The popularity of anime and manga has been a major success in the last few years. Demon Slayer. It is however, just like other hit shows, can it live up to the hype? It is, in short, yes. Yes.
The anime adaptation of the manga host has been a huge success. Its success is not only due to how well it was executed.
The basic idea of Demon SlayerTanjiro Kamado returns home to find his entire family dead, with the exception of his younger sister Nezuko. Nezuko, who is now barely alive, has turned into a flesh-eating demon.
Tanjiro, desperate to save his sister’s life, meets a demon slayer who initially attempts to kill Nezuko. Nezuko, however, is different from other demons. He still seems to have human emotions and thoughts. The demon slayer keeps his hand on Tanjiro and takes him on a journey that will allow him to train as a demon hunter and hopefully heal his sister.
Tanjiro’s quest is a hard one though, as the route to becoming a demon slayer is fraught with challenges and dangers. Killing a demon is a difficult task because they are powerful creatures with incredible strength and regenerative abilities.
Demon slayers counter this by using special Nichirin Swords. They also use special breathing techniques called Breathing styles, which helps to even the playing field against demons.
The narrative appeal of Demon SlayerEach character’s internal monologue explains how each character’s strategy and tactics are built. This gives the viewer a unique insight into the structure of what is happening within the story’s setting.
All of this could be very draining for the emotional system, but it is not. Demon SlayerThis is countered with a wonderfully timed dose of humor, as Tanjiro (and his growing demon slayer group) mumble and react to different situations. Nezuko also plays a huge part in bringing warmth to the story, at least when she’s not fighting as a demon, as her characterization is delightfully cute and cat-like throughout.
Another major draw is Demon SlayerIts amazing animation. This series may be broadcast on TV, but the animation quality is truly remarkable. They keep the narrative exposition simple for most of the series, but the animation kicks in when there is combat.
The various Breathing Styles (such as Fire or Water) result in stunning artwork that moves across the screen almost in a balletic manner. You get fights that not only look great but also engage in a skill-based way, thanks to the internal monologues.
It’s also helped with how Tanjiro improves as a demon slayer over the course of the series. Discovering new layers of the worlds of demons and their ultimate ruler Muzan.
Another important aspect is Demon SlayerThis is how it is set during the Taisho period. This period is ideal for stories about modern samurai. It makes it more plausible, especially against supernatural enemies like the demons.
Aniplex did a great job with this boxset. The visuals and sound are amazing and really show what this anime has to offer. However, Aniplex doesn’t just stop there, as they retain a certain level of import quality with their releases. This release is comparable to a Japanese high end boxset but at a lower price.
This means you get not only the anime on Bluray but also the soundtracks on CD and art cards, as well as a series companion book. The commentary tracks include both English and Japanese voices.
Each set for season one costs $129.98. It may seem like a lot but it’s a fraction of what you would pay in Japan. You still get all the trimmings.
Overall, the inaugural season of Demon Slayer makes for gripping viewing. It’s not only a brilliantly animated series but also an engaging one in terms of the layered complexities of the story. Put simply, it’s one of the few examples of a popular anime actually amounting to something worthwhile and comes thoroughly recommended.
Blu-ray box sets of season one Demon SlayerAvailable from Right Stuf Anime, here and here
Disclosure: Aniplex provided me with this Blu-ray box set in exchange for this review.
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