Top 5: Anime With Demons or Devils

Tuesday's Top 5

There are a lot of anime that include demons and devils in their cast and I know that a list of 5 can’t even begin to cover all the great titles out there. Still, I decided to have a go at listing my 5 favourite anime with demons or devils in them. I did rule out just standard yokai anime though as I wanted this list to focus more on demons or devils as the are more often represented in the west.

Still, there are still a lot of anime out there that we could have got into and with one exception I haven’t even touched the sheer number of comedy anime that use these kinds of characters. Nor have I touched on the harem anime that go there so I’m sure there are plenty more anime that people could list and I’d love to hear your choices in the comments below.

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I will just give an honourable mention to Devilman Crybaby. I didn’t really like that anime for a number of reasons but its depiction of demons was actually pretty solid and so it deserves a space on the list.

Have you got a favourite anime demon? Give them a shout out in the comments.

Number 5: Blue Exorcist

I feel a lot of people will probably have this one higher up their lists and if I had only watched season one I probably would as well. I really enjoyed the set up to this story in the first episode where we learn the truth about who Rin’s father was and we see part of the cause for his volatile temper and violence. While this anime takes a lot of liberties with the church structure, terminology, and the basic idea of what an exorcist is, it is undeniably entertaining. The second season lacked a lot of that charm that season one brought to the table, but still, it is a solid entry in terms of an anime focused on the idea of exorcising demons.

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Number 4: Hataraku Maou-Sama

The Devil is a Part-Timer is one of those anime that just hit the right spot for me particularly in terms of its comedy. However, a lot of the enjoyment I found in the anime was in the way they portrayed the devil and his demon generals. Also, the connection between the hero and Satan was very nicely established and as the story progressed we had a bit of a look at the follies of humans and angels as well. While definitely not trying to be serious about its premise, this one is just a fun story where demons, humans and angels interact and the end results are interesting.

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Number 3: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Weird for me to include an anime that isn’t even finished yet but I must say that I’ve really been enjoying how demons are portrayed in this one. While Tanjiro certainly has sympathy for demons changed from human against their will, largely because of Nezuko’s situation, he is also aware of the destruction demons cause if left to their own devices and after the first encounter where he hesitated, he’s managed to take appropriate action even if we continue to see signs of his compassion. It’s an interesting concept and I’m looking forward to learning more about the different demons we’ve met who haven’t been instantly killed.

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Number 2: D Gray Man

I couldn’t have made this list without mentioning the Black Order of exorcists who are fighting against the Millennium Earland his Akuma army. What I particularly like about this one is that the demons aren’t just springing to life on their own. The Earl makes deals with humans in order to breed his soldiers and so the number of Akuma the order are facing is in direct correlation to the weakness of humans who, desperate to reconnect with a loved one, accept the Earl’s dubious offer and end up chaining their loved one’s soul inside an Akuma. It is horrific but for Allen it is even worse as he can see that trapped soul which causes conflict inside of him when it comes to defeating them.

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Number 1: Black Butler

Well, you all should have seen that one coming. However, when it comes to an anime that does an excellent deal with a devil storyline, Black Butler is still my undisputed favourite. Sebastian is every bit a demon and yet he covers over his monstrous nature with suave appearance and manners only allowing glimpses at the truth beneath the surface when it suits him to do so. I genuinely love this story and have really enjoyed the Book Of spin-offs even if season 2 didn’t really work for me.

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That’s my list but there are plenty of other anime out there featuring demons or devils and I’d love to know some of your favourites so leave me a comment below.


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Karandi James


Demon Slayer Anime Series Review

Demon Slayer Series Review
Nezuko and Tanjiro - Demon Slayer

He’s Protecting His Sister By Becoming a Demon Slayer:
Even If She’s Become a Demon

Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer) has turned out to be a harder anime to review than I initially suspected. Largely this is because of the inconsistencies within the series however one of the other problems may just be that I’ve been watching anime for too long. I imagine if I’d seen this back when I first tried Bleach, Kimetsu no Yaiba may very well have been a gateway anime for me. Now I can’t help but see the flaws in it even as there are some moments that are dramatically on point.

