Demon Slayer (Kimetsu no Yaiba in Japanese) was the brainchild of then-26 year old Koyoharu Gotōge, a manga artist who had been rapidly rising up the ranks with a series of one-shots that had garnered a great deal of attention.
It would eventually prove Gotōge’s most lucrative work, and in a few short years, the franchise has garnered an estimated ¥270 billion in revenue (approximately $3.4 billion in AUD). It only enjoyed moderate success at first, but through word-of-mouth and an electrifying first anime season, it caught fire in 2019 and has been experiencing a meteoric rise ever since.
It is set in Japan during the the Taishō era, a time when the rural economy would go through great turmoil and eventually, a depression. The Kamado family were hit harder than most; with the head of the family no longer around, the modest Tanjiro must step up to become the breadwinner and keep his mother and siblings happy and fed.
He frequently ventures into the nearby town to make money, where his upbeat and sedulous nature make him a popular candidate for odd jobs here and there. One such day, which seemed just like any other, he returns home to find his family slaughtered.
His younger sister, Nezuko, appears to have been maimed, and he attempts to whisk her towards safety. Midway through the journey, however, Nezuko suddenly turns on Tanjiro, snarling ravenously and clawing at him like a wild animal. Whatever happened that day has left Nezuko a powerful, speechless monster.
An encounter with a mysterious assailant reveals that she has been transformed into a demon, and that it is his job to slay creatures of her ilk. Upon seeing a glimpse of humanity left in the young girl, he begrudgingly reconsiders, leaving her alive under her brother’s care.
Having now made some sense of this cruel development, Tanjiro sets off to cure Nezuko of her ailment, while also seeking out whoever was responsible for his family’s demise.