Mephisto: But Rin, you have chosen a path full of thorns. A sad and painful fate awaits you... so much it will make you wish you had died here. Rin: I don't care! I'm no longer human, but I'm not a demon either. I can only move forwards! I'll become an exorcist!
Blue Exorcist, also known as Ao no Exorcist, is an action comedy fantasy shonenmanga with Multiple Demographic Appeal by Katou Kazue.The story revolves around Okumura Rin, who starts out as a boy who is somewhat of a delinquent and as such gets into fights. He is usually at odds with his adoptive father, Father Fujimoto Shirou. One day while Rin goes to a job interview that Fujimoto 'encouraged' (read 'encouraged' as 'threw objects at') him to check out, he starts seeing little black 'bugs' and runs into a group of kids he fought the other day. To his surprise, one of the kids is now a demon. Just as the demon is about to kill him, blue flames surround his body and burn his attacker. The demon realizes that Rin is the one he has been searching for: the son of Satan.While Rin is in total shock and disbelief, Fujimoto Shiro comes and exorcises the demon. He then describes how demons come from a world called Gehenna and can cross into our world (Assiah) by possessing a vessel of sufficient strength. He takes Rin back to the house to give him a sword that seals his demon powers and see him off, but unfortunately, Rin thinks it's all bullcrap and accuses Shiro of throwing him out. Double unfortunately, Satan decides to come in and say hello. Rin saves himself by drawing the sword, but Father Fujimoto dies in the process. After the funeral, he is confronted by Mephisto, a member of the True Cross Order and a friend of Shiro's, and demands to join the True Cross Order and become an Exorcist.The series follows Rin's quest to become the strongest exorcist and to defeat Satan. It also sidetracks onto secondary characters, namely Okumura Yukio, Moriyama Shiemi, Kirigakure Shura, Suguro "Bon" Ryuuji, Shima Renzou, Miwa Konekomaru, Kamiki Izumo and Takara.A 25-episode anime adaptation with music by Hiroyuki Sawano began airing on April 17, 2011. You can find it on Viz Anime, Crunchyroll (free simulcast) and Hulu. The English dub can be seen on Neon Alley for the PS3 as of October 2, 2012. A movie came out in December 2012 and the anime is a member of the Toonami block as of February 23, 2014.
This series provides examples of:
Academy of Adventure: True Cross Academy, with demons showing up on the grounds, mysterious, possibly villainous teachers, and the like.
Adult Fear: Your adopted child is the biological son of the most powerful demon in existence and if you let your guard down for even one minute said demon will possess you and use your body to literally drag him down to hell.
Your daughter has become a shut-in who only cares about her deceased grandmother's garden, and on top of that she can barely move due to demonic growths in her legs.
Anti Anti Christ: Rin is a good-hearted guy who wants to KICK SATAN'S (read: daddy's) ASS.
As the Good Book Says: Certain Bible verses can be used to banish demons. The trick is knowing which Bible verse is required for which demon. One classmate, trapped by a ghoul, only knows that something from the Book of John can banish it. He recites the entire thing from memory, and it turns out it's the last line that banishes the ghoul.
Barrier Maiden: Suguro Ryūji (Bon) in the fight against the Impure King. Made fun of by Rin because the role is usually reserved for girls.
Beach Episode: 11th episode of the anime, and Chapter 35 in the manga.
Bedmate Reveal: After the battle with the Impure King, Rin wakes up to find Shiemi sleeping next to him.
Demon mashou boils. And demonic possession/attacks. So much blood...
Then came Chapter 32. Toudou can regenerate with Karura's power. He just likes to regenerate his hands and mouth first, to Yukio's abject horror.
In chapter 56 there are uber-zombies created by Dr. Gedouin vary in just how bad they are but one has a stack of noses running up one side of the body, ear-covered arms, eyes on the shoulders, a huge mouth, multiple arms on one side of the body, what look like smaller faces on the hips.
Cast of Snowflakes: Notably, the only characters who look alike are related (Rin and Yukio, Mephisto and Amaimon), and even then they're easy to tell apart.
Chekhov's Gunman: The Video Game Dude and Bunny Rabbit Puppet Kid. The Video Game "Dude" is really Kirigakure Shura, a big boobed Upper First Class Exorcist with a seal for a demonsword on her chest, who was Fujimoto's former student and has now become Rin's mentor. Bunny Rabbit Puppet Kid is actually Takara Nemu, a fully trained exorcist, with the same rank as Shura (Upper-first class), hired by Mephisto to act as a "moderator" for the cram school students.
