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Mephisto: But Rin, you have chosen a path full of thorns. A sad and painful fate awaits you... So much it will make you wish you had died here.
Rin: I don't care! I'm no longer human, but I'm not a demon either. I can only move forwards! I'll become an exorcist!
The story revolves around Okumura Rin, who starts out as a boy who is somewhat of a Delinquent and as such gets into fights. He is usually at odds with his adoptive father, Father Fujimoto Shirou. One day while Rin goes to a job interview that Fujimoto 'encouraged' (read 'encouraged' as 'threw objects at') him to check out, he starts seeing little black 'bugs' and runs into a group of kids he fought the other day. To his surprise, one of the kids is now a demon. Just as the demon is about to kill him, blue flames surround his body and burn his attacker. The demon realizes that Rin is the one he has been searching for: the son of Satan.
While Rin is in total shock and disbelief, Fujimoto Shiro comes and exorcises the demon. He then describes how demons come from a world called Gehenna and can cross into our world (Assiah) by possessing a vessel of sufficient strength. He takes Rin back to the house to give him a sword that seals his demon powers and see him off, but unfortunately, Rin thinks it's all bullcrap and accuses Shiro of throwing him out. Double unfortunately, Satan decides to come in and say hello. Rin saves himself, but Father Fujimoto dies in the process. After the funeral, he is confronted by Mephisto, a member of the True Cross Order and a friend of Shiro's, and demands to join the True Cross Order and become an Exorcist.
The series follows Rin's quest to become the strongest exorcist and to defeat Satan. Also sidetracks onto side characters, namely Okumura Yukio, Moriyama Shiemi, Kirigakure Shura, Suguro Bon, Shima Renzou, Miwa Konekomaru, Kamiki Izumo and Takara.
- Academy of Adventure
- Adaptation Expansion: The first half of the anime, before it diverges onto an anime-original story.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Arthur August(e/o) Angel.
- All Religions Are True: The series mostly focus on Christianity, mainly Roman Catholicism, but there have been demons inspired by Shintoism, Fatal Verses from Buddhist sutras (at least Zen Buddhism anyways), even Greco-Roman minor deities.
- It was also said in the manga that almost all demons found in other religions are true, Satan just happens to be the lord of them all.
- And the Adventure Continues...: In the anime at least.
- Animal Battle Aura: The hilarious Rin vs. Bon scenes in the anime have these. Rin is a golden tiger, Bon's a green-scaled Chinese dragon.
- Animal Motifs: Konekomaru Miwa and Mamushi Hojo.
- Anime Catholicism
- Anti-Anti-Christ: Rin is a good-hearted guy who wants to KICK SATAN'S (read: daddy's) ASS.
- As the Good Book Says...: Certain Bible verses can be used to banish demons. The trick is knowing which Bible verse is required for which demon. One classmate, trapped by a ghoul, only knows that something from the Book of John can banish it. He recites the entire thing from memory, and it turns out it's the last line that banishes the ghoul.
- Beach Episode: 11th episode of the anime, and chapter 35 in the manga.
- Bedmate Reveal: After the battle with the Impure King, Rin wakes up to find Shiemi sleeping next to him.
- BFS: Angel's sword isn't huge, but it's definitely the same thick "chopper"-type as Cloud and Allen's.
- Big Damn Heroes: Suguro Tatsuma pulls off the beginning of one at the end of chapter 24. It backfires.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Kamiki Izumo, causing her to get the nickname Eyebrows.
- Big "What?": Bon in chapter 28 when told by Rin to ride on the giant Kuro/Blackie.
- Bishonen: Most of the male cast.
- Bizarchitecture: The True Cross Academy.
- The Impure/Defilement King (a demon in the Decay domain) takes the form of a giant city.
- Body Horror: Demon mashou boils. And demonic possession/attacks. So much blood...
- Break the Haughty: When Izumo's confidence fails, her familiars try to kill her.
- Bullying a Dragon: Rin was bullied and called a demon throughout his childhood due to his Super Strength and temper.
- Break Them by Talking: Gale tries this on Konekomaru. Works for a while, but Koneko gets over it.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Rin to Satan. Bon to his dad.
