This is your sign to catch up on Demon Slayer
Demon Slayer started in 2016 as a manga penned by Koyoharu Gotoge and has sold over 150 million copies as of February 2021. Recently, it’s been the top anime dominating watchlists and trending topics. Its first movie, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train, outdid Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away as the all-time highest-grossing film in Japan. When it debuted internationally, it raked in over USD 500 million and became the highest-grossing film of 2020.
You’ve probably heard of it, but what exactly makes Demon Slayer all that? Up ahead, we list down the reasons why.
The World & Lore
Set in Taisho-era Japan, Demon Slayer adds a freaky twist to the historical backdrop. Kamado Tanjiro, the sole breadwinner, comes home to his family mercilessly slaughtered by a demon. He discovers that the lone survivor is his sister, Nezuko, who transformed into a demon. However, Nezuko still shows human emotions and remembers her memories, unlike the rest of her kind. Together, they embark on a journey to find a way to reverse her transformation, including training to become part of the Demon Slayer Corps.
Tanjiro’s quest involves hunting Kibutsuji Muzan, the Demon King and culprit behind his family’s murder. Muzan’s thirst for chaos and blood led to the demise of thousands, continuously turning more humans to do his bidding. That’s why the Corps exists—to foil his plans and eradicate demons from the earth. His complex history with the Corps, its former pillars and current members make the story a lot more exciting at each turn.
The Characters of Demon Slayer
One of the best things about Demon Slayer would be the variety of personalities in the main cast, an unlikely group you’ll end up loving. Demon Corps members band together for the journey. Tanjiro, the show’s main protagonist, is a kind-hearted and intelligent soul who selflessly helps in any way that he can. Meanwhile, Nezuko retains her sweet and caring personality through her actions, which only disappears during fights. The cowardly Zenitsu joins the pair, who cries in the face of a battle…until he falls asleep. Inosuke completes their group. He may seem like a brash, loud and annoying boy with a boar for a head, but there’s more to him behind the mask.
Next to an exciting gang of main characters would be the show’s diverse list of allies and enemies. Each pillar or hashira of the Demon Corps is unique. From their power and expertise to life philosophies, the protagonists learn more about the world of demons and what it means to be part of the Corps. Meanwhile, enemies have their own unique powers, dark pasts and issues. And at best, their storylines humanize them before their inevitable ends. Also, these enemies can be powerful as hell, so it takes two to three episodes to close the battle.
The Animation of Demon Slayer
Anime shows also encounter the issue of the titles doing justice (or not) to the manga. The worst cases involve One Punch Man, the later seasons of Bleach and The Promised Neverland. Meanwhile, Demon Slayer is the complete opposite. Demon Slayer’s seasons and the movie received accolades and warm reviews because of the impeccable animation. The intricately drawn panels come to life through detailed frames. Each episode and fight scene are consistent with the quality. The fight choreographies are intense and wild, but not too overwhelming that you get lost with the story. As a result, each frame emerges as a work of art, one that would have you replaying each scene.
Animation studio Ufotable, whose track record includes Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay Night, only takes on a few projects a year. One could assume that all their resources go to Demon Slayer because it shows. If you’re the type of person who’s content in following the manga alone, listen. This anime adaptation is a must-watch.
Demon Slayer always gets to the point. The seasons follow the story canonically found in the manga, plus there are no filler episodes to tide us over. Even their post-battle rehabilitation is essential to the narrative and their character development. The story and seasons get divided between the hashiras they meet and the demons they set out to slay, along with finding Muzan. Another thing the anime is good (or bad) at would be at cliffhangers—and making sure you’re left wanting more at the end of each episode.
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Lucky for you, the first two seasons and the movie in between are all on Netflix. No more waiting and no more cliffhangers. What are you waiting for? Happy binge-watching!
Need more suggestions? For more anime titles to check out on Netflix, read this.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver