Anime Review: Twin Star Exorcists Part One

By Drew Hurley 02.10.2018

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Twin Star Exorcists (UK Rating: 15)

Shonen Jump may put out some of the biggest and most popular shonen series out there, but it does not have the monopoly on it. The monthly magazine, Jump Square, has been putting out some huge series for years now, series like Claymore, Seraph of the End, and Blue Exorcist. Exorcists are the subject of this new series, too. In Twin Star Exorcists another world lurks beside our own, the spirit world Magano where dark spirits known as Kegano are always trying to break through. All that stands against them are the exorcists... but they can't keep up. Not this generation, at least. Legend tells of an exorcist born of the Twin Star Exorcists whose power will save the world. Twin Star Exorcists is available now, courtesy of Anime Ltd.

The series comes from Yoshiaki Sukeno who previously produced a series little known outside of Japan entitled Binbougami Ga!, or Good Luck Girl, a comedy series that ran for a solid five years and was surprisingly good. Comedy series rarely translate well but regardless of whether the manga or the anime, this series managed to translate its comedy into English - a tricky feat. It's an underrated show, and one worth giving a shot. He delivered on comedy, but how about this shonen - is this worth giving a shot?

The series starts off with a familiar setup: a boy with considerable powers working with a straight-laced girl to take on monsters. Fans of series like Bleach and Busou Renkin are going to see immediate similarities. The boy is Rokuro, a 14-year-old who quit being an exorcist two years prior, after a horrific incident slaughtered all the other children living with him at a dormitory dedicated to raising exorcists. He swore to never go back, despite his immense talent - until an equally talented young lady waltzed into his life. Her name is Benio, a noble, strong warrior and next head of a house of exorcists. She comes crashing into Rokuro's life and the two find themselves indelibly linked.

They are believed to be the titular Twin Star Exorcists, a pair prophesied to parent The Miko, a child of legend, one destined to end the war between the Magano and humans. Being prophesied to have a child, the two are pushed towards this destiny, with the heads of the exorcists forcing them to live together. It's a difficult sell, with Benio furious with Rokuro for wasting his power, and Rokuro want nothing to do with the exorcists.

What follows is a handful of episodes where the pair begins to grow closer, first as friends, and then hints at something more. At the same time, some of the extended cast is introduced, some of the key elements to the background of the story, and some hints of what's to come. There's nothing really special at the start, though.

There are two discs included in this collection; the first contains the majority of the series. Episodes one-to-eight, and most of this the series, are rather predictable and generic; another shonen show with familiar characters and themes. There are a huge amount of shonen out there, and each needs something special if it wants to stand above the rest, Twin Star Exorcists seems to be completely lacking that… until the very final episode of Disc 1 and the episodes on Disc 2. In these final episodes, an antagonist is introduced and things really start to heat up. A good villain can make a series and the one here, while it can't be revealed as it's a huge spoiler, is good enough to make this stand out. It's just a shame the series took so long to really take off.

One of the best aspects of the series, regardless of in episode one or episode 13, is the art style. The majority of which is generic shonen, until the world switches over to Magano and the combat kicks in, at which point the colour palettes and even the art style of the characters switches up and vastly improves, a dark world of blacks, reds, and rot that clash against the luminous glow of the exorcists. However, it's a shame that the Kegano are so uninspired, generic "monsters," lacking in any distinctive style and design, something addressed later in the series when some new villains, named the Basara - with familiar designs to the Akuma of D.Gray Man - burst onto the scene. The first of these is glimpsed in the finale to this collection.

The release contains the original Japanese dub and bundles up some of the Japanese bonus features including the voice actors for Benio and Rokuro acting out living in together and inviting around some of the rest of the cast and crew. There's also a very brief "making of" the opening animation bundled along with the clean opening and closing, and a handful of trailers. In addition, being the Crunchyroll / Funimation version, it includes a Crunchyroll English dub filled with familiar voices. For this adaptation, it has used some of the go-to names, with Bryce Papenbrook and Cassandra Lee Morris taking the lead roles of Rokuro and Benio. Both are VA veterans, with big titles to their names. Bryce has starred as the MC in huge titles like Sword Art Online, Blue Exorcist, and Attack on Titan, not to mention starring in some big games, including being Makoto Naegi in Danganronpa. Cassandra starred in Danganronpa, too, as best girl Aoi, and provided the voice for Morgana in the phenomenal Persona 5. Not to mention having some major anime performances on her resume, such as Kyubey from  Madoka and Ritsu from K-On. These folks are some of the best in English voice acting at the moment and the rest of the cast is rounded out with plenty of other major names, too, including Vic Mignogna as the Yuto and JYB as exorcist Shimon Ikaruga, one of the 12 guardians, the greatest living exorcists.

Rated 6 out of 10


Twin Star Exorcists stumbles into a slow start, with the show taking the majority of this entire collection to find its feet and beginning to tell its own story. That being said, the tail end shows a lot of promise, and there's much better to come. This is, after all, just the first part, with this collection containing only the first 13 episodes of the 50 total. There's a reason the series received so many episodes instead of the usual 13 or 26, and it will have a chance to show why and just how strong in the next collection.

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