Review for Twin Star Exorcists - Part 4
Working up the enthusiasm to review a long running shonen anime is pretty tough at the best of times. Even when it’s something good like One Piece or Naruto, the sheer episode count can make you re-evaluate your life choices. It’s actually worse with the ones that fall at the starting gate. There may be fewer episodes, but there has to be a reason why they didn’t get past the first 26 or 52 episodes. Sometimes the reasons are obvious. I didn’t need to see every instalment of D. Gray Man to see why Funimation pulled the plug the first time around. It hasn’t been quite as obvious with Twin Star Exorcists, which despite going off-piste manga-wise halfway through hasn’t really jumped the shark as yet. Maybe Part 4 will reveal why there isn’t a Part 5...
A trauma in her past gave Benio Adashino cause to become an exorcist, the best exorcist there is, swearing to destroy all the Kegare demons that reside in the parallel realm of Magano, bringing havoc to this world. Rokuro Enmado is a natural born exorcist with an innate talent, but a trauma in his past caused him to shun the Onmyouji exorcist path, and search for something, anything else to do with his life. But it is prophesied that the two most powerful exorcists will marry, and have a child, and that child will be the one to destroy the Kegare once and for all. That’s why Benio and Rokuro are the Twin Star Exorcists, whether they want to be or not.
The concluding ten episodes of Twin Star Exorcists are presented across two discs from All the Anime.
41. The Twelve Guardians Fall! – HAVE A NICE NIGHTMARE, TWELVE GUARDIANS
42. I Come From Magano – SAY IT AIN’T SO, ROKURO!
43. The Millennial Dream – MELANCHOLIC MISANTHROPE
44. Distanced Despite Their Love – FAREWELL, MY PRECIOUS
45. The Couple Alone – LONELY TWIN EXORCIST
46. Yuto – DESTINY
47. Benio – POSITIVE
48. Unity – SOLIDARITY
49. Revival – RESTORATION
50. Twin Stars – TWINS
Twin Star Exorcists gets a 1.78:1 widescreen 1080p transfer on these Blu-ray discs. The image is clear and sharp, with strong colours and excellent detail. The animation is smooth and expressive, and comes across well in this transfer, with no visible compression or aliasing or even digital banding. It’s a stylish, shonen action battle anime, with appealing character designs, and a comic book approach to its action sequences (plenty of dynamic freeze frames and text spelling out special moves). The Kegare initially seem a rather monotonous dark menace, but it isn’t long before you can see character and individuality in their ominous forms.
You have the choice between Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround English and Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Stereo Japanese with player locked subtitles and signs. I gave the English dub a quick try and nothing really struck me as painful about it, but as always I prefer the Japanese with subtitles. The dialogue is clear, the actors are suited to their roles, and the action comes across well, even through the stereo track. What impresses about this show is the incidental music, really driving that action with stylish and memorable tunes. The last time I heard music this good for a shonen action show was for Soul Eater. The subtitles are timed accurately and are free of typos.
The discs present their content with animated menus.
Disc 1 autoplays with a trailer for Dragon Ball Z Super.
Disc 2 autoplays a trailer for Black Clover Season 1 Part 3
The Hanae Natsuki & Han Megumi’s Twin Star Room returns with Volume 7, but nothing to get excited about... it’s only 2:04 in length.
You also get the textless credits and trailers for Code: Realise – Guardian of Rebirth, D. Gray-Man Season 4 Part 2, Tales of Zestiria the X, Snow White with the Red Hair Season 2, Servamp, and Worldend.
It needs to be reiterated once more that Twin Star Exorcists is a show of two halves, with Parts 1 & 2 following the manga storyline, and for the second half the animators had to create their own, and in effect conclude the story. Twin Star Exorcists in the first half was a show that offered a lot of promise, but it never got to deliver on what the manga intended. The hope was that the anime producers could create something worthy. In the end they couldn’t, and what we have for the show’s conclusion is trite, clichéd and honestly quite tedious.
Twin Star Exorcists offers a genuine end of the world scenario to really emphasise how high the stakes are for the characters. It also offers the worst (as in un-enthusing and cookie-cutter) villains that it can think of. These are bad guys so obviously and tiresomely bad that you wonder why the writers bother scripting the philosophical debates between the antagonists and protagonists in between the action bits. It’s not like you’re going to have any kind of sympathy for them.
To begin with, the show brings back Benio’s evil brother Yuto, a character that is evil for the sake of being evil. You can have some sympathy for the voice actor, who probably went in with questions about character back-story and motivation, and got a voice director asking for “generic bad guy #5”. But he’s just the warm up act, as the real villain of the piece is the Onmyouji mystic that started the whole thing, Abe no Seimei, a character that appears again and again in fiction. If you’re hoping for someone as interesting as the version in Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, or as enigmatic as the version in Otogi Zoshi, you’ll be disappointed. Twin Star Exorcists’ Seimei has been waiting to resurrect for a thousand years, and wakes up in a world that hasn’t developed according to his teachings, so he decides to wipe out the human race, and start again with a few select survivors reprogrammed not to be evil, or ambitious, or avaricious, or not nice. He’s a little confused when his descendants, the Exorcists don’t agree with him. Epic battle ensues.
Benio saves Rokuro, Rokuro saves Benio, they confess their love at each other, and we get a bait and switch happy ending on the off-chance that someone would want to make a second season, and it’s an ending so close to a reset, that they could probably pick up the manga from where they left off without too much of a continuity issue.
Twin Star Exorcists had promise, even with the disappointment of an anime original storyline from its second half onwards, but the conclusion is so dispiritingly predictable and generic that the show winds up disposable and forgettable as a result. On the bright side, the production values never dip, and the show is easy to watch, even with the verminous Yuto munching his way through the scenery in tedious fashion. This one goes in the D. Gray Man pile.