Demon Slayer: Season 1, Part II – Anime Analysis

Series Premiere: April 6, 2019
Licensed by: Madman
Episodes Commissioned: 26
Studio: Ufotable
Manga: 23 (As of March 2021)

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (鬼滅の刃)

Madman
Entertainment

Some History...

Demon Slayer is without a doubt, the industry's most popular Japanese Animated action series, While My Hero Academia sits comfortably in its throne, it's undeniable that the long-running superhero adaptation is in its twilight phase, ready to pass the torch and there's no series quite like this, to perch itself comfortably in a potential void left in My Hero's stead. A story penned with excellence, and well thought structure elevates and accentuates pivotal plot points, with every diversion in this epic saga. While its source material remains lightyears ahead of the anime, for the unacquainted, Demon Slayer continues to be compulsory viewing for lovers of this great medium. The untouchable demonstration in quality continues to enrich this franchise through to its initial season's climax, proving for a nonchalant, yet compelling tale. I professed my adoration for its original narrative that encapsulates an essence unfound in other anime of its period, in our Analysis covering the first half of this season, thanks to Madman Australia.

Equipped with every ingredient to solidify this series as one of the greatest ever, Kimestu no Yaiba Part II translates events from Chapter 26 of the Manga, during the Tsuzumi Mansion arc. With unimaginable events transpiring in Episode 13 that leaves Tanjiro and Zenitsu challenged both mentally and physically, along with the all important decision to surrender Nezuko to the Warthog-headed Slayer, our heroes' escapade came to a midway divergence with immeasurable implications. The welfare and safety of Tanjiro's sister was on the line. While deemed a threat to humanity, Tanjiro's unabashed desire to exorcise his sister was willing his crusade forward with no abdication in sight. After everything he and his possessed sibling had gone through, the young slayer was determined to cure Nezuko, even if it meant eradicating and betraying close acquaintances along the journey. Demon Slayer: Season 1, Part 2 begins here.

⚠ Main Plot (Warning: Spoilers)

Decapitating a possessed Drum Demon, Kyogai’s body bleeds out with the possessed humanoid defeated at the hands of our young protagonist, Tanjiro. Rescuing Teruko and Shoichi, the two siblings once held captive by Kyogai, Tanjiro exits the villa to find Zenitsu bloodied and battered, clutching onto a small wooden container carrying his younger sister. The golden maned hero had protected Nezuko from the boar wearing, short tempered Demon Slayer, Inosuke Hashibira. As both Inosuke and Tanjiro are sworn by the Demon Slayer Corps, they cannot draw swords against one-another. Instead the combatants initiate close ranged melee combat, with Tanjiro striking the shirtless warrior in his ribs. Tanjiro explains his unwillingness to fight as they are both rallying for the same cause, but the bewildered slayer takes this as an invitation to a bare-knuckled brawl.

Inosuke rushes Tanjiro, as the two prepare to engage in battle but is immediately halted by Tanjiro, after a swift headbutt sends the warthog helmet flying off his compatriot’s head revealing a feminine-featured child, with a huge welt attached to his forehead. While the young samurai lays unconscious recouping from a minor concussion, the group begin to bury victims of the Drum Demon’s previous onslaught. Inosuke awakens to ignorantly challenge Tanjiro once again, but the intelligence of our young hero proves to exceed his opponent’s, using reverse psychology to encourage Inosuke to aid the group in burying the deceased. Without fail, Inosuke’s naïve personality overcomes him with determination to tackle the proposed task with ease, proving to be the best in the group. Soon thereafter, all victims are buried with the young siblings parting ways with the group.

Descending from the mountain, the trio of Slayers including the contained Nezuko are guided by a Kasugai crow towards a mansion, emblazoned with a wisteria crest. The crow informs the group to rest until all their wounds are healed. The patrons of the manor are survivors, once saved by Demon hunters that volunteer in tending to the warrior’s needs. Providing sanctuary to the group, along with a hearty meal and a change of clothes the group recuperate not before Inosuke provokes Tanjiro once more, in hopes of continuing their battle for unidentified supremacy. Calm, cool and collected, Tanjiro blows off the wild battler’s request, while a doctor reveals that all three combatant’s are injured with cracked ribs. Settling in for the evening, Inosuke opens up to his newfound group of friends, explaining to Tanjiro his initial misguided resentment toward Demon Slayers, once defeating a hunter in combat but found the concept of becoming a bounty hunter intriguing. Zenitsu queries Tanjiro about his sister, and why he was pursuing a mythical cure. Upon hearing this, Nezuko exits the container to the delight of Zenitsu, who is captivated by her beauty. Not understanding that Nezuko was indeed his sister, Zenitsu chases down Tanjiro declaring his love for her hoping to “purge” her older brother. Inosuke falls asleep.

