Demon Slayer, the rise of one of the highest-selling manga of all time

by Bianca Bache

Demon Slayer (Kimetsu no Yaiba - きめつのやいば) has risen to be one of the most popular anime and manga franchises. Not just only with Western countries but also within Japan. It has proven time and time again that it is a truly cherished anime and has become one of the highest-selling manga of all time. So what exactly about Kimetsu no Yaiba has made us and the people of Japan stop in our step and run to the closest streaming service.

Demon Slayer Characters

Let’s point out the obvious, breathtaking-meticulously thought out fight scenes and characters that we love to hate. With this in mind, and the sheer amount of hype that went into Demon Slayer I am not surprised. It’s certainly not the first time a Japanese anime has gotten popular, but even in Japan popularity has yet to cease. I wish I could say I was overreacting, but literally everywhere you look there is Demon Slayer - the everyday favorites being socks, the collection worthy plushies, demon fighting chopsticks, pencil cases and New Year Lucky bags. But, beyond that you walk into a convenience store and you can see a display full with Milky Candy and Crunky Chocolate with Demon Slay adorning the front. It goes as far as mailboxes with detailed character designs and colors of the characters plastered all over it. So, why do we love Kimetsu no Yaiba, why does it capture us, pull us in and make us want to be a part of Tanjro and his demon slaying cohort?

Well let’s look at the beginning, the story starts by following Tanjiro Kamando, a boy after relentless revenge on demons. After his whole family is murdered by one and his beloved sister, Nezuko turned into one. We follow his new life quest as he joins an elite group of demon hunters, the Demon Slayer Corps. With stylized swords in hand (katana かたな ) the group battles demons that terrorize towns and attack innocent people after the sun has set. 

We soon learn that swiping a sword at a demon is really not as easy as it seems. Instead we determine that crafting a sword is a painstaking experience, as is learning techniques to land deadly attacks. As the series progresses we start to see the extent of the demons and the creative ways that threaten these communities. Demons are certainly not new to us or to the anime world, but Demon Slayer has continued to shock the viewer with really thinking out of the box when creating these evil-spirits. We see the standard body possessing, dream altering, spider manipulating-human demons, but of course we see the more grotesque demons. By this I mean, one specific demon that really left an impression… the bunch of mutilated corpses put together as an “art piece” demon that thrives off politely asking if you have a moment of time to really look at them. 

Besides the horrific demons that the slayers encounter, how exactly can they get rid of them? The ‘simplest’ way to kill a demon is by direct sunlight. This is the main reason when forging a sword it has intensive exposure. There are specially crafted swords that are as unique as the person that wields them, the slayers require intense training and vigorous physical and mental challenges to really make you the ultimate Demon Slayer. 

Rengoku Replica Nichirin Sword

A sword that quickly became prominent in the Demon Slayer series is the Nichirin Blades, also known as the Color Changing Blades. The Nichirin Blades are a specially made blade that some members of the Demon Slayer Corps use to battle against demons. The swords mainly have stayed unexplained in the anime, but we have been able to understand from the manga that the blades are crafted from scarlet crimson ore and sand that have been and collected from mountains. So, why mountains I hear you ask, well the materials used to craft the blade are supposedly collected from very specific mountains that go beyond the clouds, the reason for this - it is always sunny. As we already know - sunlight kills demons, and that sunlight is absorbed into the materials that are then made into demon killing weapons. Now, not all Nichirin blades are the same. The first time their new owner picks up the sword, the colors change. The original color is altered depending on the personalities, fighting styles and the power of that particular person. As well as representing different types of elements such as flame, water, thunder and stone to name a few. This makes each blade unique to the person and why the members of the Demon Slayer Corps use them. 

It really comes down to the blade - the blade says everything about who wields them. When Tanjiro’s sword changed to black the fans were stunned. The image we have of Tanjiro is a gentle, caring, self-sacrificing boy who’s ultimate goal is protection. So, when Tanjiro picked up the Nichirin Blade and it changed to black it’s difficult initially figure out why. Tanjiro’s black Nichirin Blade is still largely mysterious because of its rarity, however it still has misunderstanding surrounding it. What we do know is that the sword represents Sun Style and has a dark history attached to it. The wielders of the black blade are thought to have lived a short life, a prediction we hope that isn’t true for Tanjiro. It is also thought that black Nichirin blade is the absorption of all colors, which may suggest that Tanjiro is set to navigate through the sword color elements and Breathing styles. A Demon Slayer technique that allows the fighters to focus in on their power that resides in themselves and transfer it into the sword.

With the vast collection of characters comes a vast selection of Nichirin Blades, there is red, amber, blue, green, pink, white… The list really goes on. One particular color combination that arguably is one of the coolest is the Indigo-gray Nichirin Blade wielded by Inosuke - also known as the Beast Blade. The blade represents beasts, which fits perfectly with Inosuke Hasibira who wears a giant hog head as a helmet to hide his face. For added gore Inosuke wields two swords at the same time and makes use of the Breath of the Beast sword techniques, a style that he pioneered. Inosuke Nichirin Blades also has very distinct sharp jagged edges that closely resemble a predator’s teeth and compliments the character's short-tempered personality. 

Notably, another beloved Nichirin Blades is the Zenitsu sword, a yellow blade that uses the element Thunder. Wielded by Zenitsu Agatsuma, who is often shown as the coward of the group, but through progression Zenitsu can be seen trying his best when he needs to and showing unbreakable willpower and spirit to kill demons.

