Why You Should Read/Watch Demon Slayer
Since it started airing in the spring of 2019, it was kind of flowing under the anime community’s radar at least as much as a Shonen adaptation can. It is obviously been more popular than most of the shows going and noted for its stellar production value and stylistic flourishes but it wasn’t really hyped up in the same way that the promised Neverland, Attack on Titan, and Dr, Stone have been.
The anime took a big turn and it was hyped after the fight at the end of Episode 19. It pushed the series to Twitter’s trending tab and to the top of all anime watchlists. It was a phenomenally executed fight that served as a perfect capstone to an equally phenomenal story arc.
It increased the hype for what was to come. It also helped me to better understand and appreciate what the series was going for.
In this blog post, I analyze what makes this show damn good and provide you reasons to Read/Watch the Demon Slayer.
Animation and the CGI used
Demon Slayer’s CGI backgrounds are breathtaking and the traditionally animated elements are impeccably composited into analyzed what makes this show damn good. For wide shots, the show sometimes uses high-quality CG rigs of its main characters that manage to look as good as hand-drawn bits.
It is one of the most technically impressive digital anime series, I have ever seen and it has a distinctive artistic sensibility to back that up.
Well Choreographed Action scenes
Like many Shounen anime, Demon Slayer action scenes are peppered with flashy effects. It is not that the Hero uses flashy superpowers. The regular demon slayers are almost regular swordsmen, not magicians or aliens. So, impressionistic elemental effects are used to add character to their sword techniques.
Tanjiro’s sword flows through its enemies like water, and Zenitsu strikes fast like lightning.
As our heroes fight, they paint the battlefield. These elements and the effect are something to behold. Besides adding to the battle scene, these scenes look anime beautiful. This also allows viewers to understand the differences in their fighting styles.
Even with all, it has going for it aesthetically and conceptually. Demon Slayer’s real strength lies in its characters and its confident thematically driven storytelling. Earlier when I started the show, I had an impression of it being a show with endless action.
But, it actually is a thoughtful anime with a lot to say on important topics. It just lets its fists do most of the talking.
Demon Slayer does an impeccable job of using those conflicts to advance its central themes and character arc. It ensures that each battle really means something and moves the plot forward in substantial ways.
Tanjiro’s very first fight establishes his resourceful, self-sacrificing nature. It also demonstrates the strength of his bond with Nezuko.
The fight with the Temple Demon reinforces that bond and shows us that Nezuko is a force to be reckoned with in her own right.
The mountain training arc takes Tanjiro on a long spiritual journey to discover his own inner strength. While the survival test that follows shows how much he has grown and demonstrates empathy that defines him as a character.
The fight with the Demon Clone introduces the concept of Blood Demon magic that will serve to differentiate each villain forward as well as some clever alternative uses for Tanjiro’s sword technique. It also shows how effective Nezuko and Tanjiro as a team can be.
The Asakusa arc officially puts our heroes on the Big Bad’s radar very early on, in this kind of show. It subverts our expectations of what kind of monster he is showing and manipulates his followers. It establishes that other good demons also exist outside of his control.
Drumhouse Battle gives us a proper introduction to a pair of wonderful supporting characters, Zenitsu and Inosuke. Zenitsu is basically an ultra instinct shaggy with s bit of manner mixed in. The arc establishes the hierarchical structure of Kibutsuji Muzan’s Demon society. It establishes that his manipulation and intimidation tactics take on those who fall short of his expectations and are abandoned by him.
This becomes the focal point of the Natagumo mountain arc which throws Zenitsu and Inosuke against a family of spider-like demons. In terms of making the grander narrative function, this arc establishes an upper limit to each of our hero’s abilities. It also establishes the huge gap between them and the Elite demons. It shows how much Tanjiro has to go to accomplish his quest to cure Nezuko.
This arc also acknowledges and explores some heavy themes. It becomes clear early on that the members of the Spider clan aren’t exactly a happy family. The mother tries and fails to use her spiderweb puppets to kill the demon slayers on the mountain. A single word of her son telling his father of her failure sends her spiraling in terror.
And, when Tanjiro catches up with her, she’s all too happy to embrace death rather than face her family. The entire spider household is the creation of a bond that doesn’t comprehend love and that is not willing to give it. But, still desperately wants to be loved. He forges a bond of terror within his fake family to get whatever he wants.
The spider family stands in contrast to the love that Tanjiro shares with her sister Nezuko and the rest of his family. It is also opposed to the bond of friendship Tanjiro is beginning to forge with his companions.
The conflict between fear and love lies at the core of Demon Slayer’s narrative. Creating a consistent line through all of its fights and story arcs.
At every turn, Tanjiro shows that he is willing to give his all to support and protect the people he cares about. The kindness inspires all of them, even the Boarish Inosuke and the cowardly Zenitsu to do the same for him.
Tanjiro’s sword skills and superhuman sense of smell are nothing to sneeze at but time and again, it’s that love that really saves his neck. It implies when Nezuko gets a grip on herself when she first transforms into a Demon.
In Tanjiro’s fight with the Hand Demon, when he is knocked out fighting the hand demon. Tanjiro is roused back into action by his dead brother’s voice, and the examples are endless.
Demon Slayer’s fights are varied and fascinating, pitting relatively realistic swordplay against supernatural threats. It creates a unique and unpredictable dynamic while no two fights are the same from the start-up to the last battle that set the anime community ablaze. The team of Tanjiro being empowered by his bonds with others is an undercurrent in all of them.
The hero’s compassion for everyone around him is ever present. Including the monsters he must fight, almost every demon is shown to have some pain buried deep within them. Glimmers of the people they were before their humanity is lost.
Humanity of Demons
Because of his connections to Nezuko, Tanjiro is able to see the humanity inside of them and find ways to them in their final moments. This gives every fight in the show a sort of beautiful bittersweet aftertaste.
There is surprising nuance in how the demons are written here. They are painted as sympathetic figures with comprehensible motivations but the series is careful to never let that excuse their actions. They have killed people, and ruined lives and they will keep doing so until they are stopped by any means necessary.
They are demons and they must be slain but Tanjiro can at least carry out that task with kindness rather than cruelty. Understanding that the pain they have caused doesn’t invalidate their own inner pain.
The hunters who chase down the younger spider sister in her flashback have an attitude of ruthless killing. They do not see the human side of the Demons or understand their individual suffering. To them, they’re just monsters who need to be put down.
This attitude does make a lot of practical sense but does somebody with that viewpoint deal with Nezuko, Lady Tamayo, and Ushiro?
I really like what Tanjiro represents as a hero, unlike many Shonen boys he uses violence only to the extent that it’s necessary to protect himself and others. He returns harmless provocation from Insosuke with kindly smiles but responds to injustice and threats against his loved ones with righteous and valid anger.
Demon slayer shows that the fight scenes can be engaging and interesting without relying on too much violence and grand responses.
With time Demon slayer has proved that it deserves to stand next to the likes of Haikyuu, The Promised Highland, My Hero Academia, and Dr, Stone as one of the best shonen jump titles currently running.
You are probably already watching the anime, but if you are not, Shonen and related genre is not your deal. You should definitely give Demon Slayer a look.