Twin Star Exorcists – Preview
Twin Star Exorcists:
Original Air Dates: April 6th, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Grotesque creatures known as Kegare reside in Magano, a realm that exists parallel to our world. Exorcists purify these evil apparitions to protect the people. Rokuro Enmado, once heralded as a prodigy, is now opposed to going down the path of an exorcist. Benio Adashino, a girl who’s also been found to contain tremendous power, is determined to exorcise all Kegare and purify the world. When the two cross paths Rokuro is forced to choose between running from his powers, or using them to aid in Benio’s quest against the Kegare. The two find themselves at each other’s side, and become known as the Twin Star Exorcists.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Let me start off by acknowledging that Twin Star Exorcists has one of the most visually rich openings of this season. There’s no question as to the quality of the animation. However, if you’re a viewer who is thinking of picking up this show as a huge fan of the manga, you NEED to know something. The show starts off as a bit of a letdown adaptation wise. Considering how strong and impact laden the first manga chapter was, the anime adds a lot of extra and original material that noticeably changes the feel of the story and even its characters.
Tom: Twin Star Exorcists story still comes together decently, and we generally get all the information we need to continue forward, but a lot of the nuance from the manga is lost in translation here. For starters, the Kegare monsters don’t really get much of an explanation, generally left to the viewer to garner that they’re some horrific demon like entity that exists parallel to our world. But that’s one of the more minor complaints. A much bigger loss is much of the backstory and inner thoughts surrounding poor Rokuro who has given up on becoming an exorcist. The show glosses over most of it, cutting entire sequences from the manga in favor of giving Benio more screentime. This has the unfortunate side effect of losing much of the punch for Rokuro’s character and makes his big decision to take up the fight against the Kegare less like a monumental moment for the character and more like a minor stepping on the path to a second episode. I’ve never gotten to read past chapter one, but I fear that this effort to squeeze as many plot developments in an episode as possible will have continuing negative consequences on the rest of the adaptation.
Linny: In general, the show seems slated to be another classic supernatural shonen battle story. That’s not a bad thing and is sure to be an enjoyable watch for most people. Think Blue Exorcist and the likes. Benio is the strong and talented female lead who immediately proceeds to kick ass from episode one. Her personality felt a bit odd to me because of how she would act mentally and emotionally bankrupt one minute and then vain and standoffish the next but that could be more of a personal issue than one that has negative bearings on the show. Rokuro, our male protagonist is, so far, being shown as the tragic and underachieving hero, held back by some past personal tragedy, but still being a good guy, as per shonen manga hero guidelines.
Tom: I actually think Benio’s slightly conflicted portrayal is one of the signs of the damaged adaptation here. In the manga it’s far more clear to me she suffers from arrogance than the silent heroine syndrome. I also think that, even with the additional anime only sequence she gets, we don’t really get to know her very well. The same is true for Rokuro who i feel is less compelling now that we’ve lost a plethora of scenes between him and the other exorcists, better hammering home his reluctance to become one himself. Without these scenes, his big decision falls flat for me and, as i said above, becomes just a stepping stone on the way to episode two. It just doesn’t work as well as it could have and did in the manga.
Linny: The odd couple protagonist set up is a tried and true anime standard. It’s upto the show to make it feel fresh but so far, the characters fail to shine and impress like the visuals do. If there’s one thing the anime is doing right, it is bringing to life the hellish landscapes and demons of the story with vivid colours and animation. Even if fans of the source manga are disappointed by the introduction, they should find consolation in the imagery and animation quality.
Tom: Most of the side characters, who received enough scenes to get a basic understanding of, are shafted in the anime, with all but brief appearances that merely introduce their presence rather than their relationship and relation to Rokuro. But despite my complaints, Exorcists does do some things right. The brutality of Rokuro’s past is conveyed quite well, selling the trauma and the gore. The anime does, no matter what, manage to convey that this event continues to eat at him, I just wish more of the nuance and effect it’s had on him had more weight to it. The anime does manage to bring much of the manga’s humor into motion, making sure those more light-hearted segments are translated accurately and in full. It helps to make a nice break from an otherwise bleak story.
Linny: The show employs a great use of colour and effects to portray the hellish nightmare of Magano and Kegare, inciting feelings of unease and accurately bringing the darker parts of the story to life.
Tom: Visually Twin Star Exorcists offers us a more bleak, red and black palette that shonen tend to avoid in favor of lighter colors helping to keep things feeling not nearly so grim. It’s still tame compared to the grim and gory offerings of many seinen anime, but this visual edge sets Exorcist apart from the usual shonen fare.
Linny: Some of you may dislike my bias and comparison of the show to the manga. I agree and admit that the show still starts on a very high note. My judgement is somewhat clouded due to my familiarity with the manga, and thus my own preconceived notions and expectations. Twin Star is definitely going to be an enjoyable watch for fans of its genre, especially those who like their shows to look more gritty than the norm. There’s enough action and gore to meet your shonen requirements, and the top notch animation only helps to elevate the quality and feel of the show.
Tom: Don’t think I’ve come out of my viewing hating Twin Star. I’m just disappointed, as I think the Manga nailed its opening and the anime, while producing something entirely serviceable and competent, has failed to really capture what the manga did so well. No matter what, Twin Star is still one of the stronger shows this season and while no My Hero Academia, moves at a faster pace that should satisfy those who felt Academia is moving too slow.
Twin Star Exorcists is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com.