Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 1 Review: Cruelty

Six months ago I covered a series called Goblin Slayer, and now I’m back in a similar fighting mood with Demon Slayer Merch: Kimetsu no Yaiba! The series is an adaptation of a manga of the same name which began in 2016 in Weekly Shonen Jump and has over 150 chapters. I had previously picked it up, but stopped reading at the first chapter as I had heard about the adaptation. I’m so glad I waited; this episode took my breath away.

Plot

Tanjiro Kamado lives with his mother and five siblings in a secluded house in the mountains. He travels into town where he sells coal he has gathered and does odd jobs to support his family. During one such trip, his family is gruesomely murdered by a pack of demons. The only survivor, his sister Nezuko, has been infected by demon blood. After a face-off with a demon hunter, Tanjiro decides to search for a cure for his sister.

Episode Highlights

I could almost touch the snow: This episode had one of the most detailed scenery of any anime I’ve ever seen. I felt like I could reach into my TV and actually touch the snow. It was incredible!

I wanna steal that look: Our protagonist, Tanjiro, has probably one of the most interesting shounen hero designs I’ve seen in a long time. The checkered coat, earrings, and crimson eyes together create such a unique look. I’m hoping to get some backstory on that scar/mark on his forehead soon.

Music to my ears: Of course, leave it to Kaijura Yuki to put together an absolutely stunning soundtrack. On top of seeing all the snow, the soundtrack sent actual chills up my spine. It was a beautiful accompaniment to each emotionally charged scene.

Verbal lashing: I have to admit, even knowing it was going to happen I was still taken aback by Giyuu’s chastising of Tanjiro. I do get what he’s trying to say, but it seems very inappropriate for the situation. Like come on, the kid just lost his family, cut him some slack for crying! One episode in and you can all see how overprotective of Tanjiro I’m going to be, haha!

Themes & Trivia

Early Screening: Just ahead of the anime’s official release date, select cinemas in Japan, America, and Australia, screened the first five episodes of this series. The screening was under the special title Kimetsu no Yaiba: Kyoudai no Kizuna (Demon Slayer: The Bond between Siblings).