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Manga / Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
aka: Kimetsu No Yaiba

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Tanjiro protecting Nezuko
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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaibanote  is a series in Shonen Jump by Koyoharu Gotōge.

Kamado Tanjiro lives with his mother and five siblings in a small hut in the mountains. One day, he goes to sell charcoal in the 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 to a demon. A demon hunter named Tomioka Giyuu 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, Giyuu decides to send them to his old mentor to be trained.

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

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An anime adaptation, produced by ufotable began airing April 6th, 2019 and can be viewed on Crunchyroll here


Kimetsu no Yaiba provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The first episode, while a pretty good one-to-one of the first chapter, spends a little more time getting to know the Kamado family, expanding on demon lore, and even giving Nezuko a bit more action in the fight against Tomioka.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Demons who aren't heartless monsters tend to be a Tragic Villain whose sad origins can enlist a tear or two.
  • Alcoholic Parent: Rengoku's father started to drink constantly after his wife's death and finding out about the Breath of the Sun style, losing his passion for swordsmanship and (it's implied) abandoning his duties as the Pillar of Flames. He's still chugging away while badmouthing his own dead son after his funeral, but later he starts to get better.
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  • 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.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The Pillars and the Twelve Demon Moons. The Upper Demon Moons of the twelve even more so, and Kibutsuji as the head of the demons. Kagaya, leader of the demon hunters, 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.
  • Bad Boss: After Rui is killed, Kibutsuji Muzan decides to disband the Lower Demon Moons. He does this by massacring them brutally. After he accuses one of being more frightened of the demon hunters 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.
  • 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, filled with warmth. It's so comforting the person sent to cripple him couldn't bring himself to do it, and even reinvigorated his soul in return (the person was a prior victim of Enmu whom had tuberculosis).
  • Berserk Button:
    • Rengoku's father immediately moves to strike Tanjiro upon seeing his hanafuda earrings because they mark him as a user of the Breath of the Sun.
    • One of the few things that can tick Tanjiro off is calling Nezuko ugly.
  • Bi the Way: Mitsuru, as the Pillar of Love, spends most of the Pillars' meeting swooning every time one of the others talk while thinking they're cute, cool, manly, etc. This includes Shinobu, the female Insect Pillar. During that same meeting she also thought it was tragic they were going to kill Nezuko because she is so cute.
    • Shinobu can also come across this way as she has No Sense of Personal Space regardless of gender, and in a spin-off freaked out a female hunter with her closeness.
  • Big Bad: The ultimate villain is Kibutsuji Muzan, 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 Hunters, if they don't have disfiguring scars, fall close to this or Biseinen.
  • Black Swords Are Better: Subverted - Tanjiro's Nichirin blade is colored black (the color changes depending on the owner), but this is actually a considered bad sign because no swordsman with a black sword has ever become a Pillar. 'Black blades' is also used as a nickname for rookie demon hunters.
  • Blood Knight: Inosuke just wants to fight, regardless if you're a demon or not. Same goes for Akaza, the third of the Upper Moon demons.
  • Break the Haughty: Upon hearing that Kyoujurou'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 constant full focus breaths faster than Tanjiro (it took only 9 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 Moon Six, Daki, actually shares the position with her brother Gyuutarou as well.
  • Buddhism: There is a slight Buddhist theme to the manga and anime, with a lot of mention of reincarnation and karma. When people die or almost die we are shown the Buddhist after lives.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The Pillars have all sorts of weird personalities, from the stoic to the incredibly unhinged. However, they're the only fighters the demon hunters have that can reliably kill Lower Demon Moons.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: As the series progresses, more means of hunters 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 in order 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 the man to regain his conscious. His Blood Art Flesh Seed is borrowed by Tamayo along with her new medicine to trap Muzan for the Demon Hunters to kill him once and for all.
  • Clothing Combat: Daki uses kimono sashes to fight and trap her victims. She's basically made of them, and can split them up to act independently if need be.
  • 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.
  • 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 Breath of Thunder style.
  • Cute Bruiser: Nezuko is perfectly capable of defending herself, with her superhuman demonic strength and fire-based Blood Demon Arts.
  • 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.
  • Demon Slaying: The premise.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Rengoku's father crossed it with his wife's death on top of learning about the Breath of the Sun, which led him to believing all sword styles including his own are merely cheap imitations of the "original". He ended up abandoning his duties as the Pillar of Flames and his sword altogether, tearing up the generational record of Flame Pillars, drinking constantly and either ignoring or berating his sons.
  • Determinator: This is a basic requirement to become a demon hunter. Even Zenitsu will step up (after passing out) when push comes to shove.
  • 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, but when push comes to shove, 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 that sold out the inhabitants of Himejima's temple to a demon to save himself and became a demon ultimately to avoid dying.
  • 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 Breath of the Sun style.
  • 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.
  • Elemental Powers: Downplayed. The demon hunters' swordmanship styles invoke the elements, but they don't actually use the elements themselves, only their qualities. Breath of Water style is adaptable and flexible, while Breath of Thunder focuses on lightning-fast movements. In addition, while Flames, Water, Rock, Wind, and Thunder are the basic styles, it's not uncommon for hunters to mix-and-match and eventually develop their own styles, like Mitsuri's Breath of Love or Tokitou's Breath of Mist.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: All of the demons have unique eye designs that not only differentiate them from the humans, but from themselves too. For example, 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.
  • Everybody Cries: Rengoku's death leaves all three boys in a sobbing mess as the clean-up crew arrives.
