Author: Koyoharu Gotouge
Publisher: Viz Media
American release date: September 4, 2018
Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy Manga//192 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★
Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
During the Final Selection to become a Demon Slayer, Tanjiro encounters a very old and very strong demon that recognizes him as a student of Urokodaki—and has a grudge against Tanjiro’s sensei. Even though he has to kill the demon, Tanjiro shows compassion to him at the end, and helps to ease him into death. Only four of the original twenty candidates remain, and now they learn about what will happen. They each have the rank of mizunoto, which is the lowest. Each will receive a katana and a crow. They will choose the ore for the katana, but it may take a couple of weeks for it to be finished.
Tanjiro heads for Urokodaki’s home, to find Nezuko awake and happy to see him. His sensei is also overjoyed and embraces both children. He later tells Tanjiro that he believes Nezuko sleeps the way she does in order to recharge her energy without consuming human blood. Fifteen days later, Tanjiro’s katana is delivered by a man called Haganezuka. He refers to it as a Nichirin sword, a color-changing sword. Excited at the sight of Tanjiro, he refers to him as a child of brightness, and hopes that his sword might turn red. But it turns black instead, which they say is a color rarely seen.
Tanjiro learns that his crow actually talks when he receives his first assignment as a Demon Slayer. He is to go to a northern town where young girls disappear night after night! Urokodaki makes a very light box for Tanjiro to carry Nezuko in during the day, made of kirikumo cedar. On arrival in the town, he finds a very distraught young man, whose fiancé is missing. Suddenly, Tanjiro smells a demon, and he springs into action! Urokodaki had told Tanjiro that only one demon has the power to turn humans into demons, and that is Muzan Kibutsuji. So Tanjiro is determined to question every demon he comes across for information regarding Muzan.
Tanjiro has the demon trapped in an alleyway, but the demon is able to split himself into three. Nezuko helps him, but then he tells her to keep safe the young man and the young girl he just saved while he faces the demons. Immediately after this job, he is sent on a second mission, to Asakusa in Tokyo, where a demon is rumored to be hiding. He and Nezuko stop by a udon vendor’s cart. Suddenly, Tanjiro smells the same scent he detected at the scene of his family’s murder. Can he have found his prey already?
Tanjiro has come a long way in a short time. But despite the tragedy that has befallen, he maintains his loving nature, especially toward his sister, whom he would do anything to bring her back to the way she was. The battle with the first demon was great, and I won’t say anything about the trip to Tokyo. I’ll save all of that for the next review, to avoid spoilers lol You just know Tanjiro’s journey to seek normalcy for his sister won’t be an easy one, and it’s hard not to root for him. I certainly do.
Looking forward to the third volume.