The initial set up for Demon Slayer is very simple. Tanjiro lives with his family on the mountain and after a trip down to town he’s delayed and doesn’t return until the next day. When he gets there he discovers his family have been slaughtered and it is with relief he realises his sister Nezuko is still alive. At least until she tries to attack him. Nezuko has been turned into a demon and Tanjiro vows to find a way to turn her back.

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He does this through training and becoming a demon slayer.

Already there’s a small logical gap here. I get that Tanjiro needed to get stronger in order to protect his sister and ensure she didn’t attack anyone. He also needed to be able to get closer to demons in order to learn more about them. But becoming a slayer of the thing you are trying to protect seems a little bit counter-intuitive.

However, this works in Tanjiro’s favour as a character. He certainly does slay demons throughout the story but he isn’t a hot-blooded killing machine or the shouting protagonist who simply wants to be the strongest because they need to prove some kind of point. Tanjiro remains a compassionate human throughout and he has a genuine compassion even for those he is forced to cut down.

Honestly, if the story had stayed focused on Tanjiro’s quest to cure Nezuko and his learning about demons, with a tight focus on the siblings and building up the villainous demon that transformed her, this anime would have been absolutely perfect and an unmissable viewing experience.

Demon Slayer Episode 8 - Tanjiro and Nezuko

Unfortunately, it wants to play with the big shounen and so is endlessly expanding its cast and throwing in ‘humour’ at weird moments, going on quests and tangential arcs that have little to do with the main objective, and generally just bloating what should have been a simple and tight story line into something that feels overcooked.

My initial falling out of love with a series that had been relatively solid if a little predictable and too prone to repeating information was the introduction of Zenitsu closely followed by Inosuke. To put it simply these two characters add nothing but noise and poor attempts at humour. While they each do get moments where they are more tolerable and shine they are really unnecessary to the central plot and are a large part of the clutter that detracts from the viewing experience.

Zenitsu screams at literally anything. His shtick is that he’s a coward and afraid all the time but once he passes out he becomes incredibly strong having mastered one move perfectly. Now, Zenitsu does have a few redeeming moments where he acts valiantly but these do not offset the general irritation he creates in every other scene through his incessant wailing and generally unlikable personality.

Possibly he’s there for the laughs however he just isn’t funny. And if we were looking for Tanjiro, literally every Demon Slayer who thinks all demons are monsters who should be killed out of hand works well enough. We don’t need Zenitsu around.

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Inosuke is similarly unnecessary and annoying. He’s so dense and his ongoing belligerence and general attitude make it very hard to want him around. Like Zenitsu, he has a rare moment or two where he does something and you feel like he’s turning a corner, but then we finish the battle and he’s right back to where he started and irritating enough to make you wish he suffocates inside that stupid boar’s head (okay, maybe that was just me).

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What makes these characters even more insufferable is that they are clearly now part of Tanjiro’s party for reasons that make no sense whatsoever given they seemed to randomly hook up and prior to their appearance Tanjiro was just being lead along by his crow on his own. It would make perfect sense for them to arrive for a mission and then go their separate ways for a time to reunite later, but they are just hanging around like a bad smell.

Add in the other demon slayers who we meet toward the end of this first season who are all one note ‘zany’ personalities and honestly the supporting cast here need some work. Worse, Tanjiro and Nezuko’s screen time is reduced in many episodes to accommodate the ever expanding cast and so the central focus ends up diluted to the point where you nearly forget what started the whole story.



Visually Kimetsu no Yaiba is impressive. Despite the majority of sequences taking place at night due the demon’s nature, good use of lighting and colour ensure that it is always fairly easy to follow the action on screen and it is good, fluid action. The fight sequences against demons are great moments visually and are moments when the characters shine. A return to demon fighting was always welcome because the in-between moments where the characters were resting or recovering where almost always intolerably full of poor attempts at humour and generally padded.

