Lesley Aeschliman

Manga Review: Blue Exorcist Volume 14

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Blue Exorcist Volume 14 focuses on Rin Okumura and his classmates, who are students at True Cross Academy training to become Exorcists. They are trying to rescue Izumo, who is in the hands of Professor Gedoin.

Blue Exorcist Volume 14

Blue Exorcist Volume 14

Written by: Kazue Kato
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: January 5, 2016

Volume 14 continues with Rin and the others trying to fight against the zombies as they’re split up from each other. We get to see Shiemi and Ryuji fight against their respective zombies, but Ryuji receives more focus than Shiemi. The reason Ryuji’s fight takes longer is the fact that there are a couple of flashbacks included. As a reader, I appreciated the flashbacks because they helped to provide some more backstory for Ryuji. Also, it’s thanks to these flashbacks that Ryuji realizes what he needs to do in order to defeat the zombie. We don’t get to see any further zombie fights, though, because Rin uses a Satan Bomb to free everyone from their cages. But they’re not out of danger, since Professor Gedoin sends Shima out to face them.

Much of the rest of Blue Exorcist Volume 14 focuses on the confrontation with Shima as Gedoin is preparing to launch his experiment with Izumo. It all leads up to a very exciting climax for this particular story arc. Without providing spoilers, I will say that something very surprising happens that turns the tide of the final confrontation in the protagonists’ favor.

While Volume 14 provides some character development for Ryuji early on, the second half of the volume provides a lot of development for Izumo. I really liked how Kato intercut Izumo’s thoughts during the experiment, leading her to realize that she really does think of Rin and the others as her friends. This idea is reinforced to her as Rin and his classmates do whatever they can to try to save Izumo from Gedoin.

Even though the climax of this story arc takes place in Volume 14, it’s obvious from the way it ends that there are still some issues that will have to be resolved over the course of Volume 15. And I expect that Izumo and the aftermath of what has happened to her during this story arc will play an important role in the next volume.

Kato’s art style continues to captivate the reader. There’s just something about the way the characters are drawn that grabs the reader’s attention. Kato’s style is instantly recognizable, and I have as of yet to see any other manga artist come close to replicating it. I also have to admit that for the art, this particular volume also includes a couple of impressive looking explosions.

Readers who follow and enjoy the series will definitely want to read Blue Exorcist Volume 14. There’s plenty of action, and the story arc takes a major step forward by the end of it. Fans of Blue Exorcist will not want to miss this volume, because they’ll want to find out what happens to Izumo, Rin, and the others.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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