What sets Ao no Exorcist apart is that it is typical shounen, but done well. The main character is a hot headed brat (Rin Okumura), but he’s well fleshed out and has good development and reasons for his actions. The show inevitably ends up at an academy, but school assignments that the characters have to do are fun, interesting and lead to quite a bit of character development.
The big problem is that this series is way too epic for what it wants to be. On one hand it aims for high school hijinks and a look at exorcists in training, and on the other it is involved in an international plot involving to purge the strongest demon known to man: Satan. The main character may be Satan’s son and all, but the two parts don’t mesh at all and leave a terribly divided series.
The part of the series that suffers the least is the one that focuses on the high school. It is not ambitious, however it is fun, the characters are genuine and they have a great chemistry between them. The plot against Satan, unfortunately, is horribly rushed, with in the end Satan magically forgetting to use a lot of his powers in order to actually prevent the main cast from not instantly dying. This series is based on a manga, but decides to go with its own storyline for its final third. While that is not immediately a bad thing, it just does not work here.
Ao No Exorcist has great soundtracks. Hats off to Hiroyuki Sawano! 😀