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YMMV / Blue Exorcist

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • Due to being a monthly manga, many have felt that the chapters do not provide enough content to satisfy a monthly release and that each chapter is paced like it would be more suited for a weekly manga. Readers would often get bored, and lose interest during certain parts of the manga. It could be during the Impure King arc where people found the build-up and the climatic battles to drag on much longer then they should have, it could be the school festival chapters following the previous said arc for being Padding chapters until the next Story Arc starts up, and even during the Izumo arc which many have felt has been stuck-in-place the past several months building up to the final confrontation.
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    • The anime was accused of having too many Slice of Life filler episodes before it started to diverge from the manga.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
  • Broken Base:
    • Much like Fullmetal Alchemist, the changes the anime adaptation was divisive. The anime was criticized for having too many filler episodes, despite being a 25 episode series that diverged from the manga halfway through anyway, questionable changes (like making Satan a Jerk with a Heart of Gold despite how he is first introduced), poorly developing the main cast outside of Rin and Yukio, Flanderizing the main characters, and playing the cliches the manga deconstructed straight as a result of overtaking the manga.
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    • The anime continuing with a 2nd season to cover the Impure King arc is divisive for a very similar reason. Either people are glad to see the story continuing, or they would have preferred to see a complete reboot due to the issues people had with the first season.
      • Another problem fans have that it's only adapting the Impure King Arc. A few were disappointed that they have to wait (if it ever even comes) for the fan favorite Illuminati Arc to get adapted.
  • Cliché Storm: Be ready for for A LOT of recycled Shonen tropes. Not that this is a bad thing. To the series' credit, many of the tropes are occasionally twisted in new ways to keep things fresh. It arguably succeeds in this end as well. It is especially done well with the characters. All of the main casts fit pretty well into established character tropes, but are fully fleshed out as opposed to flat stereotypes. The flat stereotypes tend to get deconstructed in a fashion that resembles Persona 4, showing how no one is that simple.
    • Unfortunately played straight with the anime adaptation. This is the result of the manga truly deconstructing its cliches as it progressed.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Dr. Michael (Mihaeru) Gedouin, the resident Mad Scientist of the Illuminati, spends the entirety of the Izumo Rescue Arc proving himself to be the most selfish and utterly depraved villain in that story arc. In flashbacks, he and his team abduct Izumo, her sister Tsukumo, and her mother to use as subjects in his research on the elixir of immortality. He subjects their mother to horrific experiments that reduced her to a broken, bloody shell of a person, while threatening to use Tsukumo (who was two years old at the time) next if Izumo did not follow his demands. When the heroes storm his laboratory, they discover that he has been brainwashing people who visit the town near the lab and using them as disposable fodder for his experiments, turning them into shambling, semi-conscious zombies. When called out on his atrocities, he actually employs a Humans Are the Real Monsters argument to defend himself, considering himself to be above the people he uses as guinea pigs. Further, it is repeatedly show that his only motivation for his evil is to earn approval from Lucifer. An immature, self-centered bastard who relishes the suffering of others, Gedouin stands head and shoulders above most previous villains in terms of monstrosity, with his actions even disgusting Lucifer.
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    • Ernst Frederik Egin, exclusive to the anime, is a member of the True Cross Order who, despite his claims, is entirely motivated by his racism against demons. Ernst would send men to kill demons and those associated with them, regardless of innocence. When he learns that his daughter Yuri is pregnant with Satan's children, he has her put on the stake to be burned to death, something he had done to many other women before. He even has people watch, but when Satan comes to rescue her, he abandons them all while he escapes. Many years later, Ernst finds one of Yuri's children, Yukio, whom he persuades to his side. He then murders The Order's leadership, becoming its new leader, with his first command issuing all True Cross Academy students weapons forcing them to fight demons, despite many being inexperienced. He also tasks Yukio to bring him his brother Rin saying he will spare Rin, only to admit he lied once Yukio does this. Ernst proceeds to torture Rin, knowing it would open the Gate to Gehanna where he will drop his nuclear bomb, The Messiah, onto the world, destroying it and eradicating every last demon there. When Yukio offers to take Rin's place, Ernst allows it, but tries to kill Rin anyway. When Satan finally appears and foils Ernst's plans by revealing to Yukio what Ernst did to Yuri, he responds that Yuri was not his daughter for loving a demon and her children are just disgraces to him. Sacrificing all those he see, family members included, Ernst proves that humans can become more evil than demons.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Meta-Example; if Rin Okumura comes up in a conversation between fangirls, expect the word "cute" to show up 9 times out of 10.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Amaimon.
