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So the other day I asked my friend, who went to watch Mugen Train with me and others, if she liked the Demon Slayer series (yes, she went without having watched the series but that was on me, I forgot DS was on Netflix and I didn’t tell her ;;;) and she just smiled and said she loved it. I thought to myself, why does everyone that I know love this series? Maybe I watched it incorrectly?!
If that doesn’t give you a clue about how I felt about Demon Slayer…well, how can I be more direct?
I will try not to spoil anything but just in case, BEWARE minor spoilers!
Demon Slayer takes places in Taishō-era Japan (early 1900s) and we follow the life of one 13 year old Tanjiro Kamado, the breadwinner of the Tanjiro family. One day, Tanjiro walks down the mountain he lives at to sell some charcoal (and do a few menial tasks) at the nearby village. On his way back home at night, he is stopped by a villager who tells him to stay the night, or else be devoured by demons, who are said to only be active at night. Tanjiro doesn’t believe in demons but decides to stay the night after seeing the grave and serious expression of the man. However, when he comes home the next morning, it’s to find his whole family, mother and siblings, all slaughtered
The only survivor, as he comes to learn, is his sister Nezuko, however, she’s been transformed and is now a demon herself. Vowing to turn her back into a human, Tanjiro’s life as a Demon Slayer, the only beings able to fight on par with demons, begins
As you guys might remember, I wrote up a first impression on the first seven episodes of this series and since my opinion hasn’t changed all that much, I’d like to recommend you all check that out
I mentioned in that post that I was leaning towards a 6 or 7 rating and after finishing the series and sitting on my thoughts for a while, I have decided to give it a 7/10! What does this mean? For me this is above average, that there were a lot of good elements in the anime, but that (for some reason) the series fell short. It could be something simple and in this case, I have to admit it was my enjoyment
I really did like it, but it’s the sort of enjoyment I get from eating non-spicy food. And I LOVE spicy food so much that non-spicy food is tasteless to me *crowd starts booing and throwing tomatoes at me*
But I think I also have to be honest with you guys. The biggest reason I probably didn’t like this is because the boys didn’t excite me. YES, Giyu got me but he did AT THE END when he was protecting Tanjiro. And yes, Tanjiro was cute and his work ethic is Admirable and smiles were adorable, but it’s almost like he lived in a bubble where his only focus was Kyoji Mujo and just…
Are you really telling me that after 26 episodes I had little to no motivation shipping anyone?! How is this even possible?!
I mean Zenitsu is just obsessed with Nezuko, which is kind of weird. Like, bro, you just saw her and suddenly want to protect her when she can clearly take care of herself. Stop being so weirdly obsessive, but also you’re kind of funny and how does Tanjiro feel about this?! OMG, remember that episode where Tanjiro is protecting Nezuko’s beauty and adorableness
And Inosuke…well, he likes to hide his cute face so I can’t really take him very seriously
So as you can see, my dilemma is Very Serious. That said, my opinions on the “side characters” is on the verge of tumbling. I really do think that Zenitsu is funny and his constant fear is valid, but it’s getting to the point (at many times) where he becomes kind of annoying. I like the background story we get for him and I applaud his sensei for never giving up on Zenitsu but Zenitsu just won’t…try?
I get that he’s afraid and he doesn’t want to die but when you live in a world where if you don’t do anything the chances of you dying increases, and if you have the power, why not try to hone it, use it to your advantage? Which reminds me, did I miss it or did they not explain why he’s a Demon Slayer? Because now I feel confused as to why he’s doing this when he could potentially just not go out looking for demons
On the flip side, I’m also extremely curious about his abilities. I want to know and see if he’ll eventually level up or if he will manage to perfect his only attack into something even better. I mean, maybe he’ll be able to be conscious when he uses it? That’s improvement!
Between Zenitsu and Inosuke, I have to admit that Inosuke ends up lagging behind for me. I LOVE his fighting prowess and he’s his own idiot funny, but there’s just something about him that doesn’t click with me. I’m finding that both of these guys are nearing my limit of screaming tolerance but I really want to like them. I think that if I didn’t like them, I would have less to like about the show overall
One of the things that I mentioned that I wasn’t a huge fan of in my first impression was the art, but the more episodes I watched, the more I just started to get used to it all. I still felt some shock when a new pupil-less character would appear, but it was quick and then I’d focus back on the plot (vs. before I wouldn’t be able to look away as I started deep into their eyes, trying to find the pupil)
I also realized that the parts that made me dizzy were probably CG. This was something I couldn’t really get used to but I noticed there weren’t a lot of these moments later so I was glad
My favorite moment in the anime was probably the 5-6 episodes where Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu faced off against the spider family, but it also reminded me of that one fanfiction story called Oh, Did You Have a Sob Story Too, Sasuke?, which is basically just a crack fic where Naruto goes through all the sob stories that the Naruto cast have (and funnily enough misses Sasuke’s sob story). How does this connect? Well, I’ve come to the realization that (apparently) most demons have sob stories. What’s wrong with being evil?!
But I suppose their stories make Kyoji Mujo even eviler (I’m never going to remember his name at this rate)
But another reason that I really enjoyed those episodes was Nezuko. Well, Tanjiro and Nezuko, but I’d like to highlight Nezuko because one of my concerns in my first impression was her growth. I still think she’s very conveniently un-demonlike but I have enjoyed her growth and characterization. I think she has more personality now (just look at that glare!) and I’m pretty excited to see what happens next on her front
Towards the end of the series (aka. the last five episodes) we finally get to see Giyu again!!! And more than once! But we’re also introduced to so many new characters. In my head they are all just “the Hashira” because names are hard to remember, but one that really took the ending spotlight was…the Butterfly Girl (ok let me look her up)
I feel conflicted about Shinobu. On the one hand, she almost cut Giyu and was the enemy but on the other hand, it’s because of her that Tanjiro and the other two idiots are able to become stronger. Would I trust her with my life? HECK NO. I feel like she’d do away with me while smiling if I so much as look at her wrong
So do I care for her backstory? No. Do I think she’s cool? Yeah, kind of. I haven’t especially warmed up to her but she’s also not a very main character yet. I think that’s also another thing I wasn’t feeling. The characters just feel very meh. Tanjiro is the most fleshed out but he’s also the main character. Meanwhile, Zenitsu and Inosuke are very fitting to their character archetype and Giyu…well, he kind of is too
Another character that we might be seeing more of is Kanao and the way she be looking at my boy Tanjiro has got me WORRIED. I can’t believe I’m watching such a straight show
I can understand why people love this series but so far it’s not my best fit. The art (if it doesn’t bother you) and animation are solid, the development and growth of the characters is on point and even believable, the fights are engaging, and even the characters can be fun. We’re slowly seeing Tanjiro and co. engage stronger enemies, learning from these fights, and then, hopefully, leveling up. There’s also the added bonus of having an uncomplicated end goal and seeing progression towards that goal
Perhaps that’s also why I feel it’s fitting of a 7. It feels very uncomplicated and straightforward, and the amount of times I screamed in excitement was zero
But now that I’ve finished it and spilled my disappointed guts at you all, what do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? I don’t really know anyone who hasn’t enjoyed Demon Slayer so I’m feeling a bit nervous being contrary but it is what it is. I will continue to the second season whenever it comes out (will probably not follow it, most likely will wait and watch in one go) since I’ve already invested so much into this
Well then, until next time~