Tag Archives: Tanjiro

Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 8 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer, Vol 8     

Author: Koyoharu Gotouge

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: September 3, 2019

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy Manga/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Thanks to the Demon Slayers, the Train of Infinite Dreams has been derailed, but Tanjiro stays Inosuke’s hand when he would kill the demon responsible. Tanjiro says “he’s suffered enough”. The demon blames Tanjiro for what happened, but most of all he blames Rengoku. Although Tanjiro is injured, he is encouraged by Rengoku to keep doing his best, which words he takes to heart.

But it’s not all over, not when a higher rank demon suddenly appears! Impressed by his strength, he tries to get Rengoku to become a demon. If not, he plans to kill him. Rengoku warns Tanjiro to stay still, so he can heal, and not to get involved in this fight. As morning approaches, and with it the light, the demon fights even harder, and although Inosuke and Tanjiro join in the battle, the results are not as they would wish.

Rengoku tells Tanjiro that he believes in Nezuko, having seen that she is good, and  not to grieve over him. But of course Tanjiro grieves, as so the other Hashira. Meanwhile the demon reports to Lord Muzan, who is currently using the appearance of a child. Muzan isn’t impressed with the death of one demon slayer – he seeks the death of the entire corps.

Entrusted by Rengoku with messages for his father and brother, Tanjiro slips away, although not fully healed, in order to comply with Rengoku’s wishes. While his brother is sad, Rengoku’s father is angry and denounces his son as worthless. He takes out his frustrations on Tanjiro. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Tanjiro has to face Haganezuka again!

Tanjiro stops Ranao from being kidnapped in order to go on a mission,  but finds himself volunteering in her place, and he is joined by Inosuke and Zenitsu.  Oh-oh, what’s up now?

This volume was unexpected due to the loss of some we barely got to know. Much sadness, but that, of course, is a part of life., which is one of this manga’s strengths. The good don’t always win and the bad don’t always lose.  Tanjiro is growing as a character, but to are Inosuke and Zenitsu.  I am curious to see what mission the three will undertake next, and who is this guy with the unusual bejeweled look? Good volume, looking forward to the next one.

Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 7 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer, Vol 7   

Author: Koyoharu Gotouge

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: July 2, 2019

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy Manga/208 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

While recuperating at Mt Natagumo, Tanjiro seeks to learn about fire breathing techniques from Shinobu, but she suggests he ask someone who actually uses those techniques, such as Rengoku. As he and the others are leaving, Tanjiro encourages the shy, quiet Kanao to follow her heart, telling her she can do it.

Arriving at the train station, Tanjiro and Zenitsu discover that Inosuke has no idea what a train is when he furiously head-butts it! Tanjiro says they need to get on the Infinity Train so he can talk to Rengoku, who is already there. He suggests they put their weapons away and try to blend in. Zenitsu advises Inosuke to wear clothes, in that case.

In talking to Rengoku, they discover there is a demon on the train. Tanjiro smells something odd just before the conductor approaches to punch their tickets. Rengoku spots the demon and is immensely happy that he will be able to slay it. What none of them realize is that they are on the Train of Infinite Dreams, and they are asleep, at the mercy of this same demon. Tanjiro dreams he is back with his family and they are all alive and well, and nothing has changed. But his subconscious is sending him signals that he is asleep and dreaming, and he needs to figure out how to wake up and then wake the others or they will all die!

This volume of Demon Slayer is all about the Infinity Train, and it’s actually pretty interesting. Everyone loves to dream, but not all dreams are good ones. And you can get so lost in the good ones that you don’t want to come back to reality. That is what the demons on this train count on, which makes the dreamers easy prey. It’s their misfortune that some Demon Slayers chose to ride the train. They are the only hope the others have.

Along this journey, we get to see backstories for some of the characters, which are interesting. Still not sure about Inosuke, but I imagine his story will emerge at some point.  The demon who is invoking the dreams doesn’t seem completely evil, and that is something I like about this series.  There is no clear-cut delineation between good and evil, and sometimes it’s just a small step or a minor circumstance that causes someone to cross from one side to the other. Tanjiro’s situation is heartbreaking in that of course he wants to be with his family, and the demon uses them to guilt Tanjiro into staying asleep. Nezuko performs admirably in this volume. Go Nezuko!

Another great volume, looking forward to more.

Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 6 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer, Vol 6     

Author: Koyoharu Gotouge

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: May 7, 2019

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy Manga/200 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Tanjiro and the others are saved by the arrival of higher level Demon Slayers, the Hashira, but one of them, Shinobu, is intent on destroying Nezuko, who is being protected by another Hashira named Tomioka. Tomioka tells Tanjiro to take Nezuko and flee, but Shinobu is determined to slay the demon in their midst. Luckily a message arrives to take both Tanjiro and his sister to headquarters. There Tanjiro is told he is to be put on trial.

The Hashira have differing opinions on what to do with Tanjiro and his sister, and some of their solutions are rather bloodthirsty. One of them is more concerned with punishing Tomioka since he broke the rules by protecting a demon. Tanjiro tries to explain about the circumstances which led to Nezuko becoming a demon, and how she has never eaten human flesh in all this time and would never hurt a human. And how he became a swordsman in order to protect her. One rather insane Hashira, covered with scars, picks up Nezuko’s box and decides to insert his sword into it randomly. Naturally, Tanjiro attacks him, even though his hands are bound behind him and he has no weapon.

The Master of the mansion arrives, and he seems like a rather laid back sort of guy. He tells the others that he accepts Tanjiro and Nezuko, then proceeds to have read a letter from Urokodaki, verifying what Tanjiro has been trying to tell them. The Master then explains that Muzan Kibutsuji has sent agents after the brother and sister, thus exposing more of himself to them than he has ever done before. Surely this means something. The insane Hashira decides to test Nezuko for himself, though, expecting to trick her into drinking human blood.

While the Hashira deliberate, Tanjiro is sent to the Butterfly Mansion. They take him and Nezuko to the infirmary, where he is reunited with an unhappy Zenitsu and a slumbering Inosuke. The four are left to heal until Shinobu comes to tell them it’s time for their rehabilitation training. After a few days of intense training, Zenitsu and Inosuke quit showing up, but Tanjiro persists. He is determined to do his best and then help the others to succeed as well.

Since Tanjiro’s sword was broken, a new one needs to be forged. And the sword maker is not happy that this is necessary, taking it out on Tanjiro when he delivers the new blade. And in other news, another side of Muzan Kibutsuji is revealed.

I love the humor in these stories, and I love the characters. They are very much unique and well-drawn. There is also a great deal of warmth and love, especially between Tanjiro and his sister, and the way he relates to other people. Well, most of the time. He does have his moments, of course. The surprise reveal about Muzan was … well, surprising. I certainly didn’t see that coming.

Still haven’t changed my mind about Inosuke, maybe later.  Good volume, looking forward to more.

Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 5 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer, Vol 5     

Author: Koyoharu Gotouge

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: March 5, 2019

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy Manga//192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

While on their way to Mt. Natagumo, having been summoned there, Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu find themselves battling a family of spider demons in the forest! Although not actually related, Rui binds the family together through fear because of his desire to be part of a family. The largest spider demon is the father, who acts on orders from his “children”.

As Inosuke faces down the father, Tanjiro tells him to hang in there, he’ll be back as soon as he can. But Inosuke has doubts he will last that along. However assistance arrives from an unexpected source, and Inosuke is impressed by the skill of the newcomer. Tanjiro has problems of his own, though, when his blade breaks.

Rui captures Nezuko and tells Tanjiro he will let him live if he gives up his sister to him. Of course, Tanjiro won’t agree to that. The daughter spider demon sees the relationship between Tanjiro and Nezuko and longs for something like that for herself. Will Tanjiro be able to rescue his sister when the web these demons weave is so very strong?

Another member of the Hashira arrives, Shinobu, who is adorned with butterflies. Admittedly the only Hashira who cannot cut off a demon’s head, she has her own methods of defeating them. Namely through the use of poisons. Shinobu is determined to rid the world of all demons. And she makes no exception for the demon that Tanjiro is protecting. Will she kill Nezuko?

Most of this volume is about the demon spiders and the fight against them, but we do gain two new characters – Shinobu and Tomioka. I liked seeing the backstory of the demons, and how they came to form a “family”. That just goes to reinforce what Tanjiro says about demons all having been human at one time. We also see how Muzan insinuates himself into a situation in order to make new demons.

On an aside, I love the colors of Tanjiro’s outfit, as well as his earrings. I read that patterns from Demon Slayer have now been trademarked.

Another good volume, looking forward to more.

Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 4 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer, Vol 4     

Author: Koyoharu Gotouge

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: January 1, 2019

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy Manga//192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Zenitsu awakens to find himself outside of the house of monsters, with no memory of what happened or how he got there. He’s too grateful to question that, though. Until the guy with the boar’s head comes charging out, exclaims he smells demon, and heads straight for Tanjiro’s box! What else can Zenitsu do but defend it, because this is more precious than life to Tanjiro, no matter the cost? Tanjiro himself arrives just in time to defend the battered Zenitsu from being beaten any further. Turns out the guy with the boar’s head is Inosuke, and he’s a Demon Slayer too.

Tanjiro’s crow arrives and leads the three Demon Slayers to the house of the Fuji Family, who have a wisteria crest, where they can heal. In the middle of the night, Zenitsu is upset to find that Tanjiro’s box seems to be moving. When Nezuko comes out, Zenitsu becomes angry because Tanjiro’s been keeping this cute girl all to himself!

Once healed, the three receive an urgent summons. They must head to Mount Natagumo as soon as possible. En route, they run across another member of the Demon Slayer Corps, who seems to be badly injured, and begs for their help. Suddenly, the young man is picked up and pulled back into the forest. Tanjiro and Inosuke decide to go in after him, while Zenitsu waits for them. They meet another member of the Corps who is disappointed to see them since they are such low level Slayers. He explains that he is part of a group of ten Hashira level slayers who, once they arrived at this place, began to kill one another! They have all fallen under the spell of a powerful Demon!

It seems that some of the Slayers have become hideous hybrid spider creatures! And the demons who are doing this to them are part of some evil Family. How will Tanjiro and Inosuke combat them if they get caught up in their spider strands?

This volume of Demon Slayer finds the boys getting into trouble while on the way to Mount Natagumo. This family of demons is very creepy, and a great challenge to both Tanjiro and Inosuke. It will be interesting to see how they fight their way out. I love how Zenitsu has become totally devoted to Nezuko (even though he knows she is a demon). We get a little of his back story in this volume, and I have to admit I like him better than I did before, especially when he’s sleeping lol. The jury is still out on Inosuke, although I might change my mind about him later, but as of right now, he’s given me no reason to and I find him very annoying. Not much of Nezuko this time, but hopefully more in the next volume.

Looking forward to the next one!

Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 3 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer, Vol 3     

Author: Koyoharu Gotouge

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: November 6, 2018

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy Manga//192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

After a near encounter with the demon Kibutsuji, Tanjiro and Nezuko end up in the home of a demon doctor, Lady Tamayo, and her besotted assistant Yushiro. There they are attacked by two of Kibutsuji’s demons, Susamaru and Yahaba. Tanjiro has met his match with Yahaba, the arrow demon. The disdainful demon cuts Tanjiro’s opening thread, and refers to him as a dirty child. The two demons decide to take back both Tanjiro’s head and Tamayo’s, as she is a runaway, hoping to please their master. Tanjiro finds himself helpless against the manipulation of Yahaba’s arrows, but he has to succeed, he can’t afford to lose. In the meantime, Nezuko is fending off the temari balls that Susumaru is throwing at her. Tamayo finds Nezuko’s growing strength—without consuming human flesh—to be amazing.

Afterward, as they prepare to leave, Tamayo offers to keep Nezuko with them and out of harm’s way. But Tanjiro can’t bring himself to leave his sister behind, especially after seeing the look in her eyes. Together forever, that’s what they are.

Tanjiro receives another mission immediately, and on the way there, he runs across an odd fellow in the middle of the road who is begging a woman to marry him. The woman looks horrified. Tanjiro helps her out, only to discover that the whiny guy is a fellow Demon Slayer named Zenitsu. Zenitsu is a pitiful excuse for a Demon Slayer, and loudly proclaims just how weak he really is. They travel on together and encounter two trembling children outside of a house. Turns out that it’s a house of monsters and their brother is inside! Zenitsu complains of the noise coming from the house, but Tanjiro can’t hear anything.

Tanjiro leaves the box with Nezuko with the children for their protection, and takes Zenitsu into the house. But the children follow unexpectedly.  Tanjiro and the girl, whose name is Teruko, become separated from Zenitsu and the boy. Tanjiro begins to realize that the rooms change. He sees a large demon, whose smell is the strongest in the house. Meanwhile another player has entered the scene, a bare-chested fellow with a boar’s head over his head, and he’s wielding nichirin swords.

