KIMETSU NO YAIBA
A young lad who lives with his family alone, high in the isolated cold snowy mountains, experiences the harshness of loss when his entire family is ruthlessly murdered by demons, save for one of his siblings –his sister –who is turned into a demon instead. Now the lad will stop at nothing to ensure that his sister turns back into a human and he gets his revenge on the demons who murdered his family.
The anime revolves around Tanjirou Kamado. Ever since the death of his father, he has become the breadwinner of the family. He is introduced as a decent lad, with good heart, and a hardworking spirit. By selling charcoals to remote towns, he is able to provide a considerably peaceful and happy life for his family high in the snowy hills. On one of his faithful visits to town, he is held up later than usual. At nightfall, as he sets out to walk home after a fruitful vendition, he is stopped by a suspicious stranger who lets him stay the night in his house rather than walk all the way up the hills at night, stressing the many evils ‘demons’ that lurk in shadows at night.
On getting home the next day, Tanjirou meets a much vile sight that kills the heart. Bloodstained the white of the snow, everywhere. It was the blood of his family, awfully shed. Every member of the family had been killed by demons, every member except for his little sister ‘Nezuko’ who is turned into a demon too. The horror!
Demons are man-eaters. They all have to feed in order to stay strong and alive. They are void of feelings and emotions whatsoever. However, Nezuko showed signs of human emotions and thoughts. This saved her life as it was going to be claimed by a demon slayer who changed his mind on seeing that Nezuko is clearly unlike other demons. The demon slayer saw the chances that Nezuko might just yet be saved, so he sent them off to an old masked man some towns away.
This brings us to the mysterious group called Demon Slayer Corps. This group has hundreds of members all working towards one goal —the complete annihilation of demons. This old masked man happens to be a member of the Corps, so was the demon slayer who almost killed Nezuko. The old man trained Tanjirou in the ways of becoming a demon slayer, while also watching over Nezuko.
Blah blah blah
Tanjirou becomes a Demon Slayer… Yeah!
Well, the story pretty much builds up from there. The interesting thing is these demons are of various kinds. There are ordinary demons who simply eat humans. Over years of eating flesh, these demons begin to morph into various kinds of forms, most of them develop supernatural abilities besides the usual strength that demons possess.
The way the anime starts —with Tanjirou (okay, I’ll just call him Tanji from here on) wailing through the thick snow with Nezuko on his back —is pretty fascinating. The scene basically builds intensity around whatever comes next. But then they take us back to one day before
this, and we just can’t wait to see how it came to be that Tanji is carrying seemingly dying Nezuko through the cold harsh snow, lamenting in pain and declaring that he must save his sister.
Tanji’s reaction to the much horrifying sight of his murdered family is quite impressive, I must say. At that moment his heart dropped, he is not able to really cry, cos he’s still trying to wrap his head around how overnight this turn of events ensued. He is still wondering if this is just some silly nightmare if perhaps he was still fast asleep in the suspicious strange man’s home. As it dawns on him that this is real, he notices Nezuko move. Immediately he knew that has become a priority. He is able to contain his grief and act fast on saving one survivor. Immediately he carries Nezuko on his back and heads down the snowy hill, towards the town in a bid to find a doctor to save his dear sister.
Kimetsu No Yaiba is an ongoing series. There are about 26 episodes already released, and I’ve watched 12 of that. So far, Kimetsu No Yaiba’s tale is not so intriguing. With demons, need to revenge, inhuman powers, swords that can change color, named attack techniques.. it kinda feels ‘meh’. You might just find it cool though. I mean, I guess you can say I’ve watched way too many movies with extraordinary story arc revolving around demons to be fascinated by as ordinary a story as Kimetsu No Yaiba. Yea I’ve only watched the first couple of episodes, and so far, I’m not so thrilled about the progression of the story. In fact, I really feel like the plot is moving on rather too fast in a much less splendid fashion.
And what’s with the whole ‘presenting the villains to inspire viewers empathy’ thing!? In the anime, when Tanji kills off a demon, there’s suddenly a switch in the tone of events; the theme suddenly becomes that of empathy. Somehow the creators want us to feel sorry for the demons who a few seconds ago were trying furiously to take the lives of good people. How does that even work? Fine, I understand that these demons were originally humans and are didn’t ask to be turned into beasts. But here we are, they have become monsters, vile creatures, meaning they must have lost their sense of emotions and feelings. So why the sudden show of emotions at the point of death? That’s just dry man. Cut the crap!
There are certain features of Kimetsu No Yaiba that I really enjoyed though. There’s this plot arc involving memories-inspiring spirits presenting themselves as real beings (that is with flesh). The spiritual feel of the anime besides the existence of demons is poignant. It inspired an amazing sensation in me. It just feels like magic. There was a time during training that Tanji’s mind created imaginations of the incarnation of previous kids who had been killed by demons. The concept is pretty thrilling.
The anime has pretty decent characters. The character arc for Nezuko is most intriguing. After her first appearance as a demon —with the vampiric teeth and all, and the over-revealing veins stretched over her face, and the whole increase in body size situation —revealing that she won’t eat flesh no matter what, she is subsequently presented as a really gentle-spirited creature. She, much like the old Nezuko, is calm and lighthearted, she is not so lively (technically she is dead), but she sure brings live to most scenes. Her love for Tanji is very obvious through the scenes, and their connection is nothing short of beautiful. She goes back to being the ferocious demon when faced with other demonic assailants. She can be badass! Just amazing really!
The protagonist, Tanji is not so interesting to me. He has the all-too-common features of a heroic protagonist —courage, perseverance, good heart, unyieldingness —nothing else. He is not funny, he doesn’t have any unique character trait, he is just there.
The major villain of this story is introduced rather early. That makes you wonder what plans the creators have for the entire plot. I admire this though. Watching the anime, there’s been a sort of mystery around this inhuman, this king of demons, whom alone has the power to turn humans into demons. The anime built such fear around his name through the first couple of episodes. Naturally, a villain with such a level of awe built around him will be introduced in the most dramatic manner. But suddenly, this villain shows up in the most simple way, no drama at all. That’s pretty cool. But there’s certain doubt. The early appearance of the major villain might bode just well for the anime, setting it in a different direction that will add creative uniqueness to the anime; and it might just end up bad, making the story risk being prolonged unnecessarily and making it become dry along the way. Guess we’ll see about that.
The animation is amazing. The quality of it is over the top. The shot angles are artistic. I give all the credit to the director of the animation. Much creativity is put in the animation, it basically makes you overlook the dry story arc. I like the traditional set design and the way the characters are designed in terms of costume and all. The fight sequences are nothing too exciting really, they are not bad though. If you live action in anime, then you probably should check this one out.
The theme songs are nice —both the opening and closing theme. The opening theme especially is really nice. The motion picture adapted for the opening theme is pretty exciting. The sounds used all through the anime pretty much set the right tone for the plot. They are somewhat disturbing though, the sounds, with their dark theme, but it’s exciting because it justifies the story.
I give this anime 6 in the plot. 9 in art/animation. 7 in sounds. Overall, I give it 7/10.
Really though, Kimetsu No Yaiba is a pretty decent anime. I guess I personally just don’t vibe with it all that much.