Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: (2019) Anime Review

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

The anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is based on the manga series of the same title, written and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotōge. The anime television series adaptation by studio Ufotable was announced in Weekly Shōnen Jump on June 4, 2018.The series aired from April 6 to September 28, 2019 on Tokyo MX, GTV, GYT, BS11, and other channels. Haruo Sotozaki is directing the anime with scripts by the Ufotable staff. Yuki Kajiura and Go Shiina are composing the music, and Akira Matsushima is the character designer. Hikaru Kondo is the producer. LiSA is performing the opening theme “Gurenge” (紅蓮華), while the ending theme is “from the edge” by FictionJunction feat. LiSA. The ending theme for episode 19 is “Kamado Tanjirō no Uta” (竈門炭治郎のうた) by Go Shiina featuring Nami Nakagawa. Aniplex of America announced that they have licensed the series, and streaming on Crunchyroll, Hulu, and FunimationNow. AnimeLab is simulcasting the series in Australia and New Zealand. The series ran for 26 episodes.

In July 2019, it was announced that the English dub would premiere on Adult Swim’s Toonami. The series will premiere on October 12, 2019.

Plot

Demon Slayer is about Tanjiro Kamado, a young man with a gifted sense of smell, leaves his family in their mountain home and carries coal to a nearby town to sell. They have struggled financially since the death of the father but are happy. When Tanjiro returns home the following morning, he smells blood and finds his entire family has been massacred by a demon, except for his younger sister Nezuko. Tanjiro tries to take her to the town for medical treatment but she wakes and attacks him, having been contaminated by the demon’s blood and turned into a demon herself. Giyū Tomioka, a demon hunter, arrives and attempts to decapitate Nezuko, only for Tanjiro to pull her out of the way. He pleads with Giyū that Nezuko would never harm anyone, but Giyū knows better. A hungry demon eats anyone, even its parents and siblings. Tanjiro says he’ll cure Nezuko, but Giyū states the contamination is irreversible. Tanjiro attempts to attack him but is knocked unconscious. Nezuko runs to Tanjiro and Giyū believes she’s going to eat him, only for her to defend him. Surprised, Giyū knocks out Nezuko instead of killing her. After Tanjiro wakes, Giyū tells him to see a man named Sakonji Urokodaki at the foot of Mt. Sagiri and to say Giyū sent them. He also warns Tanjiro to make sure Nezuko is never exposed to sunlight before vanishing. The Kamado family are buried and Tanjiro and Nezuko depart hand in hand.

Tanjiro buys a straw basket, planning to carry Nezuko in it so they can keep heading to Mt. Sagiri during the day and keep her out of the sun. That night they find a temple but Tanjiro smells blood and they burst inside to find a demon feeding on several humansAn old man, who is revealed to be Sakonji Urokodaki, prevents Tanjiro from stabbing the pinned head, as that isn’t enough to kill it, but Tanjiro hesitates to smash it. Urokodaki notices Tanjiro’s empathy for the demon, and thinks to himself that Tanjiro won’t cut it as a demon slayer, despite what Giyū thinks. The sun rises and the demon is vaporized. Urokodaki berates Tanjiro for his hesitation, stating his resolve is weak. He warns Tanjiro that Nezuko killing an innocent is the worst possible outcome, and tests him to see if he is fit to be a member of the Demon Slayers Corps. After going for a long run, he has Tanjiro leave Nezuko in a cabin and climb a mountain. He tells Tanjiro to make it down before sunrise. Tanjiro quickly discovers that the mountain is booby-trapped, greatly slowing his progress. Tanjiro uses his sense of smell to detect the booby traps, which still have the scent of the person who laid them, allowing him to return in time. Urokodaki recalls the letter he got from Giyū about the siblings, and Giyū’s request that he train them. He then accepts Tanjiro as his student.

Over the next year, Tanjiro trains with Urokodaki, improving his physical form and learning the Water Style swordsmanship. Nezuko has fallen into a deep sleep that has lasted for six months, though there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with her. One day Urokodaki declares he has taught Tanjiro all he can and leads him to a boulder. He tells him if he can slice it with his sword he will let him enter the Final Selection – only those who survive the Final Selection can become official members of the Demon Slayers Corps. Urokodaki leaves, never to teach him another lesson. Tanjiro tries for six months but cannot damage the rock, all while Nezuko continues to sleep. As he begins to give up, a young man in a fox mask, Sabito, appears and attacks him. The two fight and Tanjiro is at a severe disadvantage despite having a real sword and his opponent a wooden one. Sabito scolds him for forgetting his lessons before knocking him out. A girl with a fox mask, Makomo, is with Tanjiro when he wakes up and helps hone his techniques, like Total Concentration Breathing, which increases the wielder’s physical strength. She tells him she and Sabito were both orphans raised by Urokodaki. Sabito occasionally returns and fights him but Tanjiro loses every time. After six months of this, Sabito and Tanjiro fight again and this time Sabito has a real sword. Tanjiro’s blade finally reaches Sabito first. The adopted siblings smile and vanish. Tanjiro realizes his sword, which he thought cut through Sabito’s mask, has actually sliced the boulder in two.

