Blue Exorcist: Limited Edition Blu-ray Set II (a J!-eNT Blu-ray Disc Review)
October 21, 2013 by Dennis Amith
The exciting, action-packed finale of “Blue Exorcist” is here! Twin brothers, Rin and Yukio must join forces in confronting their demonic father, Satan! “Blue Exorcist” turned out to be an exciting, action-packed series that I highly recommend! And for fans, “Blue Exorcist: Limited Edition Blu-ray Set II” is definitely worth owning!
Image courtesy of Image courtesy of © 2009 by Kazue Kato/SHUEISHA, Blue Exorcist Committee, MBS. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Blue Exorcist: Limited Edition Blu-ray Set II
DURATION: (Episodes 13-25) 325 Minutes
BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English and Japanese Linear PCM Stereo, English Subtitles
COMPANY: Aniplex Inc.
RATED: 13 and Up
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Based on the manga by Kazue Kato
Directed by Tensai Okamura
Series Composition by Ryota Yamaguchi
Music by Hiroyuki Sawano
Character Design by Keigo Sasaki
Art Director: Masatoshi Kai
Chief Animation Director: Keigo Sasaki
Anime Production: A-1 Pictures
Featuring the following voice talent:
Jun Fukuyama/Johnny Yong Bosch as Yukio Okumura
Kana Hanazawa/Christine Marie Cabanos as Shiemi Moriyama
Kazuya Nakai/Kyle Hebert as Ryūji Suguro
Nobuhiko Okamoto/Bryce Papenbrook as Rin Okumura
Ayahi Takagaki/Stephanie Sheh as Kuro
Eri Kitamura/Kira Buckland as Izumo Kamiki
Hiroshi Kamiya/Sam Regal as Mephisto Pheles
Keiji Fujiwara/Kirk Thornton as Shirō Fujimoto
Koji Yusa as Renzō Shima
Rina Satou/Wendee Lee as Shura Kirigakure
Tetsuya Kakihara/Darrel Guilbeau as Amaimon
Yuuki Kaji as Konekomaru Miw
“Assiah, the realm of humans, and Gehenna, the realm of demons. Normally, these two dimensions would never intersect, but having possessed all material substances, the demons are now intruding on the material world. But among the human race, there are those who can exorcise such demons.”
– the Exorcists.
During a 3-day drill to prepare Rin and fellow Ex-Wires for actual combat, Amaimon suddenly appears and takes Shiemi as a hostage to lure Rin. Angry, Rin fights Amaimon and he ends up going berserk! He regains control of himself only to be captured by the current Paladin, Angel, and sent to the Vatican for trial. As the hearing drags on, the Order finds itself unable to decide on Rin’s fate, as Mephisto has proclaimed him to be “a weapon for counter-attacking Satan.” Rin is now forced to obey the Vatican’s order or face execution!
It’s the battle that “Blue Exorcist” fans have been waiting for… Rin and Yukio and True Cross Academy vs. their father Satan. And also the backstory is revealed of Rin and Yuko’s human mother and how she died.
Featuring the final second half (episode 13-25) on three Blu-ray discs plus the original soundtrack, a 36-page illustration book and bonus DVD with interviews with the English dub cast (part two) and more in “Blue Exorcist: Limited Edition Blu-ray Set II”!
So, What is “Blue Exorcist”?
“Ao no Exorcist” (Blue Exorcist) is an anime adaptation of a manga series written and illustrated by Kazue Kato, a mangaka who won a Tenkaichi Manga Award back in 1999 at the age of 19 and won a Tezuka Award in 2000 for his manga “The Witch and the Rabbit”. Kato is also known for his 2006 manga series “Robot Usakichi” (Space Traveler Robo & Usakichi).
“Blue Exorcist” was serialized on Jump Square Magazine by Shueisha since April 2009 and is still an ongoing manga series (as of January 2012, there have been a total of 30 chapters released).
With the popularity of the manga series, an anime adaptation was produced by A-1 Pictures with Hitoshi Okamura as the producer. The series began back in April 2011 and 25-episodes have aired in Japan. And now the second setof “Blue Exorcist” was released on Blu-ray courtesy of Aniplex.
The anime series revolves around a hotheaded teenager named Rin Okumura. Both he and his brother Yukio have been raised by Father Fujimoto at the Cross Academy Town – Southern Cross Boys Monastery. While Yuki shows great intelligence and is attending school at True Cross Academy to become a doctor, Rin is quite the opposite. He tends to get himself in trouble, fights a lot and is continually told by Father Fujimoto to find a job.
Unfortunately for Rin, finding and holding onto a job is difficult. But one day, while working at a supermarket, he sees a monster in a girl’s scarf. He tells Father Fujimoto of what he has seen and Father Fujimoto starts to fear that something is happening. One day, Rin encounters a group of thugs and its leader that he had beaten up earlier and suddenly sees him turn into a demon. The demon tells Rin that satan is waiting for him and immediately, Father Fujimoto is there to save him and exorcise the demon. Fortunately, Father Fujimoto is there to help but it is all revealed to Rin about why he can see monsters.
It’s the fact that he is not truly human. He is the son of a human woman and satan. And the monsters he have seen, it is explained to Rin that in the world, there is Assiah, the realm of humans, and Gehenna, the realm of demons. Both are not supposed to come in contact with each other but they have and as an exorcist, it is his duty to send the demons back to where they belong. And Satan wants to reunite with his son.
To protect Rin, Father Fujimoto gives him the Kamkakushi key, so he can hide anything. And he is also given the Koma Sword, a magic sword passed down from generation to generation and a sword where Rin’s powers have been sealed since birth. Rin’s flame resides inside the sword and is sealed by the scabbard. If he draws it, he will assume his demonic nature and will never be able to live as a human again.
One day, he and Father Fujimoto try to prepare for an imminent attack and tells Rin that he must seek shelter where satan can’t get to him but Rin takes it as his father trying to get rid of him forever. In return, Rin said some hurtful things to Father Fujimoto and the pain that Father Fujimoto felt was enough for Satan, the demon to possess him.
Satan shows up to claim his son and attacks Father Fujimoto. Satan reveals that he created Rin from a human woman in order to create a container that would be powerful enough to hold him.
But it’s something that Father Fujimoto will not let happen to the boy, he looked at as a son. In order to save Rin, Father Fujimoto risks his own life to keep Satan away and is killed in the process.
Now Rin mourns for the one person he knew as his father and when Mephisto Pheles, a friend of Father Fujimoto comes to visit, he tells him that they represent the Knights of the True Cross and they exorcise demons. And Rin has two choices, they will kill him, or he kills the demons. Instead, Rin tells him that he could care less about being human or a demon, he wants to become an exorcist like Father Fujimoto and avenge him and that means defeating his own father.
So, from that point on, Rin must be trained to become an exorcist and will have to follow special rules (which includes not revealing his true nature). But the first thing that he will need to do is enroll at the same school that his brother Yukio attends. When Rin sees his brother, Yukio is in the top of the class and that he is a special leader that people follow at the school and he is no longer the scrawny younger brother he once knew.
As Rin is now a student at the Knights of the True Cross, many of the elders are not too thrilled because Rin is the son of Satan and because Rin tends to be more of a hothead, they are not too sure if he can fit into the Academy. But Rin is determined to make good on his promise to his deceased father and to protect people, but most of all, to kill Satan.
With volume 2 of “Blue Exorcist”, the story continues as Rin continues to study along with his classmates and each are trying to be Esquires, in order to take on various missions. But others at the Academy and the higher ups want to test Rin and find out if he is a person that can be taught and eventually fight with the other exorcists in defeating demons and Satan himself.
While people question a demon being an exorcist, for Rin, he makes a goal that one day, he will become a Paladin (highest level of exorcism) like his adoptive father, Father Shiro and prove that because he is Satan son, that having a caring father like Shiro can make a big change in the life of a person, even if they are a demon.
With the Demon King of Earth, Amaimon making his attack against Rin and friends during training, there is no way Rin can hide his secret. He will need to draw the Kurikara sword and turn into demon form in order to fight and defend his friends. But by using this sword, Rin can lose control in a very bad way! It was also revealed in volume three that Rin’s twin brother Yukio, who was assumed to not have any of Satan traits, has now developed it.
