Anime has been around for a long time, and so have many genres that exist with it, one of which is the shonen genre. Shonen is a genre of anime/manga primarily intended for boys between the ages of 12 to 18.
Shonen is typically characterized by high-action and often humorous plots featuring male protagonists. It often features protagonists with an ongoing desire to better themselves. They face challenges to their abilities, skills, and maturity. This definition is very true for Demon Slayer.
Kimetsu no Yaiba, a.k.a Demon Slayer, is an anime adaptation of a manga by studio Ufotable. Authored by Koyoharu Gotouge, this adaptation was directed by Haruo Sotozaki and was released on April 6, 2019. After its debut, it soon became a massive success and hit in the anime community.
The anime’s premise is rather simple.
Our main protagonist, Tanjiro, is a nobody who suffers a massive attack from a demon, which results in the death of his family members except for his sister. His sister, Nezuko, is alive but gets transformed into a demon herself. Refusing the predicament, Tanjiro sets off to seek a way to “cure” her sister and swear to find it no matter the cost. He joined a “demon slayer squad” and his journey to turn his sister back begins.
I have some nice things and not-very-nice things to say about this anime, but let’s start with the nice things.
This anime is pretty straightforward since the advantage of watching a shonen anime is that the plot is not that confusing. Tanjiro’s goal is to seek a cure, and a cure is what he seeks. This anime is a very true adaptation of the manga, and thus no filler is added. Easy to digest and entertaining are sometimes what you need to gain viewers.
One of the main highlights of this anime is the animation. For those of you who don’t know Ufotables’ works, this is a great place to begin. This anime uses many 3D CG elements blended seamlessly with 2D animations. This type of animation, if done correctly, will look stunning and that’s what happened in this case. The animation is smooth, well-made, and praiseworthy. Every action sequence is stunning and breathtaking. If you seek good animation in anime, I definitely recommend this to you.
Another highlight of this anime is the music score. This anime gets it; every soundtrack is beautifully made and is very well done. The scores complement the different tones and atmosphere in each scene. The opening song is very fitting, and so is the ending song. All in all, a well-made score.
Now to address the elephant in the room, this anime is not perfect. To some, this anime might feel boring due to its formulaic nature. Other than its animation and soundtrack, everything is just quiet, for lack of a better term, “generic”.
The characters aren’t that dynamic. The main character is quite boring. He is a plot-armor character who always finds a way to solve his problems no matter what. He is the nice guy who will forgive anyone who says sorry. More often than not, he acts like a saint. Side characters such as Zenitsu and Inosuke don’t get a lot of spotlight throughout the first season—we know next to nothing about them. We also have Nezuko, whose character is as flat as board. A big turn off when there’s no memorable character in an anime.
Another big turn off might have been its story. Many shonens follow the same formula, and so does Demon Slayer. Either a story of revenge or about proving one’s worth, Demon slayer falls into the first category. It is a simple revenge story that takes too many episodes to end. The slow pace adapted from the manga makes the story quite boring. If you’ve watched more than one shonen anime, you’ll get bored pretty quickly with this one.
But to play a devil’s advocate, I think there are some fruits we can take from this anime. If you rarely watch anime, especially the shonen genre, this is a great way to start. For those who just want to respect the animation and scoring of an anime, this one is also for you. Other than that, you might not like this anime that much.
In conclusion, this anime is generic, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Its animation and soundtrack are off the chart while the story and the characters are quite typical. There’s nothing special about the story, but that isn’t always the main focus of an anime. We also need to consider its animation, scoring, and much other stuff.
With that in mind, I’ll give this anime a solid 7/10. I would recommend it to people who want to start a shonen anime and like fluid animation combined with epic scores.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch Great Pretender on Netflix.