I enjoyed Blue Exorcist, but it took me a while to work out what was going on in the season and a little while to forgive it for that.
This arc isn’t either a sequel or a prequel. The Kyoto Saga is set mid-way through season 1.
Initially billed to me as season 2, it’s more accurate to call this a special edition (or directors cut?).
If you stop the first series at around episode 16 or 17, then you can watch this chunk of the series.
In summary, Rin Okumura is an exorcist with a vast and dark secret. How huge? He’s the son of Satan!
In the Kyoto Saga, we pick up at about the time his schoolmates in the exorcist training academy have found this out and would rather not have anything to do with him.
There’s got to be a catch. There is. The Left Eye of the Impure King is stolen, and the gang of not-friends are forced to cooperate, as best they can, to resolve the situation or face certain doom.
I was a bit grumpy about this. I wanted to see where on Earth the Blue Exorcist story could go after season 1. It also means we don’t get to develop the characters very much in this season because we know what will happen to them in the future. However, this arch is, I read, a better match to the manga itself.
There are only six episodes. Here in the UK, we’re getting the short season extension (12 episodes) drip-fed to us in ever shorter chunks; 2 discs with three episodes each. That’s makes binge-watching the show and letting it build up a rhythm impossible. I suppose the logic might be something like this; we waited six years for a sequel, fans will buy two sets of discs for the extension/season 2, not just one. And if that is Aniplex’s logic, then they’re probably right.
For me, though, I enjoyed seeing some of these characters again even if we weren’t getting to take the story on. I didn’t get into as much as I did the first season. The first six episodes feel like two mini-arcs which both need to resolve. I don’t think the world grows anymore.
What we do get is a bit more of an occult meets temple anime with a bit of politics and intrigue with the religious families. They control the background in the world of Blue Exorcist and the particular flavour of demonic encounter that the series has created.
Did you really enjoy Blue Exorcist? Yes? Get this season two. You’ve waited long enough for it but manage your expectations downwards.
Disclaimer: My copy of Blue Exorcist: Definitive Edition was provided for review.
Update: Added ‘definitive edition’ to the title of the review for greater context. This season/part-season/mid-season is known as different things in different territories.
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