Blue Exorcist (青の祓魔師Ao no Ekusoshisuto/Futsumashi) 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.
- Okumura Rin (奥村 燐Okumura Rin?)
- Voiced by: Nobuhiko Okamoto
- The fifteen year-old protagonist of the story, Rin is the son of Satan born from a human woman and is the inheritor of Satan's powers. His powers were sealed at birth into the demon-slaying blade Kurikara, or Koumaken, by Mephisto Pheles, allowing him to live a normal human life for about 15 years. Rin became aware of his true identity after Kurikara could no longer seal the blue flames he inherited from Satan, setting a chain of events that led to the death of his guardian, Father and Exorcist Fujimoto Shiro, at the hands of Satan who attempted to drag Rin back to the demon realm. Exorcist Mephisto Pheles confronted Rin after Shiro's funeral with several exorcists, giving Rin the option to kill them all or die. Rin instead demanded to become an exorcist, an idea that amused Mephisto. Rin was then enrolled personally by Mephisto into the True Cross Academy Exorcist School, and since been pursuing his goal to become a Paladin and to defeat Satan. He is currently an Exwire and attempting to gain the title of Meister as a "Knight" (an exorcist who fights with a sword).
- Rin can tap into the power he has inherited from Satan through the use of a demon-slaying katana, called Kurikara or Koumaken. The sheath acts as a portal to Gehenna (the demon world) which when drawn returns Rin to his demon form. While in his human form, Rin exhibits a number of physical traits that are signs of his demonic nature, such as sharper-looking teeth, slightly pointed ears, and a black, fur tufted tail (which he keeps hidden in his shirt). As a demon, Rin gains two blue flames that float above his head, long elf-like ears, and his eyes turn bright blue. In both forms Rin can control incredibly destructive bright blue flames, the trademark sign of anything related to Satan. However, when he draws Kurikara, the magnitude of the flames dramatically increases and often leads to Rin being "consumed" by his own flames and losing his mind. Rin also has a demon Familiar Cat Sith, Kuro, who was initially Father Fujimoto's.
- Okumura Yukio (奥村 雪男Okumura Yukio?)
- Voiced by: Jun Fukuyama
- Rin's younger twin brother. Though Satan's powers were expected to be split between them, due to the weakness of Yukio's body at birth, Yukio did not inherit any of Satan's powers. Yukio received a Mashou at birth from his brother, allowing him to become aware of demons since he can remember. Yukio secretly trained to become an Exorcist since age seven in order to protect Rin (through the help of Fujimoto). While both Yukio and Rin are in their first year at True Cross Academy, Yukio is already an instructor at the Exorcist cram school who teaches Anti-Demon Pharmacology to Rin's class. It is often stated that Yukio is a genius, having already acquired the title "Meister" in both the Dragoon and Doctorclass, while ordinarily most people would aim for Meister in one class (both are still fully qualified exorcists). He is currently ranked as a Middle First Class exorcist.
- Suguro Ryuji (勝呂 竜士Suguro Ryuji?)
- Voiced by: Kazuya Nakai
- Suguro Ryuji (nicknamed "Bon") is Rin's rival and the prodigy in the class. He was the child of the Cursed Temple which was destroyed by Satan 16 years ago. Bon takes everything seriously and is trying his hardest in order to become an Exorcist powerful enough so he could one day defeat Satan (a goal he claims Rin stole from him) and rebuild his Temple. Currently Bon is trying to acquire the title of Meister in both Aria (a person who recites holy texts to kill certain demons) and Dragoon (a person who fights with guns and other heavy artillery). He is currently an Exwire.
- Moriyama Shiemi (杜山 しえみMoriyama Shiemi?)
- Voiced by: Kana Hanazawa
- Shiemi is Rin's class mate and friend. Before she met Rin, Shiemi tended her grandmother's garden while her mother ran anExorcist only shop inside True Cross Academy . During her encounter with Rin and Yukio, they were able to discover that Shiemi was having her life force leached out by a Demon. After Yukio exorcised the demon, Shiemi finally decided to become an Exorcist and started to attend class. It was later revealed that Shiemi had talent in becoming a Tamer, as she was able to summon a Greenman Spirit during class. It is apparently a rare talent to possess amongst the Exorcists, where there are only a few who can control demons and fight.
- She is currently an Exwire.
- Kirigakure Shura (霧隠 シュラKirigakure Shura?)
- Voiced by: Rina Satou
- Kirigakure Shura is an Upper First Class Exorcist and Rin's mentor. She trained under the guidance of Fujimoto Shiro to obtain the title "Meister" in Knight and can draw a demon sword from a symbol above her chest when she states "Devour the Seven Princesses, slay the Serpent". Frequently chipper and obnoxious, Shura is carefree about her job, known for drinking and oversleeping. She appears to harbor a dark past, as she claimed Shiro "came and rescued" her. When she was introduced in the manga, she broke up the fight between Amaimon and an exhausted Rin. Out of a grudge against Shiro (who asked her to teach Rin how to use Koumaken) for "casting her aside" and orders to eliminate anything she discovered related to Satan, Shura intended to "clean up her Master's messes". However, Rin told her he would prove Shiro was right to let him live by becoming a paladin, leading her to spare him and become his mentor. Shura also knows Yukio and nicknamed him "scaredy cat four-eyes".
- Fujimoto Shirou (藤本 獅郎Fujimoto Shirou?)
- Voiced by: Keiji Fujiwara
- Father Fujimoto was Rin and Yukio's guardian and was also considered to be one of the most powerful Exorcists in the world. He was thought to be the only man in the world that was able to sustain possession by Satan himself and thus Satan was constantly after his body. Fujimoto was able to fight off Satan's attempts at possessing his body through sheer willpower. However after receiving a mental shock from what Rin had said, Satan was finally able to take over his body and later killed him. Fujimoto had a familiar sith cat demon, which he called Kuro, that Rin has inherited. He was a confirmed Aria, Dragoon and Tamer and could possibly have been a Knight and a Doctor as two of those who have studied under him have become these. He was said to be the strongest exorcist on the planet and was the only one to gain the rank of Paladin, the highest rank of the exorcists.
- Mephisto Pheles (メフィスト・フェレスMephisto Pheles?)
- Voiced by: Kamiya Hiroshi
- Pheles is the Chairman of True Cross Academy and also an Exorcist . After Fujimoto's death Pheles was ordered to kill Rin , however he accepted Rin's proposal in becoming an Exorcist and entered him into True Cross Academy. It has been heavily implied that he is the son of Satan along with his brother, the Earth King, Amaimon . He possesses the unique and peculiar ability of transforming into a small dog after counting down from three in German. How powerful he is has not been shown but he has mentioned that he is a honorary knight, the position two ranks below Paladin. He has been shown responsible for allowing several higher class demons onto campus.
- Amaimon (アマイモンAmaimon?)
- Voiced by: Tetsuya Kakihara
- Also known as the "Earth King". Amaimon is supposedly the second son of Satan and another Demon Prince of Gehenna . Unlike his father and elder brother Mephisto , Amaimon had little interest in Rin after their first encounter. Fitting with his title, Amaimon has vast control over the land as he was able to start an earthquake while being pinned down by Rin. He has been shown to take odd interests in things as he wished to tour Japan upon arriving instead of seeing Rin.
- Mashou (魔障Mashō?)
- 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'.
- Meister (称号（マイスター）Maisutā?, "Title")
- 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
- The highest title only awarded to the strongest of all exorcists.
See also: List of Blue Exorcist episodes
A anime adaption for the manga was announced on November 27, 2010 on Shueisha's Jump 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: List of Blue Exorcist 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.