What They Say:
The battle between good and evil continues as the two star-crossed rivals take on their biggest challenge yet parental responsibilities.
Meddling in the mirroring world of Magano, Yuto s experiments cause the deaths of more loved ones. Taking matters into their own hands, the Twin Stars confront him in a battle that will cost an arm and a leg…or two. But even after the dust settles, the war against Kegare is far from over. Dragon Spots are opening up throughout the world, destroying entire towns at once, and only Rokuro and Benio have the power to close them. There s just one roadblock before they can begin their journey to save the world: A mysterious little girl has appeared in Magano, and she s taken to calling Rokuro, Papa.
Contains episodes 14-26 on DVD with both the English dub and the original Japanese track with English subtitles.
The sound quality has options of 5.1 English Dolby Surround and the Japanese a 2.0 Stereo option. There were no complications of the audio throughout the release and the 5.1 option definitely comes through well with no need to adjust default settings on the audio system I was using. There were no problems with the video synching in with subtitles as definitely acceptable as a DVD release.
Similar with the audio, the video is set in 16:9 – 1.78:1 aspect ratio via NTSC transfer to PAL format – with DVD releases nowadays the effect definitely seems grainier compared to HD and with me doing a ton of Blu-ray reviews recently this is a good way to remind you how the times have changed. That said, the animation was good overall, and despite the use of CGI during a lot of the attack sequences when they travel to the other worlds, it isn’t horrendously noticeable compared to other series I’ve reviewed in the past so kudos.
There was no packing for this test release.
The menu on both discs pretty basic – the first disc having images of Benio and Rokuro and the second having Benio on her own, the menus have a similar menu selection of Play All, Set Up (audio and subtitles), Episodes and on disc 2, trailers. Both set on a dark background, the menus and images are unremarkable and standard, quick and does its job with no glitches and can quickly return back to the main menu when watching the series, just uninspiring
The only extras on the DVD release are a selection of trailers for The Morose Mononokean, Laughing Under The Clouds, Saga of Tanya The Evil, Tokyo Ravens, Noragami Aragato and Tales of Zesteria: The X.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Twin Star Exorcists didn’t impress me too much from the first half but at the same time didn’t bore or offend me either – it was a very generic shounen style series with a romance angle of ‘they hate each other so let’s force them together for the fate of the world’. The hate has died down between the two leads and with the introduction of a proper villain, was wondering if the second half would change things – there are definitely some surprises in this arc which at least keep the show interesting…albeit not necessarily memorable.
The first interesting work Benio and Rokuro have to do is when one of the fellow exorcists gets apparently killed but turned out to be corrupted (after Ryogo meets a woman named Haruka introduced by him, our first actual proper couple ^^) however the two despite able to do Resonance seem to still be weaker than expected, as Seigen proves to them. However, his daughter Mayura is now definitely less jealous than before and seems to be on good terms with Benio, and seems to cheer them up. However, she then gets corrupted and turned into a Kegare as the duo refuse to purify (read: kill) her which leads to super special deus ex machina technique to save her, as the Twin Star Exorcists have apparently a technique that can cure her (Furu No Koto)…which they do. Convenient? Yep…but it brings Yuto back so we get ready to see if Shounen 101 can power up our leads…
Seigen is hurt in the battle and looks set on a suicide attack but Rokuro and Benio go up to bat with Rokuro managing to strike Yuto, prompting Yuto to ask him to join his side. One thing which is hinted throughout is that Yuto is neglecting to put his little sister Benio in the same breath, which boils things over soon…
With some power-ups and charms, the two seem ready to take him on, but he’s still too powerful. Benio’s legs are smashed by Yuto, but then the spirit of Kamui appears, asking to corrupt Benio’s body so she is strong enough, and despite some reluctance, agrees with her new legs able to keep up with Yuto (much to his shock as he completely dismissed her throughout) and whilst she does not get used to her power, it inspires Rokuro and with the spirits of the Hinnatsuki House victims powering up (as they had been killed by Yuto), Yuto is defeated, though not actually killed, more like banished to the darkness…suggesting a potential return in the future. This concludes the dark part of the arc as now a new one begins as the 12 Guardians berate them for going after Yuto before they could appear, despite Rokuro rightly saying that Yuto would have caused more destruction before they could appear. Being stubborn, they tell them that the only way to stop further drama is to have a child – the Miko to be that will save the earth. Needless to say, Rokuro is not happy and he claims the two will end the war before it is even born. The Guardians give them 2 years to power up….otherwise they have to follow through and create the child. It is here you can see ironically the relationship between Benio and Rokuro is much nicer, combined with Mayura also getting involved not as a third wheel, but asking Seigen to train her as an exorcist….hmmm…
