Spoiler Free Summary: Demon Slayer Volume 18 by Koyoharu Gotouge is the eighteenth volume in the Demon Slayer manga. The fights just keep coming. Doma and Shinobu are still going at it, Tanjiro takes center stage as he and Giyu face off against none other than Akaza, the very demon who killed Rengoku. To beat Akaza, Tanjiro will have unlock a new ability.

Character: Shinobu steals the show here. Tanjiro’s story is more worldbuilding than character building. We also learn more about Akaza (if I remember right). What’s nice is the back stories don’t interrupt the fights. Sure, we see the flashbacks common in any mana, but they are brief as opposed to half the volume. These volumes allow us to learn more about the hashira, and the stories are worth it.

Exposition: Maybe there is some exposition hidden in the dialogue, but there’s not too much to notice. Sure, we get a flashback that teaches us a new technique (you should read this volume for that part alone), but the story moves at a blinding pace, which is probably the strength of this series.

Worldbuilding: So this volume expands on new techniques. What happens in manga is not surprising. There’s no secret to manga. Main character fights new, stronger bad guy. Main character must unlock a new technique. So the art isn’t in the surprise of the new move, but in how the new move is revealed and helps the hero win. This manga does it well. It also expands on the overall magic system. To be clear, there is no “magic” per say. I use this term describe the fighting styles and techniques which are (obviously) unrealistic, but cool to see.

Dialogue: Despite the common hero/villain banter I’ve discussed in other reviews for this series, the dialogue is pretty steady. While it’s true that it’s a bit campy, it’s pretty much what one would expect from a manga like this. It gives me plenty of chuckles and witty phrases. So it’s not a lesson in how to write natural dialogue, but it is fun.

Description: So the art depicts the new technique in a great way, and that’s cool. The real distinction of manga is that it uses the art to fill in the gaps writing just couldn’t fill. Writers use fight scenes as more highlight reels because reading every punch and attack would actually get pretty boring. Making those fights visual removes that concern. When you add the techniques unique to this manga, it just gets better.

Overall: This volume just continues the the heart-attack worthy pace of the last volumes. This volume is actually pretty extreme emotional roller coaster. The action is non-stop, and it’s simply impossible to put down.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

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