ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba,’ Vol. 12

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Demon Slayer Volume 12

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Volume 12 is an action-adventure fantasy manga that is created by mangaka Koyoharu Gotouge and published by VIZ Media. The series is set in Taisho-era Japan and follows a kindhearted boy named Tanjiro Kamado as he tries to make a living for his family selling charcoal.

Tanjiro’s peaceful life was suddenly snatched away from him when a demon slaughters his entire family. The only survivor from the attack is his little sister Nezuko, who has been transformed into a demon herself. Now Tanjiro sets out on a dangerous journey to become a Demon Slayer to avenge his family and find a way to save Nezuko’s humanity.

Volume 12, contains chapters 98 – 102. This volume follows after Tanjiro and his friends defeated one of the upper ranked demons in Muzan Kibutsuji’s Twelve Kizuki. The decline in numbers marks the first time in over 100 years that Muzan’s top ranks are not full. Extremely angered by this, Muzan sends his followers on another mission. Meanwhile, after healing, Tanjiro travels to a village of swordsmiths and has to explain how his sword was so severely damaged again to Haganezuka, the smith who made it for him. While Tanjiro waits for his sword to be repaired, enemies begin to close in to strike.

Compared to the previous volume that included the Entertainment District Arc, I found Volume 12 to be a nice change of pace. It felt more easy-going for a majority because, for the most part, there is not a lot of focus on fighting. This change in tone, in my opinion, is because the previous volume ends after a dangerous mission and climactic battle. So instead, this volume focuses on more of the overarching plot, which allows us to learn more about certain characters. For example, Volume 12 opens with the main antagonist of the series, Demon Lord Muzan Kibutsuji, and the remaining upper ranked demons in his Twelve Kizuki gathered to discuss the current state of things.

This scene reveals the rest of Muzan’s upper ranked and most powerful demon followers. Up to this point in the manga, this is the first time we see all of them gathered in one place and interacting with one another. It is also the first time in nearly 100 years in the manga that they have all be summoned together in one place; I especially loved the dialogue between Muzan and his upper ranked followers. You can tell there is some animosity between certain followers, and they show it very clearly in how they communicate towards one another.

The dialogue in these scenes also let you know that the Muzan is taking the current situation with the Demon Slayers Corps very seriously and not underestimating them. He is bothered by the fact that his upper ranks numbers have fallen and want to strike at the Demon Slayers now rather than later. This scene in the volume felt like the quiet before the storm. Having so many powerful characters meet in one place makes me assume this foreshadows some challenging times ahead for the protagonists.

Demon Slayer Manga

Something else I found interesting about this volume is that it has more focus onTanjiro traveling on his own, without his friends Inosuke or Zenitsu accompanying him. This focus on Tanjiro allows him to interact with other characters on his own such as Hashira and members of the demon corps. I especially like the panels where he interacts with Genya Shinazugawa. I love that Tanjiro is so eager to get closer Genya and learn more about him. Meanwhile, Genya could not care less about getting to know Tanjiro. I found their interactions to be comedic and makes me think that maybe Tanjiro will find a way to break through Genya’s gruff exterior.

I can never get enough of the awesome artwork in Demon Slayer, especially when it comes to the character and outfit designs. Gotouge has a beautiful eye for detail and individuality when it comes to illustrating characters and their clothing. Whether the character is a human or demon, each one is given their unique touches and identity through their designs. And while I am sure putting so much detail to so many characters can take an immense amount of work, it also adds something unique to series.

Overall, while this volume doesn’t have as much action as the previous one, it is a welcomed change of pace that allows more focus on the main protagonist and the opportunity to learn more about other characters. I found the plot in this volume to have an interesting story that ends on a cliffhanger which has me eager to pick up the next volume. Accompanied by beautiful artwork and character designs, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Vol. 12 is a manga you do not want to miss.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Vol. 12 will be available at bookstores and online on May 5. To find out where to buy, check out Viz.com.

Images compliments of VIZ Media.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Vol. 12
5

TL;DR

Overall, while this volume doesn’t have as much action as the previous one, it is a welcomed change of pace that allows more focus on the main protagonist and the opportunity to learn more about other characters. I found the plot in this volume to have an interesting story and ends on a cliffhanger that has me eager to pick up the next volume. Accompanied by beautiful artwork and character designs, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Vol. 12 is a manga you do not want to miss.