Review: Twin Star Exorcists – E.01

I’ve been curious about this property for a while now. I missed the first collected volume of the manga, but received the next two for review and haven’t read them because I really like knowing how a story starts. Sometimes in manga you can skip ahead after the first volume, but starting after the first volume is always tricky. The point is, my curiosity has been building and building. Because I can’t tell the tone from the art. The art seems goofy and serious all at the same time. I mean that guy has razor-sharp teeth… and yet all the women have a blank tsundre look on their face. I couldn’t tell the tone and after the first episode… I’m still not 100% on the tone.

It starts off with a really dark and gruesome scene. You can tell that everyone is dead, with the exception of one of our main characters Rokuro. He’s the dude in case you’re wondering. Then we meet Benio as she’s summoned to meet some exorcist bigwigs that have finally acknowledged her power and skill as one of the best exorcists out there.

Twin-Star-ExorcistsFrom there we learn that demons or whatever they call them in this series, have their own plane of existence that looks like a flesh version of our world. Stuffs in the same spot, just red and flesh-colored. Exorcists can flip to this other side to take care of the demons. The two characters’ paths cross when Benio drops from the sky and Rokuro catches her… only to fall into the water below. Their meet-cute continues as he tries to help her find where she’s going and buys her food and they fight a demon together even though he’s sworn off of exorcising.

That is all there is to this first episode which is a shame because the hook of the series is part of the reason I’ve been wanting to read the manga. They’re fated to marry and be “the best” at their jobs. Rokuro doesn’t accept this which can only mean that Benio does.

Unfortunately, I think that this anime adaptation is suffering from the same problem My Hero Academia is suffering from in which it’s following the anime too closely. It worked for something like One-Punch Man because they adapted it to work. That and the story was just better. While both Twin Star Exorcists and My Hero Academia have good stories and interesting worlds, their anime counterpart needed stronger pacing. There’s a lot of meh stuff in this episode and while I don’t have the perfect solution to fix it, this wasn’t the best start they could give the show. It’s slightly better than MHA, but not by much. You need that hook introduced, even if it was just supporting characters mentioning it when Rokuro wasn’t there.

The animation is strong. Not the strongest, but it’s enjoyable. I really liked the costume designs as it was almost a Tron inspired overlay on their clothes. Benio’s cat mask was very cool looking, but Rokuro’s arm was too over the top. That and the goofy parts didn’t mix well with the serious parts which could hurt the animation and story going forward.

It’s a good anime, but it’s far from great. It and others are trying to follow the One-Punch Man formula, which is a good outline to follow; but also one hell of a challenge. Now that I’m kind of caught up on this I might just switch over to the manga and read that before continuing with this anime.

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Twin Star Exorcists – E.01 Official Website