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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (2019, Ufotable)

Anime Reviews

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (2019, Ufotable)

Kimetsu no Yaiba

Worth A Watch

Kimetsu no Yaiba

One snowy winter on a New Year's Eve, sharp-nosed Tanjiro Kamado decides to do an extra round of selling coal so that his family could enjoy a full meal, only to return to to find his family massacred. Only one of his sisters Nezuko survives but her wounds had been exposed to demon blood and she herself had been turned into a demon. A Hashira, a top ranking demon slayer Giyu Tomioka soon arrives at the scene. Tanjiro desperately pleas to him not to kill her and after Nezuko showed some form of human emotion, the hunter decides to take a risk. Giyu tells Tanjiro where to find a man who might know how to return her sister to human form. Soon, Tanjiro is training himself to join the Demon Slayer Corps himself, hoping to gather information to help his sister and avenge his family.

Watched this because of the hype and also partly because Ufotable usually does some really good animation; mostly for video games most notably "Tales of" series before animating more popular works such as Type Moon's Fate/Zero and Garden of Sinners. When I heard the show was about siblings out on the search for a cure, it reminded me of Full Metal Alchemist.

First episode made quite an impression. Didn't drag out just straight to the plot and most of the show sticks to that short pacing which also means it kind of felt like a JRPG at times where Tanjiro meets a new powerful demon, learns their attack pattern, unleashes moves and wins. Not much of a build-up which feels like those JRPG to Anime adaptations where they just briefly show a location before the boss fights. There's hardly any downtime to flesh out the world and characters. Tanjiro makes a few too many silly reactions and the training he goes through is paced so quickly you don't really feel the hardship other than his desperation to revert his sister.

The lore isn't very deep so there's not much of a world setting. It feels like your average action show tied together with the siblings as a simple plot. No twists, no surpises, just simple plot with likeable characters.

However, there are the odd good moments with a bit of Garden of Sinners vibe with its dark mysterious atmosphere coupled with Ufotable's great art work. It also does slow down and gets better towards the end of season one, letting you appreciate how much effort the characters are putting into their struggles.

Art and animation is fluid and detailed as with most of Ufotable's work. There's a lot of gore and jokes can be quite dark as they are mixed in between the gore; plenty of blood and decapitated heads. Like the other Type Moon works, music is once again by Yuki Kajiura as you'll recognise her folklore style music right away. The show also seems to have a very large dynamic sound range where audio is quiet most of the time but during battles it gets really loud.

See how long you can stand the whining loud Zenitsu for... Funnily enough, his voice actor Hiro Shimono also plays Jean from ACCA-13. What a difference in personalities. Takahiro Sakurai's cold voice as Giyu wasn't hard to recognise since it sounded like Cloud from FFVII although he also played Suzaku from Code Geass.

Season one covers roughly up to volume 6 of the Manga and just missed the recommended because most of the show was like an JRPG but, as you get through to the last quarter you want to see more and how the siblings and new friends fare in their quest. The show has good morals despite the violent fights; always have compassion and never abuse power.

Watch it for the cute siblings, art and fluid battle scenes. Don't miss the mini shorts after the ending theme.


The movie Mugen Train which covers volume 7 and 8 of the Manga wasn't too bad... If it wasn't for the cast and quality animation I think I would have snoozed through most of it because the scenario setup is so familiar. Nice Hashira back story again though and the wrap-up was what makes Kimetsu great. They probably decided to turn the arc into a movie because there really wouldn't have been much to make a series out of. Maybe an OVA but they already knew they've built good expectations from the show to capitalise on it with a limited movie instead. Nice Hashira back story again though.

Was quite nice to find the movie somehow ended up on the Playstation Store's video section at the same time it was screening in the US. Don't know if it was a blunder or was it to let people enjoy the movie at home while the pandemic was still going.

Season 2 kicks off with a TV version of the Infinity Train movie broken down into 7 episodes before it moves onto the next arc "Entertainment District". Since it's the red light district, expect plenty of fan service. I actually wonder why it suddenly went so fan service heavy considering it was already popular before this arc. There's so much it almost feels like one of those mindless fan service shows. Don't miss the extra scenes after the ending credits. Both the first and last episode are double length specials.

Season 3 Swordsmith Village arc picks up neatly showing how the gang's recovered and also another double length special first episode (and last episode). It kicks off to a happy start after all the tough Upper Rank battle but we all know the flow. This time featuring Hashiras Mitsuri Kanroji and Muichiro Tokito who also happen to be in the village.

There was a protest about adapting the hot spring scene from the source Manga but it was kept in. Not surprisig considering it's a male oriented action show and it's not the first fan service scene. I do think the running down the stairs scene was added to spite those protestors though, if it wasn't in the source material.

Animation quality is still top-notch from the same studio but considering the show's popularity, I wouldn't be surprised they have the budget to give them the time to maintain the quality. There's also a short comical sketch after the credits.

Most of the flow still feels like a JRPG where the fights are split into multiple phases and kind of feels dragged out by this point but, the demon designs are still pretty interesting. And it's got a really impactful wrap-up too that finally gives the main plot a shove.

Learning that the very same mark that appeared on the First Breathing slayers who fought Muzan to the brink, the Demon Corps have decided to focus on manifesting it on the rest of the Hashira, hoping it will help in the immense fight ahead. Now that what Muzan seeking had appeared, it was certain he would mount a full scale attack.

S4 "Hashira Training" continuing to deliver quality eye candy from Ufotable. Quick tease at the start of what's to come then back to a bit of refresher of what happened previously.

There's an awful lot of shouting as the three stooges pull off their joke reactions. A very big cliffhanger. Hopefully they'll pick up soon.

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