Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Friday, March 28, 2014

Anime Review: Blue Exorcist (Mild Supernatural Spoilers)

Well then.

I've always said that as excited as I am about new Toonami the thing that keeps me jumping on board is that there are other arguably better ways of watching anime these days than old television networks. I saw the first few episodes of Blue Exorcist on Toonami, liked them, and then binge watched the whole series on Crunchyroll.

And I like it. It's okay, but I feel that like a lot of shows it limited itself by sticking too closely to the conventions of shonen anime.

The show is about a typical high school student, who's a bit of a delinquient, who finds out he the spawn of satan. Satan possess his adoptive father who then commits suicide and Rin, swears to kick Satan's ass.

For me this show has a double edged sword. I love urban fantasy.  Tell me about a show with a masqurade, demons, fae, occult detectives and some sort organization...possibly religious vowing to keep everything in line and I'm there.

On the other hand it means I've seen, Hellboy, Angel, Supernatural, Grimm, Lost Girl, X-Files,  True Blood, Blood +, Wolf's Rain, Witch Hunter Robin,  Yu Yu HakushoKekkaishi, ClaymoreRin: Daughters of Mnemosyne, Hellsing Ultimate, Spawn, Fate Stay/Night, and a good chunk of Fate/Zero (I'm working my way through it).

I've tangoed with the demons. And that's the problem. You start to realize all of the influences of this show and it makes you want to watch them more, especially when you realize how it's shonenness nerfs a lot of stuff.

For instance the pilot feels like a mash up between Yuseke Urameshi, Hellboy and Sam Winchester's origins, but at the end of the day all of those stories seemed to make more internal sense and I liked them better.

Heck the episode redoes the makai insect scene from Hakusho's Saint Beasts arc.Oh and later they (rip off) homage the opening scene from Princess Mononoke. It takes some balls to redo the opening scene of Princess Mononoke! After a while all of the homages give the show a Frankenstein feel, that I might be willing to forgive but it bends over backwards to create a school environment status quo. Part of almost any spawn of demons arc is about them slowly realizing how little they fit into the world and coming to terms with that normally by leaving and burning the ships.

Even Hakusho, which in a lot of ways is this show done better had the good sense to leave all that behind once both the Dark and Demon World Tournaments started.

Sorry you don't get a normal life with the two story in suburbia, hell spawn.

When Sam whines about being the true vessel for Lucifer I get it. Most people FOR GOOD REASON feel he would be better off dead and aren't going to be just cool letting him walk around no matter how nice he is or how much they personally like him. Heck half the time he feels the same way.

Furthermore with that hanging over his head he never really knows how far he can trust anybody since at some point they've all thought of just putting a bullet into him and ending the pending doom. Sure there a few mustache twirlers in this show who go that route but otherwise other than first episode this guy has had it pretty sweet.

And that kind of annoys me. The end of the first episode sets up a walking the earth scenario. "Demons will be hunting you for all sorts of reasons." And the characters end up just sitting on their hands. Not to say they don't do anything but for most of the show none of the stuff is brought up in the first episode. The interesting premise goes to waste.

I will give them this though they did something great with old scratch himself, just as creepy but what he does has a weird twisted sort of logic that almost seems not as evil as you expect. It still causes most of our protagonists problems and is pretty evil, but it makes sense from the perspective of a being that does not comprehend normal human morality and has defined understandable goals.

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