Blue Exorcist – A Quick Review

A while back, I made a post about jumping on the anime bandwagon and talking about the most recent ones I watched (which you can read here). While I was going to continue watching further series, I wasn’t planning on doing anymore reviews. However I just finished one that I highly enjoyed, and had to make mention of.

75195l

Blue Exorcist (2011-) tells the story of Rin Okumura, and his younger twin brother Yukio, living with their father Shiro, a priest. Rin soon discovers that he and Yukio are actually the sons of Satan, and Rin inherited his demonic powers. Wanting to becoming an exorcist and defeat Satan, Rin enrolls at his brothers school, True Cross Academy, where he must learn to control his new powers. The anime focuses on Rin and fellow classmates training to become exorcists with their teacher, and fellow exorcist, Yukio, in order to protect Assiah (the human world) from Gehenna (the demon world). 

The show told a really exciting and compelling story, and I was obsessed only a few episodes in. Season 1 is only 25 episodes long, and I ended up watching it relatively quickly – it often ended on a cliff hanger or previewed the next episode in an intreaging way!
It also has a good mix of humor, action and drama, which is probably my favourite type of anime, as well as a great range of characters. I definitely think it’s in my top favourites (along with Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online, Death Note, Pokemon and Sailor Moon)

Blue Exorcist also has a movie, which I enjoyed just as much. Anime films, even those adapted from tv series, are often well made, and this was no exception – I thought it was quite beautiful, and still contained the humour and action from the series.

One thing that did draw me to this show was that Rin is voiced by Bryce Papenbrook, whom I really enjoy as a voice actor. I enjoy hearing him in other anime and always love the characters he portrays, so I knew I had to watch.

Something that I didn’t speak about last time was how pleasing anime characters are to look at! Yes, they are cartoons.. but literally everyone is attractive! I adored Rin Okumura! He had that whole high schooler-demonic monster thing going on, very attractive 😛
img_0285I could probably list a heap of anime characters I’ve had crushes on, the first being Ash Ketchum when I was younger! L, Kirito, Yurio, Eren.. and don’t even get me started on goddam Captain Levi..! *swoon*

Anyway, moving on.. if you are interested in watching Blue Exorcist, both season 1 and 2, and the movie are all currently on AnimeLab, which you can access subbed for free or subbed/dubbed for $6.95 a month, which I’ve linked below.

I really like being involved in the anime fandom. Not only does it have really good stories you become invested in, but it has great fan culture! Merch, conventions, extra content for shows, and that’s just the surface of it. When you become obsessed with a show, you can truly get fully into it!

 

Let me know in the comments if you’ve watched Blue Exorcist, and what you thought about it. Also feel free to post a comment if you’ve had a crush on any anime or cartoon characters – it would sure make me feel better!

Jess xx

 

Related Links
AnimeLab 

*Pictures courtesy of Google Images
This is not a sponsored post 

Advertisements

Girl Online – A trilogy by Zoe Sugg

Zoe Sugg is an inspiration of mine for many reasons, one being her love of books and releasing her own series.

Girl Online is a trilogy, with 2 sequels following, tilted Girl Online: On Tour, and Girl Online: Going Solo. I obviously can’t talk too much about the plot as it develops, without ruining the whole series, so I’ll just give you a synopsis of the first book.

DSC_0111

This is the story of Penny, who runs a blog under the secret name ‘GirlOnline’. Penny is a sufferer of anxiety and panic attacks, and uses her online platform as a place of comfort and support. Due to her mother’s wedding planning business, Penny and her family travel to New York, where she meets a gorgeous musician called Noah. 

I wish I wrote about the books when I originally read them, the first one being published in 2014, as the story isn’t as fresh. Yet, I have just finished reading the third book in the series, so I’m writing a post about the trilogy overall.

 

Firstly, I did feel that this book was aimed at a younger YA audience, in both writing style and story line, maybe high school age. However, I don’t mean that in a negative way. I’m 23 years old, and young adult books are my favourite style. Sometimes I prefer to read books that are less complicated, and I can just enjoy as a nice story. Despite it being a simpler read, the series still contained twists in the plot, important story lines, and was overall a engaging read.

I soon became very invested in this story, and struggled to put it down. I found mysef wanting to stop my everyday activities just to find out what happens next, and read the first one in just over a week I think. In fact, I think Zoe did this quite well. I remember the first book finished in a way that made me so frustrated (in a good way) because I needed to know what was going to happen next! For me, that makes a really good book.

Something that I really loved about the books, is that it tapped into a younger version of myself. I felt the emotions that Penny would have been feeling about Noah. I got excited from the adventures they went on, and got warm and fuzzy when Noah did something sweet for her. Not gonna lie, I would totally date Noah 😛 It’s definitely the kind of love story I would have dreamed of happening to me as a teenager!
Parts of the story even made me smile or laugh out loud.

Additionally, the mental health aspect of the books was something I could easily relate to. I think it was really great that Zoe incorporated something that she suffers with in her everyday life, as a part of her fictional work, and showed ways in which Penny would learn to deal with her anxiety and panic attacks.
This was one of the first novels I read that spoke about mental health, such as anxiety, and it was comforting to know that the way I felt was normal, even if that was through a fictional character.

