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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaibanote  is a manga series by Koyoharu Gotōge. It was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from February 15th, 2016 to May 18th, 2020, with 205 chapters in 23 volumes.

Taking place during the Taisho Era, the series tells the story of Tanjiro Kamado, who lives with his mother and five siblings in a small hut in the mountains. One day, he goes to sell charcoal in the nearby village. On his way back, a villager warns him of rumored demon-sightings and offers to shelter him for the night, so he can make his way back safely during the day. When Tanjiro returns, he finds his entire family slaughtered, and his younger sister Nezuko turned into a demon. A demon slayer named Giyu Tomioka arrives and is about to finish her off, but to his surprise, Nezuko retains enough of her humanity to protect Tanjiro. Seeing this oddity and Tanjiro's promising fighting skills, Giyu decides to send them to his old mentor for training.

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So begins Tanjiro's life as a demon slayer, on a quest to cure his sister and find the one who murdered their family.

An anime adaptation, produced by ufotable began airing April 6th, 2019 and can be viewed on Crunchyroll here. An English dub began airing on Toonami on October 12, 2019.

A movie adaptation of the Mugen Train arc, which continues from where season 1 left off, Kimetsu no Yaiba: The Movie - Mugen Trainnote  was released on October 16th, 2020 in Japan, and in US theaters on April 23, 2021. It went on to become the highest-grossing anime and Japanese film ever, records held by Spirited Away for two decades.

During a special official Aniplex/ufotable stream on February, 14th, 2021 the much anticipated second season was announced, following from the where movie left off, continuing it with the Red-Light District arc. The planned release date is for later 2021, if no further changes are made.

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Compare with Kaiten Mutenmaru, also a manga about a katana-wielding boy against horrific but sometimes sympathetic monsters created from humans.

Related works within the series include:

  • Manga
    • Tomioka Giyū: Gaidennote  - (April 1st, 2019-April 8th, 2019, Japan)
    • Rengoku Kyojuro: Gaidennote  - (October 12th, 2020-October 19th, Japan)

  • Light Novels
    • Kimetsu no Yaiba: Shiawase no Hananote  - (February 4th, 2019, Japan).
    • Kimetsu no Yaiba: Katahane no Chonote  - (October 4th, 2019, Japan).
    • Kimetsu no Yaiba: Kaze no Michishirubenote  - (July 3rd, 2020, Japan).

