Sunday, February 23, 2014

Blue Exorcist on Toonami; 1:30 AM Timeslot

With Blue Exorcist having aired yesterday on popular animation block “Toonami” I figure now would be a good time to talk about this show I’ve come to love so much. I anticipate that many fans are going to be getting into the series just now and I would like to take the time to initiate people who aren’t prepared for what they are going to be watching.

The reason I say this is because Toonami has decided to make a commercial spot prior to the airing of the show that seems to offer promises that the show has no intentions of living up to. While most of the plot remains intact there are several issues that I wish to lay down for anyone who is considering watching this series.

First of all, Blue Exorcist is an action comedy, and the main focus is not fighting demons. This is one of many things that bothered me deeply about the advertisement that was run, as Blue Exorcist has a lot of depth to it that may be missed by someone seeing the trailer. The series is somewhat short and there are no singular battles that last any extended amounts of time. Yes, some arcs take a prolonged time, but that is because the series is telling a story more than it is telling a fight scene.

What Blue Exorcist is is a show about finding one’s place in the world even with the odds stacked against you. While I won’t go too much into detail seeing as only one episode has aired on television so far, I won’t skirt around the issues that have been stated outright either by the trailer or the first episode.

Rin is a half-demon and the son of Satan, the bane of all exorcists. Despite this the first episode shows that he’s not a bad guy. He’s not intelligent, he’s not popular, and he’s a bit of a loser. He gets into fights often and can’t seem to hold down a job for more than a day or two. He has freakish strength, however, and is an earnest and hard worker, as well as an overall nice guy.

The show tries to balance out Rin’s life as both a human and a demon, as he comes to terms with the fact of who he is. He is aware that most people likely would have been happier had he never been born. And yet he decides to power through and make a way for himself in this world that has no need for him. He doesn’t decide to become an exorcist to save his own life or to thin out some upcoming demon invasion as the ad would have you believe. He becomes an exorcist because that is the only way he feels he can move forward with his life.

The fight scenes in the series are good and rather interesting, but that is far from the show. The show centers mainly on its characters and their inner struggles, less on the action adventure demon fighting. Many of the episodes feature no fighting at all and very little in the way of demons, but you’re given a glimpse into the characters and their way of life. You get to know what drives them and what makes them who they are. What insecurities they carry with them and what baggage is hanging on their shoulders.

Of course with only a modest number of episodes to run through the show is far from a completed story, but it serves as a good springboard into the manga which is still going strong. While the anime focuses mainly on Rin and Yukio the manga spares more time for the other characters, dealing with their problems and watching as they struggle to continue moving forward despite them.

I am hoping people enjoyed what they saw on Toonami last night, and I sincerely hope they stick around to see all the potential that this show has.

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