Author: Kazue Kato
Series: Blue Exorcist #1
Published: April 5 2011 by Viz. First published 2009.
Length: 200 pages
Warnings: demons, fantasy violence
Other info: An anime was created of this, there’s five volumes out in total. The second volume came out in English in June, the third will come in August.
Summary : Raised by Father Fujimoto, a famous exorcist, Rin Okumura never knew his real father. One day a fateful argument with Father Fujimoto forces Rin to face a terrible truth – the blood of the demon lord Satan runs in Rin’s veins! Rin swears to defeat Satan, but doing that means entering the mysterious True Cross Academy and becoming an exorcist himself. Can Rin fight demons and keep his infernal bloodline a secret? It won't be easy, especially when drawing his father’s sword releases the demonic power within him!
Review: Rin Okumura is a normal 15 year old boy. At least he would be if his grandfather wasn't Satan. One day he argues with his adoptive father, which, through various happenings, causes said adoptive father to die. It also causes Rin to draw his sword-the one that releases his demonic powers, turning his back on normality forever. Rin then decides to train at the True Cross Academy's Cram School first year Demon Pharmacutials, and so begins Rin's life as a page, or exorcist in training.
The concept is quite fun. It's not particularly original, seeing as it's a young man rebelling against his family, but the demon element puts a different spin on it.
I like the characters in it. Rin and Yukio are interesting young men, with a relationship that really should be explored. The fact that everyone , weak younger brother included, knew that Rin had demon blood in him apart from Rin I found quite funny, especially Rin's reaction.
The writing, I can't really say anything. There's hardly any. The dialogue wasn't particularly great, only really giving us the basic sense of whats happening, with a little personality to the characters. But then, this is manga and the art should be doing the storytelling. And it does it well. The art is fairly realistic, apart from obviously the demons.
The minor characters are quite fun. There's not really that many of them, which is really useful because otherwise I'd probably mix them all up. Mephisto Pheles, who I'm assuming is a demon going by his name, is very fun, with a very distinctive personality and dress sense. And on a side note, he turns into a little scotty dog with a really cool ribbon round his neck.
I don't really like the fact that there's hardly any girls in it. In the first two chapters, the only girls in it are a couple of exorcists in training screaming in the background. The only major girl in this is Shiemi, who, when we meet her, is being cursed then possessed by a flower demon. I hope we see more of her, and in more of a major role than needing to be rescued. You know how much I like girls who fight for themselves. And not quiet girls in the background. Because a girl in the action is just much more interesting. More on the lead girl/boy debate some other day.
The bonus fact files and art at the back is fun. It doesn't really serve a purpose, and doesn't give any information about the characters that are that important to the story, but still, it beats the story suddenly ending.
Overall: Strength 4 tea to a fun action series that I want to see more of, but isn't outstanding in the way it could be.