Blue Exorcist, Volume 3 – DVD Review

Review by: Felicia Day

Publisher: Aniplex of America
MSRP: $37.48 US
Running Time: 150 minutes
Genre: Action/Supernatural
Rating: 13+
Release Date: Available Now

What would you do if your friend was the son of Satan?

It is not easy being Rin Okumura and even more so if you happen to discover his unusual secret that not only haunts the boy but also inspires him to take on one of the most challenging and dangerous quests … to kill his father who just so happens to be Satan himself. Oh but what would happen if those closest to him finds out this very secret? How will the take the news and how will Rin deal with its aftermath? Welcome to Volume 3 of Blue Exorcist as things are about to get very interesting in the Academy.

It was an eventful semester for Rin, to say the least, but he managed to survive it with his fellow classmates who join him as newly ranked ExWires. Summer has come and so has the break period as many students head home. Rin finds out that he’s not the only one not going home – mainly because his “home” happens to be a convent – as he finds some classmates also staying in academy grounds. Rin’s twin brother, Yukio, sees this as a perfect opportunity for those who stayed to go on a field trip to the forest. Well, it’s not so much a field trip as it is another training camp event.

Rin, Shiemi, Bon, Shima, Izumo and Konehomaru join Yukio and the new busty addition to the academy faculty, Shura Kirigakure, as they are given a task they must complete within three days. The task is to find a lantern somewhere in the forest, light it and keep it lit as they make their way back to base camp. It sounds simple enough but the forest is overrun by demons and the lanterns are not what they all think they are so this will not be a simple stroll in the woods. Before they head out, Shura tells Rin not to carelessly unleash his blue flames no matter how convenient it is to use the Koma Sword.

There’s a close call when Rin does flash his sword to save Shiemi from demon moths and Rin finds himself joining his friends in completing the task. For the first time, the boy finds himself enjoying teamwork especially with a group who sees him as a friend. Even Bon, who gave Rin a hard time in the beginning of the semester, sees him as a good friend. As a result of this teamwork, they carry out the task successfully. On top of that, Rin learns from Bon that he shouldn’t take things on alone because he has them.

Unfortunately, Mephisto Pheles’ impulsive brother, Amaimon is still determined to bring out the demon in Rin and interrupts the festive moment by attacking. Using Shiemi to antagonize Rin, the boy sees no other choice than to unleash his blue flames and thus exposing the secret he has hiding from his classmates. It’s a terrifying sight to see Rin in this way but Bon and the others decide to help Rin anyway. However, it is clear that they are no match for the demon and they could see that Rin has finally given Amaimon what he really wanted and that is a challenge worthy of the power the demon possesses.

Unfortunately, Rin loses control during the fight and although Amaimon is whisked away from the battlefield, another problem arises in the form of Arthur Auguste Angel, a Senior Exorcist First Class that came straight from the Vatican to take Rin and Mephisto into custody and be taken before a disciplinary hearing. With Mephisto on trail for brining a spawn from Satan into the grounds of the True Cross Academy, it is clear that Rin’s life is in danger. Surely, they will not allow a son of Satan to be free.

Meanwhile, Rin’s classmates are determined to save their classmate despite the fact that Yukio has revealed everything about his brother. They go on a mission to repair the Koma Sword that has been cracked during the battle with Amaimon and the only one who can repair it is a cute swordsmith that Bon knows since he was the one that recognized the Koma Sword by its other name … the Kurikara.

Luckily, Bon and the others in time to help Rin when Amaimon, still upset by his battle with Rin, comes for Round 2 and thus putting everyone’s life in danger. Oh, this fight has a different outcome but not before Mephisto makes a deal with the Grigori concerning Rin. They accept his proposal, which will certainly mean that nothing will be the same for Rin again.

In the aftermath of the battle and trial, Rin finds that his classmates don’t quite see him in the same light as they did before the trip. In fact, Konekomaru seems to be afraid of Rin for reasons connected to the boy’s past and that horrifying day Satan attacked prominent temples. As Rin undergoes new training from Yukio and Shura that caters to his particular power, a demon attacks him but where is Konekomaru during all of this? This attack also poses a very important question: how was it able to get through the powerful barrier that protects the academy?

Rin manages to see the demon behind the attack but the second question is one that Shura investigates and comes up with a most interesting clue. Meanwhile, Rin makes a discovery about his friends and what he means to them now that they know his secret. Still, despite all of the problems, the group has time to celebrate the birthday of one of their own … who comically comes to some wrong conclusions about why her friends are so secretive around her.

Once again, the series certainly knows how to play up the action and drama without sacrificing the humor that makes us like all the characters even more.

Volume 3 of Blue Exorcist continues to keep you fastened to your seat in a thrill ride that continues to be well worth the price of admission. A big secret is revealed in this third chapter as Rin finds himself dealing with its aftermath and attempting to survive the upcoming semester as new threats arise. Blue Exorcist fans, this series hasn’t disappointed so far and things are looking all the more enticingly entertaining so strap yourself in again and hang on because this ride is just getting really good.

DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: A-
Surviving his first semester in the academy, Rin and his fellow ExWire classmates find themselves attending a field trip into the forest where they are tested once again. However, Amaimon shows up and forces Rin to reveal his biggest secret about himself. As a result, Mephisto and Rin and put on trial and things around the academy will get very interesting.

VIDEO QUALITY: A-
The animation in the series is lively and colorful and the fighting scenes in this volume are loads of fun to watch so expect a visually exciting six episodes in this particular volume. This series would have rocked on Blu-ray but it still looks great on DVD.

AUDIO QUALITY: B+
The new opening theme song, “In My World” by ROOKiEZ PUNK’D is awesome and although I miss the last closing theme song, “Wired Life” is a nice tune. In these episodes the cast continues to shine and this time Nobuhiko Okamoto (as Rin) is especially outstanding.

EXTRAS: B
You’ll find the usual assortment of extras in this release including some Aniplex trailers, Web Previews for the series as well as the textless opening and closing theme songs. The best extras come in the form of the VRA-Ex bonus shorts with one involving Shima and his fear of insects and another about Izumo and her secret love for cats like Kuro.

OVERALL: A-
The secret about Rin is out and this makes Volume 3 of Blue Exorcist an exciting few episodes that will change everything for the son of Satan and his closest friends. Rin deals with a lot of problems in this third installment and, thankfully, the series shows no signs of slowing down to the point that you cannot help but be swept up by the story. We cannot wait for Volume 4 now.

Review copy provided by Aniplex of America

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