Blue Exorcist 3
February 20, 2012
Kazue Kato – Viz – 2011 – 8+ volumes
I know it’s been a week or so since I’ve talked about this series, but my ardor hasn’t cooled. I read all the volumes in about one day. I started re-reading this one while I was writing it up here. It’s just… hard not to like it. It’s really difficult to not find it in your heart to root for Rin.
This volume is more of the same stories about Rin trying to control his powers and keep his true identity from his classmates. The first chapter is a cute story where he uses his head, rather than any special powers, to tame a cat sidhe that has gone wild after the death of its master, Father Fujimoto. It’s chapters like this that make me compare Rin to Luffy from One Piece. I like them both for the same reasons, but it’s not really a case of Rin being a copy of Luffy, in the way that other series are obviously trying to cash in on the best parts of One Piece. Rin is about as much like Luffy as Luffy is to Goku, from Dragon Ball. All are sort of dopey, good-hearted characters that are charismatic and get along with others well. Rin is a bit more like Goku, since both of them share a kind of monstrous power that sets them apart. Actually, Blue Exorcist may be like a mix of One Piece and Dragon Ball, since some of the characters introduced in this volume (Mr. Pheles’ “brothers”) remind me more of the saiyans from the later volumes of Dragon Ball than they do One Piece villains.
Anyway. One of the major stories in this volume introduces Shima, a senior rank exorcist and investigator that was sent to spy on Rin and determine if he is a liability. Shima, for whatever reason, doesn’t wear a shirt, or a bra that fits, once she’s introduced, but I like her other than that. She’s slovenly and rude, and I tend to love powerful characters like her that care very little about how they appear to others, with comedic results.
We learn that she was Father Fujimoto’s apprentice, and we get to see flashbacks with her time with Father Fujimoto. I already love Father Fujimoto, and I’m glad his presence seems destined to remain heavily ingrained in the series. There’s also some flashbacks for Rin, too, where we learn that he had trouble controlling his temper and strength, and how Father Fujimoto got him back under control. Yukio also reminisces about him. He’s had such a huge influence over everyone, and is easy to like in the same way Rin is. He’s a little silly, fairly heroic, and a great guy.
Later in the volume, there’s another group activity with the exorcists-in-training. Rin’s trying hard to fight without using his flame, and in this scenario, in the woods at night, he’s forced not to use it since his classmates would immediately see him if he did.
I’m looking forward to this exorcist mission, since the last one was fantastic. I love the way the characters work together and use their different strengths towards a common goal, rather than targeted “fights” where each fights an enemy suited to them that happen in other shounen series. It definitely helps me grow fonder of the side characters with every volume. The male characters are still a little faceless in this volume, but every story makes me like them a little more.
So, yes. Basically, this is fantastic. I can’t get over just how much I like every volume of this series. It kills me that we’re caught up with Japan now.