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While its typical for a successful anime series to get its own film after the series has ended, there are none that have been as entertaining and as well made as Blue Exorcist: The Movie. Taking place after Tensai Okamura’s TV series that aired in 2011, the film version picks up a bit after the series has ended and was helmed by director Atsushi Takahashi. Rin Okumura and his fellow exorcists are on a mission to stop the evil Phantom Train before it departs to Gehenna. The mission goes awry, but Rin manages to find a young spirit demon named Usamaro and decides to take him back to headquarters. Rin begins to spend time with Usamaro and begins to form a brotherly bond with him, but the young demon possess a past that could ruin to Rin and all of the students at True Cross Academy.
The true heart and soul of the Blue Exorcist film is that it sends an extremely positive message, while still being entertaining at the same time. While some might find the film overtly preachy or not having enough action throughout, the film uses the Usamaro character’s plot line as an important one. He’s used as a catalyst for Rin to be responsible for his actions and how those said actions have effects on those around him. This is an important lesson to learn and for a series and film to be aimed at young men, I think its this sort of social message that lies within Blue Exorcist that resonated with me and left a beautiful impression.
A-1 Pictures did a pretty fine job in the original TV series, but in the Blue Exorcist film, they really step up their game. From the fight sequences to the little intimate moments, the animation is high quality from beginning to end. One of my favorite elements of the film were the elegant backgrounds that served for the parade moments or the overall Academy Town, which are very reminiscent of the backgrounds done in Michael Arias’ Tekkon Kinkreet. Not only do the backgrounds leap off the screen, but the overall color palette, character designs and production design make for one visually impressive film.
Blue Exorcist: The Movie is very different from other shonen offerings, one that manages to exude a responsibility and story line elements that truly wish to teach one something. The value of being responsible, understanding your actions and owning up to them is something that young people should hear at a young age. With it being contained in an entertaining film like this, let’s hope that kids take heed.
Blue Exorcist: The Movie shall be premiering the English dub on August 17th, 2013 in theaters around the country. The purchase of a ticket also includes a movie poster for the film, while supplies last. Check here for theater listings.