  • Video Games


Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    #-C 
  • Aborted Arc: The ranks within the Demon Slayer Corps quickly fade out of any real importance after the Red-Light District arc despite the main trio of Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke being pointed as rising 3 ranks ever since they started their career – from 10th at the base as Mizunoto, to 7th as Kanoenote  – that’s 10 ranks within the field Slayers and the one above all of them, the Hashira rank; Gotoge, in a narrative sense, basically streamlined the Demon Slayer Corps as "those who are Hashira, and those who aren't", thus all the main boys are measured with is with how close, or how far, they are from being as strong as the Hashira, without anything in-between. The series ends without Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke not becoming Hashira but progressing in their strength instead, Tanjiro is outright stated to be a Hashira level slayer by Giyu later, Zenitsu presents feats only the Hashira have (creating a new form, killing a Twelve Kizuki demon), and Inosuke is part of the effort in killing the Upper-Rank 2, but there's no promotion to be had when the whole reason the Demon Slayer Corps existed was to kill all demons, and Muzan dying accomplished that.
  • Adaptational Badass: The Breathing Styles’ elemental effects are packed with greater visual flair in the anime, and even some Demon Blood Arts as well, making both the Demon Slayers and the Demons look a tad more impressive and stronger than they looked in the manga, the effects of Zenitsu’s Thunder Breathing and Tanjiro’s Hinokami Kagura attacks stick out in particular (The difference between Hinokami Kagura’s Clear Blue Sky in the anime and manga is like night and day); all that visual treat in the anime ironically works against the fact that the audience shouldn’t perceive all the elements for the Breathing Styles as happening literally.
  • Adaptation Distillation: This comes off as an oddity since the animated adaptation expands on several events from the manga, but there are some minor things the anime cut for unspecified reasons:
    • The scene where Zenitsu first presents Nezuko with flowers. The anime completely cuts Nezuko from the shot, by showing Zenitsu presenting his flowers to someone out of frame. While in the manga, Nezuko is shown right next to him.
    • The Hashira Meeting has an event where all Hashira become agitated and surprised at the fact Tanjiro has actually seen Muzan face to face. Mitsuri is accidentally pushed down by Uzui during the uproar, the anime does not adapt the small little detail in the manga panel showing Giyu helping her get back up.
    • The anime doesn't show Zenitsu trying to talk with Nezuko through her box in the Butterfly Estate’s intermission, with him updating her how the training is going well for everyone then inviting her to watch a flower garden bloom.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • In the Latin American Spanish dub, Ivan Bastidas (Tanjiro) already had experience on voicing a protagonist whose family is killed and having to fighting against evil as a result, except replace Taisho-era Japan with Gotham City in the U.S.
    • Likewise, and from the same dubbed version, it's not the first time we hear Melissa Gedeon (Mitsuri Kanroji) to voice a pink-haired girl.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: The series is filled with cases of artistic styling on how hair colors are presented. The majority of the cast is canonically black-haired but the series’ creator, Koyoharu Gotouge, gives most of the cast different colored hair tips, often with a gradient effect. The major example being one of the main characters, Inosuke Hashibira, having black hair but with blue hair strand tips. With certain characters with less spotlight, however, Gotouge isn’t consistent with giving them this color gradient effect, namely Kanao Tsuyuri with her pink hair tips and Genya Shinazugawa with his yellow hair tips.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The anime expands many events from the manga. Information sometimes presented in one narrator text box or just a single manga panel get expanded into full scenes in the anime; some of these are:
    • Tanjiro's tragedy from losing his family is given more breathing room to show peaceful his life was before they all, except his sister, died; the following scuffle with his demon-turned sister and the slayer that came to kill her is expanded as well.
    • Zenitsu's reminiscing of his master Jigoro, the anime didn't just expand the master's devotion to training Zenitsu, it actually made original scenes for them as well.
    • Zenitsu's message sparrow Chuntaro is given much more focus than it originally had in the manga, mere single extra volume illustrations were made into full scenes in the anime.
    • Rui's make-believe family system was only given a single manga panel detailing how larger it used to be in the past; the anime made a whole flashback scene to it.
    • The anime added an original scene in which Kagaya discusses the current situation regarding Muzan and the future of the slayers with the Hashira after the situation with Tanjiro and Nezuko’s judgment is settled.
    • The anime changes a bit of how the Infinity Train Arc started. For one thing, in the manga, it wasn't a mission given to Tanjiro and co. but instead Tanjiro wanted to find Rengoku to ask him about Fire Breathing and made Zenitsu and Inosuke come with him because they were all healed and shouldn't be taking up room at the hospital.
    • The Academy specials are greatly expanded in the anime, even as short little segments it took all of the extra info given through just text and little 4-koma in the manga, to then produce more cohesive and lively scenarios.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: The anime doesn’t make use of the Lemony Narrator present in the manga, which isn't a huge loss as the anime can just show instead of telling something, or have a character explain important information instead of the narrator. However, there are a few gags in the manga that relied upon on the narration to work; for example, explaining how honest Tanjiro is by introducing himself to a demon before attacking them, despite how he could easily have gone for a sneak attack instead. The anime skipped the explanation for why Tanjiro does that.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Demons who aren't heartless monsters tend to be Tragic Villains with sad origins.
  • Alcoholic Parent: Rengoku's father started to drink constantly after his wife's death and finding out about the Sun Breathing style, losing his passion for swordsmanship and (it's implied) abandoning his duties as the Flame Hashira. He's still chugging away while badmouthing his own dead son after his funeral, but later he starts to get better.
  • All for Nothing: Muzan's entire journey to find the Blue Spider Lily was destined for failure, as his miracle flower, thanks to research seen in the modern day, will only grow for a few days and only ever appears in broad daylight. He and his minions would have never been able to get it.
  • All-Loving Hero: Tanjiro is just a nice kid through and through. He's fully committed to his duty of slaying demons that threaten society, but that doesn't mean he hates all of them and comforts those who regain some of their humanity in their final moments.
  • All There in the Manual: While not too extreme, the series does have certain events and plot relevant information given outside of the manga pages / anime scenes proper. Most of them come in the form of extras within the compiled manga volumes, with the rest in databooks. Deeper details on key events, character trivia and more background are guaranteed to be reserved for those expansions. One specific example is Mitsuri's training under Kyojuro, which is only mentioned in the Kimetsu No Yaiba Databook.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The true nature of the Marks and the eventual fate of those who achieve it; Kokushibo states that every Slayer who achieves the elevated power of the Mark is guaranteed to die once they reach 25 years of age, as the tremendous power it brings comes at a price, rapidly using all vitality a person has until they shrivel and die. This statement is rebutted by Gyomei, who knows of at least one person who overcame that predicament, however, Yoriichi being the known example is a very exceptional case since he was a singularity himself, thus being quite difficult to point to as a basis for other potential exceptions. The series ends with 3 Marked ones who survive the final battle: Tanjiro, Giyu and Sanemi, and the series doesn't dwell on how many years they live after that, nor the second Fanbook; Tanjiro's family tree in the 21th century having one full generation over Zenitsu's and Inosuke's could be a saddening hint but ultimately nothing is confirmed, and it likely never will be with Gotouge preferring to leave the ending as happy as it can be, since it was too bittersweet already.
  • Animation Bump: The flashback in Episode 19 showing Tanjiro's father doing the Hinokami Kagura is rotoscoped, making his movements much more fluid.
  • Arc Villain: Except for the latest arc (that shows the defining battle against Muzan and his subordinates) and two other training arcs, each arc has a major antagonist that Tanjiro and his friends must defeat, with Muzan as the overarching main villain of the series.
    • For the Final Selection arc, it is the malicious Teoni, a huge monster obsessed with killing the students of Urokodaki who participate in the final election in revenge for defeating and trapping him on the Fujikasane mountain.
    • For the First Mission arc, it is the Demon in the Bog, a demon divided into three personalities who kidnaps and devours teenage girls. He ends becoming the first enemy that Tanjiro confronts as an official demon slayer.
    • During the Asakusa arc, Big Bad Muzan Kibutsuji debuts, but he ends leaving the task to kill Tanjiro to Yahaba and Susamaru, two faithful demons that aspire to join the Twelve Kizuki and end up targeting Tamayo too.
    • For the Drum House arc, it is Kyogai, a former member of the Twelve Kizuki who lost his ability to become stronger by eating humans and wants to regain his former glory by eating Kiyoshi, a human with rare blood.
    • For the Natagumo Mountain arc is Lower Rank Five Rui, a tyrannical and cruel demon who forces his followers to act out familial roles.
    • For the Mugen Train arc it is Enmu, Lower Rank One and the Sole Survivor of Muzan's slaughter of the Lower Ranks, who is tasked by his master to kill Tanjiro and Flame Hashira Rengoku by infiltrating a train and planning to kill their wills with his dream-controlling abilities. After his death, Upper Rank Three Akaza takes the role as the main villain, wanting Rengoku to join Muzan due to his impressive abilities and ultimately killing him.
    • For the Red Light District arc, it is Upper Rank Six Daki (along with her stronger older brother Gyutaro), a childish and vicious demon posing as a prostitute in the red light district, who caused the mysterious deaths of some people and the disappearance of Uzui's wives.
    • Swordsmith Village arc has both Upper Rank Four Hantengu and Upper Rank Five Gyokko, who travel to the Swordsmith Village to cripple the Demon Slayers by killing the people tasked with forging their swords.
    • And finally, the Infinity Castle Arc, where all the remaining Hashira and the main cast have to take on all of the remaining Upper Ranks of Kokushibo, Douma, Akaza as well as the new Uppers Ranks, Nakime and Kaigaku, as the toughest and most personal battles in the series by far. Which will all lead towards the finale of taking down Muzan once and for all.
  • Art Evolution: Gotouge comes from a background of drawing single chapter horror stories, and their style of drawing facial structures was more in the line of drawing smaller, piercing eyes that occupied less space on a character's face. That method was present early on in Demon Slayer, which is their first long serial, but as the series progressed Gotouge began to draw characters with bigger eyes and more comically expressive faces. The anime adaptation lines itself with Gotouge's later art style from the get-go.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Breathing is the center of all techniques performed by human demon slayers in the series, with a whole system of swordfighting arts developed around it. While learning how to breathe effectively is a real thing among athletes and martial artists, in this series it is taken to a whole new level. Proper breathing can make the characters have unprecedented control over their bodies, freely control their blood flow to make their muscles have super strength, push their bodies to move faster than bullets, and even outright stop hemorrhages by focusing hard enough. Even so, the series pushes the Breathings as something that isn't supernatural at all, compared to demons who have actual supernatural powers.
  • Art Shift: During comedic moments, characters are drawn in a simple, chibi-like style.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Some of the people that the demons killed in their backstories were rather loathsome, and a few of them directly caused the demons' Start of Darkness.
    • In the Mount Natagumo arc, one Demon Slayer who tries to fight Rui is rather unconcerned about the deaths of his comrades, and hopes to kill a demon so that he can get a pay raise. Unfortunately for him, Rui is one of the Twelve Kizuki, and kills him in one hit.
