「悪魔は人の心に棲む」 (Akuma wa Hito no Kokoro ni Sumu)
“Demons Live in the Human Heart”

Coming from A-1 Pictures, Ao no Exorcist is a modern representation of what I perceive to be a “classic shounen.” You know, the type that some of us are familiar with from our childhoods watching Toonami. The type that doesn’t use much of any “commercial guarantees,” but boast excellence solely on storytelling. I mean, not even a single female appeared until the sixth minute of this show! Yeah, my mind was blown too.

As for that, it’s probably just me watching way too many shows targeted towards males, so I’m a little glad for the break from, “look at how many girls we have and how we’ll manipulate your feelings with them!” Instead, I get brotherhood, blushing mc, male bonding, and fighting for the sake of justice. It’s the essence of youthful male spirit, one of the main reasons I’ve held certain anime series up high (and how I even got into anime in the first place). The main character, Okumura Rin (Okamoto Nobuhiko), doesn’t have a harem nor the raging hormones for any pair of breasts on legs, but is a misfit kid grown up in a church environment with a subsequently strong moral code. His “better” brother (a la the Alphonse to the Edward), Okumura Yukio (Fukuyama Jun), is the more sensitive younger sibling who provides the support and has three peculiar moles on his face (interesting way to make a character stand out). The wicked cool designed Priest/Exorcist, Fujimoto Shirou (Fujiwara Keiji), acts as their guardian, and mostly tries to point Rin in the right direction. The characters are extremely likable, though there’s no empathy available for anyone except Rin, but that’s the main character for you (and it’s the first episode, c’mon).

I skimmed over the manga after watching, and in comparison, the supermarket job and the subplot of Yui were anime only. In the manga, he simply gets confronted by the bullies as he walks towards the job. I feel the addition of the market and Yui did a lot for Rin as a character, fleshing him out with the struggles of his inaptitude to do things (except being excellent at cooking), and emphasizing how much of an innate good will he possesses. Personally, I think that’s “filler” worth adding, as it was very well woven into the story that I don’t even consider it filler. I actually read on to complete the chapter, which basically covered episode two, and I can see how the added material will help impact what’s to come (unless you read the preview, then you know what happens).

Call me impressed, because this is off to a great start, and while there’s slight cliches here and there with character relationships that is admittedly difficult to avoid, the story is well paced with some solid material. It is a “boy gets powers” story, but obviously told in its own way, and has a good enough hook to keep you going right at the start (even if most of it is next ep). There’s some decent humor in here too. A-1 did a ridiculously awesome job with the animation, and considering they’re also part of the production on Anohana, this looked like the one with the bigger budget (and that’s saying something considering how good Anohana looks). It’s not even just the animation too, as the palette for the art and the use of color grading worked well to set the tone. Cinematography is also a must for an action series, and considering how suddenly pumped I became during that “battle” scene, I’d say it was a success.

I see Ao no Exorcist as an investment, as most shounen titles tend to be. They plan on being a rather long series, so there’s a much bigger structure going on, where the bulk of the content lies at least several episodes in. The manga currently only has 25 chapters worth of material to work with, similar to how many FMA had when its first adaptation was done, which should tell you something about the quality of the manga by just how eager the studios were to pull out an adaptation. I don’t know how well this will end, but I noticed the director is a tensai (genius).

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「Take off」 by 2PM
Watch the ED!: Download, Streaming ▼

Preview

124 Comments

  1. and yeah Tensai will surely give justice to the show. and Hiroyuki-sama’s music is fantastic. now this and Deadman Wonderland is a solid must-watch.

    and i feel depressed already since i know what will happen to Rin’s father and it’s like the show made me already attached to their father-son relationship in just one episode. i’m ready for ep2 now ^^

    and this kinda reminds me of FMA w/ the two brothers ^^

    Zwei
      1. Show Spoiler ▼

        Suppa Tenko
  2. awesome episode… I like that male bonding pic 🙂
    I feel so bad for Rin… such a good guy with terrible fortune… and how shocked he was to know his true identity… 🙁
    and too bad, those Moles on his face just doesn’t click to me :3

    jrj
      1. didnt yall learn anything from the post or this episode you dont need lots of girls with big breasts to have a really good anime i for one think this is a butterfly among bats XD and for that ill keep watchin yay go male bonding :3

