Home > Anime, Manga and Games, Reviews, Television > DVD Review: Blue Exorcist Part 2 – Episodes 14 – 25

DVD Review: Blue Exorcist Part 2 – Episodes 14 – 25

Rin defies his Hellish heritage and enrols at the True Cross Academy, determined to become the world’s strongest exorcist.!

Blue Exorcist Part 2Blue Exorcist Part 2 is the final collection of Manga Entertainment’s release of the popular shounen anime title. It covers episodes 14 to 25 and it features an increase in macabre monsters, creepy characters and awesome action as the show reaches its climax.

At the end of the first collection 15-year-old Rin Okumura and his new-found friends at the True Cross Academy have advanced a level in their Exorcist training to the rank of Ex-Wires. Rin and his twin-brother Yukio together with the demon Mephisto, head of the Academy, have so far managed to keep hidden the fact that Rin is the son of Satan but it is getting harder for them to do this because when Rin comes under threat from monsters his demonic traits like blue flames which announce his satanic link appear and he loses control of his abilities. It is this lack of control that a Senior Exorcist named Shura Kirigakure, a woman with a gnarly sword and a wardrobe made up of a string bikini and a few coats, has been called in to help Rin with because if discovered, Rin will be executed by the Vatican.

Blue Exorcist Part 2

(Courtesy of Manga Entertainment)

As the second collection starts, Yukio and Shura lead Rin and his friends out to a forest infested with demons for combat training but things are about to get tough because Amaimon, the demon lord of the earth from the world of Gehenna, wants to unleash Rin’s powers. To do this he targets Rin’s friends. Can Rin keep things under control and save his friends? Whatever the case the forces of the Vatican and Gehenna are gathering and a figure from Rin and Yukio’s past is about to appear to set in motion an apocalyptic last dance that threatens the world.

And so begins the concluding episodes of Studio A-1’s adaptation of Kazue Katō’s manga. In these episodes the series transitions from light adventuring and school-based antics into the more complicated politics of the world and the final battle. It is not a transition that is handled well but the show’s setting and characters ensure that things are still exciting.

Blue Exorcist Part 2

(Courtesy of Manga Entertainment)

The set starts off with a major bang with the fight in the forest between Rin and Amaimon and its messy aftermath. The plot surges forward during an exciting quartet of episodes filled with physical and mental battles as the Vatican gets involved and characters reveal their motivations. Then the anime’s series composition stumbles as the central plot gets side-lined by stories revolving around side characters like episode 19 which is dedicated to Izumo’s birthday. While it adds to the world building, one of the series strengths, it detracts from the wider plot and the build-up for the final confrontation between Rin and his antagonists which felt forced to mature too quickly. However once the final story arc is underway the show regains its swagger with a truly epic ending powered by flamboyant visuals, the cast of characters and the central plot which turns out to be smarter and more surprising than anybody could have guessed. If you have any questions about how Satan is the father of the Okumura twins it will be answered and it will make you reassess characters and question who the real villains in the show are which is quite some feat when you consider we are talking about Satan and his demons!

Indeed, it highlights the strength of the show which is its setting and characters. You can overlook a wayward plot and its reliance on shounen anime tropes and just enjoy the saga that unfolds because you come to care about Rin and his friends thanks to the strong scripts and charismatic voice actors.

Rin remains a typical but loveable shounen anime protagonist and grows up (a little) but retains his hard-headedness, general roguishness and his infectious confidence. The supporting cast are also fleshed out even more with students and instructors allowed to have their back stories, motivations and personalities emerge to influence and colour wider events. A lot of it is satisfyingly handled including the maturation of Rin’s fellow exorcists Izumo who becomes more accessible. It all feeds into the drama as the bonds that have been made in earlier episodes are tested to the extreme.

Blue Exorcist Part 2

(Courtesy of Manga Entertainment)

The series has always been good looking but the pyrotechnic displays in these final episodes are sublime and epic in scale. Animation production is handled by A-1 Studio who are known for their strong line-up of supernatural titles like Black Butler and Occult Academy. Blue Exorcist is another brilliantly animated tale and it is through the direction of Tensai Okamura who has experience working on supernatural action titles like Darker than Black that there is such a spark to events on screen. The combat is fast and fluid and the choreography is pulse-racing. Quick editing and sharp camera movements catch characters flying about. The highlight has to be Rin and Amaimon’s battle in the forest which is a spectacular affair that rivals the best of other shounen anime like Naruto but some of the best animation and direction can be found in little scenes – witness Rin making a quick escape through a library window in episode 19. A little touch but very comic. There are no dull scenes and wasted shots and it never feels like it drags too much even when the show deviates from its main story.

Ultimately Part 2 of Blue Exorcist is a great finale which, while nothing ground breaking in the realm of shounen anime, is really well-done. The strength of the anime is the world of Blue Exorcist and its characters which remain the beating heart of the story. The animation and voice acting is top notch. If it could have remained focussed on the main plot then it would have been perfect but the ending still proves to be quite satisfying.

Details:

Label: Manga Entertainment

Release date: 22nd October 2012

Certificate: 15

Running time:  300 Minutes

Genre: Anime/Action/Drama/Comedy/Supernatural

Director: Tensai Okamura

Author Profile:

Genki Jason  is a writer who actually works in a museum. After graduating in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of Glamorgan he started studying Japanese part time at Cardiff University. Ever since he was a child he has had a love of anime and Japanese/East Asian films and culture became a cinephile in high school after watching Chungking Express and Battle Royale. . He writes for Anime UK News as a journalist and on his blog. You can also follow him on Twitter @filmnohito.

Related Posts:

DVD Review: Blue Exorcist Part 1 Episodes 1-13

DVD Review: Black Butler Complete Series 2 Collection

DVD Review: Broken Blade Collection

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