    • Obanai Iguro's family was a group of people who sacrificed their offspring to a snake demon and lived off the wealth of the people the demon killed. They planned on sacrificing the young Obanai to the demon once he became old enough, but he escaped, resulting in the demon killing everyone except one young girl in retaliation. That said, while Obanai knows full well that they were terrible people, the Sole Survivor blaming him for their deaths helps further his self-loathing.
  • Assimilation Backfire: Doma's tendency to devour women is used against him by Shinobu, who spent years consuming wisteria poison in order for her own body to become poisonous enough to damage him when he consumes her, allowing Kanao to deliver the finishing blow.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The Hashira and the Twelve Kizuki. The Upper Ranks of the Twelve Kizuki even more so, and Kibutsuji as the head of the demons. Kagaya, leader of the demon slayers, subverts this slightly - he's a masterful tactician but is in incredibly poor health.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Tanjiro is a very observant fighter, able to come up with tactics on the fly. Using his head (both figuratively and literally) is his greatest asset.
  • Babies Ever After: The modern day epilogue features some of the casts' descendants as well as a few reincarnations. For explicit pairings, we have Tanjiro and Kanao fostering a line with two great grandchildren, and see the same has happened to Zenitsu and Nezuko.
  • Bad Boss: After Rui is killed, Kibutsuji Muzan decides to disband the Lower Ranks. He does this by massacring them brutally. After he accuses one of being more frightened of the demon slayers than of himself, the demon frantically protests it's not true, only for Muzan to execute her on the spot anyway for having contradicted him. Another one asks for Muzan to give him more blood (which would make the demon more powerful, but has a risk of killing him), but Muzan accuses the demon of giving him orders, and kills him, too.
  • Bait-and-Switch: How the meeting with the Lower Ranks goes genre-wise. Typically in a shonen series, this would be the part where the audience is introduced to the antagonists of the next coming arcs...only for Muzan to decide based on past failures involving the Lower Ranks, and Rui's defeat, that they're pitifully weak and aren't worth having around and decides to kill all of them except for Enmu.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: The sleep demon Enmu's power is to step inside your Mental World through dreams. If your spiritual core in the subconscious part of that world is destroyed, it leaves you mentally crippled and a shell of your former self. The mental world is a reflection of your personality:
    • Rengoku's is a wide burning plain of tiled stone floors.
    • Inosuke's world is a maze of winding underground tunnels.
    • Zenitsu's world is completely pitch black.
    • Tanjiro's world is an infinite calm sea with bright blue sky. It's so comforting the person sent to cripple him couldn't bring himself to do it.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Played with. Most demons are villains and vary in appearance from monstrous to humanoid. However, the few good demons — Nezuko, Tamayo, and Yushiro — look perfectly humanoid, and the former two are described as beautiful.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Rengoku's father immediately moves to strike Tanjiro upon seeing his hanafuda earrings because they mark him as a user of the Sun Breathing.
    • One of the few things that can tick Tanjiro off is calling Nezuko ugly. He also doesn't like it when people harm Nezuko, or harm their own families- Sanemi manages to hit both of these buttons, and doing the latter results in Tanjiro getting into a a fight with Sanemi and having a restraining order placed on him as a result.
  • Big Bad: The ultimate villain is Muzan Kibutsuji, first and most powerful of the demons.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Tanjiro is very protective of Nezuko, and doesn't take it kindly if you speak badly of her.
  • Bishōnen:
    • Inosuke is actually a pretty-boy, so much so that he can pass as a beautiful girl so long as he's stuffed in a kimono and doesn't talk. His expressions show his true character, though.
    • Many of the Demon Slayers, if they don't have disfiguring scars, fall close to this or Biseinen.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • The Mugen Train arc. While many people are hurt, none of the passengers die thanks to the efforts of the five Demon Slayers. Enmu is defeated and killed, but Akaza shows up and manages to mortally wound Kyojuro before being forced to flee by the sunrise. Kyojuro dies satisfied that he protected everyone, and his comrades mourn his death.
    • The series as a whole. Muzan is dead along with every other demon created by him, Tanjiro and Nezuko are both human again, and their family has been avenged. But many good people died to make it happen, some of the survivors, Tanjiro among them, are irreversibly crippled, and now that the Demon Slayer Corps is no longer needed, the organization is disbanded. Decades later, in modern day Japan, most of the core cast has long since passed away, but are heavily implied to have been reincarnated. Tanjiro and Kanao married, and so did Nezuko and Zenitsu. Kiriya is still alive as the oldest man in Japan thanks to Muzan's curse on his family being broken, and Yushiro, as the Last of His Kind, has become a reclusive painter famous for his portraits of Tamayo. Tanjiro's descendants have also preserved his Nichirin blade and hanafuda earrings as heirlooms along with a picture of the cast members who survived the final battle.
  • Black Blood: Despite the series in general keeping the blood as crimson as it can, as it originally aired lated at night on several channels in Japan; The theatric release for the Mugen Train movie has a few key scenes where particularly big splashes of blood are colored black, such as Tanjiro's desperate maneuver to escape Enmu's dream world, then the home release on Blu-Ray and DVD corrected that, making it red.
  • Black Swords Are Better: Subverted - Tanjiro's Nichirin blade is colored black (the color changes depending on the owner), but this is actually considered a bad sign because no swordsman with a black sword has ever become a Hashira. 'Black blades' is also used as a nickname for rookie demon slayers. It is also revealed that a black sword is used as a base for the red sword, which is used by Sun Breathing users when fighting and Tanjiro when combined with Nezuko's blood.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: People who have acquired the official English VIZ Media licensed print have noticed some pretty bizarre translation mistakes then and there across the volumes. Misspelt names and syntax errors are the most common, but sometimes there are cases where a sentence is somehow translated into the exact opposite of itself.
    • One example is (in the original) the orphan and lone warrior Inosuke assuming Tanjiro (who's also an orphan) has parents and siblings to go back to, contrasting with himself who has lived alone his entire life in the mountains. The Viz translation, however, has Inosuke bragging that he has parents and siblings, unlike Tanjiro.
    • During the meeting of the Upper Ranks, Hantengu remarks that Gyokko "became uncountable" in the Viz translation. The correct translation would be that Gyokko forgot how to count, since he erroneously said that it had been 90 years since the last meeting, rather than 113.
    • In the final event of the series, the desperate fight against Demon King Tanjiro, Kanao takes upon herself to inject him with special vials of the concoction Shinobu and Tamayo crated to counter Muzan, now to be used in hopes of saving Tanjiro; at that moment Kanao remembers Shinobu’s words during a short flashback, after that Kanao specifically thanked her "Nee-chan" in the original japanese dialogue, Viz somehow translated big-sis as Kanae, dropping her name out of nowhere despite Kanae not being part of the memories whatsoever, with big-sis being obviously Shinobu in that context.
  • Blood Knight: Inosuke just wants to fight, regardless if you're a demon or not. Same goes for Akaza, the Upper Rank 3.
  • Boss Bonanza: The final Infinity Castle Arc can be applied to this. All the Hashira and the main cast have to face on all of the remaining Upper Ranks before taking on Muzan himself. Which can be listed as:
    • Kokushibo vs Himejima, Sanemi, Tokitou and Genya
    • Douma vs Shinobu, Kanao and Inosuke
    • Akaza vs Tanjiro and Giyuu
    • Nakime vs Obonai and Mitsuri
    • Zenitsuu vs Kaigaku.
  • Break the Haughty: Upon hearing that Kyojuro's last words to him were "please take care of your body", his father finally sets down the alcohol and cries, mourning for his son.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Inosuke and Zenitsu actually acquired Total Concentration Breathing: Constant faster than Tanjiro (it took only nine days, whereas Tanjiro needed more than 10), but couldn't be bothered to do it until Tanjiro got it and with some clever manipulation by Shinobu.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Tanjiro and Nezuko. Upper-6, Daki, actually shares the position with her brother Gyutaro as well.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The Hashira have all sorts of weird personalities, from the stoic to the incredibly unhinged. However, they're the only fighters the demon slayers have that can reliably kill Lower Ranks.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Demon Slayers with their Breathing Styles and Demons with Blood Demon Arts use this when initiating their techniques.
  • Cast from Lifespan: According to Upper-1 Kokushibo, any swordsman who manifests a demonic mark on their body has never lived beyond the age of 25, and predicts that the 27-year-old Himejima is going to die at the end of the night regardless of whether or not he survives his encounter with him and kills Muzan. Although Himejima raises the counter argument that there was one individual who did not succumb to the temptation of demonization; the one whom turns out to be Kokushibo's twin brother Yoriichi Tsugikuni, who was born with the mark and lived up to the age of 80 before dying of old age.
  • Central Theme: Sacrifice. A big deal is made of how sacrificing yourself through body, mind and soul can give others a chance at happiness. Examples include Tanjiro sacrificing his chance at a normal life to protect Nezuko, Zenitsu sacrificing his simple life for the ability to honor his masters' wishes, and Shinobu ingesting massive amounts of poison, essentially committing suicide, so that a powerful demon is tricked into eating her corpse and becomes weakened enough for her comrades to finish off.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower:
    • Tanjiro's training as a demon-slayer involves running himself ragged through stamina training in order to increase his lung capacity, which is the the root of the "Total Concentration: Water Breathing" style he is taught. This enables him to do amazing feats, like slice through giant boulders.
    • As the series progresses, more "non-supernatural" means of demon slayers becoming extremely physically capable are introduced, to the point where regular humans can actually have strength not far beneath even the strongest demons - although they come with extreme drawbacks, taking its toll on their bodies once a battle ends and sapping their stamina very quickly when in use (meanwhile, demons boast much greater stamina reserves and healing powers).
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Early on, Muzan turns a passing man in Akakusa into a demon to evade Tanjiro, resulting him being put in the care of Tamayo. Tamayo later writes to Tanjiro that the blood samples he's sent to her have allowed her to develop medicine to help the man to regain his consciousness. His Blood Art Flesh Seed is borrowed by Tamayo along with her new medicine to trap Muzan for the Demon Slayers to kill him once and for all.
  • Chekhov's Skill: The Kamado family has a special dance called Hinokami Kagura, passed down into their family for generations. The dance is actually the original Sun Breathing, which the Kamado ancestors learned directly from Yoriichi on their request and passed down along with his hanafuda earrings to honor his memory.
  • Clothing Combat: Daki uses kimono sashes to fight and trap her victims.
  • Cool Mask: Urokodaki gives each child he sends to the Final Selection a fox mask he made himself as a protective talisman. The demon he sealed away on the same mountain 47 years ago uses it as a marker to slaughter all of his apprentices.
  • Cosmic Motifs: The demons seem to have moon motifs. Muzan's first introduced human alias, Tsukihiko, begins with the Japanese word for the moon. His subordinates are called the Twelve Kizuki, which translates to Demon Moons.
  • Crossover: Had one in the form of a collaborative event with Granblue Fantasy.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Zenitsu is, for the most part, weak and cowardly. But if things get tough and running away isn't an option, he passes out and unlocks his powerful Thunder Breathing style.
  • Cute Bruiser: Nezuko is perfectly capable of defending herself, with her superhuman demonic strength and fire-based Blood Demon Arts.

    D-M 
  • Danger with a Deadline: Demons are incredibly difficult for humans to kill thanks to having far greater strength, toughness, and speed, nearly limitless stamina, and a Healing Factor unless their heads are cut off. However, all demons are vulnerable to sunlight and will crumble into dust if caught outside at the crack of dawn.
  • Dead All Along: Sabito and Makomo turn out to be past pupils of Urokodaki, who were killed by a demon he sealed on the Final Selection mountain. Their spirits show up to help Tanjiro master the sword and avenge them.
  • Deadly Distant Finale: The epilogue takes place in the Reiwa era, when nearly all of the main cast have passed on, and the few that did survive are either over a century old (Ubuyashiki) or functionally immortal (Yushiro).
  • Death by Materialism: The unnamed low-ranked demon slayer who interrupts Tanjiro and Rui by thinking the latter is an easy kill so he can get a promotion and earn more money, gets killed in seconds by Rui's web.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Downplayed. In the anime, Tanjiro's words and actions towards Rui, Mother Spider, Kyogai, and a lesser extent Susamaru give them succor and peace from the pyschological wounds that Muzan had exploited when he made them demons. Most of the other Demons did not receive such sympathy, particularly Bog Demon, Yahaba, Sister Spider, or the Tongue Demon.
  • Decapitation Required: The most common way to kill the demons with Nichirin Blades, other than wisteria poison and exposure to the sun.
  • Defiant to the End: The magistrate who sentenced Hantengu to death showed no fear when Hantengu, now a demon, returned to kill him. Instead, he promised that someday, karma would catch up to Hantengu.
  • Demon of Human Origin: The demons in the series are made from Muzan and his more powerful minions giving their blood to humans. Muzan himself is the first of them all, being turned into one by a doctor who tried to cure him of his disease with Blue Spider Lily.
  • Demon Slaying: The premise, as made very clear in the English title. The "demons" in question are actually referred to as oni in the Japanese script, although the term is used as a more generic "demon" in certain contexts.
  • Depending on the Artist:
    • Zenitsu’s nichirin blade is unique in that it doesn’t have a distinct color. It has, however, a yellow lightning strike pattern which is more detailed in the manga but simpler in the anime.
    • Inosuke's swords are extremely worn out blades chipped to look like saws. This is more obvious in the manga, where they are twisted and scuffed unevenly.
    • The slight art shift used for comedic moments is less exaggerated in the anime.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Rengoku's father crossed it with his wife's death on top of learning about the Sun Breathing, which led him to believe all sword styles including his own are merely cheap imitations of the "original". He ended up abandoning his duties as the Flame Hashira and his sword altogether, tearing up the generational record of Flame Hashira, drinking constantly and either ignoring or berating his sons.
  • Determinator: This is a basic requirement to become a demon slayer. Even Zenitsu will step up (after passing out) when push comes to shove.
    • This cranks it Up to Eleven in the final battle when the foot soldiers willingly turned into human shields, dying to protect those who can take on Muzan. And when even Hashiras and slayers(Tanjiro, Kanao, Zenitsu and Inosuke) are suffering fatal injuries and lost limbs, they still stand unwavering against Muzan. Even the Kakushi (non-combatant team) will try their damn hardest to stop Muzan by crashing cars and shoving a whole gondola on him, all to stop Muzan from hiding from the sun. Needless to say, it's no exaggeration to say the almost the whole Demon Slayer Corps are absolute goddamn determinators.
    Muzan: They're standing up again. Those damn pests! I crush you again and again, but you won't die. You surge and surge. You stand up again and again until dawn, until the moment I draw my last breath.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: The Mugen Train arc both in the manga and anime/movie, the titular train is taken hostage by a demon, who has killed people through many of its courses, however, the ride Tanjiro, Zenitsu, Inosuke, Nezuko and their superior slayer Kyojuro Rengoku take is the one where they will neutralize the demonic threat, to ensure the safety of all passengers aboard.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Katanas are described as thus. The same forging process that makes a katana an Absurdly Sharp Blade also makes it quite brittle. If the blade doesn't line up precisely with the direction of a swing, the user risks breaking their sword.
  • Dirty Coward:
    • Inverted. Zenitsu spends a lot of time early in the story in a panic and screaming about not wanting to die, so much so that children and even Tanjiro look at him in disgust. When push comes to shove, however, he will do the right thing (even if he happens to faint from fright). Played straight with his former superior Kaigaku, who is implied to have been the one who sold out the inhabitants of Himejima's temple to a demon to save himself and who ultimately became a demon to avoid dying.
    • The examinee Tanjiro saves from the Hand Demon combines this with Ungrateful Bastard. When it seems as though Tanjiro will die against the demon, the other examinee decides to flee while the demon's occupied with Tanjiro, leaving him to his fate. As a result, the other examinee ends up being Killed Offscreen and is not among the five survivors of the exam(Tanjiro, Zenitsu, Kanao, Genya and Inosuke).
  • Distant Finale: While the exact number isn't given, the finale chapter takes place at least 100 years into the future. It shows the descendents and reincarnations of most of the cast living happily free of evil demons. Kiriya is the only human still alive, having fulfilled his family obligation he lived to be the oldest man in Japan.
  • Distinguishing Mark: Tanjiro has a distinctive scar on his forehead (he got it first when he was younger, protecting one of his brothers from a hot brazier; it becomes larger thanks to the Final Selection) and his father is shown to have had a birthmark in a similar spot. The man who appears in Muzan's memories had flame-like marks covering the left side of his face as well. A red birthmark on the forehead is apparently the sign of those "chosen" by the Sun Breathing style.
  • Downer Beginning: The series begins with a demon killing Tanjiro's entire family and turning his sister Nezuko into a demon.
  • Dramatic Dislocation: On top of being really flexible, Inosuke can dislodge every joint in his body, allowing him to squeeze into any space as long as he can fit his head in. Once out, he just pops everything back into place.
  • Dramatic Irony: While the tankobon version of the final chapter is mostly happy, one moment does stand out from the rest: a joyous declaration that nothing as unexpected and dangerous as the demon attacks ever hitting Japan again, considering something to that effect is on the horizon in a few decades.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Inosuke (which makes it really weird when Tanjiro and Zenitsu see it for the first time, as he's pretty buff), Rui, Tokito, Kagaya and Muzan Kibutsuji (whom the Lower Ranks couldn't even recognize when he appeared before them fully dressed and made up as a woman).
  • Due to the Dead: The series has at least two key events for these rites.
    • After Kyojuro dies, several scattered scenes of characters reacting to his death is shown, his lord Kagaya in particular is offering his prayers to the already fallen slayers before Kyojuro, commending on Kyojuro's bravery until the end, earnestly expecting to join him and everyone else in the afterlife when their mission to eradicate demonkind is finally done.
    • In the end, after Muzan is dead, the Corps are disbanded, Tanjiro and Nezuko go back home, taking Zenitsu and Inosuke with them; Zenitsu carries the ashes of his beloved master Jigoro with him, Tanjiro and Nezuko allow him to bury the ashes in the same place the Kamado family was buried, where they all send their prayers and move on.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Early on the manga the Twelve Kizuki system is explained by vague nondescript silhouettes of demons belonging to that group, the anime teases defined silhouettes of what the Twelve Kizuki actually look like as early as the first opening theme and by expanding Kyogai’s flashback of him being expelled from the Lower Ranks.
  • Elemental Motifs: The demon slayers' swordsmanship styles invoke the elements, but they don't actually use the elements themselves. Instead, they take on the elements' physical qualities. Water Breathing is adaptable and flexible, while Thunder Breathing focuses on lightning-fast movements. In addition, while Flame, Water, Stone, Wind, and Thunder are the basic styles, it's not uncommon for demon slayers to mix-and-match and eventually develop their own styles, such as Mitsuri's Love Breathing or Tokito's Mist Breathing. While the manga and anime show various elemental effects when the characters perform their sword techniques, they're more for visual appeal than anything.
  • Everybody Cries: Rengoku's death leaves all three boys in a sobbing mess as the clean-up crew arrives.
  • Evolving Credits: The shadows of the Hashira in the opening get removed as they get introduced.
  • Excalibur in the Rust: The sword Tanjiro and Kotetsu find in a training doll is of high-quality steel, albeit extremely rusted due to age and neglect. Later, Haganezuka restores the blade albeit with some permanent damages when Tanjiro uses the incomplete sword to slay Hantengu.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: All of the demons have unique eye designs that not only differentiate them from the humans but from themselves too:
    • Nezuko's pupils are dark pink with a light pink iris and white scleras (coincidentally making her look closer to a human than most demons) while Tamayo's eyes are a grey-hued gradient and pupil-less.
    • The Twelve Kizuki go a step further and have their respective ranks tattooed on their eyes.
  • Faction Motto: The titular Corps has two prominent ones regarding their grudge against demons, “Metsu” (Destroy) and “Akimessatsu” (Destroy Evil Demons), the former is seen engraved on the back of the member’s unforms, and the latter is seen engraved on the blades of the 9 elite and most powerful members, the Hashira.
  • Family Business: Rengoku's father was also a Flame Hashira. Combined with the fact that they own the generational record book of Flame Hashira, their family name is the same as the Ninth Form of the Flame Breathing (the final technique he used against Akaza), and how Senjuro laments that he had been unable to become his brother's successor, it's implied that being Hashira or at least the Flame Breathing sword style is passed down in the family.
  • Fantastic Fighting Style: The Breathing Styles, which are swordfighting styles that are utilized through controlled breathing and are all based on different elements (though it's worth noting that they don't actually use Elemental Powers, and any elemental effects shown are only for stylistic effect). The styles include:
    • Water Breathing, which grants users the flexibility and fluid movements of water. Taught by Urokodaki and used by Giyu and Tanjiro.
    • Thunder Breathing, which grants the blinding speed and power of lightning. Used by Zenitsu.
    • Beast Breathing, which grants the keen senses and raw power of wild animals. Used by Inosuke.
    • Flower Breathing, which grants graceful and beautiful movements associated with plants and fruits. Used by Kanao.
    • Flame Breathing, which grants the destructive power of fire. Used by Kyojuro.
    • Love Breathing, an offshoot of Flame Breathing that grants unparalleled flexibility and dexterity. Used by Mitsuri.
    • Sound Breathing, which focuses on using powerfully loud sound to disorient opponents and striking with sonic speed. Used by Tengen.
    • Wind Breathing, which utilizes powerful gusts of air to create Razor Wind. Used by Sanemi.
    • Insect Breathing, which foregoes attempting to behead demons in exchange for precision strikes using a blade laced with poison, not unlike a venomous insect. Used by Shinobu.
    • Serpent Breathing, which replicates the flexibility and fast strikes of a snake. Used by Obanai.
    • Stone Breathing, which grants the strength and durability of stone. Used by Gyomei.
    • Mist Breathing, which can be used to blindside enemies as though striking from an impenetreble fog. Used by Muichiro.
    • Sun Breathing, the first breathing style developed and the one from which all others derive, which grants the overwhelming power of the sun, the weakness of all demons. Hinokami Kagura, a special fighting style passed down through Tanjiro's family, uses Sun Breathing.
    • Moon Breathing, a direct offshoot of Sun Breathing that draw upon the moon's crescet shape. Used by the demon Kokushibo.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Kibutsuji can be polite when he wants, but underneath that facade is a merciless sociopath who treats his minions as disposable tools.
  • Fiction 500: The Ubuyashiki family, the founders of the Demon Slayer Corps, have said corps as a private army in the ever difficult secret war against demonkind. The first databook states the Ubuyashiki family is extremely rich without ever going into specifics, and they can personally pay for a personal army of hundreds and give each slayer a very generous fee. The lowest ranked members are paid 200k yen (a very good amount during the early 20th century), and the Hashira (the highest ranked members) are said to be "paid as much as they want", which shows that the Ubuyashiki are absurdly rich as the series never shows money is of any issue to them. After the end of the series, a special oneshot chapter contained within the second databook even goes an extra step to show Kiriya Ubuyashiki casually gave enough money to Tanjiro and Nezuko, as a token of eternal gratitude, for them not to ever work a single day in their lives again.
  • First-Name Basis: The majority of the cast are quick to start calling each other by their first names, albeit most with added honorifics as a form of respect, as they are all part of the same demon slaying corps with a sense of camaraderie; the few characters who prefer to go by last names are the extremely polite characters like Kyojuro Rengoku, or those with a level of disdain towards someone, like Iguro Obanai only calling Giyu Tomioka by his last name. The shining example of course is the main cast itself: Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke start calling each other by their first names without any honorifics, forming a real bond quite fast, although Inosuke always get their names wrong, until the Infinity Castle Arc that is, where he finally learns how to call their names right. Over time, the cast goes from calling Big Bad Muzan Kibutsuji by his family name of Kibutsuji to his first name of Muzan.
  • Flower Motif:
    • The demon slayers and their allies use the wisteria as their symbol, as it is toxic to demons.
    • The Anime's ending theme features Red Spider Lilies prominently. They are flowers that represent death and reincarnation according to Japanese culture. They also appear when Zenitsu has a Near-Death Experience after fighting Kaigaku, and the flowers hold him back from approaching his old master, signifying that Zenitsu isn't dead yet. There is also a mention of the Blue Spider Lily. A flower that doesn't exist in real life, but it's something that Kibutsuji is also looking for as it's one of the components of the medicine that turn him into a demon.
  • Foreshadowing: At the end of Final Selection, Tanjiro sees three survivors besides himself- Zenitsu, Genya and Kanao- but in Kagaya's first scene, he says that five people survived the exam. This is an early hint that Inosuke also took the Final Selection and survived, but wasn't patient enough to wait around at the end.
    • Akaza mentions to Rengoku that he can train as long as he wants if he decides to become a demon, for more than even 200 years. It's later revealed that a Slayer chose specifically to be a demon only to get as strong as he can, the Upper-1 himself, Kokushibo, who has been Upper-1, atleast for more than 400 years.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • Sanguine: Tanjiro Kamado