      2. It’s not like that, I mean, I LOVE HxH, and there aren’t practically any women at all for most of the anime on the good guys side(just Biske really, and Palm in the manga). I just tend to dislike sausages with no camels to carry them =0<.

        frubam
    1. Lmao what a joke. You won’t watch something because it has no animated females seriously stop screaming out your virginity. I hate anime for the sole reason fan service is so retarded because it just ruins a serious show.

      random
  3. This was a really good start imo. Even though there have been “fillers” I didn’t think they were annoying. They didn’t feel out of place.
    I’m reading the manga since the 6th chapter and I’m already really attached to it. It’s somewhat of a band-aid after “losing” FMA for me.

    hal
  4. I expected the content of the first episode to be very different, more like what they have said and shown in the PV (or CM) – now I’m left with a huge spoiler here :/
    But I’m going to follow it for a while, sounds interesting enough. Plus, this show have most of my favourite male seiyuu in it (maybe Koyasu will come too)

    Etopen
  5. Rin has similarities to Vergil in Devil May Cry. He’s a son of Satan and has a katana, which is a possible weapon for him, that looks like Yamato https://randomc.net/image/Ao%20no%20Exorcist/Ao%20no%20Exorcist%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2032.jpg https://randomc.net/image/Ao%20no%20Exorcist/Ao%20no%20Exorcist%20-%20ED%20-%20Large%2003.jpg
    And heck his powers manifests in the color blue! https://randomc.net/image/Ao%20no%20Exorcist/Ao%20no%20Exorcist%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2036.jpg

    conyo985
      1. ANN says 24 episodes (and they usually just leave that blank unless it’s definite), but everywhere else says unconfirmed. I should probably disregard their “information” in this case, right?

        I don’t suppose you have a ballpark number of episodes you expect it to be, even if it’s based on wild speculation? I really don’t want to pick this show up if there’s no end in sight, but I really want to pick this show up..

        zem
      2. Think it’s pretty safe to assume 24-26, just based off the budget (as Kiiragi said). At the worst, 12-13 episodes (unlikely) and at the best, ~49-52 (again, also unlikely).

        Soiyeruda
      3. Hmmm, judging from the manga content I thought this is going to be 12-13 episodes since the manga didn’t have that much content to have a 24-26 episodes show. But looking at the speed of the show, if this episode counts for anything, it might ends at the same time with the current manga arc.

        Serapita
      4. @zem: Anyone can submit episode totals to ANN and it would show up right away. I wouldn’t take anything from ANN as your primary source of information unless you check the source that’s been submitted with it.

        According to TBS’ broadcast schedule, Ao no Exorcist does appear to be two-cour though. i.e. 24-26 episodes.

    1. When i saw the first episode i immediately thought Naruto or Bleach quality, but looking at the plot it seems too obvious to become a naruto or bleach. Like honestly you can see the ending of the anime. He is probably going to become a exorcist get strong then challenge demons then eventually Satan. Naruto and Bleach have a very broad open ended plot which they started to develop on the way, but now that naruto’s plot is becoming obvious is should end soon, like after Naruto and Sasuke Battle it should end because that’s what the plot is surrounded by

      Hachi-san
  6. >His “better” brother (a la the Alphonse to the Edward)…

    Glad I’m not the only one feeling this way. It’s been so long since I’ve seen such endearing brotherhood in anime.

    An excellent start to a hopefully excellent series! I feel connected to the characters already, can’t wait to see more of them!

    tanukichan
  7. Impressive, VERY impressive.

    This completes my spring season and a pretty awesome one at that.

    So the part-time and the little girl was filler huh? Well, I didn’t really mind it was still pretty fun to watch but one thing though; is Rin really good at cooking? In the manga I mean.

    Jaden
    1. The little girl wasn’t so much of a filler since she did appear in the manga, for about a page, where she visited Fujimoto the first time and he gave her the four leaf clover at that time.

      FrozenFury
  8. The first episode was very strong, and A-1 is doing some phenomenal work this season.

    “You know, the type that some of us are familiar with from our childhoods watching Toonami.”
    I know exactly what you mean! It really takes me back; back when anime was new, exciting and different.
    From what has been shown so far, I have some high hopes for Ao no Exorcist :

    P0NCH
  9. I’m a girl, but the lack of girls in this anime is… Extremely refreshing. At least one show where the main character doesn’t have that amazing harem built up around him.
    And fighting scenes!! That brotherhood!!! God, I’M SUPER EXCITED!!

