ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba,’ Volume 17

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Demon Slayer Volume 17

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 17 is an action-adventure fantasy manga written and illustrated by mangaka Koyoharu Gotouge and published for English-release through VIZ Media. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is set during Taisho-era Japan and follows a kindhearted boy named Tanjiro Kamado as he tries to make a living for his family selling charcoal.

Tragedy strikes when Tanjiro’s peaceful life is turned upside down when a demon slaughters his entire family. The only survivor of this event, besides himself, is his little sister Nezuko who is somehow transformed into a demon herself. Now Tanjiro sets out on a dangerous journey to become a Demon Slayer, avenge his family, and find a way to save Nezuko’s humanity.

Volume 17 contains chapters 143 through 151. Following the previous volume, the Demon Slayer Corps dive straight into the labyrinth that is the Infinity Castle to confront their sworn enemy, Muzan. Shinobu engaged in a vicious battle against Doma, the Upper Rank 2 demon. She lacks the strength to cut off his head and poison him; her specialty doesn’t work on him. Now she finds herself in an intense struggle for her life and to avenger her older sister by defeating the demon that killed her. Meanwhile,  another demon connected to Zenitsu’s past appears before him to block his path.

The title of this volume is Successors, which I found to be very fitting since the theme of succession is touched on several times throughout Volume 17 and the series. In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, the concept of succession plays an essential role for many characters in the Demon Slayer Corps. A great example of this in Volume 17 is when Kiriya Ubuyashiki immediately becoming the 98th leader of the Demon Slayer Corps after his father’s passing.

The path to achieving the Demon Slayer Corps goal of putting an end to evil demonkind and defeating Muzan has been a long and tumultuous one. It has taken hundreds of years, generations of leaders, and many sacrifices. While those sacrifices came with many deaths and bloodshed, they were not done so in vain. They are done with the intention that the next generation is succeeding and taking on the duty of their predecessors so that they can carry the torch onward.

The action and intensity do not slow down in this volume. If anything, it takes it up another notch from where Volume 16 left off. This is to be expected since this volume is part of the Final Battle Arc in the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba series. The stakes are high for the characters as they engage in some of the most deadly combat they’ve ever faced.

The action and intensity are apparent in the art in all of the battle scenes. The mangaka, Koyoharu Gotouge, has a fantastic talent for illustrating impactful battle scenes. I especially love how they capture the characters’ fluid motions and the intensity of their facial expressions.

I especially loved the brief message the mangaka puts at the beginning of the volume. The mangaka’s message acknowledges and apologizes that reading might be grueling for some fans as it can be challenging to see favorite characters get hurt or defeated. I thought the message was a nice touch because it shows they understand the emotional connection that fans have to some of their favorite characters while also giving the heads up to readers that there is a rough road ahead for some fan-favorite characters.

This volume surprised me because it made me say something that I never thought I would say. I was impressed with Zenitsu. Throughout most of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, I have found Zenitsu to be one of, if not the most, annoying character in the entire series. While I will admit he has his moments of being a good friend to Tanjiro, a decent comrade in battle, and humorous sometimes, I just can’t stand his whiny and cowardly behavior. However,  Volume 17 does a great job of making him more likable because it shows more of his courageous and determined side, which I thought was very refreshing.  

Lastly, I  enjoyed the afterwords at the end of each chapter in this volume. The afterwords are definitely worth reading and paying attention to because there are some additional information and insight into characters that aren’t mentioned in the chapters. Not to give any spoilers away, but the afterwords have information that connects Zenitsu, Shinobu, Himejima’s pasts.

Overall, I can’t recommend Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Volume 17 enough. The action and intensity kick it up a notch from where things were left off at the end of Volume 16. Koyoharu Gotouge’s awesome talent for capturing fluid motions and intensity in action scenes shines in this volume. However, I warn readers the stakes are extremely high some fan-favorite characters and it might be hard to keep reading, as many characters are in some dangerous battles. Still, I promise it is so worth it to continue reading.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 17 is available online and in bookstores on October 6.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 17
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, I can’t recommend Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 17 enough. The action and intensity kick it up a notch from where things were left off at the end of Volume 16. Koyoharu Gotouge’s awesome talent for capturing fluid motions and intensity in action scenes shines in this volume.