    • Choleric: Inosuke Hashibira
    • Melancholic: Zenitsu Agatsuma
    • Phlegmatic: Nezuko Kamado
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • If you pause the anime's first opening at around the one minute and fifteen second mark, you can see Rui on a tree branch in the background, the Mother demon in the background behind and to the right of Inosuke, and the Sister demon behind Zenitsu.
    • During Tanjiro’s fight against Yahaba, there’s two different angle shots of the same stance where Tanjiro works his way out of Yahaba’s vector powers, one shot has Tanjiro’s Water Breathing attacks embedded with the usual water effects, but the other quick shot has Tanjiro perform his attacks without any water around his sword despite it being the exact same scene; in any other series this would be an animation error, but in here the animators did a quick nod to the fact none of the elemental visuals accompanying the Breathing Styles are real, they are just visual flair to make their attacks look cooler.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: For the less monstrously evil demons at any rate. Every demon in the series was a human at some point in time and often had completely normal, and in some cases very tragic lives, before they became the monsters they are today. None of their actions as demons are portrayed as excusable, yet Tanjiro is often able to get a sense of their pain and suffering as they lay dying, and even offers them a last moment of respect and sympathy for their situation, with several demons expressing genuine regret for the things that they've done while they're at death's door.
  • Gag Sub: One fan translation of Chapter 185 translated the story with gaming references, memes(Nezuko doing a Leeroy Jenkins), and even Jojo's references.
  • Genetic Memory: Kibutsuji shares a lot of his blood with the Twelve Kizuki, who can also experience flashes of his memories, especially regarding a swordsman wearing hanafuda earrings.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Several characters in the series have scars, and only the good ones at that, since their enemies are demonic beings who can all regenerate. Sanemi in particular has a collection of them from tirelessly fighting demons, which makes him look evil at first. The most positive example is Tanjiro himself, who gets some scars along the way in places where his beauty is not compromised, preserving his sweet nature and appearance. Muzan is later shown to have several scars he got in a legendary battle that he was unable to heal, which is the first example of evil scars in the series..
  • Gorn: It's up there with Bastard!!, Rurouni Kenshin, and Jojos Bizarre Adventure as one of Shonen Jump's goriest.
  • The Greatest Style: The Sun Breathing, later called the Hinokami Kagura. It's the first and strongest swordsmanship style created by the strongest Demon Slayer in history who nearly slew Muzan 400 years ago, Yoriichi. All other Breath styles are inferior derivatives that Yoriichi taught to the other Demon Slayers to suit their specific talents when Sun Breathing proved too difficult for them to master. When Tanjiro switched from Water to Sun Breathing and reversed the Curb-Stomp Battle against Rui, he collapsed from the sheer strain in mere seconds since it was his first time using it. Yoriichi accidentally taught it to Tanjiro's ancestors when he humored their request to watch him practice once, and the Kamados have passed it down along with Yoriichi's hanafuda earrings ever since out of gratitude for saving their lives. By the present day, its connection to Yoriichi has been forgotten and it's now called the Hinokami Kagura.
  • Group Picture Ending: The last panel of the manga shows the picture of Tanjiro and co. who's still alive after the final battle in modern Kamado family's house.
  • Healing Factor: One of the reasons why the demons are so hard to kill since the sun, poison from wisteria flower, and decapitation by Nichirin Blades are the only things that are really able to kill them.
  • Hell: We see several demons go there when killed, the Buddhist version anyway, called Diyu. It's actually a lot like the Christian hell, but temporary. Its a place where souls go to remove their bad karma, usually through torture, so they can reincarnate.
  • A Hell of a Time: The setting embraces Buddhist beliefs of the afterlife, with hell being a place of extreme damnation where those who end up there will be tortured for as long as it takes until their souls are cleansed to be reincarnated, as the series progresses we see several demons getting their ticket to hell, however, after the series’ end Gotouge made an oneshot chapter contained in the second Databook that is curiously humorous in tone, yes it shows many of the key demons faced in the story stuck in hell but instead of being tortured they are just having a group meeting, talking to each other about how they died, to which Breathing techniques they were killed with, only Muzan seems really annoyed while everyone else just accepts their situation.
  • Hereditary Hairstyle: Kyojuro Rengoku and his brother both share their father's blonde hair with red tips (said tips differ only slightly between them), all of them tying it up in a ponytail. Tanjiro's hairstyle also heavily resembles that of his father.
  • Heroic Willpower: Nezuko manages to resist succumbing to her demonic hunger even when a Hashira cuts himself to tempt her with his blood. For a hungry demon, the amount of discipline and self-control this takes is almost unthinkable Said Hashira, Sanemi Shinazugawa, is later revealed to be a Marechi, a person whose blood intoxicates demons and was even able to affect Kokushibo making Nezuko's willpower as strong as Upper-1
  • High School A.U.: The creator likes to include reimaginings of characters in a high school setting in the volume releases.
  • Horror Hunger: Demons experience this towards humans, making it incredibly difficult for those that don't want to hurt people. Tamayo, in particular, ended up eating her own family not knowing being turned would cause this, and afterward kept eating humans for a time while in the depths of despair.
  • It's Personal: The Infinity Castle Arc is chock full of these, setting itself back from even long before the start of this series. This includes:-
    • Zenitsu vs Kaigaku. When Kaigaku, Zenitsu's senior and student of the same Thunder Breathing Master, Jigoro, deliberately becomes a demon, Jigoro commits seppuku to atone — but without a second, he ends up dying a slow and agonizing death. When the news reaches Zenitsu, he drops all signs of his cowardice and lack of self-esteem, filled with the sole purpose of killing his traitorous senior. It definitely doesn't help that Kaigaku keeps insulting Jigoro's death as a senile old fart, thus pissing Zenitsu off.
    • Tanjiro vs Akaza. For Akaza, its because of getting humiliated by Tanjiro when the latter threw his nichirin blade as Akaza fled from the rising as Tanjiro yelled on that this was Rengoku's victory, angering him. Not to mention that this was highlighted by Muzan himself for leaving the other demon slayers alive, speaking on how the performance of Upper Rank 3 has declined. And for Tanjiro, it is for killing off a respectable man like Rengoku.
    • Douma vs Shinobu, Kanao and Inosuke. Oh boy, this one is a doozy. To start, Shinobu's older sister was killed by Douma long ago, thus with Shinobu completely dropping her calm demeanor into pure anger upon learning that he was the one that killed Kanae. For Kanao, as she arrived to help her master, she arrived just in time to see Upper Rank 2 kill her. Kanao had mentioned that for the first time in her life, she felt so angry that her body might tear itself apart and hated Douma so much it makes her sick. Finally for Inosuke, Douma had killed his mother a long time ago when Inosuke was but an infant. The Upper Rank had then proceeded to mock the demon slayer's mother for being such a stupid woman with a pitiful existence, despite how much she loved her son. Inosuke had claimed that it was indeed a miracle to meet the killer of her mother and his friend and declared that he would give Douma true utter Hell.
    • Kokushibo vs Muichiro, Genya, Sanemi, and Himejima. Unlike the other examples, this battle didn't start out with personal stakes. Kokushibo's opponents arrived one after another, simply doing their job to take him down as Upper Rank 1, the second most powerful demon. Near the conclusion of the battle, he executes an attack that slices Genya's upper body in half vertically. His older brother Sanemi witnesses this, his last living relative bleeding out on the ground with a fatal injury. Shedding Berserker Tears, Sanemi becomes even more motivated to kill Kokushibo for harming his younger brother, who he always wanted to keep safe.
    • And finally, Muzan. The demon slayers all have some extreme beef with Muzan as he is the progenitor of all of their misery and their friends and families killed by the demons he created. Tanjiro, who have always seen most of the demons he fought to be pitiful and sad, looks at Muzan with absolute hatred for personally killing his family. Tamayo also vowed to kill him for turning her into a demon and from there, her killing her husband and children and many others, with a grudge lasting 400 years ago. Yushiro as well, after Muzan killed Tamayo, has sworn to end Muzan.
  • Jacob and Esau: The Kamado siblings. Tanjiro inherited their father's coloring, and Nezuko their mother's.
  • Jerkass: In his first appearance in a flashback/dream, Rengoku's father is shown to dismiss his son's promotion to the Flame Hashira. When he appears in the story proper, it's to badmouth Kyojuro for "having no talent" so of course, he was going to die, and to yell at his remaining son for still grieving. He then proceeds to pick a fight with Tanjiro because he thinks he's a user of the Sun Breathing.
  • Kick Chick: Nezuko loves kicking demons in the head, or kicking their heads off.
  • Knife Nut: Played for Laughs. Kitchen knives seem to be Haganezuka's weapon of choice, at least when chasing Tanjiro around for letting his swords get either broken or "lost" during major fights, despite being a swordsmith.
  • Large Ham: Inosuke, oh so much.
    "GUAHAHAHA! PIG ASSAULT!! NOBODY CAN STOP ME!!"
  • Lemony Narrator: The manga has an ongoing narration that shows signs of this, occasionally acting like an ordinary (if somewhat snarky) character who's a part of the plot rather than an omniscient observer. When Mitsuri tells Tanjiro her reason for joining the Demon Slayers, the narrator responds to his shock with "Don't worry Tanjiro, everyone she tells this to feels the same way." Later on when Tanjiro and Giyu plan to get on Sanemi's good side by giving him his favorite snack, the narrator says "Somebody please stop them, they're just going to start a fight." Sadly, the narrator didn't make the transition into the anime.
  • Light Novels: Additional publications authored by Aya Yajima with Goutouge’s supervision and exclusive artworks, the novels usually delve deeper in events not shown in the manga, like events before Zenitsu, Tanjiro and other characters became slayers, and events that happened between the main arcs set in the manga, such as the Hashira interacting more amongst themselves and the main cast; they contain more extras regarding the Demon Slayer Academy as well.
  • Market-Based Title: The original Japanese title is simply Kimetsu no Yaiba (roughly translating as "Blade of Demon Destruction"), but the English title adds Demon Slayer before that, likely to make the premise more clear. In France the manga was initially known as Les Rôdeurs de la nuit ("The Night Prowlers") before being discontinued and restarted under the English title.
  • Masquerade: The existence of the titular demons and slayers are completely unknown to the general population of Japan, the setting being the Taishō Era, early 20th century, has made Japan a little less inclined to take their folklore too literally, and with non-government officials being outlawed from freely carrying swords centuries ago, the slayers have to carefully patrol more urban locations where officials would question and likely apprehend them for carrying weapons around.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: by claiming all elemental effects for the Breathing Styles are merely visual flair, the setting is trying to make the human Slayers be all about "realistic" self-improvement, getting super human strength without losing your humanity, unlike the Demons who lost theirs, getting magical abilities while at it. However, the endgame abilities the Slayers can achieve clearly push the evenlope, the Marks, the Transparent World and Crimson Blades are pretty much supernatural, as much as the setting tried to explain them through biological terms, their true nature is never fully explained, remaining mysteriously magical.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Tanjiro is introduced as the eldest of six siblings, though he and Nezuko are now the only ones left alive after the rest of their family was killed by a demon.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Toward the end of the Tsuzumi Mansion arc, as Zenitsu watches Tanjiro and Inosuke fighting, the siblings the group met have their emotional reunion in the background.
  • Mercy Kill: The fifth technique of Water Breathing cuts painlessly, but only works on demons who give no resistance and offer their own necks.
  • Me's a Crowd: Upper-4, Hantengu, fights by splitting up into four bodies that represent different emotions.
  • Militaries Are Useless: The Demon Slayer Corps' strength definitely does not find itself in their numbers, which are in the hundreds, but only in the 9 elite superior members, the Hashira, the additional 4 main characters and 2 reliable side-characters; only those exact 15 individuals get things done in killing demons stronger than Mook territory, anyone else in the front lines is part of the Red Shirt Army, two of the more brutally honest Hashira: Sanemi and Obanai, outright state the Corps are full of useless slayers, they are only rebutted by the Hashira who vouch for the main characters, who just happened to show promising results after mere months in the force; the official supporting positions, however, like Kakushi the clean-up and transport brigade, and the physicians are useful at helping the main combatants.
  • Mistaken for Badass: Shouichi, one of the siblings encountered in the Drum House arc, is an ordinary boy with no combat training. Despite that, after Zenitsu kills the Tongue Demon while in a trance, he comes to and believes that Shoichi was the one who killed the demon.
  • Mistaken for Dyed: Zenitsu's blonde hair is often mistaken for dyed after he was miraculously Locked into Strangeness by a bolt of lightning. In the High School A.U. gag strips, Giyu reprimands him for this and tells him to dye his blonde hair black.
  • Mistaken for Romance: The first time Zenitsu meets Nezuko he becomes incredibly pissed because he thinks she is Tanjiro's girlfriend, and that while he was working alone, terrified of dying, Tanjiro was living it up as a Battle Couple.
  • The Mob Boss Is Scarier: Muzan is so terrifying that most demons would rather die than speak of him. The Demon in the Bog has a mental breakdown just from being asked about him!
  • Monster Progenitor: Kibutsuji Muzan is the first demon, who creates all the others with injections of his blood.
  • Mood Whiplash: Runs heavy on it, the series is about the horrors of human devouring demons, how said monsters have ruined several lives, and the demon slayers hell-bent on killing them; with that said, the series is quite humorous even with so much drama, especially with so many eccentric characters who can change the tone of a scene forth and back at the drop of a hat.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: Physical prowess is taken very seriously among the demon slayers in the setting, and individuals with bigger musculature and body mass are seen as the strongest. The one exception is Mitsuri, who has a rare body condition that allows her to be strong despite her slender build. The main male protagonists Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke get visibly more well defined and bigger muscles as the series progresses, seen through the several training regimes they go under.

