Anime Review: Blue Exorcist Kyoto Saga Volume 2

By Drew Hurley 31.05.2018

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Blue Exorcist Kyoto Saga Volume 2 (UK Rating: 15)

Fans had to wait an awfully long time for the second series of Blue Exorcist and now, as it finally reached the UK, they were hit with an extra delay as the series was split in half for its UK release. Thankfully, that wait was nowhere near as big, just two months between these two halves. The first season of the anime broke away from the canon source material for its finale but now this new series finally adapted the fantastic Kyoto arc, seeing the class head off to the old capital to take on a monstrous demon and to rebuild the bonds between them now that the truth of Rin's parentage has been revealed. Coming courtesy of Manga Entertainment, this second part has just hit shelves, on 28th May.

The Impure King has been resurrected and his miasma is spreading like a plague across the mountain, and the only way to stop it now is to use Rin's powers. The only problem is Rin's still unable to actually control them, not to mention that after his most recent outburst the Grigori have decided to imprison him in advance of his threatened - now confirmed - execution. It's down to his classmates to rescue him and embark on a mission to face off against the Impure King.

The first half of this season focused on the kids in the class and their relationship with Rin. They would build up friendships by training and working together up to this point, only for those bonds to be shattered with the revelation of Rin's lineage - the betrayal of it being kept from them and the fear that he could slaughter them all with his uncontrollable power. The first half showed the class rebuilding those relationships and it continues here. Yukio gets to finally confront his conflicted feelings about his brother, Bon gets to confront both Rin and his father, and Shiemi finally gets the confidence to control her powers.

That being said, it's not all talking and friendship building, the stage was set in part one and now it's time for action. There are some huge action scenes here as the corpulent blob that is the Impure King spreads like a cancer across the mountain. It should be as simple as Rin burning the demon to death with his blue flames, but despite being released and given his sword… he can't unsheathe it. Thanks to a blow to his confidence, Rin is unable to draw the sword and release his flames, meaning that the rest of the exorcists are all having to come together to push back the living plague. Not to mention Saburota Todo is still lurking in the shadows, leading to a showdown with Rin's brother…

As with the first part, both a Japanese and English dub are available with this release. Both are filled with quality actors who deliver quality performances here. The voice performances aren't the only quality on show here, as the production team at A-1 Studios continues to impress. The first half of the season was so focused on the characters and their relationships that it gave little chance for the art and animation teams to really stretch themselves, but here they do it in spades - making for some visually impressive moments. It's not all good with this release, though, as sadly the extras are pretty non-existent… a disappointing trend that continues to grow with anime releases as of late. It's just the usual textless opening, closings, and trailers.

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10
It's a shame there has been no hint of a third season, as this series shows there's a heck of a lot of life in Blue Exorcist. The manga has just hit its 100th chapter and there are many more stories that would be fantastic adapted into anime. In the meantime, this collection will keep shonen fans satiated, wrapping up the story nicely, and setting the stage for what's to come. Hints of major plotlines, bonds between the classmates restored, and a big secret revealed are all here.

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