Blue Exorcist

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Blue Exorcist
Ao no Exorcist.jpg
The cover of 'Blue Exorcist' volume 1 as published by Shueisha, with a picture of main character Rin Okumura
青の祓魔師
(Ao no Ekusoshisuto)
Genre Action, Supernatural
Manga
Written by Kazue Kato (加藤和恵 Katō Kazue?)
Published by Shueisha
English publisher
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Jump Square
English magazine
Original run April 2009 – ongoing
Volumes 12 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Tensai Okamura
Produced by Hiro Maruyama
Written by Ryōta Yamaguchi
Music by Hiroyuki Sawano
Studio A-1 Pictures
Licensed by
Network JNN (MBS)
English network
Original run April 17, 2011October 2, 2011
Episodes 25+1 OVA (List of episodes)
Anime film
Blue Exorcist: The Movie
Directed by Atsushi Takahashi
Written by Reiko Yoshida
Music by Hiroyuki Sawano
Studio A-1 Pictures
Licensed by
Released December 28, 2012
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Blue Exorcist (青の祓魔師(エクソシスト) Ao no Ekusoshisuto?) is a manga written and illustrated by Kazue Katō. The manga has been serialized in Jump Square magazine by Shueisha since April 2009, with individual chapters collected into twelve tankōbon volumes as of December 31, 2013.[1] The story revolves around Rin Okumura, a teenager who discovers he is the son of Satan born from a human woman and is the inheritor of Satan's powers. When Satan kills Rin's guardian, Rin decides to become an exorcist in order to defeat his father.

The series was adapted into an anime television series by A-1 Pictures during 2011 and adapted into an anime film (Ao no Exorcist Gekijouban) in December 2012.[2] Viz Media has licensed the manga for North American production, with the first volume released in April 5, 2011. Aniplex of America also released the anime's DVDs in English regions.

The series has been well received by readers with sales having received a boost thanks to the anime's release. Publications for manga and anime compared the series with other shonen manga but still praised the series' story and artwork.

Plot[edit]

The story revolves around Rin Okumura, a teenager possessing abnormal strength and endurance who, along with his twin brother Yukio, was raised by Father Shiro Fujimoto. One day, Rin learns that he is the son of Satan, the strongest of all demons. Witnessing Shiro dying to protect him, Rin ends up doing what his guardian asked him never to do: draw the demon-slaying blade Kurikara, which restrains his demonic powers, from its scabbard. From that moment on, Rin not only gains permanent demonic features like fangs, pointed ears, fiery "horns" and a tail, but also the power to ignite himself into blue flames that can destroy almost anything they touch.

At Fujimoto's funeral, Rin has an encounter with Fujimoto's friend Mephisto Pheles, who agrees with Rin's wish to become an Exorcist like his guardian to become stronger and to defeat Satan. Rin enrolls at the prestigious True Cross Academy, which is actually the Japanese branch of an international organization dedicated to protect the human realm, Assiah, from demons and other creatures from the demon realm, Gehenna. Rin takes part in a special Exorcist course, the existence of which is known only by a few. Much to his surprise, he finds that his brother Yukio is already a veteran Exorcist and will be one of his teachers.

Production[edit]

Inspired by a Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Kato tried to work the angle of brothers fighting monsters into a story. She eventually decided on making the story about demons and exorcists, thus conceiving Blue Exorcist.[3] Due to exorcists being the main idea of the story, the manga features a lot of biblical references. In an interview with Anime News Network, Kato said, "I should not run away from these references if I'm working in the Exorcist genre."[3] An ending was planned by Kato but the exact length of the series has yet to be decided based on the manga's popularity in Japan.[4]

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

The chapters of the Blue Exorcist manga series are written and illustrated by Kazue Kato and have been serialized by Shueisha in the monthly manga magazine Jump Square since April 2009.[5] As of July 2011, the serial chapters were collected into nine tankōbon, with the first volume released on August 4, 2009,[6] and the twelfth volume released on December 27, 2013.[7] As of December 2013, 52 chapters have been released. The one-shot of the manga was first featured in the September 2008 issue of Jump Square and was titled Miyamauguisu House Case (深山鶯邸事件 Miyamauguisu-tei Jiken?).[8]

Viz Media has licensed the manga for the North American production. With the first volume released in April 5, 2011 and the fifth volume scheduled for release in December 6, 2011.[5] Blue Exorcist has also been released as part of the Shōnen Jump Advance imprint starting April 5, 2011.[9]

The series is also licensed in France by Kazé Manga, with the first volume released on May 27, 2010,[10] and in Poland by Waneko.[11]

Anime[edit]

An anime adaption for the manga was announced on November 27, 2010 on Shueisha's Jump Square official website.[12] The anime was produced by A-1 Pictures with Hitoshi Okamura as the producer. Originally, the series was scheduled to air on April 10, 2011 on MBS, replacing Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto; however, due to the March 11, 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami the series' broadcast was delayed until April 17, 2011.[13] The anime ended on October 2, 2011.

Four pieces of theme music are used for the episodes: two opening themes and two ending themes. The opening theme for the first 12 episodes is "Core Pride" by Japanese rock band Uverworld,[14] while the opening theme from episode 13 onwards is "In My World" by Japanese rock band ROOKiEZ is PUNK'D. The ending theme for the first 12 episodes is "Take Off" by South Korean boy band 2PM,[15] while the ending theme from episode 13 through episode 25 is "Wired Life" by Japanese singer Meisa Kuroki.

Aniplex announced they would simulcast the series in North America through video sites Hulu, Crunchyroll, and Anime News Network starting on April 20, 2011.[16] Aniplex of America released Blue Exorcist on DVD in four sets, starting by releasing the first DVD on October 18, 2011.[17] An OVA has also been released in 2011, called Ao No Exorcist: Kuro no Iede. The series began broadcasting in the United States and Canada on Viz Media's online network, Neon Alley, on October 2, 2012.[18]The series began airing on Adult Swim's Toonami block on February 23rd 2014.[19]

Other[edit]

A stage play based on the series titled Live Act Ao no Exorcist ~Mashin no Rakuin~ ran for nine performances at the Nippon Seinenkan hall in Tokyo's Shinjuku ward from May 11 to 17 during 2012. Satoshi Owada directed and wrote scripts for the play. Main characters Rin and Yukio Okumura were portrayed by Ryou Kimura and Kimito Totani respectively.[20] A light novel titled Ao no Exorcist: Weekend Hero was written by Aya Yajima and illustrated by Kato. It was released by Shueisha on September 2, 2011.[21] A PSP game, Ao no Exorcist: Genkoku no Labyrinth was released on April 26, 2012 by Bandai Namco Games.[22]

Reception[edit]

The manga has been popular in Japan with the seventh volume receiving first print run of one million copies becoming the first Jump Square manga to reach such milestone. The release of the anime also drastically increased the manga's sales to the point that Shueisha decided to increase the print run for the seventh volume.[21] Critics have praised the Blue Exorcist manga with Comic Book Bin reviewer Leroy Douresseaux feeling the first volume had potential, enjoying the comedy in the work and the characters and their interactions, recommending it to teen readers.[23] Danica Davidson from Otaku USA felt that while the series employs disturbing storytelling, Rin's heroic traits despite being Satan's son make the plot more appealing to the readers.[24] Kato's artwork has been praised by Anime News Network's Carlo Santos for the way each character has distinct traits while background images are well designed.[25] Despite noting that the story uses several clichés, Carl Kimlinger from the same site emphasized how the execution was well-performed, resulting in entertaining episodes, especially its fight scenes, which were noted to be one of the anime's strongest points.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "青の祓魔師 株式会社集英社" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  2. ^ "Blue Exorcist/Ao no Exorcist Anime Film Green-Lit". Anime News Network. September 30, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Bertschy, Zac (April 8, 2011). "Interview: Blue Exorcist mangaka Kazue Kato". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 1, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Interview: Kazue Kato". Manga News (in French). November 18, 2010. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "News: Blue Exorcist Manga Listed by Viz's Distributor". Anime News Network. October 19, 2010. Retrieved March 21, 2011. 
  6. ^ "青の祓魔師1" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  7. ^ "青の祓魔師8" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  8. ^ "One Shot of Blue Exorcist" (in Chinese). Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  9. ^ "Viz Media Announces New Manga Acquisitions for Spring & Summer 2011". Anime News Network. November 15, 2010. Retrieved March 21, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Blue Exorcist – Tome 1" (in French). Kazé Manga. Retrieved July 17, 2010. 
  11. ^ Melmothia (October 1, 2013). "Ao no Exorcist tom 1". Tanuki.pl (in (Polish)) (Małgorzata Kaczarowska). 240 (2905). ISSN 1898-8296. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  12. ^ "News: Blue Exorcist Manga Gets TV Anime Green-Lit". Anime News Network. November 27, 2010. Retrieved November 27, 2010. 
  13. ^ "News: Anime/Manga Releases Delayed After Quake: Part III". Anime News Network. March 19, 2011. Retrieved March 21, 2011. 
  14. ^ "UVERworldの新曲が、注目アニメのテーマ曲に決定" [Uverworld's new song to be featured as an anime's theme song]. Oricon (in Japanese). April 5, 2011. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  15. ^ "アニメ「青の祓魔師」テーマソングはUVERworld&2PM" [Anime Blue Exorcist Theme song by Uverworld & 2PM] (in Japanese). Natalie. March 9, 2011. Retrieved March 21, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Aniplex to Stream Blue Exorcist In U.S., Canada". Anime News Network. April 8, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Aniplex of America Adds Madoka Magica, Blue Exorcist on Home Video". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 1, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Viz Media to Stream Dubbed Blue Exorcist on Neon Alley". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  19. ^ http://toonami.tumblr.com/post/67805823907/this-weeks-toonami-announcement-hey-guys-over
  20. ^ "Blue Exorcist Stage Play Cast Photographed in Costume". Anime News Network. April 25, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  21. ^ a b "Blue Exorcist's Latest Manga Book, 1st Novel Top Charts". Anime News Network. September 7, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Blue Exorcist: Genkoku no Labyrinth PSP's 3rd Promo Streamed". Anime News Network. March 13, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2012. 
  23. ^ http://www.comicbookbin.com/blueexorcist001.html
  24. ^ Davidson, Danica (May 13, 2011). "Blue Exorcist vol. 1". Otaku USA. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  25. ^ Santos, Carlo (December 11, 2011). "Blue Exorcist GN 5". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  26. ^ Kimlinger, Carl (June 3, 2011). "Blue Exorcist Episodes 1–6 Streaming". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 12, 2012. 

External links[edit]