Christmas Cake: Shura does not react well to those who suggest she is NOT eighteen.
None of the main characters wears their uniform like the others. They use shirts, t-shirts, over the knee socks and wear ties or ribbons in their own way to stand out from the rest, according to their personality.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Not as obvious in the manga, but the anime version of Rin with his sword drawn vs. Amaimon is a huge one in the former's favor. You can clearly see how the latter went from stomping the entire cast to barely keeping up the defensive. Also overlaps with No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. In the manga: Rin vs. Amaimon in Gehenna was also heavily in Amaimon's favor. Mephisto arranged this so Rin would know that if he couldn't touch the seventh-toughest demon in hell he had no chance of going against their daddy.
Dark Is Not Evil: Aside from the protagonist, there are plenty of "demons" around that simply want to exist and not bother anyone. Kuro is one of these.
Recited Christian scriptures assume there is a god. Recited Buddhist scriptures assume there was Buddha. Maybe it's all a matter of faith and all religions are true?
If Satan is the Ultimate Evil in the underworld, could there be a Uber-God who is the ultimate good?
One anime episode has the cast baking a cake for a classmate. Rin accidentally bakes a Christmas cake first. When the class realizes the mistake, they drop it off at Mephisto's office for him to eat instead, at which point he gleefully hangs a lampshade on the whole absurd situation.
Yukio: What were his final moments like? Rin: He was awesome.
Elaborate University High: True Cross Academy owns this trope and takes this Up to Eleven, since it also has an amusement park, a freaking town based around it and lots of secret passages due to being an important base for the True Cross Order in Japan. And everything is BIIIIIG! Possibly Justified as Mephisto is the headmaster.
Energy Absorption: If one uses an elemental attack on a demon of the same element, if the attack is not strong enough the demon will absorb it.
Renzou Shima is revealed to have joined the Illuminati before entering True Cross Academy and reveals his true colors in Chapter 48.
Familiar: Strong exorcists have 'em. Rin acquires Kuro/Blacky, Shiemi has Nii-chan.
Izumo has, not one, but two of 'em.
Arthur Angel's sword talks to him just prior to battles, usually an admonishment about how he's working too hard.
Shima has one much to the surprise of Izumo, not to mention the audience. Not only is Yamantaka an incredibly powerful High-Level-Myo-O Demon, but according to Shima it's been his familiar since he was a child.
Also subverted with Izumo and Shiemi. Izumo didn't really give a damn about it , while Shiemi was more hurt by the fact that Rin, her first friend, didn't tell her something so important. Shiemi, being the Fragile Flower she is, took it a little too personally..
Subverted as well with Shima who, while definitely being freaked out by Rin being the Son of Satan thing, was more worried about how troublesome being around Rin would be. After the two ate dinner together Shima realized that Rin was a genuinely good person and that it would "be more troublesome trying to avoid him".
Played completely straight and justified in Konekomaru's case though. His entire family was killed on the Blue Night and having as much resentment against Rin as he did was only to be expected, and when he finally gets over it, the Friendship Moment between the two is pretty friggin heartwarming.
While most of the examples of this trope are subverted as listed above, the anime adaptation plays this trope completely straight once Rin's friends find out.
Angel and Neuhaus play this trope completely straight - while other exorcists don't mind demons that aren't actively hostile or harmful towards humans, Angel hates demons in general and never has anything nice to say to Mephisto or Rin despite their fight against Satan while Neuhaus, like the Cram School students, hates any spawn of Satan
Gratuitous German: Aside from Mephisto's Eins Zwei Drei, the manga has now "Das stärkste Gefängnis".
Gratuitous Polish: "Nie popuszcz... takiego, powi...zanego z Szatanem" in Episode 20. Not only is it written incorrectly, but also one of characters translates it as "Satan's kin must die"(lit. "Potomek szatana musi umrze...")
Half-Human Hybrid: Rin of course. Although, apparently, there's a lot of demon-blooded exorcists.
Harmful Healing: How Yukio exploits a Zombie Chimera's healing factor. It absorbs whatever is around it as it regenerates so he kept shooting it down to the ground so that it tried to absorb the alloy. It pinned itself to the floor permanently.
He Who Fights Monsters: The trope-naming passage is quoted in reference to Rin and Yukio. Further noted that this is a problem for most Exorcists who could become demons because of their inner hatred or repressed feelings.
Holy Burns Evil: Holy water does this to demons. It hurts Rin as well, but not as much.
Hot for Student: Yukio to Shiemi. Though really they're about the same age.