One of Demon Slayer’s strengths is its great characters. It’s hard not to like and root for Tanjiro and Nezuko, even if she is a demon. Not like it’s her fault or anything. And she goes against the grain in that she doesn’t want to hurt humans and wants to protect them instead. Ditto with Lady Tamayo, even if Yushiro is a bit of an ass.  Muzan Kibutsuji, although not seen in this volume, is a fascinating and rather charming demon – my weakness!  Now we have Zenitsu, who I find utterly whiny and spineless, but my kid assures me he has redeeming qualities, which I shall discover. I have to admit the very last scene caused me to tear up, and that involved him. The jury is still out on Mr. Boar’s Head (at this point I don’t know his name but I figured out he’s my kid’s favorite character, so I imagine I will find reason to like him too, in time).

I liked the introduction of Tamayo’s cat, who definitely serves a purpose. The demons in the house were very imaginative, especially with the moving rooms in the house, and I enjoyed that part, although I grieved at the death of one of the demon, who was actually very creative and not wholly evil.

I’m also watching the anime at the same time, and I think I am only slightly ahead of the volumes I am reading. I would recommend that too. You can find it on Crunchyroll, and I believe on Netflix too. Looking forward to the next book!

Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 2 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer, Vol 2     

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.

Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 1 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer, Vol 1

Author: Koyoharu Gotouge

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: July 3, 2018

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy Manga//192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Tanjiro and his family have a hard life, being rather poor. But Tanjiro works hard and does what he can to help provide for his mother and many siblings after the death of his father. Hoping to provide for a happy New Year for his loved ones, the weary Tanjiro wants to go into town, despite the weather, to sell more charcoal. But he is prevented from getting back and ends up spending the night there, heading home at first light. Upon his return, he is met with the horrific sight of his family, dead and bloody from some sort of massacre. The stricken Tanjiro realizes his sister Nezuko is still breathing, and hurries to get her to town, where she can be helped. When he slips and accidentally drops her, he realizes that Nezuko has become a demon, turned by the same creature that killed his family!

Just after this realization hits him, as he attempts to keep his demon sister from biting him, a stranger unexpectedly swoops in and attempts to kill her. He is confused as to why Tanjiro, a human, should be protecting a demon. But Tanjiro tells him that she’s his sister and he will do everything he can to help her become human again. He tells the stranger that Nezuko hasn’t killed anyone and won’t harm anyone.  He finally persuades the man, whose name is Giyu, and Giyu tells him to go to see an old man named Sakonji Urokodaki at the foot of Mount Sagiri, and to tell him Giyu Tomioka sent him.

In order to travel that far, Tanjiro realizes he can’t avoid sunlight, much as Nezuko would like to, so he acquires an old basket and fixes it up for her so he can carry her on his back. On the journey, they are attacked by a demon, but luckily they are met by Urokodaki, in a tengu mask, who was apprised of their arrival by Giyu. Giyu told him Tanjiro seems promising, and has the same strong sense of smell that Urokodaki does.  The older man makes Tanjiro figure out how to kill the demon himself then leads both him and Nezuko back to his mountain, never cutting the boy any slack. He leaves Tanjiro at the top of the mountain and says he’ll train him if he can make it down by morning. Tanjiro thinks that’s easy, with his sense of smell, but of course it isn’t.

Tanjiro has taken his first step toward becoming a Demon Slayer and recovering his sister’s lost humanity.

I have been watching the anime, and just started reading the manga. I really like it, and I think they complement one another well. It’s a sad story about bravery in the face of tragedy, of a brother’s love for his sister and his determination to give her back the life she had before, as well as a supernatural story about demons and humans. Tanjiro is a sweet boy, and very kind. Sometimes too kind, to the point of being indecisive, which his mentor fears in his nature. But he also has a steely quality that I think will stand him in good stead in the future.

Urokodaki’s tengu mask is intriguing, and I’m sure there’s a story as to why he always wears it, one we will find out later.  A side note, the actor who voices Urokodaki in the anime is the same one who voices Jiraiya in Naruto (win-win for me because I love Jiraiya lol) The story of how Tanjiro splits the boulder is sadly sweet. Tanjiro’s trial as part of the final selection to become a demon slayer is filled with intrigue and potential death for all involved. Not all the candidates will come out alive.

I like the artwork very much, and I look forward to reading more volumes.