Demon Slayer Vol 14 The Mu of Muichiro Manga Retrospective. The Mu is short for myeh.


Demon Slayer Volume 14 Cover 1. Published by Shueisha.

Demon Slayer Volume 14: The Mu of Muichiro.

Collecting Chapters #116-124.

Story and art by Koyoharu Gotouge.


Last time around, Tanjiro, Genya, and Nezuko attempted to take out The Upper Four. As you would expect from just a highly ranked member of the Kizuki, he gave the trio quite a kicking. Meanwhile Muichiro, the Mist Hashira tried and failed to save somebody, and Mitsuru Kanroji, the Love Hashira, joined the fight. This week Tanjiro, Genya, and Nezuko attempt to take out the Upper Four, Muichiro tries to save a kid and in a shocking turn of events, Mitsuru Kanroji, the Love Hashira, joins the fight.



Chapter 116: Awful Volume. I was right. Tanjiro tries and fails to take the Demon's head, and just when it looks like things can't possibly get any worse, a new sixth form of the demon arrives, to escalate this fight to a whole new level!


Chapter 117: Swordsmith. Muichiro struggles to break free from his watery prison. Meanwhile, the Upper Fifth finds Haganezuka hard at work sharpening Tanjiro's new katana.


Chapter 118: The Mu of Muichiro. Finally free of his aquatic confinement, Muichiro is overcome with memories of his childhood. Because everyone loves a good flashback chapter!


Chapter 119: Coming Back. Empowered by his memory, Muichiro takes the fight to Upper 5, who is still trying to break Haganezuka's concentration.


Chapter 120: Trading Insults. Muichiro puts his new katana to the test, but the real battle is fought in the mind, as the Kizuki and Hashira exchange an unending barrage of quips and insults.


Chapter 121: Abnormal Situation. The battle reaches its grand conclusion! But with both combatants unleashing their full power... who will strike the decisive blow, and win this thing?


Chapter 122: A Passing Moment of Excitement. Back to the other ongoing fight, as Tanjiro and friends are still hammering away at their new foe, and not really making any progress. But don't worry, help is on the way!


Chapter 123: Entirely too long chapter name. Kanroji shows off her impressive skills, as she fights on par with the Upper Fifth. But, when Tanjiro's 'help' once again proves to be more of a hinderance, Mitsuri Kanroji's life passes before her eyes.


Chapter 124: Get it together, moron! Kanroji uses her unique physique to increase her combat abilities even further! And my boy Genya shows off a fairly unique talent of his own. But will even these impressive abilities be enough, to beat their foe?


Dude... are you even TRYING with your ability names? Up your game...

I guess we'll find out next week! Because despite a second fight having started and ended within this volume, Tanjiro's battle with Upper Five will continue into the next volume! But don't worry; this volume didn't end with a 'Is the demon dead or not?' cliffhanger, which leads me to believe that next volume we'll see the end of this epic confrontation. Either that, or the demon will transform into a seventh form, Tanjiro will learn a tenth ability, a third Hashira will join the fight, and it'll all conclude in volume 16. Maybe.


Pretty sure killing him would do that. Just saying.

For the second week in a row, I'm really not sure how I feel about this volume... and it's for basically the exact same reason. This volume we had a few of the interesting concepts from last time expanded on, we got a little back story for some of the new characters... and then we got a whole chapter that was basically just Muichiro and Upper Five having a flame war; trading insults and half-hearted attacks, before getting serious in the following chapter. It annoys me, because this series has huge amounts of potential, but just never seems to realise it. There are some really fun and interesting characters, but the fun and interesting parts of them are explained in maybe a panel or two, a couple of pages if they're lucky, and then it's back to fights again.

Take this bad mofo, for instance. This is Genya, AKA the MVP of the last two volumes. He is a Demon Slayer that cannot use Breathing techniques, and last week he seemed to unleash powers similar to that of a demon. This week, it was explained HOW.


Due to his unique digestive system, if he eats demon flesh, he can temporarily gain large bursts of power. That is FREAKING AWESOME. Sadly, we get about two panels to explain that, before it all goes back to business and usual.


It's not just me, right? I need WAY more information on this ability. This is probably my favourite ability that has been introduced so far in this series. Hell, I could base a whole freaking series around this character...


For instance: Does it HAVE to be fresh, live flesh? At one point we see him eating a demon tree, and he seems to get the power from that... so clearly he doesn't need to directly consume the demon's flesh to gain the effect.


But can it be preserved, in any way? Like, say he made demon jerky, would that work? And does he gain more than just the strength, durability, and regen of the demon? Could be potentially gain a smaller version of their abilities, too?


Because, just saying, that has the potential for some really fun stuff, if developed properly.


Just imagine, Genya is fighting someone, and things are looking rough. His target is strong, tough, and worst of all, incredibly fast. He can't even SEE the target, let alone land a solid hit. So, what does he do? Does he give up? HELL no. He dips into his belt of demon jerky, finds one from a previous demon that had extreme speed, and he tucks in. Suddenly POW, he's got speed to match his enemy, and he can claim a decisive victory.