Rin: But why the hell does a school cafeteria need first-class food? Mephisto: Food is culture! Experiencing the highest-end food will make your lives fuller! [opens a cup of instant ramen and eats it]
But then again, there is a bit of Fridge Brilliance in that. Mephisto is actually more than 200 years old and, knowing his love of culture, has probably already experienced all of the "highest-end food." Now he just wants to sit back and eat ramen. Nothing hypocritical about that. Pre-Fridge Brilliance, the scene is still an example though.
Lawful Stupid: In the anime, Angel tries to kill Rin right after the kid saved the day by defeating Amaimon.
In Episode 20, Angel also stops Mephisto (with a firetruck) from saving several student hostages because he's under suspicion for performing acts forbidden by the Vatican. What, the moron couldn't give him another minute?
Light Is Not Good: Arthur, the current paladin, exemplifies this trope. He even uses Light-based powers.
And now the Demon King of Light has shown up; as the current Big Bad.
Marshmallow Hell: A half-example. In Chapter 10 Shura clutches Rin's head under her arm, giving him a faceful of her left boob. The other male students were envious. Strangely though, Rin doesn't really react.
Meaningful Name: The new Paladin is called Arthur Angel. Averted, as he mocks Shura and cuts off Rin's foot in trial.
Rin, when written in kanji, can be read as phosphorus, an igniting compound in chemistry. In turn, phosphorus comes from the Greek word "light-bearer" and light-bearer is another term used to describe the fallen angel Lucifer.
Subverted with Shima. His given name, Renzou, can mean "pure" or "honest". Shima is, of course, known better for his perverted antics and being a liar.
Miko: Izumo is quite proud of her heritage as a shrine maiden.
More Hero Than Thou: What the other students think Rin is playing up when he appears to be taking unnecessary risks by fighting alone ("Don't forget you have friends!") when he's actually hiding his demonic powers, especially from the guy who has a blood feud against Satan. Having everyone think that he either doesn't trust them or that he's being a glory-hound is really annoying to Rin.
And then his sibling Yukio got them for a few pages after nearly getting killed by Toudou. Toudou goes as far to say "those are not your eyes".
In the manga it seems all of Satan's children are born with blue eyes, see Adaptation Dye-Job for Mephisto. Rin and Yukio are just notable for sometimes having their blue eyes change to look identical to those of Satan himself.
Older than They Look: Toudou got younger after "swallowing" Karura. He started out as a middle-aged man and currently looks about eighteen.
Our Demons Are Different: The humanoid ones have elf ears and tails. The other ones range from foxes, ghoulish-sewn-together-bodies, cats, plant... things, anthropomorphic phoenixes, and giant fungus buildings.
Our Zombies Are Different: Zombies differ from Ghouls in that they are living humans being parasited on by demons, craving flesh and requiring Head Shots to kill. And even then they somehow became immortal due to all the experimenting with Tamamo.
Overtook the Manga: At the time the anime aired, only 30+ chapters of the manga were even out.
Power Limiter: Rin's katana is a limiter to his demonic power. When sheathed the only things that remain are slightly pointy ears and a tail. When he takes it out—all hell breaks loose around him. Quite literally.
All powerful demons seem to try to have this in place, or at least when they come to Assiah so they don't damage or destroy their hosts, since they need to hide their "Demon Heart" which acts as both their major weak point and what lets them access their true form and all of their powers.
Rant Inducing Slight: Takara draws this response from, of all people, Konekomaru when he reveals that he is actually a prodigy exorcist, and a second year at that.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Konekomaru soundfully delivers this to EVERY SINGLE ONE of his classmates, in the middle of a battle, no less.
Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Bon's female cousins have snake tattoos to go with their serpent familiars, not to mention Hellish Pupils. And they certainly act like a bunch of smug snakes to their other relatives. One of them turns traitor. But this is a subversion, as she was doing so in response to the perceived threat of Mephisto concealing the Eyes of the Impure King and keeping the son of Satan alive. Amaimon also has an alternate, more demonic form which has some lizard aspects to it when he unleashes his true power.
Restraining Bolt: The ring on Rin's tail seems to serve as one: when Shura begins to recite certain verses, it quickly drains him of his power.
Neuhaus, a survivor of the "Blue Night" in which Satan went on a killing spree, took it upon himself to try to kill Rin, the son of Satan.
Konekomaru attempted to do this to Rin in the anime while he is possessed by Gale in order to avenge his parents. Ultimately, though, he realizes that killing Rin won't bring back his parents, so he gives it up.
School Club Front: The Exorcists train the students exorcists in the academy under the guise of a "Cram-Class".
Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Bon's dad, in a flashback, helped Fujimoto escape with the Koumaken despite the law that all intruders to the sect who know about the Koumaken must be killed.
Also when Shura orders Rin's classmates to break him out of prison despite the Vatican's decision to execute Rin.
Sealed Evil in a Can: The Eyes of the Impure King, an ancient demon so powerful that just these two eyeballs expel a flood of miasma.
The Myou Dha sect used itself to seal the Impure King, so the Myou Dha was the can.
At one point, there was a flame demon, Kurara, sealed in Koumaken. It's since left. Koumaken's still a Can, since it contains Rin's demon powers.
And then Kurara set up a partnership with Suguro Tatsuma. Finally Toudou, now a major villain, has forced it to possess him, making him much more powerful. Prettier, too.
Ship Tease: A little, perhaps with a dash of Foe Yay, with Mephisto and Shura in the manga. When Shura tries to interrogate him, it at first looks like she's flirting with him, and then she goes ahead and straddles him. He calls the view of her chest "a nice view" and eventually tells her that "it would be a pity if a beautiful woman like [her] died at such a young age." And, when she backs off and leaves the room, he muses, "how lovely" in a rather ambiguous fashion. She then concludes that Mephisto will protect Rin from execution. Yeah. Theirs is an odd relationship...
Shoot the Hostage: When Shiemi is drained by a pansy demon, it uses her body as a shield. Yukio pulls out his gun, and the demon taunts he wouldn't shoot Shiemi. He does. The pansy demon freaks out and flees. Rin is reasonably pissed off, but Shiemi is fine in the end. Yukio reveals to Rin that he used red dye bullets, having no intention of harming Shiemi at all.
Spell My Name with an S: It been stated by the creator that The Paladin's middle initial is 'A' not 'O' like some fans has believed.
Stab the Scorpion: When confronted by his human brother about his existence, Rin draws his sword and charges... to kill a demon behind him. "I am not low enough to fight my own brother."
Standard Female Grab Area: This trope is pulled on Shura of all people, when Arthur Angel grabs her by the wrist from behind while they are fighting. A bit justified considering the wrist he was holding was connected to her sword hand and he had his own sword against her neck.
Take a Third Option: Subverted initially when Rin first meets Mephisto. He offers that Rin either kill or be killed, and later jokingly adds that Rin could always kill himself too. Rin declines, and demands to be an Exorcist instead.
Mephisto: The way I see it, you have two options. You can either be killed by us, or you can kill us and run away. Or, of course, you could just kill yourself, and save us the trouble, so that's three options you have. So, which one do you choose? Rin: Make me one of you. Make me an Exorcist. Mephisto: Okay. Let's say that Satan's son could be an Exorcist. What would you do? Rin: KICK SATAN'S ASS!
Time Master: Mephisto: "I am second in Gehenna's hierarchy, The King of Time, Samael."
Time Stands Still: When faced with an expanding artificially created Gehenna Gate, Mephisto stops time around it, but notes it won't last indefinitely. They have only bought a few months to fix the problem.
Title Drop: From Chapter 33, summing up Rin's mission after he's demonstrated it by defeating the Impure King and annihilating all its insidious spores more or less by himself:
Suguro Ryuji is too, but only towards Rin, who he can't stand and has a hard time showing gratitude for honestly. He's relatively nice to everyone else.
Un Paused: In the manga the cuckoo clock Mephisto made during Amaimon and Rin's second fight just kept Amaimon trapped in a pocket dimension where Time Stands Still (since his Healing Factor was paused as well based on his burns) when Mephisto uses it to summon him to Curb Stomp Rin it's clear Amaimon is under the impression that they are still in the middle of that fight.
Use Your Head: This is step one for Rin in regards to calming down Kuro. Yukio has the appropriate reaction◊ to this.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Nobody is concerned about Rin's fangs or ears (and sometimes even his tail!). Word of God is that it is "surprisingly complicated", and seems to rely on them failing a spot check (if one ditches the chuff of Mephisto's rant on this point). Even exorcists aren't bothered, as there's a of number half-demons and even demons (like Mephisto) who are exorcists. Subverted with Rin's blue flames, since a) blue flames are Satan's signature power and b) can only be seen with those with a masho.
Weaksauce Weakness: Rin's tail and his sword are direct connections to his "demon heart". Notice that we've never seen Mephisto and Amaimon's tails.
Then Chapter 49 brings with it the introduction of Lucifer, the King of Light, leader of the Illuminati, and a Demon King strong enough, even when weakened, to ward off Mephisto. He makes absolutely no effort to hide his tail.