Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor
“Kimetsu no Yaiba,” also called “Demon Slayer” or “Blade of Demon Destruction” took the anime community by storm in 2019. Produced by studio Ufotable, Kimetsu no Yaiba is an exciting action-fantasy with man-eating demons in human form. The show features stunning 2D and 3D animation and visual effects, a beautiful soundtrack, sympathetic villains, and interesting, fleshed out characters.
“Demon Slayer” begins with Kamado Tanjiro, a teenage boy who takes care of his mother and younger siblings after the passing of his father. One day, he travels into town to sell charcoal for his family and has to stop for the night at the request of a friendly mountain dweller. When he returns home the next morning, he finds that his family had been slaughtered by demons that night before. Soon, he finds his sister, alive by a hair’s breadth, and carries her down the mountain in search of help.
During this run, he encounters a demon slayer by the name of Tomioka Giyuu. They exchange words, and blades, and eventually Giyuu sends Tanjiro off to become a demon slayer in the hopes of finding a way to turn his now monstrous sister back to normal. Through his training and journey, he meets, fights, and befriends both demons and demon hunters alike. With his water breathing technique he masters swordsmanship to cut through the demons and track down the original demon Kibutsuji Muzan, who looks oddly like Michael Jackson.
The show uses a unique stylization with its action, animating sword strokes and the demon blood arts as independent figures and forms with shape and texture rather than just the weapon itself. One great example of this is Yahaba, a demon that has the power to change and manipulate the direction of motion of an object. His summons arrows that can be stamped on, wrapped around, and attached to objects and people to move them in the direction they are facing. This adds a great visual quality to the show that other action animes would usually just use motion blur and impact marks for.
Additionally, the show is animated with a good portion of 3D modeling rather than the 2D hand drawn animation. There is a lot of debate in anime fan bases as to whether 3D animation is good, “real” anime, or even comparable, but in this show it was used in a way that added dynamic motion and action as well as eye catching settings and scenery all while not being so obvious it is distracting. Ufotable is well-known for using 3D animation well in other shows such as “Kara no Kyoukai ” and the Fate series.
On top of the great animation and the plot, the show also features a wide variety of fun and interesting character designs from the original manga author/artist. Some of these are the frighteningly strong “family” of spider demons, Susamaru (a demon that plays with a throwing ball), and Muzan himself who can change his appearance seemingly at will. Outside of the demons is also Agamatsu Zenistu whose blonde hair originates from being struck by lightning, and Hashibira Inosuke who wears a boar’s head everywhere because of his effeminate face.
The show is guaranteed to catch the fancy of most people, even those who aren’t the biggest fan of action (I was able to convince my family to sit down and all watch it together for a night, only one of whom watches anime) with its story, comedy, and cuteness. The show is available in both Japanese and English and is available on Hulu and Crunchyroll. It is 26 episodes long with a movie, titled “Demon Slayer: Mugen Train,” which was released on Oct.16.