You know the drill: Boy is just chilling minding his own business when an anime girl falls from the sky and lands right in his arms. Twin Star Exorcists busts out a variation on the trope in the first half of Episode 1, but in this case the boy ends up lunging off a bridge to catch the girl, who just so happens to be Benio Adashino, one of the best exorcists around. As we soon find out, the boy, Rokuro Enmado, is no slouch himself, and together the two will learn their fates are tightly intertwined.
While their skills are on par with one another, the major difference between them is Rokuro’s reluctance. He started out as one of the strongest, most promising exorcists, but he hasn’t been the same since he survived an event known as the Hinatsuki tragedy. He may not be as ready to unleash his full might as Benio, but he’ll have to bring the magic back because the pair are soon announced as the chosen exorcists with the power to banish the demons known as Kegare once and for all. Actually, it’s not quite that simple. Their actual role is to get married and give birth to the exorcist who will rise triumphant over evil.
Needless to say, neither is too thrilled about this development, but it’s certainly a good excuse for some supernatural shonen action. Twin Star Exorcists is based on
the manga by Yoshiaki Sukeno, which has been running
in the pages of Jump Square since 2013 and is published in English by Viz Media. The crux of the action here has Benio, Rokuro, and other powerful exorcists battling Kegare with a combination of mystical exorcist arts and semi-futuristic suits that work in conjunction with their abilities. The results are flashy, with none of the skilled exorcists lacking in flair. Rokuro blasts his super-charged fist weapon through enemies, while Benio slices and dices with dual-wielded blades. The finishes are especially strong, as the Kegare freeze and disintegrate with a massive flaming pentagram billowing before them.
One of the adaptation’s strong suits is the visual disparity between the real world and that of the Magano realm. Streets, buildings, and canals appear coated in
a mix of rust and flaming rubble, and suddenly the demonic horrors that plague the people of our world can be seen in full. The Pierrot production doesn’t consist of the most mind-blowing animation, but it’s much better than Toei’s work on the somewhat similar—structurally speaking, at least—World Trigger. The Exorcist uniforms in particular reminded me of Daisuke Ashihara’s series, even if the comparisons don’t go much deeper than that.
At this point the anime adaptation is far from over, with early listings (at the time of this writing) putting it at 50 episodes. Like other adaptations, though, you can pretty much tell if you’re going to be into this one after a healthy handful. Twin Star Exorcists keeps the entertainment at a steady level with clever use of enchantments and transformations, increasingly tough enemies, devastating special moves, the regular introduction of mysterious new characters, and comic relief that isn’t terribly forced. It won’t necessarily fill the gap left by Ushio and Tora, but if you’ve been keeping up with the manga or just want a new action show to follow on a weekly basis, Twin Star Exorcists should fit the bill nicely.
available: Now (Streaming)