Blue flames? Let there be HELL! Oh YEAH!
Before we come to the actual review, I watched the first few episodes of Steins;gate, Dog Days, Tiger and Bunny, AnoHana, C and A Channel . It might take me decades to understand what the hell is going on in Steins;gate, of all the time traveling and sci-fi babble dumped at anyone who is new to this 99% sci-fi and 1% fantasy idea. I feel nothing for Dog Days, but I probably watch another episode or two if the verdict is to stop watching it or turn into one of my guilty pleasures of 2011. Tiger and Bunny… was refreshing, not that the ‘heroes’ care about really saving people or not. If they are asked to save people by their sponsors, they do. Otherwise, if they are not assigned to capture bad guys mind your own business, they don’t give a damn: they are off-duty and that’s that. A Channel starts out slow, but I hope the four girls doesn’t stay too long in the stereotypes assigned to them. AnoHana stands out for being one of the good drama anime (usually I steer away from silly melodrama, unless it’s Final Fantasy or something) and I’m trying to get used to C’s unusual artstyle, not to mention an abundant use of CGI throughout the first episode.
The Big Question: How am I going to enjoy my FABULOUS Sundays now that Star Driver’s gone (and my Ginga Bishounen, stuck in space and we have no idea if he and Sugata’s returning back to Earth, that’s when fanfictions comes into play.)
The absolute answer: Ao no Exorcist (Cue angelic music, or not…)
Well, having said that, the first episode of Ao no Exorcist may be…well…typical for people who have seen it all reading so many shounen manga over the years, but it’s worth the try; if A-1 Pictures don’t screw up this adaptation before we get insight of the juicer proportions. (Sorry, Yukio fans, no Yukio screencaps in this post. I’ll promise that I’ll give you lots more once we get to episode 3.)
If you think our hero is a typical shounen series idiot, he isn’t. (Except that he doesn’t do as well as his brother in school. Oh well.)
Father Fujimoto: Hot girls with big boobs, where? Oh boy, they are the type of girls I wanna make out with…
Rin: You’re a priest, Father. You can’t make out with girls, no matter what you do. Besides, you’re too old. No girls would want to date a 51-year-old guy like you.
I recently bought the first volume of AoE before turning up for class and let’s face it; Father Fujimoto is a dirty old man who has a liking for girls with big breasts, as mentioned in his character profile. This is very important. I wonder where exactly Father Fujimoto keeps his secret stash of porn magazines in his office…
Okamura Rin, a 16 years old boy comes home and makes his confession (yes, church style) after being beaten up by a bunch of bullies. He’s not feeling any better with his guardian, Fujimoto Shirou pestering him to get a part-time job ASAP (and making sure he studies hard when he enters high school soon) and his twin brother, Okamura Yukio telling him not to get himself into trouble again and stop acting like a loser. After seeing some demonic stuff as he gets himself into trouble (again), Rin is forced to face the truth about himself; he’s the son of Satan and his real daddy’s coming after him.
I am you and Yukio’s daddy. Yes, take both meanings literally.
Rin loves cooking, that’s the only thing he’s good at. Like most shounen leads and foils, Rin’s not very book smart, his younger twin brother is a genius but Rin’s no total idiot either. Rin gets himself into trouble all the time, Yukio steers away from trouble; a boy with good conduct, an ideal role model. At the same time, this leads to this awkward conversation between Rin and Shirou (not very accurate, but the argument’s somewhat like this for those who are too lazy to watch this):
Rin: Why? Oh Father Fujimoto why? You invest everything on Yukio, why can’t you do the same for me? It’s not as if he’s your only son…wait, we’re not your biological sons.
Shirou: I did. You are just too dumb to comprehend my good intentions. When I gave you the opportunity to be as smart as your brother, you just take it and treat it like trash two seconds later. Not gonna waste precious money like water on you again. We aren’t rich to begin with in the first place. Why couldn’t you be more like your brother?
Rin: So, I’m useless to you in your eyes, am I?
Shirou: Well, you aren’t completely dumb and useless. At least you’re good in cooking. But if you ask me, Yukio’s cooking tends to be healthier. At least I won’t die from health complications such as diabetes, high blood pressure or a heart attack at this age I’m in. Ahh…Yukio, get me some more of your herbal soup. I’m addicted to it, in a guilty-free way.
