When I first heard about Blue Exorcist, I have to admit, I wasn't all that impressed. Boy discovers he's the half-human, half-demon son of Satan, then vows to fight his father by becoming an exorcist. Given how many boy-fights-demon shonen manga series there are out there already, this sounded pretty dreary. But I cracked open Blue Exorcist Volume 1 by Kazue Kato, and discovered there's more to this new Shonen Jump title than meets the eye.
The basic plot is as promised, but the art, the characters and the overall execution of this concept goes above and beyond to deliver a world that's as whimsical, imaginative, and fully realized as Harry Potter. Blue Exorcist takes place in a city that's a multi-cultural mishmash of Japanese and European architecture, where women wear kimono and curses are sealed in samurai swords, and the headmaster of the town's most elite high school looks like an escapee from Cirque du Soleil. And action? Yep, there's a whole lot of that too.
Check out my review of Blue Exorcist Volume 1 and see why this shonen manga newcomer from Shonen Jump Advanced / VIZ Media impressed me right out of the gate.
Also noteworthy: VIZ Anime is debuting the Blue Exorcist anime series this week, just days after it makes it television debut in Japan. Tune into VIZAnime.com on Wednesday, April 20 to get a first taste of what Blue Exorcist has to offer.
Image credits: BLUE EXORCIST © Kazue Kato/SHUEISHA, Blue Exorcist Committee, MBS