Posted by psgels on 2 October 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Ao no Exorcist




Shounen isn’t my favourite genre, but I have enjoyed plenty of the better series in the genre. Ao no Exorcist is a sneaky one though: at first it first seems to avoid a lot of the overused cliches that plague the genre… only to fall into them anyways.

What sets Ao no Exorcist apart is that it’s typical shounen, but done well. The main character is a hot headed brat, 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’s not ambitious, but it’s 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. It’s full of bland twists and unoriginal plot devices that are way too constrained with trying to go for a “by the books”-ending. This series is based on a manga, but decides to go with its own storyline for its final third. While that isn’t immediately a bad thing, it just doesn’t work here.

A-1 has made sure of great animation, but in the end there are just many better shounen series out there. Ao no Exorcist was a nice attempt, but it lacks vision.

Storytelling: 7/10 – Does not know what it wants to focus on and ends up half-hearted. Tries to subvert shounen cliches only to fall into them.
Characters: 8/10 – Saved by a good chemistry and good development. Bad villains, though.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Solid action, though nothing amazing.
Setting: 7/10 – Tries to deliver a solid setting of exorcists, but in the end there is hardly any gap between the best and the worst of them.

Suggestions:
Shikabane Hime
Soukou no Strain
Pandora Hearts

10 Responses

  1. Gintoki says:

    Argh…I knew from the very beginning this would all end in tears, but I can still feel the frustration boiling inside me. Please, PLEASE let there be a remake once the manga is over!

  2. rufe says:

    Yea, the manga is pretty good, but….

    Even before the fillers they s**t on a lot of things to add action scenes that screwed up the balance of the characters….

  3. ruuruu says:

    It’s just a shame for such a potential to be wasted… I’m seconding the opinions of this anime to have a remake or second season.

    On the side note, there’s going to be an extra episode of AnE about Kuro…

  4. DangerMouse says:

    Agreed, I’d love for them to revisit this once the manga is finished as I quite enjoyed the different parts of this even if they never quite came together properly either due to the limit of 26 eps, or not wanting to take risks with the characters once the original stuff started.

    I generally enjoyed how things were being set up with the universe, the characters and their interactions, and the action and how at first it shook up the cliches a bit (which as you mentioned in the review was probably the biggest let down in that they then proceeded to fall prey to them which makes it even more pronounced) so hopefully it’ll return some day after the manga’s finished so they can do a longer show that really builds off the beginning (and I’ll still watch the upcoming movie) and most importantly a more integrated exorcists vs Satan arc.

    So I pretty much agree with the review , fun show and well executed shounen but sadly didn’t reach it’s heights and went backwards a bit in losing some of it’s edge. Loved the visuals (and the soundtrack). :)

    Loved reading about the show each week, keep up the great blogging! :)

  5. Cryptic says:

    Best part of this show was the baby-baby-baby shiba commercials

  6. ahelo says:

    Kinda harsh for someone who actually liked it 2/3 of the show don’t you think?

  7. Shinigami says:

    I think that you’ve fallen into the trap the anime has set. I suppose you would really like the manga if you can read it thoroughly. If you’ve liked the first 10-15 episodes and disliked the last 5-10, it’s the right choice for you.

    Btw, I have finally managed to write a decent review too. It can be found here: shinigamilist.com/2011/10/08/ao-no-exorcist-青の祓魔師-anime-review

  8. Dark Legion says:

    I loved manga as well anime.
    Both keep me entertaining.

  9. TaciNox says:

    I know that blue exorcist the anime/manga a bit generic, but my heart always pump for a new chapter in the manga.

    My guilty pleasure.

  10. sam says:

    This show was so great

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
AidanAK47
@Amagi, that scene is one that you really need to see though the eyes of the protagonist. It is doubtful an anime could capture that moment. It was one moment you truly resonated with the protagonist.
AidanAK47
@Sash, Any VN you can find on Steam is All Ages(Meaning that sex scenes are cut out. Not that it's not graphic as All Ages Vans are certainly not for all ages.) I would recommend Sharin no Junior. There is sex scenes in it but you should only encounter one playing through the main route. The House in fata Morgana is also a good one.
Amagi
They'll never manage to make THAT scene as shocking as in the VN.
Amagi
The VN is great. It's linear story telling but one of those VNs I doubt anybody can adapt properly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want a muv-luv anime that isn't a spinoff.
Because I'm too lazy to read the VN.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always get those funny looks when I say Saya is my favourite VN.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must ashamedly say that I did read Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke o, if only just to read a VN that was all about the ecchi/H.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've also played phenomeno.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Been meaning to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've played sharin, maou, saya, cartharga, fate/stay night, swan song, planeterium, narrcissu, Eden, both kara no shoujo games, some of fata morganna, some of comyu.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know forest either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't like one thing I read by the ever 17 author, it kept annoying me to get any worthwhile end out of it. Even though I liked the premise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Sash: I enjoy the stories VNs offer, Aidn recommended me a share, but while I've liked them, the format I needed to get used to and yes the time commitment.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not key, but Phenomono or narrcisu seems safer a bet, unless you hate horror then avoid phenemono.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't like any of the Jun Maeda Key melodrama anymore, but there are all ages versions of their visual novels.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe Aidan still needs to read kara no shoujo 2 . I don't know what Ignarock or sharnoth is . What is the name of the post(or was it pre) apocaypse shoujo-ai visual novel?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I played saya first because of story, atmosphere, short length.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually based on his reactions, recommend him the freeware stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Sash: I was also going to say I was worried about recommending any visual novel then. I said kira kira, sharin and g senjou because they seemed safer, but there is H scenes in them, but not tonnes.
Amagi
@Sash https://vndb.org might be useful. You can search with tags there, including technical aspects like "voiced", "moving mouths" and stuff like that.
Sash
Or rather, none hentai
Sash
I also tend to be open to most genres, but please keep it PG...
Amagi
lone = long
Amagi
Thinking back I am pretty sure Saya no Uta actually was my first VN. It was popular back then and rather short so it was kind of a good entry level VN (for me), same as with narcissu and Planetarian which I read right after that. Think my first lone VN was either Ever17 or Sharin no Kuni.
Sash
@AidanAK47: Yes, it such a huge time commitment! That's the sole reason I don't share your sentiment. As for what my taste is... I don't know since that was my first ever Visual Novel. For now I would like ones with voice actors in it.
Amagi
I should really read more stuff I haven't read any VN the last year for some reason.
Amagi
Speaking of VNs I wish one of this utsukushii series would get an anime adaption someday. Maybe Sharnoth or Inganock. I loved Forest as well which had a similar style and other stuff with Meteor involved (of courise including the Fate series).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Allow me to re-phrase in layman's English: "If he could handle something as explicit or dark as saya no uta we could suggest it if he thought he was up for it, he could read it at some point if he thought he could handle it, sash, do you think you can handle something messed up like that, if not, perhaps you should play sharin no kuni instead"
Kaiser-Eoghan
