Blue Exorcist vol.1 by Kazue Kato
Shonen Jump Advanced Manga Edition. English adaptation by John
Werry. VIZ Media USA. ISBN 9781421540320. (First published as Ao No
Exorcist, 2009. Shueisha Inc. Tokyo).
(Age: Older teen) Rin and Yukio Fukimura, raised in a boys' monastery by famous exorcist Shiro Fujimoto, are twins but they couldn't be more different. Hot headed Rin is always in trouble getting into fights while Yukio is studious and has entered the prestigious True Cross Academy and is a trained exorcist. When Rin starts to see demons it is revealed to him that he is the bastard child of Satan, living between the mirror image realms of demons (Gehenna) and humans (Assiah) and unlike Yukio, he has inherited demonic powers. As he approaches adulthood he is increasingly sought out by demons and when Satan kills Father Fujimoto who was trying to protect him, Rin vows to control his demonic nature and defeat Satan by becoming an exorcist himself.
As the first of many serialised chapters there is necessarily a lot of character development but there are some great action scenes too. Kato's drawings are dynamic and maintain interest throughout, she also incorporates humour, preventing the story becoming too dark; one of the demons seems to be made of pansies! This book, containing chapters 1 and 2 will appeal to Manga fans of all ages. There are links to additional material on the web and it has been made into an Anime film. The rest of the series can be read online through websites such as Manga Panda, Manga Fox or Manga Reader, though searching using the original title 'Ao No' will yield more results.