I was never a fan of the original Blue Exorcist anime, its poor character development and horribly structured story left me feeling unfulfilled at the end of its 25 episode run. Enter the follow up movie Blue Exorcist: The Movie, a sequal to the non-cannon ending of the series. Can this sequel film make up for the original shows failings, or would you be happier forgetting about it?
Written by Kazue Katō, the creator of the manga, the film tells the story of the demon festival that’s held every eleven years and Rin’s encounter with a strange demon child without a name. The story isn’t anything original, going for the typical message “family is what matters” and having the cast of characters save the day with friendship. But it’s Rin’s character development that makes it worthwhile.
Rin, who wasn’t a very complex character in the original series, shows massive development in the film, learning to take on the role as a father figure to the demon child. The child (who is so adorable I just want to cuddle him) grows attached to Rin and the two become inseparable, with the two having some brilliantly written heartwarming moments. Apart from this wonderful relationship, the film is completely forgettable.
The film has every character from the show make an appearance, meaning over 20 characters appear to say maybe only one line. The massive amount of characters and small run time mean that no one gets any real “role” in the film, instead just being there to say something to be in the movie. It doesn’t help that the film tries to introduce two new characters into the mix, but only manages to develop one of them, leaving the other to be a shallow husk of an antagonist.
Don’t go into Blue Exorcist: The Movie expecting action and blue devil flames, because there’s a serious lack of fighting in the film. However, it makes up for this by having one of the cutest and loveable relationships in a Shonen anime to date. While most of the film is forgettable, and the ending uses the trope where no one remembers the events of the movie (seriously, can we ban this excuse for good writing?), I still recommend the film to anyone who enjoyed the series, or for anyone who wants to see a well animated show about maturing as a father who also fights demons. Not great, but not as bad as the series before it, plus the English has some fantastically written lines.
+ Main character finally develops
+ Every moment between Rin and the demon child
+ Animation is great, maintains quality throughout
– No other characters get any development
– Repeats the “twist” multiple times throughout the film, losing all impact when it’s revealed.
– Horrible ending that renders film as pointless
? The film ignores the non-cannon ending of the movie, Yukio is fine and everyone seems cool that Rin has his tail out all the time. It’s weird.