Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has had one of the most successful runs in the history of manga. Running from 2016-2020, Demon Slayer’s saga of young Tanjiro and Nezuko Kamado’s rise through the Demon Slayer Corps has been the hottest thing in both the manga and anime genres for years now. That doesn’t mean the ride has been all smooth sailing, though: like any popular manga/anime, Demon Slayer has inspired serious fan debate about the quality of its story. Koyoharu Gotōge’s series can be separated into 11 main arcs, so it’s time to rank Demon Slayer from its worst storylines to its best.
Here is Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba’s Best Arcs, Ranked!
11. Hashira Training Arc
This arc is like the training montage in a film, where the heroes improve their abilities before the final battle. Tanjiro and the Demon Slayers go through intensive training with the expert Hashira, while the Hashira train themselves to master the mysterious mark which grants them ultimate focus in their sword techniques. In a series as action-packed as Demon Slayer (and an epic title to boot), this arc was kind of a slow point for the series.
10. Asakusa Arc
The Asakusa Arc has the big twist reveal of introducing Muzan Kibutsuji way earlier than anyone expected, but otherwise, it’s kind of a forgettable arc. The introduction of medic demon Tamayo and her assistant Yushiro pays off later in the series, but the battle with demons Susamaru and Yahaba is just okay.
9. Mugen Train Arc
The Mugen Tain Arc is one of Demon Slayer‘s most interesting arcs, conceptually, offering a rare Steampunk-themed moment in the series. It made inventive use of demonic power mixed with technology, and how the Demon Slayers protect the normal human world. However, the final section of the arc sets the tone for the series, as a seemingly major character (Kyojuro, the Flame Hashira) is killed, and the power of the Upper Rank Demons is revealed. Mugen Train feels like one of Demon Slayer‘s smaller arcs, which is why it will be perfect as a movie feature!
8. Swordsmith Village Arc
This arc saw Muzan and the Upper Ranks get the jump on the Demon Slayer Corps, by ambushing a key resource of the team: their swordmakers. The two creepy (and quite tricky) demons (Upper Ranks 4 &5) created a sense of desperation and thrills, as the Demon Slayers and some equally strange new friends (Mitsuri, Genya) had to hold the line.
7. Rehabilitation Training Arc
This was the arc that really made Demon Slayer fans see the bigger picture. Tanjiro and his friends got to meet the fabled Hashira, and their leader Kagaya Ubuyashiki. That event kicked off the larger arc of the series, as Muzan made the drastic move of slaughtering the Lower Ranks demons for their failures and set the final battle into motion by pitting the Upper Ranks against the Hashira.
6. Final Battle Arc
Demon Slayer‘s final battle arc left a lot of fans disappointed. The Hashira (along with Tanjiro and Co.) find themselves trapped in Muzan’s Infinity Castle. The fragmented battles with the top rank demons, and questionable focus (a lot of time examining on the top demons, instead of the Hashira or Tanjiro), left a lot of fans underwhelmed. Still, Final Battle Arc has the Hashira, Tanjiro, and his corps buddies unleashing their ultimate techniques, and the Demons revealing their own horrific attacks, to match. In other words, it’s the action-packed finale fans waited to see!
The final battle with Muzan seemed to drag on a very long time, with the demon king strangely being one of the least interesting demons in the bunch, in terms of powers; Nezuko also got shorted, in the eyes of many fans. For a series that started out so strongly, Demon Slayer didn’t end nearly as well. If that wasn’t enough, the final epilogue of the series left a lot of fans screaming “WTF?!”
5. Drum House Arc
This is the arc that beautifully cemented the core team of the Demon Slayer series: Tanjiro, Nezuko, and their Demon Slayer misfit friends, Zenitsu and Inosuke. That friendship was forged in the heat of a strange battle with the demon Kyogai – which was also our first taste of the more surrealist version of Blood Demon Art powers, as the Drum House’s shifting planes were basically a precursor for the series’ final battle with Muzan in the Infinity Castle.
4. Natagumo Mountain Arc
After having a good introduction to the core characters, Demon Slayer quickly upped the ante with the Natagumo Mountain Arc. Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosoke get a big mission together for the first time, and it turns out to be Demon Slayer‘s biggest and best “horror” moment. The Natagumo Mountain arc also opened the door to the next level of power in the series: we saw the terrible power of Lower Rank 5 Rui and his Spider Family, while also getting to see the power of the Demon Slayer Hashira (Giyu and the amazing Shinobu Kocho) rise up to meet it.
3. Entertainment District Arc
The Entertainment District arc is a rare standout in Demon Slayer: a bonafide mystery story that had some wonderful slow-burn Noir overtones. Tanjiro, Inosuki, and Zenitsu have to investigate a rumored demon in the red light district, and Demon Slayer introduced fans to one of its biggest fan-fave characters, the Sound Hashira, Uzui. Uzui’s story was arguably the best character development within the Hashira group, and the actual reveal of the demon(s) turned out to be a nice twist, as the serpentine demon Daki and her brother Gyutaro had one of the more compelling stories within the demon Upper Ranks.
2. First Mission Arc
The First Mission arc built upon the strong momentum of Demon Slayer’s launch, by going through the smart, careful pace of deepening the mythos of the series. Tanjiro has to take on his first investigative mission and battle a demon that actually uses strategy and cunning aside from pure fright and might. We learn of the Blood Demon Arts that instantly deepened Demon Slayer‘s entire combat system – but what makes the First Mission Arc so a standout moment for fans, is that it was the moment Nezuko stepped up from tragic sidekick to being the Best Girl icon she is, by jumping into battle alongside her brother.
1. Final Selection Arc
When it comes to Demon Slayer it’s easy to pick the best arc, because inevitably it’s the first one. Manga and anime can be notoriously slow in their slow-burn buildups, but Demon Slayer didn’t have that problem, at all.
Friends, this isn’t the time to be complacent. If you are ready to fight for the soul of this nation, you can start by donating to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris by clicking the button below.
Thank you so much for supporting Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign.