A global phenomenon that swept the anime/manga community off of its feet in 2019, Demon Slayer never lost its steam on the international scene and in Japan.
Time to review what we know, along with Demon Slayer Season 2, which is right around the corner!
What happened so far in Demon Slayer
Japan, Taishou-era. Young Tanjiro Kamado lives a modest and simple life with his mother and siblings, selling charcoal. His life takes a turn when his family is savagely slaughtered by a demon, save for his sister Nezuko. She has turned into a demon herself, but seems to have retained some of her human traits and emotions…which does not stop her from attacking her brother. Saved by the Hashira (most powerful warriors in the Demon Slayer Corps, Giyu Tomiokar knocks Nezuko out and sends Tanjiro to seek training alongside Sakonji Urokodaki, the former Water Hashira. Sakonji accepts and for two years, Tanjiro undergoes an harsh training, while his master hypnotizes Nezuko to add another guarantee that she will pro this master hypnotizes Nezuko.
Now in possession of the Water Breathing Technique, Tanjiro successfully passes the Demon Slayer Corps Final Selection in flying colours and starts heading toward his first mission in the next town. It is there that our protagonist will finally learn the name of the demon behind the carnage back home: Muzan Kibutsuji, the Demon King himself, the source of all demons. Through the whims of fate, Tanjiro ends up face to face with the man in Asakusa, where the young Damon Slayer does not hesitate to confront him. The demon manages to give him the slip, but the scene has piqued the interest of Lady Tamayo, a demon doctor who is also trying to kill Muzan. She offers to help Tanjiro turn Nezuko back to her human form if he can provide her with a blood sample from Upper Ranked demons. Back on his journey, Tanjiro encounters Zenitsu Hagatsuma (a fellow junior Demon Slayer with a cowardly disposition) and Inosuke (another junior Demon Slayer with too much energy) whom he decides to enroll in his party.
Upon reaching Mt Natagumo, they discover that the Spider Demons inhabiting the mountain have already dispatched the Demon Slayers sent before the three companions. Follows a series of fierce fights where Tanjiro, Zenitsu, Nezuko and Inosuke will put their life on the line. Nezuko unlocks her Blood Demon Art and Tanjiro discovers his Hinokami Kagur in the midst of it all. The small party is saved in extremis by Giyu and the Insect Hashira, Shinobu Kocho, and dragged in front of the rest of the Hashira. There, Tanjiro and Nezuko are deemed worthy of being part of the Corps by Kagaya Ubuyashiki, the man at the top of the Demon Slayer Corps. Shinobu takes the group under her wing for a time, training them to refine their Breathing Technique before they resume their journey toward their next mission.
What is going on with Ufotable?
Demon Slayer is directed by Haruo Sotozaki, with music composed by Go Shiina and Yuki Kajiura and the character design from Akira Matsushima. It was aired from April 6 to September 28, 2019 and ran for 26 episodes.
Demon Slayer ticks all the right boxes of the shounen genre, and even throws in some extra. The anime and the manga use tropes seen again and again and add a particular flair to them. A comfortable balance is established between nekketsu, humour, visuals, supernatural powers and emotions. The animation keeps a steady “above average” level straight into “excellence” mode during action scenes. The fights are fluid, alive and fill the screen while making sure that the viewers can actually follow everything. We are indeed in Ufotable’s territory: dynamic camera movements, colourful effects completing each other, abundance of busy lines and still, sense is made here to deliver intense fights.
The special effects are seamlessly inserted, except maybe for one or two hiccups (those creatures Muzan summon to annihilate the Lower Ranks look way too 3D). The colours use a versatile palette going well with the environments and atmosphere. Speaking of environments: those are pretty diverse and marked by a significant change in scenery and feeling.
The characters are simple to approach, but in a good way. From the backgrounds already shared (as more is to come), viewers get to understand what moulded those individuals. The stories are easy enough to follow and they create an interest in their future and an urge to cheer them on. This is one of the strengths of Demon Slayer when it comes to its cast: we can clearly see those shounen codes hanging above their heads, however the characters manage to pluck the right chords to create a group of really charming boys and girls. There is nothing complicated about them, yet viewers enjoy sharing those moments with them and reel in excitement when they are about to give it their all. Tanjiro’s Hinokami Kagura was a moment to behold, nervously gripping the edge of one’s seat.
Last but not least, the soundtrack. Demon Slayer enjoyed two veterans with recognized pieces and the result is a masterpiece. Each song is recognizable and rather than being a random element in the anime placed there because we need music, it is a part of the formula. It conveys musically what we seek visually. The openings and endings were all-time favorites for the fans and even casual viewers or people randomly finding them through Youtube recommendations. Gurenge in itself made its composer a millionaire.
At the moment, ufotable is working on Demon Slayer Season 2 (planned for fall 2021) and Girl’s Work. They also have a Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu movie planned, but this project is still in its early days as it does not even have a title yet.
What do we know about Demon Slayer Season 2 so far?
Season 2 has been officially announced and it will adapt the Entertainment District Arc. In addition, fans should not worry about seeing some scenes or elements cut off due to the risqué nature of the Red Light District: it is confirmed that the anime has passed the standards-and-practices review set by Fuji TV nothing will be altered.
What are fans saying about Demon Slayer Season 2?
The series has a gigantic fandom and fans kept themselves diligently updated about everything Demon Slayer since the end of the first season and the release of the movie in theaters. Forums and threads are filled with excitement and theories on how the season will be divided. The official Twitter account is keeping itself pretty busy with regular posts too.
Of course, the usual fanarts and memes are part of the feverish festival. Demon Slayer received stellar scores on different platforms showing that much is showered on the series.
Will there be Demon Slayer Season 2?
Demon Slayer is originally a manga published from February 15, 2016 to May 18, 2020 (23 volumes) and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotouge. The series gained traction and attention slowly at the start, to then see its popularity exploding in 2019 with over 25 million copies in circulation by the end of the year. It won a slew of awards and is often ranked high up in rankings. Gotouge received accolades from big names in the industry. Demon Slayer is one of the best selling manga series with approximately 150 million copies sold in total. Five spinoffs were released over the years with some covering interesting events surrounding Giyu and Rengoku.
Funimation released the Blu-ray in two limited editions and two standard ones with Part 2 making over $1, 000,000 in domestic sales. Both are available on the official website. A movie serving as a sequel and a midpoint between the two seasons was released on October 16, 2020 and it was a smashing success that the COVID-19 pandemic could not stop. It has grossed over $503,000,000 worldwide and (as of June 2021) has accumulated ¥40,096,913,600 in Japan. It set a precedent with theaters in other countries more willing to release anime movies as we can see with Boku no Hero Academia: World’s Heroes Mission planned to be released outside of Japan.
Gotouge and Aya Yajima published three light novels in 2019 and 2020 and shone a light on some of Hashira’s past. However, this is not all as Demon Slayer is a merchandise-generating machine. The franchise can be found in different forms: audio drama, exhibitions, art books, fanbooks, stage plays, towels, keychains, clear files, countless partnerships with big brands, among other things. It was acknowledged that Gotouge’s Kimetsu no Yaiba was powerful enough to impact the Japanese economy and boost tourism. Its influence is so big that Shueisha had to resort to trademarking the haori patterns of some of the characters.
Finally, Google Trends shows that the interest in the series never died. The graph never reaches zero and rather, continuously goes for higher peaks. Now that we officially know that a second season is coming, it is obvious that search queries will continue to climb.
When will Demon Slayer Season 2 be released?
Season 2 should begin in Q4 2021 (fall). It will be on air through fall and winter and will occupy the 11:15pm slot on Sunday on FujiTV. When looking at the schedule set by FujiTV for the airing of the compilations and the movie, it might be safe to assume that season 2 will start in October.
What can we expect in Season 2 of Demon Slayer?
We already know that Season 2 will start with The Entertainment District arc and an introduction to the Sound Hashira, Tengen Uzui.
Furthermore, the movie’s end shows that some loose ends need to be tied, so it would make sense for the new season to use 1-2 episodes before jumping into the new arc. The real question that remains will be: how many episodes is the Red District arc going to take and with what will be left, how much extra material will viewers enjoy?