight satan.
But in between all of that, there are school filled days of Rin training, developing, and learning what it takes to become an exorcist, and some seemingly filler moments too, and a few things that expand the world of the series (Like familiars, ranks of exorcist, and different abilities among the other exorcists).
As a shonen battle story, you can absolutely do worse, as the story seems to be more competent than other shonens (Especially with the school life elements as it feel substantial to the overall plot), and maintains a constant not too serious yet not too whimsical mood, though when the story demands it, it becomes the appropriate right mood for the situations that get thrown out at the lead characters.
However, as a stand alone story not categorized into genres, it's very unoriginal, and does hardly little to make viewers take it serious, or to separate itself from others (Especially if one goes back to compare it other shonens), or even take any chances to do something unique.
The characters on the other hand are instantly likable.
Rin is a great protagonist and easily sympathetic and a crowd pleaser, and he somewhat turns a trope on it's head; every shonen hero aspires to like their badass fathers (Would I really need to make a reference for this?), but Rin want to kick his father's ass and for 100% justified reasons.
Other characters like Rin's younger brother Yukio and Shiemi Moriyama are also easy to like characters.
There are still plenty of obvious tropes walking around like a tsundere and the rival character that becomes a friend.
Even though in the long run it's not very original, that should not easily scare you away as the series itself is very entertaining and is as fun as all shonen series should strive to be, unless you're very tired of shonen genre at this point, don't waste your time that could've been used to look for other anime to watch.
ANIMATION: Of course, when Aniplex is producing an anime, obviously the visuals are going to be superb (Which most shonen series usually get cheap treatments).
Battles are very well animated, the character designs and artwork are very true to the source material, not much to nit pick at all.
SOUND: The back ground music almost leaves no impression, the theme music isn't nothing worth noting about other than it's what you should except for a shonen anime (Though the ending theme feel really out of place).
The voice acting on the other hand is good, Nobuhiko Okamoto is a good fit for Rin, and Jun Fukuyama is Jun Fukuyama, if you like Jun then... yeah, you like Jun, he voices Rin's brother.
+ Competent shonen story, with better school life elements than other shonen anime.
+ Likable characters with a great main character that topples other similar main characters from other shonen series.
+ Outstanding animation, especially during battles.
- Unoriginal, as in it's pretty much what you literally get if you mash Soul Eater and D.Gray-Man together.
- Story does absolutely nothing to make the anime standout from others from the same genre.
- Tired of shonen? Don't look here.
Hey, it's hard to be original now a days, and if you're not worried by that, then by all means, I recommend Ao no Exorcist for your viewing delight.
As the latest shonen big hit continues to shine, let's all hope it doesn't get overblown and over saturated like the big hits before it (Coughnarutocough).