A lot Better Than I Remember – Demon Slayer Anime Review

” Ever since the death of his father, the burden of supporting the family has fallen upon Tanjirou Kamado’s shoulders. Though living impoverished on a remote mountain, the Kamado family are able to enjoy a relatively peaceful and happy life. One day, Tanjirou decides to go down to the local village to make a little money selling charcoal. On his way back, night falls, forcing Tanjirou to take shelter in the house of a strange man, who warns him of the existence of flesh-eating demons that lurk in the woods at night.

When he finally arrives back home the next day, he is met with a horrifying sight—his whole family has been slaughtered. Worse still, the sole survivor is his sister Nezuko, who has been turned into a bloodthirsty demon. Consumed by rage and hatred, Tanjirou swears to avenge his family and stay by his only remaining sibling. Alongside the mysterious group calling themselves the Demon Slayer Corps, Tanjirou will do whatever it takes to slay the demons and protect the remnants of his beloved sister’s humanity.”- MAL

Episodes: 26 – Studio: ufotable – Dub/Sub – Aired: Spring 2019 – Finished – MAL Rating: 8.58 – Genres: ActionDemonsHistoricalShounenSupernatural

So this is a first for this blog. Not only is this the first series I’ve fully rewatched since I’ve started this. But my opinion and overall enjoyment of the show has increased immensely since I first watched it two years ago. To be frank, while I enjoyed Demon Slayer and watching it as it aired. I had some complaints, some misconceptions, and also I kind of fell into the trap of hating Tanjirou. Upon rewatch, I’ve done a 180 on all that stuff.

I love how simple and streamlined everything in this story and world is. Starting with the story. There is nothing particularly special or innovative about Tanjirou’s journey with Nezuko. That’s completely fine. I think often people equate complexity with good and simplicity with bad. In truth, there’s no correlation between them. Everything comes down to execution. Demon Slayer boiled down is nothing complex or new, yet, its execution is pristine. This story is told well. Every arc flows into one another perfectly. The characters are executed well, the world is built up amazingly. Execution is the key to everything and this anime nails it. Not to mention the first episode of Demon Slayer is one of the greatest first episodes you can find.

Demon Slayer would make a really good open-world or semi-open-world video game. There are a lot of elements in this series that just feel like really well done and streamlined mechanics. The breathing techniques, the training, the way missions are given out, the rankings within each organization. All of it is streamlined and very easy to understand.

Piggybacking off of that. The power systems in this series are among my favorite. The Demon’s abilities and weaknesses veer into a lot of vampire stuff. their weakness to sunlight is the main similarity but also demon arts in a way. I love the idea of demon blood arts and each demon having a specific blood art to themselves. It invites a lot of intrigue and makes every fight with a new demon different and dynamic.

I don’t know if it’s a common misconception, but I always thought that the breathing technique effects were actually happening. Like when Tanjirou uses water breathing he actually conjures water around his sword. While I thought it was cool, it always led me to believe that that ability wasn’t explained well. It makes sense now and I appreciate this power system even more that I know it’s just a visual effect to heighten the fights. Zenitsu isn’t conjuring lighting and so on. It’s for dramatic effect. It is very effective and it looks really damn good too. There’s seemingly a never-ending variety of breathing techniques, so I’m really interested in seeing all of them.

Onto characters, the man that everyone memed back in 2019. I was even guilty of it. Once again though, upon rewatch, I love him. Tanjirou is great. I thank Tohru for making me realize I love characters like this. Tanjirou is the best version of a shounen protagonist. He’s too nice, but he knows what he has to do and he never hesitates. He may sympathize and feel sad for every demon he encounters and their circumstances, but that never stops him from hesitating to kill them. The memes of Tanjirou crying after he kills a demon and we get their backstory are funny, yes. But like it is tragic. Their backstories are sad and very effective. I just love a character that is genuinely empathetic yet won’t let that impede his mission. I admire that genuine, real, pureness. Also, he’s literally hard-headed figuratively and literally. I’ll never get enough of his headbutts. He’s funny too. The chemistry he has with the rest of the cast is great, especially Nezuko.

The dynamic between Nezuko and Tanjirou is so cute and wholesome. For a character that has very few speaking lines, her emotions and intentions are always clear. She’s just really a cute character and every moment between her and her brother is amazing. I’m very interested to see how she progresses and deals with being a demon as this series progresses.

Zenitsu and Inosuke round out the group. Two characters that I didn’t like or think too much of when I first watched. Even during this rewatch I still think their first impressions are pretty rough. I can understand how someone wouldn’t like them. But they grew on me heavily and by episode 26 I couldn’t see the show without them. Zenitsu is the ultimate coward but that and his backstory are very relatable given the circumstances. If I’m any character in this show I’d be him. Not to mention his character design and breathing technique is awesome. Tanjirou has the most iconic fight in this series so far but I mean Zenitsu’s fights might be on par with that one. Inosuke is just a brutish wild kid. A small glimpse at his backstory gives a good look at how he ended up that way. He has the worst first impression between the two but by the end, he’s so lovable. I’ve kept this review pretty spoiler-free but I have to mention that a lot of their character development comes in the Natagumo Mountain arc and the subsequent episodes after. It’s just one of the many aspects that make that arc one of the best in anime history. Among the great fights and stuff. But yeah, I came to love Insouke and Zenistu by the end the season.

The whole cast really is great. Even the more annoying characters I came around to eventually. The main antagonist, Muzan aka Japanese MJ, has a cool character design and the intrigue around really everything about him is massive. I want to know more and I’m excited to learn more as the series progresses. The same goes for the other Demon Slayers. There’s a lot of potential with this extended cast.

Ufotable is in another league when it comes to animation. They have been for over a decade. Their baseline is higher than the peaks of a majority of anime or even animation in general. Demon Slayer is personally my favorite from them when it comes to animation. I love the art style and the stylistic choices for all of the attacks are simply beautiful. Someone who detest this show would give props to its animation. It’s outstanding.

I’ve mentioned it here and there but I really do love how unique yet not overbearing the character designs are. Everybody stands out but it all feels within the world. Voice acting-wise, I’ve heard clips of the dub and I watched a few minutes of the first episode dubbed. I won’t pass judgment on it too harshly but it wasn’t for me. The Japanese cast is just so good, I couldn’t watch the show in any other language. Lastly, the music is really good and captures the vibe of that era of Japan to a tee. Not to mention the op and the ending are S tier.

So yeah, Demon Slayer wowed me on a second watch. I’m pleasantly surprised how much more I enjoyed it. It knows what it is, knows what direction it’s going in, and it’s executing that game plan perfectly. There’s a beauty and a deep appreciation for how well-thought-out and streamlined everything in this show is. Add on a great cast, top-notch voice acting, an amazing vibe, cool-ass power systems, and a lot of interesting storylines. Plus it’s one of the best-looking pieces of animation ever. That all adds up to a truly amazing show.

Demon Slayer – 10/10

Notes – I was kind of lazy finishing writing this so there’s a high chance the Mugen Train review will come out super close after this one lol. After this I’m starting on some spring anime, don’t know which one yet though.

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