Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Season 1 | Summary, Recap & Review | Tanjiro Kamado's Journey Begins!
Check out our Summary & Review of Season 1 of the anime, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba! Tanjiro and Nezuko are introduced and begin their journey!
Demon Slayer, a popular anime series that premiered in April 2019, quickly gained a massive following among anime fans worldwide. By December 2020,1 the franchise had generated an estimated $2.7 billion, and with the release of the highly successful film, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train, in North America, that number is expected to soar even higher. Many fans are wondering what made the series so appealing and whether season 2 will be just as successful.
The Winning Anime Formula: Shonen Legacy and Engaging Characters
One reason for the show's popularity is its combination of elements from beloved shonen anime like Dragon Ball and Naruto, as well as the addition of endearing characters like Nezuko Kamado. The series also boasts stunning animation that sets it apart from other anime in the crowded shonen genre. While a large marketing budget undoubtedly played a role in the show's success, the fact that it was an adaptation of a popular manga with an established fanbase also helped to expedite its popularity.
Overall, Demon Slayer's unique blend of classic shonen elements, engaging characters, and exceptional animation has contributed to its enormous success, and fans eagerly anticipate the next season of the show.
Demon Slayer: Season 1 Recap & Summary
Meet Tanjiro Kamado: A Journey of Tragedy, Training, and Vengeance
Meet Tanjiro Kamado, a young protagonist whose life takes a tragic turn when his family is mercilessly slaughtered by a demon. Despite being gravely wounded, Tanjiro's sister, Nezuko, survives the attack. Desperately seeking medical help, Tanjiro rushes to town with his sister in tow. However, Nezuko suddenly awakens and attacks him, forcing Tanjiro to defend himself. Fortunately, an extraordinary swordsman appears just in time to save the day.
The Mysterious Swordsman: Giyu Tomioka
The swordsman attempts to slay Nezuko, but Tanjiro valiantly shields his demon sister with his life. Although Tanjiro is no match for the swordsman, he earns the man's respect for his bravery. He discovers that the swordsman is a member of the mysterious Demon Slayer Corps, an underground force that battles demons. Eventually, we learn that the mysterious man's name is Giyu Tomioka.
Becoming a Demon Slayer: Trials and Triumphs
Determined to become a skilled demon slayer, Tanjiro undergoes rigorous training under the tutelage of the retired Water Hashira, Sakonji Urokodaki. After years of training at Mount Sagiri, Tanjiro, equipped with his new Water Breathing Technique, sets off for the final selection of the Demon Slayer Corps. Surviving the selection proves to be a daunting task as the battleground is teeming with demons of varying power levels.
During the final section, Tanjiro confronts a powerful demon who was responsible for the deaths of several of Urokodaki's students. Through sheer determination, Tanjiro triumphs over the demon and learns of the his tragic past.
He eventually passes, becomes a Demon Slayer, and is given his first mission: to slay the Swamp Demon who has been killing many women. With Tanjiro's wit and new skills, he succeeds and saves the town from the demon.
Confronting Muzan Kibutsuji, Battling Powerful Demons, and Searching for a Cure
In his quest to avenge his family and rid the world of demons, Tanjiro heads to Tokyo and encounters Muzan Kubutsuji, the demon who slaughtered his family. Tanjiro attempts to confront him, but Kubutsuji creates a diversion, forcing Tanjiro to deal with an innocent bystander who has been turned into a demon. Lady Tamayo, a demon doctor, intervenes and offers to help Tanjiro revert Nezuko back to a human. However, this requires retrieving blood samples from powerful demons.
As Tanjiro embarks on his next mission, he faces fierce opposition from two demons sent by Kubutsuji. Despite sustaining severe injuries, Tanjiro emerges victorious. His crow then leads him to the next mission assigned by the Demon Slayer Corps headquarters.
