Picked up this manga about a year ago and I don't regret it one bit. However, KNY had the ability to have been better.
KNY started off on a strong note but had several plot holes along the way. By the final arc, a lot of things were rushed and it felt like lazy writing. Many small yet important details weren't explained properly/ left out and it leaves me with many unanswered questions. The battle with Muzan for one was a huge letdown.
Almost all of the characters had a lot of unexplored/wasted potentials. This might be a popular opinion but Rengoku especially had the potentials to have been the best character but he wasn't given the chance to be explored and was used as a plot device to motivate our MC. The pillars could have all been absolutely powerful characters if they were more carefully written/fleshed out in my opinion.
Characters started dying for no reason, at this point, it made no sense why. Mui's death probably hit the hardest for me after Rengoku... he was just a kid and I really think he deserved a chance just like Tanjirou, Zenitsu, and Ino to have lived a happy life.
Muzan ended up being such a poorly written villain... I had high expectations for him and the final battle. He "the most feared and ruthless demon" and all we got was him standing in one corner, swinging his tentacles for the entire arc while everyone lost their lives and body parts. Then he turned into an overgrown baby and died. Rather boring and disappointing.
Nezuko's potential went to waste... what happened to 'Red Light District arc' Nezuko? like... imagine her going all out on Muzan in her demon form?? Tanjirou turning into a demon was actually a good move and could've been handled better but it lasted 2 chapters. At this point, it felt like the creator was just making things up along the way. The ending left me with a bitter-sweet feeling, but it makes me happy to know the pillars got reincarnated and now living their best lives.
Overall, KNY could've been a much longer running manga if the storyline was more stable and well put together. Nevertheless, it holds a special place in my heart, I cannot hate it despite its flaws. It was a good read with many emotions and I'm gonna miss it.
*May contain spoilers
Demon Slayer is unique in many ways while it also succumbs to many tropes. Your opinion on tropes will impact how you view this manga. Tanjiro is a very typical protagonist as the All-Loving Hero and while I do like his character, it felt like he didn't have the same growth as other characters. While we get to see him grow stronger physically, he never really needs the same emotional growth as others. He never lacks the resolve to get stronger, to help others, or to do the right thing. While this isn't necessarily bad, it made it hard to connect with his character. The rest of the characters of the series are where this series shines, especially with the villains. Few series give so much emotional depth to all of their villains while also not justifying/glorifying their actions. This is one thing that made Demon Slayer so unique to me. As for our heroes, almost none of the characters were the same at the end as when they were first introduced. They all have their own unique stories and are able to grow, although some main characters received less attention than others. Even so, it's apparent that the characters are the heart of the manga. The story itself is solid. The plot is interesting and the world itself is as well. However, the fast pace of the manga led to a lot of things never being fully explained or expanded. This is another important note and depends on how you prefer your stories; There are no breaks in this manga. It is a train that does not stop. For me, I really needed a break and stopped reading around 170 before picking it up again right before it ended. It's a good story, but it's intense. Now that it's over, there are so many aspects of the world and its characters that I wish I knew more about, but overall I'm satisfied enough with the manga as a whole.
Again, potential spoilers here (I've finished the manga):
The ending is abrupt. There are rumors that the author had to rush the ending due to family issues, but there are no verified sources of this information. I can understand the feelings of those who loved the ending and those who were disappointed by it. In some ways, it feels like a happy ending, and in some ways, it does not. The final arc and the main villain were subpar to the rest of the story. We spend the entire series rooting for a particular occurrence that is given very little attention at the end. The resolution feels instant and you really only get to enjoy it for one chapter with an epilogue.
I did get very into this series, but I also don't take any series so seriously that I would be angry over an ending that isn't perfect. Overall, I think it's a great manga and would recommend it to anyone.
Excellent story and theme
I really love this manga! I started to read it because I got tired of people spoiling things for me. As it progressed it just kept getting better and better. I love seeing all of the characters develop. They have all truly come so far. I also love the messages that this manga conveys. A big one that has stuck out to me is that even when things are hard you need to keep moving forward. I also really love Tanjiro. He is such a genuine, good person. Some of the things he says are just so powerful too. I also just love all of the character's unique personalities! They are all quirky in numerous ways. I also love the art, I personally find it so beautiful, and their are times where it really brings out the humor too. Based on the recent chapters, I feel like it is going to be coming to a conclusion soon. I really hope things work out because these characters have suffered so much and I want them to get their happy ending.
I'm going to be honest, I think my first impression of Demon Slayer when it came out in shounen Jump back in 2016 was sort of high. Then again, I jump on a lot of series without giving the benefit of the doubt. And I was on the hype train for a bit without realizing it. But its funny how anime adaptions can help high-light some of the problems a series can be seen having.
And that was the case with the Demon Slayer anime, although not right away at first. After some reflection I came to the honest conclusion that Demon Slayer is overhyped, and here are some of the reasons why.
Story- The story begins when Tanjirou's family is killed by a demon, all except Nezuko. So now one of the story goals is for Tanjirou to become a Demon Slayer and to cure his sister of being a demon. The training arc happens super quick though. Sure, training arcs tend to be not that interesting, but not only they can be made interesting, they are also important to help establishing the power system of battle shounen, which Demon Slayer fails at completely.
Some sacrifices had to be made to make the speedrun possible and explanation of the powers was one of them. The last thing that makes any sense is the Total Concentration Breathing technique. Master the way you breath and do it consciously all the time to achieve a handy power-up for your stats. A bit of JoJo rip-off but sure, I’ll take it, with some suspension of disbelief it makes sense. How do we get from there to swords summoning fire, pillars of water, mist or a goddamn snakes?
Tanjiro’s dad did ceremonial sword dancing, which made him a fire swordsman. Others just ripped of the fire technique to make their own breaths. How does remaking a fire technique help you summon butterflies with a sword slash? No idea. “It just works”, as they say.
All of the story arcs that happened within Demon Slayer have little impact on what happens outside of them. It sort of feels more like a collection of connected stories, as opposed to one complete story. This is a problem that I think a number of shounen authors end up having, but feels more exaggerated in the case of Demon Slayer.
Art- The art-style does enough to give the series its identity, so that's one good thing about it. It’s certainly distinguishable and original. At least one part of this manga that attracts the readers’ attention, at least one part of this whole thing that is somehow interesting.
Characters- At some point though you have to give your characters, especially your morality-driven protagonist, a real question to struggle with. Tanjirou never really questions his actions or his motives. It's all for revenge against Muzan. I find Tanjirou to be very uninteresting to the point where he's actually boring. If I'm being honest, I think Giyu should have been the protagonist instead of Tanjiou.
The final story arc is like trying to be long but also tries to be a speed-run like its previous arcs. Even the character deaths begin to feel cheap the more I saw them being used in the final arc. And despite all of the death, the author is now suddenly too much of a coward to let some of the characters die. If you're going to go in, you might as well go all the way. And so now the readers are left with this lukewarm, entirely uninteresting, and artificial-feeling ending. I don't mind happy endings, but they have to be built up to in a way that makes sense.
So yeah, I'm very glad that I'm done with the series. And no, I do not recommend this series to anyone. There are much better series out there that has a protagonist fighting demons and this isn't one of them.
Berserk, Claymore, Devilman, Dororo 2019
On another note:
I'm glad that Koyoharu Gotouge-sensei's series was financially successful. She did rush the last arc in order to help her family during 2020, so the best of luck to the author.