- Cast of Snowflakes: Notably, the only characters who look alike are related (Rin and Yukio, Mephisto and Amaimon), and even then they're easy to tell apart.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The Video Game Dude and Bunny Rabbit Puppet Kid. The Video Game "Dude" is really Kirigakure Shura, a big boobed Upper First Class Exorcist with a seal for a sword on her chest and becomes Rin's mentor.
- Christmas Cake: Shura does not react well to those who suggest she is NOT eighteen.
- Church Militant: The True Cross Order, combined with a Wizarding School.
- Continuity Nod: In episode 19, Rin states how cooking is his only productive skill. Yukio mentions quietly how he said the exact same thing, which he did in the camping episode.
- Cooking Duel: Rin and Ukobach have one in the anime after Rin inadvertently traipsed all over his territory (being the dorm kitchen).
- Cooldown Hug: Fujimoto gives one to Rin in a childhood flashback when the latter goes berserk over another boy calling him a "demon" behind his back.
- In chapter 26, Shiemi gives one to Rin after he invokes I Am a Monster on her, telling her to stay away.
- And in the anime, Shiemi gives him one in episode 16 to stop his berserk mode.
- Conspicuous CG: The Gehenna Gate and "Messiah" (read: atomic bomb mockup) in the anime.
- Crossover Cosmology: Quite a bit of Buddhist and Shinto is mixed in as well.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: The High Priest, Bon's dad.
- Crystal Prison: In the anime, Rin gets this treatment when the True Cross order find out that he's the son of Satan.
- Custom Uniform: Angel has an extremely fancy uniform.
- None of the main characters wears their uniform like the others. They use shirts, t-shirts, over the knee socks and wear ties or ribbons in their own way to stand out from the rest, according to their personality.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Not as obvious in the manga, but the anime version of Rin with his sword drawn vs. Amaimon is a huge one in the former's favor. You can clearly see how the latter went from stomping the entire cast to barely keeping up the defensive. Also overlaps with No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
- Demonic Possession: Any demon's only way into Assiah.
- Demon Slaying: The exorcists.
- Devil but No God: But there is a Bible.
- Recited Christian scriptures assume there is a god. Recited Buddhist scriptures assume there was Buddha. Maybe it's all a matter of faith and all religions are true?
- If Satan is the Ultimate Evil in the underworld, could there be a Uber-God who is the ultimate good?
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Fujimoto's final scene, as pointed out in the second chapter:
Yukio: What were his final moments like?
Rin: He was awesome.
- Energy Absorption: If one uses an elemental attack on a demon of the same element, if the attack is not strong enough the demon will absorb it.
- Face of a Thug: Rin and Bon. Bon's father was said to have one as well.
- Mr. Fanservice: Rin and Yukio.
- Face Heel Turn/Well-Intentioned Extremist: Bon's serpent-wielding relative, who cannot stand that the exorcists are allowing the son of Satan to live.
- Familiar: Strong exorcists have 'em. Rin acquires Kuro/Blacky, Shiemi has Nii-chan.
- Izumo has, not one, but two of 'em.
- Fangs Are Evil: The demons have these, along with Pointy Ears.
- Fantastic Racism: When Rin's friends find out he's the son of Satan, things get... awkward.
- Partially subverted too. It's not the fact that he is part demon that they hate. It's that he's part Satan that gets to them.
- Subverted again, at least in the matter of Bon. Turns out most of his anger has to do with Rin deciding to shoulder such a burden secretly by himself, something that Bon has complained about before.
- Also subverted with Izumo and Shiemi. Izumo didn't really give a damn about it , while Shiemi was more hurt by the fact that Rin, her first friend, didn't tell her something so important. Shiemi, being the Fragile Flower she is, took it a little too personally..
- Fantastic Rank System: The Exorcists have one. See the trope page for details.
- A Father to His Men: Bon's dad. Whose name, for the record, is Suguro Tatsuma.
- Fireball Eyeballs: Rin and Satan have these in various color pages. In chapter 30, when Yukio was about to be killed by Toudou, he got these for a few pages.
