Demon Slayer

(Welcome to Ani-time Ani-where, a regular column dedicated to helping the uninitiated understand and appreciate the world of anime.)

Because battle shonen anime is arguably the most popular anime genre there is, it is bound to become a bit formulaic. Just like superhero movies can at times feel like they’re just following a series of checklists, too many battle shonen anime feel like a repeat of things you’ve already seen. This is to say that, whenever something even remotely fresh comes along, it feels like a remarkable achievement, even if it still mostly adheres to the tropes and conventions of the genre.

Demon Slayer is one of those battle shonen anime. Sure, it’s still about a young boy joining a group of elite warriors and training to become the very best that ever was. Set during the Taisho era (roughly the 1910s), we follow young Tanjiro Kamado, whose entire family gets murdered by a demon one night. Well, everyone except for his younger sister, Nezuko, who suffers a different fate. Tanjiro then sets out on a quest to become a Demon Slayer, part of an elite group of swordsmen, in order to find a way to bring his sister back to being human. 

The show starts out quite conventional, as it eases the viewer with familiarity before throwing unfamiliar things at them, like how the show places a greater emphasis on empathy and compassion than many other similar shows. Demon Slayer may be about killing tons of creepy monsters, but it’s also about how we demonize others. Oh, and the animation is simply outstanding. 

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