Blu-ray Review: Blue Exorcist: The Definitive Edition – Part 2

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The final instalment into the ‘Definitive Edition’ of Blue Exorcist is finally here, but what differences are in-store from the initial DVD release? Find out in our Blu-ray Review of Blue Exorcist: The Definitive Edition – Part 2.

Synopsis:

Assiah, the realm of humans, and Gehenna, the realm of demons. Normally, these two dimensions would never intersect, but having possessed all material substances, the demons are now intruding on the material world. But among the human race, there are those who can exorcise such demons – the Exorcists.

During a 3-day drill to prepare Rin and fellow Ex-Wires for actual combat, Amaimon suddenly appears and takes Shiemi as a hostage to lure Rin. Angry, Rin fights Amaimon and he ends up going berserk! He regains control of himself only to be captured by the current Paladin, Angel, and sent to the Vatican for trial. As the hearing drags on, the Order finds itself unable to decide on Rin’s fate, as Mephisto has proclaimed him to be “a weapon for counter-attacking Satan.” Rin is now forced to obey the Vatican’s order or face execution!

Our View:

Brothers Rin and Yukio, along with the Class Members of the True Cross Academy return in this second (and final) instalment of the Blue Exorcist anime series – amusingly nearly a year after its initial DVD release.  Just like with the first Blu-ray instalment the episodic (and extra) content is exactly the same as the previously released DVD version, with the only real additions being the English Audio Track and improved High Definition Visuals – so if you are not interested in the English Audio track (which does take a while to get used to) or the improved High Definition Visuals (Why Not?) then you can easily pass on this release of the series.

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In this second half of Blue Exorcist, things start to get more interesting (for the viewer) and take a turn for the worse (for the characters) as the Vatican, the governing body of Exorcists within the world, step-in to take control of Mephisto’s actions of allowing the son of Satan (aka Rin) to be kept alive. The first few episodes do an interesting job of showcasing that Rin isn’t out to harm humans and that, if trained properly, he could be used to defeat demons. With the Vatican getting involved a whole host of new characters are introduced, including a fired up Exorcist named Shura Kirigakure who now acts as Rin’s tutor. The Vatican isn’t the only issue for Rin and Yukio to deal with, as during a Camping Trip (which is later revealed as a training exercise for Rin) his demonic powers are revealed to the rest of class, which causes repercussions with people he once called friends. Of course these two events are just a prelude of things to come, as not only does Rin have to obey the Vatican’s orders (whether he likes it or not) but a constant stream of demons start to appear and attack the capital with the Okumura brothers being their target, with Mephisto amusingly looking on. This isn’t the climax though, as a secret kept by Yukio is finally unearthed which spells disaster for the entire True Cross Academy with Satan making his grand appearance.

The first half of Blue Exorcist had a “stop-start” approach to the storyline, with each new episode being a relatively new story and the same reoccurring characters, in this second instalment however the story develops to its conclusion and remains consistent. While the ending of the series may leave more to be desired (i.e. a bit of a let down) the series as a whole is entertaining and enjoyable, with plenty of complications and issues, such Mephisto’s true objective in the real world, as well as the demonic fist fights taking place.

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Like I said in the previous Blue Exorcist Review the High Definition quality is noticeable, and with Manga UK opting to use Three Blu-ray Discs (for 13 Episodes) rather than the industry standard of two (or even one in Kaze’s case) the picture quality remains consistent and mimics the quality seen in the original Japanese Blu-ray release, but more importantly it is easily noticeable from its initial DVD Release.

Extras:

It’s interesting that online retailers (for both the DVD & Blu-ray Versions) are still listing that the OVA Episode “Kiro’s Trip Away From Home” is included on Part 2 of Blue Exorcist, as it’s not. The OVA Episode is included on the first half, which means that the only extras included in Part 2 are the “Ura-Eku” Anime Episodes and Alternate Next Episode Previews.

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The Ura-Eku and Web Preview (which acts as an Alternate Next Episode Preview) is included on each of the three Blu-ray Discs, with the Web Previews being tied to the Episodes included on that particular disc. The Ura-Eku’s on the other hand are split across each disc, with at least 1 mini-episode per disc.

Disc 1:

  • Ura-Eku (3 Minutes) – 2 Episodes
  • Web Previews – 5 Episodes
  • Textless Opening 2
  • Textless Ending 2

Disc 2:

  • Ura-Eku (2 Minutes) – 1 Episode
  • Web Previews – 4 Episodes

Disc 3:

  • Ura-Eku (3 MinuteS) – 2 Episodes
  • Web Previews – 3 Episodes

Each of the Ura-Eku episodes provide around 1 to 2 minutes of extra, mostly comical, entertainment – with the main protagonists in all sorts of bother, whether it be regular class activities or Yukio counting the spots on himself. Impressively even these ‘extras’ have been dubbed into English, so its nice to know that they were through with the dubbing. The Final extras included is the ‘tradtional’ text less opening and closing songs, both of which are located on the first disc of this collection.

Specs:

Media:  BD50 x3
Region: B
Running Time: 2:00:53 (Disc 1), 1:36:37 (Disc 2), 1:36:30 (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 great story to tell, with the main focus on Rin Okumura attempting to become strong enough to defeat satan, all the while protecting his friends and maintaining his secret.  Of course in this instalment the secret is out, new characters are introduced and Satan’s true plan becomes apparent. It’s not just the storyline that evolves, as the pace of the series also feels natural, but it’s the combination of action, friendship and comedy that makes it a worthwhile viewing.

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Of course for those who have already seen the DVD release of Blue Exorcist then you won’t find anything new as it is the same story but this time presented in full 1080p High Definition and available in English. It’s a shame that the English Audio could not have been provided in 5.1 Surround, as there is plenty of fights that would be benefitted from it, either way the English Audio track is provided in the standard 2.0 Stereo format, exactly the same as its Japanese Counterpart. While an English Audio track is available (and exclusive to the Blu-ray) the voices used don’t seem to fit the characters that they are portraying while on the other hand the Japanese Audio track provides a much more realistic experience from characters – but this is just a personal opinion.

In terms of extra features you won’t find much worth watching, this is mainly because the opening and closing songs feel better with text on (watching them in text less form just feels slow especially when the song is fast) and the Web Previews are just extended versions of the next episode previews (which are included at the end of each episode). The only worth content is the Ura-Eku episodes, but even these are short lived. It is a positive that they are included but it is a shame that the “real” extra (Which was shown at a Anime Event in America) is not included, and I’m referring to the Outtakes.  An English Dub Outtake montage video was created, similar to that in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Part 5, and shown to the public but it would have been nice if it was included in this set, but unfortunately its not.

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Overall Blue Exorcist – Part 2 is everything you expect it to be and nothing more, a conclusion to the anime series and improved upon by the introduction of an English Audio track and an insanely detailed picture quality thanks to the series native High Definition picture. The release is rounded out by including ‘minimal’ extras that are also available in English. Compared to Part 1 the Audio and Visual quality is the same, but its the lack of any new extra content and its rather disappointing conclusion that makes this a weaker release than the previous instalment. If you own the DVD version of Blue Exorcist then I highly recommend upgrading to the Blu-ray version and if you are new to the franchise it’s well worth giving it a go, but as the title name suggests this is the ‘Definitive’ Edition of Blue Exorcist as everything has been improved.

Score: review-stars-4

Blue Exorcist: The Definitive Edition – Part 2 will be available on Blu-ray from the 9th December 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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