    • Lucifer, Todou, and Reiji.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Renzou if the merchandise has anything to say about it. This guy is snuck into pictures alongside more central characters of the show when his fellow companions who've arguably been given more focus, Bon and Konekomaru, are nowhere in sight! There's even an official letter set where he appears more often than the main character, for some reason. In the official poll he ended up being the fourth most popular character in the series after Rin, Amaimon, and Yukio.
    • Fans seem to have taken quite a large interest in Amaimon, to the point he managed to place second in the popularity poll, while Yukio got first place and Rin ended up in third.
    • Juuzou and Kinzou, Renzou's older brothers, are very popular for being introduced not too long ago and with only moderate, and moderately important, screen time. In general, the Shima brothers seem to be very popular amongst fans.
    • Despite only being a Starter Villain and not appearing since chapter one, Reiji Shiratori has his fair share of fangirls. Astaroth, the demon that possessed him in the anime, also has fangirls due to being an Adaptational Badass.
    • Cheng-Long Liu from The Movie is another fanart favorite, probably because of his Hidden Heart of Gold and for being a Pretty Boy.
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation: Satan being in love with Rin and Yukio's mother in the Anime. Many felt this drastically contradicts how Ax-Crazy he was when he possessed Fujimoto and talked about how he never cared about Rin and his mother.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Rin and Izumo has a following due to her being the only one not to turn against Rin after getting outed as a demon and quickly grew after the Illuminati Arc.
  • Foe Yay: Saburota Toudou to Yukio. Let's count the ways: straddling him numerous times, the dozen double entendres ("you're determined not to give in", "why do you reject me?", etc), and recommending him to his boss Lucifer.
    • Yukio and Lucifer. On their first meeting Lucifer holds his face and says "I want you". Though that's technically a mistranslation: he is actually referring to Yukio's power and the better translation is "I want it". However, his No Sense of Personal Space is very subtexty.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: All of the gags relating to Shura being a Christmas Cake become more tragic when the Aomori Arc reveals that she was destined to die at the age of 30 because of a curse placed on her bloodline.
  • Genius Bonus: Both Amaimon's and Mephisto's names are that of the Princes of Hell. Rin's name also qualifies. Also doubles as Names to Run Away from Really Fast.
  • Growing the Beard: Rin getting outed as a demon and the Impure King Arc following it are when people felt the series really started to get good, when the series stopped being episodic and allowed for more Character Development. Sadly, the anime started to diverge from the manga before the Impure King Arc started.
    • If the Impure King arc didn't do it for some people, then the Illuminati Arc definitely did.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Renzo showing up in all the merchandise makes a lot more sense now that he's been revealed to be an Illumanati spy.
    • All those times where Renzo was picked on and treated as pure Comic Relief? Those moments where he was shown to be a "comedic" The Un-Favourite? Yeah, about that, not so funny now it's turned out he's been working with an evil organization and what with being a Stepford Smiler. Impossible to not look at him and wonder what exactly is going behind that smile on his face...
    • In chapter 2, Yukio points his gun at Rin, who has drawn his sword, and it looks like they will fight. Instead Rin destroys a demon behind him and declares he's not a low person who would hurt his brother. Chapter 96 has Yukio pull a Face–Heel Turn and repeatedly shoot at Rin.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • One of the first filler episodes in the anime involves a Kraken attacking a coastal town. Guess what the first chapter after the whole Impure King arc involves?
