Review: Ao no Exorcist (And Brief Analysis on The Psychology of Manga Fans)


Anime: Ao no Exorcist (Blue Exorcist)
Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures
Number of Episodes: 25
Length per Episode: Approximately 24 minutes

I stayed up all night last night working on my midterm for class the next day, just to find out upon getting to class that we were given an extra week to do it. I almost broke down crying. And then there’s the fact I have retarded amounts of work to do for the next few weeks. This semester is finally picking up, but it’s also practically over.

Though, quickly changing topics, I have a question. Does anyone care if I stop doing the slideshows at the end? Honestly, every time I go to write a review I don’t want to do it because I loathe getting those things. It takes me forever. I’ll still include the title shot for the first part, but the slideshows are annoying. Besides, nobody should decide whether to watch a show or not based on a few screenshots, anyways.

I guess this is kind of a rigged question because I’m already basically saying I don’t want to do the slideshows anymore, but I felt like asking anyways. If someone out there really can’t live with me not doing them, I guess I could think of something.

You know, I liked Blue Exorcist. It was fun. Shounen by no means is bad in and of itself. It’s usually just used in retarded ways, such as having a show last for thousands of episodes. Maybe that’s why I’m grateful that it was limited to 25 episodes. I worry that if it hadn’t, it would have utterly dragged its feet like every other show that gets endless episodes.

I mean, sure, it had its faults. I thought the first half was kinda boring, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the second half, the show as a whole. Though I do feel like that final fight against Satan had a pretty anticlimactic ending.

Though, now that I’m mentioning the fight with Satan, I guess I should talk about how most people labeled the show as garbage because it didn’t follow the manga. First, some shameless copying and pasting from one of my comments here:

“I will say that I like where the anime is going, though. I browsed some of the later manga chapters to see where the story was going to go, and I can confidently say that I like this anime-original arc more than the current manga one. The arc in the manga just seems kind of dumb and boring, whereas the anime one is pretty intense so far. Then again, I did skim the chapters so that may have contributed to not enjoying it as much… Nah, lets go with the first one.”

I wrote that after 20 or so episodes of the show. The problem I had with the manga was that the factions with the spiritual group or whatever they were (like I said, I did some skimming) were incredibly uninteresting and it seemed to be pulling in a lot of new characters out of nowhere, which was a bit to memorize.

But the main problem I had was that it was playing off as an arc that’s just going to get thrown into the trash bin afterwards. There might be some character or plot progression or something, but genuinely don’t expect any of these new characters to ever show up again except for a mention in conversation or something.

The only problem I have with this anime arc is that the villain (Rin and Yukio’s uncle or whoever) was an incredibly boring villain. But otherwise the arc is focusing on something that people genuinely care about in regards to the show: Satan. Seeing what his thoughts regarding his sons and other people are is infinitely more interesting than some spiritual group traitor plot.

I’m not sure whether manga fans are just of the mindset that manga fans can get in, which is that the anime adaptation is automatically shit when it starts doing it’s own thing, or if they genuinely do not like this arc. It’s hard to tell when the opinion seems to always start with, “It stopped following the manga __ episodes ago.” That’s why it just seems like it’s the usual manga fan bias. I’d like a fan to actually explain why this arc is bad without the fact that it’s doing something different than the manga being a reason.

I think that just cut the amount of stuff I have to write in half, awesome. I don’t want to make any generalizations, but it seemed most manga readers were just in the usual mindset of the anime being bad just because it didn’t follow the manga to the dot. I seriously don’t get how that circular reasoning can even be thought of as a legitimate argument.

“Why was it bad?”
“It didn’t follow the manga.”
“Okay and how is that bad?”
“…Because it didn’t follow the manga.”

Sometimes they say it’s because the manga was simply better, but that’s just your bias speaking. You’ll always think the first form they see or the original form is the better one. We just seem to have this innate backlash against change. It’s like every bloody time Facebook releases an update. People always whine about how the new update is SO BAD and want the changes reverted, but completely forget that the last form they were using they were also opposed to when it first came out.

…Where was I going with this? Anyways, what I’m trying to say is, I liked this anime-original arc more than than the current one in the manga. You can’t let your instinct to resist change get in the way of seeing how a different take on something you already enjoy isn’t as bad as you may make it out to be.

But yeah, I liked Blue Exorcist. As I said, the ending could’ve used a little work, and I was a bit bored during the first half, but I still enjoyed the run. I’ll be looking forward to the movie.