- Five-Man Band:
- Flaming Sword: Kurikara.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling:
Shiemi: You look like the older one!
Yukio: Yes, it is easy to mistake.
- Gainaxing: Shiemi in the anime while wearing the True Cross Academy uniform. The guys don't miss seeing it at all.
- It's no wonder once Shura comes in, she is the next to sport gainaxing.
- Gecko Ending: In the anime. Most of the True Cross is dead, Yukio is possessed by his father, and now brother must fight brother as thousands of demons pour into Assiah and Mephisto Pheles is "excited to see what will happen". Suffice to say, it is quite fitting that one of the characters present quotes the Book of Revelation.
- Good Thing You Can Heal/Healing Factor: Angel chops Rin's foot off to control him during his "trial", knowing he'll be fine. Shura and even the translator are disgusted.
- Gratuitous German: Aside from Mephisto's Eins Zwei Drei, the manga has now "Das stärkste Gefängnis".
- Gratuitous Polish: "Nie popuszczę takiego, powiązanego z Szatanem" in episode 20. Not only is it written incorrectly, but also one of characters translates it as "Satan's kin must die"(lit. "Potomek szatana musi umrzeć")
- Half-Human Hybrid: Rin of course. Although, apparently, there's a lot of demon-blooded exorcists.
- Hannibal Lecture: To Yukio, from an exorcist who turned to the dark side. Apparently the guy fell behind his father and brother and after trying to live up to them, he resented them for it. Yukio declares he's different.
- Following that conversation, Saburota Toudou refined the speech, saying Yukio had no choice in his career path and he really feels he is just a tool made by his Father to protect Rin, so Yukio must've sometimes hated his Father and brother for pushing this burden onto him. Yukio then admits the guy is right, he hates and loves his brother. But then he says what he hates most of all is his own weaknesses in this matter. All while setting up a counter to trap Toudou.
- Further ramped Up to Eleven when Toudou regenerates gruesomely and taunts Yukio, happily stating Yukio's admitted self-loathing is the first step in becoming a demon. After this guy had identified Yukio's insecurity, strangled Yukio, and then exploded because of Yukio's plan in the course of less than 15 minutes, Yukio takes this hard.
- Heal It with Fire: Rin, when defeating the Impure King, chants a mantra to purify the surrounding area. With the Power of Friendship and True Companions in his heart, he ensured the flames would only destroy the infection and not harm the other people fighting.
- He Who Fights Monsters: The trope-naming passage is quoted in reference to Rin and Yukio. Further noted that this is a problem for most Exorcists who could become demons because of their inner hatred or repressed feelings.
- Holy Burns Evil: Holy water does this to demons. It hurts Rin as well, but not as much.
- Hot for Student: Yukio to Shiemi. Though really they're about the same age.
- Hot Mom: Bon's mom.
- Hot Teacher: Yukio, at least to Shiemi.
- Hypocritical Humour: Mephisto, in episode 6.
Rin: But why the hell does a school cafeteria need first-class food?
Mephisto: Food is culture! Experiencing the highest-end food will make your lives fuller! (opens a cup of instant ramen and eats it)
- But then again, there is a bit of Fridge Brilliance in that. Mephisto is actually more than 200 years old and, knowing his love of culture, has probably already experienced all of the "highest-end food." Now he just wants to sit back and eat ramen. Nothing hypocritical about that. Pre-Fridge Brilliance, the scene is still an example though.
- I Am a Monster: Rin says a variation of this in episode 9.
Rin: My wounds have always healed quickly. And now I really am a monster.
- And then word for word in chapter 26 before Rin and Shiemi make up.
- Japanese Christian
- Katanas Are Just Better: Justified in Rin's case, as said katana seals his demon powers.
- Kick the Dog: In episode two, Satan possesses Rin's adoptive father (which has some unsettling side-effects) and promptly tosses the terrified kid into the gate to Gehena.
- Lawful Stupid: In the anime, Angel tries to kill Rin right after the kid saved the day by killing Amaimon.
- In episode 20, Angel also stops Mephisto (with a firetruck) from saving several student hostages because he's under suspicion for performing acts forbidden by the Vatican. What, the moron couldn't give him another minute?
