‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba‘ is an anime television show based on the popular Weekly Shōnen Jump manga series of the same title by written and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotōge. The show was made by Ufotable and dubbed into English by Aniplex. This review is based on the dub.
Tanjiro Kamado (Zach Aguilar) is a kindhearted young man living in the mountains during the Taishō-era Japan with his mother, siblings, and nephew. After going down to sell goods in the town below, he gets caught in a snowstorm, forcing him to stay with a neighbor until it passes. Upon returning, he discovers to his horror that his entire family has been slaughtered and his sister Nezuko (Abby Trott) has been turned into a ‘demon.’ Vowing to find a cure for his sister, he decides to join the black-ops Demon Slayer Corp and is trained by Sakonji Urokodaki (Brook Chalmers), who also hypnotizes Nezuko into believing all humans are her family, thus rendering her bloodlust moot.
He soon learns that the first demon Muzan (Greg Chun) is the only one who can transform a human into one of his kind and he might know a way to change Nezuko into a human. Along the way, Tanjiro picks up two other Demon Slayers: the cowardly Zenitsu (Aleks Le), who seems to have an alternate personality, and the tough-as-nails Inosuke (Bryce Papenbrook). Together, they seek to protect Nezuko from other Demon Slayers as they hunt demons who might have a clue to a cure.
This is probably one of the best anime I have seen for some time. The story is well-crafted, the animation is superb, the voice acting is excellent, and the character development of Tanjiro is on point. Some of my favorite sequences are when Tanjiro uses the “Water Style” sword fighting he is taught by his sensei. The scenes are drawn beautifully and displays the talent of the animators. Now, just because it is animated does not make it a kid’s show. There is a lot of bloody violence and some minor language. Be wary of that.
The setting of Taishō gives the plot a good highlight. While the creatures are referred to as ‘demons,’ they seem to be mainly based on vampires. They have fangs, are pale, have a bizarre fascination with their leader, and while Muzan’s blood can make them stronger, they can also use magic to enhance their abilities. Their only weaknesses are sunlight and a particular metal that is used to make the Demon Slayer Corp metal. Adding to the vampiric nature of the demons is the fact that Muzan can disguise himself as a human, with only his scent to give him away.
On that note, Muzan is terrifying. His sheer power makes his presence known. Every demon he creates is frightening with keen sense. They beg to be part of his inner circle, making them incredibly dangerous. I look forward to see how his character develops in the anime and his subtle connection to Tanjiro.
As I mentioned, Tanjiro’s story-arc is the most fascinating part of the story. He goes from an innocent young man living with his family to a tragic character trying to find a cure for his sister’s condition. He has to protect her, not only from demons but from Demon Slayers who do not believe she will not go rabid on humans. This is the genius of the show, presenting several layers without letting the viewer get lost in all of the information and maintaining its interesting features. I cannot wait to see what is next.
Check out the trailer:
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