    • It's funny think that Hiroshi Kamiya (Mephisto) spouts any German used in the show when Amaimon's voice actor, Tetsuya Kakihara, was born and raised in Germany and is as fluent in German as he is in Japanese.
    • The Gecko Ending of the anime had Satan attempting to join Gehenna and Assiah together through a large Gehenna Gate to create a "new world". Guess just what's been revealed to be the Chief of the Illuminati's plan?
  • Ho Yay: There's plenty of it to go around.
    • Bon/Rin, what with Rin going on about how "cool" Bon is, getting all wide eyed and blushy when he does something awesome or nice and then him getting the most depressed over Bon being angry with him over his Son of Satan status. And Bon doesn't skimp on it either; he blushes the first time he's nice to Rin, as a lot of Held Gaze moments with Rin, his treatment of Rin can be seen as rather Tsundere and his declaration of friendship comes across almost like a love confession. Which conveniently helps Rin get past a mental block. However, noteworthy that most of these moments mentioned above tend to happen only in the anime.
    • Renzo is the first person to truly accept Rin as the Son of Satan (outside of Izumo who is rather backhanded about it). He also tends to get touchy with Rin and Rin seems to completely relax around Renzo. Renzo is the one to offer Rin a hand - or rather staff - up from the pit of bugs despite being incredibly phobic. Also, Renzo asking Rin if he remembers what happened last night in Kyoto reeks of something there considering Rin was drunk. When the class returns from Kyoto, Rin and Renzo are the ones sharing the desk in the front, with Shiemi relegated back. And before all that, Renzo mentions marriage in regards to Rin's cooking skill. It honestly gets worse after The Reveal, what with Rin's faith in Renzo and being basically the only one to truly trust him. And then the Hot Springs Episode has them fighting while naked...
    • Shiemi's strong desire to befriend Izumo, and willingness to be used as a doormat to that end. Izumo's Tsundere and Defrosting Ice Queen towards...well, everyone, but especially Shiemi.
    • Izumo and Paku seem to be nearly canon. Izumo initially had no interest at all in associating with anyone but her best friend Paku. And then when Paku leaves, she says this, increasing the above-mentioned Izumo/Shiemi vibes.
    • Ryuji and Renzo have been getting some moments between each other ever since The Reveal, what with Ryuji being a bit obsessive with bringing him back, some held gaze moments, and, once Renzo returns, Ryuji actually hugging him in relief. In context, a hug between guys in Japan is the most gay thing ever by their cultural standards.
  • Incest Yay Shipping: Yukio/Rin, and how. Kato herself seems to be aware of this. Just read chapter 74.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Shima being not only The Mole but a Double Agent.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Fans ship Rin with his brother Yukio, with Mephisto and/or Amaimon, Shiemi, Izumo, Suguro/Bon, Miwa Konekomaru, Shima Renzou, Shima Kinzou, Shima Juuzou (yes, often enough all three Shima brothers and Rin)...
    • Interesting case in that, out of it, the Japanese fandom has invented a rather intense rivalry between Yukio and Shima (for Rin) that is absolutely nonexistent in canon.
    • And let's not get into all the fanfics with female Original Characters put in just to pair with Rin...
  • Memetic Badass: Shiro lives for all of 2 episodes (or one chapter) and is already established as one of the most badass characters in the series. In the manga anyway.
  • Memetic Molester: Mephisto Pheles in many fanworks, due to his 'flamboyance'.
    • Saburouta Toudou. It doesn't help that he has straddled Yukio THREE times and that everything he says to him is a double entendre.
  • Moral Event Horizon: While once a Well-Intentioned Extremist, that goes out of the window when Ernst Frederik Egin sentences his own daughter to be burned at the stake, and indirectly causes the Blue Night in the anime.
    • Gedouin treats crossing this, repeatedly, as a hobby.