The following day, the group traverse towards Mount Natagumo, a valley infested with large arachnid creatures – more or less huge spiders; not an episode for the arachnophobe for sure. Fearing for his safety, Zenitsu cowers and stays below the peak while Tanjiro and Inosuke make the climb where they rescue fellow slayers that had been entangled in large webs. While the ongoing events transpire, the crow flies back to Kagaya Ubuyashiki, the leader of the Demon Corps reporting the entire situation to the monarch. The crow details the many slayers that were trapped in Natagumo which urges Ubuyashiki to send the Hashira out to save the lone soldiers. The Hashira are the clan’s most powerful soldiers, trained for war. Giyu and Shinbobu, two of the clans leading warriors are summoned, and set the objective in which they accept. This leads Shinobu to ask Giyu the confounding possibility of Demons and Humans living in harmony. Giyu disagrees with him stating that the Demon was a human devouring creature that had to be eradicated.

Leading off the plot, the disparity between Giyu’s thoughts and Tanjiro’s pursuit were ensured to clash, and boy does this season expediently pick up the pace. After a tidy first half, this is where Demon Slayer’s challenging plot begins to unwind and show its unequivocal nature in narrative, and presentation; a series that remains above the rest. My undying devotion to this incredible plot only grows as I viewed the remaining 12 episodes, with every twist and turn, every gob-smacking destination and setting, and the quirks of each character delivering a sensational viewing experience. Tanjiro’s resolve grows stronger, and his belief in finding a cure for his sister protrudes through every emotion evoked. An infectious will grows further into the series, cultivating in an unmissable climax. The introduction of Inosuke and Zenitsu helps break some monotony that tends to set in at the season’s midway point, introducing a coupling of comical relief into the cast.

Zenitsu’s passion to protect Nezuko, while assisting Tanjiro brings forward some heart warming moments while his personality clash with Inosuke’s uncontrollable character poses a delightful contrast and mixture within the group. Nezuko’s character development shows her understanding of the demonic nature she carries, while tendencies and urges are put in question with her underlying innocence taking a stronghold of her own mental fortitude – it makes for the most compelling surprises within sequences where you would expect the small demon to turn, and ravage her older brother. Action sequences are high calibre, with astonishing vibrancy, with equal flair and silky smooth quality that is hard to compare to other shows right now. The series is in a class of its own, delivering a testament towards its mangaka’s established legacy. It tips the scale off-kilter with favourable amounts of passion shown in each frame, along with overtures that accompany all sentiments.

Understanding each character’s gullible journey, the juxtapose in each personality shines with deep developments through each arc. The season unravels with darker meaning, telling a high risk for great reward type scenario looming for Tanjiro, while his cohorts never doubt his leadership, even the callow Inosuke begins to slowly process the Slayer’s objective. Fighting for her humanity, Nezuko’s depressive state tends to cast a dreary shadow upon the youngster’s desire to continue fighting this possessive state. An emotional struggle to keep her conscience alive, bought forward a flurry of emotions as I felt quite sympathetic towards the child’s disengaged mindset. A discombobulated spirit within that controls your urges without the ability to manage. A manipulative decease-like psyche that envelopes Nezuko; it’s all saddening, but the journey is all so encouraging. That’s what makes this series an undeniable tale of heroics, love, rivalry, charm, heart, action mixed with some light hearted comedy. Demon Slayer continues to prove itself to be one of, if not, the greatest modern anime adaptation of this generation.

Noteworthy Mentions (Warning: Minor Spoilers)...

  • Inosuke’s infectious personality and quirks will have you laughing. An enigmatic character with heavy negligence that proves to be quite charming.
  • Tanjiro’s growth goes above and beyond heroics in the series climax. His character transforms from aspiring Demon Slayer, to master protector of his own clan.
  • Zenitsu’s crush on Nezuko is one of the highlights that tries to set some displaced comical moments, but there’s an obvious narrative that’s growing there. Hope to see it progress in season two.
  • The entire premise begins to roll out some intriguing disparities between clan members, that may set a precipice for the ultimate showdown. The Demon Slayers may not see Tanjiro’s journey the same way his group does, and may indeed place Nezuko in great danger.
  • It’s the best. The TL;DR moment here is… You have to watch it. Don’t miss it.

VERDICT: HELL YES 🔥

A youth begins a quest to fight demons and save his sister after finding his family slaughtered and his sister turned into a demon.

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