    O-Z 
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Mitsuri and Obanai's fight with Nakime. First they are struggling to lay a blow on her, then Muzan sees through Nakime's eyes that she killed both, until they join Giyu and Tanjiro on their fight against him, revealing that they had subdued her with Yushiro's help and the visions of their deaths he saw were illusions created by Yushiro.
  • Off with His Head!: Besides exposing them to sunlight, the main method of dispatching demons is by beheading them with a blade made of exceptional steel.
  • Ominous Hair Loss: While in Mount Natagumo, Zenitsu is bitten by a spider and encounters several grotesque, spider creatures. He is greeted by the Older Brother spider demon who informs him that he will be gradually turned into one of the spider creatures and describes the process. As they fight, Zenitsu finds his hair is falling out and yells that he was never told about that aspect of the transformation.
  • On the Next: In the anime, starting from Episode 2, each main character will either introduce a Taisho secret or Tales of a Demon Slayer Academy in every episode preview. However, in Episode 20, Shinobu and Murata appear instead of one of the main characters.
  • One Steve Limit: Downplayed. One of Ubuyashiki Kagaya's daughters shares the name "Kanata" with Tanjiro and Kanao's grandson.
  • Oni: The titular "demons" of the series are in fact referred to as "Oni" in Japanese. Though they have some differences from their mythological counterparts (from viewing early episodes, one might think they have more in common with vampires), they also share similarities such as having claws, fangs and horns, being very strong, having magic powers, and most importantly, while they are "infected" via blood, it's giving in to their darkest desires that turn them into oni. Their vampiric traits are likely an allusion to how the Japanese term for "vampire" is kyūketsuki, which literally means "blood-sucking oni".
  • Only Sane Man: Tanjiro and Zenitsu take turns during the manga's more comedic moments.
  • The Order: The Demon Slayer Corps (Kisatsutai), is a secret military organization created by the Ubuyashiki family with the sole purpose of eradicating demon kind, at first they were just a group of normal swordsmen risking their lives to kill demons, whom the very weakest of could be a serious problem, but as the time went on they were blessed with the knowledge of Breathing arts, which made them, mere humans, acquire physical abilities that made the slayers far more successful in killing demons.
  • Our Demons Are Different: To be precise, the demons of Kimetsu no Yaiba aren't western demons at all. They are Oni, a type of Japanese monster or Youkai; the word "oni" is translated here into English as "demon", which has also been done in other works, even though demons and oni have little in common.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Although the Japanese script actually calls the demons oni, they also have a lot of traits in common with vampires, likely because the Japanese term for "vampire" is kyūketsuki, which literally means "blood-sucking oni". Aside from demons eating human flesh instead of just sucking blood, they fit most criteria for being vampires; monstrous strength and speed, Healing Factor, weakness to sunlight and the only sure way to kill them is via decapitation. They also procreate by sharing their blood or in most cases the blood of Muzan with normal humans.
  • Outnumbered Sibling:
    • Teruko is the youngest and only girl of the three siblings that find themselves in Kyogai's house.
    • Kagaya Ubuyashiki has four daughters and one son. It's later revealed that the black-haired "girl" who presided over the Final Selection Tanjiro took part in was actually Kagaya's son, Kiriya, as it's a tradition for the family's sons to be raised as girls until the age of 13 since they're often sickly.
  • Parental Substitute: Zenitsu's mentor was one to him to where Zenitsu called him grandpa, and it was his mentor's faith in him despite him being a difficult student made a difference to him. Hearing about his suicide because of Kaigaku's betrayal is enough motivation for Zenitsu to become serious about taking the Thunder Hashira position.
  • Perpetual-Motion Monster: Demons have infinite stamina, and will endlessly keep regenerating unless they die. This makes a prolonged battle against them to be disadvantageous for the human Demon Slayers, since it's only a matter of time before they get tired and the demon has a Victory by Endurance.
  • Pilot: In 2013, three years before this officially debuted, Gotouge sent an one shot story to Shueisha for their usual contests, that short was called Kagarigari, and it is the true foundation of what went on to become Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba years later, the story presents concepts of Vampires (not Demons/Oni yet) being hunted by outcast slayers in the dark of night, the one seen is a severely scarred boy who looks like a mixture of Giyu and Tanjiro; the plot is driven by three characters which are dead ringers to Muzan, Tamayo and Yushiro, with their designs being almost the exact the same as their final selves in Demon Slayer. After Demon Slayer exploded in popularity, Shueisha decided to publish a collected volume of four one shots Gotouge had made before, Kagarigari being one of them, called Gotouge Koyoharu Tanpenshuu in 2019.
  • Playing with Fire:
    • Even though Tanjiro is trained in Urokodaki's Water Breathing style, his family is actually fire-themed, as shown by his father's dance rituals and his sister's blood demon art. He ends up getting advice and training from the Flame Hashira as well.
    • The sun pattern on his hanafuda earrings reveal that Tanjiro's family has some connection to the Sun Breathing style, the one from which all others originate from or are "copies" of.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The murders of Tanjiro and Nezuko's mother and four other siblings are what kick off the plot; since Nezuko survives but becomes a demon as a result, this sets off Tanjiro's quest to both restore her humanity and make sure no demon can slaughter another family again.
  • Power at a Price: The Mark, sometimes called Mark of the Sun or Demon Slayer Mark, are mysterious body marks that grow on demon slayers who have achieved their peak strength and are seemly under the body heat akin to someone with high fever and stress; the power of the Mark makes a slayer grow in strength, agility and perception to much greater superhuman heights, with said power now actually placing them on relatively equal grounds with Upper Rank demons. All of this however, drains the Mark user of all their stamina incredibly quick, making the ability a dangerous choice against demons who simply have limitless regeneration, and further in the story the claim is made that Mark users don't gain all that power for free, it is actually draining from their lifespan itself, the demon Kokushibo affirms that without question all Marked slayers will die before or when they grow to be 25 years old.
  • The Power of Family: Tanjiro is able to gain an advantage against Rui thanks to remembering the Hinokami Kagura from his deceased father. Furthermore, Nezuko is able to awaken her Blood Demon Art thanks to her dead mother to help Tanjiro against Rui.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The anime changed how a few events unfolded in the story, compared to how it originally went in the manga:
    • The Total Concentration Breathing training. In the manga, Tanjiro actually completed the whole training first by himself in 10 days. Zenitsu and Inosuke were worried about being surpassed by Tanjiro's progress, so Shinobu took it upon herself to properly explain how Total Concentration Breathing is achieved to them. The anime made it so Tanjiro only progressed halfway through the training first, to then have Shinobu motivate Zenitsu and Inosuke to catch up. The final step of the training is completed by Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke at the same time. The anime staff likely wanted the main trio to feel relatively close in their progress.
    • The segue into the Mugen Train arc. In the manga, after the boys had fully healed in the Butterfly Estate and completed their Total Concentration Breathing training, Tanjiro excused Zenitsu, Inosuke and himself out of the the Butterfly Estate because they were all ready for duty. It’s only by coincidence that they get the mission to board the Infinity Train right away. The anime has Tanjiro be directly guided towards the Infinity Train mission, properly scheduled to start after his recovery in the Butterfly Estate. The anime staff likely wanted Tanjiro to be better placed into the Infinity Train build up.
  • Protagonist Power-Up Privileges: For a great amount the series does keep Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke on relative equal levels; even with the Hinokami Kagura unveiled Tanjiro can’t use it for continuous periods early on, having to resort to mixing Water Breathing in between, meanwhile Zenitsu and Inosuke groom their own Breathing forms to greater heights; however, when the Infinity Castle arc gets heated, Tanjiro’s growth starts to soar, he can use Hinokami Kagura without problems, never resorting to other Breathing styles again, but the exact point where Tanjiro has become undeniably above his two buddies is when it is solidified the Marks, Crimson Blades and Transparent World have become the three most powerful states among the Slayers, where only the Hashira and Tanjiro ever attain it. After Tanjiro then masters Hinokami Kagura into its actual Sun Breathing form, he has arguably become more powerful than some of the Hashira as well.
  • Rank Up: The series has warrior and military ranks on both heroes' and the villains' side:
    • The Demon Slayers have 10 ranks within the field slayers. After that, there is a separate rank of the top slayers called Hashira, which only has 9 seats. To become eligible for this elite group, one must kill 50 demons or kill a Lower Rank of the Twelve Kizuki. Accomplishing one of these feats make the slayer eligible to be promoted to Hashira. The main trio rise through the field ranks throughout the series, going up a few ranks as of the Red Light District arc, later aiming to become Hashira.
    • The demons have the Twelve Kizuki system, which is a brutal race where demons struggle to eat as many humans as possible to become a part of that group. The 12 demons are divided into two groups of 6: the Lower Ranks are the six moderately powerful demons, and the Upper Ranks are the six most powerful demons. The power gap between the Lower Ranks and Upper Ranks is quite large; their leader Muzan urges them always to strive to upstage one another through a Blood Succession Battle, where a lower rank can challenge an Upper Rank for their spot in a battle to the death. Doma, the Upper-2, is one of the few demons given a proper background on his succession. He was once the Upper-6 before he ate enough humans to rise all the way up to the 2nd rank.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Kagaya, leader of the Demon Slayer Corps, treats his subordinates like his children. He is willing to allow Nezuko, a demon, to travel with Tanjiro after his subordinates vouch for her character, and is acquainted with Tamayo. He doesn't even mind when Sanemi accuses him of not caring for the sacrifices Demon Slayers have made, humbly saying that as a leader who can't even fight, he is entirely expendable.
