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Demon Slayer

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (鬼滅の刃, Kimetsu no Yaiba, "Blade of Demon Destruction") is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotouge. It follows teenage Tanjiro Kamado, who strives to become a demon slayer after his family was slaughtered and his younger sister, Nezuko, turned into a demon. It was serialized in Shueisha's shōnen manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from February 2016 to May 2020, with its chapters collected in twenty-three tankōbon volumes. It has been published in English by Viz Media and simultaneously published by Shueisha on their Manga Plus platform.

A twenty-six episode anime television series adaptation produced by Ufotable aired in Japan from April to September 2019. A sequel film, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train, was released in October 2020 and became the highest-grossing anime film and Japanese film of all time. A second season of the anime series, readapting the "Mugen Train" arc seen in the film in seven episodes, and covering the "Entertainment District" arc from the manga in eleven episodes, aired from October 2021 to February 2022.

Setting[]

The story takes place in Taishō-era Japan, where a secret society, known as the Demon Slayer Corps, has been waging a secret war against demons for centuries. The demons are former humans who were turned into demons by Muzan Kibutsuji injecting them with his own blood, and they feed on humans and possess supernatural abilities such as super strength, powers that demons can obtain called "Blood Demon Art", and regeneration. Demons can only be killed if they are decapitated with weapons crafted from an alloy known as Sun Steel, injected with poison extracted from wisteria flowers, or exposed to sunlight. The Demon Slayers, on the other hand, are entirely human; however, they employ special breathing techniques, known as "Breathing Styles", which grant them superhuman strength and increased resistance. This helps them fight against demons. The strongest Demon Slayers are known as the Hashira.

Plot[]

Tanjiro Kamado is a kind-hearted and intelligent boy who lives with his family in the mountains. He became his family's breadwinner after his father's death, making trips to the nearby village to sell charcoal. Everything changed when he came home one day to discover that his family was attacked and slaughtered by a demon. Tanjiro and his sister Nezuko were the sole survivors of the incident, with Nezuko being transformed into a demon, but still surprisingly showing signs of human emotion and thought. After an encounter with Giyū Tomioka, a demon slayer and the Water Hashira, Tanjiro is recruited by Giyū and sent to his retired master Sakonji Urokodaki for training to also become a demon slayer, beginning his quest to help his sister turn into human again and avenge the death of his family.

After two years of strenuous training, Tanjiro takes part in a formidable exam and is one of the few survivors to pass, officially making him a member of the Demon Slayer Corps. He begins his work of hunting down and slaying demons alongside Nezuko, who has been hypnotized to bring no harm to humans and who occasionally helps him in battle. One of Tanjiro's assignments brings him to Asakusa where he encounters Muzan Kibutsuji, the progenitor of all demons and the one who murdered his family. He also meets Tamayo, a demon who is free of Muzan's control. Tamayo allies with Tanjiro and begins to develop a cure for Nezuko, though it will require Tanjiro to supply her with blood from the Twelve Kizuki, the most powerful demons under Muzan's command.

Continuing his missions, Tanjiro meets Zenitsu Agatsuma and Inosuke Hashibira, fellow survivors of the exam with whom he forms an unlikely team. The group soon face off against a member of the Kizuki, but are ultimately outmatched; they are rescued by the Corps and brought back to headquarters. There, the Kamado siblings partake in a council between Kagaya Ubuyashiki, the leader of the Demon Slayer Corps, and the Hashira, the Corps' most elite members, who do not believe that Nezuko should be allowed to live. However, Kagaya nonetheless manages to convince them to accept her. With this agreement, Tanjiro begins to work alongside the Hashira, where he encounters significantly more resistance from the demons. Alongside the Hashira and Corps members, Tanjiro takes part in numerous harrowing battles against the Kizuki, which they survive by narrow margins. During the fray, it is discovered that Nezuko is invulnerable to sunlight, a discovery that makes her the prime target of Muzan, who has long sought a way to overcome the sun and thus become the ultimate being.

Kagaya forecasts Muzan's intentions and enacts a strict training regiment of the entire Corps to prepare for the upcoming battle. With the blood samples obtained from the Kizuki, Tamayo develops a serum to cure Nezuko, who is kept isolated far from the battle as she recovers. Muzan soon appears before Kagaya, who triggers a suicide attack to stagger him. The Hashira and Tanjiro ambush Muzan, but he traps them all within Infinity Castle, an endless labyrinth which houses the Kizuki. Tamayo restrains Muzan with a poison she concocted, leaving him vulnerable for attack. To reach him, the Corps defeat the remaining Kizuki members, though they take heavy losses of their own. Muzan slays Tamayo by absorbing her but is forced above ground by the Corps. A desperate battle of attrition ensues as the remainder of the Demon Slayer Corps fight against Muzan until the morning sun can kill him. Aided by Tamayo's poison, the Corps succeed, though many are killed, including all but three of the Hashira, while Tanjiro is mortally wounded. Helpless against the sun, Muzan forcefully gives his remaining blood to a dying Tanjiro and transforms him into a demon in a last ditch effort to have his species survive. Tanjiro begins to attack the remaining Corps members, but through the efforts of his allies and Nezuko, who has been fully restored to her human self, he is turned back into a human.

In the aftermath of the battle, the Corps are disbanded as the death of Muzan has effectively vanquished all other demons. Tanjiro and Nezuko return to their family home, accompanied by Zenitsu and Inosuke.

In a modern-day epilogue, the descendants and reincarnations of the Corps members enjoy a peaceful life free of demons.

Production[]

Media[]

Movie[]

On September 28, 2019, immediately following the airing of episode 26, an anime film titled; Demon Slayer: Mugen Train was announced, with the staff and cast reprising their roles. The film is a direct sequel to the anime series and covers the events of the "Mugen Train" story arc. The film is distributed in Japan by Aniplex and Toho and premiered in Japan on October 16, 2020.

Reception[]

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