By Koyoharu Gotouge
The fierce battle against Akaza continues, with Tanjiro reflecting on what he’s learned to push past his limits. Chapter 151 focuses on Tanjiro’s memories of his father and the teachings that he passed down to him. Tanjiro’s father primarily talks about his breathing technique for the Kagura dance and the concept of the Transparent World that is achieved when it is in harmony. Tanjiro’s recollection of these words makes him realize that the best way to overcome Akaza’s overwhelming strength is to hone his breathing and senses to the point that he achieves the Transparent World. One of Tanjiro’s best qualities is his ability to adapt to situations by applying his past knowledge to his present situation. By taking his father’s words to heart, he understands that it can be applied to his own techniques and refine them further. Even in the toughest situation, Tanjiro believes that the best option is to think through your actions and find the best option that will lead to your success.
Heading into chapter 152, we see a barrage of blows being trade between Akaza and Giyu with Tanjiro watching on from a distance. The sense of power displayed in the fight sequence really conveys how hard both sides are pushing against each other, and as well as the perspective that Tanjiro sees as an observer in the conflict. That being said, when Tanjiro finally steps into the fight again to save Giyu, you see the power balance breaks and the tension continues to rise. Even though the outcome of the fight itself is predictable, the immersion that Gotouge has crafted here can’t be understated. There is a clear back and forth in this battle, and even when one side seems to have an advantage, it doesn’t take long for the opponent to counter back in an attempt to gain the upper hand. As the battle continues to intensify, we see that Tanjiro has finally been able to achieve the Transparent World that his father told him about. With his newfound ability, Tanjiro faces off against Akaza alone, ending the chapter with Tanjiro evading Akaza’s strikes and swiftly slicing open his throat.
With these primarily being action focused chapters, there’s a lot of opportunities for Gotouge to show off some dynamic artwork, and they deliver wholeheartedly on that front. Chapter 152 in particular is filled with a variety of great action panels that each serve to the tension of the chapter to its eventual outcome. The two-page spread of Tanjiro finally achieving the Transparent World serves as a respite from the action, but also excites the reader for what will happen next in the battle. Of course, what follows is Tanjiro’s retaliation against Akaza, which ends with a two-page spread showcasing Tanjiro’s fatal attack on the demon. Chapter 152’s artwork and sequencing alone deliver the appeal of Demon Slayer’s fights, and Gotouge’s talent as an artist.
With the end of chapter 152, it seems that the fight against Akaza may have at last reached its climax. With the demon slayers getting closer to Muzan, the final battle is in sight, but four Kizuki remain in the fortress for them to defeat. That being said, Demon Slayer continues to be an absolute treat to read every week, so I can only expect that momentum to continue in the next battle.