ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Demon Slayer: Kimestsu no Yaiba,’ Volume 16

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Demon Slayer Volume 16

Demon Slayer: Kimestsu no Yaiba Volume 16 is an action-adventure fantasy manga written and illustrated by mangaka Koyoharu Gotouge. VIZ Media publishes the English-release. Demon Slayer: Kimestsu no Yaiba is set in Taisho-era Japan and follows a kindhearted boy named Tanjiro Kamado as he hunts down the demon that slaughtered his family and turned his sister into a demon. In Demon Slayer Volume 16, Tanjiro goes to see Himejima, the Stone Hashira, who intends to prepare him for the battles to come. Tanjiro continues to undergo the training to become a Hashira, a high-ranking member of the Demon Slayer Corps. While the training is demanding and intense, and earning Himejima’s approval seems impossible, Tanjiro refuses to give up. Meanwhile, the demon lord Muzan continues to search for the location of Nezuko and Kagaya Ubuyashiki, leader of the Demon Slayer Corps.

The art in Demon Slayer Volume 16 is stunning. I especially loved the detail and effort the mangaka, Koyoharu Gotouge, put into illustrating the Muzan’s demon minions. Koyoharu doesn’t hold back designing demons as horrific and grotesque creatures, and that’s what I think makes their art so good. Another thing I enjoyed about the art in this volume was how the mangaka designs Muzan, the original demon and antagonist the series, and Kagaya, leader of the Demon Slayer Corps, with similar faces. I felt this was a nice touch because it touches on their shared bloodline with Kagaya being a descendent of Muzan.

In addition to adding to the dramatics of the story. The two characters, while they share a bloodline, are leaders on opposing sides in the war between demons and humankind. I also found it to be somewhat of poetic justice that Kagaya, who’s entire lineage was cursed as a result of Muzan becoming a demon. It seems fitting that Kagaya, a descendent of Muzan, would play are a vital role in his downfall to correct the sins of his ancestor’s past. Additionally, the dialogue between Tanjiro and Himejima in this volume is another high point. Tanjiro mentions how he wants to go through life without making mistakes but is unsure how to do that when he doesn’t know what to expect. He goes on to say that it is thanks to people he’s met along the way that helps him not to make mistakes.

This dialogue hits home the importance of friendships and comradery that Demon Slayer consistently touches on throughout the series. Throughout the series, Tanjiro can get stronger, wiser, and make better decisions thanks to the bonds he’s formed with fellow demon slayers and other people along the way. It is thanks to the people he’s met along his journey that has helped him along up to this point. 

Lastly, Demon Slayer Volume 16 gives me what has to be my favorite moment from this series thus far: Shinobu’s fight against the upper-ranked demon Doma.  Shinobu has one of the best fights of the volume, not just because the art of the action sequences is amazing. But because this fight shines a light on what makes Shinobu such a great character. It is the determination she shows against Domo, a demon that easily outmatches her in strength, which shows she doesn’t give up. Even when she gets wounded and barely has the strength to sta,nd she pushes forward. It is Shinobu’s resolve and determination to win by any means that makes her one of my favorite moments in this volume and series overall.

Overall, Demon Slayer: Kimestsu no Yaiba Volume 16  is a manga you do not want to miss out on and I can not recommend it enough. Koyoharu Gotouge continues to deliver a great story with thought-provoking art, superb dialogue, and well-thought-out characters throughout. This volume sets into motion what will be the final battle between the Demon Slayer Corps and Muzan, leaving readers eager to see what will happen in the next volume.

Demon Slayer: Kimestsu no Yaiba Volume 16  is available at bookstores and online September 1, 2020.

Demon Slayer: Kimestsu no Yaiba, Vol.16
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, Demon Slayer: Kimestsu no Yaiba, Vol.16 is a manga you do not want to miss out on and I can not recommend it enough. Koyoharu Gotouge continues to deliver a great story with thought-provoking art, superb dialogue, and well-thought-out characters throughout. This volume sets into motion what will be the final battle between the Demon Slayer Corps and Muzan, leaving readers eager to see what will happen in the next volume.