Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Alt title: Kimetsu no Yaiba

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kurishiri's avatar
May 23, 2019

*This contains some talk of or reference to the manga, though it's still primarily a review of the anime.

Story
If I could sum it all up into a very short version, I can say with confidence that it's your shounen story done damn right. I'm aware that people before me have said this about KnY before, but I'm saying it to iterate that it's true.

As the summary says, the story centers around a young boy named Tanjirou who loses his entire family... except his sister, Nezuko, who had turned into a demon. After finding out that the culprit is - in fact - a demon (not just any demon though), he trains under a man named Urokodaki to participate in the life-or-death Final Selection in order to earn a place in the Demon Slaying Corps to kill the demon that killed his family and turn his sister back into a human.

It sounds like a very typical shounen story. It is. So, what's so special about it?

Like I said, it's your shounen anime done right. It follows that typical, familiar shounen-esque storyline (and comedy), but the combination of characters, background, and pacing really come to enhance the story. And the story is realistic. Tanjirou was a normal protagonist, but he didn't just go poof! overnight to become an OP character killing demons left and right. No, he spent months training, shedding his blood, sweat, and tears, and the anime didn't bother to cut those scenes out. Not only does this make Tanjirou as a character more well-rounded, it also adds to the story as well. This shows Tanjirou's story of struggle and how it has shaped him to be who he is.

Also, this is a story with much anticipated action in it, but at the same time, it does have its fair share of emotional moments as well. It's a story that will get you thrilled for the action scenes but a little heart-wrenching or teary in the emotional scenes. And the way they execute these more emotional or sensitive scenes were done well, in general and in my opinion.

That said, the catch is that I feel the main plot of Tanjirou's adventures in the Demon Slaying Corps don't really start until around Episode 05 or so... I would give it some time to get to the main, main "dish". The exposition is important for Tanjirou's development and some background as well, but I would say not to expect to be blown out the window at the story presented at the first episode of the anime and to give it a chance by watching through several episodes first.

Oh, and also, this could be me, but I personally really like the setting. I think it's really cool to see the story take place in Taisho, an era where Japan is just beginning to Westernize, so you see people wearing a mix of traditional Japanese attire and Western clothing along with Western technology like high-rise buildings and telephone boxes in places like Asakusa.

Animation
I mean... it's ufotable, first of all. That should already say a lot about the animation, haha.

The art is really well-done and fleshed out. You can tell they really pay attention to detail (ie. in facial expressions) when bringing it over from the manga pages to the anime screen. I really found myself enjoying the action scenes, with what how the camera shot moved. It really enhances the viewing experience and - of course - the scene itself.

Attacks were spot-on and the animation on those attacks were nothing short of beautiful.

Really, this show is easy on the eyes with regards to animation. You could watch this just for the art and animation, if for nothing else.

Sound
First, the voices. I admit I was a little worried at first that we were going to have like Asta No. 2 or something, but thankfully my worries were unfounded in the end. Natsuki did a good job with portraying the battle scenes without coming off as annoying. With all the voices we've heard so far, I think everyone really nailed the character they were portraying nicely! (You may have noticed - Genya [the one who demanded for his sword] actually shares the same voice actor as Bakugou from BNHA! Those two characters are kinda similar in that they do seem to share that "rough along the edges but a bit insecure on the inside" personality. Needless to say, Nobuhiko's doing great〜) It sounds like everyone's enjoying themselves when acting, and I've got no major complaints; I look forward to hearing other characters!

The music was also quite memorable. Maybe it was the instrumentation, or maybe it was the timing, but the music did stand out to me more. That's a good thing! The music is nice to listen to, and it really fits the air and setting of the story as well. Kudos to the musicians!

Plus, they got LiSA to sing their songs. She's such a great singer! I fell in love with her voice after hearing her in Angel Beats!

Characters
I absolutely, positively love the characters in this show. I could talk a long time about characters, but I don't want to delve much into spoiler territory. Anyway-

First, Tanjirou is really well-rounded. He faced a tragic situation in which his family was slaughtered, but he's overall a compassionate character. He's kind-hearted, and he sympathizes with demons and humans alike. In this sense, this makes him (1) likeable and (2) relatable. Plus, it gives way to emotion as well. It really felt like his struggles were real in the anime, and Sabito and Makomo really pushed him to his limits as well, though they ultimately held good intentions. Speaking of which, even though Sabito and Makomo were minor characters, they had their role in the story and they sure did add emotion to the story as well!

