Inosuke is best boy. No wait–Zenitsu is best boy. NO WE STAN TANJIRO IN THIS HOUSE.
So some of you might have noticed, perhaps grieved, or even rejoiced that Kimetsu no Yaiba recently came to a close with its 205th chapter. This probably came to a shock for those who had only jumped on this train after watching the anime, and especially because it was being hailed as the next big thing in shounen — viewed as equal to the likes of Naruto, One Piece, and Dragon Ball Z. Everyone thought it’d run for an excessive amount of time, and while it certainly did, it ended relatively quickly for something of the like. I personally have only read it this last year…and honestly? I have quite a bit of feels with the ending, but I don’t think it was wrong of it to end after such a “short run” —let me get into why.
So first off, I don’t really like how I’ve heard people say that it should have run for 300+ chapters and followed in the footsteps of it’s lengthy predecessors. Not to say I wouldn’t have enjoyed it if it were longer, I just find there is no problem with ending it after a mere 200. It was very clear to me from the beginning that Kimetsu no Yaiba was a manga that had a mission and it wasn’t terribly interested in making that mission the most important thing. That is to say, Kimetsu no Yaiba had the cure for Nezuko as the only defining mission for Tanjrou, but it was never really at the foreground. Which to me, meant that if was never meant to be a long lasting series. There would always exist a “point if no return” in which they would have to answer the question of Nezuko’s humanity, and there would be nowhere left for it to turn. So why does it matter of it happened sooner than later? Sure it could’ve gone on to be 400 or 500 chapters. But it’d get repetitive. In the existing manga, we built on characters enough for them to be loveable and while we could expand on some of them further, it still wouldn’t warrant a ton more chapters. I can see where there could’ve been more info on things, but also I don’t think it was necessary. So essentially, am I sad for the short run time? Not really. The story is still amazing as is.
With that being said, let’s talk about that ending. Or at least the important parts of the final chapters. If you haven’t read, are an anime-only, and don’t want spoilers–you probably should stop reading here.
In the final chapters, our goodest boy Tanjiro, along with almost all of the remaining pillars, dies in the fight against Muzan, but only after the demon is defeated. When I reached these last few chapters, read over the complete battle against Muzan, I was absolutely stunned when Tanjiro was announced dead. And that was a good thing. In the week it took for most people to grieve, I was realizing that I actually really enjoyed his death in the story. Now don’t get me wrong, I love him and it was still INCREDIBLY sad…but it also made a lot of sense for the series. Kimetsu no Yaiba was always a story about Tanjiro trying to find a way to cure Nezuko, and he achieved that when Muzan was defeated. She had finally regained herself, and Tanjiro’s journey was done. If he had to die there, it would’ve been a great sacrifice but it would’ve been a bold move to make the ending tragic with Nezuko rejoining a world without her brother in it. But I guess that would’ve been TOO tragic…because the story did not end there. No, instead Muzan used the last of his strength to essentially take over Tanjiro’s body–making him a demon stronger than himself and bringing him back to life in the process. AGAIN. I WAS PSYCHED. This too, would’ve been tragic as fuck–because his closest friends would’ve had to kill him if they wanted to make Muzan’s death mean anything. It was absolutely heart wrenching to see Inosuke, Zenitsu, and Giyu have to face off against everyone’s favorite boy and it would have totally wrecked me had they needed to kill him (hell, it would’ve broken everyone), but that’s also not where it was going. Because instead, there was a last minute antidote to bring him back…and so they lived happily ever after. Not exactly the most climactic with the setup of Tanjiro becoming a demon…but okay. It’s alright. We love a happy ending for our characters. I get it–shounen anime aren’t always bold enough to permanently kill their MC. It could’ve been way more climactic but as long as they had an amazing final chapter, it wouldn’t matter.
Except it didn’t. I don’t want to be the one who shits on the ending of a popular series but…that just was isn’t fam. Was it cute to see everyone’s ancestors? Yes. But it also didn’t feel like a wrap up. Instead, it felt like a bonus chapter you’d find in a volume of the manga. In fact, the first few pages I thought were like a fake out. But no…it really did just flash forward to present day Tokyo. It wasn’t a bad ending per say it was just…not really an ending in my opinion. I felt like it could’ve done a better job with giving us closure on our favorite characters instead of pulling the reincarnation card. Or at least making it more than just a chapter of cameos as Tanjiro’s ancestor runs to school. I don’t know. It did not settle with me right. At first I was kind of pissed with how it ended, but I also came to peace with it. This was the story the author chose to tell us, and I respect that. Plus, even if the ending wasn’t amazing…that doesn’t make the story any less amazing than it already was.
Whether you think Kimetsu no Yaiba should’ve lasted another 200+ chapters, whether you think Tanjiro should’ve died, whether you were satisfied with the ending or not, Kimetsu no Yaiba is one of the best new age shounen titles. And it knew when it’s time came–it didn’t to drag itself out. Let’s all just bookshelf it, knowing we have plenty seasons to be animated, and continue to enjoy it. Oh! And of course to look forward to the mangaka’s next work!
They were all best bois