    • One of Kagaya's ancestors was similar to him in that regard. While some of Yoriichi's colleagues banished him from the Demon Slayer Corps and wanted him to commit Seppuku for failing to defeat Muzan, letting Tamayo escape and his brother becoming a demon, the master refused to allow Yoriichi to kill himself. This led to Yoriichi meeting Tanjiro's ancestor and passing down the secrets of Sun Breathing.
    • The magistrate who sentenced Hantengu to execution was one, saying outright he has no sympathy for a person like Hantengu who steals and kills, then lies and denies his responsibility. Even before becoming one of Hantengu's first victims as a demon, he tells him that he will never escape the responsibility of his actions and will eventually pay for it with his life.
  • Red Light District: The aptly-titled Red Light District Arc takes place in the historic Yoshiwara district of Tokyo, where the heroes must battle with a powerful demon who controls the area as an oiran.
  • Red Shirt: The lower ranked Slayers are easily disposable and they die frequently. The setting doesn’t even bother stating an exact count of how many active Demon Slayers exist within the Corps - only nine Hashira at most are accounted for when the roster is complete.
  • Reincarnation: The final chapter follows the descendants and what is implied to be the reincarnations of all the major characters who passed away without leaving descendants. Mitsuri and Obanai are a married couple that owns a restaurant, Genya is a cop paired with Sanemi’s descendant - Sanehiro, Himejima is a kindergarten school teacher, the Kocho girls seem to be normal high school girls from an all-girls school, Sabito and Makomo are young middle school kids and seem to be a close group of friends with Giyu’s descendant - Giichi, Sakonji and Jigoro are already elders again playing shogi, and Muichiro and Yuichiro have just been born as twin babies once more.
  • Reincarnation Romance: In the aftermath of the final fight, Mitsuri and Obanai die in each other's arms, and she makes him promise that if they're born again, they are to marry. The final chapter focuses on the modern-day reincarnations of multiple characters, including Obanai and Mitsuri, who are indeed married and own a restaurant together, and their love was very bountiful, with the final manga volume informing they had 5 children.
    • As a little extra on Volume 23, another couple is given a second chance: Yoriichi and Uta reincarnated 400 years later, they have two kids.
  • Rule of Cool: The titular demon slayers are trained under varied swordsmanship styles, classified under natural elements such as Fire, Water and its derivatives, however, the setting really goes an extra mile to make its sword attacks look much cooler than they seem, that is by adding visual elements embedded to its strikes, all for the sake of it because the setting slightly alludes (which the author had to further confirm due some people still not getting it) to the fact none of the elemental visuals are real, as in there’s no Water materializing from thin air and so forth; the elements are there just because the author thought the attacks look cooler that way.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The cover for chapter 200 is a double spread, with characters on the right side looking sad while the characters on the left page looking peaceful and happy. This foreshadows the chapter having all these characters on the left dying.
  • The Scottish Trope: With a few exceptions, any demon who speaks Muzan's name suffers a Cruel and Unusual Death.
  • Self-Referential Humor: Gotouge has a pretty humorous way of self-referenting certain events:
    • The Swordsmith Village arc is unique in that it is the only one in the series where Tanjiro is without his closest companions Zenitsu and Inosuke fighting alongside him, the key players is shuffled a bit; the volume extra illustrations has Zenitsu and Inosuke themselves breaking the fourth-wall, asking why they aren't in this arc.
    • The first Databook erroneously stated that Muichiro and Inosuke actually hail from the same mountainside, where they grew up in; Gotouge apologized for that mistake by drawing a spoof situation showing Muichiro and Inosuke being super chummy with each other, stating that if they actually grew up in the same mountain they would be best friends before even joining the Demon Slayer Corps, but that isn't the case at all, they grew up in different mountainsides.
  • Seppuku:
    • If Nezuko ever harms a human, Tanjiro vows to kill her and then slit his own stomach. It turns out Giyu and Urokodaki made the same vow.
    • Zenitsu's mentor, a former Thunder Hashira, did this when Kaigaku became a demon.
    • Some of Yoriichi's colleagues wanted him to do this over failing to defeat Muzan, letting Tamayo escape and his brother becoming a demon, but the master of the Ubuyashiki family at the time refused to allow it.
  • Shared Family Quirks: Tanjiro and Nezuko are noted by their younger brother to both be very kind people, but also are scary when mad.
  • Series Continuity Error: A small one. The anime attempted to give a little more detail to Muzan's flashback of the day he was almost defeated by a legendary slayer. The setting of the fight seems to be near a manor in the anime, while that point in the manga gave no clear background on their battleground. When the manga eventually shows how and where the battle went, it is revealed Yoriichi and Muzan fought in a bamboo forest, no manor in sight, resulting in the anime teasing a location that would not exist in the manga.
  • Shirtless Scene:
    • As the series progresses some training events have the main trio: Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke partake in those sessions completely shirtless, showing how they became quite muscular over the series.
    • One of the series' strongest demons, Kokushibo, is styled like a samurai, once the heroes manage to land an attack on Kokushibo all it does is rip his haori off (coat) leaving him bare-chested, showing he is quite muscle-bound; it's where The Coats Are Off and Kokushibo gets overwhelmingly serious in their fight.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • The throw Yushiro uses on Tanjiro in episode 8 is a beautifully-animated shiho-nage, an actual throw in Aikido. Also, Tanjiro uses real techniques to soften his landings when getting thrown around by an opponent.
    • The Season 1 finale involving the main trio boarding the Infinity Train had them being chased around by the police for wearing swords. This was a real policy inaugurated during the Meiji Restoration, the period prior—specifically to wipe out traces of the old Samurai class.
  • Signature Instrument:
    • The tsuzumi drums on Kyogai's body are directly related to his powers, hence his nickname "The Drum Demon".
    • Nakime is always seen playing the biwa to control the Infinity Castle, hence her nickname "The Biwa Demon".
  • Snow Means Death: Tanjiro and Nezuko's family are all slain on a snowy mountain. Nezuko survives, but is turned into a demon.
  • So Last Season: Early on the series one single Lower Rank demon is a serious threat to Tanjiro and his friends, not so much to the higher ranking Hashira slayers, but still. Later comes the Infinity Castle arc where the nameless fodder demons are said to be enhanced into being as powerful as any Lower Rank was, said fodder were being effortless stomped on, in droves, by every main character at that point.
  • Solar and Lunar: The Tsugikuni brothers, with Yoriichi who use Sun Breathing as Solar and Michikatsu/Kokushibo who use Moon Breathing as Lunar.
  • Spirit Advisor:
    • Tanjiro and Nezuko's family appear surprisingly often, warning Tanjiro and trying to help Nezuko keep her humanity.
    • This is The Reveal about Sabito and Makomo, who help train Tanjiro for the Final Selection. They were also Urokodaki's students, but died at the hands of a demon with a grudge against him.
    • Koyuki, Akaza/Hakuji's fiancee, also appears to stop her husband from going on a rampage and thus reminding him who he was.
  • Stepford Smiler: Shinobu's trying to continue her late sister's policy of being compassionate with demons, but deep down she harbors a lot of resentment towards them (although she does live with the policy, such as not being judgmental towards Nezuko unlike most of her fellow Hashira and even enlisted Tamayo's help to enact her Thanatos Gambit against Doma). She is shown to have been more of a serious Perpetual Frowner in the past. Kanao is much the same.
  • The Stoic: Tomioka rarely shows any strong emotion, and comes off as rather cold, but has a Hidden Heart of Gold.
  • Storming the Castle: Invoked. After the Demon Slayers were about to attack the immobilized Muzan, the gate to his hideout, the Infinity Castle opened and they are forced to go to it while Muzan gloating about slaughtering them, starting the Infinity Castle arc.
  • Stylized for the Viewer: The various Breathing styles of swordfighting used to fight demons are named and themed after various elements, and their techniques are visually depicted as though the characters are manipulating those elements (i.e., Water Breathing techniques are often shown with water swirling around the sword's blade). However, it's been confirmed that none of the demon slayers actually have any Elemental Powers, and the elemental effects are purely for visual flair.
  • Super-Deformed: Near the end of the manga Gotouge developed a new chibi artstyle, quite different from the deformed stubs used in the humorous moments before, the characters remain somewhat detailed but their proportions have been extremely shortened; the new chibi versions were never used in the story proper, it seems exclusive for promotional material and assorted galleries.
  • Super Senses: Each of the main characters have a sense that's unusually sharp. Tanjiro has an incredible sense of smell, Zenitsu possesses exceptional hearing, and Inosuke has a highly developed sense of touch. Kanao also has heightened eyesight, and Genya has the ability to consume demon flesh for added power, counting for taste.
  • Supernatural Repellent: Wisteria flowers are this for the demons. Made into incense, it can prevent them from entering a dwelling or ward them away from a person carrying it in a satchel; mixing it into poisons makes the poison more effective and notably slows the demons' Healing Factor. Of course, more powerful demons, like the Twelve Kizuki, appear capable of resisting it to a degree.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • It's pointed out that humans recover from their wounds much more slowly than demons, and it shows. During Tanjiro's fight with Kyogai, he ends up being hindered by his wounds from the Asakusa arc, which haven't fully healed yet. After the Mount Nagatomo arc, in which Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke nearly die, they not only have to spend weeks recovering, but also have to intensively train to get back into shape.
    • The Demon Slayer Corps isn't officially recognized, so Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke end up having to flee from the police, lest they be arrested for illegally carrying swords around.
  • Swapped Roles: After Tanjiro is turned into a demon, Nezuko tries to reach out to him, just like how he did in the beginning.
  • Talking Animal: The setting has the Kasugaigarasu, the messenger crows, which serves as the mainline of communication among the demon slayers; the crows have been taught how to talk through unspecified methods, at first some crows are shown to only be able to speak to a certain level, as in they seem slightly speech impaired, but later more experienced crows are shown talking fully coherent like a human being.
