October 10 can't come fast enough as the premiere of Season 2 of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba draws closer. The popular series is still riding the high of the success of its first feature film, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train. However, apart from the film, the core series has been on hiatus since September of 2019, so it's understandable if some fans out there could use a bit of a refresher before Season 2.
Part of Mugen Train's undeniable success is because it was based on material from the manga, which is highly unusual for anime films. Mugen Train covers the section of the manga that takes place directly after where Season 1 of the anime series left off, meaning that fans who missed the movie will have also missed crucial plot developments going into Season 2. However, it has recently been announced that Mugen Train will be re-edited into the first seven episodes of Season 2, so fans who didn't catch the movie won't be missing anything after all.
With that in mind, let's recap the premise of Demon Slayer and where things left off at the end of Season 1. Protagonist Tanjiro Kamado returns home to find his family slaughtered and his sister, Nezuko, turned into a Demon. He then sets off on a journey to find the Demon, or Demons, who murdered his family, as well as search for a way to turn Nezuko back into a human. He quickly joins the Demon Slayer Corps so that he can learn the skills necessary to survive his journey.
The Demon Slayer Corps is a group of swordsmen who specialize in the elimination of the Demons that roam the world eating humans. The Demons in this world possess superhuman strength and abilities, and they can only be killed by either decapitation with a special Nichirin Blade or exposure to sunlight. Demon Slayers use katanas and Total Concentration Breathing -- a technique that uses focused breathing patterns to maximize the user's strength, speed, stamina, reflexes and mental abilities for a short period of time.
Additionally, Demon Slayers use Breathing Techniques, which are sword-wielding forms that suit their bodies and styles, giving them even greater strength and skill in battle. There are five main styles: Water, Flame, Thunder, Wind and Stone, as well as several derivatives such as Beast, Mist, Serpent, Sound, Insect and Love. The show's hero, Tanjiro Kamado, uses Water-Breathing, although he recently remembered a technique taught to him by his father known as the Hinokami Kagura, which is immensely more powerful than other Breathing Techniques.
During his journey, Tanjiro has befriended and become travel companions with fellow Demon Slayers Zenitsu Agatsuma and Inosuke Hashibira. Zenitsu uses Thunder-Breathing; however, he can only do so while asleep, as he is too terrified by Demons to do much of anything while he's awake. Inosuke is a feral boy who uses Beast-Breathing and wears the head of the boar who raised him as a child in the mountains. Along with Nezuko, the group has become the best of friends after their travels and battles together.
When viewers last saw Tanjiro and the gang in Season 1, they were recovering from a brutal encounter with Rui, a powerful Demon who serves as Lower Rank Five of the Twelve Kizuki. The Kizuki are the most powerful Demons in the world, created by Muzan Kibutsuji, the original Demon. Tanjiro and the gang only survive this encounter because they are rescued by two of the Hashira, the most elite Demon Slayers in the Corps. Unfortunately, the Hashira subsequently demand the execution of Tanjiro and Nezuko, as it is against the Corps' laws to harbor a Demon, sister or not.
Luckily, Kagaya Ubuyashiki, the leader of the Demon Slayer Corps, allows Tanjiro and Nezuko to live and stay together, although the Hashira don't like it. Once Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke recover from their injuries, they master Total Concentration Breathing: Constant, a skill used by the Hashira to push their bodies to their limits for even greater strength. With this new skill, the boys are now far more powerful than during their previous encounter with Rui.
Tanjiro continues to search for the Demon who killed his family and a way to turn Nezuko back into a human. However, he now also seeks someone who can help him understand the Hinokami Kagura, a mysterious Breathing Technique that no one seems to have heard of. Season 1 ends with Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu and Inosuke boarding the Mugen Train, where they have been ordered to join the Flame Hashira, Kyojuro Rengoku, in investigating the many disappearances from it.