ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Demon Slayer: Kimestsu no Yaiba’, Volume15

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Demon Slayer Vol. 15

Demon Slayer: Kimestsu no Yaiba, Volume 15 is an action-adventure fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotouge published by VIZ Media. The series takes place in the Taisho Era, Japan, and centers on a young woodsman, Tanjiro Kamado, who’s family is murdered by a demon one day while he is away from home. The only survivor from the attack is his little sister, Nezuko, who is transformed into a ferocious demon herself. To save Nezuko’s humanity Tanjiro vows to defeat Muzan Kibutsuji, the demon that killed his family, and find a way to turn his sister back into a human.

Now in Volume 15, Tanjiro attempts to finish off the upper-rank demon Hantengu. However, as dawn fast approaches, the morning sun becomes a threat to Nezuko. Tanjiro’s concern for his sister distracts him from Hantengu, but if he hesitates, it could be the last mistake he ever makes. He has to choose between protecting Nezuko from the sun or continuing his pursuit of Hantengu. Meanwhile, Tamayo considers the nature of Nezuko’s curse and how she could be so different from other demons.

This volume kicks things off with a strong start with a lot of action as it brings the Swordsmith Village Arc to a close. I especially enjoyed the action sequences. Gotouge has a remarkable talent for illustrating the action sequence, and I especially loved how he draws Tanjiro’s final moves in the fight against Hantengu. Gotouge’s illustrations capture the emotions, intensity, and power in Tanjiro’s finishing blows in a beautiful and captivating way.

Volume 15 also touches on the importance of making connections with others and the strength and knowledge that are results of those connections. An excellent example of this is when Tanjiro encourages Zenitsu, who is going through intense Hashira training. Tanjiro notes that it was thanks to his connection to Zenitsu that helped him get through a tight spot. He uses this as a way to encourage Zenitsu, that even though Hashira training may be hard right now, everything he is learning during his training will pay off in the future. I appreciate that Demon Slayer: Kimestsu no Yaiba continues to touch on the importance of having connections with others. Whether those connections are between family, friends, or comrades, they serve a purpose. I also feel that it shows that each connection a person makes has the potential to have a positive impact on others.

This volume of Demon Slayer: Kimestsu no Yaiba also does a phenomenal job of giving more insight and depth into the seemingly aloof character, Giyu. Giyu is a Demon Slayer and the Water Hashira of the Demon Slayer Corps. He is also the Demon Slayer that first found Tanjiro and Nezuko shortly after she had turned into a demon. Instead of exterminating Nezuko, he allows her to live thanks to Tanjiro’s persistence. 

In this volume, it was revealed that Giyu struggles with an inferiority complex as a result of his participation in the Final Selection to join the Demon Slayer Corps. We learn that he has survivor’s guilt because a close friend of his that was also aiming to become a Demon Slayer died after saving Giyu and many other participants. And because his friend died and he survived he considers himself to be inferior to the other upper ranked Demon Slayers and that is why he keeps himself separate from the others. 

From the beginning of the series, it is easy to assume Giyu is an aloof and pompous character. He always makes remarks about how he is different from the other upper-ranked Demon Slayers or that he not like them. However, now after reading this volume, those remarks make much more sense. It’s not that he thinks he is better than the other Demon Slayers; it is that he does not consider himself worthy of his title and upper ranked status.

Getting this insight into Giyu’s character was an amazing move on the Gotouge’s part as a writer. To see a powerful and skillful character like Giyu struggling feelings of being inferior is very powerful to see. Character types like Giyu do not always get to have this level of depth, explored, or be vulnerable about their self-doubts. So it was nice to see that explored in this volume.

Overall, Demon Slayer: Kimestsu no Yaiba, Volume 15 is a great read and is definitely worth picking up. Koyoharu Gotouge does an amazing job with the art and story in this volume. Volume 15 sets up the calm before the approaching storm that is sure to come in the volumes to follow. I can’t wait to see where the story goes next. 

Demon Slayer: Kimestsu no Yaiba, Vol. 15 is available at bookstores and online.

Demon Slayer: Kimestsu no Yaiba, Vol. 15
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, Demon Slayer: Kimestsu no Yaiba, Vol. 15 is a great read and is definitely worth picking up. Koyoharu Gotouge does an amazing job with the art and story in this volume. Volume 15 sets up the calm before the approaching storm that is sure to come in the volumes to follow. I can’t wait to see where story goes next.