My Top 5 Demon Slaying Anime

Demon slaying is common in pop culture. They come in several varieties. The hunter who kills demons for revenge. The “chosen one,” who is born to kill demons, or the half demon that a target for full fledge demons. Family raises some demon slayers to fight demons. Specifically, demon slayers are common in anime and manga. In the last few years anime that focuses on “demon slaying” have gain prominence. So what are my top 5 demon slaying anime:


Berserk

Berserk is a little extreme for my tastes. A manga series created by Kentaro Miura, Berserk follows Guts as he fights evil spirits and demons from hell. Guts was cursed with the “Brand of Sacrifice.” As a result, ghosts and demons want to eat him. After the betrayal by his former best friend Griffith, Guts seeks venegance. Born from the womb of a hanged woman, he was raised as a child soldier. The series begins in the middle, establishing Guts character and the setting. It then flashes back revealling Guts tragic childhood.

Berserk is frequently disturbing, including child abuse, torture, sexual violence, and gore. It’s not a series for everyone, however, if you can stomach it the series explores themes like revenge, moralitiy, and coping with a cruel world. Berserk is inspired by Kaoru Kurimoto’s Guin Saga, Buronson’s Fist of the North Star, and Go Nagai’s Devilman. I don’t read the manga but I do search on Pinterest for Miura’s phenominal art work. If anything is going to attract you to this series it’s his art. Unfortunately, the anime often has terrible animation, I don’t recommend them.

Inuyasha

If your looking for a lighter series then Inuyasha is a great series. Rumiko Takahashi created the series in the 90s. The manga was serialized from 1996 to 2008 and the anime ran for seven seasons. Kagome Higurashi is a Middle School student that time travels to feudal Japan. While there she encounters youkai, ghosts, orges, and many other creatures. I really loved this series for it’s use of Japanese mythology. Kagome meets Inuyasha a teenage half-youkai.

Kagome is the reincarnation of Kikiyo, the former girlfriend of Inuyasha. She sealed Inuyasha to a sacred tree 50 years ago and it’s Kagome that frees him. Kagome and Inuyasha begin a dramatic relationship that spans time and space, as Kagome goes back and forth between this world and hers. The series follows the monster of the week structure. Kagome and Inuyasha are joined by friends, Shippo, Miroku, and Sango. Together they batlle againist the forces of Naraku, as they search for the shards of the Shikon jewel.

Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen is the latest entry into the demon slayer anime. While technically, Yuji and his friends exorcise “cursed spirits” I consider them basically the same as demons. Written and illustrated by Gege Akutami, Jujutsu Kaisen began its run in 2018. The first season of the anime began in 2020. Yuji is a high school student, when his grandfather is about to die, Yuji promises to: do good so others can die the “right” way. When Yuji meets sorcerer Megumi Fushiguro his life changes.

After releasing a cursed object that attracts cursed spirits, Yuji and Megumi rescue them. During this fight, Yuji swallows the cursed object, a finger of the “King of Curses,” Ryomen Sukuna. In doing so he becomes the new vessel of Sukuna. I’ll begin reading the manga after this seasons over, but I reccomend watching the anime. MAPPA is really starting to master their craft and Jujutsu Kaisen benefits from it.

Demon Slayer

Apparently, American audiences favor Jujutsu Kaisen over last years anime darling Demon Slayer. However, Demon Slayer continued to set records in 2020 outselling the One Piece manga and making history in the box office. I think when the Demon Slayer anime returns it will resume its run at the top. The series tells the tragic story of Tanjiro Kamado. After returning from selling charcoal, Tanjiro finds his family slaughtered and his sister Nezuko turned into a demon.

Desperate to turn his sister back and prevent others from being harmed, Tanjiro and Nezuko enbark on a quest to find a cure. Tanjiro joins the Demon Corps. Armed with a katana, the water breathing techniques, and his selfless motivation, Tanjiro battles demons. He joins forces with the dumb prettyboy Inosuke, the powerful coward Zenitsu, and the always sleeping Nezuko. Can they stop Muzan before he can eliminate the Demon Corps?

Yu Yu Hakusho

Demon Slayer and Jujutsu Kaisen maybe new demon slayer series, but Yu Yu Hakusho is a classic. A shonen fighting manga by Yoshihiro Togashi. Yu Yu Hakusho tells the story of Yusuke Urameshi, a cynical, smart mouthed junior high school student. One day Yusuke dies after saving a little boy from being hit by a car. This heroic act is rewarded with an opportunity to return from the dead. Koenma, the son of the King of the Dead, makes him the Spirit Detective. Yusuke hunts demons that threaten Earth. He’s sent to train with Genkai, the crotchety old master spirit user.

