The action kicks off pretty quickly in Blue Exorcist. Here’s how it flies for quick-to-anger but basically well intended Rin Okumura. First he finds out that a little girl being terrorised by “bad fairies” isn’t making it up; they’re real and he can see them. He next finds out that his quirky father isn’t just a priest – but he’s an exorcist too.
Sounds like a rough start for Rin? It gets worse. Not only is the teenager adopted; his real father is Satan himself.
What a choice? Follow up on your demonic bloodline and join your father in Hell or become an exorcist like the man who raised you. Given the title of the anime there’s no spoiler in suggesting that Rin becomes an exorcist.
Except; it would be more accurate to say that Rin tries to become an exorcist – because he has to deal with the Church, other exorcists and students at the academy. The range of enemies Rin has to face is impressive and this makes for a healthy plot.
There is plot in Blue Exorcist. Sure, there’s often lavish battles against wonderfully drawn demons, agents of the Church and so forth but there are plenty of plot twists and surprises. This is one of the rare action anime in which it pays to watch background characters, not accept motivations at face value and second guess the direction of the script.
I rather liked Blue Exorcist. There’s a touch of everything in here. There’s that plot / action combination but there’s also drama, romance, bravery and family in here too. The cast of characters are engaging and despite all the demonic connections flying around the personalities are believable too.
Ultimately, I find action anime all the more compelling when it doesn’t feel like a certainty. There’s less reason to watch a melee scene if you can predict the outcome before the first blow is struck. Blue Exorcist keeps you guessing and wraps in the whole issue of Rin’s dark secret being discovered by others.