ANIME & MANGA - Article
16:00 - 10th July 2014, by David West

Like A Bolt From The Blue

Fifteen years ago, in a fiendish plot to bridge the gap between the demonic realm of Gehenna and the human realm of Assiah, Satan planted his evil seed within a mortal woman. His plan was to use her half-human, half-demon offspring as the key to unlock the door between dimensions, paving the way to his conquest of our world. The woman produced two children, Yukio and Rin, but only Rin bore the mark of being Satan's progeny. Now that he's a teenager, Rin has to contend with all the trademark problems of being 15 - raging hormones, schoolwork, and the burning power of Hellfire that he carries inside. It's not easy being the Son of Satan.

While Rin might have a forked tail and a tendency to burst into eldritch flame when angry, he has rejected the role Satan intended for him, steadfastly refusing to do anything that might help the ruler of Gehenna in his quest to take over Assiah. Instead, Rin has chosen to walk the opposite path, training to become a demon-fighting Exorcist at True Cross Academy. He owes his moral fortitude to the man who raised him - the late, great priest Shiro Fujimoto, who gave Rin the self-confidence and determination to face down his hell-bound heritage. Despite possessing a volatile temper thanks to the demon in his DNA, Rin has a caring, compassionate side, which comes to the fore when he finds a strange little boy unconscious in the rubble of a train wreck (which Rin might have caused... but he was acting with the best of intentions. Honestly).

The little lad in question is a demon, but not of the slavering at the mouth, devour your beating heart, eat your brains school of Hell's minions. He's actually kind of cute, a bit like a rabbit. And the fact he's lost and all alone brings out the big brother instincts in Rin when he is charged with looking after the boy. In need of a name to call the wee imp, Rin dubs him Usamaro, and before long they are sharing dinner, playing baseball and bonding. But Usamaro is still a demon, and capable of causing chaos even when he doesn't mean to. In that regard, he's cut from the same cloth as his new best friend and guardian.

True Cross Academy, the school for Ex-Wires (Exorcists in training), is protected by a series of magical barriers that repel any would-be demonic invaders. It's awfully hard to train new recruits if they wind up as lunch for a demon before graduation. Once every 11 years, the top Exorcists in the Order of the True Cross have to renew the barriers, and to mark the occasion, the whole community throws a festival with parades, floats and food - because nothing sticks it to Satan like a good time and happiness in the hearts of the righteous. However, the festival is not without an element of danger, because before the new barriers can be erected, the old ones must come down, leaving a window of opportunity for demonic entrance should anything disrupt the process. The theme of the festival recalls an old fable in which a rabbit demon caused mayhem in a small village by making everyone neglect their work and chores. Whatever happened to that rabbit demon...?

See the mischief caused by Rin and Usamaro - not to mention a haunted train and an onslaught of MOLBs (Monster made Of Liquid Balloon) - when Blue Exorcist: The Movie comes to DVD and Blu-ray on 26 May from Manga Entertainment.

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