Demon Slayer: Breaking Down the Final Volume’s Heartwarming Bonus Material

WARNING: The following contains spoilers from Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Vol. 23, by Koyoharu Gotouge, available now in English from VIZ Media.

The U.S. release of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 23 -- the final installment of the popular series -- is choc-full of bonus material. In Volume 23, Chapters 204 and 205, the penultimate and final entries, contain many additional pages of material that weren't included with their original releases. Chief among this new content is some heartwarming and much-needed levity from Tanjiro and the gang in the aftermath of Muzan's defeat.

In the original publication of Chapter 204, once Tanjiro has recovered from his wounds, he, Nezuko, Zenitsu and Inosuke return to the Kamado family home, where the chapter promptly ends. After the prolonged and intense drama of the final showdown with Muzan, the series didn’t have much time for substantial character interactions between the core group, something that the bonus material of Volume 23 addresses beautifully.

Nezuko wants to clean while Inosuke demands to have his height measured in bonus content from. Volume 23 of the Demon Slayer Manga

In the extended version of Chapter 204, the manga can take its time with its main characters, allowing them one final scene together in their makeshift family. The group reenters the Kamado family home, where Zenitsu and Tanjiro are surprised to find that it has been thoroughly cleaned. A note left behind indicates that Uncle Saburo and some neighbors kept it clean for the kids. This new material also allows the series to expand upon Nezuko's budding personality, as she has only recently regained her humanity and is still finding herself.

In one final scene of delightful Inosuke shenanigans, he notices claw marks on the wall, which Tanjiro says are marks measuring his family's heights. Inosuke demands to have his height measured too, shouting that he'll surpass them all. This scene also sets up a change in the group dynamic now that Nezuko is human again. Donning a bandana, to Zenitsu's delight, she declares that they must start cleaning immediately. After Inosuke throws a tantrum because he wants his height recorded now, Nezuko goes into big sister mode and complies, asking him to stand still, to which Zenitsu comments that the Kamado siblings are too soft on Inosuke.

This charming new scene is Demon Slayer at its best, relying on nothing more than its compelling and entertaining character relationships. It even goes the extra mile of giving an indication as to what kind of person Nezuko is, considering the audience did not get to spend much time with her as a human in the original publication. As it turns out, she is quite like her brother, earnest and caring far beyond a normal person's capacity for kindness, especially when dealing with a screaming, boar-head-wearing man-child.

In another fan-servicing -- in a good way -- move, the series checks in on characters like Kanao, Aoi, Sanemi, Giyu, the Ubuyashiki family, Rengoku's family and more during an inner monologue from Tanjiro. As he wishes all of his friends and comrades full, happy lives and the ability to smile without fear, the remaining characters who survived the final battle with Muzan are seen going about their lives, all indeed with smiles on their faces.

Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu, and Inosuke comfort each other after they return to the Kamado family home

The original publication of Chapter 205, the final chapter, didn't include the main cast at all, instead, focusing on their descendants in the distant future. While it was interesting thematically, Rengoku's dying wish was for Tanjiro to look to the future after all, it was still a bummer not seeing Tanjiro and company one last time. Volume 23 remedies this as well, with a panel montage of sorts, that gives an insight into the lives of Demon Slayer's main cast in the time between the ending of Chapter 204 and the time jump in Chapter 205.

This new section of the manga is placed after Chapter 205's original conclusion and features various characters falling in love, explaining the precise lineage of the descendants that Chapter 205 introduced. It also gives another glimpse into the blissful domestic lives of Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu and Inosuke. Single panels of mundane activities like Inosuke violently chopping firewood, Zenitsu faceplanting into a snowman, the group eating huge watermelons for lunch and even simply napping in a field of flowers give the reader a better sense of the peace that our heroes brought about with their victory over Muzan and the eradication of Demonkind.

In the name of pacing, the kind of content that's been added to Volume 23 is a logical thing to leave out of the original publication. It doesn't move the story forward to a degree that's worthy of the precious real estate to be had at the end of a series. However, small moments like these are important to fans nonetheless. No one likes to see their favorite stories end, so every extra second with these characters is worth it from a fan perspective. That Volume 23 includes this kind of material is a touching gesture from the creators, an acknowledgment of the fanbase that proves even a little bit goes a long way.

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