Monday, April 23, 2012

"Blue Exorcist" by Kazu Kato

The title is catchy, it made me want to read it because of the color blue and the thrill and possible horror in the word exorcist. Blue Exorcist was written by Kazu Kato, a Japanese manga writer who sold her manga via vizmedia and commercialized it to the U.S. It contains 12 volumes, of which I read the first one which was 80 pages long. It is a graphic novel which I had a hard time searching for it on the library because of its new release. I had to search for it online instead and I found it on this link. It was released only in 2011 to the U.S but released in 2009 in Japan.

The story centralizes on Rin Okumura, a teenager who has abnormal strength and was fathered, along with his younger twin brother Yukio, by an exorcist priest Father Shiro Fujimoto. The first volume focuses on how Rin is searching for a job and gets into many fights with demons and monsters. He is saved by Father Shiro many times, but however he has issues with encountering who he is and what is going to become of his life.

He states how “I really want to grow up and make myself respectable” and through this manga he searches for how to become respectable by becoming a demon himself and drawing the demon-slaying blade in order to kill and guard off demons entering the human world and possessing others while depriving them from a normal life.

Shiro, his father, dies in protecting him and at his funeral Rin swears to kill all the demons that hurt others. He grows fangs and horns from using the sword blade himself, and has powers of blue flames to help him in his demon hunting.

I feel this manga would be intriguing for male, young adult readers but I myself, being a female, grew up reading manga and watching Japanese anime from Rurouni Kenshin, to Full Moon Wo, and One Piece, all of which also have mangas in Japan. The thrill of reading mangas is imagination. Mangas in japan are like comics here in the U.S. However, they tell a story through long volumes and  they have a specific media just dedicated for avid Manga readers, Shonen Jump.Manga reading is like its own culture in that it focuses on the characters and themes of life, death, growth, and power while en-wrapping it with emotion, thrill, and inspiration. Anime is the cartoon-like adaptations in episodes of the manga series.

I would recommend reading manga from Japan, these including my read Blue Exorcist, even to adults, because it works with the imagination of the reader in order to engage them in the reading through imagery and art. It also makes themes about growing up and searching for one’s self in the road to meeting others along the way. I will definitely continue reading the other volumes but for now, hope you take the time and read manga! It is a really enjoyable experience so therefore, enjoy!

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