I like how the characters are realistic. Tanjirou is strong in multiple senses of the word, yes, but he's not really OP. Nor did he get his strength overnight - it was over the course of a couple intense years of training in the mountains, where the air was very, very thin. The other characters seem just as resilient as well. Anyway, I did read the manga, and I can say that the protagonists (and most of the Pillars) are well-rounded, have gone through their share of tragedy, and have those quirks that give the story it that shounen-esque comedy, which may sometimes be a little bit cheesy or derpy but nonetheless just as charming.

While I think the protagonists are well-done, where I think this really stands out in this department is the antagonists. This is more like an execution thing, but when Muzan Kibutsuji appeared in the anime, it was really intense, and I loved it because it suits his character, which they didn't waste any time showing us: very powerful yet ruthless and cruel. But there are also the Twelve Demon Moons (a group of 12 of the most powerful demons [6 'Upper Moons' as the top 6 and 6 'Lower Moons' as the bottom 6] serving Muzan - I know at least the Upper Moons appear in the OP as silhouettes). As established with the flashback of the Hand Demon in Episode 04–05, every demon used to be human. They lived a human life before becoming a demon, and their humanity was taken away from them when they become a demon.

It's the exact same for these powerful, seemingly very inhumane demons. They were very much once human - and I did find myself feeling bad for most of them, one way or another, by the end. Not just any show or manga can do that. They may have a backstory for an antagonist, but it takes quite a bit for me to actually feel bad for them. In KnY, some of them, I really can't bring myself to hate by the end, and others I just feel outright bad for. Obviously, not every single demon insinuates these emotions inside of me, but a lot of them do, and those ones do a good job! You can tell that the author has put in thought about their backstory -- in other words, the antagonists are not mere story dolls to ramp up the action... though that's undeniably definitely part of it! But, they also have their history, their story, that has shaped them. (In fact, call me emotional, but a couple of them even made me shed some tears-)

So, I think, especially if you read the manga, you'll be surprised at how well-rounded these antagonists can come to be in KnY. And maybe, like me, you'll find yourself not really hating the villains in the end after reading their backstories. (:

8/10 story
10/10 animation
9/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
9.1/10 overall
Pcnumero1's avatar
May 16, 2019

At first glance, it might look like an another classic shonen story, well it is, but it's a damn good one. The first episode is predictable yet it does its job really well to set the world and characters, even if you don't like it, I suggest you watch a couple other episodes, here is why:

 

Story(spoilers for the 1st episode)

As previously mentionned, the story follows a classic shonen story, guy loses his family except for one sibling, but she becomes a demon, so he set out to get her back to human. Nothing revolutionary there, but it just feels right, it's not over the top, the character is not an heavy underdog, in the sense he's an average human except for his smell, the way the act feels realistic, they are relatable. Pacing, the pacing is amazing it gets right throught the point, you don't get any 5 episodes training montage, it's simple yet easy to understand, it never gets boring, there's is always a new element to the world building that raises question, or gets you pumped about. The main protagonist progress towards his goal while keeping the side stories engaging.

Animation

The animation is down right gorgeous, nothing to complain about, fighting scenes are awesome and you feel the intensity, but what puts it at a 10/10 for me is the japanese painting style water that trails the weapon during special moves by the character it is so beautiful.

Sound

Voices feel right, sound track for fights and opening/credits is great but not attack on titan level.

Characters

Well I already talked about them in the story section, but to summarize they are right where they should be simple, relatable, feels like humans in emotions department at least.

As you can see I am pumped by this anime, it as the potential to become one of my favorite all time shonen right next to hunterxhunter, give it a try it is definitly a highlights of this anime season.

9/10 story
10/10 animation
9/10 sound
9/10 characters
9.7/10 overall
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Crua9's avatar
May 12, 2019

I honestly have to say this is a must watch. Give it a good 3 or 4 ep. If you don't like it by then, then it isn't for you.

In short, the main person lives in a world with man eating demons. There is a group called demon slayers because they are almost impossible to kill (the only way to kill them is with the sun or by a special sword). He finds out his all but one of his family members is killed by demons. His sister became a demon after the attack since she tasted some of the demon's blood. He became a demon slayer to help find a way to turn back his sister to human. Now they are a crime fighting duo that kills any demon that gets in their way, while trying to ask every demon how to turn her back to human.

I think one of the biggest problems I have with this is in the story itself. If the only way to kill the demons is by the sun or some special swords made with very exact things. How would the demon slayers even start since finding out about the exact rare materials needed to make the swords would've been about nearly impossible to start with. 

9.5/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
9.8/10 overall
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