Friday, August 28, 2015

Blue Exorcist, Book 2 Review

Blue Exorcist, Book 2   

Author: Kazue Kato
Publisher: Viz Media
American release date: June 7, 2011
Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/manga/paranormal/200 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Rin is sleeping through his classes at True Cross Academy, and drawing the ire of one of his fellow students, Ryuji Suguro. Suguro, whose two sidekicks—Renzo and Konekamaru—call him Bon, is outspoken in his criticisms of Rin. Rin’s grades are not very good. Atrocious, in fact, so perhaps someone might wonder why he’s there. Shiemi has become a student at True Cross, but her shyness causes her to wonder if she should be there either. When the teacher takes Suguro aside for a moment, Renzo and Konekamaru tell Rin something of Suguro’s tragic background. Rin is dismayed to learn what Suguro’s goal is, and boasts that he will achieve it himself, not Suguro.

Yuki informs the students that Exwire certification exams are coming up soon, so they are to go to study camp. Each students needs to decide what sort of meister they will become. They must achieve one in order to become an exorcist. There are five types of meisters: knight, dragoon, tamer, aria, and doctor. Each meister has its own skill sets. For example, the aria recites the Bible and sutras, the knight uses a sword, and the dragoon firearms.

The students receive a lesson on summoning from an instructor named Neuhaus, the object being to see which of them possess the ability to summon a familiar.  Some of the students end up with familiars, while others find themselves unable to summon.

Rin notices that some of the girls are treating Shiemi badly, but when he tries to tell her, she insists they are her friends and nothing he can say will convince her otherwise. Yuki has to leave the school for a few hours, so they’re on their own. Naturally, that is when all hell breaks loose. How will they stand up to the challenge of fighting demons without their teacher’s help?

In the second volume, I feel like we’re getting somewhere and things are getting interesting. I still have questions regarding Yuki as Rin’s twin, and these aren’t being answered, but I’m hopeful in the future they will be. Suguro is a good foil for Rin, someone to butt heads with, but I have a feeling they will turn their mutual antipathy into friendship at some point. It will be interesting to see how Suguro reacts when he learns the truth about Rin’s parentage.

Although these students are special, insofar as their unique abilities are concerned, they’re still also teenagers, and that shows in their interactions, especially between Shiemi and some of the girls. We learn something new about Mephisto, who is still somewhat of an enigma at this point, and I’m wondering whose side Neuhaus is actually on.

There’s also a cute bonus at the end of this volume.

I look forward to reading more of this series and see where the author takes it.

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