It isn't even annoyingly edgy to me. Just why even bother watching/reading it at all was my reaction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've seen bits of the ovas for euphoria, I stress bits of them. Not something I'd dwell on or bother to watch more fully, it went too far to where it just produced a numbing effect where I just don't react to it, to where it neither becomes shocking or laughable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The reason I mentioned tolerance level was because I wanted him to respond to confirm if he cold handle those darker games because hell if I know what he's able for.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also kirakira is another safe recommendation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats why I stated sharin and maou were safer recommendations.
AidanAK47
Jesus Kaiser, why not chuck Subihibi and Euphoria on top of that if you are so determined to traumatise him. None of those should be first time recommendations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ideally we could recommend him saya no uta, kara no shoujo or Swan song, but we don't know his tolerance level. Based on that Sharin no kuni and G senjou maou might be the safest recommendations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I'm wondering if he played a version without the H-scenes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Aiyoku no Eustia and Comyu adaptation and full translation WHEN.
AidanAK47
@Sash, That's good to hear. Also fair play on playing it as it is a pretty huge time commitment. If you haven't I would recommend checking out other visual novels as you might find something that would be more for you. I can even throw out some recs if you are interested.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*allows us
I will probably watch shojo kageki dubbed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've fallen behind on shoujo kageki and sirius.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....was lovingly semi-oneric.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That kids backstory is so depressing in happy sugar life. Nail pulling scene messed me up. I also watched the new satsuriku no tenshi episode, this is definately going at a quicker place, they skipped a whole character and by doing so, also a flashback involving Cathy. Though I'm not too bothered by it as it also us to get to the big bad quicker and focus on Zack/Rachel. First bit of this episode
Anonymous2592902
This is Sash by the way, name keeps changing back to anonymous
Anonymous2592902
@Kaiser-Eoghan: yes... I meant that...
SuperMario
Talking about being born in a digital age huh?
Lenlo
@Kaiser, for my old roommate maybe. I dont think ive ever bought a magazine in my life
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Sash: Do you mean visual novel?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Admit it Lenlo, you would buy that magzine with Ash and Eiji on it.
Sash
@AidanAK47: i have recently read the light novel of Fate Stay Night and, though I don't share your sentiment, I do see why you love it so much
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sword art is one of those things that everywhere you look you'll see it hated, yet in rolls in the money.
Lenlo
Well, its hated by certain parts of the community. Usually western parts.
AidanAK47
@Mitsuko, yep we are well aware. But as an FYI, SAO is hated heavily in the anime community. So another season isn't exactly a cause for celebration but rather a dejected sigh.
Lenlo
Banana Fish, back on track. Also, this ED is my favorite of the season.
Mitsuko
@Lenlo i agree that was one of the best i cried in that part
Lenlo
Oh I know it is. Doesnt mean I have to acknowledge it. Mothers Rosario was the only SAO arc I actually liked, and Kirito had almost no involvement in it
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mitsuko: Its gone on for too long.
Mitsuko
i dont know if anyone said this already or that you know but sword art online is coming out with a season 3 in october right
Adimar
i miss Shino god i hope there is another season were she gets out of her coma and haseo and Shino get together if that happens then god it will be amazing
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't think I brought this up, but I've only seen one season of Bleach, random episodes of DBZ, few episodes of Naruto and two volumes of one piece, most I got was 32 episodes of hunter x hunter.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Another example is I can't get into most shounen because it isn't seinen. Too often I can't separate shounen jump stuff from each other in my head even if I know they are different.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose I do experience exceptions , I could probably find one dark moe show that'd work for me like Happy sugar life, but in general I utterly despise mixing moe cute girl antics with horror.
@Anon: Its because often the time travel/reset thing is used in those stories as an extra lives/chances cheat.
Lenlo
I can agree that, largely, avoiding a genre or style you dont like is fine. It just means you will miss the occasional exception. Because there is always an exception that fits the mold, but is good enough you enjoy it anyways.