- Limp and Livid: Satan in Fujimoto's body, especially when he unleashes his disconcerting Evil Laugh.
- Love Triangle: Both Rin and Yukio have a crush on Shiemi. Shiemi is completely unaware of this but cares for both of them greatly.
- Marshmallow Hell: A half-example. In chapter 10 Shura clutches Rin's head under her arm, giving him a faceful of her left boob. The other male students were envious.
- Meaningful Name: The new Paladin is called Arthur Angel. Averted, as he mocks Shura and cuts off Rin's foot in trial.
- Shura means 'carnage/bloodshed'.
- Mamushi means 'pit viper' in Japanese.
- Ko NEKO maru.
- Mega Neko: Kuro, Rin's demonically adorable familiar. In Sleep Mode Size he's a Head Pet.
- More Hero Than Thou: What the other students think Rin is playing up when he appears to be taking unnecessary risks by fighting alone ("Don't forget you have friends!") when he's actually hiding his demonic powers, especially from the guy who has a blood feud against Satan. Having everyone think that he either doesn't trust them or that he's being a glory-hound is really annoying to Rin.
- Multi-Denominational Team: In addition to Catholic priests, there are Buddhist monks and Shinto mikos. Shiemi could count as a shaman/apothecary.
- Ms. Fanservice: Shura's everyday appearance in a nutshell.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Mephisto Pheles. What does that sound like?
- Occult Blue Eyes: Rin Okumura has these (does fit the demonic type, being the son of Satan and all).
- And then his sib Yukio got them for a few pages after nearly getting killed by Toudou. Toudou goes as far to say "those are not your eyes".
- Older Than They Look: Toudou got younger after "swallowing" Karura. He started out as a middle-aged man and currently looks about eighteen.
- Onee-Sama: Houjou Mamushi to her sibs.
- Our Demons Are Different: They have elf ears and tails.
- Except the ones that are foxes, ghoulish-sewn-together-bodies, cats, plant... things, anthropomorphic phoenixes, and giant fungus buildings.
- Overtook the Manga: At the time the anime aired only 30+ chapters of the manga were even out.
- Playing with Fire: Rin's flame. Though he can't control it. (He's working on it.)
- Power Limiter: Rin's katana is a limiter to his demonic power. When sheathed the only things that remain are slightly pointy ears and a tail. When he takes it out--all hell breaks loose around him. Quite literally.
- Posthumous Character: Fujimoto Shiro, who adopted and raised Rin, is later developed to be, not only in the church of badass preachers, but THE Badass Preacher.
- Primal Stance: Rin in his first confrontation with Amaimon.
- Powers Via Possession: Konekomaru gains these briefly when he is possessed by Gale in episode 17.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Bon's female cousins have snake tattoos to go with their serpent familiars, not to mention Hellish Pupils. And they certainly act like a bunch of smug snakes to their other relatives. One of them turns traitor. But this is a subversion, as she was doing so in response to the perceived threat of Mephisto concealing the Eyes of the Impure King and keeping the son of Satan alive.
- As of ep 16 in the anime adaption they've given Amaimon an alternate, more demonic form which has some lizard aspects to it.
- Restraining Bolt: The ring on Rin's tail seems to serve as one: when Shura begins to recite certain verses, it quickly drains him of his power.
- Revenge by Proxy: Negaiuz, a survivor of the "Blue Night" in which Satan went on a killing spree, took it upon himself to try to kill Rin, the son of Satan.
- Konekomaru attempted to do this to Rin in a filler while he is possessed by Gale in order to avenge his parents. Ultimately, though, he realizes that killing Rin won't bring back his parents, so he gives it up.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Bon's dad, in a flashback, helped Fujimoto escape with the Koumaken despite the law that all intruders to the sect who know about the Koumaken must be killed.
- Also when Shura orders Rin's classmates to break him out of prison despite the Vatican's decision to execute Rin.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Eyes of the Impure King, an ancient demon so powerful that just these two eyeballs expel a flood of miasma.
- The Myou Dha sect itself sealed the Impure King, so the Myou Dha was the can.
