Anime Review

Blue Exorcist Season 2: Review, Premiere Date, Recap, English Sub

April 21, 2019
9 min read

There is no question about the fact that ‘Blue Exorcist’ is one of the most popular anime out there. So, when the season 2 of the anime came back after 6 long years , fans were delighted. The good thing about it is that it manages to keep up with the magic that had made the first season memorable and a cult hit among anime fans. What’s great is that the second season not only feels better than the first season but also manages to somehow reconnect with the manga all over again which is something the first season had failed to do. It is a common belief that anime adapted from the original source often do better than anime that create original stories of their own. Season 2 of ‘Blue Exorcist’  is living proof of how much an anime can change, for better, if only it sticks to its source material.

One thing that gets you all curious is how did this anime find its way back to the original manga when it had already drifted away from it quite early in the first season. The ‘Blue Exorcist’ manga is so good it was literally dying to be remade all over again and the anime did take this as a lead. But unlike ‘Fullmetal Alchemist’ that came back with a 64 episode season to change the entire pace of its new season, ‘Blue Exorcist’ just had 12 to do the same. At this point, fans too were starting to get all picky about it and only a miracle could rekindle their interest. So that brings us back to our core question: How does this new season suddenly shift the whole plot of the show into a completely new arc of the manga without destroying what it has previously created? Even if the makers had decided to take up one introductory episode to somehow fix everything, it would have taken up a lot of their 12 episode screen time.

The Kyoto Arc of the manga on which this season is based takes its own time to unfold into the good parts. So it is pretty obvious why the anime chose not to beat around the bush and directly cut to the good parts of the manga. The big change that was made by the makers in the first season is the part where the protagonist Rin “comes out” as a devil to all of his friends but all of them still stay by his side to support him. The whole shounen of a show was established on the core of the friendship of all these characters. Whereas in the manga when Rin’s friends find out his true identity they actually start running away from him. This adds true color and darkness to the shounen and makes the story more interesting.

Those who have never read the manga cannot appreciate it  because they were initially drawn towards the feel-good theme of the show and not to the darkness that it holds. And this is probably where the anime goes wrong. It avoids the darkness and instead treads the feel-good path that ultimately ruins what made the mange so good in the first place.  A complete deviation from the manga annoyed many fans. So, what do we really feel about the anime? Read on.

Blue Exorcist Season 2 Release Date:

Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga‘, or Blue Exorcist season 2, first released on January 7, 2017, and aired till March 25, 2017. This season has a total of 12 episodes and each episode is 24 minutes long. As far as the next season is concerned, you can find the details about Blue Exorcist season 3 right here.

Blue Exorcist Season 2 Plot:

Season 2 does not start off where the first season had ended. Rin, who has always been portrayed as a nice and friendly guy, is now being criticized by his friend rather than being supported for being the son of Satan. Even in the first series, Rin never uses his powers to harm anyone. He only uses them for heroic gestures that would prove to be good for others in some way. All of that pretty much remains the same and Rin does not change as a character. He remains true to the friendly and kind character that he has always been. Something that truly changes is the reaction of his friends who were previously supporting him in the last few episodes of the first season are now terrified of him after discovering who he truly is.

Rin has blue flames that represent his sinister origins and everyone is afraid of them. Those blue flames have contributed towards so much loss and pain in the past that even the kindest characters are unable to forgive someone who possesses them. To them, it does not matter that the present character who possesses them has never harmed anyone. The first episode just somehow manages to bridge the gap between the original anime and the manga’s Kyoto arc. It’s almost like watching a whole new series now. All the credit goes to A-1 Pictures studios who did this in the best way possible and still somehow saved the entire show from derailing.

Rin Later tries to control his dark power so that he can reconcile with his friends and  the only person who seems to accept him is his brother and girl named Izumo. But Rin is not the only person everyone feels threatened by when one day the left eye of a very powerful demon is stolen from their academy’s deep keep. Rin may be seen as a threat but now that the eye of the demon has been stolen, the ex-wires will need all the power they can get to investigate this and catch the thief. The threat of the traitor being someone amongst them slowly turns this show into a much darker thriller and eventually proves that all of these changes that were made in the plot are actually worth it. Just think about it, how boring would the whole show be if Rin was at good terms with everyone? Then the anime would just be about the ex-wires trying to hunt down the traitor with no extra drama that this one offers.

Blue Exorcist Season 2 Review:

The story of Season 2 of ‘Blue Exorcist’ is no doubt a little discomforting after you watch this right after the first one with a completely different expectation. But with time, you learn to appreciate the fact that in the long run, this is for the better of the show and adds more entertaining drama to the main story. Most of the negative reviews that revolve around the story are coming from people who are just not able to adapt to a positive change. But if you keep your mind open then it isn’t too hard to understand how much the show has entirely improved by making these minor changes in the plot. It’s disappointing to know that you wasted so much time watching the last few episodes of the first season but this season surely manages to make for that and gives you something better than what you were expecting in the first place.

When it comes to the characters, the second season develops them well, but at times stumbles on how to handle them. The first episode of the show goes into recreating a pre-planted notion and turning it into something that is completely the opposite. Clearly, the anime does struggle with that. But at the same time, there is probably a no better way of doing it. But after the ideas and characters are established in the first episode, it becomes pretty obvious this season has more emotions, more darkness and a lot more clarity to it. So in the end, the whole thing pays off pretty well. The pacing of the story is quick because the anime has to cover a lot in just 12 episodes. But surprisingly not even once did it feel like it is being rushed on.

The sound and the animation remain pretty much the same as the first season which we believe is a good thing because there never really is a problem with them. A big shoutout to the voice artists behind this anime for doing an amazing job with the vocal mannerisms of each character. The opening and closing tracks are great but they do get boring after a while. Perhaps they should think of changing them in the next season.

All in all, we would like to defy the common belief by stating that this attempt at going back to the manga’s story has been executed successfully and they just couldn’t have done it in any better. Even the ones who are not able to see the bright side now will eventually see it in the long run. On a scale of 1 to 10, we would give this season of ‘Blue Exorcist’ a solid 8 which includes a one extra brownie point for taking the risk that it did. Make sure that you ignore all the naysayers and negative reviews because we can assure you that this season is worth your time. All that is left to be now is to wait for the next season. There is no news regarding its confirmation yet but we’re just dying to see how things will unfold further.

Blue Exorcist Season 2 English Dub:

The voice artists behinds Rin’s and his brother Yukio’s characters are Bryce Papenbrook and Johnny Yong Bosch respectively. The English Subbed and Dubbed versions of ‘Blue Exorcist’ Season 2 are available on Crunchyroll and Netflix. Enjoy!

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