However, even in the fight sequences, Kimetsu no Yaiba cannot help but overreach. After final blows had been landed the number of times the story screeched to a halt in order for a flash-back or reminiscence of the demon’s life would play, sometimes for a lengthy period, before we would move on again, was ridiculous. The killing of one bit character was spread across three episodes and honestly, given the character was in the process of dying I really didn’t care about their tragic circumstances. They either needed to establish that prior to fighting or just let it go.

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Before wrapping this up I do have to give this anime props for the introduction of the villain, Muzan Kibutsuji. While he only had sparse appearances within the story each one gave us enough of a sense of dread and building up a villain worth fighting. There’s certainly more to learn about him but I enjoyed his screen time immensely during this first season.

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I’m ultimately conflicted. This anime has some very strong points particularly with its animation and visuals and even the protagonist and his journey has been pretty solid, however with so many other issues this one ends up being a mixed bag. Some viewers really loved this anime and got a real buzz from it. Certainly it is worth trying. For me though, by the end of the season I was feeling a little fatigued and I’d certainly contemplated many ways the story could kill off some of the less necessary characters.

Basically, give it a try and it might work for you and might be one of your favourites, but even if not, there’s enough positives to make it a worthwhile enough viewing experience even if it is a flawed one.


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

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Review Episode 26

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Where To Next?

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Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 26

As this episode opened I could not help but lament what might have been if this series had stuck with the dark and ominous tone that seems to permeate any scene where we actually get Kibutsuji. I’d have loved this anime so much more if that tone had been more consistent because it is in those moments, and in the moments of extreme action, that I love Demon Slayer the most. The rest of the anime is a little… well I’m going to be honest, I find a lot of it quite irritating.

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However, the opening sequence here with the demons of the lower six, the five left at least, being terrified in a strange space that amusingly reminded me of David Bowie in the Labyrinth though I guess they were going for M.C. Escher, with the new appearance of Kibutsuji as he mercilessly whittled them down just worked. Throw in a sound track that perfectly fit the tone of the sequence and you have a scene that will be one of my favourites from the whole series.

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I do have to wonder though if Kibutsuji kills off his own demons is there any need for demon slayers. And if he’s literally the only one who can make demons then do they only exist in Japan? Also, why kill off arguable the second strongest group of demons rather than killing off demons that haven’t even made it into his little club? Okay, the organisation of the demons is at least as confusing and non-nonsensical as the demon slayers so I’m just going to admit that I shouldn’t think too hard about Kimetsu no Yaiba as very little really holds up to much scrutiny.

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	KIMETSU NO YAIBA 1/8 SCALE PRE-PAINTED FIGURE: TANJIRO KAMADO STANDARD VER.

However, all good things must come to an end and soon we are back with the idiot trio preparing to head off on their next mission. Actually, Tanjiro isn’t a total idiot, but when he’s sandwiched between Zenitsu and Inosuke the end result is something that continues to leave a sour taste in my mouth and I can’t help but want the other two to be unceremoniously run over by the train or picked off by the next demon they encounter. Seems unlikely as for whatever reason they have stuck in this story, but they really do bring the whole tone of the show crashing down.

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And that’s where we end. The three board a train with Nezuko still strapped to Tanjiro’s back and they are off. Given the movie announcement I guess we’ll find out what happens next and I don’t doubt this one will get a season two. Honestly, I’m very mixed though in my reaction to that. There are parts of this anime I’ve truly loved but other parts where I’ve just wanted to walk away. I guess I’ll see what my mood is when it comes out and then decide.


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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Review Episodes 24 + 25

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Recovery and Training

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Kimetsu no Yaiba Episodes 24 + 25

We are almost at the end of the first season of Demon Slayer and it seems we have a theme of Tanjiro training to get stronger. Nezuko sleeps through the whole two episodes, Zenitsu and Inosuke flee from the training until later in the piece, and so the focus goes to Tanjiro and to Kocho and those training him.

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Again, I’m left wondering how demon slayer training is effective when crucial details and steps are left out of the process, but it is kind of nice to see Tanjiro gaining strength outside of an instant battle power-up. It will be interesting to see how his next fight against a demon goes, though we now run the risk of normal demons being a non-threat given so far they’ve escalated the danger at every encounter.