Yusuke, his best friend Kazuma Kuwabara, demon fox vessel Kurama, and anti-hero Hiei. Yu Yu Hakusho set the bar for anime animation, and fight choreography. I rewatch the Dark Tournament arc occasionally and still believe that it’s one of the greatest anime arc ever.

Top 10 Most popular manga based on MAL

10. Fairy Tail

Manga vols. 63

Aug 2006 – Jul 2017

MAL Score: 7.67

Fairy Tail is a manga and anime series created by Hiro Mashima. Published in Shounen Magazine in 2006, the series released 549 chapters before ending in 2017. Fairy Tail focuses on Natsu Dragneel, a fire mage, as he searches for his dragon foster father, Igneel, with his guild. 


09. My Hero Academia

Manga vols. 28 (Current)

Jul 2014 –

MAL Score: 8.37

MHA has been published in English by VIZ Media under the Shonen Jump imprint. My Hero Academia is still publishing, having just finished its 291st chapter. In MHA the majority of the population has special abilities called “Quirks.” Most go on to become heroes, while, many become villains. The main protagonist Izuku Midoriya (Deku) is one of the few born without a Quirk. However, his life changes when he meets his idol, All Might. He inherits All Might’s Quirk and joins an academy for potential superheroes. 


08. Bleach

Manga vols. 74

Aug 2001 – Aug 2016

MAL Score: 7.66

Bleach was once considered one of the “big 3” manga series along with One Piece and Naruto. Having sold more than 90 million copies it’s one of the most successful manga series of all time. Bleach follows Ichigo as he invades Soul Society to rescue his friend Rukia from execution. 


07. Death Note

Manga vols. 12

Dec 2003 – May 2006

MAL Score: 8.73

Light Yagami is a brilliant high school student that finds a notebook called the “Death Note.” Inside the book, reads the message: “those whose names are written in it shall die.” Light tests this message and when he learns that it works he embarks on a killing spree under the name “Kira.” However, the mastermind detective “L” and the police aim to track him down. 


06. One Punch-Man

Manga vols. 22 (Current)

Jun 2012 –

MAL Score: 8.75

Saitama is an “ordinary” hero that trained for three years, gaining so much strength that he can defeat most enemies with one punch. However, he becomes bored with the ease with which he defeats the villains. He joins the Hero Association along with his pupil, Genos. They quickly rise up the ranks of the association. 


05. Tokyo Ghoul

Manga vols. 14

Sep 2011 – Sep 2014

MAL Score: 8.54

Ghouls are beings that feed on the human race. In response, the Commission of Counter Ghoul organization has been established. The CCG hopes to exterminate the monsters but they can blend into society posing as humans. Ken Kaneki becomes part Ghoul after he’s attacked by one on a date. As he makes peace with his transformation he finds himself at the center of the war between the Ghouls and CCG. 


04. Naruto

Manga vols. 72

Sep 1999 – Nov 2014

MAL Score: 8.07

Naruto is one of the greatest manga series ever created. Created by Masashi Kishimoto, Naruto has sold over 220 million copies, ranking fourth all-time. Naruto Uzumaki is an orphan ninja from Konoha. He dreams of becoming Hokage (the best ninja in the village). Having been shunned by the village, Naruto originally becomes a mischievous troublemaker. Over the series, Naruto becomes the ninja he hopes to become, gaining the love and admiration of the village that once hated him. 


03. Berserk

Manga vols. 40 (Current)

Aug 1989 – 

MAL Score: 9.34

Guts is a former mercenary seeking vengeance after being betrayed by a former friend. Guts had a terrible childhood and set out on a mission that is filled with horrors and misfortune. Guts battles monstrous demons, cutting them down with his massive sword. Berserk is a harsh series that’s not for the faint of heart. 


02. One Piece

Manga vols. 97 (Current)

Jul 1997 – 

MAL Score: 9.09

The last of the “Big 3,” One Piece is considered by many to be the greatest manga series of all time. As of 2017, One Piece is the highest selling manga series with over 430 million copies sold. Gol D. Roger is about to be executed by the World Government before they kill him he confirms that a treasure called “One Piece,” exists somewhere on the Grand Line. This act inspires a new generation of Pirates. One such pirate is Monkey D. Luffy, who aims to get a crew, sail the seas searching for the One Piece, and becoming Pirate King in the process. 


01. Attack on Titan

Manga vols. 32 (Current)

Sep 2009 – 

MAL Score: 8.64

Hundreds of years ago humanity was attacked by massive creatures called Titans. These “Titans” eat humans whenever they can. Unable to combat the new threat humanity sought safety behind massive walls. Eren Yeager, Mikasa Ackerman, and Armin Arlert grow up in this new environment. However, what was once a peaceful life becomes a horror when a Titan burst through one of the walls. After losing his mother, Eren promises to eradicate the Titans from Earth. 

