Demon Slayer: Mugen Train Review


Demon Slayer certainly became a global sensation. When the anime launched it was appearing everywhere and so it’s only natural that a movie sequel by UFotable would continue to get a ton of press and box office. This movie adapts the train arc which is certainly one of the strongest parts of the series. It’s the first time we get to see a Hashira fight seriously which is a pretty big deal. It also works really well as a movie so it was a good pick by the company.

Picking up where the series left off, Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu are boarding the Mugen Train. They are to team up with the Hashira known as Rengoku to stop the demons that are on the train. People have been going missing left and right on the train and the slayers sent previously have all been vanquished. Tanjiro and the others may still be newcomers to the organization but they have proven themselves in battle. They are ready to conquer this train.

Unsurprisingly Rengoku is the one doing most of the heavy lifting though. He is a Hashira for a reason and Demon Slayer has a pretty solid power level setup going for it. In fact, when paired up with most of its Shonen Jump companions you could make a strong case for this being one of the best in terms of the power levels making a lot of sense. It’s a strong point for Demon Slayer and never for a moment does it looks like the rest of the characters are competing with Rengoku. He is definitely the star of the show here.

I like Giyu a lot and he’s the only rival to Rengoku in terms of being my favorite Hashira but ultimately I would say Rengoku definitely wins this. He’s a very earnest guy and his flame abilities are incredible. I would go as far as to say he’s the strongest member of the group in terms of base abilities, so no red swords. He has tremendous speed and in the movie we see how difficult it is to protect one car and yet he was protecting 5. He has a pretty emotional backstory and never gets tempted by the demons.

Still, while Rengoku has a lot of screen time I would say this is still Tanjiro’s movie. He is forced to confront his past and the idea of an alternate reality. It’s never easy to leave such a dream but he does it rather well. It’s also just pretty painful in general to leave even knowing how you do it but the guy is resolute. Tanjiro’s always had a lot of determination after all. His fight with the demon may be quick but it’s a solid action scene all the same.

Then you have Inosuke who looks good as expected. He’s confident in his abilities and gets a good tag team with Tanjiro. His inner dream is also the most amusing out of the 3 which reflects his inner mind rather well. Zenitsu gets the shaft from the 3 which may surprise some fans since you would figure that a movie where the heroes are constantly in a dream-like state would be to his advantage. In some ways it is as he couldn’t protect Nezuko nearly as well while awake but his action is mainly off screen.

Enmu is the main villain here. He’s not really much of a fighter in close quarters combat which is why he has the whole train scheme. If you put everyone to sleep then perhaps you can end up winning without having to go through all of the trouble of fighting. I do think he overthinks it to an extent though. Due to how it’s hard to wake up in general and it takes a while, I think the easiest thing to do would just be to stab the slayers as soon as they’re asleep. The plan with the kids was decent and apparently it works a lot but it feels like a lot of work.

Enmu isn’t quite as solid as a lot of the other demons in Muzan’s ranks though. I never became a big fan of his personally. His abilities are unique to be sure and he does have some quality dialogue but that’s about all I can say for him. In true movie fashion his super form is pretty much just a giant blob that can’t fight back. So those action scenes while well animated don’t quite hold up to the rest. Give me the opening action scenes against the random demons anytime. Akaza also looks great in his appearance and already cemented himself as the greatest villain in the series by this point. The guy really enjoys battling and even has a bit of an honor code about him as he tries to get the heroes to his level as well. You definitely have to respect the commitment.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a Ufotable film without some kind of insane action sequence. The fun part is that pretty much any chunk of the film could be used as a great display of animation. Even the “standard” fights of the movie look great which is to be expected. I still have Ufotable as the best pure animation company in the biz right now. Their shows just look incredible. My favorite will always be Pierot but in a 1 on 1 contest the smart money would be on Ufotable to win. The final battle looks incredible. The colors are striking and you can tell it’ll be years before anime are able to churn out fights like this on the regular.

It was just an excellent way to wrap up the adventure. Mugen Train is one of those films that is fairly long but certainly doesn’t feel like it. The movie just keeps going from scene to scene with an engaging story so it never drags. There are some pretty tense moments as well like the conductor punching in all of the tickets which works really well. The soundtrack is very good. It’s definitely got a Fate vibe to it which always works really well with the animation style. It’s got a grand feel to it and ups the anticipation/hype of every moment. There are some themes from the show but also some new ones to be sure so there’s a good mix there.

The movie isn’t nearly as violent as the show which also works well for making this a big theater experience. The most blood is probably when the characters are slashing at the blobs which is certainly the weakest part of the film since these blobs can’t do anything but for the most part the film is ready to just jump straight into the action. I wouldn’t say there are any real weaknesses to the title. I suppose if this had been the true climax that would have been really underwhelming but fortunately we got to end with something spectacular.

Overall, Mugen Train is definitely a great film. It’s got top tier animation and music at the ready along with a great cast of characters. Every scene with Rengoku is really a great moment. His self preservation instinct is really on point and the guy also feels like a natural leader. His very presence instills confidence in anyone who’s around him. Most likely you’ll already know about the true final act by the time you watch the film but if you don’t that’s probably a good thing because it’s one of the best cinematic twists of all time. It’s something that really pushes the film to the next level and I would consider this part of the movie an absolute necessity. Whether you’ve watched the anime or not you should be able to jump into this film and have a good time with it. I’d definitely recommend giving it whirl and now we’ll see when the next film comes out.

