For the past several weeks, BNP Anime has been deep in the show from Ufotable: Kimetsu No Yaiba aka Demon Slayer. It is new, fresh, and oh so good. So much so it has surprised us all with how much we love it. For the first bit, we hold the spoilers in, so if you haven’t finished it, read on safely. But when you get to the spoiler tag, you’ve been warned!
Spoiler Free For Your Entertainment
Kimetsu No Yaiba aka Demon Slayer Off the Top
William: Let me start this shit off like this: I’m glad that Kimetsu No Yaiba aka Demon Slayer dropped in 2019 and not like 2009 because I would’ve had a real ass argument with my wife when she would’ve shot down my name suggestions of Nezuko or Tanjiro for our child. I would’ve been non-negotiable on that shit. I want to guard those two with my life and it’s been less than 30 episodes. Nezuko been asleep for half of those.
Mikkel: Those two are already in the top echelon of Siblings in Anime, right next to the Elric Brothers. And like FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the two precious characters are surrounded by equally endearing characters. The eventual trio of Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitu have such a well-balanced dynamic, and much like you Will: I’d protect those three dorks at any and all costs.
Omar: *maintaining composure* I can’t say what I wanna say until we get into spoiler territory. So I will just say, there ain’t a weak link in the squad. Right, Lauren?
Lauren: Not nary a one, Omar. *holds up DNA test declaring everyone That Demon Slayer*
At a time where companies churn out anime faster than you can say “based on the light novel” I cannot emphasize this enough: KNY is just gorgeous to watch, from character design to frame composition to backgrounds. I’m pretty sure you could pause anywhere in this series, frame that print, and have your home looking like you got both the time and money to patronize museum gift shops. All of the benefits of an artsy anime with none of the absolute existential despair or haunting questions the director will never answer.
Animation and Powers At Another Level
Mikkel: The animation is actually what got me to start watching the series. A friend of mine had recommended it, but since it was only available in subform, I kept putting it off because that was a time investment I didn’t think I had the energy for. But then gifs started appearing on my twitter feed, and wow…
It’s like they took that Japanese wave painting (you definitely know the one) and decided: let’s animate that. It’s a perfect representation of the superhuman power that Total Concentration Breathing lets the Demon Slayer Corps do, and every single one is iconic.
William: Total Concentration Breathing is the freshest anime power. Like, keep your jutsu and your Nen abilities for now. Just let a brotha keep his breathing constant and focused 24/7. I love it, and that’s before we learned that there’s like 15 other techniques. I love how the episodes have real ass stakes but you don’t have to wait very long for the triumph. It’s still earned, but we ain’t talking Attack on Titan or Vinland Saga levels where it beats your ass for 15 episodes before you get a sense of accomplishment. I don’t know how this show does that and still makes the triumphs feel earned, but here we are.
Omar: *holding knee while shaking with excitement to hold the spoilers in* The approach to the story in Demon Slayer feel mad earnest. While at the same time, the fighting gives the show so much weight. This may just be Rurouni Kenshin adjacent but it most def ain’t Bleach. Each fight looks different, feels different, and really has you “wiping your hands and hunched over while playing your favorite fighting game” type serious as they progress.
Ja-Quan: Omar, say less. The fight scenes in this joint are astounding. You will deadass experience a few jaw-dropping moments because the animation levels are off the scouter scale during every fight. It’s like the first time I saw Into the Spider-Verse, I knew I was witnessing some of the greatest scenes that have ever been done. The people behind this production (Ufotable, the same cats that made Fate/Zero) are coming for your top ten and are disemboweling mufuckas on this path to greatness. But can we talk that teary-eyed, filled with 2 tons of heart shit right now?! Can we talk about how Tanjiro has catapulted to the top of our most adored anime protagonist list in one season or less?
Willie: You’re all right except you’re not focusing on the real best boi: Zenitsu. Since we’re not talking spoilers, I won’t partake in spoiler jive talking. This show was the real deal since day one. No other show (except Gintama shameless plug) has made me feel the way this one did about the characters and fight scenes. This had me invest in something more than the surface level reaction of “DAMN YOU SEE THE WAY THAT ANIMATION WENT WHOOSH AND SKKRRT?” Also, what other show can put a girl in a box for damn-near most of the run time and make you care about her? The answer is NOT A DAMN ONE!
