Demon Slayer Vol 2: It was you. MANGA RETRO. Our enemy has a face! And it's a little familiar...


Demon Slayer Volume 2 Cover 1. Published by Shueisha.

Demon Slayer Volume 2: It Was You. Collecting Chapters #8-16.

Story and art by Koyoharu Gotouge.


Solid first volume, right? Last time around, we began our journey to become Demon Slayers! We met our plucky young hero Tanjiro Kamado and marvelled at his amazing sense of smell, and how nice he is. Then his whole family was murdered, because no one in manga is allowed to be happy. But thankfully, there's no family like found family, so Tanjiro went to train with creepy old Tengu Urokodaki, who taught Tanjiro the ways of the Demon Slayer! This time, we find out if he passed his big test, and not to give away the answer to that question, but we also go along with him on his first mission as a Demon Slayer... But yeah, let's see if he passes! Oooh, such tension!

By 'sometimes' they mean ALL THE TIME. 5 times, this volume alone.

Chapter 8: Big Brother. Tanjiro gets revenge for Urokodaki and his lost students, passing his test, and becoming a Demon Slayer! As a graduation gift, he gets a fancy new suit and a talking bird. Which is pretty slick, all things considered.

Chapter 9: Welcome Back. Tanjiro returns to Urokodaki's hut, filled with worries, but finds his mood rapidly improving. After a short rest, an interesting package arrives for him, along with his first official mission!

Chapter 10: Kidnapper's Bog. Tanjiro sets off for his first mission, with Nezuko in tow. Girls are disappearing in a small town, one every night, and no one knows how or why! Only Tanjiro and his magical nose can help them.

This name is a lot funnier than intended, in British English.

Chapter 11: Suggestion. The battle with the demon trio continues! Tanjiro is overwhelmed by their speed and teleportation-like abilities. Unable to land a solid blow, and with his focus split between protecting innocent bystanders and trying to fight, it looks like his first mission might not go so well...

Chapter 12: I Can't Tell You. Our ultimate antagonist finally gets a name, but precious little information is available. Then, Nezuko to the rescue! It's a good old-fashioned brother/sister beatdown, as Nezuko bursts our of her box, to assist Tanjiro in his battle! But will the Kamado siblings be strong enough to take out this demon... and will they find out any information about the shadowy Muzan Kibutsuji?

Chapter 13: It Was You. One mission complete, Tanjiro is sent right on to another one. This time, he's off to Asakusa, in Tokyo! Overwhelmed by the lights and people, Tanjiro has trouble acclimating. But a familiar scent brings him face to face with his target... but things are more complicated than he'd anticipated.

Chapter 14: Kibutsuji's Wrath/The Smell Of Enchanting Blood. Chaos reigns, as demons rampage through the crowd. Torn between his desire to protect the innocent civilians and his desire to stop Kibutsuji, Tanjiro finds things quickly getting out of hand. But, an unexpected new ally just might be exactly who he needs!

Chapter 15: The Doctor's Opinion. Tanjiro questions his new friend, and receives some distressing news. But all is not lost, and his his new quest begins! However, before he can get started, an unexpected assault begins!

Chapter 16: Playing Temari. Which I honestly thought was a type of Soy Sauce, but apparently that's TAmari. The attack continues, and Tanjiro might just be in serious danger, and these demons are unlike anything he's met so far! But to be fair, he's only met like 3 demons, so that's not REALLY saying anything.


Oh BALLS! Tanjiro is really in trouble, this time. But don't worry, with the help of his new friends, I'm sure he'll survive. This was another solid volume though. We found out our Big Bad's name, the name of his villain team, and Tanjiro now has his overarching mission. Pretty much everything you'd ever need, from a second volume!

*Sad trumpet sounds*

Well, that was certainly an action-packed second volume, wasn't it? Just like the first one, this volume did NOT mess around. The pace for this series continues to be brutally fast, almost TOO fast, and some points that felt like they could have been expanded a little vanish in a flash, in order to make way for the next big AAHHH moment.