Overall 8/10

Demon Slayer Review


It’s pretty neat to be reviewing the anime and manga versions of Demon Slayer almost back to back. When Ufotable jumped on to animate this series it was definitely a big deal. The manga went from being a pretty big Jump title to suddenly being a house hold name and breaking all kinds of records. It’s easy to see why though, Ufotable easily appears as the best animation company at the moment. (Although I’ll still take Studio Pierrot as my favorite company. They are able to keep a top rate level of animation for long running shows which is just as impressive but more on that in a future editorial) Their animations are just spectacular and the adaption of the manga is quite accurate. It’s certainly top notch in that respect but of course that also means the anime can get extremely violent. Ufotable isn’t about to shy away from such things so while this series is held back in that regard, you won’t be forgetting the battles.

The series begins with a kid named Tanjiro heading down the mountain to sell some wood and gain money/supplies for his family. Unfortunately when he returns it turns out that his family was murdered by demons. The only survivor is his sister Nezuko who has also been turned. Fortunately she is able to resist the urge to eat humans but she can no longer be in the sunlight. Tanjiro convinces an ex Demon Slayer to train him so that he can fight demons and ultimately find a way to turn Nezuko back to normal. It’ll be a difficult journey since we don’t even know if a cure is possible and most people won’t trust her since she is a demon. Still, Tanjiro does not intend to give up and is ready to brave any hardship to protect her.

We get quite a lot of training initially and you can see why being a Demon Slayer is not something that just anyone can do. Most people simply wouldn’t be willing to train for years at a time risking their life in the process just to get a job that we don’t even know has a salary to risk your life against monstrous evils. Fighting demons has to simply be something you are very resolved to do. Otherwise it simply won’t work out. In fact we see this later on in the series as a lot of people either dropped out or didn’t have the proper motivation and got bumped off pretty quick.

I’ll quickly talk about the animation part right off the bat to get it out of the way. It’s exceptional as you would expect. One thing I really liked here was how the show gives all of the characters very distinct eyes. Eye colors have always been a fun anime thing and I really enjoy when titles go all out with it. For example Shinobu has very dead eyes which makes sense for such a mysterious character and then Tanjiro has two layered eyes which are cool. They just stand out. It’s a little harder to get this across in a manga although Slayer did that well there too. To date the best example of a manga doing something similar is Kaguya: Love Is War but for the most part you usually have to wait for the anime. The fight scenes are absolutely on point with Tanjiro’s battle against the spider creature getting a ton of hype back when it came out. You would see that one everywhere. The animation’s just very consistent and even small things like the little character heads for bumpers during the more comedic episodes were fun.

Naturally the soundtrack is also quite good. It really sounds like a Fate soundtrack to me at times with maybe a little Naruto on occasion. I wonder if Ufotable has some kind of jurisdiction over soundtracks so they have to have a certain style. It all works very well for the series though of course. You can expect a lot of high intensity tracks to be played during the fights really cementing how high the stakes are.

Naturally as mentioned the series can be incredibly violent. While I wouldn’t put it on the same level as Fate Zero, it’s probably right after Attack on Titan for being the third most intense series I’ve seen. Characters are blown up, ripped apart, and suffer catastrophic injuries over and over again. Since the demons can regenerate it isn’t always a big deal to them until they finally lose their head. The show isn’t afraid to just show all of this straight up. Naturally a lot of random civilians also get thrown into the crossfire and don’t quite make it.

Some of the demons have pretty twisted backstories as well. The Spider demon saga probably had the most moments like this even though it also had the most epic fights. The spider demon son who was the main villain for example would just rip another demon’s face off and liked to punish them with his whips. The father demon was also demented as he terrorized the others. It was an extremely warped version of a family and you would expect no less from a demon tribe. Still, those scenes are definitely quite dark. In the final episode we basically have Muzan crush and dismember a bunch of his demons to remind them of their place as well.

In such a world even the heroes are rather jaded to the point where you even have one of them stab Tanjiro’s sister a few times. Those scenes are pretty tough since it makes it hard for you to root for some of these heroes. It’s always good to see Tanjiro jump in to help out. He’s definitely a very solid protagonist in any medium. Nezuko also deserves a lot of credit for staying strong in these circumstances. The level of violence means I’d be recommending this to a very select crowd based on their tastes but overall it really does limit the show a lot because of how frequent it is. More realistically this wouldn’t ever make the list on my recommendations for anime viewers.

Season 1 covers a pretty good amount of content even going into the big Hashira meeting and through to the beginning of the Train section. As the train arc is getting a movie I figured the show would end with the heroes walking out of the house so it was nice that we got a bonus scene at the end here. It also makes for a good ending point with a fresh adventure on the way and the opening act stories completed. Lets turn the clock back a bit though and talk about some of the opening stories.

The first mini arc is Tanjiro’s entrance exam to becoming a Demon Slayer. To do this he must survive a few days in a deadly forest with a lot of demons. This is one of those tests where you feel like the proctors could probably keep an eye on things a little more. After all it turns out that a super powerful demon is around picking people off and nobody figured it out. Ah well, it’s fortunate for the demons at least. It worked well as a first big fight for Tanjiro and he got to show off his opening water breath techniques this way. By avenging all of the students who came before him, Tanjiro started off his journey on the right foot.