Like im not normally a fan of rom-coms or melodrama, but I enjoyed Toradora. Never would have watched it under normal circumstances either
Anonymous2585479
@Aidan, Well Evangelion was a bad example as I had read a bit of the manga version at one point.
A better example would have been Steins Gate which I avoid for the simple reason that time travel stories annoy me, especially if they involve changing the past.
Thing is though, I don't agree that this is any different from avoiding fanservice or "standard crap", even those can surprise rarely.
Lenlo
There were some I knew I wouldnt like and tried anyways, like Clannad, but some that pleasantly surprised me like Space Dandy.

@Aidan, yeah. I had to experience it. I just... there was so much wrong in the episode I am having a hard time writing it up without feeling like im just ragging on it non stop
AidanAK47
@Anon, I don't really argee with that mindset as I feel you don't really know if something is for you until you see it for yourself. Not saying you have to plough though it even if you hate it. But giving it at least one episode I think is needed. Well unless it's something like a fanservice show or standard crap.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I was thinking about warning you when I seen you got excited about that but decided it would just be better to see for yourself.
Anonymous2584737
Happens to me with plenty of things, for example I refuse to touch Evangelion since I know enough about it say that I have no interest.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There has to be a moment where you just accept somethings just not going to click for you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For example I will never watch darling in the Franxx because of kill la kill.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Have you reached the point where you no longer care when you hate something popular or refuse to watch it out of sheer disinterest?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Do you all think there comes a time, where you get to where you know you don't need to even bother watching a certain show because you know yourself enough to know there is no hope it'll be your thing? To where you simply pass on it, not even watching the first episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Hanebado death stare is real, the eyes THE EYES man the eyes =O
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stupid steins; gate, why must it bully Lenlo. Although I've not watched the episode yet....am I right in saying things may be heading in the direction we feared?
Lenlo
*sigh* Steins;Gate physically hurt me this week. I am disappoint
Kaiser-Eoghan
In general I tend to turn my mind off to scientific inaccuracy in fiction and because honestly, I have a fairly poor memory for much of the facts.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember school biology classes, couldn't bring myself to cut an animal heart/frog/worm and tapped out of doing it. I remember being told, someone thinking it was all a laugh and they threw one of the hearts into a bush somewhere on the school grounds.
SuperMario
Then again, biology is amongst my least favorite subject :(
SuperMario
@Vonter: I'm still following Cells at Work but I have long since given up on making a real life connection. But let's see, i think your first statement was right but I'm not sure about the second one
Vonter
I've been watching Cells at Work! And I'm not sure if I get the analogy of an allergy. The allergens makes the body counter act with a chemical that in turn makes the body over release another chemical that irritates and produces sneezes. And an steroid counteracts the allergy by breaking down in a small degree that section of they body?
Lenlo
Honestly, im not sure if its intentional or not, because the rest of the english in the paper is actually pretty good.
Lenlo
The Dairy Cod? Oh yes
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did you happen to notice the L/R error/ no differentiation in the top left screenshot in your banana fish post? Sayss Dairy Cape cod instead of daily cape cod.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*these
Kaiser-Eoghan
I keep listing to those mixtape and vaporwave things on youtube very frequently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh so that was the name of that show where I saw Urasawa and Itou being interviewed.
Lenlo
Look up Manben on youtube. Its basically where they do an hour long episode on a Mangaka, film their process, and talk about their philosophies while making it
Lenlo
If your interested in the manga process
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now that I remember, there was a part where they were praying for the idols. Someone said it has become like a pseudo-religion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see some documentaries about anime/manga and more about Japan .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Adding to what I said though, as bad as Japans idol thing is, the music industry everywhere has its awfully sleazy side.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In a way, I sort of feel like I can't fully judge the guy who paid for 100s of idol concerts....when admittedly I've spent my fair share over the years on hentai.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw that documentary I talked about a few comments ago, because the post would have been 500 words long, I put it on pastebin: https://pastebin.com/D7CuaA4F
Lenlo
I dunno, I quite enjoy the characters. Endeavor had an arc recently that was particularly good.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I want to specify on that comment, I'm not looking down on hero academia, more suggesting the broadness of its appeal.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In terms of planet with, I've only seen the first episode of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have found though that Academia, much like titan, is partially an anime for people who don't watch anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On Hero academia, on my end it would probably be more accurate to say that its not a case of hating it, moreso not my thing.
AidanAK47
I don't hate Hero Aca. My problem is that it really isn't doing anything new. Every beat traced from shounen legacy. It's executed well no doubt and I am sure animation wise it trumps old shounen. And if it can avoid the trap of every long running shounen of going past it's due then it could end up the most polished. But it's still a new dog doing old tricks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness. Regarding Planet with, sometimes you have to care for whats been subverted before you can get anything out of the subversion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: If you don't like my one-liners, you should sea my ocean liners, they're practically to drown for.
AidanAK47
On Fate GO, yeah I really think that some banners are more generous than others. Hoping the Prisma banner is generous because I need to get together the Emiya family.
Lenlo
Really? I quite like Hero Aca, its probably my favorite current shounen, granted this current arc isnt the best. Granted I also keep up with the manga so know how it all plays out.
AidanAK47
And subversion in a good way. Not like Fate Extra over here which subverts expectations by having the endboss leave the show offscreen but instead subverting to keep you on your toes while keeping the satisfaction of a well conculded fight. That moment when he pulled out the clog for a finisher was unexpected, hilarious and amazing.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Yep. To me Boku hero is how to use tropes and settings wrong, essentially recycling them wholesale. Planet With uses them but uses them to subvert your expectations when you think things will go according to the trope but NOPE.
AidanAK47
UGH.
I am close to banning you for that pun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Everyone is watching planet with....
......

