Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba S1 Review
Synopsis After his family is killed by demons and his kid sister Nezuko is turned into one, Tanjirou Kamado vows to one day turn his beloved sister back into a human.
Kimetsu no Yaiba S1 Reviews
To do this he becomes a Demon Slayer in the hopes of finding the elusive cure. But Tanjirou’s battle will not be an easy one, as the human-eating demons aren’t easy to kill and require special blades and skills only the Demon Slayers possess. Can Tanjirou restore Nezuko’s humanity, or will the demons prove too powerful for him to defeat, this is Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Season 1. Background Demon Slayer is from the studio that brought you Fate/Zero, Unlimited Blade Works, Heaven’s Feel, and that really bad OVA called Gyo.
Story Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba Season 1
Story Demon Slayer has recently been heralded as the second coming of anime Jesus, which is very high praise, and I don’t agree with this sentiment that’s is the best anime ever at all, I made a video about this very thing last week, check it out. But what Demon Slayer is good at is many many things that I think go unnoticed, so let’s go over them.
For one it can’t be understated how the pacing of Demon Slayer must be commended. While not perfect in places like the Swamp Demon arc, I feel for sure this anime is one of the better-paced shounen anime at least in recent memory. The first 12 episodes are a breeze to get through and only ever slows down once you are introduced to Zenitsu and Inosuke.
This is the only time it ever feels mediocre and slow to me. Otherwise, it speeds back up with Episodes 18 and 19, with the compelling antagonist Rui and his family of actors.
I seriously mean this when I say that Demon Slayer has great pacing, and that’s something I think isn’t talked about enough with this show. For a majority of these episodes, they were greatly consistent with one speed and besides continuity, consistency is the most important aspect for me when I watch an anime. Can I rely on you to give me the same kind of experience that I get in episode 1, I’ll get in episode 11 or 24. Demon Slayer excels and even over-delivers on this aspect seemingly with ease. While the show's story takes a dive in the middle episodes with the introduction of questionable characters, Demon Slayer trucks through it.
And the main reason for this aspect is because the anime is incredibly simple. The main goal of Tanjirou is to restore Nezuko’s humanity and that’s it, nothing else.
This allows the viewer to fully immerse itself with the characters and the world, but most importantly the fights. With a more streamlined shounen story, not only do I not have to worry about stupid shounen tropes that are holdovers from the days of Naruto or Bleach, but I also can focus my attention on aspects that other shounen isn’t particularly great at. This comes at a price and what I would say is a double-edged sword.
While you don’t have to rely on tricks and diversions to get the viewer to stay interested, because the animation and pacing are so damn good, you also run the risk of having too simple of a story or worse having oversimplified characters.
Characters This is where Demon Slayer shows its most obvious weakness and that’s the characters. Most shounen anime have a wide array of characters. Think to Naruto, you have a whole cast and lore established from the get-go. With Demon Slayer it’s much different and this is where most people I’ve come across, especially in my Discord Server (links in the description, please join).
I have seen people frequently lose interest in Demon Slayer right off the bat. People have dropped this series by episode 4 or in the case of our king, Gilgamesh, he/she has dropped it at just episode 2. One of the reasons they mentioned is Tanjirou’s character simply isn’t compelling enough. And while I personally love Tanjrou as I think he’s one of the better protagonists in Shounen, probably the best in the currently airing new shounen series, I do realize he’s probably not the most interesting. As I said, the double-edged sword of having a simple story is simple characters that aren’t compelling enough to some viewers, and Tanjirou is incredibly simple at that.
About Nezuko Demon Slayer
After 26 episodes I felt like I could only connect to him on one point alone, and that’s that he cares deeply about family and his sister. Otherwise, Tanjirou is kinda basic, no matter which way you put it. But this is where I personally start to find an issue with Demon Slayer. Nezuko has no character and is dangerously close to being one-dimensional. The reason is that for the most part she is relegated to popping out of the box to kick people’s heads off.
And don’t get me wrong, I LOVE when Nezuko kicks ass. But to be fair, that’s all she has done so far. And while I find Nezuko’s fight to stop the urges of feeding on humans compelling, we’re at a point in the story where it simply hasn’t been developed enough. And that’s fine if she eventually develops beyond that, but in Season 1, which is the only thing that is out, Nezuko is practically one-dimensional. This brings me to Zenitsu and Inosuke, who most assuredly not one dimensional but commit a worse crime and that is being annoyed.
Zenitsu yells, Inosuke yells and together they both are basically the embodiment of the characters we all seemed to hate back in the day. Remember how annoying Naruto was, Natsu in Fairy Tail, or even Kirito-Kun the great in SAO. These characters, while not nearly as bad do try to give a run for their money in that department. These two characters made me drop Demon Slayer at one point. And to give these characters credit, their backstories and other aspects about them are absolutely amazing.
