First Look: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Manga Adaptation by UFOtable
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Tanjiro’s family is slaughtered by demons and his only surviving sister is starting to become one of them. In order to avenge his family and find a cure for his sister, he decides to become a Demon Slayer.

Iro’s verdict: Ehhhhh

I’m not necessarily opposed to another relatively-high-budget Shonen Jump battle manga adaptation, but it’s hard for them to really distinguish themselves these days. This has to stand out against Boruto, My Hero Academia, One Piece, Black Clover, et cetera, and we still have Dororo airing if you’re really into that Japanese demon-slaying genre stuff. All that said, the cool effects work in the OP has me at least a little intrigued, and it usually takes a while for this type of show to really hit its stride. I’m willing to at least give it another episode or two, but probably not much more than that unless it really picks up.

Gee’s verdict: Middling

Yaiba isn’t necessarily poorly made or offensive in any manner, but it just isn’t very interesting either. Ufotable’s contribution to the adaptation doesn’t seem to be that impressive and unlike My Hero Academia’s adaptation by Bones, Yaiba is a comparatively safe one. A good adaptation understands when and where to cut and alter the original source material to better fit the medium it’s being adapted to. Unfortunately it seems Ufotable didn’t get the message and we end up with a very standard first episode of a WSJ story. We’re introduced to our shouty and driven protagonist, but not much else. The premise isn’t interesting enough to grab your interest, the one fight that occurs isn’t particularly well paced nor exciting to watch, and while we have our stakes established, it isn’t much to really go on. At this point, the thing really keeping me around for another few episodes is a combination of my genuine interest in seeing Ufotable adapt something as conventional a shounen and some very striking shots in the OP sequence that were more aesthetically interesting than anything in the anime itself. If Yaiba is meant to join the likes of My Hero Academia and The Promised Neverland as a rising star from WSJ, it has an uphill climb.

Artemis’ verdict: Too Many Demons, Not Enough Time

There’s nothing in particular I can pinpoint that was wrong with Yaiba‘s opening episode – the story was pretty straightforward but not uninteresting in and of itself, with a very classic shounen vibe and impressively smooth visuals to back it up. For all my apathy when it comes to Ufotable and their particular brand of storytelling, they do know how to integrate CG into their anime far better than most other studios tend to, and this show is clearly no exception. Paired with sharp character designs and a soundtrack courtesy of Kajiura Yuki, one of my favourite anime composers of all time, you’d think I’d be a little more enthused about the prospect of watching more. Instead, I find myself oddly ambivalent about the whole thing. I have absolutely no basis for the belief that this will become one of those predictable, monster-of-the-week kind of shows, but that’s exactly the impression I get anyway, and was already feeling myself growing slightly bored by the halfway mark as a result. I’m not not recommending this to people, but for whatever reason, it just doesn’t seem like my thing. Besides, what with Dororo continuing on to its second cour, I already have a decent demon slaying anime on my weekly watch list.

3 thoughts on “First Look: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

  1. I started reading the manga a while ago and i agree that the story first few chapter kinda slow( MC training to become a demon hunter-> final exam -> first mission). But after the other 2 characters was introduced( The boar head guy and the blond guy in the OP ) this quickly become my new favorite manga. The things i like about it is:
    1. There no brother-sister romance in this story, which is kinda rare. The MC and his sister care and protect each other like the last family they have left.
    2. The cast: Once the other 2 guys was introduced, the series really kick off it gear. I just love the 3 turning into closer into bros after each fight.
    3. The comedy: MC kinda the straight man so he most effective when play against other character. I found the series sense of comedy quite good.
    4. The setting: Kinda a point in Japanese history that rarely get potrayed by the media( early 20th century japan).
    5. The MC: I like him cause he not the kind of hot head, shouting type we typical see in shonen. He more of the kind, gentle, feeling sorry for the monster and help comfort them before their dead.

    • I hate how we can say shit like “it’s rare to have no brother-sister romance” with a straight face.

      Funny you say it picks up after the first mission, because I decided to read a couple chapters and was still pretty bored by the end of that and didn’t decide to read any further. I guess there was probably a reason the special advance showing in LA was the first five episodes, huh?

  2. I’m realot enjoying all the first impression and episode review posts like this one. Maybe I’ll give it a try with some shows. I basically agree Shimetsu no Yaiba seems boring or overused in concept, but I’m really hoping it gets better.

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