Other themes that I thought we really good in the series, is how it touched on content that most teenagers would be experiencing – family drama, friendship, and school.
I also appreciate how Zoe portrayed the ‘internet generation’. How a lot of the older generation may look at young people always being anti-social on their phones and computers, when there is so much more to it. We can use the internet to socialize, share our thoughts and feelings, and learn.

Lastly, the importance of doing things for yourself. Throughout the series, Penny learns to put herself first and focus on her own happiness. Of course, you should be supportive of your friends and family, but you need to remember that your health and happiness is important too.

I think the main thin that helped make everything better was choosing to work on me before anyone else. How can you be truly happy with someone else when you aren’t in the best place you can be for you?

Penny – Girl Online: Going Solo

 

I also want to mention how this series was part of the motivation to try writing again. All my life I have loved reading, and always felt a bit lost if I didn’t have a book on the go. One of my dreams was also to publish my own book one day, and I was often writing my own stories at home or for class. After knowing that Zoe had the same dream, and seeing her work hard and achieve it, I regained that goal.

Untitled.png

Zoe shows such a passion for reading and writing, and I think it’s really great that as such a big online personality, she is advocating how great reading is! She even has her own Book Club through WH Smith, which you can find out more about here and here.
As such a big fan of her, I was also very happy when I got a singed edition Girl Online: Going Solo. You can read about the little fangirl moment I had in the bookshop here!

 

I really enjoyed reading the Girl Online series. I do wish it was around when I was a teenager, as I think it would have been really helpful for me, however I appreciate it just as much. Overall, would give each book a rating of:
Girl Online ★★★★
Girl Online: On Tour ★★★
Girl Online: Going Solo ★★★☆

DSC_0107

Have you read this series? What were your thoughts of it? Let me know in the comments, I would love to chat with other fans of the books 🙂

Jess xx

Related Links:
Zoella – YouTube
Zoella – Blog

I actually started writing about my views on the controversy surrounding this book being written by a YouTuber and that Zoe got help writing it, but decided to delete it. Everyone is going to have a different opinion, and at the end of the day that stuff really didn’t bother me. I enjoyed the book, and that’s what my post is about 🙂

Anime.. it’s Amazing

Bit of a random/nerdy post today, and not something I would usually blog about, but anime is definitely something I have always geeked out about. A lot of people would say that it’s childish to watch cartoons at an older age (who cares anyway, it’s entertainment), but I think anime can be appreciated differently as an adult. Anime shows that are aimed at an older audience contain stronger adult themes. However, my favourite thing about anime is the art style – it’s absolutely beautiful! The music is wonderful, the drawings and scenery are stunning, and all the characters are gorgeous – what’s not to love?

Watching anime was something I did quite often when I was younger. I loved shows including Pokemon, Sailor Moon (I even dressed as Sailor Venus for my Year 12 Muck Up Day), Cardcaptors, Hamtaro, OnePiece, and Digimon. It was only around last year, that I discovered how amazing adult anime is!

This isn’t a recommendation post, as I haven’t watched enough of the anime that is out there, nor do I consider myself an expert of it. It is more of review, talking about the ones I have watched, and if you wanted to begin watching some yourself.

So here’s a rundown of what I’ve recently watched 🙂 (With no spoilers!)


Death Note (2006)

This was the first older anime I watched (due to the association people made between the main characters and Dan and Phil), and it was such a good choice, because it started my love for anime again.

The show is about a boy names Light Yagami, who finds a book called the ‘Death Note’, after it has been dropped by a Shinigami (Gods of Death) into the human world. Basically any name you write within this book – dies! Light decides he wants to rid the world of all evil, and creates an alias known as Kira. There is a detective named L, who is working to put a stop to all the deaths caused by Kira.

I think this is a really great anime to start with. It has drama and suspense, and it’s dark but still contains a bit of comedy. Obviously from the title, there is a lot of death, but it’s not overly violent.
The main character contrast was also good. Light was a high academic achiever, with a bright future, and always seemed to be well presented. Although, I definitely had a soft spot for L, with his messy hair and unique habits, he always looked like he just rolled out of bed – but his mind was amazing.
With 37 episodes all up, each around 20 minutes, it’s not too long to watch. It did take me a few episodes to get into it, but after the first 4 or 5, I was ANIME3hooked!
I will say that there was parts of the anime I wasn’t too happy with, but I think the story took a good direction, with a very powerful ending.

This show had me on the edge of my seat! Whether it was because it was the first one I watched, or I just simply enjoyed it, it was most likely always be one of my favourites.

 

Sword Art Online (2012, 2014)

This story follows a boy name Kirito, who enters the newly released, Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG), Sword Art Online. After a short time within the game, the players soon discover that they cannot log out; the only way is by defeating the 100th floor. Plus, if they die in the game, they die in real life! Kirito, a highly skilled player, teams up with Asuna, both determined to defeat the game.