Tanjiro leaves for the Final Selection, the still sleeping Nezuko staying with Urokodaki. Before he leaves, he warns Tanjiro that older demons who have consumed more humans more develop new powers and gives him a fox mask with a spell to protect him. The group is greeted by a pair of girls, who tell them many demons are imprisoned on the mountain, unable to leave because the wisteria they hate blooms year-round at the base.

From this point on there is no wisteria and only those who survive for seven days will pass. Tanjiro is soon ambushed by two hungry demons but uses Water Style to kill them with a special “Nichirin sword” Urokodaki gave him. He detects a rotten smell and sees another applicant being chased by a massive demon. The applicant is caught but Tanjiro saves him. The demon asks Tanjiro for the year and is enraged when he learns he has been trapped here so long it has passed into another era. He curses Urokodaki for capturing him. The applicant can’t believe the demon is so old as there should only be young ones who have only killed two or three here, but this one has eaten at least fifty applicants. The demon says Tanjiro will be the 14th student of Urokodaki he’s eaten, recognizing him by the style of mask. The demon recalls eating Sabito and Makomo and Tanjiro attacks him, enraged.

Sabito and Makomo’s ghosts sit on the slashed boulder, wondering if Tanjiro can defeat their killer. The applicant Tanjiro saved flees. Tanjiro targets the demon’s weak spot, his neck, but the demon thinks his neck is too strong to break as Sabito broke his sword trying to cut it. Tanjiro’s strike however, severs the neck. At the end of the Final Selection, Tanjiro and three others return to the wisteria and the twins greet them as the only survivors. The twins tell them there are ten ranks in the Corps and the four are now Mizunoto, the lowest rank. New, stronger color-changing swords will be made for them after they pick the ore, though they will take time to complete. Each are assigned a Kasugai crow to help in communication and given new uniforms. One applicant with a scar across his face, Shinazugawa Genya, angrily demands the sword now but Tanjiro stops him from harming the twins by nearly breaking Genya’s arm.

Tanjiro returns to Urokodaki’s and happily finds Nezuko awake after a year and a half long slumber. Urokodaki is relieved he’s alive. He tells Tanjiro Nezuko is likely recovering her strength by sleeping instead of eating humans. 15 days later, Tanjiro’s new sword is delivered to him by Haganezuka, the swordsmith. It changes to black when he draws it, a rare color. A Kasugai crow flies in and presents Tanjiro his first assignment as a Demon Hunter, to go to a town to the northwest where young girls have been vanishing and kill the responsible demon.

A Kasugai crow appears to Tanjiro after he leaves, directing him to the south-east. While Tanjiro tries to quiet the crow, he sees a young blonde man, one of the other three who completed the Final Selection with him, Agatsuma Zenitsu, begging a distressed woman to marry him. After they go to kill other demon. Where they found Inosuke kicking a badly wounded Zenitsu, who is protecting Nezuko’s box. Inosuke had come out of the house after Zenitsu and tried to destroy the box since he was getting a demonic vibe from Nezuko within. Zenitsu recognizes him as the Fifth survivor of Final Selection, who was there but did not show himself. Zenitsu already knew there was a demon in Tanjiro’s box as he could hear her breathing and heartbeat but trusted Tanjiro had a reason for declaring it was more important then his life and protects it. As Tanjiro sees Inosuke about to stab Zenitsu, he shouts at Inosuke to stop and rushes him.

Tanjiro punches Inosuke so hard he cracks his ribs, sending him sprawling. He tells him Zenitsu won’t fight because they’re both Demon Corps members and they’re not supposed to draw their swords on each other. Inosuke takes that to mean it’s alright if they fight bare-handed and proceeds to charge Tanjiro, who promises that’s not what he meant. The two fight and when Inosuke dosn’t stop, Tanjiro head-butts him, which makes Inosuke’s boar mask fall off, revealing a very human, though beautiful and girly face. Inosuke collapses from a concussion, though Tanjiro is fine. When Inosuke later wakes up he sees Tanjiro and the others burying the bodies of the humans who were killed. Inosuke doesn’t see the point in it and challenges Tanjiro to a fight. After Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke pair and fights with other Demons and kills them.