    KGFJ
  10. awesome first episode 😀
    and i agree completely on the fact that this one doesn’t stress all the unnecessary harem material of most shows today. it’s an anime you can enjoy purely by the story and graphics. no need to think too much 😉
    extremely excited for the next episode~

    nekomi
  11. Damn you Kiiragi, since you mentioned Toonami, now I’m imagining the announcer’s voice talking about Ao no Exorcist coming on next just like it did with other Toonami shows and it fits so damn well.

    CURSE YOU NEW GENERATION CHILDREN, YOU KILLED TOONAMI YA LITTLE JERKS! T-T

    Ahem, I don’t recall Yukio having those 3 lined up moles in the manga.Only the mole by his lips and anime really knows how to make someone who looked handsome into an effemminate person who looks like he could crossdress.I’m wondering if Yukio will ever crossdress in the manga.Might be for filler ;p

    Rin sounds like Natsu, i’m not surprised though because A-1 Pictures is doing Fairy Tail too ;p.I wonder who they’re getting to voice Mephisto, since he’s coming up next ep.

    This is gonna be one helluva anime season.

    anishuma
    1. Rin is voiced by Nobuhiko Okamoto. (Usui Takumi from Maid-sama and Accelerator from Index.)

      Mephisto is voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya (Tieria from Gundam 00 and Izaya from Durarara!)

      Yukio is voiced by Jun Fukuyama (Lelouch from Code Geass and Sugata from Star Driver)

      Ruu27
      1. Oooh Izaya’s VA is playing Mephisto, nice.Now that I think about it, they’re almost similar in character.

        Although, I can’t see Yukio as being played by the same VA as Sugata and Lelouch.Even though Lelouch can crossdress :3

        anishuma
  12. Am I the only one waiting for a sudden batshit insane laughter from Rin?
    -Good first episode overall, I could not believe that they manage to split the 1st chapter of the Manga in to two episode.I expect more from this series in the near future.

    Rasone0104
  13. Hahaha, i just knew they had to add filler on the start. i read all of the manga and somehow i really wanted it to have the “other thing” as a cliffhanger rather than knowing that he is satan’s son. Other than that i am very pleased they made this interesting.
    Well considering every chapter is long and has so much text, they just have enough of materials to cover for 25 episode, except if they choose to end it originally, which i wouldnt really mind if they make it fitting.
    But definitely the show i looked forward to most this season ^^

  14. I thought this blog couldn’t get any better then he busts out a Toonami reference…

    I cried tears of joy, but then I cried when I remembered we’ll never see our favorite space cowboy robot dude guy thing again. RIP Tom!!!!

    In any case, I’m super excited for this show. I love harems and all that jazz as much as the next guy, but it definitely does feel like the classic shounen series is something you just don’t see a lot of these days. I can’t wait to see more!

    BabyChooChoo
  15. I’m not even usually one for shonen titles, but I loved the first episode of aoex. I’m also digging the current absence of annoying women/harem type situations. Rin is a very likable character – I think – which is definitely important for a series like this (even though he sort of fill outs some ~*SHOUNEN HERO*~ tropes).

    reminbee
  16. for those asking about the length, it is official to have 24 episodes

    and besides it also official that it will have “anime-original” contents since the mangaka is already asked to design some “anime-original” characters. ^^

    Zwei
  17. well crafted episode indeed. I had no probelem with the episode, its pacing was smooth and the it didnt have any awkward moments. Hope they keep this up. Glad to see the animes i have been looking forward for this season, have all impressed me.

    Unyty
  18. YES! finally a show that will distract my from the lack of Madoka
    I only read 2 manga chapters and I love it but stoped reading cus I wanted to save the suprises for the anime.

    Secsuey
  19. Not bad, promising — though slightly cliché-filled — story and great art style and animation. I hope it’s not going to be a streched-out shounen; some 50 episodes like FMA would likely be a decent length for something like this.

    HenDarou
    1. This show looks really promising. I’m pretty busy with school this season so I won’t be following a lot of anime, but I’ll do my best to keep up with this one!