Then you have the arc where Tanjiro meets two demons who are on the side of good such as Tamayo and Yushiro. They were good allies to have around for sure. Yushiro may have given Tanjiro and Nezuko a hard time throughout but he was quite devoted to protecting Tamayo which is important. Tamayo’s mastery of medicines was also handy. In this arc the group is attacked by a pair of demons who can use a soccer ball and one who can control the direction you move in. These were definitely deadly opponents to fight and Susamaru had to be the standout villain of the series. She was really confident in her abilities and even fought Nezuko rather fairly in a battle of brawn with her kicks. Ultimately Nezuko was still getting stronger at this point so she wasn’t quite ready to win such a battle but she made it awfully close.

Susamaru’s partner isn’t quite as memorable but his attacks were great. Honestly it’s hard to see how this guy could be defeated once he gets the arrows on you. Tanjiro did a great job of surviving but that had to be one of the deadliest fights for him. If Susamaru had just kept the arrow going up it could have been the end. I assume he has some kind of ability limit which prevents him from doing so, however it’s still a great attack. This arc was a great showcase for Tanjiro and Nezuko to fight.

After that we have the arc with the house that is always changing rooms. Tanjiro and a guy he just met on the road named Zenitsu. This Demon Slayer is afraid of just about everything though so he won’t exactly be the most reliable ally to have around. The demon in charge of this mansion may not be the most powerful in a direct fight but he can cause the house to keep shifting gravity angles so if you jump at him you’ll suddenly find yourself going backwards or to the side. He can also shoot shockwaves at you while you’re disoriented. Fortunately the heroes have some backup with a guy named Inosuke who is another demon slayer in the mansion.

It was nice to get 3 different Demon Slayers at the ready here. The fight with the demon was also pretty solid here with a lot of dynamic visuals of having to get used to the place shifting so much. I imagine even the toughest of fighters would have some difficulty adjusting to such a thing. Initially Inosuke was definitely a very antagonistic member of the group though, going as far as being ready to destroy a fellow demon slayer in order to take down one of the demons. Tanjiro had to go in and teach him a lesson. It’s definitely a common theme here that Tanjiro has to headbut/punch people back onto the right path. Inosuke ends up being more of a regular hero after that.

Then we have the iconic mountain arc. A family of spider demons have been murdering a whole bunch of Demon Slayers and essentially own the mountain. It’s difficult to deal with them because they can use their strings to manipulate the movements of the slayers and force them to destroy each other. Additionally one of them has the ability to turn others into spiders and then you have a member with pure power. Tanjiro’s crew is sent over to help out and it’s quite a bold order if you think about it since they were sent in as backup for a group of much higher ranked fighters. Needless to say this isn’t exactly easy. The three of them get split up and all have to deal with their own opponents now.

It was a nice showcase for all of the fighters. Ironically Zenitsu is really the only fighter able to handle his opponent without help. I guess it goes to show that his thunder breathing is really good. The show also highlights the weakness of only knowing one style though. Then you have Inosuke’s battle which is pretty solid. He has his confidence shaken at one point but then recovers enough to attack. Ultimately it wasn’t enough for him to win but he put up a really valiant effort. Finally you have Taijiro who had the iconic fight that everyone was talking about with the final sequence. The fight’s definitely top notch with all of the speed and energy attacks going into it. Nezuko and Tanjiro also got to team up for that effort.

The spider arc is probably also the darkest one though with the origin of how the demon spiders came to be. You’ve got betrayal but also a whole lot of punishments within the ranks. Anyone who defies Rui really ends up getting punished. He shreds his own family of demons quite a bit. The flashback where he effectively takes off one of their faces is pretty brutal and he also puts Nezuko through a lot. At that point Tanjiro definitely knew he had to step in. Rui’s tactic of taking his own head off to prevent anyone else from doing so was a pretty smart idea though. We know that demons can’t destroy each other so it makes sense that if he delivers himself a fatal blow then it’ll be tough for anyone else to do so.

You can definitely be a bit sympathetic to some of the other demons. Particularly the mother one had a pretty tough road. The sister seems sympathetic initially but then she has the flashback where she betrayed another demon and you figure she’s more manipulative than anything. One of the standout scenes of the arc aside from the flashy Tanjiro fight is certainly when two members of the Hashira show up. It’s always hype when you see backup of this level. You only get to experience the first fight for an upper rank once so this was a great way to do it. Gyu and Shinobu show up to offer much needed support and also show how much stronger they are than the average fighter.

Giyu immediately shows why he is the best character in the series (At least as of season 1) here. He’s incredibly powerful but also very reliable. Giyu was quick to defend Tanjiro when it counted. He’s certainly a lot slower to jump to murdering everyone compared to Shinobu. Shinobu’s also a great character though. I appreciated her backstory of why she hides her emotions. Effectively she is trying to fulfill someone’s last wish even if she really doesn’t agree with it. Her style of combat is also unique. She’s quietly quite sinister at times with the demons and it’s hard to say if she would have even kept her end of the deal with her offer to one of the spider demons. Perhaps though, we’re also shown that she has a kind side so maybe if the spider demon had agreed to the terms she would have been okay. That said, I can’t see this demon being able to resist humans the way that Nezuko could.