This panel is actually SUPER wholesome.

For instance: The volume begins with Tanjiro effortlessly dispatching the big demon he began fighting last time around. We then get a couple of pages of him talking about Urokodaki, and all his lost students, and how they can all rest easy now. Then we get a brief hug, as seen above... But there's also a whole bunch of stuff implied, that could potentially make this scene far more emotional. Hints that Urokodaki might actually know the demon, or rather, might have known the person that BECAME this demon. But, before we really have a chance for any of those possibilities to sink in, we've moved on and now we're at the big graduation ceremony! yay.


I mean, maybe we'll come back to this plot arc later, and that was just meant to be a teaser, maybe I'm just looking for more than there actually is, in this scene... but it just feels like there's slightly more story left to explore here, and it was all sort of rushed through. I understand not wanting to become bogged down and keeping the pace high, but that can't come at the expense of failing to flesh out your world. It doesn't matter how quickly we get to the big moments, if we don't care about the people involved in them, after all.

This panel isn't connected to what I'm saying... I just think it's cool.

However, while some parts may have been a little rushed, there was still some GREAT lore and plot advancements, this volume. Most notably, the Big Reveal!


Yes, it seems that there is only one demon capable of making other demons, therefore, the person that attacked Tanjiro's family and turned his sister can only be....


Michael Jackson!


Sorry... Muzan Kibutsuki.

He's a smooth criminal!

Yes, our (potential) big bad has a face, and a name! But there's already far more to this story that it would seem. Because in the same chapter that we find out his name, we actually come face to face with our eventual foe. And that's where things get a little odd. Because in the chaos that follows this first meeting, Kibutsuji's catches a glimpse of Tanjiro's Hanafuda earrings... And this seems to trigger some kind of memory.


What connection does he have to the Kamado family? Was the attack on their home more than a simple passing attack? Was it, in fact, revenge for a prior clash? Ooooh, I do love a good mystery, and this series is FULL of stuff like this, to pick over. We're not even 20 chapters in yet, and already I find myself dwelling on various aspects and hints, trying to puzzle out just what is going on here.

Don't worry, Tanjiro! That's just ComicCon, next door.

For instance: Tanjiro's legendary sense of smell. In the first volume, it was established that Tanjiro's nose knows. But before he was smelling people and things... now the dude is showing the ability to smell intangible freakin concepts, like sadness and truth. Is this just him picking up small changes in other people's pheromones, OR is he interpreting some kind of sixth sense as smell, because that's the easiest way for him to process it? I don't know, but I kinda hope it's nothing too crazy. I really like that he's just a normal guy, still. It's fine to have him as just a simple swordsman who can fight with these brutal demons by using his breathing techniques and top notch sword skills... because if there comes a time that that is no longer enough, he has an ace up his sleeve. Or rather, on his back...


Because this volume, we finally get a chance to see Nezuko throw down! After sleeping through most of volume one, we get to see what Lady Kamado can do and... it's pretty impressive, I've gotta say!


During the slightly rushed fight with the Demon Trio, that may or may not have actually been one person, it's not really explained, Nezuko comes out and shows that really, she is the stronger of the two siblings.


I really like this concept, and I think there's a lot that can be done with it, rather than just making Tanjiro the standard Shonen hero who blasts through anyone in his way with his super-powers and magic sword.


Given the whole concept of the series, it would be far more fitting, in my opinion, if Tanjiro takes on a more defensive role, while Nezuko handles offense. Tanjiro's whole arc seems to be built around his desire to protect (and one day cure) his sister. So it seems fitting to me if they fight as a pair, with him keeping everyone busy, focused on him, while Nezuko darts around using her demonic speed and power to ruin people while they're distracted. Because let's be real, here: Tanjiro is FAR too kind-hearted, and there WILL come a point when he gets sad thinking about the person that one of these demons used to be, and ends up getting hurt because of his hesitation. Meanwhile, Nezuko doesn't give a damn, and will happily massacre as many demons as she can get her adorable, deadly hands on. Not that that's entirely on her, though...