Friendships Forged: Tanjro, Nezuko, Zenitsu and Inosuke
As Tanjiro journeys to his next demon target, he meets Zenitsu Agatsuma, a timid boy who also passed the final selection and is also a member of the Demon Slayer Corps. Together, they press on to their destination, only to come across two terrified children who witnessed their brother being taken by a demon. Tanjiro charges into the demon's dwelling, with Zenitsu reluctantly trailing behind.
Though Tanjiro instructs the children to stay outside with his pack (where Nezuko is sleeping), they follow the boys inside, driven by fear of the noises coming from Tanjiro's box. The group is then split up, with Tanjiro and Zenitsu forced to fight alone. In the midst of his battle, Tanjiro encounters Inosuke Hashibira, a demon slayer wearing a boar's head who also passed the final selection.
Inosuke attempts to fight Tanjiro, but the demon's power ejects him from the room. Tanjiro ultimately emerges victorious against the demon, and heads outside to find Inosuke brutally assaulting Zenitsu. Tanjiro quickly intervenes and stops the attack. The crow then instructs the three demon slayers to go to a nearby caretaking facility to rest and receive treatment for their injuries.
Battling Rui of the Twelve Kizuki and Meeting the Hashira
After a few days of rest, the group, now consisting of Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu, and Inosuke, heads up a mountain for their next mission. However, they quickly realize that the mission is beyond their abilities. They discover that one of the Twelve Kizuki is among the demons they are fighting. Two Hashira, Giyu Tomioka and Shinobu Kocho, are sent to rescue them.
Tomioka saves Inosuke from certain death in his battle against a giant demon acting as the patriarch of a family of spider themed demons. Meanwhile, Shinobu helps cure Zenitsu, who, in his battle against one of the spider demons, has been injected with a poison capable of turning himself into a spider. Tomioka rushes to aid Tanjiro, who is locked in a life-or-death battle against Rui, the Lower Rank 5 of the Twelve Kizuki.
Tomioka eventually intervenes and defeats the demon. Shinobu, unaware of the situation, tries to kill Nezuko, but the two Hashira engage in a brief fight until the crow instructs them to bring Tanjiro and his sister before the court to decide their fate. At the court, the majority of the Hashira call for Tanjiro and Nezuko's execution, but the 97th leader of the Demon Slayer Corps, Oyakata-sama, orders their immediate release.
He explains that Urokodaki had informed him of the unique circumstances surrounding Tanjiro and his sister's situation, and after careful consideration, he finds them acceptable. Shinobu then brings Tanjiro to her home for training, where he works hard for months alongside Kanao Tsuyuri to become stronger and defeat Kubutsuji. The season ends with a teaser for the movie, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train.
Demon Slayer: Season 1 Review
Demon Slayer possesses all the necessary traits of a great anime. With high-paced story development, constant action, multi-dimensional characters, and state-of-the-art animation, it comes as no surprise that this series attracted so much attention since its 2019 debut.
From the first few scenes of this series, viewers immediately notice the amount of effort and detail put into each and every frame of this anime. Complementing the beautiful aesthetics of the series is an incredibly strong voice-acting cast which helps to encapsulate the emotions of the dialogue. If you are a fan that typically watches anime dubs, you should escape your comfort zone for this series and watch in its original state because the work is flawless.
Demon Slayer: A Unique Approach
With a total of 6 story arcs and 26 episodes, it is clear that the first season packs a significant amount of information into each episode. This helps set Demon Slayer apart from other shonen anime that have hundreds of episodes and very slow, gradual story development. As a result, more viewers who begin the series watch to completion because there is a greater sense of gratification from each episode.
Furthermore, this series strategically targets a wide range of anime fans with a PG12 rating. It appeals to both older and younger audiences alike. Older viewers find the gory visuals thrilling while younger fans enjoy the traditional samurai hero nature of Tanjiro.
Tanjiro Kamado: The Ideal Protagonist
Demon Slayer created an immediate impact on its viewers with a horrifying first episode in which Tanjiro heads home one day only to find the bloody corpses of his entire family spread across his home. This in addition to finding that his sister had become a demon were incredibly traumatic and forced him to mature at a young age.