Finally the show ends with the heroes training at Shinobu’s estate and also meeting up with the Hashira. Naturally a lot of these guys are all in for murdering Nezuko and don’t really want to listen to reason. Giyu appears to be the only reasonable one again, even having to step in to stop the snake pillar from crushing Tanjiro. These hero meetings are always pretty hype though because now we’re really getting to see the whole roster of top level allies. All of these guys will be important down the road that’s for sure. I was glad Tanjiro wasn’t standing for their attacks on Nezuko and quickly jumped in. Nezuko is definitely given quite a hard time being forced to restrain herself so often.

This was a nice way to end things. We essentially got a preview of the future here and the villains had a similar meeting. For contrast Muzan spent it slaughtering all of his members except for one who is given another chance. Compared to how the leader of the Slayers handled the meeting by building everyone up, it was quite the contrast to be sure. We also get a good training arc here and I would say Tanjiro once again proves to be at the front of the class with Inosuke and Zenitsu both throwing in the towel early on. You can’t be a quitter and expect to reach the same heights as someone who trained hard from the start. Tanjiro’s good deeds are always rewarded as the teachers were inclined to give him tips on how to be stronger due to this.

I didn’t really talk about the characters earlier so lets run through the main ones. Tanjiro is an exceptional lead as you would expect. He’s always a nice guy who is still resolute in his mission to take down the demons. He’s very quick to protect Nezuko as well as anyone else who is threatened as seen in the proctor exam when he stopped another trainee from threatening the overseer. Nezuko is also a very solid heroine. From the start she is able to restrain herself from eating humans which is huge and she is also quick to support Tanjiro in his more difficult fights. She is a demon after all so her abilities are quite solid even if Tanjiro tries to protect her from having to engage in these battles.

Zenitsu is pretty good at his role of comic relief but he’ll likely always pale in comparison to the other characters. He’s not exactly the most heroic guy to the point where he hesitates a lot and always waits at the back of the line. He’s not a reliable sidekick to have and he is a little too obsessed with every girl he meets. For those reasons I wouldn’t say he is a quality character. Inosuke on the other hand is pretty great. He’s a vicious fighter who doesn’t give up very often. Inosuke loves competing with Tanjiro and in this way he continues to hone his skills. I like his competitive attitude although Tanjiro pretty much never jumps at the bait which really works Inosuke up. He certainly helps the dynamic.

Then you have Kanao who will have a much bigger role in the future. As of now though she has a pretty solid role here as she starts off pretty emotionless but Tanjiro at least shows her the potential of unlocking her emotions. She definitely had a rough backstory though so it’s easy to see why she sealed her emotions off. At the time I’m sure that was very helpful so she wasn’t hurt as much as she would have been by the tough conditions. Tanjiro’s teacher was also a pretty reasonable character although I thought he did a particularly poor job at preparing Tanjiro for the road ahead. Some basic things like teaching him more about breathing for long periods of time or at least a heads up that all of the other students went missing so something may be going haywire at the school. Instead he basically left Tanjiro to his own devices and we learned later on that he partially just didn’t want Tanjiro to succeed. It’s easy to see why since he doesn’t want anyone else to die but it’s rough on Tanjiro.

Overall, Demon Slayer is definitely a pretty intense show. It has really high production values and a lot of hype moments. While the best fight has to be Tanjiro vs Rui, I would say the most hype moment of the show was when Giyu faced off against Shinobu since there’s nothing Tanjiro can really do there except hope that Giyu comes out on top. The pacing of the episodes are solid and it all goes through in a breeze. The show tends to go too far with the violence though so expect some intense scenes in virtually every episode. As long as you don’t mind thing getting a little violent then I can definitely see you enjoying this one quite a bit. If you love the concept but want something a little tamer then I’d say to check out Yu Yu Hakusho which also involves quite a bit of demon hunting while also throwing in some tournaments for good luck. It’s pretty unique that the show continues with a movie before presumably going back into show format so if you want to stay current then you’ll need to check out the movie.

Overall 5/10

Demon Slayer Review


It’s time to finally take a look at another review I’ve had on the backburner since 2020. With this one done I’ll finally have everything caught up to 2021 for the first time in well, I can’t even recall how long it’s been since I was caught up. Demon Slayer finished a while back with a pretty solid run of 200+ chapters. Whenever a big Shonen Jump title ends you can always look back at the series and appreciate how much it accomplished. Demon Slayer is definitely a solid title that I would definitely recommend.

The series begins with Tanjiro heading down the mountain on a pretty routine supply run. Unfortunately when he heads back up the mountain he finds out that his family have been murdered by demons. Only his sister Nezuko was able to survive and she has now been turned into a demon. She can no longer be out where there is sunlight and survives on humans. Fortunately she is an exception to the last part of the curse and is able to regain energy by sleeping. Unfortunately the Demon Corps don’t trust her and so Tanjiro has to take special care to protect her from all harm. His only chance is to find Muzan, the king of the Demons and get the cure from him. Can Tanjiro save Nezuko?

Along the way that does mean he will need to hone his skills and become a true Demon Slayer. The opening part of the series really doesn’t hold back with showing what a long process this is. He spends almost 2 years just training on using a sword and the opening breath techniques before going out there to fight with the demons. The opening storylines give us some opening battles and introduce Tanjiro into the grisly world of demons. From the start Tanjiro is a very likable main character. He’s determined to save Nezuko above all else.

He’s typically more of a peaceful guy but if anyone attacks her then he cuts loose. He’s also sympathetic to the people who have been turned into demons without hesitating at a crucial moment or doing anything that would put other people in danger which I think is important. It’s always pretty annoying if someone hesitates and then everyone gets injured as a result. Tanjiro never makes that mistake. His abilities continue to improve throughout the series and he always balances himself as a powerhouse who never forgets how he got there or his kind hearted nature. You can always count on him to be a solid lead.

Nezuko’s a very solid heroine. As Tanjiro’s sister she is always ready to step in and protect him. Her ability to resist the urge to eat people is also impressive especially considering how much a bunch of characters try to press the issue. As a demon her physical abilities are also very impressive and she comes in handy for a bunch of the fights. She may not be able to talk as a demon but she still has a lot of character just appears to be very heroic. She was always a lot of fun to have around.

Then we have the main villain Muzan. As the king of the demons you can imagine that he’s very powerful. He’s an interesting villain as he doesn’t tend to show malice towards humans as much as other demons. In a way you can say he’s always a lot harsher towards the demons as he destroys them with ease. For the humans he just does so automatically without thinking about it much. There’s a scene early on in the manga where he was even trying to walk away without destroying any humans but naturally they attacked him and kept bothering so eventually he just destroyed them. Muzan has a presence throughout the series and always looks very powerful right through to the end. He’s definitely a stand out character who has an intimidating presence.

The first really big battle I would say is with Susamaru, the soccer demon. She stands out with her superb strength. At the time it was pretty hard for anyone to stand against her. We also got to meet two demons who are actually good people in Yushiro and Tamayo. Tamayo was a solid healer and a good quality character. Yushiro may be a much meaner character but I do understand his life debt to Tamayo and why he is so dedicated to protecting her all the time. Susamaru’s partner is less memorable since the guy mainly didn’t do any up close battling but I do have to say that his ability to control movements through arrows is pretty great. If anything it’s almost a broken ability with how good it was. If the guy trained more then I think he would have done quite well here.

After that we get our first big arc with all 3 of the main characters. Tanjiro meets up with a scared soul named Zenitsu in the middle of the road and then heads into an ever changing mansion where a demon is going around murdering people. A fellow demon hunter named Inosuke has been trapped in here for a while as well. The three of them manage to beat the demons and we get to see all of their respective personalities. Inosuke is extremely into battles, Zenitsu avoids them like the plague, and Tanjiro fights because he has to, but not because he wants to. In that sense they all have a contrast there.

Inosuke is a fun character to have around. He’s always ready for a fight and is very confident in his own abilities. His unpredictable style also comes in clutch. He may not reach the heights that Tanjiro achieves and it’s rare for a rival to not be able to keep up from the start but he still fights well. He gets his share of hype battles and his final battle was also really solid. You can always root for this guy. The other main ally Zenitsu isn’t quite as spectacular. He’s always afraid of everything and can’t even fight until he’s asleep. He flirts with everyone and is the show’s main comic relief character so for the most part you can’t expect too much for him. He does get his moments by the end of course but he can’t keep up with most of the characters.

With the introductions out of the way the first big arc takes place in the forest. A group of spider demons have been causing general mayhem to the point where whole squads of demon hunters have gone to investigate but quickly vanished afterwards. It’s no surprise because these spiders are all pretty difficult. Effectively they form a very twisted family full of abuse and injury. Each character gets their own fight and we also get to see the Hashira fight seriously for the first time. You could say this definitely felt like the springboard to the rest of the series since we see what powers the heroes could hope to unlock in the future.

The Spider demons don’t seem to have names which is surprising with how big of a role they got, but they do leave an impact. They’re all quite twisted though. You’ll probably feel bad for the mother demon if anything since she seemed like the nicest one. I still get the feeling none of them could be trusted of course, but the son and father demons are definitely the most twisted of the batch. This was certainly the darkest arc at its time with all of these elements going on. I’m thinking it was to really contrast how different Tanjiro’s family dynamic is here. So I don’t like any of the Spider demons but their powers were solid.

Giyu is one of the Hashira and one of the best characters in the series. He suffers from low confidence at times despite his great skill but he consistently comes through when it counts. I appreciate that he is one of the only people to stick up for Tanjiro initially and always seemed a lot more heroic than the others. He also did really well in the final battles. I would rank him as one of the more powerful fighters. While I would say Rengoku is the strongest Hashira, Giyu has to be quite up there after him. He’s also my second favorite character in the series behind Rengoku. Giyu showed that the water breathing techniques are still very solid on their own since Tanjiro ultimately left the style.

Shinobu is another Hashira member. She’s far more ruthless than Giyu and goes all in with trying to murder every demon that she comes across. Ultimately this is the mission of the Demon Slayers of course and she has strong reasons to oppose them from her origin story. She was quite clever in deciding to use poisons to take down her opponents since her raw power was slightly under that of the other fighters. She has a lot of great moments throughout the series and with her steely resolve was also one of the better characters in the series.

