First Look: Twin Star Exorcists

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Alternative titles: Sousei no Onmyouji, Jel’s Excuse to talk about Binbougami ga! AGAIN Seriously Dude Move On
Manga Adaptation by Studio Pierrot
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Impurities from the parallel world of Magano have been affecting the real world and only powerful exorcists can stop them. Two of these exorcists meet seemingly by chance – a boy who has given up on his training and a girl who has sworn to destroy every last impurity in Magano.

Jel’s verdict: It Gets Better! Really, It Does!

I don’t read much manga, so it is very rare that I get stuck in the awkward position of trying to review an anime when I know the source material. Having read Twin Star Exorcists, it certainly makes judging the first episode difficult. If I look at it in a vacuum, I see a well made but not terribly creative setup for yet another shonen adventure series. It looks nice, the action is pretty cool, but there’s nothing really new here. If I didn’t know any better, I’d watch this and say, “OK that was fine” and move on with my life.

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Knowing what I know though, I feel obligated to provide a little context. I recommend sticking with Twin Star Exorcists for another episode or two. As I mentioned in our preview, this series is written by Yoshiaki Sukeno, author of one of my favorite comedies, Binbougami ga!. Besides his sense of humor, one of Sukeno’s main strengths is writing well rounded characters that change and grow over time. I particularly like how he handles his female leads. It’s worth noting the title Twin Star Exorcists gives Rokuro and Benio equal billing, and the fact that this story is really about both of them makes it a bit more interesting moving forward.

That said, this is not a manga review and it’s only fair to judge an anime on its own merits. I can totally understand watching this and not seeing anything special. All I can tell you is that this first episode is a perfect adaptation of the manga, and that the manga gets better pretty quickly. It’s certainly no genre defining masterpiece or even as good as Sukeno’s previous work, but stick with it and you’ll probably find something more charming and fun than expected.

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Iro’s verdict: Shonen Anime 101

This follows all the plot beats I’d expect from the first episode of a shonen battle show. The main character is hot-blooded yet reluctant to fight based on a Tragic Backstory that has provided him with Dark Powers. He looks/acts like a punk but is a Nice Guy because he helps out small children. The female lead – on whose stocking-clad thighs the camera lingers often – acts emotionless, but you can tell it’s only a front because she still has a girlish interest like sweets. The writing goes to lengths to establish her as a powerful and competent exorcist, so that the main character can proceed to overshadow her immediately. All that said, I like the idea of powers focused mostly on powering up rather than throwing fireballs or something, and overall it’s mostly inoffensive. Could be worse.

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