Rokuro Enmado is not a happy 14 year old - he's a haunted and just a bit broken former exorcist in training. Benio Adashido is another unhappy 14 year old, still grieving for the death of her family but at the peak of her powers as an exorcist in training. As Benio arrives to join the dormitory Rokuro is staying in the pair cross paths and things snowball from there leading to the revelation that Rokuro and Benio's fates me be more intertwined that either knows – they are the prophesied Twin Star Exorcists destined to marry and bear the child who will destroy all of the kegare (evil spirits) that exist in our world. As expected the pair do not take the news well but some scheming by the head of the exorcist order and an emerging evil may force the pair to be the team the world needs.
I knew virtually nothing about this series when I sat down to watch the thirteen episodes in this first set (of four) and was pleasantly surprised when I got a fun, breezy, action show with decent characters and plot – something I was worried about given how derivative this series seems to be at first glance. Ignore this and you will soon find yourself wrapped up in the story and enjoying the well executed action. The trade off is that there is not really anything ground breaking here, just a well put together show that never fails to entertain.
As with most shows of this type we have a very big cast to deal with. The key focus in these initial episodes never strays too far beyond our leads and developing them and their world views. Of the pair Benio is the more interesting one (What is it with good characters called Benio this year? - Ed) as she takes the lead in the action stakes from the beginning and avoids a lot of the trappings the female leads in action anime usually suffer from (she very rarely needs to be rescued and is most definitely not a sidekick.), her quiet and considered personality is also, to this writer anyway, charming. Rokuro feels more cookie cutter, with him suffering from being way too overpowered at times and him not really seeming to have much of a personality beyond being a little hot blooded and temperamental at times. He is however given an effective back story as to why he stopped practicing exorcism and why he refuses to take part in fights with the Kegare unless forced to, giving him a bit of depth as he slowly rediscovers his desire to be an exorcist. I also liked the fact that it was well into the run of episodes we have here before he was willingly taking part in the battles making his choices seem more real given the trauma he had endured and also subverting the usual cliche of the hero powering on no matter what. The romance element gets more screen time as the episodes progress but never overpowers the rest of the show and has the added twist of the pair knowing about their supposed future which adds a lot of comedy as the pair, especially Benio, resist fate.
Outside of the leads most of the rest of the cast are mainly just given broad strokes giving them just enough meat on the bones to make you care when they get hurt of have something to say. The standout of the supporting cast is the head of all exorcists Arima Tsuchimikado, introduced to our pair in only his pink underwear having just fled from a liaison with a girl he picked up after they were rumbled by her Yakuza boyfriend, he lights up any episode he is in and manages to convince to being a covert genius under his goofy and pervy outer-shell. His constant interfering in Rokuro and Benio's lives also mines some great comedy.
Animation studio Pierrot (of Tokyo Ghoul fame) do a good job displaying the same high quality work seen in their more famous series. The only down side being the generic designs taken from the manga for the cast, but as stated everything looks good here and shines on Blu-ray making it worth the extra cost.
This series is well worth your time proving an entertaining and fun way to get a fix of fantasy action and horror. With three more volumes to go which (at the time of writing this review) have no fixed release date yet I would be tempted to advise to hold off until all of them are available to watch as this is a addictive show. Failing that – come on Anime Ltd where the rest of this series!!!