Monday, April 11, 2011

Manga Monday: Blue Exorcist

Blue Exorcist (Volume 1)
Kazue Kato

Rin has daddy issues.  His father is Satan.  In a universe where demons exist and can possess or infect mortals, twins Rin and Yukio are born into the world via a human female.  Since Yukio's body was frail, Rin inherited his father's demonic powers and now sports a tail and a wicked sword, and some great powers.  But with this power comes a desire to see his father shut down, especially after Satan kills the man who raised him as his own, Fujimoto Shiro.  In order to defeat his father, Rin must learn the way of the exorcist, and so joins the True Cross Academy Exorcist School, where his own brother Yukio instructs him and rooms with him.  Being a short-tempered sort of guy who's always getting into fights and slacking off, he needs a lot of looking after, but Rin has the potential to perhaps carry out what he's set out to do.

Overall, I was kind of bored with this book.  It's very over-the-top, violent and gory, but it's all the sort of stuff we've seen before, and there's not much to the characters to make up for that lack of freshness.  There are a few good ideas in there, and a nice set up with the exorcist school, but the main character drives me crazy and has few qualities that make me want to like him.  This is also one of those books that's very serious and dark one moment, and silly and wacky the next, and I think that the balance just doesn't work here.  It goes all out in both regards, but they don't compliment each other very well in this story - rather, they sort of undercut each other.  The horror would be more impactful without the eye-popping jaw-dropping goofiness of the next panel, and the silliness of Rin in one scene would be more endearing if he wasn't beating people up and sneering in the next.  It not only makes it hard to see where the character is coming from, and whether or not we should be taking him seriously sometimes, but it just makes the tone of the book very confused.  Plus, it's just not that interesting in the first place.  There are much better titles out there to dive into, much more deserving of a look than Blue Exorcist.

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