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As to getting the backstory of the butterfly girl, I’m not entirely sure it was needed, though maybe it will be important later on. Or maybe this story is just obsessed with providing an angsty backstory for every single character, even ones that are already in the process of dying. I’m almost wondering why we don’t know the backstory of the sword maker because it seems like every other character gets to share their life story.

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	NENDOROID NO. 1194 DEMON SLAYER KIMETSU NO YAIBA: NEZUKO KAMADO

Anyway, Tanjiro training works largely because Tanjiro as a character works. He started off with nothing but determination and he’s applied himself at every step so seeing him gaining a new skill which improves his ability to fight is actually satisfying. Again, I’m left wondering why his own master didn’t mention the whole idea of using the breathing technique all the time even if Tanjiro wasn’t ready to learn it. It seems like a lot of these characters just enjoy not giving all the information.

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However, Inosuke and Zenitsu are still about and Zenitsu’s screaming is as annoying as ever whether he’s avoiding medicine, avoiding training, or actually attempting to train. Inosuke on the other hand was slightly more settled until he got his new swords and promptly took a rock to them right in front of the sword maker. You would have to wonder why anyone would make him a sword ever again after that effort.

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It was curious that we didn’t see Tanjiro’s sword after it arrived so I wonder if something has changed. Still, we’ve got one more episode so I’m curious as to what Demon Slayer will end on.


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

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Review Episode 23

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It’s The Inconsistency That Kills

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Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 23

Demon Slayer and I are just going to be at odds at times. There are moments where I truly love this show and the characters, and other moments where it annoys me so much I just want to shut the lap top and walk away.  Fortunately the overall balance is on episode where the characters shine but this episode, by and large, focused on the aspects of the show that I find either less interesting or irritating and I definitely found myself counting down the minutes.

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That doesn’t mean there weren’t any moments within the episode that I enjoyed. For instance, Nezuko’s flashback as she struggled with the temptation of blood felt warranted and seeing her make a clear choice was good, though realising she’s still being influenced by hypnosis makes it less impressive. Actually, every Tanjiro/Nezuko moment in this episode was pretty solid and the end of the episode with Tanjiro talking to Nezuko as she falls asleep was a lovely soft moment.

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Unfortunately, these moments are squeezed in around more of what passes for ‘comedy’ in this show, annoying characters, and an attempt to legitimise the demon slayer organisation with a kind of meeting. None of which was particularly entertaining and I wonder when anime is going to realise that one person naming all the people present doesn’t actually mean the audience is going to bother remembering a single one of those names. Assassination Classroom is about the only anime I’ve watched where one person naming everyone else worked beautifully and that’s because of when and where that happened but I won’t spoil it because that’s an awesome moment to watch.

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NENDOROID NO. 1194 DEMON SLAYER KIMETSU NO YAIBA: NEZUKO KAMADO

Anyway, Tanjiro does get reunited with Inosuke and Zenitsu and well, these two haven’t changed. When they aren’t in a life threatening situation they are so annoying I want to drop them into one. I think the key to making me not hate Zenitsu is actually put him in a situation that warrants his hysteria and in a situation where he can occasionally do something amazing that makes up for all the rest of it. Him resting is just asking for him to be ridiculously annoying.

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She doesn’t speak. Don’t know why. Not sure why she was here in the episode.

Apparently we have three episodes left and I wonder what they intend to finish this series on for the season? Clearly it won’t actually end but it would be nice to end on a high note given when this show is good it is very good.


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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Review Episode 22

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A Collection Of Weirdos

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Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 22

So like all leading warriors in anime, that hashira are apparently a collection of odd-balls who don’t get along all with an eccentric quirk or visual design so that we can’t confuse the copious group of people we meet in episode 22 of Demon Slayer. While I kind of hope they flesh at least some of these characters out, the first impression of most of them was pretty flat because other than the obvious quirks there just wasn’t much to these characters.