About Zenitsu and Inosuke Demon Slayer
Zenitsu’s design and backstory are well thought out and really well done. Inosuke, as well as a terrific design and in a fight Inosuke’s quick temper, brawler fighting style, and insanity, can steal away your heart and mind. These two characters, to be fair have tremendous upsides and show them from time to time. Butting watching them chase Nezuko around a room screaming at the top of their lungs is not the way I want to watch my anime. Art But one of the main reasons I got into this anime is because of Ufotable’s involvement to see how they’d adapt the manga’s beautiful art into an anime.
And as you can see it is incredibly unique and fun to look at. This isn’t where Ufotable stops though, the character designs are really the place to be looking in this anime. I don’t care who you name, each character in this anime has something that makes them unique. Tanjirou’s scar on his forehead, Nezuko’s muzzle, Inosuke’s mask, and swords, Zenitsu and his hair, Susamaru and her arrows, Kibutsuji and his Michael Jackson, Rui and his spider-like features, Shinobu and her butterfly theme, I mean listen I could go on, I could mention Mitsuri’s cleavage, I could, I could go there but I’m not. Instead, I’m going to reiterate that Demon Slayer’s designs are simply fantastic… but there is something that is.
Less than fantastic with the art and that’s the background. But we won’t be here too long, because there are two split arguments I have.
For one the cityscapes and more city-like environments are stunning and gorgeous, absolutely beautiful. This is because Ufotable excels at designing these sorts of environments.
After all, they have almost a decade to perfect them with Fate having crazy immaculate background cityscapes. But my only qualm with the art is the backgrounds that feature the vast forests. To me, this show is a lot of green and blue and these are colors that make a lot of the same-ish environments really weigh on you. This made me think back to other old anime and think, “did I ever have issues with other shounen with similar backgrounds?”.
The answer was no, and then I remembered Dororo which pretty much had the same 4 or 5 types of backgrounds for the whole series. So the only thing I could think of was the anime color palette making the backgrounds seem more samey than they actually are. Food for thought. Animation And then we have the main star of the show and the reason most of us, including me, primarily watch Demon Slayer for. And that is for Ufotable’s exception animation and use of visual effects.
Ufotable once again brings in some of the best animations of the season. And this isn’t anything new, Heaven’s Feel movies are simply some of the best-looking films in the last decade and in terms of anime Fate/Zero and Unlimited Blade Works, especially the latter of the two are incredible in their own ways.
So going into this I knew they were going to bring some of that uniqueness into Demon Slayer, and by the 5th episode, we got just that. With some incredible usage of 3D CG models and backgrounds, Ufotable was so early in the series able to achieve some great-looking stuff. And while it certainly wasn’t perfect with some uncanny valley effects happening in these early scenes, it was still a great usage of the tech.
If you’ve seen the Lancer and Assassin fight in the first Heaven’s Feel, then you should expect something like that but on a lesser scale. And of course the mythical Episode 19. While easily the best-looking episode of the season and in this series, it doesn’t hold a candle to their work in Heaven’s Feel.
But that’s beside the point, Episode 19 was a technical marvel and a beautiful episode with Ufotable’s usage of CG and visual effects shining through. While the episode is without a doubt overrated, the animation here is undeniable in its expert usage and tremendous beauty.
By far the best fight of the series and easily the best example of what to expect when Demon Slayer is at its best. But normally Demon Slayer fights to look quite great while lacking the impact and oomph the Fate battle have, likely because the people in those fights are magical familiars, Demon Slayer more than makes up for it with a fight that will not have a unique take and style. Just as an example, the differences between Susamaru and the Swamp Demon fights are vast and unique because both fight completely differently. And while the Swamp Demon fight has a good visual presentation and pretty much nothing else, it is still one of the most unique fights in the series based on the fact that there is no other character quite like the Swamp Demon in all of Demon Slayer.
Score The Demon Slayers Anime
Score The man behind this score is none other than Go Shiina, who is known for having quite the resume scoring; Juuni Taisen, Tales of Zesteria’s anime, God Eater and Kyousougiga.
And I originally praised this anime’s score and I think I can stick by that. Go Shiina’s usage of music in these fight scenes was pretty solid, to say the least. As well Yuki Kajiura’s involvement in the score, while extremely minor is still solid as well. But I think Go Shiina takes the cake here, he just knew exactly what he wanted to do with this score and that’s fairly obvious. With a setting like Demon Slayer, nailing a general sound isn’t too hard.
But with that comes sounding unique and fresh and while Go Shiina’s attempts to do such are usually pretty good sometimes they don’t land. A great example of this is the Swamp Demon, I felt the music here wasn’t bad but just didn’t catch me, which may be a large reason as to why I didn’t like the Swamp Demon fight that much.
In Closing In closing, I think Demon Slayer is a pretty good anime to check out and binge in a handful of sittings. It’s certainly one that loses impact spread out week to week (something I learned the hard way). And while the show has many glaring weaknesses, it’s still a very good show.
While my issues with it have been well documented, I can still look past them to see there is a very good show lying behind its errors. So do I recommend Demon Slayer? Of course, I do, it’s a solid show at the very least so get out there and read it if you found anything I talked about today interesting to you.