First published in Japan in 2009, Blue Exorcist, the manga series written and illustrated by Kato Kazue, was adapted into a 25-episode animation just two years later. The popularity of the story about young exorcists fighting against demons from another world, led to its rebirth as this animation directed by Takahashi Atsushi (his first feature film), released late in 2012 in Japanese cinemas. In order to get the most from the film, we advise you to have read the manga first, or to at least have seen the first episodes of the animated series, to better understand how the story is organized. The plot of the film is a stand alone story in its own right but fits in to the continuity of the series. Okumura Rin, a young exorcist in the making, encounters Usamaro, a little demon, after the turbulent exorcism of a ghost train. He ends up developing an attachment to the demon who, though he does not look up to much, nevertheless poses danger to all at the True Cross Academy. The story is enhanced with many secondary characters and beautiful settings (the festival that takes places near the True Cross Academy is wonderfully colourful in a magical setting). The tale is meticulously written and poses an ambiguous yet essential question: must a demon, whatever its nature, inevitably be considered dangerous? There are a few weaknesses to be noted, such a shortage of outstanding action scenes, or a lack of detail in the characters’ faces, but the series’ easy-going humour succeeds in creating appealing main characters. All in all, Blue Exorcist is a film that will delight fans of Rin and his friends, with good quality visuals and writing that are convincing enough to do justice to the original material.
Blue Exorcist: The Movie, by Takahashi Atsushi,