Demon Slayer: 8 Best Story Arcs, Ranked By IMDb

Since the anime's 2019 premiere, Demon Slayer has proven to be a sensation in the industry, with this year's season covering through the Entertainment District Arc. Uftotable's stunning animation work and artistic direction helped elevate this adaptation, and the Mugen Train movie was another big showcase of the spectacle this series' story arcs can provide.

So far, the anime side of the franchise has adapted the first eight of the manga's 12 total arcs, with each able to have its respective scores taken as an average from IMDb. The aforementioned movie is a favorite for its format, but the likes of season 1's Mount Nagatumo Arc still stand among the series' best work.

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8 Tsuzumi Mansion Arc (7.83)

Kyogai the Drum Demon in Demon Slayer.

One of the fun elements of the Demon Slayer series is how it'll tell some more isolated stories, even when pieces of it become more important to the greater plot. The Tsuzumi Mansion Arc certainly isn't one of the biggest spectacles of the anime, but this anthology-style storyline and its buildup to the climactic fight is engaging, nonetheless.

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This is where Tanjiro meets his two companions, Zenitsu and Inosuke, in which they help find the brother of two children who got lost in an ominous mansion. The constantly changing rooms and halls made for an exciting house of horrors/maze setting, culminating in a satisfying fight with the demon Kyogai.

7 Rehabilitation Training Arc (8.16)

Tanjiro in Demon Slayer controlling his breathing during his rehab training.

After the explosive events of the Mount Nagatumo Arc before it, the Rehabilitation Training Arc works as the name suggests. It's a satisfying cool-down storyline, where the arc comes back down to a smaller scale and focuses on some character drama and development. Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu, and Inosuke are taken back to recuperate at the Demon Slayer Corps.'s headquarters, though, things get tense as the Hashira debate over what should be done with Tanjiro's sister -- a demon.

While Tanjiro can be argued as being rather bland, he avoids being an unlikable anime protagonist and his development in the Rehabilitation Training Arc was a solid place to end season 1. Especially so with the tantalizing tease at what was to come in the next arc.

6 Mugen Train Arc (8.20)

The Flame Hashira Rengoku in Demon Slayer: Mugen Train key art.

It was highly anticipated since its tease at the end of Demon Slayer season 1, and the Mugen Train movie proved to be a massive hit for the franchise as well as the anime genre westward. TV anime has come a long way in recent years, and Mugen Train was a big landmark in how accessible and in-demand movies have become globally.

Giving a good share of the spotlight to fan-favorite Flame Hashira Rengoku, this arc is one of the most emotional in the series and pits him, Tanjiro, and his friends against one of Demon Slayer's most imposing demonic villains. And as one would expect from an Ufotable Demon Slayer movie, it was a stunningly animated feast for the eyes.

5 Final Selection Arc (8.24)

Tanjiro in a forest surrounded by vibrant purple leaves in Demon Slayer.

Though it can be considered standard shonen anime fanfare, the first arc -- the Final Selection Arc -- serves as a good gateway into the series nonetheless. It introduces the stakes, the tragic motivations behind Tanjiro's journey, and the enticing world building for this dark-fantasy rendition of Taishō-era Japan.

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After his father's death, Tanjiro takes it upon himself to provide for his family and, despite their struggles, find happiness with each other. But when a demon slaughters nearly all of his remaining family barring his now-demonic sister, Tanjiro is compelled to become a Demon Slayer for his sister's sake.

4 Kidnapper's Bog Arc (8.35)

Tanjiro questioning the beaten Swamp Demon in Demon Slayer.

Things start to pick up for Demon Slayer with some exhilarating shonen anime action once when the second arc kicks off. The Kidnapper's Bog Arc is the first storyline where Tanjiro starts his quest as a realized Demon Slayer with Nezuko in support. He's looking to hunt down the demon that killed his family, but Tanjiro learns of a mysterious string of disappearances of young girls in a local village.

With the help of a local, he discovers and battles the demon responsible with the ability to open portals to its swamp. Kidnapper's Bog is another example of a smaller-scale story with pieces that contribute to the protagonist's growth, and it was a solid way to gradually raise the stakes of this world.

3 Asakusa Arc (8.47)

Split image of the two demons of the Twelve Moons and Muzan.

The world and scope of the story open up further in the Asakusa Arc, with Tanjiro and Nezuko meeting new allies and enemies alike. After arriving in Tokyo, they meet the demon Tamayo, a skilled doctor that would help Tanjiro and Nezuko defeat two powerful demons lurking in the area.

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Those two are none other than members of the Twelve Moons -- the demon group that serves directly under the series' main antagonist Muzan Kibutsuji. This arc is the tensest and overall plot-centric at this point since the introduction, with Demon Slayer starting to flesh out its lore, world-building, and the daunting power levels between the increasingly more powerful villains being introduced.

2 Entertainment District Arc (8.83)

Tengen with Tanjiro and co. in tow in a Tokyo entertainment district.

Given its stellar reception on IMDb and elsewhere, the second season of Demon Slayer has easily become one of the highest-rated shounen anime of 2022. The Entertainment District Arc took up a hefty 11 episodes in its adaptation, becoming the longest arc in the anime so far.

After the Sound Hashira Tengen's ninja agents go missing when gathering intel on a demon threat in an entertainment district in Tokyo, Tanjiro and co. go undercover to investigate themselves. This season has been praised for its top-notch visuals and crisp animation quality, delivering more of this anime franchise's most memorable fights and, by extension, one of the most thrilling modern anime episodes to date.

1 Mount Nagatumo Arc (8.84)

Tanjiro wielding his sword preparing to defeat Rui in Demon Slayer episode 19.

The Mount Nagatumo Arc was the overall climax of Demon Slayer's first season, bringing together some of the most fearsome foes and high-stakes fights yet. In a daunting effort to save Nezuko, the trio of Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke clash with the menacing spider demon family, which includes another member of Muzan's Twelve Demon Moons.

This arc was one of the major anime events of 2019, as it was characterized by an exciting string of fights and -- namely -- the famous 19th episode that saw the Ufotable team flex every animation muscle they had in Tanjiro's climactic fight with Rui.

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2022-09-11T05:01:44.000Z

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