And now, all is revealed in the latest, final fourth volume of “Blue Exorcist” as Yukio would do anything to protect his twin brother Rin, but not knowing that a conspiracy within True Cross Academy is leading him to not protect his brother, but actually sacrificing him.
Meanwhile, as Yukio is developing Satan traits, satan looks to use Yukio as his vessel. This leads to Yukio learning the truth about how his mother was killed and more!
Who shall win the final battle between the Okumura brothers who must take on their father, Satan…but will they have enough power to do so!?
“Blue Exorcist” features the following characters:
- Rin Okamura – The main protagonist. The son of Satan but born from a human mother. He and his brother Yukio are twins but he inherited his father’s powers. Rin’s power was sealed inside a sword by Mephisto Pheles, so he can live a human life. Rin was raised by the priest Shiro Fujimoto as normal humans with compassion and love. Despite getting into a lot of trouble and his abilities tend to be more of fighting or cooking, since discovering his power and identity, he vows to use his power to avenge his adoptive father Shiro Fujimoto’s death and defeat Satan. He vows to attend True Cross Academy and do all it takes to become a Paladin and a “Meister” (Knight). Rin also has taken in a dog demon (Cat Sith) which he names Kuro.
- Yukio Okamura – The son of Satan but born from a human mother. Unlike Rin he did not inherit Satan’s powers. Known as the intellectual person of the family, unbeknown to Rin was that he has been secretly trained to become an exorcist since the age of seven in order to protect his brother. So, now he is an instructor at True Cross Academy and responsible for looking after his brother. But he harbors a secret…dark spots are starting to appear on his body which Yukio has told no one about, despite being tested daily if Satan’s power is in him.
- Mephisto Pheles – The Chairman of True Cross Academy. He and Shiro Fujimoto worked together in order to seal Rin’s power and make him human. Mephisto is a powerful exorcist but because he is a demon, many do not believe him while others believe he has proven he is on the side to fight against Satan.
- Ryuji Suguro – Also known as “Bon” to his classmates. He has a high temper and is often fighting and arguing with Rin. But despite his attitude, he is the best student in the class and dedicated to his studies. Part of his drive is because Satan destroyed his family temple.
- Shiemi Moriyama – The daughter of a woman who runs an exorcist-only shop. She lacks confidence and she is quite sheltered (having lived with her grandmother and her only friends were plants) but when given the chance to meet and make friends at True Cross Academy, being in school gives her a new lease on life. It appears that both Rin and Yukio may have feelings towards her. Shiemi is a tamer and can summon a greenman spirit to produce herbs and barriers.
- Izumo Kamiki – She always has a cold attitude and known for her eyebrows. The only friend she is close to is her best friend Paku but slowly (very slowly), she is starting to befriend her classmates. She can summon two Baykko (foxes) to fight.
- Konkomaru Miwa – Very smart but very shy. He is the strategist and is loyal to his best friend Ryuji and Renzo, since they grew up at the same temple that was destroyed. His parents were killed by Satan.
- Renzo Shima – Carefee, loves to flirt with girls (especially Paku and Izumi) but has a major phobia of insects. He also grew up with Ryuji and Konekomaru. Renzo carries a K’rik staff to fight.
- Shura Kirigakure – The carefree, hardly wears anything, loves alcohol, upper first class exorcist who was asked by priest Shiro Fujimoto to train Rin and help him become a “Meister”. She can draw a demon sword from her chest and stomach and is an excellent fighter.
- Shiro Fujimoto – The priest of Southern Cross Monastery who raised both Yukio and Rin as a loving father. He is a Paladin in the True Cross Order and was the strongest exorcist. Was thought to be the only man who could not be possessed by Satan but after an argument with Rin (and Rin saying some hurtful things) which shocked Shiro, it was enough time for Satan to possess Shiro. In order to protect himself from hurting Rin and Yukio, Shiro sacrificed himself.
“Blue Exorcist: Limited Edition Blu-ray Set II″ features episodes 13-25 on three Blu-ray discs. Here is a spoiler-less summary of each episode:
- EPISODE 13 – Proof – Rin encounters Shura Kiragakure, a high level exorcist and former apprentice of Father Shiro.
- EPISODE 14 – A Fun Camping Trip – The Esquires are taken to the forest where they are to undergo through training by Yukio and Shura.
