Reviews - Updated on April 6, 2022

The Blade That Slays Demons manga has been out since 2016 and is considered one of the best in its genre – it is shonen, that is, stories aimed at teenagers. In two years, its circulation exceeded 3 million copies. And after the release of the anime adaptation in 2019, it jumped to 60 million. Naturally, the television series became a hit, gained a bunch of awards, fans and a full-length sequel in the form of the film “The Blade that Slashes Demons: Endless Train”, which was released exactly a year ago.

And just recently, on October 10, the broadcast of the seven-episode director’s version of this picture began. And on December 5, a full-fledged second season of the anime, dedicated to the Red Light District arc, starts. On this occasion, the game Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles appeared from those who have already eaten a dog on video game anime adaptations – from the CyberConnect2 studio, the authors of the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series. So what is the end result? Tasty?

Brief educational program

Frankly, I watched the first season of The Blade specifically before the release of the game. He immediately captivated, somewhere in the middle he began to annoy and sag in places, there was a desire to miss some moments, but by the end I had already approached an almost finished fan. And as a result, he again postponed a long-planned acquaintance with an adult, sane anime “Perfect Sadness” and other works of Satoshi Kon (Satoshi Kon). And instead I watched “Infinite Train”, and now I even began to evaluate its director’s version, although so far only the first episode has turned out to be new and tasty (remember Kyojuro Rengoku, fellow anime fans).

Here is a brief history of the series, a bit about the continuation and excerpts from new openings.

A seemingly simple story is quite in the spirit of a shonen (and not only) – a hero who has lost loved ones becomes a demon hunter and takes furious revenge – Demon Slayer is presented in a more collected and adult way, with an emphasis on details and elaboration of the world, although and does not shy away from specific humor. Also, I love the characters.

Demon Slayer --Kimetsu no Yaiba --The Hinokami Chronicles: Обзор

Cover of one of the volumes of the original manga.

With the main character Tanjiro Kamado and his sister Nezuko, everything is clear. Just imagine: a boy who has become a demon hunter runs and fights all the way, and behind him is a box in which his sister, who herself is … a demon, sits. She honestly tries not to devour anyone (they even shut her mouth so that there would be no temptation) and periodically runs out of the box to hit some demonic offspring and help her brother – they are the only survivors in their family.

Demon Slayer --Kimetsu no Yaiba --The Hinokami Chronicles: Обзор

Surprise!

At the same time, Tanjiro is very bright and sincere – he even stretches out his hand to the demons whom he has just blown off before dying so that they rest in peace. At first it irritates, but the authors so stubbornly, consistently and convincingly broadcast this light of his that in the end you begin to sincerely empathize. Although the streams of tears that flow from Tanjiro’s eyes (and not only from him) in the “Endless Train” began to awaken the 45-year-old cynic in me again.

Demon Slayer --Kimetsu no Yaiba --The Hinokami Chronicles: Обзор

It is rare to see such a touching relationship between brother and sister.

The other two heroes – Zenitsu Agatsuma and Inosuke Hashibira – are generally something with something. They’re in charge of humor here. The first drags behind every skirt, crazy about Nezuko, but afraid of everything, falls asleep with fear and turns into a deadly wind warrior in a dream. And then he doesn’t remember anything. The second was generally raised by a wild boar and walks in an appropriate mask. Blunt, aggressive, but fair at heart, he constantly gets into a fight and is sure that everyone should worship him.

The initial annoyance caused by these two idiots (you should have seen them!), Is replaced by a sincere smile, because their idiocy knows no bounds. One attack on the train “Endless” performed by Inosuke is worth something.

Demon Slayer --Kimetsu no Yaiba --The Hinokami Chronicles: Обзор

They stand for each other.

The main bastard in Demon Slayer, Muzan Kibutsuji, is also very colorful – suffice it to say that he is clearly based on Michael Jackson (Michael Jackson).

Demon Slayer --Kimetsu no Yaiba --The Hinokami Chronicles: Обзор

Outwardly, it is exactly the same.

In addition, Blade has very juicy, albeit defiantly unrealistic battle scenes – long flights in the sky and switching between the second and fifth water/fire style or whatever else they have in their arsenal. And of course, this is a very beautiful anime, although it falls short of Violet Evergarden.

Demon Slayer --Kimetsu no Yaiba --The Hinokami Chronicles: Обзор

Not recommended for viewing by demons.

Same thing but now on your own

So, the game Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles from CyberConnect2 almost verbatim repeats the plot of the first season of the anime – so much so that you can’t really distinguish them from the picture. Everything is done as in classic movie games – there are frames from the original anime, many of which are initially blocked, and there are scenes that expand them, as it were, giving us the opportunity to be inside the cartoon and experience what the characters experienced themselves.

