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Blue Exorcist is Punk'd

Friday 19th October 2012

Tom Smith on the ROOKiEZ of Japanese punk


ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D met during a welcoming party for new students at their Chiba-based high school back in 2006. The group’s now bass-player, 2RASH, brought up in conversation that he used to play in a cover band of one of Japan’s best loved melodic hardcore bands; HI-STANDARD (note to any punk fans out there; HI-STANDARD used to be signed to California’s Fat Wreck Chords alongside NOFX, Less Than Jake and a whole host of other American bands of a similar ilk). Schoolboy-and-soon-to-be-frontman SHINNOSUKE and his buddy TSUYOSHI were massive fans of the band, so 2RASH had their full attention. And soon, out of a shared love for punk, ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D was formed between the threesome, with SHiNNOSUKE on guitar and vocals, TSUYOSHI on drums, and 2RASH behind the bass guitar.

Classing themselves as a ‘mixture rock’ band, the trio soon started causing a stir in the indie music scene of Shibuya and Shinjuku. After playing a number of regular club nights and events for new rock music in the areas, DefSTAR Records soon took notice and snapped them up, assigning them to work on the soundtrack to the Durarara!! – by 2010 their debut single ‘Complication’ was used as the second ending to the anime series, and the band had their first collaboration album in the works, fittingly titled DRRROOKiEZ!! ~ ROOKiEZ is PUNK'D respect for DRRR!! (that’s DRRR with three-Rs, in case you missed the reference in the title the first and second time).

Soon after their successful debut, TSUYOSHI withdrew from the band and was replaced with the band’s latest member U. At the time ‘Complication’ had made the Oricon singles chart top 20, debuting impressively at number 11. Unfortunately, the band’s follow up single didn’t go down quite as well. Bizarrely named ‘eggmate of the year’, it was released two months after ‘Complication’ but struggled to make the top 150, despite its bikini-packing promotional video, which this writer would gladly watch for eternity.

DefSTAR decided to get the boys back into the realm of anime with their next single ‘Song for…’. Featuring as the 26th ending theme to Bleach, the label and band alike hoped they could emulate the same level of success as their first anime-outing from Durarara!!. Sadly they couldn’t, and ‘Song for…’ peaked in the charts at 91.

But! Blue Exorcist was their key back to the mainstream. Their next single ‘IN YOUR WORLD’ become the second opening to the series, and according to Last.fm, it’s the band’s most listened to song amongst users by far.  It peaked in the Japanese single charts at number 13 and proved PUNK’D was not dead. A new version of the track was also recorded featuring the voice actor behind Blue Exorcist’s protagonist Yukio Okumura, the multi-award winning seiyu Jun Fukuyama.

Blue Exorcist Part 2, featuring ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D’s ‘IN YOUR WORLD’ is out on UK DVD from Manga Entertainment from 29 October.

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Blue Exorcist is Punk'd


Blue Exorcist Part 2 Episodes 14-25 & Ova

was £24.99
The Devil's Son Fights Back!
Raised by Father Fujimoto, a famous exorcist, Rin Okumura never knew his real father. One day a fateful argument with Father Fujimoto forces Rin to face a terrible truth, the blood of the demon lord Satan runs in Rin's veins! Rin swears to defeat Satan, but doing that means entering the mysterious True Cross Academy and becoming an exorcist himself. Can Rin fight demons and keep his infernal bloodline a secret? It won't be easy, especially when drawing his father's sword releases the demonic power within him!
Part 2 collects the final 12 episodes of the hottest new series in anime. Also includes the bonus OVA.



Blue Exorcist devil-man

Matt Kamen on anime’s latest devil-man
Is it nature or nurture that defines who you are? It’s a deeply philosophical question, and one that Rin Okumura will be asking himself a lot in Blue Exorcist – he’s just learned that he’s one of the sons of Satan. Can this potential Antichrist defy his birthright and become a hero?


Jeremy Graves dispels the demons of doubt
Jeremy Graves dispels the demons of doubt in the definitive edition.

Blue Exorcist

Andrew Osmond has a devil of a time explaining this one
Mouthy, shouty Rin Okamura is the blue exorcist of the title. He’s so-called because he burns with blue fire when he unleashes his powers… because he’s Satan’s son! Luckily he’s had a sound upbringing, raised by a kindly priest-cum-exorcist warrior. Traumatised to learn he’s a real demon child, Rin angrily spurns his human “father,” and inadvertently… Well, we won’t give it away, but it’s not good. Horrified by what he’s done, Rin barges into the mountain-sized True Cross Academy to learn exorcism and “Kick Satan’s ass!” His teacher, he’s amazed to find, is his studious, gifted and non-demonic twin brother Yukio. We meet Rin’s fellow students, all ignorant of his nature, and he and we start getting to know them.

Blue Exorcist versus Buso Renkin

If you liked that... you might like this
One advantage of Blue Exorcist over some other supernatural/fight anime is that it doesn’t run for hundreds of episodes. Instead, it accommodates plenty of twists and transformations in just 26 parts (including one video). The same is true of Buso Renkin, an older show in a similar vein, available from Manga Entertainment in a single box set.

Blue Exorcist: the Movie

Melissa Francis on the hell-spawn creature-feature
If we look back at the 25 episodes of the TV series, Blue Exorcist: The Movie seemed more cohesive in comparison – there were certainly less of those ‘for the hell of it’ moments (no pun intended) and more well-connected, relevant events.


Fairy Tail music: Hi-fi Camp

Tom Smith on the hi-fi hijackers
By the time Fairy Tail Part 9 hits the shops here, the J-pop band responsible for its ending theme will be fast approaching their second anniversary – of breaking up! Though, this particular writer can’t help but think Fairy Tail may have had something to do with the band’s demise…


It's back on the magic carpet for the second box set
In the aftermath of the Balbadd storyline, Alibaba and Aladdin must move on, stopping over in the lively kingdom of their ally Sinbad, before being obliged to enter another dungeon.

The Yellow Peril

Jonathan Clements reviews a new account of Fu Manchu
The Yellow Peril: Dr Fu Manchu & The Rise of Chinaphobia (sic) is an enjoyably traditional work of gentlemanly erudition, with research in dusty archives accompanied by a slew of lunches with bigwigs and interviews with associates, as our polymath hero Sir Christopher Frayling examines the origins of the infamous mastermind from Sax Rohmer’s once-popular novels.

Usagi Drop

The acclaimed anime born from a controversial manga
Produced for Fuji TV’s late-night, more adult-focused noitaminA slot by the legendary Production I.G, the 2011 anime could have been a disaster, with a first-time screenwriter in charge, a senior staffer debuting as director and a vocal fanbase awaiting it. Instead...

The Early Anno

Andrew Osmond on the adventures of Young Hideaki
22nd June sees the first ever British release of Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water on Blu-ray and DVD, courtesy of Animatsu. Nadia is a splendid adventure on its own terms, but it’s also an insight into the development of Hideaki Anno, who made Nadia five years before he unleashed Neon Genesis Evangelion on the world.
Dragon Ball Z Resurrection "F" hits UK cinemas September 30! Book your cinema tickets now

London Ghibli Season

BFI announce a festival of Miyazaki, Takahata, et al...
The BFI South Bank cinema in London will be screening a Studio Ghibli season throughout April and May. Curator Justin Johnson will be giving an introduction to Ghibli on the 2nd April, followed by screenings of all the major Ghibli works and a number of relative obscurities
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