- EPISODE 15 – Act of Kindness – The students are attacked by Amaimon. In order to protect the other students, Shura gives Rin the sword which transforms him into a demon to fight Amaimon.
- EPISODE 16 – The Wager – Rin is captured by Arthur Auguste Angel, a Paladin who wants Rin dead and Mephisto to be charged for keeping this secret from the Academy of Rin and Yukio’s true identity. The Academy must decide whether to have Rin executed or to be used as a weapon to fight Satan.
- EPISODE 17 – Temptation – While the True Cross Academy is making their decision, Amaimon enters the True Cross Order HQ to continue his fight. Meanwhile, Mephisto wants to show that Rin will fight for the True Cross.
- EPISODE 18 – Gufu – With Konekomaru shocked about Rin’s identity and that Rin’s father Satan was responsible for his parent’s death, he doesn’t know if he could be friends with him. Meanwhile, a bird demon is trying to enter the school. Meanwhile, Rin must go through special training to become an exorcist immediately.
- EPISODE 19 – An Ordinary Day – Shiemi and friends decide to have a surprise birthday party for Izumo. Meanwhile, Izumo becomes suspicious of her classmates.
- EPISODE 20 – Mask – Someone with a mask has attacked the monastery. Who is the masked individual?
- EPISODE 21 – The Secret Garden – Yukio is involved in a secret meeting with Ernst Frederik Egin, a man who claims to be his grandfather and shows him top secret plans to fight against satan.
- EPISODE 22 – Demon Hunting – Ernst Frederik Egin becomes the new leader of True Cross Academy and Yukio is promoted as Paladin. But Ernst shows his true intentions of why he needed Yukio.
- EPISODE 23 – Truth – Satan reveals the truth to Yukio of how his mother was killed and who was responsible.
- EPISODE 24 – Satan’s Spawn – Rin and friends vs. Satan.
- EPISODE 25 – Stop, Time – Rin and Yukio take on their father, satan.
“Blue Exorcist” is presented in 1080p High Definition (16:9 Widescreen). The anime production is well-done. The surrounding environments are well-detailed, painted nicely, while the character designs are vibrant, clear and just gorgeous on Blu-ray!
If anything, character designer Keigo Sasaki (“Night Raid 1931″, “Sengoku Basara”) does a great job of bringing the characters from Kazue Kato’s manga series to life, while art director Masatoshi Kai (“Akira”, “Dead Girls”, “Earthian”, “Red Garden”) did a wonderful job in bringing the series to life with the scenery and painted backgrounds.
I’m pretty impressed of how this anime looks visually, especially when comparing to the previous DVD release, the Blu-ray release is much more colorful, sharper and gorgeous in HD.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Blue Exorcist” is presented in English Linear PCM Stereo and Japanese Linear PCM Stereo with English subtitles. Audio is clear coming from the front channels. Japanese voice acting for the series is excellent! I personally had my receiver set to stereo on all channels for a more immersive soundtrack. But dialogue is understandable and English subtitles are easy to read.
As for the English dub track, the overall acting is good but it’s once again an action series with Johnny Yong Bosch as the lead character. For the most part, the voice acting by the English dub staff is very good.
“Blue Exorcist: Limited Edition Blu-ray Set II” comes with the following special features:
- URA-EKU (Bonus Short Movies) – Featuring three short omake anime stories (about 1:20 per omake) that are shown after an episode is completed.
- Preview Web Version – Featuring the “next episode” previews voiced by various demon characters (about 17 seconds each).
- Textless OP and ED – Blue Exorcist opening and ending theme without text.
- Blue Exorcist English Cast Interview Part 2: Exorcist & Demons – (42:49) Interviews with the English voice cast part two! Featuring Sam Regal, Darrel Guilbeau, Wendee Lee, Kirk Thornton, Patrick Seitz, David Vincent and Stephanie Sheh. This is featured on the bonus DVD included with this limited edition.
“Blue Exorcist: Limited Edition Blu-ray Set II” comes with the following extras:
- Original Soundtrack CD 2 (青の祓魔師 オリジナル・サウンドトラック II)
(Duration: 1 hr., 10 minutes)
1. BGM的-suite 1st-Mov.:E戦場-Aria 2:58
2. BGM的-suite 2nd-Mov.:Technology ORCH. 3:09
3. BGM的-suite 3rd-Mov.:Hyou×(依+変) 4:40
4. BGM的-suite 4th-Mov.:BOBOBOぼ～ん 3:40
5. IiMuRoYa-$.feat 1st-Mov.:M 6:02 澤野弘之
6. IiMuRoYa-$.feat 2nd-Mov.:CHaos+CHorus 5:41
7. IiMuRoYa-$.feat 3rd-Mov.:HEiW@→KiZUN@ 4:13
8. IiMuRoYa-$.feat 4th-Mov.:N-tone 3:22
9. 日常用 de SUIT 1st-Mov.:銃剣兄弟GEKIBANger 4:17
10. 日常用 de SUIT 2nd-Mov.:剣兄弟GEKIBANger-Returns 3:09
11. 日常用 de SUIT 3rd-Mov.:銃剣兄弟GEKIBANger-Forever 5:24
12. 日常用 de SUIT 4th-Mov.:銃剣兄弟GEKIBANger-The Final 6:40
13. 交響$weet 1st-Mov.:st-RING 4:23
14. 交響$weet 2nd-Mov.:STN-blood 4:36
15. 交響$weet 3rd-Mov.:call ME 3:20
16. 交響$weet 4th-Mov.:f 3:35
- 36-Page Illustration Booklet
- Rigid Box Illustrated by Kazue Kato (manga author)
- Clear cases with reversible wraps of original Japanese cover design.
As I finished watching the final episode of the “Blue Exorcist” anime series, I have to say that the “Blue Exorcist” storyline was delightful, action-packed and captivating.
And with several volumes of the manga series having been completed, hopefully with Kazue Kato continues the series, fans will be given a new season of “Blue Exorcist”!
The series has developed quite well in terms of storyline pacing, animation, voice acting and just overall enjoyment. The third volume was exciting because we got to see more of Rin’s friends involved in the fight against the demons but most importantly, seeing that the straight-laced Yukio has been hiding a major secret, that his demon powers were awakening.
While there was an emphasis on showcasing Rin and friends in previous episodes, the storyline comes full circle in the fact that it comes back to the main two characters, Rin and his younger twin brother Yukio and the fact that they will be going up against their father, Satan.
But as one would expect a banal storyline of Satan being the ultimate evil, once we get to know more about Rin and Yukio’s human mother, we realize that Satan and the woman were indeed in love and also one of the main reasons why satan is trying to attempt in gaining a vessel. Also, how Shiro was given the duty of raising both Rin and Yukio. This was an intriguing backstory and you feel for the Rin and Yukio’s mother because she was a compassionate woman, trying to understand how one side could hate something. Wondering if they even gave the demon a chance? In her mind, perhaps humans and demons can co-exist, because she was able to see a good side of things.
But as she sided with Satan, she also saw the ugly side of humanity, which even fed the rage to satan and its understandable as religions have shown the fight against evil and to do all that is possible to stop it. And in this case, despite Rin and Yuki being raised with love and dedicate their lives to fight demons, there are those who believed that no matter how different the twins were raised, as long as they are the children of Satan, they are evil.
So, the final half of the series and the final few episodes was exciting and action-packed. And I wouldn’t be surprised if you craved for more episodes.
As for the overall series, the character designs are actually pretty cool, especially the costume designs for the characters. Also, the art backgrounds for this series is nicely detailed and range from pastels to really vibrant colors. Something you typically don’t see in a TV Series.
“Blue Exorcist” has a good balance of humor, action and an interesting concept in balance with awesome animation and beautiful art backgrounds. While the action may be it a bit too visual for younger anime viewers (as this is suggested for 13 and up), for fans of action-based anime or manga series such as “Naruto” and “Bleach” will find “Blue Exorcist” to their liking.
And once again, with the release of “Blue Exorcist: Limited Edition Blu-ray Set II”, Aniplex of America continues to deliver in terms of swag with bonus interviews on DVD, the original soundtrack #2, illustration booklet and more!
Overall, “Blue Exorcist” turned out to be an exciting, action-packed series that I highly recommend! And for fans, “Blue Exorcist: Limited Edition Blu-ray Set II” is definitely worth owning!
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