Spoiler Free Summary: Demon Slayer Volume 7 by Koyoharu Gotouge is the seventh volume in the Demon Slayer manga. Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke board a train where people are vanishing at an alarming rate. Tanjiro hopes to find Rengoku, a Hashira in the Demon Slayer Corps to ask the master about fire breathing techniques and if they are related to Hinokami Kagura. But the mystery of this train will force all the members of the team to face their own hearts, and if they can’t let go of dreams of what could have been or could be, the only futures they’ll have will be as food.

The cover image for this volume was taken from its Amazon buy page for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

Character: Tanjiro is easily one of the most compelling characters of this generation. He’s innocent, kind, and loyal. Like all great anime characters I can think of off the top of my head, he’s not that bright. This volume connects all the way back to the beginning of Tanjiro’s story, and it’s heartbreaking to watch him face those memories only to have to abandon them.

Exposition: Manga’s have an advantage in that they can use art to fill in gaps, but even mangas need a few exposition boxes to provide context or the occasional joke. Thankfully, these particular boxes are short and to the point. They’re only used to provide information that can’t be shown visually, and that’s cool.

Worldbuilding: This volume continues to tease the mysterious nature of Hinokami Kagura, but it doesn’t provide any real answers. This volume relies on cool fight scenes and emotional drama to keep the pages turning. However, I feel it was still successful. You see, with serialized stories, not every book needs to have every quality. This volume had it’s traits (see above) and other volumes deal with other areas of storytelling. This is because a volume is a part of a far much greater whole. The only real worldbuilding here you see is how much more unique the upper ranked demons are.

Dialogue: A lot of the charm in this series comes from the dialogue between Tanjiro and his friends. Even the other members of the corps have their personalities revealed via dialogue. I think that’s a bit unique, but I watch far more anime than I do read manga, so a bit manga reader will have to comment below and tell me how far off I am. I think this dialogue was a bit stronger than other anime (Naruto, Bleach). I don’t think it’s as good as Death Note, but it’s close.

Description: Manga cheats a little here. It’s so much easier to have great description when you’re an artist who can literally draw what you want viewers to see. The art is incredible. The action scenes are well depicted. I have to admit that black and white is a bit hard for me to see in the details sometimes, but that’s a minor complaint that has more to do with the genre than with the art.

Overall: I picked this up because I didn’t want to wait another year for the movie to come out. At lest now I have the story in my head. That said, I can’t wait for the movie now. The story is beautiful and tragic, fun and action packed. It has lots of surprising moments and teases some strong world building in future volumes. If you like anime and/or manga, this is worth starting.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

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