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Demon Slayer Mangaka: Creators Make the Time 100 Box Office Record

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One of the things that 2020 has been renowned for is movie releases that break box office records. One picture, however, defied the odds. Demon Slayer Mangaka: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train, released in Japan on October 16, broke a 19-year record set by Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away.

In December, the picture surpassed filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki’s magnum opus to become the country’s highest-grossing film of all time, garnering $313 million.

Demon Slayer Mangaka Crestor Makes The 100 Times

Demon Slayer Mangaka

In the months following, the picture, based on Koyoharu Gotouge’s manga Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, has shattered another record formerly held by Spirited Away: Mugen Train is now the highest-grossing anime film in the world. It will be released in theatres in the United States and Canada on April 23 in subtitled and English dubbed versions.

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The Demon Slayer franchise had already amassed a committed global fanbase before making headlines for breaking box office records. Both the manga, which was initially released in 2016 and its television series, have accomplished remarkable things.

Here’s all you need to know about Demon Slayer, the author-illustrator behind it, and the manga’s, television series, and film’s spectacular popularity ahead of Mugen Train’s North American premiere.

What is the plot of Demon Slayer?

Every night, man-eating demons stalk the land in this imaginary country situated in early twentieth-century Taish-era Japan. Tanjiro Kamado’s life is flipped upside down when he arrives home one morning to discover his entire family slain, except his sister Nezuko, who has transformed into a monster.

Tanjiro sets out on a mission to train for the Demon Slayer Corps, determined to revenge their murders and find a cure that will turn Nezuko back into a human. The story follows him as he joins an underground society of trained warriors dedicated to safeguarding humanity from deadly beasts.

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Koyoharu Gotouge is a character in the anime Koyoharu Gotouge.

Demon Slayer was written and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotouge, who was recently named the TIME 100 Next for 2021. When making announcements about the series, the mangaka, or manga writer, does not divulge their identity and instead goes by the pen name Gotouge and appears as an avatar of an alligator wearing spectacles.

Even though little is known about Demon Slayer’s author, many who work closely with Gotouge are familiar with their work ethic. “I’ve known Gotouge sensei [the honorific phrase for teacher in Japanese] since the beginning of their career, and they weren’t always without flaws,” says Kohei Ohnishi, an Editor-in-Chief of Weekly Shonen Jump and the editor of Demon Slayer. “However, through hard effort and patience, they were able to make significant progress as a mangaka.”

Though Gotouge’s timetable has not been revealed, manga creators are known for their tough daily schedules. For example, Oda Eiichiro, the creator of One Piece, has spoken about sleeping from 2 to 5 a.m. regularly to work on his novel.

Gouge has a strong sense of integrity and dedication to their work, according to Ohnishi, and the mangaka is “extremely conscious of how readers respond to their work.”

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When asked what aspect of Gotouge’s writing and art has the biggest impact, Ohnishi points to the powerful characters and conversation. “Their characters are all distinct, but they’re all grounded in truth,” adds Ohnishi. “In addition, Demon Slayer contains a lot of remarkable lines that are full of creativity.”

What caused manga and anime to become so popular?

Weekly Shonen Jump, a long-running manga magazine that has published some of the most iconic series, serialized Demon Slayer from Naruto and Dragon Ball to One Piece and Yu-Gi-Oh!. The series debuted in a 2016 edition of the manga magazine and continued to be published regularly until its last volume was released in 2020.

While the print volumes were only moderately popular in Japan during their initial serialization, their popularity skyrocketed in 2019—the same year that the manga’s 26-episode television adaptation premiered.

Fans and critics alike appreciated the TV series produced by the Japanese company Ufotable for the amazing animation of the fight sequences.

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Demon Slayer began to be considered one of the best action anime of all time based only on the artistry of its battle scenes. According to the Oricon chart, the manga snapped an 11-year trend held by One Piece to become Japan’s best-selling manga of the year in 2019, shortly after the TV series concluded airing.

In a 2020 interview, Hiroyuki Nakano, another Editor-in-Chief of Weekly Shonen Jump, talked about Demon Slayer’s success and symbolizing the changing relationship between manga and anime.

“Normally, a manga’s sales increase over time as the anime airs,” Nakano told Nikkei Entertainment, “but Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba’s sales increased immediately after the anime ended.”

Following its broadcast on television, word of mouth about the anime appears to have played a big role in the burgeoning sales. “It doesn’t matter how good a manga is,” Nakano observed, “it won’t become a hit just because it ran in Jump.”

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The next year, Gotouge’s series continued to dominate sales. Demon Slayer was not only the best-selling manga in Japan in 2020, but it also sold roughly ten times as many copies as the manga that came in second. The last volume was reported to have sold 3.95 million copies.

How did the movie become so well-known?

Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer) Mugen Train: The Movie was released in 2020, at the height of the manga’s success. The film was directed by Haruo Sotozaki and produced by Ufotable, the same studio that produced the TV series, and it was based on Gotouge’s work in a direct sequel to the 2019 series.

In 2020, Japan’s box office declined by 45 percent, although international film ticket sales plummeted by 71 percent higher than Japanese film ticket sales (down 23 percent ).

Mugen Train’s success aided in the increase of domestic cinema ticket sales. Japanese authorities had eased restrictions on cinemas operating at 50 percent capacity earlier in September 2020, however some movie chains chose to maintain the gathering size restrictions in place.

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The film was released in more than 400 cinemas across Japan on October 16, and according to The New York Times, one Tokyo theatre booked 42 showings of Mugen Train on opening day, starting at 7 a.m. The film grossed $44 million in its first three days, making it Japan’s highest opening weekend ever. (The Matrix Reloaded, at $20.8 million, had previously established the record in 2003.)

Mugen Train broke one box office record after another in the weeks and months that followed. The film earned $100 million in in ten days, making it the fastest film in Japan to reach this milestone.

(Spirited Away took 25 days to reach the same number.) In the past, a combination of native and foreign animated films has had the most success in the country.

Apart from Spirited Away, Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke and Howl’s Moving Castle, as well as Makoto Shinkai’s 2016 hit Your Name, have all listed among Japan’s top ten highest-grossing films.

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Titanic, Frozen, and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone have all topped the box office rankings in other countries. Mugen Train broke the long-running tradition of the first-place finisher in December, surpassing Spirited Away to become Japan’s highest-grossing film of all time.

Where can I find Demon Slayer to read or watch?

From the beginning, the Demon Slayer manga was made available to audiences outside of Japan. The first three chapters of the manga were released in English with the Japanese edition in 2016 by Viz Media, an American manga publisher partially owned by Shueisha Inc., which publishes Weekly Shonen Jump.

Beginning in 2018, Viz began releasing new volumes of the series in English on a regular basis. Similarly, the Demon Slayer TV show has been available on Hulu, Crunchyroll, and Funimation, two major anime-focused websites based in the United States, with English, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese subtitles on both platforms and English dubbing on the latter.

Demon Slayer’s availability on all of these platforms has helped it become one of the most well-known Japanese manga and anime series among worldwide manga and anime fans. Following its January release on Netflix, the series is now much more accessible to international audiences.

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Is it necessary for me to watch the TV show before seeing the movie?

The film Mugen Train picks up where the 2019 series ends off, therefore seeing the TV series is highly advised. In fact, most of the plot of the film is built up in the final moments of the television series.

Many of the important characters in the film are introduced in depth in the 26 episodes that have shown, allowing viewers to become immersed in their backstories before they emerge on the big screen.

The second season of the Demon Slayer TV series was confirmed on February 14. It will have an arc that follows the tale in Mugen Train, which means that the film will tie together the events of the TV series seasons.

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