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Anime Review: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Demon Slayer

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is a Japanese dark fantasy, adventure manga series by Koyoharu Gotōge with an anime adaptation by Ufotable, directed by Haruo Sotozaki and produced by Hikaru Kondo. Season 1 began airing on April 6th, 2019 with the final episode of the season airing on September 28th, 2019.

Here’s the basic plot:

Our protagonist is Tanjirou Kamado (Voiced by Natsuki Hanae). Following his father’s death, Tanjirou supports his family by selling charcoal. Despite their hardships, his family lives a content, happy life. That is, until demons attack and slaughter his family, save for his sister, Nezuko (Voiced by Akari Kitō). It’s not as simple as two siblings surviving a demon attack though, Nezuko has been turned into a demon, but she still retains some human thought and emotion – enough to keep from killing and eating other humans, at least. With no other options left, Tanjiro becomes a Demon Slayer in hopes to turn his sister human again and avenge his family.

Now some detail:

Over the course of their adventure, Tanjirou, of course, gets stronger and learns new skills, in particular he greatly advances his Water Breathing techniques, to use against the demons they face along the way. Nezuko sees a lot of development as well, she does become a bit more human-like, but is ultimately still a demon and must fight her urges to kill and devour, and she learns she is a unique case for a human turned demon, having special abilities such as “Blood Demon Art” (cool demon attacks) and she can sustain herself without eating humans.

Throughout the series they meet other Demon Slayers, such as Zenitsu Agatsuma (Voiced by Hiro Shimono) who has the Thunder Breathing ability, and Inosuke Hashibira (Voiced by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka) who was raised by a wild boar and has the self-taught Beast Breathing ability. It’s great to make new friends and all, but Tanjirou’s sights only focus further when he discovers the identity of the power demon who is responsible for the creation of almost every demon that exists – including Nezuko – Muzan Kibutsuji (Voiced by Toshihiko Seki). Not only is he incredibly powerful, but he commands a force of twelve demons known as the Twelve Kizuki (“Twelve Demon Moons”), whom Tanjirou and the other Demon Slayers must defeat first if they want to even have a chance against Muzan.

Tanjirou is a great character. He is incredibly kind, but that isn’t to say he’s weak by any means. Seeing this world through his eyes is what makes the series stand out among other “demon fighting” troupes. Yes, these demons murder and kill people, but 90% of the time they didn’t become a demon as a choice. They didn’t WANT to become demons – they were either tricked by Muzan or turned against their will and Tanjirou is able to sense their deep despair at what they’ve become, allowing us to see what happened in their past that led them to their transformation. Honestly, it’s usually SUPER sad. There are also other cases like Nezuko, demons who fight the urge to kill – such as Dr. Tamayo (Voiced by Maaya Sakamoto, a talented doctor who was converted into a demon by Muzan, which caused her to kill and eat her entire family. She eventually found a way to alter her cells to allow her to survive on a small amount of blood and no flesh and is working to find a cure for demons.

There are demons who are straight up horrible, but often times you find yourself feeling sympathy for them, the way Tanjirou feels and the other slayers have a hard time comprehending. Rather than kill them to destroy them, Tanjirou kills them to free them from an endless suffering on themselves and others. It a show full of action, but also one that strikes you on an unexpected emotional level.


Make sure you check out Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, now streaming season one on Crunchyroll and Hulu.

Rachel Freeman
Rachel Freeman
Rachel Freeman is a staff writer and comic review editor at Pop Break. She regularly contributes comic book reviews, such as The Power of the Dark Crystal, Savage Things, Mother Panic, Dark Nights: Metal, Rose, and more. She also contributes anime reviews, such as Berserk, Garo: Vanishing Line and Attack on Titan as well as TV reviews. She has been part of The BreakCast for the Definitive Defenders Podcast. Outside of her writing for Pop Break, Rachel is currently a pre-school teacher. She is a college graduate with her BA in History and MAED. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @Raychikinesis.

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