Demon Slayer: A Splendid Adaptation (SPOILERS)


   Kimetsu no Yaiba, otherwise known by its English name Demon Slayer, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotouge that was serialized in Shonen Jump’s weekly magazine in February of 2016. Gotouge wrapped up the story last year in May of 2020 with a total of 23 volumes. The series focuses on Tanjiro Kamado, a boy who vows to seek revenge on the ones responsible for slaughtering his family and turning his younger sister, Nezuko, into a blood-hungry demon. The Demon Slayer Corps is a faction of individuals whose main objective is to rid the world of all demons with the assistance of supernatural abilities. One of those members, Giyu Tomioka, encounters Tanjiro amid Nezuko going haywire as a result of the demon blood within her. Giyu easily subdued her and, instead of killing her, led the pair towards an older man who goes by the name of Sakonji Urokodaki. Urokodaki is a former member of the Demon Slayer Corps and trained Tanjiro using his wisdom and knowledge, allowing the young boy to join the Demon Slayer Corps. Although Nezuko herself is a demon, the head of the corps, Kagaya Ubuyashiki, allowed the siblings to freely remain in the corps on one condition: Tanjiro must find and eliminate the most infamous demon to ever live, Muzan Kibutsuji.

   Demon Slayer’s popularity rose drastically, leading to it receiving its own anime adaptation in April 2019. It was produced by Studio Ufotable and gained mass praise. Season one included 26 episodes, adapting the manga’s first 53 chapters. It’s most noted for its 19th episode, where we see Tanjiro face off against one of Muzan’s twelve subordinates, Rui. This caused a boom in manga sales, with an outstanding 82 million volumes sold in 2020 alone, a number that surpassed even the reputable One Piece for that year. With the success of the anime and the manga in 2019 and 2020, Ufotable slammed on the pedal even harder with the release of a film in October of 2020, though only in Japan at first. The movie made its way into the states in April 2021. The film showcased the adaptation of one of Demon Slayer’s most admirable storylines, Mugen Train, or Infinity Train

   After defeating one of Muzan’s twelve demon henchmen, Tanjiro boards the Infinity Train to meet with a higher-ranked Demon Slayer, Kyojuro Rengoku, to figure out how he can improve on a new technique that he recently used. In Demon Slayer, higher-ranking members are deemed the title Hashira, which translates to Pillars. Rengoku was given this rank for his extraordinary ability as a fighter. Along with two of his fellow corps mates, Zenitsu Agatsuma and Inosuke Hashibara, Tanjiro successfully meets with Rengoku before they are intercepted by Enmu, a demon who was given orders by Muzan Kibutsuji to terminate Tanjiro.

   The four Demon Slayers engaged in combat with Enmu, but their foe’s technique, the ability to control and manipulate one’s dreams, was quite formidable. They are able to overcome it, however, and defeat the demon. As they thought the battle was over, they let their guards down. Just then, they were confronted by Akaza: another one of Muzan’s subordinates who was even more menacing than Enmu. Akaza didn’t waste any time attacking, as he went after Tanjiro first. Rengoku is quick to deflect the attack, however, and protects Tanjiro. Rengoku and Akaza then took part in a fierce battle, both men giving it their all as Rengoku vowed that he wouldn’t allow anyone to die. Unfortunately, Akaza gained the upper hand, killing Rengoku in the process. Rengoku didn’t go out in vain, though. He made sure to pass along words of encouragement to Tanjiro before exiting the world.

   Following the Mugen Train storyline, the Entertainment District storyline takes place, where we see Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke accompany another Hashira, Tengen Uzui, on a mission in Yoshiwara, Tokyo. This will most likely be covered in season two or possibly another movie, depending on which format Ufotable chooses to adapt it in, which is something many manga readers worldwide are anticipating.

   As of February 2021, the manga has over 150 million copies in circulation; that includes digital ones. Along with that, as of December 2020, the franchise is estimated to have generated total sales of at least 270 billion yen, or 2.6 billion dollars, in Japan. In only four years, Demon Slayer made history on more than one occasion, solidifying its place as one of the most commended series in the modern age of manga and anime.