Fighting Demon Michael Jackson: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Run Time: 26 episodes, around 25 minutes each
Genre: Animation, Action, Fantasy
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba follows the story of Kamado Tanjiro. After returning home late after selling charcoal, he discovers his whole family has been murdered by demons. The only surviving member of his family is his sister Nezuko, however, she was into a demon. After preventing the Demon Slayer known as Tamioka Giyu from killing her sister, and witnessing Nezuko protecting Tanjiro, the two are sent to Urokodaki Sakonji and Tanjiro begins his training as a new Demon Slayer with hopes of finding his sister a cure to become human once more.
There are a variety of characters introduced within this show, but the main focus is on our main trio of Kamado Tanjiro, Agatsuma Zenitsu, and Hashibira Inosuke, and Kamado Nezuko. Tanjiro and Nezuko are siblings. Tanjiro is a kind soul who feels empathy towards demons and is focused around the Water Breathing Techniques. Zenitsu lacks bravery, however, gains great strength when asleep. He specializes in Thunder Breathing but has only mastered the first form and honed it to perfection. Inosuke was raised in the wild and wears a boar hide. He created his own breathing style called Beast Breathing.
As you can see by the rating, this is probably one of my favourite shows I have ever watched. Besides a slower beginning to get accustomed to the characters, the rest of the show was beautiful and captivating. There were some great themes, clashes of ideals, and stunning animation. I especially loved the small differences between all the breathing styles and fighting techniques.
Overall, a really great show, fun characters, solid plot, great animation. There isn’t much to say on the non-spoiler side, so if you haven’t seen the show, I highly recommend it.
Now, it’s time to get to the specifics. And boy, there is a lot to unpack.
First thing’s first, the animation. And boy is the animation great. It flows smoothly and you can really feel the impact of each motion. The drawings are on another level once the Breathing Techniques are added. The flowing water, the sparks of lightning, everything feels unique and pleasing to the eye. Another benefit of multiple techniques and the differences between demons was that each fight was unique. No two fights are the same, so the strategies used in each were different. It was also a good way to see Tanjiro’s progress as a Demon Slayer.
Besides the animation, the cast of the show bring it together. Each one has their personalities and development. At first, Zenitsu was never my favourite, but after seeing him in action, he became another favourite. I always enjoyed seeing the speed in any fight, so Zenitsu’s style was something that really caught my eye. His development while fighting the spider demon gave me chills. There were plenty of scenes like that, which I will get to later. Another character I wasn’t so sure about was Inosuke. At first, I thought he was just reckless and brainless, but after seeing him become more human, so to speak, he became tolerable, and I enjoyed his dynamic with the group.
I also love how all the themes are reinforced in each episode and ideals are pitted against one another. I think this clash culminates in Episode 19, the climax of the show. It was interesting seeing how Rui’s ideals contradict Tanjiro, but more on Episode 19 later. I’ll be returning to that. In anime, it’s common for the power of love or friendship to trump all. But in this show, the power scaling is accurate.
I guess this is a perfect point to talk about Episode 19. And boy oh boy, did Episode 19 give me chills. First off, the slash of ideals brings the tension up. Tanjiro and Nezuko show a real sibling bond while Rui uses fear to control others. After this, the fight choreography was amazing. Tanjiro using spinning to generate more force in his swings makes sense to cut the stronger strings. We also get to see the tenth form of Water Breathing as well as Nezuko’s Blood Demon Art for the first time. Then the music timing together with the Hinokami Kagura. I don’t know any other work to describe it other than hype. It sent chills down my spine. Then the conclusion of slicing off Rui’s head. Perfection. The animation was through the roof and flawless. I think the best part of Episode 19 was what happened at the beginning of Episode 20, when it turns out Rui wasn’t actually dead. This leads into another great thing of this show: the power scaling. Tanjiro isn’t some overpowered character. He’s a kid, and his power compared to a Hashira just makes sense.
Anyways, to wrap this all up. I love this show. From the animation, to the characters, to the themes, to all the combat. Everything about this show is beautiful and well thought out. 100% recommend to anyone watch, however, watch out for the blood.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
My favourite moment is all of Episode 19. I know I talked about it a lot in my review, but it is the best part of the show. The climax of the season with great animation, fight choreography, music, and ideals, it is the perfect way to tie everything together.