In spite of his anger toward demons, Tanjiro remains empathetic toward them. He adheres to a strict set of principles and never wavers from them. Tanjiro is the ideal protagonist with a kind heart and a strong spirit. He is determined to save both his sister and any others that have been converted into demons. This attitude makes Tanjiro the ideal hero. He frequently displays his care for others in the face of adversity. Tanjiro says multiple times that he values Nezuko's life above his own. This makes his character feel much more honest and admirable to viewers.
Nezuko Kamado: A Wholesome Presence
The next character that fans adore is Nezuko. She makes the anime feel wholesome despite the fact that death is a major theme underlying the series. Even without speaking, Nezuko serves as one of the most loved females in the history of anime.
It is easy to forget when watching her sleep or crawl around on the floor that she is a demon. Her beauty amazes everyone she encounters and her brother takes great pride in it. Although Tanjiro does not mind insults directed toward himself, he is extremely offended if someone insults his sister.
The bond between these two siblings is largely responsible for why Nezuko seems to still have control over her actions and impulses. In addition, this bond pushes both Nezuko and Tanjiro to get stronger in order to protect one another. Every time they fight together, they seem to elevate their abilities tenfold. In episode 19, during the fight against Rui, Tanjiro and Nezuko perform some of the most impressive attacks in all of anime. This entire battle along with the theme of sibling love results in a very powerful and emotional impact on the audience.
Inosuke Hashibira and Zenitsu Agatsuma
In addition to the lovable siblings, Demon Slayer also dedicates lots of screen time to two of Tanjiro’s battle pals, Inosuke and Zenitsu. Both of these demon slayers are very charismatic and add to the comedic element of the anime.
Inosuke is a meat-head who spent his entire life training in a rural area of Japan, isolated from the rest of humanity. As such, he struggles with social interactions and initially expresses no concern for anyone but himself. However, his character rapidly develops after meeting Tanjiro who demonstrates that strength is not the only thing that matters as a demon slayer. Inosuke’s character shifts particularly in the Natagumo Mountain arc as he is forced to battle alongside Tanjiro in order to succeed against their powerful foes. It becomes apparent that Tanjiro motivates Inosuke to get stronger.
On the other hand, Zenitsu lacks self-confidence and only became a demon slayer to repay his grandfather who saved him from an enormous debt he assumed from a past relationship. Although Zenitsu believes he does not have the ability to slay demons, he possesses incredible strength. However, this power is only available to him while unconscious due to a strong mental barrier. In addition to training under his grandfather, a former Hashira, Zenitsu was struck by lightning giving him astonishing electrical abilities.
Character Development and Societal Issues
While Zenitsu’s character is aggravating to viewers at times, he represents an important societal issue. Amid great competition, many struggle to believe in themselves thus devaluing their self-worth. This is especially true for teenagers struggling to settle on a career path. Many students tell themselves that they are not smart enough to become a doctor or work for NASA when all it would take is hard work and determination.
Like Inosuke, Tanjiro is influencing Zenitsu and helping him gain confidence through training and experience. His development is certainly more gradual than Inosuke’s so this will likely become a more pervasive theme in the second season.
The Visual Marvel of Demon Slayer
The great set of characters as a foundational basis for Demon Slayer, it already makes the series a pleasurable experience. However, with help from the jaw-dropping animation and captivating storyline, the quality of the anime elevates to a whole new level.
Studio Ufotable did a wonderful job in developing both the animation and scripts for this series. It is often difficult to meet the expectations of fans with manga adaptations of best-selling series. However, from the dynamic backgrounds to the detailed character design, the anime brings out an element missing from the manga.
Engaging Visual Creativity
Demon Slayer trumps nearly all other shonen in visual creativity. There is a stark contrast in color scheme of the background and characters to the attacks, which make them more eye-catching thus increasing engagement and attention levels of viewers. Some of the battles feel so immersive that viewers forget they are watching through a screen. It truly feels like you have been transported into another universe. As such, adrenaline levels surge at the climax of nearly every episode resulting in the viewer’s craving to watch more. It is certainly not uncommon to binge-watch the entire anime in a matter of a few days.