Also at Ja-Quan, again, without spoiling anything, Tanjiro has the 2 tons of heart thing and all that, but my boy Zenitsu? The boy who’ll have you dead before you can say the last three letters of the alphabet? “X Y – DEAD?” He HAS that two-ton heart down! He has gear third level heart. You can all see what I’ll be focused on in the inevitable spoiler talk, but for now I’ll leave it alone. Kimetsu No Yaiba IS THAT SHOW for now and forever!
OK SPOILERS INCOMING. If you haven’t finished Demon Slayer, finish, then come on back for the rest of this discussion. Re-live all the feels with us.
William: I love how Zenitsu has one technique, which is, fuck yo shit up with one take. Dasit. And he’s unconscious while he does it so he don’t even have PTSD from that Demon murder. Shit is amazing. As I’ve said before, this might be the best crew in the game right now. Inosuke is basically self-taught and got multiple Beast breathing techniques? My dude got that Beifong sonar? Man, get the fuck up outta here. And we don’t even know what Nezuko is capable of yet. Folks be talkin’ about, “Imagine what I would do with a full night’s sleep.” Sheeeeit, Nezuko come out the box, six weeks of sleep in her eye and ready to dismantle some shit.
Mikkel: We’ve barely seen what Inosuke’s actually capable of given that we’ve only seen Technique 7 out of his self-taught Total Breathing. His “I want all of the smoke” personality and fighting style make him my favorite. The moment that sold me completely though was when Tanjiro told him “Don’t die until I get back” and this berserker took a beating, but took Tanjiro’s work to heart, survived, and managed to figure out human kindness in the process. And the goddamn final scene in the final episode with the train. HE WANTED TO FIGHT A TRAIN. He technically actually fought the train. That’s some old-school Princess Mononoke shit and I’m here for it.
Ja-Quan: While Inosuke’s boarish, staticky, attitude is the perfect balance to Tanjiro’s tempered, caring, yet determined flow, don’t get me started on Zenitsu. As much as I love his Sleepytime savagery, his stereotypical pervy, whiny behavior is beyond redemption (even though I know he will mature and redeem himself one day). But I’m here to talk about the technique slapping all of us across the face for sleeping on it — that Demon Blood Art nah mean!
Fam, when the last time you had the villainous horde out here with the varied skillsets and murderous moves?! And so many episodes feature a new demon with wildly stronger powers than the last. After that Jabba The Hutt lookin’ creature at “Final Selection,” I had zero clue that these more advanced and deadlier ones would be this outright appealing. From the temari-and-arrow demon tag-team champs that blew the doors off the expectations, to that trill introduction to the 12 Demon Moons, the game done changed with this one.
Omar: *Sicko mode plays in the distance* Listen let’s get to the shits, man. Tanjiro might just be the GOAT and he only got one season out. He was a contender for GOAT when he gave Forest E-Honda Hands Demon every gallon in the water breath water park, then hit the Oasis “Don’t look back in anger” sympathy. He was on the ballot when he told the J Dilla Drummer Demon that his beats knocked after knocking his block off. He was the nominee when he had the drop on demon Spider-Girl with the Breath of Water: First Form in the tuck, fade ready, then saw her repent, waiting to accept death with Creed’s third single from their debut album, AND SWITCHED THE ATTACK TO BLESS THE RAINS DOWN IN AFRICA INSTEAD?! I ain’t ever seen good boy go so earnest in the good boy harder than that. What?
Tanjiro’s nominee ticket for GOAT was ready to be put in the suggestion box then in episode 19 (three episodes later, mind you) HE TOLD EVERY ANIME CHARACTER IN THE GAME: ACTIVE, BENCHED, AND RETIRED TO SHUT THE FUCK UP. HUH? How you beat a demon’s ass by remembering how ya daddy use to buss it to the jam? Huh?! Tanjiro hit his daddy’s fire smurda dance to turn the thermostat up on the Breath of Water to the Dance of The Fire God. He Roy Mustang’d his technique FROM OUTTA NOWHERE… Goat. Da goooooooooat.
Mikkel: And let’s not forget how he managed to completely deconstruct Kaneo’s world view in about a minute. “How did you make it land on heads?” “Well, see. I didn’t. I was just gonna keep flipping till it landed on heads.” Tanjiro is my favorite type of protagonist, the one who brings out the best in others effortlessly and sincerely.
The Best Good Boy
William: I gotta go back to when Tanjiro was battling my dude with the Dance Dance revolution palms. My dude was hitting techniques, not for killing blows, but to redirect himself in mid-air. Nah, this ain’t no regular shit. After that, I became THE fan. I was in these streets posting fliers on telephone poles and shit. Then when he went up against 9th Wonder in the house? Shit was greatness. He slew my dude and walked away like, bet, I would still freestyle over your shit fam. Turn me up in the headphones when we meet in the afterlife, nahmean.
