Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor
It’s no secret that Demon Slayer is the hottest thing on the anime market right now. It’s the best selling manga of all time which somehow won against One Piece, another juggernaut hit in Shounen Jump franchise in terms of sales. The recent theatrical release of Demon Slayer: Mugen Train became the most engrossing film in the box office of 2020, rivaling that success with Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away in 2001. And with the second season coming later in the winter, its popularity isn’t slowing down any time soon.
Taking place in the Taisho era of Japan; a young boy named Tanjiro Kamado returns from a trip selling charcoal to make money for his family. However, his life is changed forever when he loses his family in one fell swoop and his younger sister, Nezuko, turned into a flesh craving demon. On that tragically fateful day, Tanjiro gains a new purpose. He resolves to become a demon slayer to avenge what he lost and seek a remedy for his sister’s curse.
One of the most memorable highlights of the show must be the plight of the Kamado sibling duo. The protagonist’s journey is an immensely engaging investment and one you can easily root for. He isn’t your average Shounen action hero. Tanjiro is just a normal teenage boy who strives to help his sister with her affliction. It’s a refreshing contrast with other action heroes, who are concerned with being the best like no one ever was. Tanjiro’s not chasing fame, glory, or adventure. It’s not something you would see in Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z, or Shaman King. It’s like how Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist started his quest in hopes of recovering his brother’s body after a horrific incident with alchemy.
Of course, aside from his sister, Tanjiro’s not completely alone on his adventure for long. He acquires a couple of comrades during the show, which to my confusion and dismay, manage to be fan favorites. The second boy, Zenitsu Agatsuma is a hysterically yellow-bellied coward who spends most of his screen time bitching and moaning rather than slicing up monsters. In fact, when he does dish out the blade and starts fighting, he does it when he’s asleep, which makes him a whole lot more competent for it. Sadly, the bad outweighs the good for me. His constant crying and screaming might be funny to others but it WASN’T funny to me in the slightest. Maybe he will gain some substantial character development in the future but as it stands now, I can’t stand Zenitsu AT ALL!
And the third boy to join the show is the simple minded, bombastically competitive Inosuke Hashibara, who is best known for his boar head mask and being an obnoxious hothead with no indoor voice whatsoever. He relishes a good bout and will challenge anyone in his path, friend or foe. So far, I like his tendency to mess up names constantly.
Another highlight is Studio Ufotable’s astoundingly impressive animation that brings the action scenes to life, using digital effects and 3DCG enchantments that make the landscapes and forests stand out like a sore thumb. In fact, the highly popular episode 19 was all the rage worldwide, even managing to be a trending topic on Twitter. The praise is well-deserved as well, thanks to the epic choice of music.
Despite the goodness, Demon Slayer isn’t without problems that come with it, like the peculiar story pacing and slowing down the action with flashbacks. The comedy is a hit or miss for me as most times it feels hammered into pad for time. Regardless, Demon Slayer is fun, thrilling entertainment that’s well worth the watch. Demon Slayer is currently streaming on Netflix and the second season will premiere on December 5.