From there we get to the next big arc involving a train. Technically there’s a little training arc before that which is good for development and such but no big fights there. Basically a lot of people have been vanishing from a train so Rengoku is sent along with the main 3 to put a stop to this. This demon won’t go down easy though as he’s one of the lower moons and can manipulate dreams. As solid as the main arc is, the ending part is definitely the highlight here as we see the first big upper moon fight with Akaza. Can the heroes stop him?

This arc is definitely a big standout one. For starters the Akaza vs Rengoku fight may very well be the best one in the series. It’s just an excellent fight between two of the best characters in the series. There’s a whole lot of back and forth here and it’s such a high level fight that nothing could compare with it for quite a bit with the skill levels here. Everyone got a part to play in the arc although Tanjiro was definitely a standout character for doing a ton of the legwork. Nezuko also has to take a lot of the credit because without her the heroes definitely would have been doomed.

Kyojirou Rengoku really made a name for himself in this arc. I would go as far as to say he became the best character in the series. His fire fighting style is epic and his personality is also very solid. He did everything he could for the Demon Corps and always handled his duty with pride. The guy was a tough fighter through and through. He had to go through quite
a lot of emotional battles in his origin but he always managed to pull through and also remain as a beacon of inspiration for everyone else.

After that Tengen gets his arc. Once again there are a lot of people vanishing. This time it’s at a nearby village so the 3 Demon Slayers go undercover to get to the bottom of this. The villain is another top member of the Upper 6 so the heroes will have to find a way to win this time around. Additionally the fact that the heroes have to go undercover will make things pretty difficult as well. While not nearly as good as the last arc we do get some solid fights here. I just remember thinking that I feel like going in disguise to the village seemed rather pointless. Was there really a reason they needed to do this to track intel instead of just rushing in there? I feel like that would be more efficient especially since we have a few members like Tanjiro and Inosuke who can sense demon’s presence when they are around. So that whole part felt like it was stalling for time and just putting people’s lives in danger. Fortunately they eventually see why this isn’t a good idea and jump into action.

So the arc got a lot better once the action went through. Daki was a powerful villain and easily one of the strongest at this part in the series. Her fighting style using clothing to block attacks was impressive. She has a prolonged battle with Tanjiro that also helped set the stage for Tanjiro to finally get on Hashiro level by using the fire arts. They really went back and forth a lot before Daki used her trump card of summoning her brother Gyutaro to help her out. It was nice to see a pair of demons with an actual bond this time around and this also gave the heroes multiple fighters to deal with. This also felt like one of the longer fights in the series for sure.

Tengen wasn’t one of the better Hashira though. He puts people into dangerous situations and just waits it out a while. His sheer strength also seemed to be on a lower level from Rengoku’s but to be fair it’s hard to reach that level. His resolve was lower than some of the others as well since he ultimately didn’t stick on the path. He’s a decent character and not the worst Hashira or anything like that but he definitely can’t compete with the best ones.

In the next arc we get some more training with Tanjiro as well as character development for Genya when the demons strike again. Hantengu is the next opponent and he has the ability to split himself into 6. Fortunately for the heroes they have several Hashira at the ready this time such as Muichiro and Mitsuri. Tanjiro has also improved his skills quite a bit so he is ready to help out as well which is good since this is certainly one of the more powerful demons.

I like that the arc really starts off quickly and from there the battles don’t cease. There is a ton of action in this one and all of the characters are pushed to the brink. It makes sense that the demons would take the offensive. If anything if they were to all attack at once then the Demon Slayers would have gone down really easily. They can’t hope to compete thanks to their limitations on stamina and such. By attacking all of the various swordsmen around the demons also did some lasting damage to the ability to summon backup. If anything it’s lucky for the heroes that the series was nearly over or else they would have really been feeling the pain. The arc essentially gets us over to the final one.

Genya got a lot of development here. He definitely wasn’t one of my favorite characters but I’ll say that he looked good here. He was certainly quite determined to help the Demon Corps out. So despite not having a lot of talent he found a way he could help through eating other demons. That’s definitely a lot of dedication and his backstory was certainly tragic as well. Kanao is another member who isn’t quite a Hashira yet but she does really well. From the start you can tell that her abilities are above that of an average fighter’s. She effectively trained Tanjiro and friends for a while after all.

She gets a full character arc to herself, a big battle in the final arc and even helps out in the climax. Kanao’s definitely a quality character so it’s always good to see her doing well here. By the end I would definitely rank her quite highly. Mitsuri also plays a role here. She’s decent but I would say she never really stands out. As a character Mitsuri is heroic and does her best to help out but doesn’t have a whole lot of depth beyond that. Her strength is also rather standard among the Hashira. She does have her moments to be sure but does end up getting outshined most of the others.

Muichirou also gets a big role here and he’s one character who had a solid arc. Initially he is more of a space case who can’t concentrate on anything going on but eventually Tanjiro helps to show him a more heroic path. From there he manages to reach enlightenment and becomes a real power hitter. He looks consistently good throughout the rest of the series and I would also say he proved himself to be one of the stronger members as he awoke before a lot of the others. The series does love to have its characters start out rather emotionlessly but in a world filled with despair and demons it’s easy to see why a lot of characters take that approach. Muichirou also has some memory loss as well so it makes sense that he wasn’t fully awakened for a while.