- At one point, there was a flame demon, Kurara, sealed in Koumaken. It's since left. Koumaken's still a Can, since it contains Rin's demon powers.
- And then Kurara set up a partnership with Suguro Tatsuma. Finally Toudou, now a major villain, has forced it to possess him, making him much more powerful. Prettier, too.
- Shoot the Hostage: When Shiemi is drained by a pansy demon, it uses her body as a shield. Yukio pulls out his gun, and the demon taunts he wouldn't shoot Shiemi. He does. The pansy demon freaks out and flees. Rin is reasonably pissed off, but Shiemi is fine in the end. Yukio reveals to Rin that he used red dye bullets, having no intention of harming Shiemi at all.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Rin's dad uses one in episode two. To fight a hoard of demons. And does pretty well.
- Shout-Out: In episode 19 of the anime, Paku and Izumo go to Magnaria.
- gg subs included a disclaimer for episode 24, stating: "NOTICE - Kids! Bringing about Armageddon can be dangerous. Do not attempt it at home."
- Stab the Scorpion: When confronted by his human brother about his existence, Rin draws his sword and charges... to kill a demon behind him. "I am not low enough to fight my own brother."
- Super Strength: How about headbutting a giant cat-demon into submission?
- Stripperific: Shura could count as this. Kind of justified because she needs to have free access to her tattoos when she has to take something from their dimensional pockets... but not much.
- Take a Third Option: Subverted initially when Rin first meets Mephisto. He offers that Rin either kill or be killed, and later jokingly adds that Rin could always kill himself too. Rin declines, and demands to be an Exorcist instead.
Mephisto: "The way I see it, you have two options. You can either be killed by us, or you can kill us and run away. Or, of course, you could just kill yourself, and save us the trouble, so that's three options you have. So, which one do you choose?"
Rin: "Make me one of you. Make me an Exorcist."
Mephisto: "Okay. Let's say that Satan's son could be an Exorcist. What would you do?"
Rin: "KICK SATAN'S ASS!"
- Tastes Like Friendship: How Shirou (and later Rin) tamed Blacky--with special wine.
- Tears of Blood: It happens to the people Satan tries to possess, especially on the Blue Night sixteen years ago. And it happens to Rin's dad.
- Technicolor Fire: The main character wields vivid blue fire, which in the series is the trademark of Satan. The title represents this, of course.
- Title Drop: From Chapter 33, summing up Rin's mission after he's demonstrated it by defeating the Impure King and annihilating all its insidious spores more or less by himself:
Mephisto: It's the birth of a blue exorcist... whose self-imposed fate is to kill his own comrades.
- True Companions: Rin and his classmates. The feeling died after he went berserk in front of them, but things are getting better.
- Even moreso in the anime, where so far, Konekomaru was the only one who objected in helping Rin out after revealing he was the son of Satan.
- Tsundere: Kamiki Izumo.
- Rin is a milder male version.
- Suguro Ryuji is too, but only towards Rin, who he can't stand and has a hard time showing gratitude for honestly. He's relatively nice to everyone else.
- Use Your Head: As mentioned above, this is how he got his familiar.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Nobody seems the least big concerned about Rin's fangs or ears. Mephisto did say that they could be 'explained away', but we're never shown how. Even some people don't bat an eyelid at the fact that Rin has a tail, and he even has little flames when he gets agitated in a couple of panels.
- Subverted, since Juuzou and Tatsuma did notice Rin's tail, and just didn't comment on it. The Myou Dha people also remarked that they saw a flash when Rin punched Bon and some of the flames got out. Izumo remarked there's quite a few Half-Human Hybrid Demons in the world; and many of them are Exorcists. It's simply that Rin's father is Satan that scares everyone.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: The cooking battle between Rin and Ukobach.
- What the Hell, Hero?: "Why the hell is Satan's kid at our school!?" Also, the translator is shocked that Angel chopped Rin's foot off to hold him still during his "trial".
- Words Can Break My Bones: Most demons have a line in the scriptures that exorcises or binds them, as demonstrated by Suguro Ryuji and the Bible.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Part of the girl's uniform, but notable on Shiemi, Kamiki, and Shura.