In seasonal finale last fight was fro spider family demon that was so intense that Tanjiro get backs by touching his death he was saved from high class Demon slayer organization. Tanjiro comes face-to-face with the nine most powerful Demon Slayers: Giyū (the Water Pillar), Shinobu (the Insect Pillar), Kyōjuro Rengoku (the Flame Pillar), Tengen Uzui (the Sound Pillar), Mitsuri Kanroji (the Love Pillar), Muichirō Tokitō (the Mist Pillar), Gyōmei Himejima (the Stone Pillar), Obanai Iguro (the Snake Pillar), and Sanemi Shinazugawa (the Wind Pillar). They put Tanjiro on trial due to him having violated Demon Slayer Corps rules by travelling with a demon, even if she is his sister. Tanjiro states she won’t eat humans and can fight with the Demon Slayers to protect humans. Sanemi comes outside with Nezuko in her box, calling him deluded and stabs through the box and into Nezuko’s shoulder. e cuts open his arm and stabs Nezuko twice more through the box, intending to prove she can’t be trusted. After tossing the box inside a house out of the sun, he opens it, telling Nezuko to attack him for the human blood she hungers for. Nezuko stands from the box, badly wounded, and turns to him, salivating through her muzzle. After master of demon slayer seeing Nezuko has still human emotions and behave like a human after a demon. Master happily declare that she is safe to humans and she can work in Demon slayer with Tanjiro. Tanjiro says thank you to Master. And he gives blessing to Tanjiro and told him to do training and get strong to fight with other Demons.

After Tanjiro buckle up and do lots of training and learn new technique and gets Master in it. Later one of the High class Demon slayer member says you are ready to go and fight with other demon with your team. And we see Tanjiro is now more strong and motivated to devour Demons and turn her sister into a human. And kill that bastard king of Demons. And in the last scene we see King of demon killing his own team of d=Demons because they fail in killing Demon Slayer. So, he makes new plan and new team to kill them. And finally we see Tanjiro and other members traveling in train. To kill other Demons and where we see one Demon is waiting inside and other team members of Tanjiro and one more High class member secretly inside train to kill demons. This is how season 1 gets to end.

My Personal Thoughts

Stor
If I could sum it all up into a very short version, I can say with confidence that it’s your shounen story done damn right. I’m aware that people before me have said this about KnY before, but I’m saying it to iterate that it’s true.

As the summary says, the story centers around a young boy named Tanjirou who loses his entire family… except his sister, Nezuko, who had turned into a demon. After finding out that the culprit is – in fact – a demon (not just any demon though), he trains under a man named Urokodaki to participate in the life-or-death Final Selection in order to earn a place in the Demon Slaying Corps to kill the demon that killed his family and turn his sister back into a human.

It sounds like a very typical shounen story. It is. So, what’s so special about it?

Like I said, it’s your shounen anime done right. It follows that typical, familiar shounen-esque storyline (and comedy), but the combination of characters, background, and pacing really come to enhance the story. And the story is realistic. Tanjirou was a normal protagonist, but he didn’t just go poof! overnight to become an OP character killing demons left and right. No, he spent months training, shedding his blood, sweat, and tears, and the anime didn’t bother to cut those scenes out. Not only does this make Tanjirou as a character more well-rounded, it also adds to the story as well. This shows Tanjirou’s story of struggle and how it has shaped him to be who he is.

Also, this is a story with much anticipated action in it, but at the same time, it does have its fair share of emotional moments as well. It’s a story that will get you thrilled for the action scenes but a little heart-wrenching or teary in the emotional scenes. And the way they execute these more emotional or sensitive scenes were done well, in general and in my opinion.

That said, the catch is that I feel the main plot of Tanjirou’s adventures in the Demon Slaying Corps don’t really start until around Episode 05 or so… I would give it some time to get to the main, main “dish”. The exposition is important for Tanjirou’s development and some background as well, but I would say not to expect to be blown out the window at the story presented at the first episode of the anime and to give it a chance by watching through several episodes first.

Oh, and also, this could be me, but I personally really like the setting. I think it’s really cool to see the story take place in Taisho, an era where Japan is just beginning to Westernize, so you see people wearing a mix of traditional Japanese attire and Western clothing along with Western technology like high-rise buildings and telephone boxes in places like Asakusa.

Animation
I mean… it’s ufotable, first of all. That should already say a lot about the animation, haha.

The art is really well-done and fleshed out. You can tell they really pay attention to detail (ie. in facial expressions) when bringing it over from the manga pages to the anime screen. I really found myself enjoying the action scenes, with what how the camera shot moved. It really enhances the viewing experience and – of course – the scene itself.

Attacks were spot-on and the animation on those attacks were nothing short of beautiful.

Really, this show is easy on the eyes with regards to animation. You could watch this just for the art and animation, if for nothing else.

