Twin Star Exorcists – Season 1

Twin Star Exorcists – Season 1

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Grotesque monsters known as Impurities reside in Magano, a realm parallel to the present day. Exorcists purify these evil apparitions to protect the people. Rokuro Enmado is opposed to becoming an exorcist, even though he has the talent to be one, but an oracle gives him the title of “Twin Star Exorcist,” the name bestowed upon married exorcists. Benio Adashino, the girl who receives the title along with Rokuro, is determined to exorcise all the Kegare, or Impurities, in the world. The two find themselves wrapped up in more and more battles together as the Twin Star Exorcists…

Twin Star Exorcists is an interesting, vivid little show centering around a pair of young exorcists who battle sin-fuelled demons called Kegare in order to protect humanity. The premise isn’t anything we haven’t seen before, and I’m not a fan of watching overly-young characters face mortal peril, but despite these very snap judgments, this anime managed to hold my interest throughout the first episode.

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The world jumping (as in the transformations between this world and Magano) is handled in a very stylish way and the deliberate style shifting right before a character uses a special attack just drips with artistic flare that isn’t seen in a lot of anime nowadays. It’s what made this anime stand out to me in the midst of several other supernatural action titles.

There are stylish character introduction screens throughout the first episode whose style I actually like more than this anime’s simple and sometimes childish original style. But the potential in Twin Star Exorcists really shines in the alternate world where the exorcists fight kegare. They feature some very effective gritty, crimson landscapes. The kegare themselves are scary too, with their first appearance slammed up against train windows straight out of a horror movie and reminding me of those sinister monsters in anime such as Puella Magi Madoka Magica. There also happens to be quite a few pretty scenes too, especially the reflective scenes at night that Benio has occasionally. The was they have characters interact with pools and unleash exorcist spells is always a pleasure to see because of the subtle differences and detail in their execution.

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The rest of the exorcists and the supporting characters have failed to make a real impact, though. It’s a common problem with adapting manga into anime – there’s just not enough time to flush out all of the characters. Rokuro’s exorcist family just seem to be there in order to give a little background on what it’s like to be an exorcist and I could never remember their names or the differences between them, which is a shame.

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Now we have been wowed by the otherworldly artistry and the action for a few episodes, things are starting to slow down a bit and the characters are starting to develop. We start to learn more about Rokuro’s struggle to become and exorcist again after the tragic accident that killed all of his childhood friends. Benio becomes less of an ice queen and we see the two of them coming to realise that the other isn’t as bad as they initially thought. There’s some touching scenes which I hope are laying the foundation for interesting complications further down the line.

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Twin Star Exorcists also contains lots of interesting lore and exorcism attacks that I just couldn’t seem to find in other exorcist-based anime  such as Blue Exorcist, though it occasionally wobbles on the fine line of providing sufficient background information to complement the story and just info-dumping on the unsuspecting viewer. Despite the young age of the two main characters, the surroundings are dark and edgy and make for some interesting contrasts especially when Rokuro and Benio enter Magano and become almost completely different characters. The masks Benio wears in the other world, the way she wields her spells against the demons and Rokuro’s determination and sheer firepower are deeply satisfying and make for some great fighting scenes.

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Twin Star Exorcists is a promising title for this season, dark and stylish in its exposition that sets it apart from other titles that might bear similarities to it otherwise. Whilst we can’t really expect to much from the destined romance between our two young protagonists, the no-nonsense supernatural action more than makes up for this shortcoming.