Warning: This article contains Murderer of demons spoilers
Since it began airing in 2019, Murderer of demons It has become one of the most popular anime series of all time, faithfully adapting the manga of the same name created by Koyoharu Gotouge. While much of its popularity is centered in Japan, it has quickly become a global phenomenon and one of the highest-grossing media franchises in history.
Although the manga ended in 2020, the anime is going strong; the third season of Murderer of demons It finished airing last month (and the finale crashed Crunchyroll to boot), while the fourth season, an adaptation of the Hashira Training Arc, was recently confirmed. Ufotable’s anime adaptation has been praised by fans for its art style, acting, and direction, which led to it amassing a dedicated audience.
While I was arguably late to the party (I had only watched a few episodes of the first season until I recently decided to get drunk on the whole show), fans have been chanting. Murderer of demons‘s praises for a while. The show is already shaping up to be a true shonen classic, complete with endearing leads, great battle sequences, and enemies who are defeated by the power of friendship. while we wait Murderer of demonsPausing until the end, let’s take a look at the 10 best episodes so far.
10. “Together Forever” (Season 1, Episode 10)
This episode opens with Tanjiro delivering the finishing blow during his battle with Yahaba, despite sustaining multiple life-threatening injuries in the process. Nezuko further demonstrates her seemingly inherent demonic strength by keeping up with Sasumaru. This is the first time we see how Muzan’s curse affects the demons he has created; when Sasumaru makes a mistake and mentions it by her name, she is promptly destroyed from within in a scene reminiscent of Alien.
While the fight scenes are great, what makes me enjoy this episode is the ending when Netzuko hugs Tamayo and Yushiro after the battle. She is under the hypnotic suggestion to see humans as family to him, but considers the two strange demons to be human. I feel like this scene really fits the tone of the show, and to see Tamayo’s reaction to someone who validates his humanity is heartwarming.
9. “A Bond Forged” (Season 1, Episode 18)
After an episode dedicated to Zenitsu’s character development, Inosuke gets a chance to shine as the battle between Tanjiro and Rui begins. Tanjiro discovers that Rui is abusing her sister in the name of a “kin feud”, and is enraged that Rui would say that a bond formed by fear and hate was the same as being family. When we see Rui destroy another Slayer Corps member with one blow, we know that Tanjiro is facing his biggest battle yet.
Meanwhile, Inosuke battles the father of the family, a giant spider-headed man. Initially unable to hurt the demon, Inosuke begins to think of ways to immediately become stronger. He then realizes that this is his problem; thinking is not the way he does things. Inosuke really forces his way to harm the demon and even though he must be saved in the end, I like that each protagonist is different from each other.
8. “Memories in Layers” (Season 2, Episode 13)
Not only do we get to see Tanjiro change his fighting style and go crazy against Daki during this battle, we also unlock a bit more lore. During the battle, Daki taunts Tanjiro and hurts the innocent townspeople, prompting Tanjiro to go beyond his limits. It’s always satisfying to see the protagonist level up during a battle with a villain out of his league and seeing Tanjiro remind Muzan’s cells about Yoriichi is fun to watch. Tanjiro almost overstepped here and would have lost his life, if it wasn’t for his little sister.
I’m always happy to see Netsuko go a little crazy and see Daki underestimate her, only for her to go full demon and keep to herself is fun. Bonus points for this episode for Inosuke happily swimming through underground tunnels.
7. “Once we have defeated the higher rank demons” (Season 2, Episode 16)
This episode is a roller coaster. First, we see some background on Tengen and learn more about his dynamic with his family and his wives, and the promise he made to them before beginning this final mission. We also see the fight with the two demons get even more serious, before a cliffhanger leaves things on a terrible note.
One of the highlights of this episode is Tanjiro combining Water Breathing with Hinokami Kagura for the first time. Like almost all fighting animation, it’s awesome to see this in the anime after first reading about it in the manga. Speaking of fight animation, my favorite part of this episode is watching Inosuke and Zenitsu work together to fight Daki, and Inosuke’s joy at beheading her is strangely endearing.
6. “A Link Connected: Dawn and First Light” (Season 3, Episode 11)
The season three finale was over 50 minutes long and was worth every minute. While the Swordsmith Village arc wasn’t long, it’s certainly memorable; many fans reported being disappointed with some of the earlier episodes of the season, but this cinematic finale was a perfect way to end the arc. After fighting not one, but two higher level demons, Tanjiro managed to come out on top and defeated Upper Moon 4 after finding the true body of him.