RATING: 8 out of 10.


15 Comments on “Review: Ao no Exorcist (And Brief Analysis on The Psychology of Manga Fans)”

  1. Need to finish this one. I think I left right before it was about become good but whatever. There were too many other shows that needed watching first. Anyway, I assume you’re on CR?

    • Riyoga says:

      If by CR you mean CrunchyRoll, then no, I’m not. I have a deep loathing for CrunchyRoll. I watched it on Viz Media’s site.

      • What makes you so jaded?

      • Marina says:

        I am also curious about what you have against CrunchyRoll.

      • Riyoga says:

        They started off as any other site, with a bunch of shows you could stream with fansubs and such, and eventually became one of the more popular sites to watch shows, but the second they were able to get their simulcast deals, they removed them all and then immediately started condemning fansubs.

        It’s not that they got simulcasting rights that I hate, in fact I’m glad they’re modernizing the anime industry, but you don’t act like a hypocrite to do so. Don’t condemn the very thing that you got recognition in the first place.

  2. Marina says:

    You rated Ao no Exorcist very closely to what I rated it, and I have never read the manga. I started to ignore any and all comments that compared the two, since I was just enjoying the anime for what it was; I honestly had a fun time with the story. I do have to agree with you, though, that Satan’s whole ending was a bit of a let down.

    In terms of your slide show, no, I wouldn’t mind if you stopped including them. I never even looked at them (sorry to say that when it took some extra time for you to do them). Odds are, the people reading these have either already seen the episode, or are already interested in seeing the show. I prefer images to be lightly interspersed throughout the post, breaking up the wall of text.

    • Riyoga says:

      Yeah, that’s basically along the lines of what I was trying to say. The show was a fun ride, basically.

      Back when I did pictures breaking up the review, it was even more work. Because then I had to know my review ahead of time and then get relevant pictures, whereas the slideshows were just cool pictures that don’t spoil anything. I usually try not to make my posts too long, though, and I’m generous with paragraphs to make my walls of text easier to read.

  3. They do have a monthly witch-hunt that usually ends with fansubbers being burned at the stake.

  4. I read the Blue Exorcist manga, but I am willing to give the anime a shot. I just think most manga fans believe that anime adaptations ruins certain series. It’s not the true story or vision of the author. I remember Rurouni Kenshin’s anime fillers were just too much and I never understood why the manga was never fully adapted.

    Now I don’t know how that whole “the manga is the real story” argument applies when used.

    • Riyoga says:

      I don’t mind people thinking the anime versions are worse, because that can certainly be the case. What I don’t like is manga readers using “it’s not doing what’s in the manga” as an excuse to say it’s bad. It needs to be judged on its own merits.

  5. Slayer says:

    whatever =)

  6. Muzozavr says:

    The main reason I see for such hatred is because the anime has gone completely off the rails, so to speak. So there’s news for the second season and I’m VERY cautious about it: adapting the next manga chapters “as-is” is impossible, there will now be logical issues.

    I haven’t read the manga and I loved the anime-only ending myself… there were some scenes that could use some work, but the overall story direction was just phenomenal. Ernest successfully fooling Yukio (and anyone who complains about Yukio being too smart to fool that way should remember about Hitler’s frightening rise to power in the 40s in Germany — Hitler duped THOUSANDS of people, many of them smart, just by being a smooth talker! Ernest is actually pretty damn Hitler-like, up to certain gestures) and then there are those glasses that hide Yukio’s eyes. Then he fires his gun and there’s gunfire reflecting in his glasses. That seriously made me shiver.

    But really, the only problem I see is that continuing is going to be extremely troublesome due to logical inconsistencies. (Yukio in the manga did not have the powers, Yui’s backstory doesn’t match at all, etc)

    Otherwise, I mostly agree.

    • Riyoga says:

      Hmm, worrying about consistency for a second season seems like a logical complaint I’d be willing to give manga readers. Though to be fair, shows have done stuff like that before and managed to do decent job of tying it up so that it works. But I can still understand the concern nonetheless.

      At the same time, that’s still keeping the original work in mind when watching an adaptation, which is something I don’t agree with. Basically saying the show was at fault for not doing what the manga does. Though I’m lax when it comes to this because there is a limit to how much something can be changed and what kind of information can be left out before it’s not even the same series anymore.

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