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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dub & Sub & HD is a winner., 1 Sep 2013
This review is from: Blue Exorcist: Definitive Edition Part 1 Episodes 1-12 Blu-ray (Blu-ray)
I loved the series on DVD, but was sad that the initial release didn't contain the english dub. This release contains both the sub and the dub across three HD Blu-ray discs. The animation looks so much better in high quality, and the Blue Exorcist itself is a still one of the best anime of recent times.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exciting new anime with a promising start! [Minor spoilers], 12 Dec 2013
C. Robinson (Hagerstown, MD) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blue Exorcist: Definitive Edition Part 1 Episodes 1-12 Blu-ray (Blu-ray)
Blue Exorcist (or Ao No Exorcist) is shonen action anime that was my favorite anime back when it premiered in 2011. I remember being introduced to it by the Aniplex USA guys back at Otakon 2011 and after they told us what the setting of anime was, I was interested. When my friend and I went back to the hotel room that day, we watched the first two episodes on Hulu and we were both hooked on the anime since.

Blue Exorcist is about two teenage twin brothers, Rin & Yukio Okumura... but with an interesting twist. They are sons of Satan! Rin is the only twin that received Satan's power while his brother's powers were never awakened. Rin and Yukio are also not identical twins, but are actually the polar opposite of one another. Rin is troubled teenager who seems to do everything wrong in life (unintentionally) while his brother Yukio is a smart prodigy student.

The first two episodes are a little slow but the later episodes get more interesting and action packed. Rin has to keep his satanic powers a secret as they are sealed within a sword. Shortly after the first episodes, Rin is enrolled in an Exorcist academy with the sole intention to kill his father, Satan. The episodes included within this set go over his first couple of days in this exorcist academy. He meets many of his classmates which aren't so welcoming to Rin's goofy and careless personality. The way Rin has to keep his secret hidden is what makes these first few episodes interesting, and you as the viewer, always feel on edge as you want Rin keep on living a normal life so that everyone will continue to accept him as a normal human.

The animation throughout Blue Exorcist is superb with the Blu Ray giving it all of the visual flare that you would expect from an HD release. The soundtrack is also decent, nothing memorable, but the music does have some tracks which are seemingly sung in English during a few action scenes. The original Japanese and English dubs are both great. While the Japanese performance is a small step up, I feel that most of English casting was done well. Bryce Papenbrook does a great job as Rin throughout the set and while Johnny Yong Bosch is a good Yukio, I have to admit that I'm pretty sick of hearing him since he's always cast into teenage roles. Especially since he doesn't have the best voice range, you may mistake his voice of Yukio as his role of Ichigo in the long running anime, Bleach. Lastly, the opening and ending themes are both enjoyable. UVERWorld's "Core Pride" is a decent and upbeat opener, while 2PM's "Take off" is a calm yet catchy closer.

The Blu Ray also contains a special OVA episode about Kuro. The episode is amusing but to prevent spoilers, I won't mention anything else about it. The Blu Ray also contains "Extra anime" episodes that are basically small parody episodes. Thankfully the OVA and these mini episodes are all dubbed.

Side note: Being an American, the UK release from Manga is superb. If you aren't aware, in the United States, the series was licensed by Aniplex USA. Aniplex is basically charging $140 USD for the episodes included in this set. Their excuse of making a ridiculously expensive Blu Ray release is to supposedly prevent Japanese fans from "reverse importing" our Blu Rays since the USA and Japan share the same Blu Ray regions. Thankfully in the UK, the Blu Ray regions are different, therefore, you guys receive the better and much more reasonably priced release.

To conclude, Blue Exorcist is a great anime. While this first half of the series is a blast, I want to warn everyone that the second and final set isn't as great. This mainly due to the anime becoming largely uncanon (unrelated) from it's manga source material. But that will be for another review. Until then, don't keep that comment of mine from preventing you on buying this anime. It's still pretty darn good! =)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun action/comedy, 7 Dec 2013
This review is from: Blue Exorcist: Definitive Edition Part 1 Episodes 1-12 Blu-ray (Blu-ray)
This was an enjoyable series for me, and I have watched it a few times now, and still appreciate watching it again.

