With Blue Exorcist Season Two just a few weeks away now after a really long hiatus I thought I’d help people out by writing a primer on the series and it’s Filler Status. This is due to the fact that while an excellent show Blue Exorcist was plagued by an unfortunate anime only ending. For fans of the anime only without knowing this their could be continuity issues going into Season Two. As such I’ll write a Filler Free Viewing Guide for a 25 episode anime to help people ease into the world of Blue Exorcist in time for The Kyoto Impure King Arc
While expanded slightly none of the initial five episodes of the anime differ that majorly from the manga source. These episodes are obviously the foundation of the entire series and effectively and quickly set up the central premise of the series. Rin Okumura is the Son of Satan and to get revenge for the death of his adoptive father the strongest of the Exorcist Order Rin will train as an exorcist himself to kill his father. Alongside his Brother the youngest trained Exorcist in the Order Rin starts his training.
While a simple premise the series could be a shōnen cliche, however there is a certain amount of heart to the story. With each character having deep emotional baggage that we the audience uncover over time the characters develop faster then in other series. Considering this is a monthly series and the burn through of content is rather fast this is helpful. Furthermore the artistic direction of the series is top notch and easy on the eyes.
Filler Episodes: 0/5 - Minor Expansion in the early episodes
Moving quickly apace the series shifts from the introductory phase of the series to its first real action heavy aspects. As the characters introduced in the first section of the show continue their training. As they progress they are informed it is time to be tested for Exwire - the lowest rank of an Exorcist. However they need to train first.
While set up as a standard training arc the series quickly takes it in a darker direction. As a lot of world building set up takes place within these episodes including introducing alternate sides to characters we already know. We also get a more clear glimpse of the evils outside the gates of True Cross Academy.
Filler Episodes: 1/5 - Sort of... Episode 6 massively expands upon a minor section of the manga. While not fully filler its also incidental to the larger scheme of things. That being said it’s not required for the main plot and likely wont feature too much into the Kyoto Impure King Arc. It’s up to you if you want to watch it - though I personally enjoy it’s laid back and kinda dumb premise. PS: The Black Cat is not Filler, this is important.
The series continues to heat up with every passing episodes and finally real threats are starting to emerge from the ether. Following the promotion to Exwire the characters are sent on a clean up mission, a basic exorcism. Without spoiling to much, things start to get real with big fights, big reveals, and generally top notch action.
In other words these batch of four episodes (but wait isn’t there five? We’re getting to that...) are some of the best in the series. This is especially evident in the strong character development which will make the next few episode of the series very very disappointing...
Filler Episodes 1/5 - Episode 11 represents the first true Filler Episode in the entire series. Not an expansion of a scenario, nope there isn’t even a mention of it in the manga. “Demon of the Deep Seas” seems to exist to give smaller more annoying characters their moment in the sun, instead it’s merely a one off episode with an unsatisfying conclusion that would be more fitting in Pokemon then an anime like Blue Exorcist. Stay away.
Stuff happens in these episodes, bigger stuff then what happened previously. The world of Blue Exorcist is finally shown in its entirety. However I don’t want to give too much away as it sets up what comes next.
Sadly for the viewing public at the time (ie: myself) all the set up would be mostly wasted as following this is the major reason for this entire article. The third of filler that dominates the ending of the series. Lucky for you if you do decide to watch the series you can see new content in a few short weeks.
Filler 0/2: Yay! No filler for these two episodes...
I’m not going to recap it even slightly as most people are reading this likely to avoid episodes like these so I’ll get right to impressions. Is this “good filler” or “bad filler” well... it’s a little in the middle. It’s good in the sense it doesn’t radically close the door on a second season which we know is a thing.
However it’s bad in the sense it halts a lot of character development the manga material has been so good in building up. Furthermore it kinda breaks a lot of the rules of the universe set up in the canon a big no no for filler. All the while leaving the series on a low note which is a shame.
It’s up to you if in the lead up to Impure Kyoto you watch this arc or not. However I doubt it’ll matter either way. If you liked the series up until this point sure why not, if you didn’t no skin off your back.
Filler Episodes: ALL OF THEM TO THE END!
Anyways hope you all had fun reading. Anyone else looking forward to Impure Kyoto?
Please note the Original Series is streaming on Netflix (at least in Canada) and official licensed and translated manga volumes are on sale now.