ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba,’ Volume 14

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu

Published by VIZ Media, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, is a is an action-adventure fantasy manga written and illustrated by mangaka Koyoharu Gotouge. The series follows brother and sister, Tanjiro and Nezuko. Once while Tanjiro was away, their entire family was brutally murdered and eaten by a demon. Nezuko survivesdthe attack but at the cost of being turned into a demon. Now determined to find a way to save Nezuko’s humanity and turn her back, Tanjiro Joins the Demon Slayer Corps to find the demon that killed his family and turned his sister into a demon.

Volume 14 includes chapters 116 throughout 124. The battle with Muzan Kibutsuji’s upper ranked demons becomes dire for Tanjiro and his fellow demon slayers. Tanjiro’s sword still isn’t ready leaving him without proper weapons to fight the demons.

However, the swordsmith Haganezuka focuses all of his concentration on finishing the sword while Tanjiro and his friends hold off the two upper-ranked demons, Hantengu and Gyokko, in a deadly battle. While the demon, Hantengu, continues to create different forms to attack the Demon Slayers. Meanwhile, the Mist Hashira Tokito regains his memories of the past and confronts Gyokko.

This volume is was very heavy on the action as it brings the Swordsmith Village to its climax. I really enjoyed how the battle scenes were illustrated.  Koyoharu’s artistic skills continue to impress me with their ability to include so much detail and while also capturing a character’s fluid movements while they are in the heat of battle.

They are so good that it is as if you can see them moving on the page. An example of this in this volume are the fight scenes involving the Love Hashira, Mitsuri Kanroji. Koyoharu illustrations of Mitsuri’s movements perfectly captures his agility and prowess as an upper ranked Demon Slayer.

As much as I enjoyed the enjoyed all of the action in this volume, it also felt like there was a little too much going on all in some parts of it. Which is to be expected when two major fights taking place at the same time. The story jumps back and forth between the two fights and other characters which made it a little hard to keep up with the story. Thankfully it’s not that way for the entirety of the volume and it gets easier to follow along as the story goes on.

While the focus of this volume jumped around a bit in some parts I felt shifts in focus did give the opportunity to get more insight into other characters besides Tanjiro. In this volume, the story shifts focus from Tanjiro to his upper ranked Demon Slayer comrades, Muichiro Tokito and Mitsuri Kanroji, the Mist and Love Hahira. The shifts in focus give the audience a chance to have more insight into these characters as well as bring out some good character arcs. 

For example, in the chapters that focused on Muichiro, we learn that he didn’t always have an indifferent and impassive attitude towards others.  During his battle with Gyokko, he regains his lost memories and remembers that he used to be a kind and caring boy, who was raised to believe that he should aim to do good for others if he wanted good to be done for him. However, all of that changed when his brother was killed by a demon and he lost his memories.

Now after regaining his memories, Muichiro starts to express more emotions and has more confidence in himself. He even learns how to express sarcasm towards the Upper Rank 5 demon, Gyokko during their battle. I enjoyed seeing this development in Muichiro in this chapter because it is a complete opposite of how he was when he was introduced at the beginning of this arc. I felt this development in Muichiro gave his character for depth and growth. He goes from being a callous, cold, and selfish person to becoming more compassionate and grateful towards others.

One of my favorite things about this volume was the character Mitsuri Kanroji, the Love Hashira. I appreciated that this volume gives more insight into Mitsuri and her motivations. In this volume, we learned that she struggles with accepting herself for who she is as well as finding a place where she could just be herself. Due to being born with an insane amount of strength, a huge appetite, and an abnormal hair color she was rejected from arranged marriages.

Fearing that no one would ever love and accept her she became desperate for marriage. So she dyed her hair, surpassed her appetite and strength in order to be more appealing. When a man came along and showed interest in marrying her, she started to question whether it was okay to marry someone who she couldn’t be her true self around and wondered if she would ever find a place where she could be herself completely.

She eventually finds the love and acceptance she yearned for within the Demon Corps. She was able to find a place where she could be herself and form bonds with people that not only accepted her for who she is but also celebrated and encouraged her to be proud of herself. And it is because of their acceptance that she feels more empowered to take down Hantengu. I think Mitsuri’s story of self-acceptance gives her character more depth and I have a greater appreciation for her role in the series.

Overall, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Volume 14 is packed with a lot of action, and the Koyoharu’s arctic skills do an amazing job of capturing and conveying it all very beautifully. While there is a lot going on in some parts, if you like getting more insight into other Demon Slayer characters then you will want to pick this volume up.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Volume 14 is available at bookstores and online.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 14 
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no YaibaVolume 14 is packed with a lot of action and the Koyoharu’s arctic skills does an amazing job of capturing and conveying it all very beautifully. While there is a lot going on in some parts, if you like getting more insight into other Demon Slayer characters then you will want to pick this volume up.