The story is centered around Rin Okumura, a bit of a rebel type character who possesses greater than normal strength and endurance (but an excellent cook), and his younger twin brother Yukio who appears to be the traditional well behaved son, both of whom are raised by Father Shiro Fujimoto.
Things change for Rin when after being attacked, he finds out that he is the son of satan, ruler of Gehenna (hell dimension) and strongest of all demons, and after witnessing Shiro die trying to protect him, he draws out the demon slaying sword Kurikara the very same sword that has been restraining the demon powers Rin possesses, so that from then on he has fangs and tail and the ability to cover his body in blue flames that seems to burn through anything they touch.
At Fujimoto's funeral Rin encounters Mephisto Pheles who sees potential in Rin and agrees to help train Rin to become an exorcist, so that one day Rin will become strong enough to defeat Satan.
Enrolled at the very prestigious True Cross Academy, which on the outside seems like a posh boarding school but also contains the Japanese branch of the international organisation that is responsible for protecting the human realm (Assiah) from demons and other hostile creatures, when starting his exorcist course Rin is surprised to find that his younger brother is not only one of his teachers, but also a veteran exorcist who already new about Rin's heritage.

The story is very good and a first appears simple, but as the series progresses, it reveals itself to have a few twists and turns, that help to break up the story into manageable chunks, as well as allowing new characters to be introduced without breaking the flow.
The real joy of this show for me are the characters, who are fun to watch and the banter between the brothers and the students rarely fail to give a chuckle to a tense situation, and also help to give the other characters more "flesh" rather than simple background characters for Rin to look awesome in front of, like other shows tend to. The action is good, with all sorts of creatures shown (both good and bad), well paced and never too long so that you get bored.
There are also times when the characters question the morality of what they do, and feel guilty about exorcising a creature that has spent years trying to help parts of the world, which for me helped separate this anime from others. That and Rin's cat. I want his cat.

I have given this series a solid 4/5 perhaps because I read the manga first, and perhaps with perspective I might have given it 5 if I had not done so, but if you are a fan of the manga you will enjoy this anime version as well.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not Just Another Demon-Hunter, 17 Jun 2014
P. Kennard (Worcestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blue Exorcist: Definitive Edition Part 1 Episodes 1-12 Blu-ray (Blu-ray)
The premise of this show was not particularly auspicious: teenage boy suffers traumatic events that reveal his destiny to him, so he goes out to learn how to fight demons. So far so predictable, but Blue Exorcist manages to escape the confines of this particular genre, exploding onto out screens in a refreshing burst of powerful imagery and plot.

Rin is not just another angst-ridden teen, he has to carry around the burden that his very existence caused the brutal death of the only father he's known, by the hands of his real father: the devil himself. Couple this with the secret that he is one of the very demons he and his new classmates are training to fight, and you end up with a very dark character.
He is paired up with his younger brother, and experienced exorcist who knew Rin's secret long before he did, along with a group of varied classmates. Shiemi could be the dark horse of the group, she is by far the meekest and the way she is treated by some of the others makes Rin want to protect her.

But what of the story?

Again, this series has managed to avoid predictability: starting with some powerfully serious episodes, leavened by snatches of lightness, the story quickly reverses with the lightness and humour being carefully balanced against the ongoing plot and the dark moments this brings.
There are the usual batch of standalone episodes, including the obligatory beach, ghost in the school and funfair episodes. But even these have been subjugated to not only make them more original, but also to enrich the ongoing story arc as well as the characters.
The relationships between the characters feels largely natural and, dare I say it , relatively realistic. The conflict between Rin and his brother seems to settle down rather quickly, but I suspect this is to avoid it adversely affecting the overall story: they need to get along for some elements to work.

Image and Sound
Spread across three discs, the Blu-Ray is simply stunning: picture quality is crisp and sharp, bringing out the sumptuous detail, from the rich colours of the costumes to the subtlety of Rin's blue flames. A great deal of attention has been lavished on this show and this has extended to these discs, contrast and definition are clean and sharp, with no evidence of compression or artifacing present.
The sound is also really good, with original Japanese and alternate English tracks both sounding strong. The English script and cast are both sympathetic to the material and enhance as opposed to detract from the overall.

The discs are rounded off with web-trailers, 'extra' animations and the bonus episode 12.5. Although not marked as 12.5, it is important to watch it as such as the episode assumes knowledge of some crucial plot points.

A surprisingly good series presented exceptionally well. I look forward to the second set.
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