If you watched anime in 2011, you probably remember it Blue exorcist. It was a popular shounen at the time, but perhaps not on par with Hunter x hunter or Gintama, both of which were published the same year. The series has two seasons, a movie and an OVA, and there are strong rumors that a third season may be on the way, so there is no time like now to try to get involved in the series.
Blue exorcist is adapted from a manga of the same name, written by Kazue Kato. It’s a dark fantasy series that follows teenager Rin Okumura, a boy who often finds himself in trouble despite his good heart. When his and his brother Yukio’s surrogate father is killed by Satan, they find out that Satan is their true father, and Rin’s demonic powers are awakened. Rin vows revenge on Satan and begins studying under Yukio to become an exorcist.
It may seem like a pretty straightforward series, but it’s worth noting that there’s a bit of complexity in the series’ timeline between seasons one and two. So before you see it, take a moment to read through and decide in what order you would like to experience this supernatural fantasy.
The best place to start, of course, is with the first season. Season 1 has twenty-five episodes and adapts volumes 1 to 4 of the manga. It sets the series up as a whole, introduces the world of Blue exorcist, and establishes the grades. It also ends on a giant cliffhanger and conflict for the series.
Or so it would be if the first season had strictly followed the source material for the manga. The manga-based story from season 1 ended with episode sixteen. This is because the anime had actually run out of source material; the writers of the anime had to come up with a story to fill the rest of the first season. Episodes seventeen to twenty-five feature an anime-exclusive bow that receives mixed reviews from fans and is generally considered non-canon.
If you prefer to see only the story of Blue exorcist as adapted from the manga, stop at section sixteen and move on. If you want to form your own opinion about the story that is only animated, keep looking to the end. Just be warned; it can make things a little muddy later.
Blue exorcist‘s OVA, Runaway Kuro, should be seen after finishing season 1. Watching the first season helps establish the connection between Rin and the obscure cat demon companion Kuro, making OVA so much more heartfelt. In the end, you do not have to see OVA at all to understand Blue exorcist. However, that’s part of the fun of it; The OVA is a bit silly, very adorable and a very entertaining 24 minutes that you will not regret.
Blue exorcistsecond season, baptized Kyoto Saga, consists of twelve episodes and adapts volumes five to nine of the manga. This season is where things get a little messy. It is recommended to start this season just after episode sixteen of season 1. It’s here Kyoto Saga starts, and if you’re new to the series, it’s a little jarring to finish all twenty-five episodes of season one, only to move on to season two and make it not recognize the last nine episodes of the previous season.
It’s a good season that helps establish the relationship between Rin and his classmates. For those who enjoyed the anime-only bow from the previous season, though, it can be a little frustrating.
Blue Exorcist: The Movie
Blue Exorcist: The Movie exists in a strange place in the timeline of the series. It’s a standalone from the source material, so it’s not a manga adaptation, and in release order it should be seen after season 1 when it was released in 2012. However, it’s at the end of this timeline because it may actually fall two places, depending on how you want to see the series.
If you are watching season 1 all the way to the end, the best time to watch the movie is between episodes eighteen and nineteen. This is roughly where the film takes place chronologically, and it makes sense since both the end of season 1 and the film are not related to the manga. However, if you choose to stop watching season 1 at episode sixteen, it is recommended that you wait to watch Blue Exorcist: The Movie until you are done with all the other parts of the anime.
Yes, this is an early guide. However, it is impossible to talk about Blue exorcist as an anime without mentioning its manga. The manga currently has twenty-seven volumes, and the anime has only covered nine of them. So if you are eager for more after finishing Kyoto Saga, try to pick up the manga to continue the story! While you can start at volume ten after watching the anime, it’s best to start from the beginning. There are lots of little things that anime omits, and it’s interesting to see how certain scenes and matches unfold in print versus on screen. Plus, the arc directly after the Kyoto arc is absolutely wild; why wait for it to be animated?
Of course, you can also read the manga first and amplify yourself for the anime. There is no wrong choice about when to read the manga.
This is the ideal order to see Blue exorcist: Season one until episode sixteen, OVA, Season two and Blue Exorcist: The Movie. But if you do not want to skip the animated ending of season 1, the order should be more like this: Season 1, Blue Exorcist: The Movie between episodes eighteen and nineteen of season one, OVA, season two. It may seem strange to have two different sequences to look at, but both are perfectly fine depending on your preference in the story and whether you prefer to be a manga-purist or embrace the anime-exclusive content. Whichever way you choose to look, one thing is for sure; you will love this exciting, action-packed shounen title and have fun following it.
Anime is not just about magic and mechanisms …
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