Curious about all the Demon Slayer hype? Read our Demon Slayer manga review to see if you should give this series a shot.
Demon Slayer manga review
The Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga series, or Demon Slayer for short, has quickly become a household name for manga and anime lovers worldwide. Many readers rate this manga series alongside shonen manga hits like Naruto, One Piece, Jujutsu Kaisen, Bleach, and Attack on Titan—which is incredible company to keep.
Learn more about this popular manga series to see what all the fuss is about and determine if it should make it to your reading list.
The main story arc and themes of Demon Slayer
The main protagonist of Demon Slayer is Tanjiro Kamado. Tanjiro’s life changes forever when Muzan Kibutsuji, the maker of all demons, slaughters his family and turns his little sister Nezuko Kamado into a demon.
In a desperate attempt to find a cure for his sister’s curse, Tanjiro travels to Taishō-era Japan and becomes a Demon Slayer in the Demon Slayer Corps. Tanjiro encounters many enemies during this challenging journey, but the King of Demons remains his ultimate target.
He also meets a colorful cast of characters:
Zenitsu Agatsuma, a cowardly boy forced to join the Demon Slayer Corps
Kanao Tsuyuri, a female Demon Slayer
Tengen Uzui, the current Sound Hashira (the highest-ranking demon slayer)
Giyū Tomioka, the current Water Hashira
Kyojuro Rengoku, the current Flame Hashira
Inosuke Hashibira, a young boy raised by wild boars
Demon Slayer has become incredibly popular thanks to its themes, artwork, and other unique elements that set it apart from other manga series.
When it comes to themes, Demon Slayer primarily explores loss, hope, and perseverance. A strong family bond and love are at the core of everything Tanjiro does, allowing readers to instantly connect to him and his mission.
Another thing that sets Demon Slayer apart is the strong female representation.
In most manga series, female heroines are often just eye candy for the reader and damsels in distress for the male characters to save. In Demon Slayer, each female Hashira gets her own arc and backstory. Although some females, like Shinobu, are kind and soft-spoken, their strength, power, and role are never questioned. Demon Slayer builds a world where men and women are equal in ability.
The characters are generally given more depth. For instance, although Tanjiro always fulfills his duty, he takes no pleasure in the slaying. Instead, he weeps for demons and the humanity they’ve lost. His ultimate goal is to protect other people from experiencing the same loss as him.
As for the art style, the author Koyoharu Gotouge takes a minimalist approach to world-building and characters. For this reason, action sequences are easier to follow, and different combat movements genuinely stand out.
However, there are a few content warnings to keep in mind. For starters, Demon Slayer doesn’t shy away from violence and gore, leaving nothing to the readers’ imagination. This means a lot of blood and graphic scenes like decapitation and slaughtering of entire families.
Also, most demons look quite horrifying, with multiple heads, eyes, and similar disturbing features. For instance, Gyutaro is one of the more unsettling demons, having a pelvis that juts out at an unnatural angle.
But if you don’t mind the graphic content, you’ll absolutely devour this series—no pun intended.
Demon Slayer anime and movie adaptations
The first season of the Demon Slayer anime series adaptation was produced by the animation studio Ufotable and debuted in 2019 with an initial season of 26 episodes. The second season aired in 2021, adapting the Entertainment District arc. The third season, covering the Swordsmith Village arc, is expected to premiere in 2023.
A movie adaptation titled Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train was also released in theaters. As the name suggests, the movie deals with the Mugen Train arc.
If you’d like to watch these adaptations chronologically, here’s how:
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Season 1
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Season 2
However, note that the first seven episodes of the second season are actually the Mugen Train movie broken down into episodes. If you’ve seen the movie, you can start Season 2 with Episode 8.
Both Demon Slayer movie and anime adaptations were incredibly well-received. The movie, in particular, became a box office smash hit. It obliterated multiple records, becoming the highest-grossing 2020 movie worldwide and the highest-grossing anime movie of all-time.
The movie’s mind-blowing success is attributed to a respectful treatment of the source material. Unlike many anime movies that serve only to promote manga, Mugen Train became a phenomenon on its own. Many critics claim the movie even surpassed its influences.
If you can’t get enough of this compelling story, you can find other Demon Slayer adaptations. These include light novels focusing on specific characters. One novel even takes you to an alternate universe where the characters are given a chance to attend regular high school.
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Is Demon Slayer manga fully finished?
The Demon Slayer manga is fully finished. The 23-volume manga series was published in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from February 2016 to May 2020. You can purchase the complete box set on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble bookstores.
Is Demon Slayer manga suitable for 12-year-olds?
The Demon Slayer manga may not be suitable for 12-year-olds because it contains a lot of violence, graphic images, profanities, and some nudity and sexual content.
Who is the author of Demon Slayer manga?
Koyoharu Gotouge is the author of the Demon Slayer manga. Koyoharu Gotouge is a pen name, as the true identity of this Japanese manga artist is unknown.
What are other names for Demon Slayer manga?
In Japanese, Demon Slayer is called 鬼滅の刃 while the publisher, VIZ Media, often refers to it as the Blade of Demon Destruction.