Ao no Exorcist is an anime that I’ve held dear to me for quite a while, so I thought it would be a great way to get the ball rolling on my first episode of Get In The Mecha. analysing a show that I’ve loved for a long time now, Ao No Exorcist. In today’s episode I’ll be analysing and reviewing the first two main arcs of the anime.
A few things I touch on in this epsiode are:
- What is Ao No Exorcist about?
- How did Ao No Exorcist fit into an already ‘crowded’ market of shows under the same genre?
- Does Ao No Exorcist fit the mould that other ‘shounen-battle anime’ set out? (The Shounen Model)
- Is the show strong from an audio-visual perspective?
- Is Ao No Exorcist worth watching? (My Take)
MUSIC & SFX IN TODAY’S PRODUTION:
Go Lucky by chasersgaming
Mandatory Overtime by Joth
SFX by SubspaceAudio
SOURCES USED IN TODAY’S PRODUCTION:
MYANIMELIST PAGE (Ao No Exorcist)
CORE PRIDE – UVERworld (Spotify)
In My World – ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D (Apple Music)
2011 was an abundant year for anime, with shows such as Steins;Gate (2011) and Hunter X Hunter (2011) which were arriving to the scene. Many other shows were still in full-swing such as Naruto Shippuden (2007), One Piece (1999) and Bleach (2004). With such shounen-battle anime in the forefront, in order to compete, A-1 Pictures releases their anime adaptation of Ao No Exorcist (2011), which goes along the same lines as the shows previously mentioned. Ever since watching the show, Ao No Exorcist has been one of my favourite anime made by A-1 Pictures.
PLOT SUMMARY: Rin Okumura is the son of Satan. After a tragic event, Rin obtains the sword known as the ‘Kurikara’, allowing him to hone his abilities he just recently discovered. Both him and his twin brother, Yukio Okumura travel to the True Cross Academy Cram School in order to learn and develop their skills in exorcism, alongside their new classmates, with the end goal of defeating Satan. This comes with a large amount of twist and turns as they begin this journey (in these first two story arcs) to understand and improve at exorcism individually and as a unit.
THE ‘SHOUNEN MODEL’: The shounen model was what I used to describe the ‘basic’ values of shounenbattle anime. This refers to the typical end goal or endgame that the protagonists wish to reach and the emergence of some sort of power or ability that they receive, enabling them to reach what they aspire to achieve. In the case of Ao No Exorcist, it is receiving the powers associated with the ‘Kurikara’ sword.
ART: Kazue Kato’s artwork from the source material (manga) can be directly identified in this anime adaptation. In some cases, I would say that the panels of the manga have been blessed with layers of colour for the show. The anime does not forget its roots and with that being said, I have no complaints in this area.
NARRATIVE: The beginning of Ao No Exorcist presents a ‘set-back’ or a disruption that both makes our protagonists more aware with what they have to accomplish and what they have to deal with in the endgame (Satan). As a result of this disruption at the beginning, most of the characters who we follow are at the ‘bottom of the food-chain’ and are required to scale up the linear narrative presented (this assumes that progress is made as the story moves forward). The supporting cast work as facilitators. Characters such as Shiemi and Izumo arguably work as devices for aiding other characters like Rin and Yukio for reaching that eventual endgame, through the simple means of being on the team of Exwires and by bringing forth their unique method of exorcising demons.
MUSIC: I mostly focused on the two openings that were the backdrop for the two opening arcs:
OP 1 – CORE-PRIDE by UVERworld: I very much enjoyed this OP as an opening for the entire series. The saxophone was very pleasant to listen to and I still love listening to it years after watching it! Also enjoy the rock element of the song, particularly when it slows down, making the song feel more emotional as a whole.
OP 2 – In My World by ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D: This is also a very rock-influenced opening, but teases that there are more negative events to come, particularly by the conclusion of the arc. When watching the anime for the first time, I was confused as to what negative elements these were, causing me to conclude now that this was intentional, making the viewer question what this was, before knowing what it was.
LINK THE VA: In this week’s edition of LTVA segment, I looked at the voice actors for Rin (Nobuhiko Akamoto) and Shiemi (Kana Hanazawa) and other roles they have taken on.
VERDICT: Overall, I am quite the fan of Ao No Exorcist, possibly as this was the first ‘seasonal’ shounen-battle anime I watched after concluding Naruto Shippuden. I would definitely recommend it, if you’re not a big fan of the long-form shounen formula and are looking for something a lot shorter and easier to digest. However, if you are a fan of those shows, this may not be as impressive as the larger, more expansive anime. Be aware that my judgement does consider that this was before shows such as Boku No Hero Academia (2016), Black Clover (2017), Hunter X Hunter (2011), etc. and therefore had a lot less to compete with as oppose to now; in the context of 2011, Ao No Exorcist was an innovative piece of anime that I would recommend to anyone who just wants a bit more shounen anime to add to their list.