4 Not Just Another Demon-HunterPJKennard | 17/06/2014 | See all PJKennard's reviews (6)The premise of this show was not particularly auspicious: teenage boy suffers traumatic events that reveal his destiny to him, so he goes out to learn how to fight demons. So far so predictable, but Blue Exorcist manages to escape the confines of this particular genre, exploding onto out screens in a refreshing burst of powerful imagery and plot.Rin is not just another angst-ridden teen, he has to carry around the burden that his very existence caused the brutal death of the only father he's known, by the hands of his real father: the devil himself. Couple this with the secret that he is one of the very demons he and his new classmates are training to fight, and you end up with a very dark character.He is paired up with his younger brother, and experienced exorcist who knew Rin's secret long before he did, along with a group of varied classmates. Shiemi could be the dark horse of the group, she is by far the meekest and the way she is treated by some of the others makes Rin want to protect her.But what of the story?Again, this series has managed to avoid predictability: starting with some powerfully serious episodes, leavened by snatches of lightness, the story quickly reverses with the lightness and humour being carefully balanced against the ongoing plot and the dark moments this brings.There are the usual batch of standalone episodes, including the obligatory beach, ghost in the school and funfair episodes. But even these have been subjugated to not only make them more original, but also to enrich the ongoing story arc as well as the characters.The relationships between the characters feels largely natural and, dare I say it , relatively realistic. The conflict between Rin and his brother seems to settle down rather quickly, but I suspect this is to avoid it adversely affecting the overall story: they need to get along for some elements to work.Image and SoundSpread across three discs, the Blu-Ray is simply stunning: picture quality is crisp and sharp, bringing out the sumptuous detail, from the rich colours of the costumes to the subtlety of Rin's blue flames. A great deal of attention has been lavished on this show and this has extended to these discs, contrast and definition are clean and sharp, with no evidence of compression or artifacing present.The sound is also really good, with original Japanese and alternate English tracks both sounding strong. The English script and cast are both sympathetic to the material and enhance as opposed to detract from the overall.The discs are rounded off with web-trailers, 'extra' animations and the bonus episode 12.5. Although not marked as 12.5, it is important to watch it as such as the episode assumes knowledge of some crucial plot points.A surprisingly good series presented exceptionally well. I look forward to the second set.