Cheers! April marked the release of the third disc for the occult/shonen/school life series Blue Exorcist, and I've got the low-down right here. Did you miss the first two? Check out my reviews for the first and then second volume of this DVD set.
To quickly recap: Rin, son of Satan and twin brother of genius exorcist Yukio, has been attending a cram school for exorcists alongside regular curriculum. His classmates have begun to regard him as a friend despite his lack of skills, and things got a bit hairy by the end of the second disc when we start seeing that Mephisto, the principal of the school, seems to have some ulterior motive besides simply harboring and training Rin.
Click through the cut to have a look at how things develop through episodes 14 through 19!
Blue Exorcist DVD Vol. 3
In contrast with the more intense atmosphere things left off at with episode 13, this disc begins with something seemingly light and fluffy: an eligibility exam for the ExWires. They go out "camping" and sent out on a retrieval trial which was designed to test the rookies for field of combat. They all pass, but not before Rin messes up and accidentally lets his fire show.
Before they know it, their camp is attacked by the high demon Amaimon (King of Earth) and Rin's identity is completely outed. A new character is introduced; Arthur Angel, the recently promoted Paladin, who arrived to collect and supposedly execute Rin. Mephisto's silver-tongue ways gets him out of that bind, but new provisions are in place: Rin must pass the Exorcist exam in six months time, and be under 24-hour surveillance. If he loses control, all exorcists have orders to execute him immediately.
Despite these harsh restrictions and impending high-intensity action I'm sure awaits us with the fourth volume for the series, things kind of slowed down a bit to give Rin's classmates a chance to hate him for a little while, then go back to regarding him as a friend, despite him being the son of Satan and all things unholy.
There was one episode dedicated to Konekomaru, a skittish mini-monk Krillin look-alike and his fear of Rin, which led a demon in to posses him. Rin ended up saving Koneko and ousting the demon, but things were understandably shaky between them afterwards. The next episode was a fluff piece where Shiemi proposes they throw Izumi a surprise birthday party, and Bon assigns Koneko to be Rin's partner in baking her a cake. The result is what I assume was Koneko sorting out his feelings and coming at ease with Rin.
Overall, while the animation quality didn't go down throughout this section, the story went a bit fluff. The pace slowed down a little to give us a break from the heavy stuff and focused a bit more on Rin, Yukio and Konekomaru as characters. Yukio is worried because he doesn't want to attain any demonic powers while continuing to become more powerful so he could protect Rin, and Koneko had his own demons to face when he realized who Rin really is.
Rin himself has a lot on his plate now, but I think Shura is going to be sure that he'll pass that test and avoid the axe (literally). As it is, Rin's sword already broke under pressure once, and he is lucky that Yoshikuni, a sword smith who is the descendant of the family that made his Koma Sword, was able to repair it. She has warned him that he wouldn't be able to get it back if it happened again.
It was great of Bon and his other classmates to go get Rin's sword repaired in the first place, though the quick resolutions to various problems throughout these six episodes were slightly troubling. For a "slower" section of the series, the only problem that remains at this time is Yukio's current ominous skin issue and some other demonic treachery abound. I wouldn't say it's a deal-breaker, but it's something I noticed.
When you get the DVD package, you'll have a reversible sleeve, which is nice, besides the o-sleeve cover and a two-sided poster inside the box. The extras include the usual shorts, clean second OP and ED, trailers, previews and all that fancy stuff. The DVD has no dub track so you either get it in Japanese with subtitles or without.
I'm looking forward to the next and last Blue Exorcist DVD, but it looks like we'll have to wait until June to see it! Funny enough, the current release date is set for my birthday.
If you're interested in reading synopses for each individual episode, check out the Blue Exorcist official page. Alternatively, you could read Hiroko's Final Impressions article on the show from when she covered it as it aired. Finally, if you're already revved up for the last disc, you could pre-order it today.
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