The story elements that I like the most in Demon Slayer are the unique villains, the battle technique, the mysteries, and finally the action sequences.
Enemies with strange powers, adapting the characters’ battle technique after analyzing the enemy, finding clues to find the demons, and multiple characters ganging up on one powerful character to increase their winning chance. Those are the basis for this list.
Each reader would surely find different things that they like within the Demon Slayer series, so I’m sure my list won’t be able to satisfy everybody. With that out of the way, let’s get started.
1. Entertainment District Arc: Ch. 70-99 | Vol. 08-12
To me, this is the ubiquitous Demons Slayer story. If you want to showcase what’s so good about the Demon Slayer series to somebody who hasn’t read it before, this arc is the one that you should show to them.
This is the story about how Tanjirou and several other demon slayers infifltrate the entertainment district to investigate the whereabouts of a powerful demon. In the second part of the story, however, everything turns into an all out fight that destroys the whole district.
This arc has everything that I love about Demon Slayers. The mysteries, the awesome battle sequences, great character interaction, and also one of the best villains in the series.
2. Swordsmith Village Arc: Ch. 100-127 | Vol. 12-15
At close second is this hybrid between training, exploration, infiltration, and chaotic battle. This is another special arc where all the things that I like in Demon Slayer exist in one place.
In this arc, Tanjirou is visiting the hidden swordsmith village to get his sword fixed. He met all sorts of people there and explored a different side of the Demon Slayer’s world. And then suddenly two high-ranking demons manage to infiltrate the village and massacre the people.
This arc started out rather chill but ended up being one of the most gripping stories in the series. The villains, the plot, the pace, the action sequences, everything are great.
3. Mugen Train Arc: Ch. 53-69 | Vol. 07-08
As the name implied, this arc takes place inside of a moving train. Tanjirou and other demon slayers are tasked to kill the demons. Unbeknownst to them, the demon is capable of entering the dream world, and hurting them from within their own nightmare.
This arc is quite unique in the way the villain chooses to utilize his abilities. It began as some sort of battle of attrition and quickly evolved into an action-packed story.
And as a bonus content, we will also witness the first appearance of an upper-ranked demon and his monstrous power in this arc.
4. Final Battle – Sunrise Countdown Arc: Ch. 184-205 | Vol. 21-23
This is the second part of the final battle arc. Compared to the first part, this one is way more focused and straight to the point.
As the story goes, Muzen, the king of demons, is finally going against the demon slayer corps by himself. Tanjirou and every capable demon slayer are ganging up on him with little to no effect. Until all the accumulated damages finally work in their favors.
Just like the Entertainment District Arc, this arc also focuses heavily on teamwork. Because no proper last boss could be taken out alone. And this arc reflects that truth beautifully.
5. Final Selection Arc: Ch. 01-09 | Vol. 01-02
If number four is the last arc, then number five is the very first arc of Demon Slayer. Tanjirou just lost all of his family members and is now training to become a bonafide demon slayer.
But in order to officially become one, he needs to pass the final selection. Sort of a practical exam to join the demon slayer corps. This is the place where he got to face a powerful demon for the first time. And this is also the first time we see Tanjirou use the water breathing technique.
Final Selection Arc does a fine job of laying the foundation for what would be an epic journey. This is kinda like a short teaser of the great things that we could expect from Demon Slayers going forward.
6. Tsuzumi Mansion Arc: Ch. 20-27 | Vol. 03-04
Similar to the Mugen Train Arc, Tsuzumi Mansion Arc is also a contained story set in a single magical mansion. The demon who rules this mansion has the ability to change the position of the room, the orientation, the angle and even makes it rotate by the sound of the drum that was embedded into his body.
This arc is unique both in the settings of the story and also in the strange ability of the demon. This is also the place where Tanjirou met his would be lifelong friends, Zenitsu and Inosuke.
And in a way, the settings of this arc is a foreshadow to the settings of the final battle, the infinity castle.
