I have made it clear on this blog that I do not engage in “hype.” The truth is is that I hate hype. I loathe it. Too often hype leads to unrealistic expectations, and those expectations, when confronted with the reality of what a show is, it can lead to disappointment and worst of all, fan backlash.
Getting exciting for things is good, but placing all your hopes and dreams on a single show often never works out. Sometimes it is best to take a step back, let the “hype” die down and then examine a show and your feeling towards it.
So yeah, after the cut let’s take a dive into the second cour of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
There has been a lot of excitement around Demon Slayer, especially in the second half, and most of that has been placed on the animation. While I am in no way an animation expert, or even place that much stock on it. I agree with the idea that a show with stellar animation can raise a show up several levels in the eyes of the viewer. That has very much been the case for Demon Slayer, which if you put aside the studio adapting it, is at heart a very basic story, with beats that have all been done before.
What makes it stand out though, is again the studio that is animating it. Let’s be totally honest here, Demon Slayer won the absolute JACKPOT in having Ufotable, the studio that is wildly considered to be one of the best in the business. Anyone who has seen their work for the Fate series can attest that Ufotable has a master of their craft, and all of that is shown in Demon Slayer. There was a reason why the show briefly got the top trending spot on twitter, and why fans were losing their mind, some of stuff done in the last half of the series is truly magnificent.
Animation aside though, like I said at the top, Demon Slayer isn’t a story that really breaks any new ground, instead it follows the same route that several other shows I’ve talked about have: it polishes the formula to a mirror shine. Demon Slayer’s characters, tropes and story line are all classic shonen, but have enough effort, love, time (and money) put into them that it is quite easy to forget that you are pretty much watching a mix of Inuyasha, Rurouni Kenshin, and Full Metal Alchemist with some ‘monster of the week’ thrown in for good measure. Much credit has to be given to Tanjiro, the lead of the series who is actually one of the very few shonen leads who remains both consistently endearing to the cast, and isn’t (completely) overshadowed by the secondary characters.
If there is one thing I can knock the show for, is that when it comes to the middle part of the story, where the character of Zenitsu is introduced, does the series start to falter. Simply put, I cannot STAND Zenitsu as a character, who is pretty much the show’s version of One Piece’s Ussop but with the annoyances dialed up to eleven. His place in the story goes from grating, to annoying, to almost unbearable throughout the middle part, and frankly it probably the sole reason that Demon Slayer is getting the second place prize for my anime of the year. If he was not a central member of the cast then it would be more forgivable, but since he is part of the main group, it becomes just grating.
There are many people who are going to be talking about Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, examining the characters, the art, the animation and everything, and it honestly deserves that. But as much as it earns praise and fans for its stellar animation, I think it is important to be fair and objective. Demon Slayer is a solid shonen action series that doesn’t do anything new, and won the lottery by getting one of the best anime studios on the planet to adapt it. The result is a classic shonen anime with top tier animation and well polished story ideas. That is going to be enough for many, and it absolutely is for me, but it isn’t a show that is changing the landscape of shonen anime, nor is it the greatest shonen ever made. It’s a gourmet burger, one of the best, but it at its heart, still a hamburger.
Thankfully, everyone fucking loves hamburgers. Also that movie is gonna be fucking great.
2 thoughts on “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Second Cour: Gourmet Hamburger”
“It’s a gourmet burger, one of the best, but it at its heart, still a hamburger.”
That’s a good point. It shows the payoff for putting in “enough effort, love, time (and money)” into the details. Like Tanjiro switching his attack on momma spider at the last instant because she’d given up — that’s not something I see every day. Or not only is Nezuko adorable in general, she can become mini-Nezuko, which actually broke my adorable-ometer. And the little puffs coming out of her ears in your screen cap? Too cool… Little details, but they add up.
“Let’s be totally honest here, Demon Slayer won the absolute JACKPOT in having Ufotable, ”
Though a strange little part of my brain wonders what Demon Slayer would have looked like if Trigger had animated it…
But in terms of Ufotable’s animation: One of the reasons I fight so hard to not become cynical about anime is so when events like episode 19 happen, I can enjoy them. Putting aside the technical capabilities, which I can’t really judge, all I can say is that the animation blew me away.
“Thankfully, everyone fucking loves hamburgers. ”
I think that’s why Shakespeare is still so popular. I’ve read he was actually a hack. I wonder if that was his period equivalent of shonen?
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