While the Kazan and Tamayo scenes were a great setup for the upcoming season, the highlight of this episode is Netsuko. As the sun begins to rise, both Tanjiro and Netsuko believe that she will get sunburned and Tanjiro cannot leave his sister to save the villagers. Netsuko makes the decision for her brother and chooses to sacrifice herself so that he can finally defeat the demon. While it works in the end, it’s an emotional scene.
5. “The Mu in Muichiro” (Season 3, Episode 8)
Although almost all the characters in Murderer of demons has a tragic backstory, Muichiro’s was probably one of the saddest to watch. The Mist Hashira started the season as a rather cold character and it was revealed that he had amnesia after something that had happened in his past.
In this episode, it is revealed that Muichiro had a twin brother, Yuichiro, who he lived with after losing his parents on the same day. Yuichiro was harshly pessimistic compared to the positive Muichiro and the two argued frequently. Tragically, Muichiro loses Yuichiro to a demonic attack and Muichiro loses much of his gentle personality as he represses his trauma. Despite this, Mist Hashira remembers her brother’s last words and recognizes that kindness is his strength.
4. “Set Your Heart On Fire” (Season 2, Episode 7)
The Mugen Train arc gave us an introduction to Rengoku as a character, and Flame Hashira quickly became a fan favorite. Just when it seemed like the arc was ending, a new enemy appears; In this episode, Rengoku advances to fight the higher ranked demon Akaza to protect his friends and the train passengers. It’s the first time we’ve seen such a high-level fight and the battle sequences are absolutely gorgeous (I know I sound like a broken record, but they are).
Rengoku’s fighting spirit and determination to let no one die shows what a good mentor he would have been to the younger demon hunters. Even though his flame went out too quickly, he ignited a flame in which he left behind and accomplished his mission.
3. “You must master only one thing” (Season 1, Episode 17)
Up to this point, it was easy to write Zenitsu off as a wimp; hell, even he didn’t believe in himself. When he found himself lost in a forest surrounded by spiders with human features and with no idea where his friends had ventured to, things were as bad as could be. They soon get worse; Zenitsu realizes that he was bitten by a spider and would soon turn into one.
We had seen that Zenitsu was capable of destroying a demon but only when scared to the point of unconsciousness; in the former case, he is almost played as a gag, albeit a very good one. This time, we get to see some of Zenitsu’s backstory and understand why he has so little self-confidence. When Zenitsu recovers and destroys the spider demon, it’s hard not to be proud of him (it helps that it’s also a beautifully animated scene).
2. “Hinokami” (Season 1, Episode 19)
“Hinokami” is generally accepted to be one of the best episodes in the entire series, if not, and for good reason. After Netsuko jumps in front of Tanjiro to save his life, Rui realizes that he wants a true sibling bond like theirs; He reasons that forcing Netsuko to be his sister will give her the family he so desires. Neither Netsuko nor Tanjiro are willing to give in so easily, but both are clearly outclassed by Rui, the first legitimate member of the 12 Kizuki we’ve met so far.
It is common in shonen anime for the protagonists to overcome a life-threatening situation with sheer willpower and determination to protect their loved ones; this fits that trope, but it does it in one of the most beautiful and emotionally resonant ways I’ve seen in any anime. Seeing Tanjiro use the breathing technique his father taught him to help him defeat Rui, as well as seeing Netsuko use her Blood Art for the first time to protect her brother is absolutely some of the most impressive animation of the last decade. Episodes like this really show why. Murderer of demons it’s so popular
1. “I will never give up” (Season 2, Episode 17)
After being defeated by Gyutaro, Tanjiro wakes up to find what can only be described as a nightmare. His companions have been presumed dead: Uzui and Inosuke are losing their lives from poisoning, Zenitsu is trapped under pieces of a building, and he is the only one to survive the attack. Despite him facing what are probably some of the worst odds ever, Tanjiro attempts to come out ahead and slit Gyutaro’s throat, surpassing his physical limits. There’s something to be said for the shonen trope of heroes staying resilient even when faced with situations beyond their grasp; Watching the underdog win feels even more satisfying when it happens.
Even though the reappearances of Tanjiro’s fellow demon slayers feel a bit like deus ex machina, I don’t watch anime for a realistic amount of time; I look at it for a long time. And this is a good time – it feels redundant to emphasize how beautiful the fight sequences are, but Murderer of demons it really is giving movie level animation in almost every episode. After the previous loss, the win over Gyutaro and Daki feels earned, and I can’t lie that I love how Zenitsu and Inosuke were instrumental in securing that win. It’s really a perfect episode.