What is the Anime ‘Demon Slayer’ and Why is It So Popular?


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By 2020, ‘Demon Slayer’ became an international phenomenon, sending people rushing to collect the popular figurines of their favorite characters.

“Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba,” commonly referred to as ‘Demon Slayer,’ was one of the most popular animes of 2019 and has arguably become even more popular in 2020. The show has received rave reviews and the excitement seems ever building with the announcement of a possible movie coming out later this year. While the manga began in 2016, the series has only taken off in the last year. During the Crunchyroll Anime Awards, Demon Slayer not only won ‘Anime of the Year’ but also ‘Best Fight Scene.’ Crunchyroll is the largest anime brand and streaming company in the world and millions cast their votes for the live ceremony in February 2020.

Without giving away any spoilers, Demon Slayer is essentially about a boy named Tanjiro Kamado and his journey to help his younger sister, Nezuko Kamado, who was recently turned into a demon. Tanjiro makes it his mission to help Nezuko become human again and in the process becomes a member of the Demon Slayer Corps, a group created to protect people from the demon creatures that roam the night. As season one of the anime progressed, Tanjiro learned more about demons and made some friends along the way.

While it may not seem like a show for everyone, Demon Slayer caters to most people with delightful comedy and action in addition to heartfelt, tear-jerking scenes. Demon Slayer keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, especially during the season one finale, which ended on an interesting cliffhanger leaving new audiences itching to see what happens next. Not only that, but the visual presentation of the show is uniquely appealing. The animation style harks back to the traditional Japanese wood block style of art known as ukiyo-e; one of the most famous examples of this is the print known as ‘The Wave.’ The way the stunning art style brings the manga to life is the main reason why it stands out from all the other shōnen and action series. 

Romona Ling ’22 is a huge fan of the series and recommends it to anyone who is looking for a compelling and action-packed story, “I love ‘Demon Slayer.’ It is my favorite anime right now besides Haikyu. The animation is gorgeous and [the show] is actually incredible.” 

Ling isn’t the only one who thinks so. Aaron Ng ’22 agreed, saying, “The manga is decently well paced, with my favorite arc being the fight against the Upper Moon Twins. Frankly speaking, the anime is a far superior experience [compared to the manga].” Ng is a part of the Anime Club where they often discuss different animes, including ‘Demon Slayer.’ When asked about what sets ‘Demon Slayer’ apart from the hundreds of other shows out there, many agreed that the darker tone the show takes at times is one of the major factors, considering there are many other light-hearted fantasy animes.

However, obviously not everyone is an adamant supporter of ‘Demon Slayer,’ and some don’t understand why it gained so much traction in the first place. One student who prefers to remain anonymous exclaimed, “I don’t really know why it has gotten this popular and so suddenly; it felt almost out of nowhere.”

Similarly, Declan Hilfers ’22 believes that the sudden popularity of ‘Demon Slayer’ is uncalled for and even went as far to say, “I think that it’s a cool premise, but I don’t get why people like it so much. I’m pretty sure they used a sample in the very first episode.” While many do not think that ‘Demon Slayer’ is unoriginal, it does seem to be the opinion of some who believe that the plot is basic and akin to other fantasy action anime series. 

Despite the various opinions surrounding the originality of ‘Demon Slayer’’s plot, everyone can agree that the anime has an extremely incredible way of adding on to the story of the manga. The art style is beautiful and truly shows why it has gained so much popularity in recent months.

To watch ‘Demon Slayer’ on YouTube, click HERE.

“The manga is decently well paced, with my favorite arc being the fight against the Upper Moon Twins. Frankly speaking, the anime is a far superior experience [compared to the manga],” said Aaron Ng ’22.