Demon Slayer, or Kimetsu No Yaiba is an anime that’s on everyone’s tongue. Even during the #coronavirus pandemic and worldwide lockdown.
It’s not surprising either.
Last year in 2019 – Demon Slayer won the “newtype” anime awards, regardless of not being justified.
The reason was for Nezuko’s voice actor (who never speaks).
Also in 2019 – Demon Slayer surpassed One Piece selling 200,000 MORE copies at the time it was recorded.
And Funimation called it “the best of the decade” for its animation quality.
Crunchyroll named it the TOP anime in their awards also in 2020.
The success of this anime is undeniable.
Either in manga sales, anime success, Shounen popularity or the way news outlets HYPE it up like it’s the best Shounen of all time.
And “new” anime fans who were introduced to Shounen through Kimetsu No Yaiba are the main culprits for the hype.
Mostly on Twitter when it first aired.
But Kimetsu No Yaiba (Demon Slayer) Is overrated
How is it possible that even though Demon Slayer is praised so much, that I still call it overrated?
I’m not the only one. There are literally 1000’s of fans who feel the same way. Most are too scared to say it because of the backlash that’ll come with it.
But i’ll say it.
Demon Slayer is overrated.
“have a higher opinion of (someone or something) than is deserved.”
Here’s why demon slayer is all hype:
1. The main characters
Let’s start with the “cute” Nezuko.
Nezuko is one of those characters in Demon Slayer who everyone fawns over. Not surprising when you see how “adorable” she appears to be.
Even I can’t deny it. It’s hard to ignore.
I doubt you’ll find anyone hating on Nezuko’s character out loud.
But the thing is Nezuko is overrated.
Her MAIN attraction is how cute and innocent she is. Along with the cuteness of her abilities (she can shrink herself, etc).
That’s part of what makes scenes like the one where she’s in a basket so wholesome.
It’s one of the biggest selling points for Nezuko’s character as a dual protagonist.
As a character we objectify Nezuko’s cuteness and ignore everything else because there isn’t much else to speak of.
She can’t speak, talk, or anything. So we can’t form an opinion about her personality in depth.
She has an identity of course, mostly through her interactions with Tanjiro.
And there are moments in Demon Slayer where she holds relevance (like the “football” fight in episode 7 or so).
But if we compare Nezuko to lets say – Raphtalia in Shield Hero, the difference is leaps and bounds.
Take away the “cute” elements of Nezuko and there’s not much left to be excited about or to focus on. Ignoring the obvious brother-sister relationship (the best element of her character).
Tanjiro is also overrated. The most overrated in Demon Slayer. And the main reason for the anime being overrated.
He’s the type of main character who can’t stand out by himself. And needs others too much.
It’s because of this “need” that Tanjiro is overrated, and not as good as he could have been. Or not as good as comparable characters in duo’s.
Tanjiro’s character is overrated by new anime fans who’ve never watched any Shounen other than Demon Slayer. I know this because I seen firsthand how new fans who were introduced to Demon Slayer hyped it up on Twitter.
And he’s overrated by Ufotable fans who brag about the studio having great visuals (even though they’re really talking about the Fate franchise).
Not to mention news outlets who love how politically correct and “safe” Tanjiro is as a character.
Outside of these extremes, I haven’t seen anyone who’s watched more than just Demon Slayer (or the obvious Shounen) claim Tanjiro is a stellar protagonist.
Not unless they were drunk on hype when it first aired (understandable).
Don’t get me wrong – he’s NOT the worst protagonist, neither is Nezuko.
But just like the anime, he’s given too much credit.
2. The animation quality is the anime’s “best” trait
Ufotable is known for its animation quality. At least that’s what fans will tell you.
They’re known for the Fate franchise. An anime with some of the best animation quality for an action series.
Demon Slayer takes a leaf out of Fate’s book and gives us some surprisingly good animation quality.
Truth is though – once you ignore these 2 anime from Ufotable’s catalog, there’s not much else to speak of.
And that leads me to my next point…
Kimetsu No Yaiba is a flashy anime series.
Fight scenes are animated to the max and there’s never a dull looking moment no matter what episode you’re watching.
But that’s where the problem begins.
What good is an anime series if its visuals are the BEST thing about it?
The Garden Of Words suffered from the same problem. It’s a gorgeous anime movie that lasts 45 minutes, and yet the content is lazy and the romance is laughable.
Most fans seem to overlook content quality in these cases because they’re so mesmerised by the stunning visuals.
Take away the beautiful animation in Demon Slayer and what do you REALLY have left?
3. Most fight scenes are only “decent” for such a hyped anime
My favorite fight scene in Demon Slayer is the “football” fight between Nezuko and that demon.
The constant back and forth of kicking the ball with sheer force was powerful. You could feel the impact of each kick and the back and forth felt pretty good.
The iconic scene (from the GIF above) was OK, but It felt more like the anime wanted to look as flashy as possible as opposed to being as good as it could have.
This goes back to the animation quality point I made earlier. This anime cares more about being fancy than being solid.
This shows up time and time again during fights between characters.
Am I saying animation quality isn’t part of making anime fights LOOK good? Obviously not.
Akame Ga Kill, DBZ, and plenty of other anime strike the right balance when it comes to this.
Kimetsu No Yaiba on the other hand put a little too much focus on visuals at the expense of action quality, to some degree.
And when you factor in the insane HYPE for Demon Slayer, it makes it feel that much more disappointing than it should.
That comes down to having your expectations lowered since you have high expectations going into it.
4. Not so great secondary/support characters
Zenitsu is the one character who could have been thrown out the plot and it wouldn’t have mattered.
He’s annoying, irritating, spends most of his time crying or trying to give you “cringe” comedy that’s not even funny. Mostly because it’s dragged out to the point of ridiculous.
The other guy (who’s name I forgot) has more relevance. And does have his good points.
But I can’t say these secondary characters are anything special, or something you could called GREAT.
Shinobu on the other hand is a good character but she’s not part of the main squad and isn’t supposed to be.
For all the scenes Shinobu is involved in, she plays a relevant role and i’d say she’s memorable.
Kanao is likable but she plays an even smaller role than Shinobu so there’s not much to say about her.
She does have a memorable story though, which relates to Shinobu.
Giyu Tomioka is OK, but Kakashi from Naruto is better alternative.
I don’t think Demon Slayer has a problem with “too much” characters. It’s more like outside of Tanjiro and Nezuko, there’s not much to get excited about.
Especially given the hype.
In the end – Kimetsu No Yaiba is your average Shounen with a few bells and whistles that make it a little better.
Tanjiro feels too perfect as a protagonist. He’s like Deku but without the flaws.
The Shounen cliches are clear in Demon Slayer, more so in episode 19. And the build up of the anime’s story is brutal.
The most I’d give the anime is 7/10. But it’s FAR from a masterpiece. Especially when comparing it to similar anime.