Is season 3 of “Demon Slayer” worth the watch?


Note: This article contains spoilers for the Demon Slayer series and descriptions of fantasy gore.

Season 3 of “Demon Slayer” was released on April 9, 2023. (Public Domain Pictures)

“Demon Slayer” was originally released on April 6, 2019, and since then there have been two full seasons and two movies. The show won Anime of The Year for the Crunchyroll Awards in 2020 alongside two other awards that same year and four more awards in 2022. The 2023 Crunchyroll award winners were released on March 3, and the show took home six awards tied with Attack on Titan and Spy X Family. Overall the series holds the record for most awards won at the Crunchyroll Awards with well over a dozen awards. 

The Crunchyroll awards deliberately take place every March to make way for new anime seasons or shows that debuted in April. On April 9, 2023, the third season of “Demon Slayer” was released and naturally had extreme expectations due to its many awards. 

The story follows Tanjiro and his younger sister Nezuko who lived peacefully in the mountains with their large family. In the first episode of season one, Tanjiro goes to sell coal for his family business and ends up staying at a neighboring house so he doesn’t have to climb back up the icy mountain at night.

In the morning when he returns, he sees that his entire family has been killed and that Nezuko was turned into a demon. They get into a battle and Nezuko ends up retaining her memories and humanity, something uncommon for demons. Because of this, they are offered to go train with the Demon Slayer Corps and discover a cure for Nezuko. 

The Twelve Kizuki are the twelve strongest demons under their leader Muzan, similar to this the nine Hashira are the nine strongest members of the Demon Slayer Corps. The third season leaves off of the Entertainment District arc, with the deaths of two members of the Twelve Kizuki, at the hands of Taniro’s team and Hashira Tengen. Due to this Muzan calls a meeting for the first time in 113 years with the Twelve Kizuki. 

Among the attendees of the meeting is Akaza, the demon who recently killed Hashira Rengoku, the flame Hashira. He ranks third in the Twelve Kizuki and is one of the most mysterious demons because of what little we know about his backstory. Kokushibo is the highest-ranking demon under Muzan and just below him is Doma. The first scene of season three ends with Azaka threatening to take their positions, which alludes to there being potentially more scenes with Akaza in the future.

After the meeting, the attention switches to Tanjiro who is waking up from his coma after his last battle with an upper rank. Tanjiro recovers only a week after waking up and sets off to the hidden swordsmith’s village to reclaim a sword after he broke his last one. While there he encounters the Love Hashira Mitsuri Kanroji, and the Mist Hashira Muichiro Tokito, as well as Genya, a demon slayer that Tanjiro met during his training. 

Things remain calm until the village is attacked by Gyokko, who ranks five in the Twelve Kizuki, and Hantengu who ranks fourth. During this attack, there are many casualties throughout the village as the Hashiras, alongside Genya, Tanjiro and Nezuko attempt to defeat the demons. 

Gyokko’s Blood Demon Art is the ability to summon pots which aquatic and deformed creatures emerge from and attack. Hashira Muichiro focuses on this battle while defending two civilians of the Swordsmiths Village. Hashira Mitsuri focuses on the minor demons attacking the civilians and searching for survivors. While Nezuko, Genya and Tanjiro take on Hantengu whose Blood Demon Art allows him to split his emotions into multiple demons. 

During this battle, we learn about Genya’s backstory and his brother Sanemi Shinazugawa, the wind Hashira. The ninth episode takes us to their childhood where they lived in poverty with a single mother and their younger siblings. During this flashback, they are attacked by a demon who they realize is their mother, and Sanemi is forced to kill her. Genya and Sanemi are the only two survivors of their bloodline, similar to Tanjiro and Nezuko, but the two do not keep in contact since Genya denounced Sanemi as “a murderer.”

The first time Tanjiro met Genya, Tanjiro broke Genya’s wrist for being cruel to a young woman. Due to their relationship having a rocky start, Tanjiro struggled at befriending Genya at the beginning of season three when they reunited. But during their battle, Tanjiro expresses his complete support of Genya on his journey to becoming a Hashira, strengthening their bond. 

Season three so far has eluded to potentially showcasing more lore concerning mysterious characters. Genya has had some backstory revealed but there is still much we do not know about him, Akaza’s backstory in the show has also not been revealed at all. But both characters have expressed the goals that they intend on completing, and their progress towards their goals will likely be shown this season.

Demon Slayer has always been rated TV-MA due to its inclusion of, “fantasy violence, including bloody injuries and corpses, including those of young children”, according to Common Sense Media. However, the third season kicks up the graphic violence a notch especially because of Gyokko’s Blood Demon Art.

When Gyokko attacks the village he collects several villagers and magically combines their bodies so they fit in his pot, the disfigured creature made from the villagers is shown to be sentient. Although the show has always included fantasy violence with gore, this scene is one of the show’s most graphic moments. 

According to Corporation News, every single episode of Demon Slayer costs 80,000 dollars USD, and thus a 12-episode season costs about USD 960,000. This fact combined with the increased levels of gore leads to highly intense fight scenes with an extreme amount of detail. So far the third season has aired nine episodes with more episodes packed with well-animated fantasy violence coming soon.

The third season of “Demon Slayer” debuted on April 9 and is expected to air an episode weekly every Sunday morning on Crunchyroll with a premium subscription. The first season can be found on Crunchyroll and Funimation for free. Thus fans have the opportunity to try out the first season and see if it is worth the 8 dollars a month for the second and third seasons. 

There have been nine episodes in the third season of “Demon Slayer” so far, each with a budget of USD 80k. The newest season is packed with an increased level of gore, lore to rarely seen characters, and tragic backstories. The show has won over a dozen awards and is one of the most expensive animes in the world. 

The third season requires some knowledge of the previous two seasons, but the first season is free allowing new fans to try out the show. The Crunchyroll Awards are determined by judges and fan voting, thus the thousands of longtime fans who have voted for “Demon Slayer” would likely deem the show worth the watch. 

Categories A&E

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