    • Hachiro puts both Shura and Yukio through Mind Manipulation in order to have the latter impregnate the former. And when Shura claimed Yukio was Just a Kid, Hachiro decides to make her be the one to do it. If Rin had showed up even a minute later...
  • Narm: The overall flashback of Rin and Yukio's birth is rather serious and dramatic...except for Rin rocketing out of Yuri during childbirth.
  • Rewatch Bonus: When the Exwires are learning to summon Familiars, Ryuji and Konekomaru ask Renzo if he could summon after doubting their own abilities, but he just shrugs. Watching this scene after it is revealed Renzo could summon Yamantaka, it's clear he was only playing dumb.
  • The Scrappy: Anime!Shiemi is hated for some of the same reasons her manga counterpart is a Base-Breaking Character, but never getting the Character Development where she Took a Level in Badass.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Astaroth attacking Rin and Shiro after possessing Reiji.
    • Satan possessing Shiro and Rin wielding the Koumaken for the first time.
    • Rin's battle with Amaimon during the camping trip.
    • Renzo revealing that he's The Mole for the Illuminati.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: With the series being centered around a pair of brothers going up against Satanic forces, it could be considered a manga adaptation of Supernatural. To make things more Hilarious in Hindsight, the anime adaptation was made the same year a Supernatural anime got made.
  • Squick:
    • During the Camp arc, a moth demon laid eggs inside of Shiemi's neck so that Amaimon could command her. Later we see Yukio pulling larvae out of her neck. Ugh.
    • Lucifer's No Sense of Personal Space towards Yukio can be quite gross in an Incest Subtext fashion.]]
  • Superlative Dubbing: The dub was pretty well-received, particularly Bryce Papenbrook as Rin and Christine Marie Cabanos as Shiemi.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Reiji, the bully that Rin fought in the first episode and Starter Villain for the series, was mentioned to be attending True Cross Academy. You'd think that they were building up to him being a potential rival for Rin, but he disappeared after getting Exorcised. Instead, Ryuji takes the role of The Rival.
  • Too Cool to Live: Fujimoto.
  • Values Resonance: Rin is shown to have a few feminine interests and hobbies, which is pretty rare for a Shonen protagonist. He's never painted as being weird for having those interests and he's never expressed insecurity of his masculinity over them.
  • Wangst: A good chunk of Yukio's problems come from standard teenage wangst that he's supposed to slowly grow out of. Unfortunately, in this situation it gets heavily deconstructed as it plus the setting and the events around him conspire to have him have a serious breakdown. On the other hand, it adds a nice touch of realism to events and he's not the only one to get bogged down at times by teenage wangst; the entire main cast is of teenagers, it happens.
  • The Woobie:
    • Rin. Adorkable, check. Nice Guy, check. Orphaned from a horrible incident when he discovered he was really the son of Satan, check.
    • Yukio, although solidly a Jerkass Woobie. Introduced as the mature and brilliant Teen Genius, we realize he's an emotional wreck as the manga goes on. Unlike Rin, he saw demons all his life and took up training to fight them with his father at the age of 7 in hopes of protecting Rin. When Shiro dies and Rin is awakened, Yukio takes on the responsibility of teaching the class his deceased father had and watching over his sibling. He is aloof and condescending to Rin, but we also learn that he is jealous of Rin and hates himself. Whether or not this makes him an unsympathetic Jerk with a Heart of Jerk or a deeply troubled Jerk with a Heart of Gold is a major topic of fandom debate.
    • Subverted in the anime with Ernst. According to him, he lost his face, his daughter, and his freedom all at once. It took YEARS for him to climb all the way back up, and the only thing that gave him the courage to do so was his photo of his grandchildren (whom he'd never met.) However, everything he said that he went through, aside from having his face burnt off, were all Blatant Lies.
    • Izumo. Dark and Troubled Past is only the tip of the iceberg and, for bonus points, her entire arc is a "Shaggy Dog" Story.


Example of: