Manga Review: Blue Exorcist Volume 1
By otakuman5000 On 15 May, 2011 At 07:32 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Featured, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarRin and his twin brother Yukio have been raised since birth by the priest Father Fujimoto. Rin has trouble adjusting to normal society, and can’t understand why – until his innate demon powers are unleashed and he discovers that he is the son of Satan. After an encounter with his long-lost father costs him someone dear, Rin vows to become an exorcist and kill Satan himself.

© VIZ Media 2011, Kazue Kato

Supernatural manga Blue Exorcist

The description alone makes Blue Exoricist (written and drawn by Kazue Kato and released by VIZ Media) sound like a wild ride, but it starts out more muted than you’d think. Rin’s intelligent brother Yukio is lucky to have a free ride at the local high school, True Cross Academy, but since Rin couldn’t make it his initial big issue is in finding a job. The manga begins tumbling down a predictable track as soon as Rin finds out who he is: revelation of secrets, being told he must leave, and the first encounter with the enemy. And there’s the sword which Rin must never draw if he wants to remain human – I wonder what he will immediately do?

Still, the first chapter is exciting, and so it’s actually pretty disappointing to find out that Blue Exorcist is going to be another supernatural high school series. Though wandering adventures are even more overdone, keeping the main character in school just seems like a too-easy way to keep him safe, though it also gives a great place for introducing and fleshing out a full cast of characters.

Blue Exorcist Characters

Expressive characters, Rin and Father Fujimoto

The sudden discovery that his brother Yukio has known everything about him is pretty jolting. His personality takes a change as he talks to Rin snidely and sarcastically, and even intimates that things would be easier if Rin was dead. And even though he ends up acting nobler than that, it’s looking like he’s slid from one stereotype to another: quiet smart guy to cool know-it-all. Mephisto, the head of the school, is dressed up and acts in a flamboyant manner that feels a tad out of place amongst the rest of the cast, though he gets the best reactions out of Rin. The one female character is a bit disappointing in her shyness, and she brings in another predictable element with her immediate attraction to, not the main character, but his cool twin brother. But as she’s only featured in the final chapter, she still has the chance to get stronger.

The art is the best part of Blue Exorcist. Kato will often leave backgrounds empty, but it’s no bother when the focus is on the characters. While not overly detailed with tattoos or accessories, characters are expressive with bold designs, and even background characters have distinct looks. And when the artist does show a landscape her skill, and meticulousness, becomes apparent. Like in the shot of True Cross Town: the highly detailed buildings are piled and melded with each other, yet still look clean and crisp rather than messy.

Kazue Kato's view of True Cross Town

Anyone who’s read shonen manga before will be able to call almost every twist in Blue Exorcist, and as our hero starts school the manga turns out a bit more boring than you’d think a story about killing Satan would be. But as Kato takes the time to flesh out her characters they become a bit more interesting, and we can hope for more action as Rin learns his skills and hopefully goes out on a demon hunt. And the art alone is something worth looking at.

ISBN: 9781421540320 • MSRP: $9.99 • Published by VIZ Media • 200 pages

About - I am a 44 year old Gamer/Geek/Otaku who has been gaming and watching anime since the late 1970's. I am a passionate otaku who loves all types of games, anime and comics. I have been writing about games since I was a young man. I am an entertainment retail expert and an avid game collector. You can always find me playing or watching something geek related.

comment closed

%d bloggers like this: