Blue Exorcist 4

February 25, 2012

Kazue Kato – Viz – 2011 – 7+ volumes

Oh, Blue Exorcist. Can you get any more awesome? I keep thinking it’s impossible, but then I read another volume, and it only gets better. To make sure I prepare myself properly, this volume warns me of the joy within by featuring Mr. Pheles on the cover. It doesn’t get better than that.

The exorcist camp storyline continues through the first half of the volume, and again, I adore these kinds of set-ups since, instead of isolating the characters and making them fight individually, this series makes all of them work together towards a common goal. They have to gather, then they have to figure out how to drag a gigantic lantern through a monster-infested forest. The best part is when they try to figure out how to cross a pit of insects, and they really do all have to play a part in order for it to work out. They also seem to all take strange turns of events in stride, and I love how they react to attacks by giant bugs et al. They also seem willing to ignore Rin’s eccentricities, personality-wise and demon-wise, which is always a little bit funny.

These stories always dance around whether or not Rin is going to reveal his demon nature to his friends, and Amaimon shows up to push his buttons again. So of course there’s lots of near-misses, a few scenes where Rin could fight if only the others weren’t looking (and some where his friends prove they work together better as a team), and Shura even gives him back his sword for maximum temptation. All of this was happening, and I knew, deep down in my little manga addict heart, that it would be dozens of volumes before Rin revealed himself, and by then his friends wouldn’t even care because they’d be BFFs for life.

But then. Ah, Blue Exorcist. This is why I love you so.

The second half is a lot of Blue Exorcist politics, which is interesting, in its way. I don’t want to get into it too much, but promises are made, deals are struck, blah blah blah. It has a bearing on the future of the series. Because of this, Rin starts his own special training, and the volume ends with a duel between Yukio and Shura, with whether or not Shura can call Yukio “Wimpy Four Eyes” riding on a training exercise. Because even with all the drama of politics, Blue Exorcist still manages to be funny, quirky, a little sweet, and basically do its own thing, which is what makes it so ridiculously addictive.

Seriously. It’s like One Piece with demons, but without ripping off One Piece in any way. Do you know how much I love demons? How much I love One Piece? You see my problem, then.

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