  • Family Business: Rengoku's father was also a Pillar of Flames. Combined with the fact that they own the generational record book of Flame Pillars, their family name is the same as the Ninth Form of the Breath of Flames (the final technique he used against Akaza), and how Senjurou laments that he had been unable to become his brother's successor, it's implied that being Pillars or at least the Breath of Flames sword style is passed down in the family.
  • Fantastic Fighting Style: The different Breaths.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Kibutsuji is completely merciless to demons that fail to perform to his expectations, and tolerates zero rebuttals or back-talking.
  • Flower Motif: The demon hunters and their allies use the wisteria as their symbol, as it has demon-warding properties.
  • Genetic Memory: Those Kibutsuji shares a lot of his blood with (The Twelve Moon demons)can also experience flashes of his memories, especially regarding hanafuda earrings ...
  • Hell: We see several demons go there when killed, the Buddhist version anyway, called Diyu. Its 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.
  • Hereditary Hairstyle: 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 Pillar cuts himself to tempt her with his blood. For a hungry demon, the amount of discipline and self control this takes is almost unthinkable.
  • 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 period in despair.
  • Infinity +1 Element: The Breath of Sun. It's the first and strongest swordmanship style, from which all other breaths are derived from. Its users are extremely rare, and currently only Tanjirou's Dance of the Fire God style has a vague connection to it. It is said that one of its users was able to almost defeat Muzan in the past.
  • Jerkass: In his first appearance in a flashback/dream, Rengoku's father is shown to dismiss his son's promotion to the Pillar of Flame. When he appears in the story proper, it's to badmouth Kyoujurou 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 Breath of the Sun.
  • 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!!"
  • Me's a Crowd: Upper Moon 4, Hantengu, fights by splitting up into 4 bodies that represent different emotions.
  • Mercy Kill: The fifth technique of Breath of Water cuts painlessly, but only works on demons who give no resistance and offer their own necks.
  • Monster Progenitor: Kibutsuji Muzan is the first demon, who creates all the others with injections of his blood.
  • Oni: The demons of the series are in fact referred to as Oni, though the Oni of this series only share a few common traits with their mythology such as having horns, being very strong, and having magic powers.
  • Only Sane Man: Tanjiro and Zenitsu take turns during the manga's more comedic moments. Inosuke...well, it remains to be seen.
  • Our Demons Are Different: To be exact the demons of Kimetsu no Yaiba are not western demons at all. They are Oni, a type of Japanese monster or Youkai which are commonly translated as demon but have little in common.
  • 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 Pillar position.
  • Playing with Fire: Even though Tanjiro is trained in Urokodaki's Breath of Water 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 Pillar as well.
    • The sun pattern on his hanafuda earrings reveal that Tanjiro's family has some connection to the Breath of the Sun style, the one from which all others originate from or are "copies" of.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: 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.
  • Seppuku: If Nezuko ever harms a human, Tanjiro vows to kill her and then slit his own stomach. It turns out Giyuu and Urokodaki made the same vow.
    • Zenitsu's mentor, a former Pillar of Thunder, did this when Kaigaku became a demon.
  • Shapeshifting: All demons have some degree of body-morphing abilities. Nezuko shrinks herself so she can fit inside the wooden box Tanjiro uses to carry her around. Kibutsuji's even more extreme, thus far having appeared as a man with a (human) wife and daughter, a beautiful woman and a young boy.
  • Shared Family Quirks: Tanjiro and Nezuko are noted by their younger brother to both be very kind people, but also are scary when mad.
  • Shown Their Work: The throw Yushiro uses on Tanjiro in episode 8 is a beautifully-animated shiho-nage, an actual form in Aikido.
  • Snow Means Death: Tanjiro and Nezuko's family are all slain on a snowy mountain, though its defied for Nezuko herself who lived and later in the middle of the snowfall was allowed to live by Giyuu.
  • 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.
  • Super Senses: Each of the main characters have a sense that's unusually sharp. Tanjiro has smell, Zenitsu has hearing, and Inosuke has 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 appear capable of resisting it to a degree.
  • Theme Naming: A lot of the demon hunters' sword styles are based on the elements.
    • The Breath of Water style is focused on flow, and is highly adaptable to any situation.
    • The Breath of Thunder style uses lightning-fast charges and strikes too fast for the eye to see.
    • The Breath of the Beast style, which Inosuke apparently came up with himself, replaces "forms" used by the other styles with "fangs".
    • The Breath of Sun 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.
  • 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. She is shown to have been more of a serious Perpetual Frowner in the past.
  • The Stoic: Tomioka.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Shinobu has wisteria flower poison in her veins, which severely weakens Douma for Kanao to finish him off.
  • Tragic Monster: Quite a few of the demons with established backstories are this.
    • Daki and her elder brother Gyuutarou became demons at a painfully young age, with Daki having been burned alive after she stabbed out an attempted rapist's eye. Gyuutarou lived for nothing save protecting her and then met Douma, 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 to never be apart from Gyuutarou as he descends into Hell, realizing his fall was all for her sake.
    • Rui also became a demon due to being constantly ill. 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. He ends up trying to make a false family to try to 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 whom became his fiance that helped him move forward...until they were poisoned by a rival dojo seeking his master's land. In his rage and grief, he massacred everyone in the dojo and was found by Muzan afterward covered in blood well past Despair Event Horizon, not caring about anything anymore.
  • 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 Pillar.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: Brought into question when the Demon Killing Corps determines whether Nezuko (and potentially other demons who don't harm humans) should be allowed to live.
  • 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.
  • 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 Rock Pillar, Himejima, compliments Tanjiro on his actions during the attack on the Sword Smith village. Specificaly on sacrificing Nezuko to save the villagers. Tanjiro though is quick to correct the Pillar and tell him it was Nezuko who made that decision not him.
  • You Are Worth Hell: After dying remorsefully, Rui is reunited with his parents, as they accompany him into hell and flames engulf them.

Alternative Title(s): Kimetsu No Yaiba

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