Damon Slayer (Kimetsu no Yaiba the movie) is the newest Japanese blockbuster animated film. The original isManga (comic books). 

It is set in the Taishō era (from 30 July 1912 to 25 December 1926, coinciding with the reign of the Emperor Taishō) in Japan. The main role is a kind-hearted boy, TanjiroKamado whose families were killed by demon while being away from his house. Only his sister, Nezuko was survived the demon attack, but she has become a demon by being bathed in demon blood.Tanjiro seeks a way to making his sister back to human being. He joins a demon punitive elite corps, exterminates various demons, meets friends and achieves mental growth.

Thecomic books Damon Slayer wasn’t explosively popular at the beginning of the series.However, the popularity soared after its TV anime series was aired from April to September 2019. It began to be popular just before broadcast of the anime ended, driven mainly by video-streaming services.Social media also became lively with Demon Slayer chatter and then comic books started to be sold out at many bookstores.

The film produced after that generated box office revenue of 4.6 billion JPY (about $ 442 million) in just three days from the release on October 16. Now Demon Slayer is a social phenomenon in Japan. Despite covid-19 warnings, many people go to the theater for this film. A convenience store, Sushi restaurant and the beverage maker are collaborating with this film and making a lot of money by commercializing characters.

The filmcontinues to make out profits in several industries.

So why are people so enthusiasticfor this film? I have seen the film to figure it out. Because I thought that the lucrative system is not only the reason of such extreme popularity.

The film is a spin-off of TV anime series, so to speak, just one episode in a grand story. The main character,Tanijiro, who became a member of thedemon punitive elite corps, boarded an infinite train with his sister, Nezuko, who turned into a demon (but on the side of humans), and his fellow soldiers, ZenitsuAgatsuma and InosukeHashibira.More than 40 people have disappeared on the train in a short period of time, and demons are lurking in the train. Tanjiro and his colleagues join KyōjurōRengoku, one of the strongest swordsmen of the corps, and all try to clean the demons up.

The picture is beautiful, but at the same time, it retains some sort of fan-fic, handcrafted lyricism and amateurism. The crazy movements of the characters create offbeat moments rather than a comic relief. 

These offbeat moments and the peculiar spacing between linesiswell received by anime fans refusingthe normal harmony. 

The music is overwhelming and majestic. Numerous lines such as “Don’t run away,” “Burn your heart,” and “Exceed your limits.”can cheer you up.

KyōjurōRengoku, who is the cornerstone of the story, refuses the proposal to turn into a demon and live eternal life, saying, “Aging and dying are the beauty of human beings.” The scene can reach our heart with dignity.

Every characterbecome knowing their identities through the battle. 

But ah,those elements are by no means new or vivid. So why Is Demon Slayer different?  Why did the film become such a social phenomenon?

In conclusion, I think the film’s hit revealed what the current audience is looking for. They want the film to have a certainty.They don’t want to see the film that has a possibility to disappoint them.

In terms of that, the audience already knows the story through TV anime, streaming service and manga, and the film follows the story and the situation of manga. So they can see the film in relief. In a way Demon Slayer createdthe strongest profitable system by collaborating with Manga, TV and video-streaming services.

I think it is also one of reasons to make the film hit that we have been fighting the spread of covid-19 infections right now. The mighty invisible enemy we are facing now overlaps with the demon. 

In Japan after the spread of the coronavirus infection, the youkai (monster/spirits) Amabie, which has a fish body on the head of a hairy bird, became very popular as a mascot. Amabie has a long history and even was published in the newspaper at1800s. Since ancient times, it has been customary for Japanese people to draw the appearance of Demon and Yokaion paper. It is the process of facing fear and hope from the bottom of heart and purifying the mind.

So how this filmwill be accepted international audience who don’t have the habit of drawing youkai for overcoming the fears on paper? I am now interested in future performance of the box office performance inforeign countries.