What They Say:
The battle between good and evil comes to its thrilling conclusion!
The Twelve Guardians are decimated while a familiar face from the past confronts Rokuro and Benio once again. The Twin Stars learn of their true nature when the origin of the exorcists is revealed, and it all ties back to one man who seeks to level the world at any cost—Abe no Seimei. Disaster is about to strike, and the Twin Stars are humanity’s last hope. Can they resonate one more time?
The audio presentation for this release brings us the original Japanese language track in stereo along with the English language dub that gets the 5.1 bump to it, both of which are encoded using the Dolby TrueHD lossless codec. The series is very much a traditional shonen one where there’s a lot of action, overacting, and activity in general so it’s a pretty busy mix. The stereo side handles things well across the forward soundstage with lots of fun moments of directionality to be had and placement when it comes to the dialogue. Action works in a similar way while the music has a good warm and rich feeling to it. The 5.1 mix bumps all of this up a bit with a few things thrown to the rears which may not be as distinct as you’d like but serves to enhance the action overall. It’s a good mix for both tracks and they both come across clean and clear with no problems such as dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally airing in 2016 and into 2017, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The ten episodes for this set are spread across two discs with seven/three split for it. Animated by Pierrot, the show has a pretty good look about it in general with some nice detail to be had in both character designs and backgrounds. It has a lot of the hallmarks of shonen series of this nature in the modern sense so it goes big with the action and keeps things a bit calmer elsewhere. Color definition is great with a rich selection to work from that holds up in a solid and problem free way while the encoding handles all the high motion sequences wonderfully with no visible breakup or issues to be had there. It’s a clean looking and very solidly done presentation that delivers the show in the best light.
The packaging presentation for this release brings us a slightly thicker than standard Blu-ray case as it holds the discs for both formats on hinges while also coming with an o-card that replicates the case artwork. Here, it works the Japanese artwork nicely with this set focusing on another of the main cast with Mayura on its cover against the grey background, which means we get a black stripe along the top. The back cover goes dark with the battlefield along the right that blends into a black background where the summary of the premise is handled well. The discs features are clearly laid out and we get a few nice shots from the show as well. The technical grid fills out the rest as it breaks down both formats in a pretty clear and accurate way. While there are no show related inserts we do get a reversible cover that lets Shimon take the front side, so you can decide who you want gracing your case cover.
The menu design for this release goes with clips from the series which shows a little more effort put into it. The logo along the top doesn’t obscure much and I like the way it flows and the detail of it, which provides a balance to the navigation along the bottom that’s done with a black section and white borders to give it a little more class. The clips showcase characters and settings well with a lot of grim and darker tones to it but there’s also the vibrancy of the reds and oranges that work really well. The menu navigation is pretty basic but it works well to get around in with clean and easy selections that load quickly and accurately both as the top-level menu but as the pop-up menu during playback as well.
The extras for this release is the inclusion of the clean opening and closing sequences as well as the latest installment of the Twin Star Room bonus piece.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Twin Star Exorcist series comes to a close with this set, which is weird since we just had a fourteen episode set and this one comes in at ten episodes. The previous set worked a number of character stories and a copious amount of action as it worked more of its overall tapestry of ideas and got us to care about the main characters more, which was critical going into this set. There is some character material to be had here but it dials in its focus on Benio and Rokuro overall while punching up the action to a significant degree. A show like this is all about the end of the world and ramping up to that plays well as the stage has been set properly.
That said, the episode being pretty much all about the action means there’s less to talk about. I had liked what came before but it was a kind of superficial piece, reminding me of way too many other shonen shows over the years in structure and individual episode design. That’s not a bad thing but the trappings for this one didn’t quite hold for me and it sprawled enough that the cast felt a little more ephemeral than I had hoped for based on the strength of the opening set. You can realistically wipe away the bulk of the characters for this run of episodes, even though most do show and participate in different ways, because it does drill down to the core of things once you get past the first couple of episodes. With Mikage orchestrating everything for his revival as Abe no Seimei, a character that saw heavier use years ago to the point of overuse, he needs what’s in the title itself. The twin stars and what they represent. Everything has lead to that.
The early episodes are fun enough for style and what they present, but once you hit the halfway mark here with Rokuro turned into giant Kegare, everything shifts into gear in a great way. Mikage has set in motion where those without the levels needed of yin find themselves frozen in place while those with enough are able to walk in what this world is like. Mikage’s plan is straightforward enough in absorbing all the yin into Rokuro and then acquiring Benio as the other piece of this to deal with the yang that has been expelled into her for most of her life. The combination of the two will allow the rebirth of Abe no Seimei while also turning the world into a placid paradise where there’s no pain, hurt, anger, or anything else. Just peaceful and harmonious humanity. This, of course, presumes that everyone is “normal” and without any issues, so it kind of glosses over a lot of people in how it would work but it’s not trying to be detailed or anything, which unfortunately weakens it because it just has that poorly thought out thing.
I do like that the show goes as big as it does here into the final arc and it allows Rokuro to work through things while in this form but also to put Benio in a strong position as well. I do think it handled the pair well overall in giving them more than enough to do of importance in the greater story and a way to weave the connections so that it felt layered and connected right as it goes into the finale so that you really do believe they’re on the same wavelength to fight as they do. And I was also glad to see the way it tied into a few other characters as well, which made the extended epilogue in the final episode all the more enjoyable for its silliness. And while I do know changes are made because of how it unfolded, there was also (sadly) the sense that things are still largely the same at the end here as they were in the beginning in how the world was setup and designed. A threat was faced and our two leads are different people than they were at the start, which is good to see, but it also feels like what they faced was huge and important but that everything else is the same once it was dealt with.
Overall, Twin Star Exorcists is a pretty standard shonen manga series adapted into anime form fairly faithfully by all appearances. It goes as big as you expect it for this arc and I’m admittedly impressed that it was greenlit for a fifty episode run as you don’t see that often. But the material warrants it in how it unfolds as it feels like a lot of the shonen series of old with a glossy fresh look to it. I’m hard-pressed to really deeply enjoy these kinds of works, as I’m finding out, though there are a lot that do still work for me so I keep exploring since they’re part of my roots in anime. There’s a lot to like with this show and this end run of big action with heartfelt drama clicks well. It’s solidly animated and designed and the home video releases pull well from the Japanese releases and deliver a good experience for fans, making it an easy recommendation for them or those wanting to get into this genre more.
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, Hanae Natsuki & Han Megumi’s Twin Star Room 7, Textless Opening & Closing Songs, plus Trailers
Content Grade: B-
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: January 8th, 2019
Running Time: 250 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.