The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I’m a little late to the trend… but I finally watched Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and man and I LOVE IT. The characters, the plot, the art style, the humor, the music- it is such a good anime and it definitely deserves the hype. Here is my review on why (with the added bonus of some fangirling):
Warning: Don’t read if you haven’t watched season one, there are no Mugen Train or season two spoilers!
A different type of main character: Tanjiro
First of all, I absolutely love Tanjiro. By far, he is my favorite character in the anime which is a little basic considering that he’s the main character but I have my reasons. For one, he is a very loveable main character. I have watched a lot of Shonen anime and I don’t think I have every loved the main character as much as I love Tanjiro.
Yeah, sure, Shonen animes are more directed towards young men so obviously their main character is going to be a male who will have more features that relate to the male audience. Beloved characters like Naruto, from the anime Nartuo, who make pervert jokes and are labeled as pranksters or Natsu, from the anime Fairy Tail, who is full of energy and a thirst for adventure and thrill are a lot more relatable to that audience. Still, I try to watch a variety of anime and Shonen animes are so popular that I like to give them a try. I simply cannot find myself as attached to these main characters… except Tanjiro.
He is a hardworking son and brother and if that wasn’t enough to hook me- Tanjiro is just genuinely a nice guy. He is always willing to lend a helping hand at the village despite having his own tasks to complete and head back to the mountain. I love a man who is a good family man and has a gentle heart. Despite his sister, Nezuko, becoming a demon, he protects her with her life countless of times.
Tanjiro is extremely hardworking. He never gives up, which is a common trait shared between main characters in Shonen. Except with Tanjiro, we can see the amount of effort he puts in. Demon Slayer does not cut off his training scenes and is not afraid of time skips, in fact, we watched Tanjiro train for two years just to become a Demon Slayer- which I LOVED because what often happens in these animes is that the character gets a random buff up or speeds through training and is suddenly so strong. I like how it is paced realistically.
But also… as a woman, it is extremely refreshing to not have a main male character who is sprouting inappropriate jokes left and right. Tanjiro is not a pervert at all. He’s very respectful of others, not to mention, patient and understanding. He is such a good guy that he even sympathizes with the demons which is not common with demon slayers! Demons messed up his life and he still finds a way to show them kindness after his death… Tanjiro is amazing.
Supporting MAin characters: Zenitsu and Inosuke
As much as I love Tanjiro, I wouldn’t love the anime as much without my two other boys. From the first moment we met Zenitsu as he clung to another woman’s leg, begging her to marry him out of fear he would die as he cried dramatically, he has easily become one of the funniest parts of this anime and one of my favoritate characters. Zenitsu is definitely the comic relief for me.
At first, I didn’t think I was going to like his character. He is definitely… different. Zenitsu is a whimp who is scared of demons and would rather hide than fight. But… he’s not a bad guy. He genuinely wants to help people and he is aware of his own flaws, in fact, sometimes he will push himself to overcome it like when he rushed into the forest to help his friends (granted his main motivation was to protect Nezuko because she was a cute little girl). If anything, his fear is refreshing. It’s nice having badass characters who dive in headfirst into battle but honestly, if I was in his place, I would probably cry too… and plus, it’s funny watching his dramatic antics.
I will admit that he does have a tendency to make inappropriate jokes but it isn’t like the jokes from other Shonen anime. His jokes mainly consist of wanting to impress cute girls and be close to them which I think it a lot better than other Shonen anime.
Inosuke, the third member of this trio, is an interesting (and very different) character himself. He is headstrong and always ready to fight, in fact, the first moment we see him, he is trying to fight a demon and then charges for Tanjiro. He doesn’t really think with his head… at all, in fact, he has a hard time understanding emotions. I don’t usually like characters like him who are unpredictable and prideful (and arrogant) but he’s such a funny and charismatic character that I couldn’t help but love him as well.
