Anime review: "Demon Slayer"

TechNews Writer
Mon Nov 14, 2022

"Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba" has gained undivided attention from anime fans since the first time it was aired. It is known for its excellent production quality, its amazing CGI(Computer Generated Imagery), magnificent backgrounds and other animated aspects that have been flawlessly composited into this series. At times, high-quality CGI effects are provided to some key characters in wide angles which appears as good as the hand-drawn anime series. I've never seen a digital anime series which was technically stunning to such an extent.

It has a distinctive artistic sensibility. In the anime, demon slayers action scenes are preceded by flashy effects not because its heroes use flashy superpowers. The demon slayers are almost regular swordsmen, not magicians or aliens. So many elemental effects are used to add essence to their sword techniques like a visual metaphor. Tanjiro's sword struck his foes like water, Zenitsu strikes fast like a lightning. As our heroes fight, they paint the battlefield with these elements and the effect is really something to cherish. Besides making these fight scenes beautiful, the series also allows us as viewers to intuitively understand the differences in their fighting styles without needing lengthy explanations of techniques.

It's a brilliant action conceit that feels decidedly novel with the modern Dragon Ball influence shown in the landscape. The real strength of "Demon Slayer" resides in its characters and in the confident thematically driven narration. I'm honestly surprised to be saying that because when I first started watching it, I kind of got the impression that there were endless action scenes just for the sake of having it. It just prefers to let the fists do all the talking.

"Demon Slayer" is above all else an incredibly efficient series. "Demon Slayer" does an impeccable job with using conflicts to advance its central themes and character arcs, ensuring that each battle adds meaning and the plot travels forward in an interesting way. Tanjiro's very first fight with Tomioka establishes his self-sacrificing nature and demonstrates the strength of his bond with Nezuko. Their fight with the temple demon on the way to meet Urokodaki reinforces that bond and shows us that Nezuko is a force to be reckoned in her own right.

The mountain training arc takes Tanjiro on a long spiritual journey to discover his own inner strength. The survival test that follows shows us how much he has grown and demonstrates the incredible empathy that defines him as a character. The fight with the demon clone triplet guys introduces the concept of blood demon magic that will serve to differentiate each villain moving forward as well as some clever alternative usage of Tanjiro's sword techniques show us how effective he and Nezuko can be as a team. 

The drumhouse battle gives us a proper introduction to a pair of wonderful supporting characters. It also expands on the hierarchical structure of demon society and also the psychological effect that Muzan's manipulation has on those who fall short of his expectations. That effect becomes the focal point of the mountain arc which throws Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke up against a family of spider like demons led by one of Muzan's top soldiers, the 12 demon moons. This arc establishes an upper limit to each of our hero's abilities and the elite pillars shows us how far Tanjiro still has to go, if he wants to accomplish his quest of collecting the blood of the demon moons and curing Nezuko.

The conflict between fear and love lies at the core of the "Demon Slayer" narrative. The series leaves us with a beautiful, yet bittersweet aftertaste. It is also surprising how the demons are portrayed; the creatures have been painted as sympathetic figures with understandable motivations, but at the same time the series is careful as to never let that excuse their corrupted behaviors. They've killed people, ruined lives and they will still keep doing it until they are stopped.

The series establishes that demons can also be seen as humans. If it is your family then you should show them kindness and respect even if they're doing something bad. The greatest kindness that Tanjiro can show his foes is to kill them painlessly using a technique that a Urokudaki taught him. I really like what Tanjiro represents as a hero. He uses violence only to an extent where it's necessary so as to protect himself and others. He is legitimately one of the best role models I've seen. "Demon Slayer" shows that fight scenes can be engaging and interesting and it is a refreshing series to watch. 



Appears in
2022 - Fall - Issue 9