Blue Exorcist Volume 6 Review

Anime

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Blue Exorcist Volume 6
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Publisher: Madman
Format:
DVD, Blu-Ray – Reviewed on Blu-Ray
Release Date: 19th February 2014
Price: $29.95 – Available Here

Overview
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. That’s the belief that drives a number of characters within the world of Blue Exorcist. But is it true? Is one defined by their parents? Is personality hereditary or something forged throughout life? In a world that stands against his very existence, Rin Okumura must stand firm one final time against threats from both the world he considers home and the one from which his power is born.

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This is no time for a cat nap

Story
There’s a new Pope in town and he’s not playing nice. Utilising his dominion over the Exorcists and the Knights of the True Cross, Pope Ernst initiates a little plan known as Jacob’s Ladder. This plan has one goal and one goal only: the complete annihilation of all demons currently residing in Assiah. All of them. Of course you can assume what this means for beings such as Kuro, Ukobach and someone else…oh yeah, Rin. As the spawn of Satan, he doesn’t exactly “fit in” with Ernst’s dream of a demonless world. So despite all of his work to control his cursed flames and protect his friends, Rin once again stands against a force of overbearing hatred. Otherwise known as the Church.

Following the orders of Ernst, Yukio opts to aid the church in their crusade with the hopes of destroying Gehenna and freeing Rin of his bond to the demon realm. So intently focused on this goal is Yukio, that he begins a slow side down the slope of bastardry. Losing all sense of compassion and will, he emotionlessly complies with the will of the Pope, turning his back on those that care for him. Naturally, this puts him at odds with Rin, who has always maintained the belief that not every situation is black and white.

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Yuri is one tough mother

Volume 6 also finally reveals details regarding Rin and Yukio’s mother, the long mysterious Yuri. In this flashback sequence, a great deal of information is revealed about her relationship with Satan. It’s really not what you’d expect. For all of her obvious fragility, Yuri is one tough lady. So unique is her take on Assiah and Gehanna that the series begins to show Satan in a different light. Yep, the devil himself receives a touch of character development that provides a very interesting and rather compelling narrative. I mean, any series that can change your perception of demon kind is worth looking into.

As the finale reaches its climax, Rin and Yukio’s bond is pushed to the limit as hellish forces conspire against all of existence. As you’d expect, Satan himself also takes the stage as his own plan is set into motion. With literally everything at stake, Assiah makes one final push against the forces of Gehenna for the sake of its continued existence…and it is awesome.

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Turns out bikini tops are surprisingly fire resistant

Visuals
Being the grand finale of the entire series, Volume 6 is jam packed with action sequences that top anything seen thus far. As demon and Exorcist clash, expect to see a lot of gunfire, claw strikes and explosions. During the more intensive fights, the anime does a great job of expressing fluid movement and speed. It really adds a sense of excitement to each conflict and amplifies the moments imperative to the narrative’s progression. In stark contrast, Satan engages in very little movement when combating the forces of good. This serves to not only showcase the undeniable sense of power he holds, but also to express the continuous actions of his human opponents as overcompensating and overall futile.

Just as with each Volume to date, the blue flames of Satan continue to dominate the visual portion of the series. As both Rin and Satan burn with the power of Gehenna, a number of crucial scenes are illuminated with a similar blue hue. As both good and evil bear the same colour, the true nature of the power is called into question one final time as the story comes to a close. Honestly, it’s to be expected at this point. The series is called Blue Exorcist for a reason.

Eyes also play a pivotal visual role in the final chapter of the series. With the emergence of Satan, he of course requires a vessel and said vessel possess the tri-pointed eyes tat once burned in Shiro’s skull way back in Episode 1. In addition to possession, character’s eyes are also used to express the intense and conflicting emotions that plague them as the world crumbles around them.

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The situation isn’t exactly looking up…

Audio
Just as you’d expect from the final, dramatic moments of a story, the soundtrack to humanity’s greatest stand is undeniably epic. The rising crescendo that permeates each fight serves to invoke epic feelings of excitement and fear. And rightfully so. Though the visuals alone are enough to snag interest, the audio greatly bolsters this effect and almost demands complete emotional investment.

Be it because of pain, power, sadness, joy, fear, hatred, insanity, love, victory or defeat, climactic moments in anime always illicit a scream. And Blue Exorcist delivers them in spades. With the countless emotional torments and world changing battles they face, the main cast of the series are often yelling for one reason or another. Luckily, Blue Exorcist possess a great English dub, with a cast that can provide realistic emotion at any volume. If it weren’t for the cast, these awesome moments would’ve been positively cringe worthy.

Extras
With the conclusion of the series comes the finale of Ura-Ex, those stories that have provided joy and laughter throughout Blue Exorcist’s run. In these final two stories, we see Yukio deal with a mischievous demon that really bugs him as well as the return of an old friend to True Cross Academy. Rounding off the extras are the web previews, this time provided by Yamakujira (Boar God of the Forest), the Gehenna Gate and finally Satan himsef decides to drop by for the finale. Wasn’t that nice of him?

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Bravo! Bravo! Encore! Encore!

Overall
Blue Exorcist Volume 6 serves a grand finale to a fantastic series. With everything finally reaching fever pitch, tensions could not be higher within the main cast. Though the focus on relationships present in Volume 5 continue, they are placed against the backdrop of what is essentially an Apocalypse in motion. Which kind of sheds light on some crucial details and puts a whole lot in perspective. That being said, due to their lineage, this final arc focuses much more intensely on the whole extended Okumura family. The reveal of their mother’s ambition adds a nice little twist into the plot that turns a few arguments upside down. However, Yuri’s time in the spotlight was perhaps just a tad too brief for such an important character. Regardless, the finale of Blue Exorcist was filled to the brim with all the story, violence and smart mouth comments we’ve come to expect from the series. And it ruled.

9-0-capsules-out-of-10

Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.

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