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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Volume 1 Manga Review

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“Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba” is hit-and-miss.

Written and drawn by Koyoharu Gotouge, the debut volume of the manga “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba” tells the story of a young boy (Tanjiro) who comes home to discover that his entire family has been slaughtered by man-eating demons. However, it turns out there is one survivor with his sister Nezuko…sort of. You see, she has turned into a demon, but for some reason, she is not attacking humans. Tanjiro vows to protect her, possibly find a cure for her, and find his family’s killer. Amidst all of this, Tanjiro bumps into a katana wielding member of the Demon Slayer Corps named Giyu Tomioka who suggests he train with an old man named Sakonji Urokodai. As Tanjiro begins his training, he quickly learns that he has many challenges and obstacles in front of him.

There are moments in “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba” where I am totally on board with this story. The demons’ powers and abilities are creepy and cool (they’re almost “Evil Dead” esque at times), the mythology of this universe is intriguing, and the world of the Demon Slayer Corps is ripe with possibility. Unfortunately, the stuff around those elements frequently leaves much to be desired.

The main flaw with ‘Demon Slayer’ is the writing. Gotouge has a tendency to overdo it with inner monologues, he constantly overstates the obvious, he repeats things, and the dialogue is, how do I say this politely, clunky at best. The character of Tanjiro is also weirdly written. He starts off as an innocent and kind young boy but he soon becomes something more as he builds strength. It feels like the character could have had more of a journey from point A to point B. Why rush it?

From a storytelling perspective, however, Gotouge clearly has talent in shaping a universe and persuading you to want to read more (see the cliffhanger ending for reference). As always, it’s possible the series will improve with subsequent volumes, but that remains to be seen for now.

As for Gotouge’s artwork, it is both impressive and underwhelming. When it comes to the character details and expressions, the art is on point. When it comes to the background details and settings, it is very bland and minimal.

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July 2, 2018 - Posted by | Book review | ,

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