Blue Exorcist (青の祓魔師, Ao no Ekusoshisuto) is a manga written and illustrated by Kazue Kato. The manga has been serialized in Jump Square magazine by Shueisha since April 2009, with individual chapters collected into four tankōbon volumes as of July 2, 2010. The one-shot of the manga was first featured in the September 2008 issue of Jump Square and was titled Miyama Ying House Case (深山鶯邸事件).
It was adapted into an anime television series by A-1 Pictures during 2011 and it will be adapted into an anime film. Viz Media has licensed the manga for North American production, with the first volume released in April 5, 2011.
The world of Ao no Exorcist consists of two dimensions joined as one, like a mirror. The first is the world in which the humans live, Assiah. The other is the world of Demons, Gehenna. Ordinarily, travel between the two, and indeed any kind of contact between the two, is impossible. However, the demons can pass over into this world by possessing anything that exists within it. Satan is the god of demons, but there's one thing that he doesn't have and that's a container in the human world that is powerful enough to hold him! For that purpose, he created Okumura Rin, his son from a human woman, but will his son agree to his plans, or will he become something else...? After killing Rin's guardian, Father Fujimoto, in an attempt to bring Rin back to the Demon world, it led to Rin's journey of becoming an Exorcist in order to become powerful enough to defeat Satan and also face the consequences of being the son of Satan.
- The Mashou is an ancient Buddhist term, literally meaning demonic hindrances. Any person desiring to become an Exorcist must go through a Mashou as a first step. Ordinarily, humans cannot see demons on a physical plane. However, once a person comes in contact with a demon (normally through physical contact), they have the ability to see demons for the rest of their life. A Mashou rite for an initiate Exorcist who had not experienced one previously is normally done under very controlled circumstances, so as to prevent anyone from being injured or harmed. In the English translation of the Manga, it is called 'Temptaint'.
- In order for an individual to become an exorcist, they must obtain the title of a 'meister ' (german word for 'master'). A meister is a general term for an exorcist's style of combat; an exorcist can acquire more than one. The fighting styles are classified into five categories:
- Knight (騎士（ナイト）Naito?): A meister specialized in close quarters combat, using a sword to fight. Meisters that have the title of 'knight' are shown to use demon blades as their weapons.
- Dragoon (竜騎士（ドラグーン）Doragūn?): Meisters that fight using ranged weapons, mainly guns.
- Tamer (手騎士（テイマー）Teimā?): Exorcists who can summon and control demons to fight. These demons are called 'familiars'. In order to summon a familiar, a magic circle is needed; it can be drawn on the ground or on paper. The meister then draws their blood onto the magic circle and recites any words that come into mind. However, if the magic circle is erased or torn (on paper), it loses its effect and the familiar disappears. It has been noted that the talent to be a Tamer is rare, since sheer spiritual fortitude is needed to tame the demon; natural talent is also essential. However, if the Tamer lacks confidence, the familiar will attack the meister. Tamers can summon more than one familiar.
- Aria (詠唱騎士（アリア）Aria?): Many demons have weak points known as "Fatal Verse", in which an exorcist recites a specific passage from holy scripts that causes their death. An Aria fights by finding a demon's "Fatal Verse" and recites holy texts, including the Bible and other sacred scriptures. Arias must have a talent for memorization; however, they are completely defenseless once they begin reciting the demon's "Fatal Verse", for the demon will attack the meister to stop the recital, thus an Aria usually never fights alone, leaving its protection to fellow exorcists.
- Doctor (医工騎士（ドクター）Dokutā?): A meister who has the knowledge to heal wounds and injuries inflicted by demons.
- Before becoming an exorcist, the individual begins as a 'Page', learning the arts of exorcism. Examples of what Pages study range from Demon and Grimoire studies to Demon Pharmacology, Holy Scripture recitations, magic circles and so on.
- The rank above a Page. To become an Exwire, a Page must pass the Exwire Authorization Exam. The Exam consists of the Pages secretly being put to the test of defeating a demon by working together; the Exam also tests which meister a Page categorizes in. Exwires usually do menial jobs like cleaning a demon's cage, and helping to collect samples, etc. Along with their new responsibilities they also continue to study Demonology.
- Lower Second Class: The lowest title for full-fledged exorcists.
- Lower First Class
- Middle Second Class
- Middle First Class
- Upper Second Class
- Upper First Class
- Honorary Knight
- Arc Knight
See also: List of Blue Exorcist episodes
A anime adaption for the manga was announced on November 27, 2010 on Shueisha'sJump Square official website. The anime will be produced by A-1 Pictures with Hitoshi Okamura as the producer. Originally the series was scheduled to air on April 10, 2011 on MBS, however due to the March 11 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunamithe series' broadcast was delayed until April 17, 2011. Two pieces of theme music are used for the episodes: one opening theme and one ending theme. The opening theme is "Core Pride " by Japanese rock band Uverworld, while the ending theme song is "Take Off " by South Korean boy band 2PM, while the second opening theme is "In my world " by ROOKiES is PUNK'D and the second ending theme is "Wired Life " by Kuroki Meisa, both from episode 13.
Aniplex announced they will simulcast the series in North America through video sites Hulu, Crunchyroll, and Anime News Network starting on April 20, 2011.
See also: Volumes and Chapters
The chapters of the Blue Exorcist manga series are written and illustrated by Kazue Kato and have been serialized by Shueisha in the monthly manga magazine Jump Square since April 2009. As of July 2010, the serial chapters were collected into five tankōbon, with the first volume released on August 4, 2009, and the fifth volume released on December 3, 2010. As of April 4, 2011, 24 chapters have been released.
Viz Media has licensed the manga for the North American production. With the first volume released in April 5, 2011 and the fifth volume scheduled for release in December 6, 2011. Blue Exorcist has also been released in the Shonen Jump Adavnce magazine starting April 5, 2011.
The series is also licensed in France by Kazé Manga, with the first volume released on May 27, 2010.
The manga has been popular in Japan with the seventh volume receiving first print run of one million copies becoming the first Jump Square manga to reach such milestone. The release of the anime also drastically increased the manga's sales to the point that Shueisha decided to increase the print run for the seventh volume. Critics have praised the Blue Exorcist manga with Comic Book Bin reviewer Leroy Douresseaux feeling the first volume had potential, enjoying the comedy in the work and the characters and their interactions, recommending it to teen readers.
Danica Davidson from Otaku USA felt that while the series employs disturbing storytelling, Rin's heroic traits despite being Satan's son make the the plot more appealing to the readers. Kato's artwork has been praised by Anime News Network's Carlo Santos for the way each character is distinct traits while background images are well designed. Depite noting that the story uses several cliché, Carl Kimlinger from the same site emphasized how the execution was well performed resulting in entertaining episodes especially its fight scenes which were noted to be one of the anime's strongest parts.