The end to a crappy week (BREXIT BREXIT BREXIT!!) as been brightened significantly by the announcement that, after 5 years, we’re getting a Blue Exorcist season 2!!!
But because it has been so long since the last season, there are obviously going to be a lot of unknowns about the new season (much like Britain’s exit from the EU, but I’m not bitter about that AT ALL).
Blue Exorcist is a monthly manga written by Kazuo Kato, and published in Jump SQ. It has been running since 2009 and currently stands at 17 volumes. The first season of the anime aired in 2011 and a film was also released in 2012.
The first half of the first season follows the events of the manga almost to the detail – to pad the story out there were a couple of extra scenes added in. Then the second half splits away from the manga completely and gives the series an alternative ending. This was done because there wasn’t enough manga content to animate (animation studios seem to jump at the chance to animate the most popular manga even if there is very little content for them to do so). Even at the moment, Kazuo Kato has only written two full arcs (the Impure King arc, and the Illuminati arc). So the anime reboot will only cover those two arcs. Boy, oh, boy, those of you who haven’t read the manga are in for a surprise!
I was surprised that A-1 Pictures have decided to make a second season, because of how they ended the first. But with the countdown that appeared on the official website, it seemed that the only announcement that could be made was for another season of the anime. After all, there seems to be a spree of anime reboots at the moment, such as D.Gray-man and Berserk.
Here are some questions which have been bouncing around in my head since the news broke this week:
How much of the original voice cast will be returning for the second season?
Referring back to the new D.Gray-man anime, not all the cast members were able to return for the reboot. Allan Walker has a new voice actor – in the original anime series he was voiced by Kobayashi, Sanae, but in Hallow he’s going to be voiced by Murase, Ayumu.
Just looking at Rin’s original voice actor – Okamoto, Nobuhiko – he’s grown massively in popularity over the past few years (he’s the voice actor for Obi in Akagami no Shirayuki-hime, and also Karma in Assassination Classroom). I guess it depends on the actors’ schedules whether or not they can return for their roles. I think there is a lot of hype surrounding this reboot so I would like to think the actors would be up for coming back.
Where will the second season start in terms of manga content? Will they treat the whole of the first season as canon, if though it might contradict what Kazuo Kato will do later in the manga?
Right, just to repeat what I said before, the first season of the Blue Exorcist anime split away from the manga at the end and gave it an original anime ending. The stuff that happened with Yukio and Rin, and the whole of their backstory with their mother didn’t happen in the manga. That was all anime original.
Judging by the poster they have released as a promo for the anime, it looks like the reboot is going to cover the manga Impure King arc, which is the second arc in the manga after Rin’s classmates find out he is the son of Satan.
This makes things tricky, because the original anime ending will not fit with the events that are happening in the manga. In the manga [STOP READING HERE IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS!!] Yukio is starting to struggle with something that is turning his eyes into those of a demon’s. The manga hasn’t touched upon Rin and Yukio’s parentage [this is my theory]. If the studio doesn’t treat the reboot as a separate series, rather than a second one, there could be a lot of confusion over the plot.
What I’m expecting them to do is animate the manga from the start again, and treat this series like a complete reboot. It would make the most sense so there is consistency in plot. However, the poster looks like the second season is going to cover the Impure King arc, and since anime seasons at the moment tend to be 12 episodes long (with a few exceptions) I don’t think they would be able to animate from the start of the manga up until the end of the Impure King arc in a dozen episodes.
It’ll be interesting to see how the studio treat this second season. It’s similar to how Fullmetal Alchemist/Brotherhood was treated. I struggled to get into Brotherhood after watching the first series, because the opening was just so terrible – they tried to cram in as much plot as possible into the first few episodes so they could start animating the manga content they hadn’t done so already.
I have a feeling A-1 Pictures are going to treat the second season of Blue Exorcist like how Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood was treated – have an episode at the start that reminds people what happened in the first season, cutting out the original anime content, and then jumping straight into the Impure King arc.
How much of the manga will the anime cover?
That depends on the answer to the question above.
The original Blue Exorcist anime was 25 episodes long and covered the first arc of the manga, up until Rin’s classmates discover he is the son of Satan. The first 12 episodes (ish) were manga canon material, and then the last half splits off to give the original anime ending. Even so, the episodes that were manga canon material were padded out with additional scenes, like when Rin was working in the supermarket.
I think the second season will cover until the end of the Impure King arc, and then hopefully, if we are lucky, they will animate the Illuminati arc as a 3rd season, because, hot damn, I need to see people’s reactions to a certain pink haired bastard.