Demon Slayer editor Tatsuhiko Katayama shared in an interview with Shueisha’s Manga Plus how they got to the final version of Demon Slayer that fans love to watch today and the truth behind the main character, Kamado Tanjiro.
Tatsuhiko Katayama was an editor of fans’ all-time favourite, Demon Slayer manga. It’s the story of Kamado Tanjiro, a gracious kid who seeks revenge on the demon who nearly wiped out his family.
Tanjiro’s sister, Nezuko, survived, but it turned out that the demon who attacked them turned Nezuko into a demon.
So, revenge will not be the only goal of Tanjiro, but to find a way how he can turn his sister back to normal. We all know that most villains are just broken individuals or someone with experience that led them to take the wrong path.
Original Design of Tanjiro
A senior editor of the series revealed that Koyoharu Gotouge, Demon Slayer’s creator, had an initial design of the kind-hearted Kamado Tanjiro.
It turns out that the original design could have probably became one of the most ruthless main characters who wouldn’t flinch killing and tearing his enemies apart.
Based on the original design for Tanjiro, he is completely different from the one fans know today. His original appearance not only transmits a cold-hearted persona, but one can also notice that he is missing his other arm.
Compared to the design shown below, the Tanjiro that everyone knows today has gentle eyes and is naturally caring toward others. This personality of his became of the many reasons why viewers slowly became die-hard fans of the Demon Slayer.
The Supposedly Darker Version of Demon Slayer
According to Katayama, the original one-shot manga of Gotouge called Kagarigari, which will turn out to be called “Kisatsu no Nagare,” is based on the understanding of the Japanese concept of swords and demons.
However, it follows a plot that lacks comedy, serious-toned, and it turns out to have a very dark story, which was the main reason why the Kisatsu no Nagare didn’t get serialized. This version is very much more savage and is all about revenge.
This one-shot manga of Demon Slayer still features some crucial characters like Tamayo and Yushiro, Tanjiro and Kibutsuji Muzan.
How Kimetsu no Yaiba was Created
The Kisatsu no Nagare was changed due to its heavy meaning. According to Katayama, the “satsu,” which means to kill, felt very strong and doesn’t ring right to the ear.
After brainstorming, they ended up with “Kimetsu,” which means to perish. Moreover, the word “Kaiba” mainly refers to an old Japanese sword. A perfect title for the show’s original concept: Japan’s Swords and demons.
The editor also added that the series would have never come to life if the original design was maintained.
Hence, he asked the mangaka, Koyoharu Gotouge, to change the seemingly heartless protagonist into someone that would appeal more to fans who later become the well-loved character today, Kamado Tanjiro.
What Happens if the Original Story Was Maintained?
We will never know if Kitatsu no Nagare will reach the achievements that Kimetsu no Yaiba have attained. However, one thing is for sure; Kamado Tanjiro wouldn’t be receiving love and adornment.
Instead, it would strike fear and distressing emotions in viewers, particularly the young ones. First impressions are necessary to attract the attention of the viewers.
One of the main reasons that viewers watch anime is to use it as an escape from the miseries of reality. Through Demon Slayer, fans did not only gain new entertainment that provides them with mesmerizing animation, a well-written plot, and exceptional fight scenes.
But, this award-winning series gave them a happy heart and a chance to laugh more through the silly relationship that the characters have, specifically the kind-hearted Tanjiro, the lover boy Zenitsu, and the one person who never gets Tanjiro’s name correctly, Inosuke.