Demon Slayer Exceeds Expectations


Demon Slayer via Crunchyroll

Protagonist Tanjirō Kamado faces off a demon in a fight.

Studio Ufotable’s animated adaptation of Koyoharu Gotōge’s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has caught the eyes of previous fans and newcomers alike since its stunning premiere.

The 26-episode series starts in medias res, with the protagonist, Tanjirō Kamado (voiced by Natsuki Hanae), carrying his wounded sister Nezuko (voiced by Akari Kitō) on his back. Once it becomes apparent to the audience that a terrible tragedy has occurred, the episode rewinds to the beginning of their story.

The audience is introduced to the rest of the Kamado family, including Tanjirō and Nezuko’s caring mother and adorable siblings. After Tanjirō sets off to sell his family’s charcoal in a nearby town, he and the audience return to a devastating scene that changes his and our outlook on the series forever.

In a fictional world where man-eating Demons roam the Earth, the Demon Slaying Corps—a private organization of warriors—vows to protect humanity. Tanjirō, upon realizing that Nezuko has been turned into a Demon, attempts to join its ranks in order to find a cure for his sister and seek revenge for his family.

Tanjirō finds himself under the care of former Pillar—an elite rank of Demon Slayers—Sakonji Urokodaki, who provides the boy with severe training in preparation for the organization’s entrance exam, the Final Selection. During the Final Selection, participants are to survive a week on a secluded, Demon-run mountain top.

In a fictional world where man-eating Demons roam the Earth, the Demon Slaying Corps—a private organization of warriors—vows to protect humanity.

After admission into the organization, new members are provided with Nichirin blades especially made to kill Demons and Kasugai crows for communication with the Demon Slayer headquarters. Members are then notified of and sent to Demon-infested locations to protect local communities of humans.

Although the basis for Gotōge’s story may seem unoriginal for its dark fantasy genre, one wherein demon-related premises are far from uncommon, she makes up for it by introducing each Demon Slayer’s unique fighting styles and abilities. From Tanjirō’s elegant water-based attacks, to his later-introduced companion Zen’itsu Agatsuma’s awe-inspiring manipulation of electricity, Demon Slayer’s plot is far from simply another tired shōnen cliché.

With only a few questionable CGI additions, the series not only presents a captivating plot to its audience, but also remarkable and unmatched animation. The clean and colorful primary art style accompanied by Ufotable’s fluid transitions makes the series all the more fascinating to watch. During each action scene, the audience can effortlessly follow along with each characters’ movements, as if we are the ones fighting, and are subsequently invited into the characters’ dimension.

Whether a Demon Slayer, a human, or even a Demon, each character’s unique personality and backstory garners sympathy from even the most indifferent of viewers. We find ourselves attached to characters we do not expect, and like Tanjirō, develop compassion for the most undeserving of villains.

Overall, I can promise that Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is worth your time, even if you have not been the least bit interested in Japanese animation in the past. Its original and intriguing plot and characters, coupled with beautiful and enthralling animation, is deserving of a 9.5/10.