Whoa, DVD still exists? I want my blue exorcists on blue rays! Just kidding. DVD is still awesome. It's good enough for what we're dealing with here, anyway.
I got this in the mail and I'm going to tell you about it. But before that, let's get some cliffnotes (see also: Hiroko's Final Impressions of the show).
Rin, whose life has always been particularly difficult learns one day that he is actually the son of Satan. After a few occult incidents, he awakens as a demon and decides instead of going to the demon world, he'd become an exorcist and defeat his old man himself. His twin Yukio, teams up with him along with some comrades at a cram school for exorcist candidates bringing in some fun to what would otherwise be a pretty dramatic series. Still with me? Alright, hit the jump.
Now, watching this DVD was my first experience with watching Blue Exorcist at all. I haven't seen beyond the seven episodes and the extras which are included in the disc, but I will definitely say that I want to see more.
The show starts off very strong, keeping up a quick pace and introducing many characters. There are a few cliches, but hey, there wouldn't be so many shows every season if there weren't some sort of formula that generally works. This isn't to say that BlueEx is a formulaic series, though. It just contains bits and pieces of a lot of different styles.
If you read the above linked article by Hiroko, you'll see she explains that BlueEx was very ambitious. It tries to be a lot of different things (slice of life, occult, action/fighting, high school), and really nails it most of the time. Then again, I've only seen seven episodes. In those episodes, I saw some mystery and occult (demons and cool stuff like that), some drama (oh no, death!), some slice of life, and some typical "two guys antagonize each other and become friends because they're the same" relationship development (which are usually hilarious). In the course of the first seven episodes, the viewer also learns about different 'classes' of exorcists and what they have to do to become one. It's pretty cool how there are different callings that come to different people.
I just wish the animation quality didn't visibly degrade from the first episode to the last on the disc. I found the show to be sufficiently funny to keep me going and wanting to watch more, but when I looked back to get some screen shots for this article, I started to notice that. I'm still going to keep watching, but now I expect it to be more like your typical shonen (really bad filler animation) and not a solid 25 episode series in terms of the artwork.
Even with what might turn out to be conflicting genre and plot points, I found myself very entertained, and the DVD itself is great quality stuff. It's got some extras with shorts that I found pretty funny, and the rest is just all the usual trimmings: clean OP and ED, previews and other junk that every company sticks on their discs (except for a dub option - you'll have to do with subtitles if you buy this), a sleeve and a reversible DVD cover. Oh, and I got an awesome mini poster. I just can't pick which side I want up on my wall!
I don't feel like Blue Exorcist doesn't take itself too seriously, and that's where the show is doing it right. I think it's enjoyable and you should watch it if you like the action/fighting genre mixing in with the high school genre. At the very least, Vol. 1 was successful in drawing me in! Check out the gallery if you want to see a few more screen shots that didn't make it into the gallery, and be sure to let me know what you think of the releases to DVD or the show in general!
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