Nobody out here doing it like TJ man. I was telling Lauren earlier, Naruto would be like, I believe you’re great because we’re friends and I’m striving to be great, so I’m taking you with me. TJ be like, I believe in you. Full stop my slayer. That’s it. Send tweet.
Lauren: Look, I love a good hero. I stay putting episodes on repeat like they’re my gym track except it’s actually just bench pressing my bank account. But lemme tell you about Muzan “Family Man By Day, Killer Demon Lord By Night” Kibutsuji. My mans got every legendary Hashira they done thought of and couldn’t find a Planeteer ring for tryna assassinate him for ages. Meanwhile he’s out here casually walking the streets lookin’ like he just took his family out for a nice walk but not too late ‘cause the little one has kindergarten in the morning. I mean, the utter God-level audacity.
AND THEN he hits us with the metamorphosis that would even make Aku pause and say, “Gahdamn, but I ain’t ever did Jack like that…” Not only an entire body change, but an aura change? What kinda Fenty beauty shade finder level magic you gotta conjure to have an aura beat to the gods? And I’m sorry, did you think you were going to level up by running through every mini-boss in this game before you got to Muzan? Nah, fam, he gonna snack on his whole lower rankings like the Sunday brunch he just cooked for his family, extra juice. It’s one thing to be nice with the blades, issa whole ‘nother level when just exposure to someone’s blood can either literally blow you up or make you lose your whole damn mind.
Omar: Aye you readers can’t see this but our editing team is telling us to wrap it up cause we’re 2k words in which is the cap. Well, *Ric Flair voice* “Your ain’t gotta like it BUT YOU GOIN’ LEARN TO LOVE IT”, cause you can’t put a cap on Demon Slayer. Tanjiro showed up and told everyone in anime to shut the fuck up. Fuck your hand seals, chakra, nin, ki, transformations, summons, and final forms. We off that.
If you ain’t got a Kickball champ on your team like Nezuko? Shut the fuck up. If you ain’t got an Inosuke on ya squad rockin Boar’s Head meat with his chest meat out 24/7? Shut the fuck up. If you ain’t got the shook boy catches bodies when he catches z’s with a Cool Ranch Doritos robe to stunt on these heux like Zenitsu? Shut the fuck up. If your character ain’t bout that action while at the same time being bout that honest forgiveness and non-paint by number kindness on some Tanjiro shit?! Shut the fuck up. Everybody shut the fuck up!
I don’t know how I got to this site, but this shit right here had me. I been rollin with that KnY from the beginning, but I could see every scene y’all discussed with y’alls commentary and that shit was parfait.
This like the best review ever! Totally agree, Demon slayer is on point with its originality! But, William,you sleeping, if u don’t think the Harisma? Dont have the skills,they the upper echelon level! Next season,TJ gonna catch up with the quickness, total concentration style 24/7!
First off: I love y’all energy and I’m diggin’ this site.
Not all anime lovers are created equal right? And we all have different tastes and opinions but y’all feel like kindred spirits. I love everything you guys talked about but William and Omar total nailed it. The roots of their fighting techniques are original and more interestingly, somehow, they’ve figured out a way to make each episode feel like the stakes are real without it seeming like a plot device. The payoff doesn’t take too long and it doesn’t feel cheap either. This show walks the line (VERY FUCKING WELL) of capturing your attention but also moving forward without sacrificing either-or. They make it a point to convey the weight of each action and choice. They still hold to typical shonen anime-tropes(which we all love) like the rise of an un-assuming hero but yet, they also highlight his unncertainty and the gravity of it all which grounds the show a little more than other shonen animes. The sheer difference a lone (although subtle) is refreshing to see. This show is defintely a gem. And yes, the the art is FYA. That Okami-like Ukiyo-e/Sumi-e ink wash style is awesome. The chemistry of our three odd-couple-style heros reminds me of Kenshin, Sano, Yahiko, and Kaoru. I’m loving this show!
Zenitsu is disgusting. Abilities notwithstanding he’s somehow worse than BNHA’s Mineta. Incredibly foul. We ain’t about objectifyin’ in 2019.
I was in for the horror historical fantasy tone but the introduction of Zenitsu, Inosuke, and now the Hashiras has completely transformed the show into a bog standard shōnen show. Yawn.