Within the Demon Slayer universe there are a multitude of katanas to perfectly fit each character. Have you ever thought about what color Nichirin Blade would represent you, or dreamed about practicing your own Breathing techniques with Tanjiro’s sword? Well, I can say that we are living in a very exciting time. Bandai's prop and replica brand "Proplica'' really has it covered, you can be the heavy hitter you’ve always fantasized about. Bandai is known for their full-scale, exceptional replicas from other various anime, providing highly detailed weaponry and Demon Slayer is no different. Proplica has created a real Demon Slayer full-scale replica of the Nichirin Blades, with different style katanas available with uniquely built-in dialogue and exclusive access to the Demon Slayers theme song "Homura". Perfectly crafted for authentic cosplay or re-enacting pivotal fight scenes, the Tanjiro Nichirin Sword can satisfy the absolute fans with the highly detailed blade and handle. Coming in at $200.00 USD Tanjiro’s Nichirin Sword is crafted to capture the beauty and feel of a real-life katana with the imagination and precision used for demon slaying. 


At this point we can all agree that katanas are amazing, especially within the Kimetsu no Yaiba verse. But, some of us don’t entirely have the same needs as the cast of heroes fending off demons like Tanjiro. However, if you’re looking for more one to one combat and a hand in practicing in becoming one of the Hashiras, the collection of the Nichirin Blades can help. If you’re perfecting Hinokami Kagura also known as the Dance of the Fire God technique or working on the courage to battle upper Ranking demons these Nichirin replica swords will be the key. Including the Hinokami Kagura sword, Zenitsu Agatsuma sword and the Inosuke Hashibira all crafted to aid in the emersion demon battles. 

To be a part of the Hashira, is no small feat. These combatants are the highest ranking in the Demon Slayer Corps and are viewed as the most elite and powerful warriors. Within the Hashira there are nine skilled swordsmen known as the Pillars, who strive to protect those against dangerous threats that other Demon Slayers can not beat. The Hashira patrol specific regions and gather information about the demons that reside in that area, they also offer assistance to the lower ranking members who can not complete demon fighting missions. All members of Hashira possess a distinctive and unique Breathing Style that allows them to raise their physical and mental prowess.  Some of the current group includes: Mitsuri Kanroji, (Love Hashira), Obanai Iguro (Serpent Hashira),  Sanemi Shinazugawa, (Wind Hashira) and Muichiro Tokito, (Mist Hashira). The former Hashira group which is still very important includes: Tengen Uzu (Sound Hashira), Kyojuro Rengoku and Shinjuro Rengoku (Flame hashira).

Arguably one most loved character is Love Hashira, aka Mitsuri Kanroji, with a passionate, emotional and innocent personality and bubblegum pink hair that fades into a lime green, there is no wonder that she is a fan favorite. Love Hashira’s hair is truly envied by many, so why exactly is it pink? Well, it is said that Mitsuri has been eating too much sakura mochi (pink mochi wrapped in a cherry blossom leaf) and because of that it turned her hair into the perfect color combination it is now, originally her hair was dyed brown to appear more “normal”. 

Demon Slayer Mitsuri Kanroji

Mitsuri first decided to join the Demon Slayer Corps at 19 years old in search of a suitable husband that is stronger than her, but upon uniting with the group she began realizing her own overwhelming physical strength. After a short 6 months of training Mitsuri battled and defeated a group of demons created by the Upper Rank Five, this allowed her to gain even more incredible strength when fighting the Upper Ranks four clone, and later on the incredibly powerful Upper Rank. Love Hashira was able to withstand the battle and Demon King himself, Muzan Kibutsuji, playing a part in the fight to stall for sunrise. Amongst all the combat Mitsuri learnt the Flame Breathing style, but struggled to master it, she then developed Love Breathing, which suited her more and played on her strengths. Matsuri has mastered conflicts, fought against deranged demons and ate an astonishing amount of food, but was Love Hashira able to find love…Yes! Even though she comes across shy and is easily flustered, Mitsuri has always proven to be kind to others, and notably more towards Obanai Iguro the Serpent Hashira, her love interest.  

Let’s put this out there, there is absolutely no disagreement that the battle scenes in Demon Slayer are anything but beautiful, meticulously crafted, both visually and stylized which are so uniquely formed in modern day anime. During the battle scenes we are sometimes treated to the impressionable Hinokami Kagura technique also known as the Dance of the Fire God. Hinokami Kagura is a Breathing Style that helps Demon Slayers harness their power and allows them to never exhaust themselves no matter how long they move. Hinokami Kagura is said to be real and based on the ritualistic dance in Shinto religion, which is used to honor spirits. Influenced by this Kimetsu no Yaiba developed 13 Sun Breathing forms the first being Dance, followed by Clear Blue Sky, Raging Sun, Burning Bones, Summer Sun, Setting Sun Transformation, Solar Heat Haze, Beneficent Radiance, Sunflower Thrust, Dragon Sun Halo Head Dance, Fire Wheel, Fake Rainbow and Flame Dance. With the final thirteenth form, rather than being a different style, it uses a combination of all of the 12 forms of Sun Breathing. This unique Hinokami Kagura technique was developed by Tanjiro to defeat Muzan. Through the anime Tanjiro manages to master the Sun Breathing techniques, with Tanjiro’s legacy and sheer strength, there is no telling what force he will reach in Demon Slayer. 

Demon Slayer Lucky Bag

Kimetsu no Yaiba without a doubt has proven to dazzle us, with its shock value, surprising gore and lovable characters. It grabbed us and pulled us in with every demon battle, and swing of the Nichirin Blades. Now, the most challenging aspect of Demon Slayer is figuring out who you love the most, but Sugio Mart has it covered! With the Demon Slayer Lucky Bag, you have exclusive access to mysterious Demon Slayer items like figurines, keychain, plushies and more with collectibles you can only find in Japan! Shop now to start your collection!

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