We cut to 2 years later which combines what is happening…with sadly a bit of filler as well. We see Mayura’s first mission but the one big thing that happens is that the two find a young child inside the abyss, which they ‘adopt’ naming her Sae. You wonder how this falls into the Miko prophecy but it isn’t obvious as of yet…
With Kegare corruption abound, people dying and facing off against other Basara(one named Suzu is quite fun, especially as she kills a cowardly guy for sacrificing his girlfriend whilst he ran away) – the two are definitely stronger with their Resonance to seal portals (known as Dragon Spots), Sae also gets involved as well (she finds a talisman which seems to help in destroying Dragon Spots) – one episode has her being captured in an amusement park, but the creature is surprisingly kind with the Twin Stars having to wonder if they should cleanse it, baseball players joining in to help out (was a weird episode) and it ends with a battle where Sae is able to use a power to protect her ‘mom and dad’ against other Basura which may set up some new enemies…
Two things seem to be key in this set – one: the apparent defeat of Yuto. This was weird as he came as soon as he was gone, and then vice versa – though the fact he wasn’t killed is definitely a hint he will be back in the future. His annoying cadences make him a credible villain, especially to Benio who he completely ignores, with pretty much the focus on Rokuro, so seeing her kick his butt in shock for a bit was fun…though it was Rokuro (with a little help) that did the final blow. That said, the two as a partnership is definitely developing – it’s mostly even, and it doesn’t fall into the cliché of either the guy being a jerk, or the girl being physically abusive even though both characters are quite hot-headed. It’s actually quite unique in that regard and the way you see how they’ve improved in the 2 years means a lot has gone through into their minds. Probably helped that Mayura is no longer really a threat in the couple and has become an exorcist herself, and definitely more of a helper in getting them along than a potential rival which again, is surprisingly fresh nowadays.
The other big thing that happened is the character of Sae. She definitely seems a mystery as you wonder if it ties into the Miko, or it is a different entity altogether as they found her in the other world, yet she has mysterious powers that seem to be developing as the show is development along with her. You are not sure what her role is yet – is she actually a villain? Is she going to be their adopted child? Or is there something much more sinister or involved involving her? The show stops at the right point that not enough questions are asked or answers, making you wonder where they are going with this…
There are a few fun moments outside the main cast as well – Ryogo and Haruka is a very pure couple which seems to have developed in those 2 years as well albeit not to a point you knew too much what was going on, seeing Seigen be a bit of a shouty mentor but also a good father to Mayura meant his role was much more expanded on and seeing how Mayura will now get on as an exorcist should be fun to see. Of course, I wasn’t too happy with how the 12 Guardians were portrayed as – basically being ‘destiny says you were reckless so we are going to force you to fulfill the prophecy even though we did nothing about it in the first place…’ Those type of characters really get on my nerves…combined with Yuto being whilst an effective villain was also quite annoying, and very short and sweet in his actions seems to set up for the big arc before the potential war…
All said this feels like an improvement over the 1st set, mainly due to the development of the characters, a set plan now of action, an intriguing new character and the fact the two leads are actually much more likable than I expected as the development has worked. Combined with some developments of the side characters and a lot of questions to be asked, there is definitely more to look forward to in the future.
Twin Star Exorcists continues and improves into the show as Rokuro and Benio focus more on action than comedy and romantic hijinks and whilst there are still moments of that, the serious nature of the show hits an unexpected turn and delivers surprisingly well with family and friends in danger, a war to prevent, and now the proof they can do it. There are lots of questions to be answered, especially with the character of Sae, but now the show is definitely set up. A bit of filler, a few annoying characters and a villain which felt like an anti-climax means there are still parts of the show that make it feel generic, but nonetheless I enjoyed this far more than I expected I would…
Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: B
Packaging Grade: N/A
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: N/A
Released By: Anime Limited
Release Date: May 29th, 2019
Running Time: 325 minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Playstation 4, Sony Bravia 32 Inc EX4 Television, Aiwa 2 Way Twin Duct Bass Reflex Speaker System.