That's... vaguely problematic.

Sooooo, yeah. It seems while she was sleeping, Urokodaki planted some suggestions in her mind (lets hope that's all he did to her...) to increase her hostility towards demons, and increase her protective feelings towards humans. On the surface, this seems fairly harmless. From what we've already seen of her, she's not inclined towards eating humans, and will attack anyone that tries to hurt her or Tanjiro.


However, this raises two important questions for me:


First, if she's already shown herself willing to fight demons to protect her family, why even bother messing with her? If she's already shown that she's not a huge danger to others, surely messing with her head is somewhat unnecessary and more important...


The second big question: What happens if that conditioning fails? Or someone else finds a way to corrupt it? We've seen that she's powerful, so what happens if this (formerly) nice demon realises that someone has been messing with her head, and decides to get vengeance? Even the nicest person will fight back, if they realise that someone has been messing with them. Especially if what was done to them was seemingly fairly unnecessary.


And last, because as I was typing that second question, a third, way worse (and more likely) eventuality came to me. Right now, Nezuko is conditioned to think of all humans as her family, and all demons as her sworn enemy.


Except that this volume has shown us that not all demons are evil, and actually some can be rather useful. And real life has shown us that not all humans are exactly saints...


So what happens on the day that Tanjiro is attacked by a human? Will Nezuko be able to join the fight, and help her brother, if she sees two family members fighting?


Because I've got to say... I have concerns.

Nope. Not creepy at all. Not one bit...

Because it's not just the big bad that we (sorta) met this volume. We also met that creepy bastard pictured above. I'm guessing whoever that person is, they're the mystical leader of the Demon Slayer Corps, who has been mentioned a couple of times so far, and apparently doesn't appear in public much.


Okay, years of reading manga has taught me something: when it comes to the leader of the big good guy army group, there are two types of leaders:


The super -awesome, overpowered badass who will do anything it takes to protect their charges.


OR


Corrupt bastards, who end up being worse than the people they're meant to fight.


And I can't lie. I know we've only seen one panel of them, but I'm leaning towards the head of the DSC being the second type. I can see it now; we get about two thirds of the way through the series, Kibutsuji is seemingly dead and we're all left thinking "Well, what happens now?" And then it turns out that the DSC are actually pretty corrupt, probably responsible for the death of Tanjiro's father and then go full Empire on us. Then in the final arc, it's Tanjiro and his few loyal friends against the very people that he's just spent all that time fighting alongside.


And then, when that happens, Nezuko will be potentially useless, all because the creepy Tengu decided to mess with her head, while she slept.


DID THESE PEOPLE LEARN NOTHING FROM ROBOCOP!


Anyway, overall Demon Slayer Volume 2 was pretty good. Some interesting new characters, some great lore development, and a couple of fun fights. Maybe not quite as good as Volume 1, but still strong enough that I'm excited to see what happens next volume. Gotouge continues to deliver strong world development and an intriguing lore, alongside fun art with unique character designs. Considering we're still only on the second volume of a new IP, that's just about all I could ask for. My only problem is with the slightly rushed pacing, that seems to leave a lot left unsaid. But fingers crossed those threads will return in time...


if you want to see if they all weave back together, join me next time for Demon Slayer Volume 3: Believe in yourself, collecting chapters 17-25. Tanjiro and Nezuko cross paths with two powerful demons who fight with magical weapons. Even help from Tamayo and Yushiro may not be enough to defeat these demons, who claim to belong to the Twelve Kizuki that directly serve Kibutsuji, the demon responsible for all of Tanjiro’s woes! But if these demons can be defeated, what secrets can they reveal about Kibutsuji?


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!

A powerful demon, famous throughout the lands for her skill at handling balls.

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