Story/Art: Koyoharu Gotouge
What They Say
Legend has it, a flesh-eating demon hunts in the woods at night. But it’s only a myth. Right?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The third chapter of the Jump Start trial has landed for Kimetsu no Yaiba and it pushes things forward more for our main character and his sister. With about four chapters worth of material with the double-sized opening we had, the work has had a slow amount of progress to it at a weird pace with the way things happen so quickly. As I mentioned in the first two reviews, this is a series that just feels like it needed a bit more editing to it prior to anything being put down to paper and Gotouge needs to spend some time on some other serialized magazine before coming back to Weekly Shonen Jump as his work isn’t quite up to snuff for what’s expected here.
Tanjiro’s encounter with Tomioka has now landed him some time with Tomioka’s instructor, Sakonji. Sakonji is your standard elder master of all things in that he’s exceptionally skilled and hard to read, particularly since he wears a tengu style mask that hides his face. With quick and hard tone to his words, we see how he watches and takes in what it is that Tanjiro is doing in regards to the demon that he’s been struggling with. And Sakonji nails it pretty easily in that Tanjiro is too compassionate for killing them, though the demon is eliminated when the sun rises and it strikes it into nothingness. But it’s this compassion, largely focused toward his sister, that has Tomioka interested in getting Tanjiro trained as he senses something else there. Something that he doesn’t quite fill Sakonji in on, however, resulting in some difficult time between Sakonji and Tanjiro as he intends to ride the clock out on him.
A lot of what the chapter is about beyond that is Sakonji testing him. Taking him up the mountain and then forcing him to survive all the traps that he’s laid for him certainly is a good way to test those to see whether they’re capable of going further. But it continues to be a case where Gotouge spends half of his time talking about it rather than showing it, resulting in a read that feels stilted and forced as the flow of the action, especially with some awkward panel layouts, just slows everything down. There are decent moments to it and I like how the chapter closes out, but at the same time I ended the chapter feeling like I’d be perfectly fine never hearing about this book again.
The Jump Start program draws to a close for this series and if there’s enough interest in the survey then we might see more. I, for one, won’t be back for it. The concept is familiar to be sure and that’s not a downside to it. The downside is just that it’s not ready for prime time. Gotouge has some decent ideas here but the execution is sloppy and the artwork just doesn’t click, both in character design and the actual way things are presented. There’s obviously potential in most stories and I can see that here but the foundations are shaky and it doesn’t leave me encouraged to see where it’s going to go next.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media via Weekly Shonen Jump from ComiXology
Release Date: February 29th, 2016