Source: MAL

Top 5 Horror Anime based on MAL Scores

Monster

Madhouse

Score: 8.73

Monster tells the story of Dr. Kenzou Tenma, “an elite neurosurgeon recently engaged to his hospital director’s daughter, is well on his way to ascending the hospital hierarchy.” When Dr. Tenma is preparing to perform surgery, the hospital director tells him to perform life-saving brain surgery on a famous performer, instead of a poor immigrant. The immigrant dies, causing Dr. Tenma guilt. A similar situation occurs later, but Dr. Tenma chooses to save a young boy instead of the mayor. This costs him his standing in society. Eventually, the death of several doctors results in Dr. Tenma becoming hospital director. Almost a decade later, Dr. Tenma saves the life of a criminal eventually he “comes face to face with the monster he operated on. He must now embark on a quest of pursuit to make amends for the havoc spread by the one he saved.”

The Promised Neverland

Cloverworks

Score: 8.65

The Grace Field House is an orphanage surrounded by a forest and a gated entrance. The orphans are raised as a happy family with their “Mama” Isabella. The children take daily tests but are generally allowed to do what they pleased. However, when a child is adopted, they are never heard from again. The three oldest and smartest siblings become suspicious and they discover the horrific truth of the world they live in.

Kenpuu Denki Berserk

OLM

Score: 8.48

Guts is a young mercenary born from his mother’s corpse. He eventually meets the Band of the Hawk, a group of mercenaries. Guts climb the ranks within the group becoming the head of the offensive faction. Kenpuu Denki Berserk “is a dark, gritty tale that follows one man’s struggle to find his path while supporting another’s lust for power and the unimaginable tragedy that begins to turn the wheels of fate.”

Parasyte -the maxim-

Madhouse

Score: 8.42

Parasitic aliens descended upon Earth and quickly infiltrated humanity by burrowing into the brains of vulnerable targets. When they acquire full control of their host, they’re able to morph into a variety of forms to dominate their prey. A teenage boy named Shinichi Izumi becomes a victim of one of these parasites, however, it fails to take over his brain, resulting in his right hand being taken over. Without the means to take over his head, the parasite, now named Migi, must rely on Shinichi to survive. The pair must coexistence, as they face dangerous parasites. 

Mononoke

Toei Animation

Score: 8.42

The “Medicine Seller” is a master of the occult who travels searching for malevolent spirits called “Mononoke.” The seller aims to kill these spirits. Before he can kill them, he must “first learn its Form, its Truth, and its Reason.” The Medicine Seller eventually reaches an old-fashioned inn. There a pregnant woman, Shino, rests in the last vacant room. However, the room is “infested by a lethal band of Mononoke, the Zashiki Warashi.” The Medicine Seller investigates, hoping to kill the Zashiki Warashi before they can kill again.

Top 5 Anime Characters with Scars

Guts with his Scar against his nose

Guts (Berserk)

Guts have numerous scars after many battles. However, his most distinct scar is the one across his nose. Guts received this scar during a training session with his former father figure Gambino. During this session, Gambino becomes frustrated after Guts manages to cut his cheek. In his rage, he gives Guts the cut across his nose. 

Shoto Todoroki (My Hero Academia)

Shoto has a large burn scar across his left side of his face. He received this scar from his abused mother. Todoroki’s father Endeavor abused his mother resulting in her developing an intense hatred of Endeavor. In a fit of insanity, she burned Shoto by pouring a kettle of boiling water. She immediately tried to soothe Shoto’s pain with her ice Quirk, however, Shoto seem to be permanently scarred. 

Shanks (One Piece)

Shanks’s trademark scar across his left eye was given to him by Blackbeard. When and why he received this scar is currently unknown. The scar is a set of three vertically linear lines that cross over his left eye. However, the eye itself isn’t harmed. 

Kenpachi (Bleach)

Kenpachi has many distinctive traits. His eye patch, long black hair, and his hairless eyebrows. In addition to all that he has a long, thin scar that runs down his face. Located on the left side, the scar doesn’t cut across the eye. It was given to him by the former Kenpachi and Gotei 13 Captain, Retsu Unohana. He was just a child when she gave it to him. 

Vast the Stampede (Trigun)

Vast the Stampede has too many scars to detail. The series doesn’t necessarily tell us when they all happen. Vast’s body is full of deep scars, metal plates that appear to be bolted on, and cuts. In the anime, it is suggested that these scars are all the result if Vast’s unwillingness to kill his opponents. 

The Top 10 White Haired Anime Characters (Part 2)

Top Five Downer Endings in Anime & Manga

Most fans of anime and manga expect a happy ending. The big bad gets defeated and most if not all of our heroes survive. However, ever once in a while, an anime and manga series will shock us with a downer ending. Of course, many of these series generally have dark tones so those endings shouldn’t be shocking. However, most of us are trained to expect a good ending no matter what. A downer ending ranges from sad to tragic. So what are my top 5 favorite downer endings?

