- Genre Supernatural, Action
- Episodes: 25
- Studio: A-1 Pictures
You think you got daddy issues? Imagine if your dad abandoned you at birth then came back fifteen years later and killed your loving adoptive father, who also happens to be entirely made out of coolness, and now wants to force you into the family business without giving you any choice in the matter. Your twin brother is going through some sort of teenage rebellious phase and you find out he’s been hiding stuff from you your whole life so you can’t really count on him either. Also, your dad is Satan. Yeah, you don’t have daddy issues.
Like a lot of people who grew up with zero religious upbringing, I tend to get fascinated by stories with tons of religious symbolism. Anime of the type are a particular favorite of mine since the symbolism is often just added on for style and the fact that I know nothing about the dogma doesn’t interfere with my understanding and appreciation of the show in any way. Then again maybe I miss the point of these shows entirely. Then again AGAIN, I think I miss the point of most shows regularly. My world is a fun place, you should come visit sometimes.
Ao no exorcist is a show about the eternal and epic struggle of good versus evil in the most literal sense and the visuals are suited to the task. The colors are good (not great) and blue is thematically used throughout as expected. The character designs are all unique and vary greatly from one another and the setting and architecture are just fantastic. I mean look at this town! And above all else, those school uniforms are the bomb.
As far as the story goes, it’s paced very well. Things seem to careen a bit out of control at first as we see Rin’s world get turned upside down quite radically and a lot of new information gets thrown at him (and at us), but the show regains its footing quickly and keeps a brisk but consistent pace all the way to the grand climax. I really appreciated that the story attempted to tie up all the loose ends and how the writers did not just assume that there would be a season 2. Too many shows just leave the audience hanging. I don’t mean that there is no story left to explore, there are definitely some characters and events I wouldn’t mind them elaborating on but I don’t feel like I need closure.
Unfortunately, I think the show falls down a bit in the characterization. Although none of the characters are bad or boring, they are a little generic maybe? I loved Shiro and Mephisto and I quite liked Yukio and Rin, especially in relation to one another, but I hardly remember anyone else. I mean I recognize images of them and have a basic idea of their personalities but more as outlines than actual fleshed out characters. For instance, I saw Soul Eater a few years before Ao no exorcist and I vividly remember almost everyone that ever appeared on that show. I can describe quirks, tell you in detail what I appreciate and dislike about each. Aside from the four I named all I can really say is that the flower power girl was annoyingly useless at times despite being supposedly very powerful and I think I liked rooster head but I really don’t remember why. This lack of staying power doesn’t take anything away from your enjoyment in the moment mind you. I do remember quite enjoying the “anti-villains”. Mephisto and his brood of devils skillfully threaded the line between likable and treacherous and kept me well engaged with the show.
I’ve talked about my soft spot for good dad characters in animes and Shiro certainly fits that bill. His presence looms large over the story despite his premature exit in episode 1, and we are all better off for it. I found every little flashback with him touching and uplifting. I certainly hope we continue to see him in future seasons.
I did like Ao no exorcist quite a bit and I know season 2 has been out for a while. I fully intend on watching it soon but the stupid universe keeps generating interesting looking anime and refuses to allow me to never sleep again and remain alive.
What this anime taught me: Nurture over nature every time!
Never drink on an empty head
Suggested drink: The Prodigal Son
- Every time Yukio has scary shiny glasses – take a sip
- Every time Mephisto is in his dog form – take a sip
- Every time you see Rin’s tail – take a sip
- Every time Bon and Rin ge into a fight – take a sip
- Every time someone mentions Satan – say a prayer
- Every time Izumo is tsundere – take a sip
- Every time Yukio lectures Rin – get some water
- Every time Shura is used for fanservice – take a sip
- Every time Konekomaru gets scared – take a sip
- Every time we see Shiro – Toast!