This was an amazing anime. I felt that the story line was really compelling, and the idea
of dying in the game and real life was intense. Although, not sure if I’ll be playing VR anytime soon..images
I thought that Kirito and Asuna were both really good characters. I’ve heard that a lot of people weren’t big fans on the romance included within the show, but I felt that it was quite nice, and not over the top.

This anime is a slightly longer one, with 49 episodes and 2 seasons. It also has 4 main arcs throughout the show, which I didn’t mind as you got to see different story lines, however, I felt the first part of season 1 was the best. It was also difficult to get into the beginning of each arc, but within a few episodes, I was hooked once again.

Overall, this is a really good anime! Definitely in my top favourites.

 

Your Lie in April (2014)

Much different the the previous two shows, Your Lie in April tells the story of a young pianist prodigy named Kousei Arima. After the death of his mother at a young age, Kousei’s life became dull, and he is unable to play the piano to the same ability. He then meets another young musician; a violinist named Kaori, who brings a spark back into his life and reminds Kousei how incredible music can be.

The aesthetic of this anime is amazing! The scenery and the colouring (and all the cherry blossoms) were beautiful! It just made me want to visit Japan even more!
In only 22 episodes, it told a heartbreaking, and beautiful story. I wouldn’t class this as a favourite, but I am glad I watched it – a very powerful story about friendship and having passion in your life.

maxresdefault

 

Yuri!!! on Ice (2016 – )

A sports anime revolved around figure skating, this is the story of Yuri Katsuki who, after countless defeats, seems to be done with skating, until he meets Russian champion Victor Nikiforov. After performing a rendition of a routine by the champion skater, Victor agrees to become Yuri’s coach, and train him for the next season. This then causes conflict from 15-year old Russian prodigy, Yuri Plisetsky, who also asked Victor to be his coach. The show follows both of the Yuri’s training leading up to the Grand Prix series, as well as the relationships between the characters (particular Yuri. K and Victor). Yuri_on_Ice_Key_Visual

A very popular anime, this was beautiful, intense, and funny. I was so invested in the skating scenes, that I would actually gasp if a skater fell. Plus, the routines were beautifully choreographed.
Yuri Plisetsky was definitely a highlight character for me. Not only was he an amazing skater, but he was so sassy and angry – it was great! He also did have a kind side in his own away, and I loved his obsession with tiger themed clothing.

I really enjoyed watching this anime, however, the season was also only 12 episodes long, so I’m looking forward to a second season (hopefully).

 

Attack on Titan (2013 – )

Back to the death theme, Attack on Titan is the story of humanity fighting against giant human-like creatures, called Titans; who eat people! It focuses on the main character, Eren, along with his foster sister, Mikasa and friend Armin. Eren is determined to destroy all the Titan’s after his mother is killed, and the three of them enlist in the military, training to become Scouts and fight against the Titans.

As such a popular show, I had been meaning to watch this for so long, but was always reluctant because of how horrific and harrowing it is. However, now that I’ve watched it, it is definitely one of my favourites! I finished Season 1 in 8 days..

Season 2 has only just started airing, and there’s only so much I can say about the show without spoiling it. I made the mistake of starting season 2, meaning I have to wait weekly for episodes, which is worse when so many of the episodes end on a cliffhanger! So I’ve decided now to just wait until it’s all out, and binge watch it).

Obviously, the themes in this show are a little more confronting, but the action is so good; all the fighting scenes are intense! Also, the music is so exhilarating, I sometimes just listen to it (and attempt to sing along in Japanese). I do like a lot of the characters in this show; I think Eren is a good main character, and a lot of the female characters are quite strong (Petra and Sasha are great). However, I think Captain Levi would have to be my favourite. Most of the time he has the same moody expression, and monotone voice, and I love that. He is also a great solider.

I am currently quite obsessed with this show; definitely in my top favourites!

attack-on-titan-chapter-85


 

There always seems to be online arguments with people saying that the Japanese/English subbed versions are better. While I think it’s great to watch them as they were originally intended, I am definitely more of a fan of the English Dub. Firstly, I think it’s because I grew up obviously watching anime in English, so it reminds me of that. Also, I really like to appreciate the story, drawing, and art of anime, something I would struggle with if I was reading subtitles. It’s definitely a personal preference.

With so many shows, where can it all be watched? I use the online streaming service AnimeLab, it’s basically Netflix for Anime!
You can access it for free, and watch shows with English Subtitles and adds, or become a premium subscriber for just $6.95 a month, which allows you access to English Dub (if available) and exclusive shows. I have been a subscriber for a while now, and think it is worth it if you’re a fan. You definitely get your money’s worth, and you’re supporting anime creators.

 

Well, that’s my little review on recent anime series’ I’ve watched. Let me know in the comments if you’re also a fan of anime, and if you’ve enjoyed any of these shows – I’d love to nerd out about them!

Now to delve into my list of anime shows to watch next.. starting with Blue Exorcist! 

Jess x

 

Related Links
AnimeLab

As of this post, all the shows I spoke about are on AnimeLab, excluding Yuri!!! On Ice.

*Pictures courtesy of Google Images
This is not a sponsored post