Shonen Jump is behind so many new titles and often the same story seems to be repeated with a different set of characters. Typical tropes like an overpowered male protagonist driven by revenge have gotten really old to me but I decided to give a fairly new series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba a try anyway since the art slightly reminded me of Rumiko Takahashi’s Inuyasha.
Tanjiro Kamado had a hard life selling charcoal to provide for his family although he always managed to keep a smile on his face. Living in a town and an era that’s plagued by flesh hungry demons definitely doesn’t make his life any easier, especially not when a demon murders most of his family. The only survivor of the attack is his younger sister, Nezuko, a girl that becomes a demon. Somehow Nezuko is able control her intense hunger for flesh so this brother and sister pair set off on a journey to make her human again. But the road to her transformation will require Tanjiro to transform himself into a formidable Demon Slayer against many demons craving the blood and flesh of humans.
Although I was pulled in from the cover art, the art on the actual pages had to grow on me. I guess I’m a bit of an art snob, (unjustly so considering I’m no extremely talented artist myself), but the horror of the story combined with the heavy amounts of blood and gore kept me hooked. The world around Tanjiro and Nezuko only grows more dangerous as the series progresses however, the story still leaves a lot to be desired.
In Volume 1 Tanjiro seems to have skipped quite a few years to gain the strength he possesses in Volume 2 which isn’t so bad on one hand but on the other reader really don’t get the chance to feel true character development. On the other hand, it can get annoying to be stuck in one phase of personality and strength considering if Tanjiro didn’t get his shit together quickly, he would literally be murdered.
Earning the title of Demon Slayer happens in Volume 2 which is pretty quick even for Shonen Jump standards, but the story doesn’t stop there. Sent on missions to eradicate demons eventually leads him to the demon, Muzan Kibutsuji, that murdered his family and killed his sister’s humanity. It is rumored that this very demon can also change Nezuko back into a human but asking Muzan will be tough as the demon sends out strong demons to kill Tanjiro and his sister.
On the note of his sister though, I’m very weirded out by the consistent presence of the muzzle she wears. In Volume 1 it makes sense for her to wear it since she has very little impulse control but in Volume 2 we learn she has been asleep for a long period time and has even got to the point where she attacks demons alongside her brother. If she can control herself so well and there’s other demons that make an appearance that don’t require the consumption of human flesh, why the hell does she still have a muzzle on? I could be reaching but it feels sexist and slightly sexual in nature in some chapter images.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba may not be very original when it comes to certain anime tropes but the violence, carnage, and darkness will surely draw in fans of action/horror manga. I look forward to seeing what else this series has to offer and hopefully taking the gag off of Nezuko is on the list of changes.
Rating: 7 out of 10