....WITH each other
Masky
I'm watching Planet With!
Amagi
We all know the cliffhanger fight between Takashi and * +revelation of you know what wouldn't have happend before episode 10 in any other anime. This show manages the time perfectly and it doesn't feel rushed.
Amagi
It's exactly how I want a show: you are allowed to use tropes and generic settings but be creative, switch the roles, turn stereotypes upside down and make every episode unique and non-repetitive. It's what this show is doing and it's doing this perfectly.
Amagi
@Aidan: I love it too. I am pretty surprised how few people are watching this considering that it is still shounen'ish and how hyped Bisquithammer is.
Amagi
Ehhh-? Now got summer Marie with 3 quartz in FGO and Martha with 12 a few days ago Aidan was right about the second summer rate up banner.
AidanAK47
Such a shame that nobody seems to be watching Planet With.
AidanAK47
Damn, Planet with pretty much concluded and there is still six episodes left. This episode was damn satisfying and it seems the training wheels are off here..
Anonymous2563449
How do you expect men and women to act when they reach the end of economic growth
Anonymous2563449
The idol industry is just a reflection of the broken social contract/financial repression
K-Off
It'd be interesting if the documentary talks about the effect on men as well, that kind of obsession driven culture can't be healthy.
K-Off
Still remember that idol (was it akb48?) who filmed herself crying on film with a shaved head because she was caught with a boyfriend
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also planning on picking up A drifting life soon, biographical manga about the 60s gekiga manga period.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Going to watch some Japanese documentary tomorrow that goes into wide detail about how terrible their idol industry is and the effect it has on women.
Lenlo
The only thing I really liked out of Ahin was the villain. That dude was quite intimidating, running around shooting himself every time he got tranqed.
AidanAK47
And though I didn't mention it in the review it is rather annoying how the series shafted both Tamamo and Hakunon.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, It was a series that had good ideas, I give it that. But it was a mighty dull watch. Some better protagonist could have helped a bit at least.
K-Off
Speaking of which, I picked up an Astolfo plushie at anime expo and this alone is making me want to play FGO
K-Off
Yea Ajin flows really strangely and there's really no overarching story, plus nobody has much motivation to do anything. But that's also its appeal, for people interested in an insane antagonist who wants nothing but chaos
K-Off
Ah Fate Extra sounds disappointing, I STILL haven't watched any of the series and was hoping it'd be a good entry
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ajin is one of those things I just ended up completely forgetting about, although for pretty much no reason.
K-Off
Also: Ajin is getting pretty freaking crazy with the recent chapters, I love how Sato is so Joker-like and he's actually succeeding at every thing he's doing
K-Off
The manga is fantastic, feels pretty quaint as comedy manga go nowadays. Also the chapters flow really well with its comedic timing, love the pacing
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm actually intending to move on to the manga sometime, as I was using the anime as an introduction/taster for it.
AidanAK47
Yeah I find Grand Blue just isn't working for me like the manga did. I feel like it needed better animation and a better director. I thought the Gintama director would do good but didn't take into account that with such a long running series he's likely accustomed to doing comedy within a small budget.
K-Off
Feels like manga with great comedic timing don't translate very well animated, or maybe it's because I've already read the same joke before the adaptation
K-Off
Woops forgot i wasn't logged in on mobile
Anonymous2559865
So far in the season pretty sad to see Grand Blue not living up to the manga
K-Off
(i also updated my email on my profile, if you need me for anything let me know there)
K-Off
Ahaha nah, its the real McCoy, last time we talked was about the backend server iirc
AidanAK47
...hmmm is this a fake Psgels situation I wonder.
K-Off
Ive been too hooked on Azur Lane lately
K-Off
Hello everyone, feels like its been a while!
Kaiser-Eoghan
Budget really shows in grand blue now, I wasn't really into the first half of this episode, but by the second half it got me laughing again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Including shots AT Mayuri =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
And yet, somehow I will find a way to someway forgive the show as hard as I can be on it I can never be 100% mad at the series.
Lenlo
And if it cops out with Mayuri's death, I agree. I wont be happy
Lenlo
@Kaiser, I mean, there are OTHER Mayuri shots I could have posted this week
Kaiser-Eoghan
Godammit Kana Hanazawa, just destroy me already OWO;;;
Kaiser-Eoghan
Be sure to skip past the credits in this weeks satsuriku no tenshi as there's a scene after them. Also Btfo Cathy, this was the part in the manga where I was surprised what Rachael and Zack did in this episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Posting those shots of best girl looking sad =<.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I'm being cynical about it because I don't want to be overly disappointed is such a cop-out occurred.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And it would probably bother me somewhat if the show decided to cop-out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As much as I got the feels from that final scene with Mayuri and yes, I would, for the sake of drama, wish for it to remain that way. I'm not entirely convinced that the series won't pull a convenient twist to cancel it out, even though now it seems impossible.
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Banana Fish, Banana Fish, does whatever a crime drama does. Drives a van, shoots a father-figure, lookout its Banana Fish. Simpson’s references aside, this week Banana Fish gives us a dark look into Ash’s past and both starts and completes our road trip. Lets jump in! Starting off, this week was probably the weakest so far […]

Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro – 06 [Everyone’s Own Path – Chio-chan Eludes]

Chio-chan… well… doesn’t go well this week. Not necessary because of the reappearance of crash fanservice gags – which for now I pretty much roll with, but because it’s a replication of Chio-chan’s previous (and better) segments. It adds up with the fact that both segments this week feel longer than they needed be. Take […]

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