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Author’s note: The first arc of the season covers the Infinity Train saga, which was already shown in the movie of the same name and whose review of ours you can read here. Story-wise, it’s very similar to the movie, so we will focus on the Entertainment District arc for this review.
Demon Slayer is a very fascinating success story in the anime industry. While a lot of franchises tend to stretch very long and cover hundreds and hundreds of chapters and episodes in both the manga and the anime, just like you can see with similar Shonen products such as Dragon Ball, One Piece, Naruto, and many more. The Demon Slayer manga wrapped up in a couple of years and now we’re seeing the direct anime adaptation without filler or without massive alterations. It’s a series that knew how to start and I think this plays a big role in the franchise’s success.
All of this is an important reason why the second season of the anime was so well-received. We can talk for ages about the animation, the fighting sequences, and so on, but if the story is not there, then we’re talking about an empty shell of a franchise. Fortunately, there is a story here, and its one that can appeal to a wide audience.
What Is Demon Slayer Season Two?
After the fall of Flame Hashira, Kyojuro Rengoku during the Infinity Train arc, Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke regroup, recover, and get another mission to infiltrate the Entertainment District under the guidance of another Hashira, Tengen Uzui. It turns out that Tengen’s wives have infiltrated there to investigate the presence of a powerful demon, but he hasn’t heard from them in a while and decides to take matters into his own hands.
As things start to unravel, the team of Demon Slayers would have to face off against that powerful demon and a lot of surprises in the process.
How Was It?
The thing that people need to understand about Demon Slayer, both in the manga and the anime, is how utterly simple it is. It’s a very basic idea (warriors from the Japan of a century ago fight demons) that succeeds because of how strong their characters are and their interesting personalities, which leads to a lot of great moments and interactions–it makes every second of the story worthwhile and the anime manages to improve the source material, somehow.
In terms of this arc, the pacing is excellent in the sense that it doesn’t drag but things don’t happen too quickly either. The final battle is extremely well-developed and by the end, it feels completely earned by our heroes–you have the feeling that they gave everything they had and that is fantastic when it comes to stories of this ilk. Any storyteller worth their salt has to challenge their characters, but Demon Slayer goes above and beyond for Tanjiro and his friends, as they have to give absolutely everything to win and that’s phenomenal.
The combination of humor and levity with the more serious and emotional moments is always very welcome and is part of the reason that this series has been such a success even with non-anime fans. The characters are very enjoyable even when they are goofing around and you could watch an entire comedic episode with Tanjiro, Zenitsu, Nezuko, and Inosuke and it would work wonders.
The character of Tengen is one of the new inclusions for the season and he is a very nice fit for the story, especially from a comedic relief perspective. But just like with Rengoku during the Infinity Train arc, the more the conflict develops, the more we see the best of Tengen and why he has become a Hashira, making him a very compelling character that has a lot of great interactions and also performs extremely well in battle.
Perhaps my only gripe with the season was when they were fighting the Upper Moon Daki and then her brother shows up… Look, I don’t have a problem with their relationship and how he fights our heroes, but I feel that he came out of the left field and there was no proper set up for him to appear, thus feeling like a bit of a copout when it came to the moment of finishing Daki off. It’s a bit similar to Akaza’s entrance in the third act of Infinity Train: the following battle was amazing, but the enemy came out of nowhere and it does fit weirdly in the plot.
Leaving all that aside, it’s simple, accessible, and extremely compelling storytelling, which goes to show why this series has been a worldwide phenomenon.
What About The Animation?
There was certainly an improvement from season one. I’m not criticizing the previous one, which was quite good, but the second season delivered the goods in that regard, especially when it comes to the third act–that part was phenomenal and it added gravitas and drama to what was already a very tense situation. Delightful stuff.
One of the key aspects of Demon Slayer in terms of visuals is how strong and bright the colors are. They really stand out and it gives every character a more individual sense of being due to the fact that they have a lot of different colors and costumes, making this combination very appealing in that particular regard.
The second season of Demon Slayer may not have as many important plot developments in terms of moving the story forward when it comes to Tanjiro’s goals of making his sister Nezuko human and avenging his murdered family against Muzan, but it is very entertaining. The characters are as compelling as always and all of them get a chance to shine, which is always welcomed. It’s classic anime stuff done well and its success lies in simplicity.
Definitely, one of the most fascinating success stories in anime in recent years, and I personally can’t wait for season three.