Then we make it to the final arc. Muzan finally unleashes a full assault against the Demon Corps. It’s him and the final members of the 12 Kizuki against Tanjiro’s crew and the remaining Hashira. The whole arc is essentially nonstop battles and I remember weekly liking the fact that it all started so suddenly. One second Muzan was just having a low key confrontation and the next second the whole cast was there ready to act. The stakes were high and of course the heroes know that if they take down Muzan the whole war is over. There’s no reason to wait. Of course Muzan is the strongest demon so they need the sunlight to beat him. Part of the tension is that they effectively have to fight all night.

The series does a good job of increasing the tension here as the heroes keep having to dig deeper and deeper to try and dredge up the strength to keep on fighting. It’s definitely difficult when your opponent can keep regenerating like this. That’s why poisons really came in handy here. In particular one character was instrumental in helping save the day. Sometimes brawn isn’t all you need to win in a fight after all.

Obanai is one of the Hashira who didn’t really get a full arc before now. He’s sort of like the one dragon slayer in Fairy Tail who didn’t get to do much. I wouldn’t say I particularly warmed up to this guy though. He’s one of the less impressive Hashira in general because he never really gets to show off his abilities. In the end it’s like he never ended up winning a really big battle. I was definitely glad when Gyu basically pushed him away from Tanjiro to show where that guy stands.

Then you have Sanemi who has to be the meanest of the Hashira. I’d put him as the worst one. He goes quite far. Now, I understand the case for destroying Nezuko since she is a demon but he goes as far as to try and murder Tanjiro as well as severely injure his brother Genya. By the end of the series he explains his rationale for this but it’s still way too drastic for you to buy into. He just takes things way too far. Still, the guy is undoubtedly a very strong member of the Hashira. He doesn’t get a whole lot of fight scenes but he makes his moments count to be sure.

Finally you have Gyomei. He is always crying which didn’t help him stand out for me. You can cry for emotional moments absolutely like Mega Man X or Naruto, but this guy is constantly tearing up which could be a bit much at times. I do like his unique fighting style though. Using the wrecking ball and scythe makes it difficult to predict his movements. He was even said to be the strongest Hashira. While I wouldn’t go that far, he does get a whole lot of hype during the battles which is well deserved.

One character who never gets to appear in the present but got a lot of hype was Yoriichi. It’s too bad because even by the end of the series it’s clear that he was the strongest character in the verse. He defied the very natures of reality and was able to take just about anyone down in a clean strike. You can see a lot of similarities between him and Tanjiro to be sure. He did get a proper flashback story and everything though so we learned all we needed to about him. He was definitely a fun character.

His story ties into Kokushibo’s. Koikushibo is one of the more impressive Kizuki members. His sheer swordplay and talent is quite crazy. While I would still say that Akaza was the most impressive fighter despite his lower rank, this guy would be my next pick for strongest. Not only was he holding back multiple Hashira members at once but he was doing so quite easily. I was definitely a big fan of this guy. He may have been one of those villains who ultimately ended up cracking but he definitely left an impact.

The second ranked fighter Doma is definitely a lot more on the twisted side. He doesn’t have an honor code like the others. In fact he has no emotions so he doesn’t even realize how twisted he is. I didn’t like the guy in the slightest. At least he did give us some pretty intense battles though. The guy was not an easy foe which makes sense since he got such a good rank. Then there’s Nakime. She isn’t really a fighter but her spatial abilities are so fierce that she still got a very good rank. She’s not someone you can hope to defeat very easily. I wasn’t a big fan but at least she was one villain so loyal to Muzan that he never even thought of destroying her. His whims change a lot though so I doubt she was ever truly safe.

Finally there is Kaigaku. He sort of comes out of nowhere but it made sense to have him so that every character would have an emotional matchup at the ready. His skills weren’t bad either but I have to say that he was easily the weakest from the upper Kizuki members. The fact that he could barely hold his own in a 1 on 1 fight definitely did not help his case. He had a great design though, certainly a memorable one.

Well, that takes care of most of the characters. There is quite a big cast here which is not surprising in the slightest. The series did last over 200 chapters after all. It’s a strong cast we got here. The writing is also on point and a really good thing is that the series really avoided fanservice pretty much entirely. There’s like one page out of the entire series which is exceptional. At the end of the day the series has really strong fundamentals.

I’d say the only thing holding it back from being in the upper echelons of Jump is that the series can get pretty over the top violent and dark with some of the backstories and events here. Because the series is about demons and demon hunters that means there is a lot of regeneration going on here so the wounds end up cutting pretty deep. Characters are constantly sliced to bits, even the humans tend to get pulled through the ringer. Some of these demons are quite demented as they behead each other for fun or go around ripping faces. Doma’s big entrance scene in the final arc for example is one of those disturbing moments along with his preference for eating. While the series is able to effectively create a very desperate environment for the heroes so you constantly feel the stakes, this is usually a side effect of that. A common theme here is you can win the day, but it will certainly come at a price.