Sound
First, the voices. I admit I was a little worried at first that we were going to have like Asta No. 2 or something, but thankfully my worries were unfounded in the end. Natsuki did a good job with portraying the battle scenes without coming off as annoying. With all the voices we’ve heard so far, I think everyone really nailed the character they were portraying nicely! (You may have noticed – Genya [the one who demanded for his sword] actually shares the same voice actor as Bakugou from BNHA! Those two characters are kinda similar in that they do seem to share that “rough along the edges but a bit insecure on the inside” personality. Needless to say, Nobuhiko’s doing great〜) It sounds like everyone’s enjoying themselves when acting, and I’ve got no major complaints; I look forward to hearing other characters!

The music was also quite memorable. Maybe it was the instrumentation, or maybe it was the timing, but the music did stand out to me more. That’s a good thing! The music is nice to listen to, and it really fits the air and setting of the story as well. Kudos to the musicians!

Plus, they got LiSA to sing their songs. She’s such a great singer! I fell in love with her voice after hearing her in Angel Beats!

Characters
I absolutely, positively love the characters in this show. I could talk a long time about characters, but I don’t want to delve much into spoiler territory. Anyway-

First, Tanjirou is really well-rounded. He faced a tragic situation in which his family was slaughtered, but he’s overall a compassionate character. He’s kind-hearted, and he sympathizes with demons and humans alike. In this sense, this makes him (1) likeable and (2) relatable. Plus, it gives way to emotion as well. It really felt like his struggles were real in the anime, and Sabito and Makomo really pushed him to his limits as well, though they ultimately held good intentions. Speaking of which, even though Sabito and Makomo were minor characters, they had their role in the story and they sure did add emotion to the story as well!

I like how the characters are realistic. Tanjirou is strong in multiple senses of the word, yes, but he’s not really OP. Nor did he get his strength overnight – it was over the course of a couple intense years of training in the mountains, where the air was very, very thin. The other characters seem just as resilient as well. Anyway, I did read the manga, and I can say that the protagonists (and most of the Pillars) are well-rounded, have gone through their share of tragedy, and have those quirks that give the story it that shounen-esque comedy, which may sometimes be a little bit cheesy or derpy but nonetheless just as charming.

While I think the protagonists are well-done, where I think this really stands out in this department is the antagonists. This is more like an execution thing, but when Muzan Kibutsuji appeared in the anime, it was really intense, and I loved it because it suits his character, which they didn’t waste any time showing us: very powerful yet ruthless and cruel. But there are also the Twelve Demon Moons (a group of 12 of the most powerful demons [6 ‘Upper Moons’ as the top 6 and 6 ‘Lower Moons’ as the bottom 6] serving Muzan – I know at least the Upper Moons appear in the OP as silhouettes). As established with the flashback of the Hand Demon in Episode 04–05, every demon used to be human. They lived a human life before becoming a demon, and their humanity was taken away from them when they become a demon.

It’s the exact same for these powerful, seemingly very inhumane demons. They were very much once human – and I did find myself feeling bad for most of them, one way or another, by the end. Not just any show or manga can do that. They may have a backstory for an antagonist, but it takes quite a bit for me to actually feel bad for them. In KnY, some of them, I really can’t bring myself to hate by the end, and others I just feel outright bad for. Obviously, not every single demon insinuates these emotions inside of me, but a lot of them do, and those ones do a good job! You can tell that the author has put in thought about their backstory — in other words, the antagonists are not mere story dolls to ramp up the action… though that’s undeniably definitely part of it! But, they also have their history, their story, that has shaped them. (In fact, call me emotional, but a couple of them even made me shed some tears-)

So, I think, especially if you read the manga, you’ll be surprised at how well-rounded these antagonists can come to be in KnY. And maybe, like me, you’ll find yourself not really hating the villains in the end after reading their backstories. I will definately recommend his anime to watch and i rate this Anime 8/10.

鬼滅の刃
(Kimetsu no Yaiba)
GenreAdventure, dark fantasy
Manga
Written byKoyoharu Gotōge
Published byShueisha
English publisherNA Viz Media
DemographicShōnen
ImprintJump Comics
MagazineWeekly Shōnen Jump
Original runFebruary 15, 2016 – present
Volumes16 (List of volumes)
Anime film
Kimetsu no Yaiba: Kyōdai no Kizuna
Directed byHaruo Sotozaki
Produced byHikaru Kondo
Written byUfotable
Music byYuki Kajiura
Go Shiina
StudioUfotable
Licensed byAUS Madman EntertainmentNA Aniplex of America
ReleasedMarch 29, 2019
Anime television series
Directed byHaruo Sotozaki
Produced byHikaru Kondo
Written byUfotable
Music byYuki Kajiura
Go Shiina
StudioUfotable
Licensed byNA Aniplex of America
Original networkTokyo MX, GTV, GYT, BS11
English networkUS Adult Swim (Toonami)
Original run April 6, 2019 – September 28, 2019
Episodes26 (List of episodes)
Anime film
Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Ressha-hen
Directed byHaruo Sotozaki
StudioUfotable

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