Blu-ray Review: Blue Exorcist: The Definitive Edition – Part 1

Blue_Exorcist_3It’s been a short wait but Blue Exorcist on Blu-ray is finally here, so what did we think of Manga UK’s ‘Definitive Edition’ of Blue Exorcist – Part 1? Well find out in our Blu-ray Review.

Synopsis:

Quick tempered and fond of a good scrap, 15-year-old Rin Okumura has grown up being called a ‘demon child’ but it’s still a shock to discover that he is, in fact, the literal son of Satan. When his guardian, Father Fujimoto Shirou, dies defending him against demons, Rin defies his Hellish heritage and enrols at the True Cross Academy, determined to become the world’s strongest exorcist.

Starting any new school is a challenge, but Rin’s got it tougher than most. Not only must he master his deadly demonic powers and fight the forces of darkness, but Rin also finds himself in the unenviable position of being instructed by his genius twin brother Yukio, who is already a teacher at the Academy! Then there’s the question of how Rin’s fellow classmates – shy Shiemi, hot-blooded Bon and haughty Izumo – will react if they ever discover his true parentage…

Our View:

It’s been less than a year since Manga Entertainment UK released the subtitle-only version of Blue Exorcist onto DVD and now here we have it on Blu-ray and in English, so what’s different? Well other than the English Audio and High Definition picture quality not a lot as majority of the content included in this set is exactly the same as the DVD Release, just another language and a superior picture quality.

Blue_Exorcist_4

For those unaware Blue Exorcist, alternatively known as Ao no Exoricist in Japan, is the series that tells the story of Rin Okumura who, after witnessing his foster farther being killed by Satan, discovers his true heritage of being a not only demon but Satan’s son. Looking for answers (and a place to call home) Rin, with the help of his younger brother Yukio and his foster father’s friend Mephisto, joins the prestigious high school True Cross Academy in hopes of become a full-fledged exorcist so that he can achieve his dream of defeating Satan, his real dad.

In this particular set we have the first 12 episodes of the series along with the bonus OVA Episode ‘Kuro Runs Away from Home” spread out across three Blu-ray discs with around 4 episodes per disc (on average), with additional features spread out across all three discs, but I’ll get to that later. In this ‘first half’ of the season we see Rin unlock his demonic power and learn the truth surrounding it as well as his attempt to lead a normal school life in hopes of becoming an exorcist. Along the way Rin makes new friends in the form of gardener come tamer Shiemi Moriyama, the delinquent (but highly knowledgeable) looking Ryuji Suguro and the outspoken Izumo Kamiki, each of which get their own backstories told with their own dedicated episode(s), with additional backstories spread out over the series. Even Kuro the cat, Shiro Fujimoto (Rin’s Foster farther) familiar gets his own introductory episode which explains the connection he had with Shiro as well as shows the new bond with Rin.

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As always this first half of the series is all about introduction the main cast of characters, with each one getting their own screen time and story played out with viewers always been left entertained and wanting more, whether it be the comical outbursts from Rin or perfectly paced exorcist battles, there is something for everyone. The first half of the series also ends on a bit of a cliff hanger when Amaimon (another son of Satan) arrives to challenge Rin, while at the same a mysterious inspector from the Vatican reveals herself and demand answers from Mehpisto, with both events running the risk of exposing Rin’s demonic powers.

Extras:

Just like the previous DVD release of Blue Exorcist the Blu-ray is packed full of extra content, however this time some are available in both English and Japanese. Each Blu-ray disc contains Ura-Eku & Web Previews, as they related to the disc episodes, while the final disc has the Bonus OVA Episode.

blue_exorcist_extras

The ‘Ura-Eku’ is the ‘Extra Anime’ episodes; these last around 2 minutes each and depict comical scenarios with the series cast, such as Yukio spending all night counting his spots. In addition to the Ura-Eku episodes is the ‘Web Previews’ which play out exactly like the next episode preview but contain more scenes . Both the next Ura-Eku and next episode previews are available in English and Japanese with English Subtitles, while the remaining extra features are only available in Japanese with English Subtitles.

Disc 1:

  • Ura-Eku (Extra Anime) – 2 episodes
  • Web Previews
  • CM & Trailers (Comic, Anime 1, Anime 2, Rin, Yukio, Mephisto, Rin & Yukio, Others)
  • Text less opening
  • Text less ending

Disc 2:

  • Ura-Eku (Extra Anime) – 2 Episodes
  • Web Previews

Disc 3:

  • Ura-Eku (Extra Anime) – 1 Episode
  • Web Previews
  • OVA Episode – Kuro Runs Away from Home

Despite not being listed on retailer websites, such as Amazon UK, the OVA Episode, Kuro Runs Away From Home, which sees Kuro get angry and the Okurma brothers and runs off, is included with this first-half season set and just like the rest of the series is available in both English or Japanese audio language and presented in 1080p HD Quality.

Specs:

Media: BD 50 x3
Region: B
Running Time: 2:02:07 (Disc 1), 1:36:46 (Disc 2), 1:12:30 (Disc 3)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: LPCM 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Aspect Ratio
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Blue Exorcist has a unique story, a range of colourful characters and a perfect blend of comedy, action and mystery that leaves viewers entertained and wanting more, and with this Blu-ray release that’s exactly what we get. We get more in the form of an English Dub, and while it can take some time getting used to (especially if you’re used to the Japanese voices) it does have a castoff familiar English voice actors, namely Johnny Young Bosch (Yukio), Kyle Hebert (Ryuji) and Christine Marie Cabanos (Shiemi), that each offer an effective performance that after a while start to feel natural to the characters they are representing.

Blue_Exorcist_2

Speaking of audio options the series is presented in Stereo, for both English and Japanese, which is a bit of a disappointment seeing as a 5.1 Audio track could have brought more potential out of the series background soundtrack, especially during fight sequences, but this is only a minor complaint. In regards to the visual presentation the animation is presented clearly and sharp in full 1080p high definition and is a massive (and clear) improvement over the standard DVD release last year.

As I said at towards the start there isn’t really anything new expect the High Definition picture quality and English language, both of which are presented clearly and are highly enjoyable and as such Blue Exorcist: The Definitive Edition – Part 1 is a must own for your Blu-ray release, especially if you enjoyed Aniplex’s other involved productions such as Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood or Madoka Magica.

Score: review-stars-5

Blue Exorcist: The Definitive Edition – Part 1 will be available on Blu-ray from the 9th September 2013.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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