Koyoharu Gotouge’s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has taken the world by storm. Launched in Weekly Shonen Jump in 2016, it’s gone on to become one of the best-selling manga series of all time, while also inspiring an even more popular anime adaptation.
Even if you don’t pay much attention to anime or manga, there’s a pretty high chance you’ve seen or heard this series mentioned at some point over the last two years. Whether you’re a fan of the anime and looking to read the manga, or you’re interested in getting on the hype train and start watching it, here’s everything you need to know about Demon Slayer.
What’s Demon Slayer about?
Demon Slayer focuses on Tanjiro Kamado, who, after venturing down from his mountainside home to sell charcoal, returns to discover his entire family has been slaughtered. Except for his sister Nezuko, who has been transformed into a demon.
Despite this curse, Nezuko still retains some of her humanity. So instead of killing her, Tanjiro begins a quest to turn her human again. To do this, he joins the Demon Slayer Corps, a secret group of trained warriors who have been battling against demons for centuries.
During their journies, Tanjiro and Nezuko team up with other Corps members and the elite Hashira, while facing off against various demons, including the demon lord Muzan and his most powerful minions, the Twelve Kizuki. It’s a shōnen manga, through and through.
Where can you read the Demon Slayer manga?
Compared to other popular Shonen Jump series – I’m looking at you, One Piece – Demon Slayer is a fairly short one. Gotouge finished Demon Slayer back in May 2020 and, all up, the manga consists of 205 chapters split over 23 paperback tankōbon. For comparison, the Dragon Ball Z portion of the original Dragon Ball manga is 26 volumes long.
So where can you read it? Finding a copy for most of the series isn’t too hard, although the availability of the first volume and the most recently released volume always seem to fluctuate. As of August, the 23rd and final volume has been released.
A complete series box set is due to be released in December of this year to the tune of $300 – although you can currently grab it for $225 via Amazon. Considering an individual volume costs around $15, this complete set is a cheaper option if you’re starting your collection from scratch.
Viz Media also has its Shonen Jump subscription service where, for only US$1.99/month, you’ll have access to the entire manga series. It’s a convenient way to read Demon Slayer, with the added bonus of not needing to find shelf space for 23 manga volumes. This service will also give you access to a large portion of the Shonen Jump catalogue, including classic series like Dragon Ball Z, One Piece and Naruto, and newer ones like Jujutsu Kaisen, Spy x Family and Chainsaw Man.
Where can you watch the Demon Slayer anime?
The first season of the Demon Slayer anime aired in 2019 and ran for 26 episodes. This was followed by the sequel Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train, which premiered in Japan in late 2020.
If want to watch the first season of Demon Slayer, you can catch it on Netflix, Crunchyroll and Funimation. The Mugen Train movie is available to watch via Crunchyroll and Funimation. The first season has also been released as a two-volume Blu-Ray and DVD collection.
The anime’s second started airing on October 10 with a seven-episode arc that will adapt the Mugen Train film. If you’re not too keen on watching a rehash of something you’ve already seen, the anime’s second season will begin the “Entertainment District” arc from December 5.
What part of the manga does the Demon Slayer anime cover?
If you’ve enjoyed the anime and want to dive into the manga, the first season of Demon Slayer covers the manga’s initial 52 chapters (or volumes 1 to 6). The Mugen Train movie covers chapters 53 to 69 (or volume 7 through most of volume 8). The anime is a pretty faithful adaptation, so going from it to the manga is pretty clean.
Is it really that popular?
It really, really is. According to Japan’s Oricon sales charts, there were 82.3 million copies of the Demon Slayer manga sold during the period dating from December 2, 2019, to November 30, 2020. Eighty-two million!
For comparison, One Piece, which is consistently one of the highest-selling manga series year-over-year, sold 7.7 million copies during the same period.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train currently holds the title of being the highest-grossing Japanese film and anime film of all time. It even managed to sell over a million Blu-Rays and DVDs in three days, which is no easy feat in our streaming-obsessed world.
What is Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles?
The Hinokami Chronicles is a fighting video game based on the first season of the Demon Slayer anime and the Mugen Train movie. It was developed by CyberConnect2, the team behind the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series, and will let you play through the various key moments of the anime series.
If you want to pick up a cheap copy of The Hinokami Chronicles, Amazon Australia is selling the PS4 edition for $71.99, while the PS5 and Xbox One/Series X editions are $74.99 each. It’s out on October 22.