'Blue Exorcist (Japanese: 青の, Hepburn: 'Ao no Ekusoshisuto) is a Japanese anime television series based on the manga written and illustrated by Kazue Katō of the same name.
The entire series was made available on July 14, 2020.
Blue Exorcist revolves around Rin Okumura, a teenager who discovers he and his twin brother Yukio are the sons of Satan born from a human woman, and he is the inheritor of Satan's powers. When Satan kills their guardian, Rin enrolls at True Cross Academy to become an exorcist under Yukio's tutelage in order to defeat his father Satan.
Kazue Katō took inspiration from the 2005 film The Brothers Grimm, as she tried to work the angle of brothers fighting against monsters into a story. She eventually decided on making the story about demons and exorcists, thus conceiving Blue Exorcist. Due to exorcists being the main idea of the story, the manga features a lot of Biblical references. In an interview with Anime News Network, Kato said: "I should not run away from these references if I'm working in the Exorcist genre." An ending was planned by Kato but the exact length of the series has yet to be decided based on the manga's popularity in Japan.
An anime adaption for the manga was announced on November 27, 2010, on Shueisha's Jump Square official website. The anime was produced by A-1 Pictures with Hitoshi Okamura as the producer. Originally, the series was scheduled to air on April 10, 2011, on MBS, replacing Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto; however, due to the March 11, 2011, Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami the series' broadcast was delayed until April 17, 2011. The anime ended on October 2, 2011.
The opening theme for the first 12 episodes is "Core Pride" by Japanese rock band Uverworld, while the opening theme from episode 13 onwards is "In My World" by Japanese rock band ROOKiEZ is PUNK'D. The ending theme for the first 12 episodes is "Take Off" by South Korean boy band 2PM, while the ending theme from episode 13 through episode 25 is "Wired Life" by Japanese singer Meisa Kuroki.
Aniplex announced they would simulcast the series in North America through video sites Hulu, Crunchyroll, Anime News Network and Netflix starting on April 20, 2011. Aniplex of America released Blue Exorcist on DVD in four sets, starting by releasing the first DVD on October 18, 2011.An OVA was released in 2011, called Ao No Exorcist: Kuro no Iede. The series began broadcasting in the United States and Canada on Viz Media's online network, Neon Alley, on October 2, 2012. The series began airing on Adult Swim's Toonami block on February 23, 2014, and finished airing on August 10, 2014.
HBO Max streamed seasons 1 & 2 of the show in a subtitled format from July 14th, 2020 to the present.
As of November 2016, Blue Exorcist had over 15 million copies in circulation. The manga has been popular in Japan with the seventh volume receiving first print run of one million copies becoming the first Jump Square manga to reach such milestone. The release of the anime also drastically increased the manga's sales to the point that Shueisha decided to increase the print run for the seventh volume.
Critics have praised the Blue Exorcist manga with Comic Book Bin reviewer Leroy Douresseaux feeling the first volume had potential, enjoying the comedy in the work and the characters and their interactions, recommending it to teen readers. Danica Davidson from Otaku USA felt that while the series employs disturbing storytelling, Rin's heroic traits despite being Satan's son make the plot more appealing to the readers. Kato's artwork has been praised by Anime News Network's Carlo Santos for the way each character has distinct traits while background images are well designed. Despite noting that the story uses several clichés, Carl Kimlinger from the same site emphasized how the execution was well-performed, resulting in entertaining episodes, especially its fight scenes, which were noted to be one of the anime's strongest points.