7. Final Battle – Infinity Castle Arc: Ch. 137-183 | Vol. 16-21
This is the first part of the final battle and it takes place in the demon’s headquarter, an infinity castle with ever changing rooms and doors. Kinda like the Tsuzumi Mansion on steroids.
The demon slayers have to face multiple demons at the same time in this arc. And thus, we get to see lots of interesting battles and new characters as well.
Unfortunately, the numerous enemies creates some sort of unbalanced feel to all the fights. Not only that, there are also too many flashbacks happening in this arc that it started to mess up the overall pace.
8. Hashira Training Arc: Ch. 128-136 | Vol. 15-16
This is the last of many training arcs in Demon Slayer and this is also the best one of the bunch. What makes this arc different is the fact that everybody in the demon slayer corps is forced to join this training session.
The ones who guide and look after the corps members are the Hashiras, the top ranking demon slayers. And each Hashiras has a different method and goal in mind. Thus creating a very diverse training regiment that often leads to hilarious situations.
Unfortunately, there’s all there is to it. It is just like a brief pause between football matches. Sure, it’s nice to have, but that’s not what you came to watch.
9. First Mission Arc: Ch. 10-13 | Vol. 02
There are lots of interesting things happening in Tanjirou’s first ever mission as a demon slayer. Here he proved himself to be a top rate demon slayer with a good brain to analyze the situation, and the proper power and technique to get the job done.
There are surely lots of exciting things going on in this short arc. But that is precisely the problem, it is too short. I think the story deserved to be fleshed out more. Give it another two or three chapters, and I’m sure it would be even better.
10. Rehabilitation Training Arc: Ch. 45-52 | Vol. 06
This arc combines the time Tanjirou, Zenitsu, and Inosuke spent recovering from their previous fights and a brief training period to improve their skill as a demon slayer.
We get to see a different face of the demon slayer organization here and also learn more about the world within the Demon Slayer saga.
There are lots of hilarious moments here but in the grand scheme of things, it is a pretty boring arc. Which is why I think Gotouge-sensei improved the whole idea behind this arc and made it even better in the Swordsmith Village Arc.
11. Asakusa Arc: Ch. 14-19 | Vol. 02-03
There are actually numerous things that could be praised in this arc. This is the arc where the biggest reveal in the series happened. This is also where we met one of the most important allies to the demon slayers corps.
But what eventually led to its downfall is the villains. There are two villains in this arc and both of them sucks. One of them is simply a copy of a villain from other manga. While the other one is just plain old boring.
Which is a shame, because as I said, this arc has so much potential. If only it had a proper antagonist instead of these terrible demons, I’m sure it would be so much better.
12. Natagumo Mountain Arc: Ch. 28-44 | Vol. 04-06
But at least Asakusa Arc has important stuff happening in it, Natagumo Mountain Arc on the other hand is simply uninteresting.
Are you familiar with a filler episode where the anime staff tries to come up with an interesting story only to end up creating a mediocre arc that wastes your valuable time? Well, this is it.
On paper, Natagumo Mountain Arc should be great. The demon slayers trio venture into a mountain trying to find dangerous demons that have been lurking and killing innocent human and demon slayers alike.
Unfortunately, this arc is plagued with troubles throughout. The setting is overused, the villains are unoriginal, it doesn’t offer anything new and most importantly, it doesn’t move the story forward. Cut this arc out of the series and everything would still make sense.
Anyway, those are what I think as the proper ranks of the arcs in Demon Slayers. As I’ve said before, lots of people would surely disagree with this list and that is fine. After all, a good diversity of opinion is always healthy, don’t you agree?
So please share your personal ranking in the comment section below.
If you’re new to Demon Slayer and wanted to try and read it, I usually recommend the top most arc as your starting point. But while that is still a perfectly valid option, this time I suggest you start from the first arc.
Demon Slayers has one of the most solid beginnings among other shounen manga. Not to mention the first two arcs are only two volumes long so it shouldn’t take much time to read them. So you should start there.