Inosuke presents himself as this tough guy but he does have a caring and loyal side which is expressed throughout his scenes with Zenitsu and Tanjiro. Another part of the reason why this anime has such successful comedic scenes is because of him and his brash antics. These three main male characters could not be ANY more different, seriously. They have nothing in common: Tanjiro is patient and kind, Zenitsu is cowardly and loud, and Inosuke is prideful and violent. And yet, they work so well together in a team (granted, they fight a lot but it’s always humorous) and the reason they work together is because they’re so different that they balance the other out. And these differences really do lead to the funniest interactions. I can honestly never stop laughing.
With such a dark plot (defeating demons is a really scary job and I’m sure we are exposed to the harsh reality that comes with such a dark job soon), this trio brings a much needed and refreshing light to the anime. They make me laugh and scream and smile with every episode.
Every Shonen anime has a trio, usually consisting of three guys or two guys and a girl, but while this trio fits that critique, I honestly do think that they’re the most unique trio out there. They don’t fit the usual cliches of other Shonen animes. Ones where there is one upbeat guy, one brooding guy, and then the “angry” girl between them have become very repetitive and boring to me. While there is one female lead, Nezuko, she’s not weak nor like the other girls. She’s kind and gentle but she is her own person at the end of the day (despite her predicament not allowing her to live or make choices like a normal individual). Each of them are all their own characters and don’t depend on the other to be a good character. I just love all of them.
great art style, MUSIc, and fight scenes
I have dropped some animes because I didn’t like the art style so you can say I am quite picky. But Demon Slayer has a beautiful art style. Like my first thought with Inosuke, I didn’t think I’d like it. But within watching the first episode, I fell in love with how the anime looked. I love every character design. Each character has a distinct appearance that makes them unique. Little details are never overlooked, for example, Tanjiro has rough hands from training. Any time the scene focused on his hands, you could see the roughness on his palms. It is easy to ignore this or forget about it but this anime doesn’t, it sticks to each detail and I love it all the more for it.
Demon Slayer also has a very vibrant and vivid color pallet. You can see it in the clothing of each character and even the demons, they’re extremely colorful. It adds to the appeal, especially in fight scenes, the swirls and explosions of colors make the scenes very captivating to watch. Just the rush and suspense of fight scenes put me on the edge of my seat while watching but the colors make it just as enjoyable. During a really tense scene, sometimes I can just stare in awe for a moment and relax.
A friend of mine also mentioned the fluidity of the scenes. There are no awkward movements, every fight scene is skillfully crafted and the way in which the animation switches from CGI to hand animation is done so smoothly that you can barely notice it. I certainty didn’t notice it until it was pointed out which is a testament to how good it is. I can never look away, seriously.
Demon Slayer also has a good choice of music. The intro at the very start of the anime is fire, not just because of the art style of the scenes but because the song is whole bop. During fight scenes, the music just adds so much life and tension and beauty into them that it only amplifies the scenes more.
In conclusion… watch demon slayer
Seriously, it is so good. It has amazing characters and while the plot isn’t drastically different from others, it is still it’s own unique story. Each villain is captivating and evil but there is still a human side to each demon and I love the humanizing aspect of the anime. No one is born evil, it doesn’t matter how lost they have become in their path, Tanjiro reminds us that they were once good and for that, they deserve kindness even if its at the very end.
It’s a compelling anime with a compelling cast. I can’t wait to learn more about the characters. I have so many questions like “Why are Tanjiro and Nezuko special?” “Why does Kibutsuji want to kill Tanjiro so bad?” “Who is the leader of the Demon Slayers Corp?”
There is always an intention behind a character’s choices, designs, or words. It gives you just the right amount of information to have you hooked and interested but still keep you wondering and on the edge of your seat. Everything is thought out and I love that, especially as I analyze and come up with my own theories. And the characters are so loveable! Season one has twenty six episodes and I am already attached to all of them. I am definitely looking forward to the movie and season two.
So yeah, you should totally watch Demon Slayer!