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The other part that seems interesting is that the master seems to be the one who asked them to bring Tanjiro and Nezuko along, and yet they more or less decide that killing Nezuko at least is fair game and there’s more than one suggestion of killing Tanjiro (flamboyantly or otherwise). The petty squabbling and lack of cohesion within this group doesn’t bode well.

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I am however happy that Tanjiro’s meeting with Kibitsuji finally became somewhat significant. It did seem odd that despite his apparent reclusive nature that Tanjiro just kind of stumbled upon him and I wondered if that would ever be a plot point. And now it is becoming one as yet another argument from the master as to why they should not just arbitrarily kill someone who technically works for them (why do we need to justify not killing him again).

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NENDOROID NO. 1194 DEMON SLAYER KIMETSU NO YAIBA: NEZUKO KAMADO

Of course, Nezuko getting stabbed through the wooden box was a great way to get the audience to generally dislike the scarred guy and the issue will become whether they ever want me to feel sympathetic toward him or at least not hate him. I somehow doubt I’ll get there regardless of his character arc or back-story (if we get either) because watching him poke holes in Nezuko through the box knowing she couldn’t fight back was scummy. If he really wanted her dead he could have just opened the box in the sunlight and finished it quickly. Instead, he caused her pain and harm and justifies himself.

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There’s a lot of talk this episode and we end up not so much further along than where we started but at least they are bringing back plot points from earlier. Not to mention, it kind of confirms the suspicion that everyone in this corps is just crazy.

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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Review Episode 21

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Are We All Over Rui Yet?

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Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 21

We have a pacing issue here. After the last wo episodes were just nicely done, with the exception of Rui’s flashback sequence, this episode starts with nearly ten minutes of Rui dying and flash back. The character is already dead. We’ve already had flash backs. While this does give us a bit of a reminder about Muzan it isn’t enough to justify the time given to it and the whole sequence isn’t emotional enough given we’ve already ceased to be invested in the character who is slowly disintegrating. This flashback would have worked better about two weeks ago when we might have still cared.

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However, while half the episode feels like down time, the rest of the episode moves along nicely with Tomioka Giyuu recognising Tanjiro and then defending Tanjiro and Nezuko from Kocho’s attack. It is a tense moment because we’ve always kind of wondered about the logistics of a demon slayer travelling with a demon and Kocho is pretty adamant that she’s going to kill Nezuko and that Giyuu is breaking the rules by getting in her way.

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There’s also confirmation of something someone told me about Nezuko actually being able to change size, which makes her fitting in the backpack make more sense, given Nezuko shrinks to avoid being killed by another demon slayer. Why it has taken 21 episodes for this fact to actually be clearly presented in the anime I do not know. This might have made a lot of things make more sense if it had been made obvious earlier. Given how many times they remind us Tanjiro has a great sense of smell, surely they could have slipped in a ‘by the way, did Nezuko shrink?’ comment just to actually clarify.

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NENDOROID NO. 1193 KIMETSU NO YAIBA DEMON SLAYER: TANJIRO KAMADO

Meanwhile, the demon slayer corps have really taken charge and all three of the characters we’ve been following have been taken into their charge. Zenitsu is wrapped like a mummy as part of ‘treatment’. Inosuke has realised he might not be that strong afterall. And Tanjiro… well I guess we’ll find out next week how things are going to work out for him and Nezuko.

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So a mixed bag of an episode. It wraps up the events on the mountain nicely and transitions us to the next thing with a wonderful moment with the sun rising on the characters. Hard to believe everything happened in just one night but we’ve been jumping between characters so it kind of makes sense. Looking forward to what is coming, and again, if binge watching, this episode probably wouldn’t be a problem as there wouldn’t be a week gap between Rui’s head being removed and his flashback.


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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Review Episode 20

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When Grim Determination Isn’t Enough

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Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 20

Well, last week Tanjiro wasn’t rescued but this week fortunately Giyuu arrived on the scene. That said, there was something truly spectacular about the amount of fight Tanjiro and Nezuko put up even though they were hopelessly outclassed. I didn’t even mind the visual reminder of where we ended last week as it meant this episode started with a bang.