5. Lust contemplates her existence (Fullmetal Alchemist)

In episode 35 of Fullmetal Alchemist (2003 series), ‘Reunion of the Fallen,’ Lust begins to question her existence. Where does she come from and what would happen to her when she dies? She sees a man from her past, Lujon. She taught him alchemy to save his village from a mysterious disease. Turns out that the disease was created by Envy. The Homunculi hope that by giving Lujon a fake philosopher’s stone he will search and make a real one for them to steal. When Lujon admits that he loves Lust, she kills him considering him “worthless.” Without his stone, the villagers all die from the disease and Lujon’s wife dies in his arms.

4. Tokyo Ghouls tragic ending

The Anteiku staff are destroyed by the CCG. Touka and Nishiki are forced to abandon their loved ones. Yoshimura is captured by his daughter Eto and will be used as a “donor” for Dr. Kanou’s experiments. Juuzou and Kuroiwa are maimed, Shinohara is left brain dead. Hide goes missing, Kaneki, Amon, Takizawa, Koma, and Irimi are assumed dead. Tsukiyama is comatose. Kaneki is betrayed by two of his allies, Uta and Itori, who take pleasure in Kaneki’s demise.

3. Battle Royale Continues

Battle Royale takes place in a fascist alternate-timeline Japan. The government random chooses high school classes and sends them to a isolated island. Armed with weapons, and under the treat of death they are forced to kill each other until only one remains. This is called “the Program.”After all the death and mayhem, Shuya and Noriko survive. They escape to America, but all of there friends are dead. They are haunted by memories of the battle royale and their relationship become strained. Finally, despite the failure of this edition of the program, the system remains intact. Meaning that future high school students will continue to go through the program.

2. In Devilman Crybaby humanity becomes extinct

The 2018 adaptation of Devilman by Go Nagai, follows Akira Fudo. He becomes a “devilman,” after he makes the demon Amon’s power his own. With this new power, Akira hopes to protect humanity and his love ones. He fails though. He loses everything. His girlfriend Miki is murdered and brutally dismembered by a mob. His best friend turns out to be Satan (Ryo). Akira is killed. Then God destroys Earth. The entire series is dark, but you did think Akira would win at the end.

1. Griffith becomes Femto (Berserk)

In the Berserk, Griffith betrays his Band of the Hawk and Guts. After a year of torture he’s rescued by Guts. Using the Crimson Behelit he summons the Godhand. Transporting everyone to Hell. Griffith sacrifices the Hawks. Guts and Casca remain. As she is attacked by demon Guts tries to save her, but his arm gets caught in a demon teeth. Reborn as the demon Femto, Griffith sexual assaults Casca in front of Guts. Who then cuts off his own arm to try to save Casca. However, he’s dog-piled by more demons, that claw his right eye out. The anime ends here, while the manga continues. Berserk has one of the most depressing endings.

Do you have any anime or manga endings you think belong on this list?

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Even More Top Manga Artists

5. Kamome Shirahama

Kamome is best known in the states for her work on DC and Marvel. As a comic book cover artists, she has done covers for Star Wars, Birds of Prey and Batgirl. Witch Hat Atelier is the manga series that she is best known for. If you notice anything about her artwork it will be her line work.

4. Katsuhiro Otomo

Akira is one of the greatest anime/manga series ever created. It makes sense that the artist, Katsuhiro Otomo would be one of the best manga-ka. Otomo became the fourth manga artist inducted into the American Eisner Award Hall of Fame and was the first manga artist to receive the Grand Prix de la Ville d’Angoulême. He was also responsible for the anime adaptation that emulates his art style.

3. Takehiko Inoue

Inoue’s Slam Dunk series is one of the best selling manga series of all time. Slam Dunk has been adapted into an anime and sold over 120 million copies. The series focuses on the basketball team from Shohoku High School. Inoue current series Vagabond portrays a fictional account of swordsmen Musashi Miyamoto. It has sold over 80 million copies so far.

2. Hirohiko Araki

Araki’s first manga series was Cool Shock B.T., but he’s best known for his current series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. First published in 1987, Jojo has sold over 100 million copies. Known for its references to Western rock music, fashion, and Italy. Jojo is currently divided into eight parts. Each one follows new protagonists that bear the name “JoJo.” Araki’s art style is unique, easily recognizable to anyone familiar with it.

1. Kentaro Miura

Like many of the other manga-ka on this list, Kentaro’s series, Berserk, is one of the most influential manga series. Berserk is a dark fantasy series set in medieval Europe. Centering on the character Guts, a lone mercenary. As of January 2016, Berserk has sold over 40 million copies. Berserk features detailed artwork of giant grotesque demons.

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