Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Kaiba Review Episodes 1 + 2


Demonic sisters and ufotable action.

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 1

Episode 1

Ufotable are continuing their trend of really pretty set piece anime where at times the characters don’t quite blend into the backgrounds. I have this issue with a lot of their anime where I love the backgrounds, love the character designs, but find some scenes really jarring where the characters seem totally disconnected from those backgrounds. That said, Demon Slayer has so far managed to minimise how often that happens and mostly this is a pretty gorgeous first episode, provided of course you find blood splattered snow and simple fight sequences gorgeous.

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 1
Cute family, I hope nothing tragic happens to them.

I’ve read a lot of reviews about this first episode and it seems the hype before the show started really hurt this anime as it failed to reach the high expectations place upon it. I had watched the promotional video but was a little on the fence about it so went in expecting it to be okay, and as a result really quite enjoyed this first episode. It is definitely all set-up and the main character has little to distinguish himself except perhaps the scar/burn on his head, but there’s nothing really to complain about in terms of setting up a story.

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 1

There is however the matter of the anime clearly not really trusting the audience. They go out of their way to give us multiple messages about Tanjiro’s sense of smell and while it hasn’t really done much yet I’m guessing this is going to be important given how many references they made including someone in town asking him to solve a case of who broke the plate by sniffing it. I’m mostly guessing he’s going to use this to track down the demon who killed his family, but it still felt excessively referenced within twenty minutes. The invitation to stay the night in the old guy’s house was also pretty clumsily handled as a way to introduce the idea of demons and demon slayers right before they became important to the story.

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 1
Gee, I wonder if his sense of smell will be important.

Still, I had fun with this first episode and I’m looking forward to more of this story. It might not end up paying off and maybe the clumsy handling of pivotal plot points will ultimately weigh it down, but right now it is visually impressive, the characters have a lot of potential, and the set up makes enough sense and gives a fairly clear direction for the story to travel in. As a first episode, Demon Slayer does a lot right at hopefully it manages to do something with that set-up.

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Episode 2

Visually, Demon Slayer continues to impress and the second half of this episode we get a sequence of Tanjiro running down a mountain covered in traps that is fluid to watch and despite the darkness of the scene manages to contrast just right so that you are never left wondering what is happening on screen. It is an impressive display for a second episode and it would be lovely if this anime could keep up this standard for the entire run.

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 2

In terms of story, episode 2 is still fairly much set-up with Tanjiro figuring out how to travel with his sister when she can’t go into sunlight before encountering a demon at a temple. The following fight shows Tanjiro’s inexperience nicely while also showing off his more brazen nature when push comes to shove. That said, when it comes to ending the demon’s life Tanjiro hesitates and the old guy he has met who is the one who will probably end up training him is not impressed.

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 2

The old guy trainer cliché is in full force here but despite it not being a particularly original development, it is kind of needed. Without some drastic training you can’t imagine Tanjiro surviving all that much longer while trying to protect his demon sister. The only real hope is that maybe they’ll do something to make this particular old mentor memorable, though so far the mask wearing man has had very little in the way of presence.

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 2

Despite the episode seeming to move along at a good pace, on reflection very little actually happens and we’re left at the end of the episode barely a step further along. Still, while watching it is entertaining and doesn’t feel like it is dragging at all, and I’m so far enjoying what they are setting up so hopefully this one continues to entertain. I’ve got reasonably high hopes for this one being fairly solidly entertaining this season.

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Karandi James

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Images from: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Dir. H Sotozaki. Ufotable. 2019.

17 thoughts on “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Kaiba Review Episodes 1 + 2

    1. I’ve always had a bit of a hit and miss feeling with Ufotable. Still, when they get it right they end up with some very good stuff.

  1. The scene in ep 2 where the sister kicks the demon’s head off is my favourite of the whole season thus far! So random and so violent! 😛

  2. I feel like the initial set-up for most shōnen anime (at least from what I’ve seen so far, which admittedly isn’t a hell of a lot) can feel like they aren’t giving their audience credit. But then again, they are also targetted to a younger audience and that helps me not feel so terrible about it in the long run. That predictability, however, felt far more muted down than in other serials I’ve seen over the year. The animation just blew my mind in so many ways when compared to other shows. It’s rare to find a series that can implement the computer generated aspects as fluidly as Demon Slayer does. It’s got a ways to go, but still mighty impressive. Looking forward to reading your thoughts as the series continues. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed your trip to Japan. 🙂

    1. I will definitely admit that the computer generated aspects are working fairly well here and while it isn’t flawless it is certainly a lot less obvious in the transitions between styles than a lot of anime.
      I’m kind of hoping that once the set-up is done they do a little less hand-holding but I guess we’ll see how this goes.

  3. Hmm I’ve never been any good at telling if a show has “good art” or not. It seems like everyone else is saying Demon Slayer is a visually treat so far, but I can barely tolerate it lol. I guess it’s a difference in preference? Anyway, very nice post!

    1. Visuals are very subjective in terms of what someone likes or not. I really hated the filter used in Angolmois and just found it hideous to watch (and a number of other people found the same) but a lot of season reviews of that one talked about the unique visuals and how pleasant they were. So far I’m liking the visuals here and the action scenes have been very fluid to watch.

  4. Hmm I’ve never been any good at telling if a show has “good art” or not. It seems like everyone else is saying Demon Slayer is a visually treat so far, but I can barely tolerate it lol. I guess it’s a difference in preference? Anyway, very nice post!

  5. Agreed, the first episode was very heavy handed with the way it told us bits of information and it is the standard shounen formula. I’ve jokingly compared it to MHA, but I am really enjoying it and looking forward to more. It’ll be interesting to see how you feel after episode 3 and 4.

    1. This one doesn’t seem to have the high energy that MHA brought to its early episodes that just made it a delight even as it went through the standard steps.
      Then again, I am kind of enjoying it. There’s nothing really surprising here but it makes it easy watching really. The biggest problem will be at the moment I’m unlikely to remember it even a week after it finishes unless it comes up with something to distinguish itself.

        1. I think given the start of this season was a bit of a miss for me what with travel, I’ll probably be reviewing episodes two at a time for the majority of the season so I’ll probably watch them one after the other.

          1. I think you’ll see more of the MHA parallels in 3 and 4… or it could just be me… I bet you’ve got a ton of shows to catch up on.

          2. Not as many as normal. Spring seems a little light on anime that I’m interested in (or at least on the services I use, a couple of titles I was thinking about aren’t available for me at the moment).

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