  • Technicolor Blade: Nichirin blades, one of the main weaknesses of demons, take on a color when first drawn by a user of sufficient skill. The color is associated with a certain Breathing technique, like blue for Water Breathing, pink for Love Breathing, and yellow for Thunder Breathing.
  • Theme Naming: A lot of the demon slayers' sword styles are based on the elements.
    • The Water Breathing style is focused on flow and is highly adaptable to any situation.
    • The Thunder Breathing style uses lightning-fast charges and strikes too fast for the eye to see.
    • The Beast Breathing style, which Inosuke apparently came up with himself, replaces "forms" used by the other styles with "fangs".
    • The Sun Breathing style is the original from which all other styles originated, which is fitting as sunlight is the only thing guaranteed to kill even the strongest demons.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Shinobu has wisteria flower poison in her veins, which severely weakens Doma for Kanao to finish him off.
  • To Be a Master: A subtle and striking subversion. The highest ranking within the Demon Slayer Corps is the Hashira rank, the elite nine amongst the hundreds of slayers; Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke start from the bottom within the 10 field ranks before Hashira, from midway through the series and beyond the boys express the desire of one day becoming Hashira: Tanjiro during the first visit at the Rengoku house, telling Senjuro he will succeed Kyojuro as a splendid Hashira; Zenitsu when meets his master Jigoro one last time in the afterlife; Inosuke playfully saying that killing Doma will grant him the Hashira promotion. However, they never become Hashira in the end, because their true objective was ending all the suffering demons caused, and they suceed at that by killing Muzan thus the Demon Slayer Corps disband right after. Becoming Hashira was just a title of strength. That's what Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke really wanted; they all became strong enough to succeed Kyojuro, impress Jigoro, and protect others. Tanjiro is outright said to be at Hashira level by the end, Zenitsu performed feats of strength only the Hashira have, and Inosuke was key in defeating the Upper Rank 2.
  • Tragic Monster: Most of the demons in the series have rather tragic stories. Whether it's regret over eating a family member, some form of tragedy that made them accept the offer to become demons, or even treatment they've received from other stronger demons they are shown that even as cannibalistic monsters they can still think and feel as humans do. It makes the few that 'lack' any such motivations seem all the more monsterous.
    • Daki and her elder brother Gyutaro became demons at a painfully young age, with Daki having been burned alive after she stabbed out an attempted rapist's eye. Gyutaro lived for nothing but protecting her and then met Doma, who recruited them into the demons. As monstrous as they are in present, Daki is at heart a young girl who doesn't truly seem to grasp the evil of what she does, and after they die, she refuses a chance to go to heaven just never to be apart from Gyutaro as he descends into Hell, realizing his fall was all for her sake.
    • Rui became a demon at a young age due to his constant illness. When his parents discovered this, they tried to kill him, resulting in him killing them. Only then did he realize they were doing so with the intention of following him so he wouldn't be alone, and to share responsibility for his hurting a human. He ends up trying to make a false family, in order to try to and get back the actual family bonds he severed until he's finally killed and able to join his parents in death.
    • Akaza as a human stole for his sickly father, whom later hung himself out of guilt causing his son to be a criminal for his sake and requested for him to live a virtuous life. He eventually encountered his beloved master and his daughter, who became his fiancee that helped him move forward. But when Akaza left town to visit his father's grave, presumably to inform his father's spirit of the engagement, they were poisoned by a rival dojo seeking his master's land. In his rage and grief, he massacred everyone in the rival dojo, save for the live-in maid. Akaza was then found by Muzan afterward covered in blood, and well past the Despair Event Horizon, not caring about anything anymore.
  • Translation Style Choices: The series has quite many types of translation choices spread among official licensed prints and fan translation efforts; the official English print by Viz has chosen to keep certain terms within the series in Japanese, the most notable one being those for the elite warriors: the Hashira, at the same time Viz has translated other terms into English, like the Demon Slayers. The official Spanish print has chosen to translate as many terms as possible, unlike Viz who still keeps certain Japanese terms; at the fan efforts side of things, several of them, including the English fan translation, also chooses to translate as many terms as possible.
  • Unconscious Objector: Zenitsu has defeated several demons while unconscious.
  • Use Your Head: Tanjiro's head is one of the hardest things in the universe, capable of staggering demons (including his own demon-turned sister), Inosuke, and even a Hashira.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: Brought into question when the Demon Slayer Corps determines whether Nezuko (and potentially other demons who don't harm humans) should be allowed to live.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Despite the series being a fairly simple and straightforward tale, the real nature of all elemental visuals accompanying the Breathing Styles’ swordsmanship - as in, they aren’t real - is presented in little key nods spread throughout the anime and manga, such as absolutely no character commenting, friend or foe, in the potential elemental damage that should be dealt by any of the demon slayers, whereas demons who actually have supernatural powers have had their elemental effects commented upon and warned against several times. However, these nods didn’t seem enough for some people, so Gotoge had to outright confirm in the manga, volume 17, extras that indeed none of Breathing Styles manifest real elements out of thin air.
  • The Virus: One that must be willingly given as only the blood of powerful demons can turn others into demons, and only Muzan has a 100% success rate. Once turned, a newly formed demon is a mindless killing machine, Nezuko is a rare exception in that while she turned into one, her mind is still mostly human. Though she initially attacks Tanjiro, he manages to pull an "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight moment, so she retains most of her human emotions and instead protects him and other humans from other demons instead.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Inosuke really hates wearing shirts or full-length clothes like kimonos, thinking that his movements will automatically get duller the longer he wears them.
  • Wham Line:
    • Early on in the series, after Tanjiro completes his training under Urokodaki, he asks him to send his regards to Sabito and Makomo, two of Urokodaki's wards who'd helped him. This remark shocks Urokodaki.
    Urokodaki: Tanjiro... how did you know the names of those dead children?
    • When Zenitsu sees Kaigaku again after the latter becomes the new Upper-6, he has this shocking revelation about his own backstory.
    Zenitsu: Grandpa killed himself because you became a demon!
  • Wham Shot:
    • In Chapter 126, Tanjiro is distraught over having to leave Nezuko to burn in the sunlight so he can defeat Hantengu, but then he turns around and sees Nezuko standing in the sunlight, perfectly fine.
    • The final panel of Chapter 204, which shows the aftermath of Muzan's defeat and the disbanding of the Demon Slayer Corps, is a skyline of modern Japan.
  • Who You Gonna Call?: Good thing there's a Demon Slayer Corps that will (hopefully) deal with any trouble you may have with demons.
  • Wild Child: Inosuke was raised in a mountainside forest by wild boars; however, as a toddler, he would wander to a nearby family's house, where an old man would play with and read to him. The old man's foulmouthed grandson would chase Inosuke away, thinking he was a wild animal, until one day the toddler kicks the shit out of him while swearing up a storm. And that's the story of how Inosuke learned to talk.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: A rare heroic version happens when the Stone Hashira, Himejima, compliments Tanjiro on his actions during the attack on the Sword Smith village. Specifically on sacrificing Nezuko to save the villagers. Tanjiro, though, is quick to correct the Hashira and tells him it was Nezuko who made that decision not him, feeling that she deserves the credit, as he was overcome with indecision untill Nezuko literally kicked him into gear.
  • You Are Worth Hell: Despite how Demons harmed and killed people, one way to remind the viewers/readers is that some of them were once humans as well who were unable to deal with pain and loss and thus decided to act on their misguided anger by harming innocents. But with enough soul-searching and hearing a few kind words, they will repent and regain remnants of their humanity and learn that they are not alone in the form of their loved ones who are waiting for them to walk into Hell together, rejecting Heaven and immediate reincarnation in the process.
    • After dying remorsefully and learning how he horribly misunderstood his parents' intentions, Rui is reunited with his parents, as they accompany him into hell and flames engulf them.
    • Upper Rank 6 Daki and Gyutaro get theirs too. Originally, only Gyutaro would go to hell, since Daki was too young to be sentenced there and all her evil acts that she committed could be accounted to her older brother's poor guidance to raise her. Daki doesn't care though, and follows him there.
    • Upper Rank 3 Akaza and his loved ones. His master and father at first outright tell him that they cannot bring him to heaven, while his fiancee Koyuki holds him as hellfire consumes both of them. But in a Freeze-Frame Bonus moment, you can actually see the silhouette of the master and father standing with the couple, too, signifying that all four will go to hell. It's heavily implied that Koyuki was waiting for Akaza/Hakuji all along to realize the error of his ways until he finally did.
    • After the final battle, Sanemi dies of his wounds and sees his siblings in heaven, and his mother alone in hell for turning into a demon. He chooses to go into hell with her, but is forced out by his father, reviving him.
  • You Killed My Father: A major theme in the manga, as most of the Demon Slayers became so to take vengeance against the demons who ruined their lives and killed their family, friends and other loved ones. Muzan during the final battle even Lampshades it.
    Muzan: "Persistent. You're all seriously persistent. And it bores me. It sickens me from the bottom of my heart. Whenever you open your mouth, you only remember that one dumb notion about avenging your parents, kids, or siblings."

 
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Alternative Title(s): Kimetsu No Yaiba, Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba

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Thunderclap and Flash

Thunder Breathing is a swordfighting style that emphasizes striking with the power and speed of lightning, as demonstrated by Zenitsu's use of its most fundamental attack.

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5 (9 votes)

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Main / IaijutsuPractitioner

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