Blu-Ray Review: Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga – Part 2

The adventure in Kyoto continues with Rin and his exorcists-in-training companions with this Blu-Ray release Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga – Part 2; but what kind of adventure and progressive storytelling can one expect from this set? Well let’s take a look and find out.

Synopsis:

Rin’s anger towards Ryuji Suguro releases as blue flame in front of everyone, resulting in Rin being thrown into prison. While locked up, Shura delivers a letter to Rin from Tatsuma, Ryuji’s father and the head priest of Myohda Sect. From the letter they learn of the relationship between Tatsuma and Shiro Fujimoto, as well as the secret of the demon sword, Kurikara.

Our View:

As one would expect this second installment of Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga continues to unfold the story that began in the first half; with Todo successfully obtaining the left and right eyes of the impure king in order to begin its resurrection. Naturally it’s a race to the finish with all able members of the Kyoto branch, as well as students from True Cross Academy, working together to put a stop to Todo’s ambitious plan – a plan that spells destruction for the entire population of earth.

Taking place directly after the events of the first half, Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga – Part 2 wastes no time in returning fans to the action; with Tatsuma losing his flame spirit and heavily injured from Todo’s attack while Rin is locked away from revealing his demonic powers. Its the clam before the storm as Todo successfully uses the eyes of the impure king to begin his resurrection and with his new found demonic fire abilities is able to put up a stronger fight against those who resist them, namely the exorcists from the Kyoto Branch. That is until Yukio arrives on scene to deliver some intense close-combat with magic bullets.

Elsewhere Rin is still locked away within the cells of the Kyoto branch and with some help from Shura the group of students from True Cross Academy rescue Rin so that he can defeat the Impure King; however with Rin doubting his ability to control the flames he is unable to pull the sword from the sheath. Regardless the group venture to the mountains in order to help the Exorcists battling the impure king and its miasma, but in doing so split into groups when they locate Tatsuma. This changes the presentation of the story into a multi-pronged-attack with events taking place at different times at different locations and makes for some interesting scenes.

Firstly we have Rin, Bon and Kuro teaming up to keep the Miasma and the Impure King from entering Kyoto, with Bon using his newly obtained power to activate a barrier and Rin acting as a bodyguard. Elsewhere we have Rin and Sheimi working together to proect Tatusma from being killed by renements of the impure king; of which sees the two characters start to open up with each other and finally we have the intense battle between Yukio and Todo’s newly obtained fire spirit. All three are happening at the same time and each section is given enough respect and depth that, in some ways at least, the episode count could have been doubled.

Unfortunately it all must end; and so, rather spontaneously I might add, Rin learns to control his flames through the aide of the Fire Spirit and manages to clense the entire mountain – thus saving everyone from the effects of the impure king. It’s a rather rushed ending, as the fight scenes could have been better, but its satisfactory for the story that was told. Surprisingly this isn’t the end of the Kyoto Saga storyline; as opposed to rushing off and finishing the tale we get to experience a ‘cooldown’ episode – almost OVA like – whereby the students from True Cross Academy venture into Kyoto for some sightseeing; with Rin finally being able to see Kyoto tower.

Adrenaline-fuelled entertainment is not the term I would use to describe the episodic content within Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga – Part 2 as while episodic events do swiftly move from one topic to another at an alarming pace its not the ‘edge of your seat’ action one would expect from going up against a monster such as the Impure King. Of course dramatic fight scenes are not the only elements within this half, as once again some character development and bonding continues – especially towards the later segments of this release. Naturally Part 1 of Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga was the build-up and this was its conclusion, so some character development but mostly action rather than words – although a lot of words are spoken.

Extras:

Continuing the trend set by its first installment, this second installment of Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga only features the bare minimum of bonus content. In this case clean (textless) opening and closing songs for those used within the series and a clean (textless) ending animation for the eleventh episode.

Bare-bones, simplistic and nothing noteworthy of keeping the disc in your player after watching the three episodes contained on the second disc, which is where all of the bonus features are stored. One noteworthy explanation is that, just like with Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga – Part 1 and Occultic;Nine – Part 1 the disc menu has no audio; thus providing a rather bleak experience for a rather decent set of episodes.

Specs:

Media:  BD 25 x2
Region: B
Running Time: 1:12:41 (Disc 1), 1:12:31 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: LPCM 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga – Part 2 continues the story that was presented in the previous release and concludes it with one fight spread across multiple locations; with different characters from both True Cross Academy and Kyoto Saga being involved to stop Todo and the Impure King. The foundations of everything that was set in the previous installment finally come to fruition with Todo’s true objectives being made clear, Tatsuma opening up to his son and Rin being able to control his flames when he needs it the most.

Of course the most important aspect of this storyline is the relationship between Rin, his brother and his fellow students as it bridges the gap between selective episodes during the original Blue Exorcist storyline to explain how Rin become another welcome member of the group; something which was relatively rushed in the original series. Regardless the events within this second installment are fun to watch and while some character / relationship building is present the main focus, of this set at release, is defeating the demons. All of which are presented as one would desire; cleanly and effectively – if not a little bit long winded.

When it comes to this Blu-Ray release then Manga Entertainment UK are once again following the same release pattern as Aniplex of America, with six episodes (in both English & Japanese with English Subtitles) spread across two Blu-Ray discs. Realistically all six episodes could have been placed onto a single disc; but somehow having two discs – with three episodes a piece – make this release feel more worthy of the asking price. Once again voice-actors return to reprise their roles, with both Johnny Young Bosch and Bryce Papenbrook returning to voice Yukio and Rin, while the English subtitles for the Japanese tracks are in clean readable throughout – so positives all round and is pretty much on par with the first part installment of Blue Exorcist.

Overall Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga – Part 2 is another well rounded release, with the exception of lack of bonus features, that once again brings the spark of Blue Exorcist back to our screens and unlike the previous part brings that much needed exorcism combat and team-work. Either way Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga – Part 2 is a well worth addition to any collection and competes the series nicely to compliment the original Blue Exorcist anime series.

Score: review-stars-4

Blue: Exorcist: Kyoto Saga – Part 2 will be available on Blu-ray and DVD from the 28th May 2018 within the UK.

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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