Still, the overall epic nature of the series and quality fights keep the series at a solid level. You will have a blast reading through the arcs with all the battle scenes and wide range of characters. There’s a good amount of replay value here and it’s the kind of series you can definitely binge. It seems unlikely that we would get a sequel series unfortunately but at the same time I’d say there’s always a possibility for it. I’m sure Shonen Jump wasn’t happy to lose one of their big hitters that’s for sure.

The artwork is pretty solid here. The author isn’t afraid of having prolonged action scenes and keeping the quality of the art up. The characters are fairly distinct. The only times a character could be mistaken was Kanao with her two sisters but they are meant to look similar and they all have different head pieces to help distinguish them. The battles are top notch and the character designs are very memorable so the series did quite well here. The art for the humor scenes is also handled pretty well. The facial expressions the characters make is always memorable and distinct. The series is always able to shift gears rather quickly.

Overall, Demon Slayer was definitely a very intense title. It’s one of the few series where you really have a hard time knowing which characters will be safe by the end. Naturally you do expect a good chunk of them to live of course but where most characters might take out 1-2 big characters by the end this series wasn’t afraid to throw a few more in. At the very least I was surprised by 2 of the characters who didn’t make it out. With the whole regeneration angle the series is able to get a little more violent than a lot of the other big Jump titles and is closer to something like Titan than Bleach but a lot of times it is in a combat context. If you’re looking for a serious action title to read through with high stakes then this is definitely the one to check out.

Overall 7/10

Kimetsu no Yaiba: Tomioka Giyuu Gaiden Review


It’s time to look at a quick prequel that takes place pretty early on in the Demon Slayer series. Based on some flashbacks here I’d say its probably around season 1 of the show. I still haven’t reviewed the manga yet so in a way I’m reviewing another spinoff before the main thing like with Sakura Wars. Unfortunately this prequel was pretty bad. It’s the kind of event that might happen in the main series but without the length and positives that an ongoing has to try and counter this kind of thing. This prequel is only two chapters long and squeezes in some animal violence which is definitely not a good thing. It means that this title was doomed from the start and just wasn’t able to pull ahead.

The adventure starts with Giyu murdering some more demons. Unfortunately it does seem like he’s murdering civilians so the cops try to take him in. Fellow pillar Shinobu shows up in time to rescue him. The two of them agree to team up briefly as there appears to be a demon on a nearby mountain. Unfortunately the only witness is a young girl who refuses to talk. She claims there is nothing here but the heroes know better. Will the Slayers be able to stop the demon or will it claim one more victim before they can stop it? It’s always rough when you have to deal with demons in an isolated area like this since they can hide just about anywhere.

Ultimately they just have to follow the girl and eventually find the demon. The story is going for grim dark right from the start. See, here’s how it plays out for her tragic origin story. Her father became a demon and murdered everyone except for the girl and her dog. He was able to control himself enough to escape but instead of telling anyone the girl vowed to destroy him herself. She trained for years and finally thought she was ready. Unfortunately that was not the case and the dog ends up getting murdered. The pillars show up and save her but it feels like too little too late. After beating the demon they head off.

So this is really just a quick story about taking down another demon. Why did it have to be to grim dark though? It seems like this tends to happen a lot with demons but for a quick one shot (Technically 2 chapters) this wasn’t a good move. Especially having the dog die the way that it did. There’s no reason for that. The art is good at least. It looks like the main series and the action scene isn’t bad. Of course, it’s not much of a fight because the two heroes here are pillars and this is just a random demon. It’s not like it would have been able to do much of anything against them.

Giyu is one of the more reasonable pillars. He’s not quite insane the way a lot of the others are and at least seems to have some compassion and empathy. He’s also one of the more skilled fighters if you ask me. Then you have Shinobu who is pretty fun. She’s definitely quite ruthless when it comes to demons but with other humans she is nice enough. She doesn’t really get to fight here as she mainly watches but would be able to destroy the demon in a hit if needed. I guess having both of them double team the demon would have felt like overkill.

There’s not a whole lot more to say about this one because it’s so short. I’m always up for expanding the series with different prequels and side stories. This one may have fallen flat but I still appreciate the idea behind it. The final page had an afterward hinting that we would get a bunch of others but either that fell through or they just haven’t been scanned yet. I’m confident that we could get some stories that are way better than this one so I’ll just keep on looking forward to those. The world is vast and the main series only covered part of it so there’s still a lot they can do.


Overall, This was a short story that was pretty bad. The plot is paper thin and the adventure relies on a ton of shock value. It’s a shame because the art is god and the two main characters have some decent banter. A good idea would have been to have the whole story be a clash of ideologies or something. A day in the life of the pillars would be fun and we don’t necessarily need demon slaying here. If you do have it in, just have the characters fight them in the background while talking. Keep the pets out of it and you’re good. Ah well, better luck next time. Even if you like Demon Slayer I recommend skipping this one. There’s really no point to the story and as a result there’s no reason to ever read it.

Overall 2/10

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba


Demon Slayer is definitely a title that’s been making a lot of waves lately. The fire fight in the forest sure got popular and in general it seems to have hit the mainstream. The manga’s off to a good start, the art style may not be great but I’ve only read the first volume so far so we’ll see how well it improves. I’ll have a review up for the series once it finishes.

Overall 6/10