      I really like the ED song too. My girlfriend is probably even more excited about it than I am, though. She loves 2PM lmao

      liger
  20. Nobuhiko is a great voice actor. I’ve enjoyed all the characters he has voiced. Rin seems to be one of his best.

    Love the ending! Especially the first screen with the dancing Rin on the front.

    Even though this ep was a bit different from the manga (not really; it just had some extra stuff as you mentioned) I loved it. So far it seems like the strongest show of the season along with Ano Hana and Hanasaku Iroha.

    Argh, this season is so awesome and there are still shows on my plan-to-watch list that haven’t aired yet… xD So much so much~

  21. “look at how many girls we have and how we’ll manipulate your feelings with them!”

    The “big 3” shonen, while they have girls, surprisingly are largely void of any romance between the main cast or other characters.

    Also, I deem “Worst” the king of longest running shonen without any girls (the few silhouettes that appear don’t count). It’s the best manga too. 😀

    Commander Shepard
  22. 1 month ago or so I picked the manga for a general idea. Liked the first chapter then dropped it.

    It was a weird thing, I usually read at least 10 chapters of a manga I am interested (Defense Devil 1-14 in one night, The Breaker 1-22, blah, blah). Maybe I will just stick to the anime because I got tired of the long explanations with still images.

    The quality is eye candy.

    Lectro Volpi
  23. OMFG I thought i liked it on the manga but afther watching this I FUCKING LOVE AI NO EXORCIST
    The animation is awesome
    the music is great
    the Story is perfect
    and Usui Takumi (Accelerator) as the lovely main character!
    AND ALMOST BETTER NO FUCKING FAN SERVICE ON MY FACE EVERY FIVE SECONDS
    what more can someone ask for!?

    I am calling it now Ao no Exorcist for best anime of 2011 or at least best accion anime of 2011.

    Secsuey
  24. Am I the only one who got Supernatural vibes watching this? I’ve never even seen an episode of Supernatural but the demons and the devil and the close brothers… it’s making me think of it.

    That aside, I’m very excited about this show. Hope it’s like old school shounen and keeps on getting better. First episode was just awesome.

    Solarguardian
      1. I checked and only saw two dots, and they’re reaaaaaly tiny to see.So it’s no surprised i didn’t notice them at first.Only the mole by the lip is dark enough to see ;/

        anishuma
  25. Can’t wait till the Mephisto Pheles appears.

    He looks like the result if the Millennium Earl (D.gray-man) and the count(Gankutusou: count of Monte Cristo)suddenly had a child together. The fashion and childish taste of the Millennium earl combo with the dervish and cunning evil nature of the Count.

    sparky3000
  26. So some people really keep on watching a show or drop it depending on if it has hot girls or not? Wow, that’s really pathetic. I mean, there are LOTS of shows that only have one main boy as a protagonist and a bunch of girls going after him, and normally they’re crappy shows, and here we have this series that shows a lot of potential in this first episode and people only can think about how there weren’t any girls on it… I’m speechless.

    Leticia
  27. Bromance+2pm, lol little girls around the world rejoice. Smart move appealing to both guys and girls. Possibly gays as well. Should be a popular show no doubt. Anyone read the manga far enough to say if this show is worth following? I enjoyed the first episode so I’ll keep watching for now.

    Jin
  28. yeah, a show with no harem craps 😀 I will definitely love this. Seems that action scenes will be great too. The director of Darker than BLACK may do a great job in this show

    BLACK
  29. Rin’s cooking is his only redeeming feature, so says Yukio at one point too. XD But there’s a 4koma extra where Rin’s opens a food shop in order to gain more money. Hilarious and worth reading, even though there’s only one ep out. But this is truly the series at the top of my list (even the filler part of the ep was cute). The others don’t compare. X3

    Sissy
  30. Interesting that you mentioned girls, harem, etc. That was my question right after watching this great first episode. I hope that they don’t ruin it with one. LOL

    ClementIV
  31. I agree with everything you say. This anime reminds me why i started watching anime in the first place 😀
    I hope it gets as many episodes as Full metal alchemist because it’s been quite a while since I’ve liked an anime this much *.*

    Inês
  32. I liked the first few episodes too. Even though it has a very generic shounen cliches the character development was really good… and then the breasts came out in episodes 12.
    Objectification of women seems to be a must in shounen series made by a man ;_;

    stunfire

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