Blue Exorcist 5

February 29, 2012

Kazue Kato – Viz – 2011 – 8+ volumes

Ah, and the sadness truly begins. This is the beginning of a longer storyline, which will be a first for this series. So far, I’m digging it. The downside is that one of my favorite things about this series, the fact that all the characters work together as a team, is mooted at the moment since everyone is against Rin, and there’s some division among the others as to how he should be treated.

An evil element is working to steal a couple very valuable artifacts out from under the nose of the exorcists and various protectors, and the characters get wrapped up in protecting/retrieving them. This sounds a bit contrived (well…), but rather than flimsy logic like “we need exorcists-in-training because they’re strong/we need the manpower/this is just what we do”, the artifact is actually being guarded by Bon’s father. Since Bon, Neko, and Renzo are all involved at the temple doing the protecting, it makes more sense that they would be ordered to go there. Shima and Izumo are along for the ride, and Rin sticks next to Yukio and Shura since they are valuable and high-powered exorcists that have to guard him.

The main point of interest for me was that the characters no longer get along. Neko doesn’t trust Rin not to go berserk, Shiemi doesn’t know what to say to Rin since she reacted poorly last time, Bon blames Rin for what happened at his temple all those years ago, and Renzo is sticking with Neko and Bon. Where once teamwork would have saved the day, the students wind up in a relatively minor situation where their lack of togetherness makes things turn disastrous.

And the more involved plot is nice. This volume is only just beginning to get a handle on the whole situation. There’s dangerous things afoot at the Kyoto temple that’s serving as the base of operations, not to mention infighting among the families in the temple, and even among Bon and his father. That’s a rather volatile situation that’s carrying over to the next volume, too.

Basically, while things have calmed down a bit and gotten more serious, Blue Exorcist is still pretty fantastic. I couldn’t put the thing down, and I’m dying to read the conclusion to this story arc. Which hasn’t come out yet. But there’s at least one more volume to go of the English translation currently, so I’ll talk about that next time! In the meanwhile, read this! Seriously! It’s one of the best shounen manga coming out right now!

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

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