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However, all things considered, Tanjiro winning probably would have been a little too much and made these demons seem a little too easy and so the demon coming back after apparently having its head severed was very nicely done. I also liked that Rui was ticked off and done playing with his food at that point. He just wanted Tanjiro and Nezuko dead.

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Which made Giyuu’s appearance and rescue feel so much more wonderfully timed and when he unleashed an eleventh form of water breathing things went to a whole new level of cool. Not as flashy as some of Tanjrio’s flailing moves but infinitely more controlled and calm in the face of Rui’s attack and he moved with the absolute confidence of someone who knew he could defeat his enemy.

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Of course, we also got another round of Tanjiro crawling around and trying to will himself to heal and stand. Eventually he’s going to have to learn just to lie down and be injured. Also, we got another round of villain flashback just as the villains ceased to be relevant so at this point I’m not sure what good showing us how messed up their pretend family life is going to be. It didn’t go on too long at least because we also had to get back to the butterfly themed demon slayer and that was all kinds of cool and scary simultaneously.

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GOBLIN SLAYER ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

Does anyone else have a problem with the fact that she left a demon slayer in a cocoon knowing he was in the process of being digested? Would it have killed her to release him first and play with the demon second? Or could she have possibly have sped up the whole killing the demon thing instead of messing with her before delivering the killing blow? Yep, Shinobu Kocho is one scary lady and there’s something really creepy about her. Even if she was my ally I’d be keeping at least one eye on her at all times.

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All and all though, the episode was great. While the flashback was probably unnecessary, it is pretty standard fare for this kind of story and again, it didn’t linger overly past its welcome. The older demon slayer were awesome and really that was enough to make this episode fun to watch.


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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Review Episode 19

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I Will Protect You

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Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 19

I’m really not sure where to even start with episode 19 of Demon Slayer. I mean, it was absolutely amazing to watch even as it went through so many steps that other similar stories have done before. It kind of reminded me of the opening episodes where it felt like the show was simply refining the standards for the genre rather than trying to do anything new or different.

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Does any villain expect this to work?
If it does, would any hero trust the villain to actually spare them?

Just note I’m not avoiding any spoilers here.

However, I can’t really argue with the end result here. This episode was great to watch. From learning the big ‘father’ demon wasn’t one of the 12 whatevers to realising that the scary kid who has been watching Tanjiro and the others from the beginning was in fact the real villain of the mountain, to seeing Tanjiro fighting him, Nezuko’s attempted rescue, and then the double power up for Tanjiro and Nezuko at the end of the episode that may have finally won the fight… This episode just never let up.

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The visuals remain an ongoing strength and the movement and colour in the final fight sequence was just gorgeous. There’s absolutely no way to capture it in stills and really it is the whole sequence that just works as a visual feast. Okay, the water dragon head showing up probably caught my interest because I love that kind of motif, but then when Tanjiro unlocked the flames and the whole scene was tinted crimson and orange, before Nezuko threw in her pink blood explosion, it was all just beautifully done.

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Yeah, the action shots don’t look so great as stills so here’s a pretty picture of Tanjiro’s life flashing before his eyes.

However, while the visual spectacle certainly worked, what elevates this episode to more than just a passing entertainment is how well Tanjiro and Nezuko sell their character motivations. Admittedly, the big brother protecting little sister and little sister (who is a demon) looking out for big brother dynamic has also been done in countless stories, and yet Demon Slayer manages to make these two feel authentic and fresh and at the end of the day you genuinely want them to be able to help the other.

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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Vol. 1

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On the other hand, we also got another indication that maybe there’s something different about Tanjiro. They made a big deal about his sword going black, Kibutsuji seemed to recognise the earrings he was wearing, and now we find out that they were passed down from his father and he was supposed to pass those and a dance down to the next generation as well. Plus, Nezuko is just a bit different, even for a demon. It is all making me fairly curious as to what the story with their family is.

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Basically there’s almost nothing to complain about this week. While Tanjiro didn’t end up rescued by the older demon slayers as I expected I found this to be a reasonably delightful outcome to watch.


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