It would allow him to be victorious in situations where he wouldn't ordinarily be able to win, AND he's able to do it without just randomly making up new powers every fight. Also, because he can only digest one load of flesh at any given time, he wouldn't be able to have all the powers, which would stop him from being too powerful, and would allow him to demonstrate a little creativity and tactical insight with his ability selections. You could even have him going out to hunt specific demons, in order to harvest their abilities. But, of course, before he could get that magic jerky, he'd have to defeat the demon... So, in order to claim their powerful abilities, he first has to think of a way to counter said ability, and defeat them.


I would read that series.


That's a serious death flag, right there.

But there was much more to this volume, than just demon jerky. We also got flashbacks for two more Hashira. Kanroji, the Love Hashira and Muichiro, the mist Hashira!


Kanroji's flashback was pretty simple, she had always been an outcast, and that made her sad, but then she found the Demon Slayer Corps and now she feels at home. Why was she outcast, you ask? Simple... she's freakishly strong. Like CRAZY strong. Her muscles are eight times more dense than a normal person's, so even though she looks rather petite, she's an absolute MONSTER in combat. This is a really great way to make a powerful combatant, while staying within the more realistic confines of the series so far, and also drawing some prime rule 34 bait.


Her powers remind me a lot of early Luffy's abilities (One Piece). Except, that while Luffy used his body's stretchiness to pump his blood far faster than a human body should be capable of, Kanroji uses the extreme strength and density of her muscles to achieve the same end. I like the basic concept, because while it allows Gotouge to make Kanroji extremely strong, it still sounds vaguely close enough to actual science, that you can more or less believe it's possible, in a near human character.


Then, we have Muichiro, the namesake of this volume. His flashback was a little more extensive, but also a little disappointing. With last volume's dire hints towards his past, and mentions of his memories being shrouded in the mists, I was expecting something really messed up. What we actually got, was fairly standard for a Demon Slayer backstory. Both his parents died when he was younger, so him and his twin had to raise themselves. One day, they were attacked by a demon and his brother was killed. He went... a little bit psycho, and utterly brutalised the demon, then he joined the Corps.


This connects back to my point from last week, about how there is very little difference between the Kizuki and the Hashira. Muichiro's story is almost identical to Gyutaro's: siblings, alone in the world, tragedy strikes. It's a recurring theme that I really hope is highlighted later on, because it could give Gotouge a chance to mix in a little philosophy, and maybe try to get a nice message across. I guess we'll have to wait and see.


Speaking of the similarities, though... In both Muichiro and Kanroji's fights this volume, they both randomly manifested marks on their bodies, similar to Tanjiro's sun breathing 'scars', it was pointed out by an observer that these markings aren't a million miles away from demon markings.


Which lead me to wonder. Do the Demon Slayers have a bit of a Grey Warden thing going on? For those that haven't played "Dragon Age: Origins", stop reading my rambling nonsense and go play one of the best RPGs ever released. If you do, you'll see that in order to sign up for the Gray Wardens, you need to go through a ritual known as "The Joining", which is a super original name. This secretive ritual including drinking the blood of a Darkspawn, the very enemies you're training to defeat!


And this got me wondering: Is it possible, that Demon Slayers, or maybe just The Hashira, have to consume demon blood, in order to join? Could it be that the powers and abilities of The Hashira aren't quite as natural as they may at fight appear?


Probably not, because that would be dumb as sin. But it's clear that something a little strange is going on with The Hashira, and all this... randomly appearing body art. Fingers crossed we find out soon!

Did I go back and grad this image, to make sure I hadn't imagine it? No, of course not. Why would you think that...

Overall, Volume 14 was all right, I guess. Muichiro's fight with Pothead was short but well executed, but everyone else fighting the other guy is wearing a little thin. But there was just enough cool stuff happening, and just enough teases for potentially important stuff in the future that I wasn't bored reading it. That's about the best I can say. Well, no. The art, as always, was excellent. It kind of makes me wish that Gotouge could team up with someone like Eichiro Oda, or Hideaki Sorachi. I can't help but think that Gotouge's amazing art, combined with one of the great long-game writers would lead to a really amazing series. But maybe that's just me, who knows. Either way, I'm interested to see how this all plays out.


If you are as well, join me next time for Demon Slayer Volume 15: Daybreak and First Light. Collecting chapters 125-133. Tanjiro finally chases down the main body of the upper-rank demon Hantengu. However, dawn is approaching, and the rising sun is a threat to Nezuko. Tanjiro's concern for his sister is a distraction from the focus he needs to fight Hantengu, and if he hesitates it could be the last mistake he ever makes! Elsewhere, Tamayo ponders the nature of Nezuko's curse and how she could be so different from other demons.


And if you want to read along, you can find this volume at your Local Comic Shop, or on the Weekly Shonen Jump App, Enjoy!


I mean... isn't that what you've been trying to do this whole time? That's basically your job, dude.

 

Taheg Gloder is a Freelance Copywriter from England. Obsessed with comics and Manga since his teens, he now splits his time between writing comic reviews and retrospectives for POP, and doing reactions on his YouTube Channel, The Dragon & The Hound. He lives alone, because he’s a hermit.

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