By Kylie Deng
Graphic by Vhia David
Kimetsu No Yaiba, also known as the popular anime Demon Slayer, has exploded in popularity since its premiere in April 2019. In October 2020, a two hour animated movie, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train was released, continuing the story. Worldwide, it grossed 374.5 million US Dollars. As of now the English dubbed version will be released in early 2021. Because of all this I was curious to see if Demon Slayer really lived up to its reputation and wanted to take note on why the anime and movie were so popular.
Another large part of Demon Slayer and Demon Slayer: Mugen Train’s success, is that Mugen Train, unlike the average anime, is not a stand alone or side story of the anime. Mugen Train is a contribution to the main storyline, adding to the canonical story of the anime. The movie’s sales easily surpassed records made by older movies in the first week of its release.
“A youth begins a quest to fight demons and save his sister after finding his family slaughtered and his sister turned into a demon.” (The movie description within Xfinity.) The first few episodes bring the watcher through a rush of emotions as the main character, Tanjiro, returns to his home and finds tragedy has struck: his sister is on the brink of death. As I continued watching, I originally thought Demon Slayer was a regular Shonen anime that shows the protagonist struggle in the beginning of the story and become extremely overpowered as time goes on or early in the story. Other Shonen titles usually include young male protagonists whose stories revolve around fighting, adventure and action.
Overall Demon Slayer may look like the average Shonen title, but everything about the characters and world building is beautiful. Characters are well crafted and well developed as the anime focuses solely on the plot without leading away from the main story. The cast of characters are relatable in one way or another to many fans of the anime. Tanjiro’s path to get stronger to protect his sister is reasonable with regards to the amount of time and improvement shown. Compared to other protagonists, Tanjiro doesn’t just reach his goal in a flash; the viewers are shown a steady progression of his strength as the episodes and time within the story goes on. The anime may seem a bit plain but the story is well crafted and speckled with the smallest details to put the watcher more into the story. The release of season 2 of the anime, either this spring or summer, is highly anticipated. I am excited as well for the upcoming release of Demon Slayer Season 2 and hope the second season continues the line of intricately crafted characters and world-building.