With hardly any filler content, the series urges you to continue watching until reaching the conclusion, and even then waiting in great anticipation for the next season.
Investment and Production Quality
A tremendous sum of money was poured into the production of this series from the licensing to the voice casting and animation, but it certainly paid off considering the quality of the final product. Some companies dump millions of dollars into an anime, but still finish with a very mediocre result. Fortunately, this was not the case with Demon Slayer thanks to director Haruo Sotozaki and staff at Ufotable studio.
With such a talented group of individuals masterminding the anime, the second season of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba anime will likely turn out just as entertaining or even better than the first. In addition, with such great support from the fanbase, there will be no shortage of resources to draw from during the production of this new season.
Anticipating Changes and Improvements for Season 2 & The Mugen Train Arc
In light of the anime series and film’s enormous success, the budget will definitely be higher for this next season. It will be interesting what changes the studio decides to make in animation style. With how popular the initial animation techniques were amongst fans, hopefully we will find no major deviations in this department.
One particular area I anticipate will receive some adjustments is the foley. Although there was nothing terribly wrong with the sound effects, a tremendous amount of music was used in lieu of the
natural sound of the world.
Final Thoughts on Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Anime
Overall, Demon Slayer is an anime series worthy of praise. On a surface level, the characters are incredibly powerful and determined, but also easy-going with hilarious mannerisms and quips that ease the tension during intense moments. Fans certainly have a wide variety of options to choose from in choosing a
favorite character which makes the series fun to watch with friends.
Many people have differing opinions on certain characters and it is easy to enter a heated conversation as to whether, for example, Zenitsu is an annoying coward or an elaborate womanizer. In addition to the great character set, the beautiful artwork functions as a great accompaniment to the engaging storyline.
Impact and Score of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Season 1
Since 2019, Demon Slayer has been the most enticing series for non-anime fans. And it has certainly converted thousands of individuals into weeaboos. The impact of this series on shonen anime should not be understated as it will likely bring about a new era of anime for years to come. Taking into consideration all the information mentioned above, this series earns a score of 9.2/10.
The only drawback in the series at present pertains to the foley work and a shortage of plot twists which makes certain events feel too predictable. Otherwise, the first season of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is the ideal shonen series and certainly deserves a watch from all those who consider themselves an anime fan.
Final Score: 9.2/10
1Wikipedia contributors. (2021). Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from Wikipedia.
What is Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba about?+
The series follows Tanjiro Kamado's quest to avenge his family and cure his sister Nezuko, turned into a demon. He masters breathing styles to battle demons.
What is the plot and recap of Demon Slayer season 1?+
Season 1 follows Tanjiro Kamado's journey to become a Demon Slayer after his family is massacred by demons. He seeks revenge and a cure for his demon sister, Nezuko.
What is the storyline of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba?+
The storyline revolves around Tanjiro's quest to avenge his family by joining the Demon Slayer Corps. He masters breathing styles, battles demons, and seeks a way to restore his sister's humanity.
Who is Tanjiro Kamado?+
Tanjiro is the protagonist whose family is slaughtered by demons. He becomes a Demon Slayer, aiming to save Nezuko and avenge his family.
Who are Nezuko, Inosuke, and Zenitsu?+
Nezuko is Tanjiro's demon sister; Inosuke is a wild demon slayer, and Zenitsu is a cowardly yet strong demon slayer. All are key characters.
How popular is the Demon Slayer series?+
Demon Slayer became a global phenomenon, generating billions in revenue. Its unique approach, strong characters, and beautiful animation have captured a huge worldwide audience.
Why should I watch Demon Slayer?+
Demon Slayer offers a thrilling story, unique characters, and stunning animation. It's an ideal choice for anime fans seeking an engaging experience.