Rin: T.T So you think I wanna kill you or what? All right, just leave me alone while I go for this stupid job interview and get it!!! And next time, I’m gonna be better in Yukio at every field he’s good at. Just you wait and see!!
Shirou: Someday you gonna deal with disappointments!!!!!!!
And that’s how things goes in a typical day with Rin Okamura and Father Shirou Fujimoto. Until today. Rin goes for his job interview and failed in carrying boxes properly, failed to get water from the tap (how can this be even possible?) and failed to get trolleys into the store properly. But he found one thing he doesn’t mess up in his job at the supermarket: cooking. He got the job and everyone’s going to celebrate the day he got the job. Or not. Rin got fired after making a mess of the mart after chasing a weird creature taking a scarf away from Yui (the girl Rin saw earlier on with her mother at the abbey.)
Carrying boxes: EPIC FAIL.
Rin: I guess good things don’t happen to stay with me for long. I guess Father Fujimoto was right, I suck at cooking too. *sob* Life isn’t fair.
dead people living soots irritating black demonic tars at my window. Is it because it’s Friday today?
Knowing what happened at the store Father Fujimoto grounded Rin for the mess but to keep Rin from getting restless, not even punishment would work for our main lead. After seeing black stuff floating outside his house, Rin met the group of punks he saw a couple of days ago.. He sort of pushed Rin’s wrong buttons, telling him that Yukio is a scholarship student studying in True Cross Academy (I think they just added the ‘True’ behind Cross Academy to prevent it from associating with the Cross Academy in Vampire Knight) and mocks Rin and Yukio for being poor. After exchanging a couple of handcuffs Rin is forced to unleash his demonic powers for the first time since he was first born. Of course, he couldn’t handle beating up the demon within the bully until Father Fujimoto comes to the rescue and has the ugly truth kicked into his head: he’s the son of Satan, and his real daddy’s out to get him…
Fighting is no good; good boys don’t bully other kids. Time to exorcise the demon within you.
Thoughts:The team made a couple of changes to the 1st half of the first chapter; Yui got fleshed out more here (she appears in only what, 3 panels in one page of the first chapter), how Rin succeeded and failed to get a job, a more believable introduction on how Rin can see demons, the possessed bully hiding his true demon form much better than his poor disguise in the manga (in Rin’s eyes, that is. Judging by the next episode’s preview, his role has expanded compared to the one wonder in the manga), so on and so forth. I would say it’s a good thing so far. You know, AoE’s the type of show that makes you want to watch it again and again just for the fun of it without getting bored after watching it 6 times. I miss good entertainment.
Side comment: Those clothes remind me faintly of the FMA State Alchemist uniform…
Not even an ordinary first aid box can escape the clutches of Mephisto Pheles. Mephisto Pheles owns everything in True Cross Academy (and the town surrounding the school, too.)
Seriously now, the opening scenes of the first episode reminds me of D.Gray Man, which I haven’t got time to look at the recent chapters, since DGM’s updated monthly (or perhaps bimonthly) now in the same magazine AoE’s currently published in. I guess I’m saying this a little too early, but I would certainly wait forever to find out who’s Rin and Yukio’s biological mother. I mean, that would be some special woman we’re talking about, because an ordinary woman with Satan…let’s not go into that territory, shall we?
…Only I can be a dick to my brother.
Yukio: Thanks a lot, brother. *sneezes from afar.*
Rin, I’m sorry. I’m not your real daddy. Satan is.
Overall, the animation was wonderful compared to many other series this season (Except AnoHana, Hanasaku Iroha and to a small extent A Channel), somewhat the previous season lacks save Madoka Magica. I was expecting worse for its first episode and I’m keeping my hands tied until the animation quality remains this way for the next 4-5 episodes. I must admit A1 Pictures is doing a good job this season with Anohana and AoE. Seriously, the ED got me cracked up, reminds me of boy bands dancing back in the Nineties (Think Backstreet Boys and Westlife). The OP better redeem the cheesiness of the ED in the next episode, hands down.
…because it will be last time you’ll be calling me that.