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What's the Story

This will focus on the Blue Exorcist anime which differs considerably from the manga, the second season is a separate continuity by the way retconning the last eight or so episodes or so. The general description would be the adventure of Rin Okumura as he discovers his demonic heritage due to being an offspring of Satan, that after losing his adopted father to Satan Rin seeks to become an exorcist to defeat him for good with help of his twin and new friends. Rin is taught by his twin Yukio who has some resentment for both his brother and more importantly dormant heritage. That said for the first season's canon a lot of the issues are due to their paternal grandfather, Ernst Frederik Egin.

Who is he and what has he done?

Ernst Frederik Egin is a fanatic who had a deep hatred of all demons to the point he would execute any who were even thought to be mildly associated with demons, he even had a daughter named Yuri who didn't share his ideology. Yuri tried to convince him for years that not all demons were necessary evil only to told she was being naive, when she started to form a bond with Satan, she was forced to keep it a secret until she became pregnant. As soon as Ernst found out he tried to force her to have an abortion, the doctor reminded Ernst that was against their core beliefs, but Ernst says he doesn't care. Yuri refused to get an abortion and tried to plead with him, angered and embarrassed Ernst ordered his own daughter to be executed by being burned to the stake. Ignoring any pleading from Yuri, Ernst tried to watch his pregnant daughter's execution only for a desperate Satan to possess multiple people including Ernst which caused him to be receive facial burns and critically wounded. Angered that his daughter escaped, Ernst demanded some followers to pursue her even telling them to kill Yuri themselves. A follower, Shiro Fujimoto, found a dying Yuri who has just given birth who agrees to protect her kids in secret. Ernst eventually found out about his kids and only agreed to let them live for the time being as he decided they might be useful tools in the future to kill all demons.

For the next fifteen years Ernst had scientists focus on creating a powerful nuke-like bomb, the "Messiah", that they believed could destroy Gehenna (Hell/the world demons come from) as Ernst theorized it'd kill all demons everywhere at once. Delighted and believing the bomb was ready Ernst just needed a way to open a portal to Gehenna which would require a lot of demonic energy. To do this Ernst decided to manipulate Yukio into joining him, to do this he introduced himself to and claimed to Yukio that the Vatican killed his daughter, he even claimed he wanted to avenge her. While doing this he led Yukio to believe that demons were trying to take the world for themselves and that they must act first, he also claimed by destroying Gehenna it would not only kill the demons but transform Yukio and Rin into humans. As Ernst prepares the final attack on demons, he also takes over the True Cross Order through overthrowing the previous leaders. Once in charge he has Rin captured and starts a ritual in which it takes energy and blood from Rin to create a Gehenna Gate in a painful fashion. As this goes on Yukio starts to have doubts and angrily reminds his grandfather that he promised that he would make Rin human as well, Ernst laughs admitting he lied but says Rin will be remembered as a hero in history after they wipe out all demons. When threatened by Yukio who wants to save Rin, Ernst smugly points out if he killed the bomb will destroy the area and everyone there so ultimately either way he'd die. With Rin on the verge of death Yukio asks to take his place, Ernst happily agrees saying he wasn't even sure all Rin's blood would be enough. After the Gehenna Gate forms Ernst drops the "Messiah" into it, while doing so all he can do is boast the by wiping out demons he is proving humanity is superior to them. As he's laughing about his supposed success the bomb exploded but does absolutely nothing, Satan then starts to speak calling Erst's attempt pathetic. Afraid Ernst and his followers try to run only to have the Gehenna Gate start to drag them in, while this is happening Satan possess Yukio who tries to fight for control of his own body. As Yukio fights for control of his body he starts to confront Satan on his mother's death, Satan in return shows him visions of the truth much to Yukio's horror. Yukio pulls Ernst out before he can be dragged into Gehenna, there he asks Ernst why he tried to kill Yuri which all Ernst does is angrily ask how he knew the truth. Ernst during a breakdown on being called out only says any of Yuri's children would be a disgrace but given that they were of Satan means they shouldn't even exist. Yukio before being fully possessed let Ernst fall back into the Gehenna Gate, Ernst is then dragged into Gehenna itself due to the very person he just admitted to wishing never existed.

Migrating Factors

None, he is a delusional and genocidal fanatic that is willing to kill anyone remotely associated with demons. Now in some stories this may come across as well-intentioned, but the story goes out of its way to show demons can be good and even some peaceful. Demons are shown to vary a lot: some are cute creatures that are playful, some try to help others with things like preparing food and taking care of day-to-day chores, some are mischievous and others being obviously rather violent. One of the demons, Mephisto Pheles, is a flat-out hero in modern day who runs an academy that helps teach exorcists to protect humanity from the violent ones though partly because he finds it fun. Keep in mind Ernst has seen some friendly ones, so it's not like he thought they are always evil. Even as he's trying to destroy Gehenna and all demons, he doesn't even try to claim it is to protect the world when finally releasing the "Messiah" rather that it proves humanity is superior.

As for his family any act of seeming to care is blatant manipulation. Throughout flashbacks he berates his daughter, Yuri, for showing compassion for demons and when pregnant demands she gets an abortion, even the physician there calls him out saying it's against their religion yet Ernst makes it clear he doesn't care. When Yuri refuses to do this due to loving Satan and wanting to be a mother, Ernst has her tried and burnt to the stake for being an embarrassment. Ernst later tries manipulating his grandsons into trusting him by claiming he wanted to avenge her while claiming the Vatican killed her, he also says he wants to cure them by killing all demons and to bring peace to the world. This is shown a blatant lie to trick Yukio into working for him even trying to kill Rin in front of him saying he'd be seen as a hero in the history books, when Yukio threatens him, all Ernst does is blow it off saying if he dies before the gate is formed then the Messiah will blow up the school with a smug look. Realizing that in order to save Rin and avoid the death of innocents Yukio offers to take Rin's place, Ernst says that is a good idea as they are unsure Rin's blood was enough to form the Gehenna gate to begin with. When confronted after the gate is formed by Yukio, who learned from Satan the truth of what happened Yuri, Ernst only asks how he found out before going into a rant how any child out of wedlock would be a disgrace and that Yukio and Rin don't deserve to even exist. Yeah, these are even his last words right before falling back in and taken to Gehenna, so it helps drive the point home on that.

Ernst even lacks loyalty to his organization; he not only went of his way trying to force the abortion that he was called out for but then years later overthrew the leader of the Vatican and True Cross Order just to gain power for himself. While the True Cross Order members do kill demons most do it to just violent demons and even have some work for them though they fear said demons go rogue, Ernst however does it explicitly out of racism. In short even a majority of the order aren't genocidal until under his command, those who are given little to no characterization.

Heinous Standard

Ultimately most of it is due to him but outside of Satan he does the absolute worst in the anime yet lacks Satan's redeeming factors. In the anime we have a bully who tries to shoot some birds and then some demons who try to get and a few demons who try to kill Rin or a few people but not to the point of genocide. While I wouldn't call him a villain Yukio does questionable things due to blaming Rin for their adopted father's death and assists Ernst for part of the series but only due to thinking it would help both of them. Most the time Yukio is just rather harsh and even when helping Ernst it is mostly due to thinking maybe Ernst is trying to save them but when he finds out about the lies quickly realized the error of his ways only to be possessed by Satan due to his anger rendering him vulnerable to being possessed.

The only individual who is even close is Satan but comparing them is apple to oranges given Ernst is a mere human while Satan is a godlike demon. Even then Satan in this version has several disqualifying features and genuinely well-intentioned. Satan for example is borderline insane in his execution of things, he wants to merge Gehenna and the human world to make a world where humans and demons can live in peace. The insane part is that its borderline apocalyptic in appearance to do it, but he is trying to remake the world so both races can live in peace, in his own way he is genuinely trying to make Yuri's dream a reality even if he has to kill Rin. Before Satan meet Yuri, he merely possessed beings trying to find a body which died in minutes yet never fully understood the world not even being fully aware of what life or death was. After meeting her Satan genuinely cared for her and went to save her when Ernst tried to kill her starting an event that killed several people. Ultimately even when banished at the end of the season it is portrayed as sympathetic: Satan briefly apologizing for failing to make her dreams a reality only for her spirit to tell him that she knew he meant well but it was not time, she also said that their sons will pick their own path.

Ernst on the other hand seeks to eradicate all demons for no reason other than seeing them as inferior beings. While he can fake being affable for a brief time, he shows no care for any of his soldiers and spent over a decade to make basically a super powerful nuke called "Messiah" to destroy demons and Gehenna all at once. Even as he's killing Rin, he only shows disappointment that his blood may not be quite enough to open the Gehenna gate, he then is more than happy to have Yukio take the near dead Rin's place. After the "Messiah" fails he just tries to run to save his own skin, he also shows nothing but contempt for his daughter. Even as he's dragged into Gehenna itself begging to be spared it is by no means treated with sympathy rather just karma for all his crimes.


Easy yes.