Review (Slight Spoilers):
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is one of the very first anime shows I have watched, and I gotta say I was happily surprised. The characters are awesome, the animation is really good, and the plot through season 1 is solid. This is one of the first recent shows I have seen use a proper denouement, and while I wasn’t a huge fan of how long it was, it was a needed aspect. Just a heads up before we dive in, this is one of the least binge-able shows I have ever watched. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I struggled to watch more than a couple episodes in one sitting. Alrighty, let’s jump to it.
I thought the characters were one of the best parts of this show. With a relatively small cast of characters for the majority of the show, it’s awesome to watch our characters grow and develop with their changing environments. Tanjiro is written to perfection from start to finish. I loved Tanjiro and Zenitsu as characters, and their journeys towards the Demon Slayer corp are beyond entertaining. They have so many emotional ups and downs, injuries, and moments that develop our group together. I won’t dive too far into our team, but I love the way they all feel like real people. They get along, but they also fight a ton. Most of the time it’s a nonsensical argument, and it fleshes out our characters in such a great way.
Our plot is also a gem. The ending to the first episode is so sudden and unpredictable, but it set up the rest of the series perfectly. Throughout, the battles are awesome and the comedic scenes are an added bonus. I really loved that the action, blood, and gore didn’t feel forced. The way the animators used it, it felt nearly artistic. The plot is built around the missions and the battles, and I really liked the overlapping plots. From the big, overhanging goal that doesn’t get touched much in this season, to the individual episode struggles, I thought the plot was structured quite well. The climax is amazing in every aspect, but I didn’t love that it came 6 episodes short of the finale. The last 6 episodes are crucial for the plot and character development, but it would have been nice to have some sort of a climax at the end. With the movie coming next, we may still get the cliffhanger we are looking for.
The battle styles and the animation are on point throughout this show. The uniqueness between each character’s fighting style, both demon slayer and demon alike, makes for another unique feature in all of our characters. Nobody fights the same, and it makes every battle unpredictable and super entertaining. Whether it was a battle scene or the scenic countryside, the details put into the animation was really great. It was gorgeous from episode 1 to 26, and the little details were super impressive.
I’m not a huge anime fan, but the show has opened me to a new world of media. Do not watch this in English, do some good old reading and enjoy the show. It’s a fun show and definitely worth a watch. With a movie and a season 2 on the way, this show has a bright future.
This show was not the type of show I would usually watch as it’s never really been my style nor my genre. When I watched the show, however, I was surprised by how much I really got into the story and characters. The story itself is quite interesting and I have never seen anything like it before. The characters are what truly drew me in as the protagonists were compelling and got me to care about them quickly. The animation is also beautiful with the action scenes being exceptionally well done. Overall the show did take me by surprise and I enjoyed it.
Like I said, the thing that really made me enjoy this show is the relationship between Tanjiro and Nezuko and the way they will do anything for each other. I love seeing the dynamic of the siblings and how you see the years of their bond at all times with even small moments showing Nezuko holding Tanjiro’s hand while she sleeps. I loved seeing how Tanjiro’s whole mission begins just because he wants to save his sister. It’s that kind of love that is so different from what you normally see in tv shows. Tanjiro is a great protagonist as he has a clear motivation and you see a clear progression of his character and his training and missions are a good way to show his prowess as a fighter and the lengths, he is willing to go for Nezuko. Nezuko is a great character and though she doesn’t speak much so much can be understood by her eyes and body language and she is cute yet fierce. Zenitsu is my other favorite purely for his comedy as he is the coward and scaredy-cat of the group and he made me laugh out loud quite often. The story is another great aspect with the idea of man-eating demons that are hunted by demon slayers. It is already interesting but when you add in the aspect of a brother and sister duo, one who is human and one is a demon it makes it even better. The world-building of this show is really well established and the show makes a point to explain things. The animation in this as I said was stunning with the backgrounds being particularly great. The action is great and the different breathing forms are so cool to watch in action. My only issue with the show is more so that it is still not my style and while on a technical side nothing was bad it just personally isn’t my style.
All in all, while it may not convince me to watch another anime show right away, I still quite enjoyed this show and am quite excited about watching the film. I’m glad I was introduced to this world and these characters and if you’re looking for a new show I would give this my thumbs up.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
My favourite moment was when Tanjiro used the tenth form mixed with his father’s spiritual dance to defeat Rui with the help of Nezuko’s blood demon art. The animation and action in this scene is amazing as is the score with the background music swelling which just makes it a heart-pumping scene.