For example, if in the anime we are simply shown how Tanjiro found the demon thief during his first task, then in the game it turns into a whole level where he must, using his “sniffer” talent, run in the wake of the demon, jump on the roofs and interrogate local residents.

The white bars show where you can jump.

And then there is that fight. Only in The Hinokami Chronicles are we allowed to beat the boss with Nezuko’s powers while her brother, as it was in the anime, works out his program underwater. Then he joins her. About the same thing – during the first face-to-face meeting with the main reptile.

Brother and sister work together.

Particularly successful was the episode of the confrontation with the demon drummer, who with each beat changes the location of the rooms, turning the walls into a ceiling and vice versa. It is here that Inosuke first appears – and, most importantly, we are allowed to play for him. In the same series, for the first time, the hypertrophied cowardice of Zenitsu is clearly manifested – and we are specifically forced to control him, trembling, falling into hysterics from every rustle. Then he finally pulls himself together – or rather, falls asleep and begins to fight like a god.

Demon Slayer --Kimetsu no Yaiba --The Hinokami Chronicles: Обзор

Zenitsu can too!

My collection

All this is divided into chapters, during which we can also perform simple tasks (talk to five witnesses or four other hunters, who are all marked with exclamation points), look for memory fragments and collect yellow orbs that give “Kimetsu points”. This can also be done during the re-passage of already open chapters in order to collect what has not yet been done. Plus, special missions are opened, where you need to defeat new demons with any chosen hero.

All this is needed to open previously blocked frames and scenes from the anime, pictures and quotes from the same for profile design, new arenas, skins, costumes and new fighters for the Versus mode.

Demon Slayer --Kimetsu no Yaiba --The Hinokami Chronicles: Обзор

It will take a long time to collect and open.

This mode allows you to fight both with live players and with bots acting as trainers. They allow you to choose any of the available ones, and even take someone with you as a support fighter. In this way, a fan’s dream can come true – Tanjiro teaming up with Nezuko against Zenitsu and Inosuke, or vice versa.

At first, the “trainers” are weak, but the battles with them are divided into increasingly difficult stages. You won one battle, while fulfilling several additional conditions (win in 99 seconds), and the next level opens – and there the instructors become stronger. By the way, while you are fiddling with this menu, Nezuko hums amusingly, Zenitsu with tears begs not to choose it, and Inosuke, on the contrary, happily grunts – they say, it’s time to fight. Made very funny and on topic.

Demon Slayer --Kimetsu no Yaiba --The Hinokami Chronicles: Обзор

Wild, of course, a picture for fans.

But the blade is normal

However, even in story battles with strong demon bosses, problems rarely arise. The Hinokami Chronicles as a kind of slasher fighting game is quite simple. There is a basic and powerful attack, block, dodge, charge attack, power-up, a unique skill and an ultimate ability for each hero, which is activated after the accumulation of energy. When a support fighter is available, you can call on him for help or even switch to him. You won’t feel much of a difference though.

Demon Slayer --Kimetsu no Yaiba --The Hinokami Chronicles: Обзор

The game also looks good outside of battles.

Everything is generally familiar and predictable. But I wanted them to play interestingly in the mechanics (and not just visually) of switching between different levels of elemental styles, branded for each character. How does Tanjiro’s first level of some kind of water breathing differ from the 10th? And what happens if you go from fifth to seventh in flight? Perhaps it was worth introducing their pumping? The authors, however, limited themselves to traditional QTEs in such cases during decisive attacks.

But such scenes are effectively arranged.

Characters in fights differ little from each other. Yes, formally they use unique attacks – Nezuko jumps on the enemy, her brother spins the water wheel, Zenitsu rushes through the air, but in fact these attacks feel more or less similar, they are applied according to the same principles and deal more or less the same damage.

Demon Slayer --Kimetsu no Yaiba --The Hinokami Chronicles: Обзор

But playing for any of these demons would clearly feel different.

It’s not that everything is bad at all and you can win “on the loose” – demon bosses use different tactics, we need to get out of their powerful tricks in time (you can always see where they will hit), some even dive and try to trap us . But calling is still not enough.

QTE here are unpretentious.

Another thing is online battles in Versus mode. The PC version has been complaining about connection problems, but I played on PS4 and immediately found rivals. There are rating and regular battles, they are divided into several rounds and capture with excitement and dynamics. But this is not the merit of the mechanics themselves, but the fact that you are fighting with a real user, who can immediately demand revenge.

Demon Slayer --Kimetsu no Yaiba --The Hinokami Chronicles: Обзор

Here, even Tanjiro can fight Tanjiro. And it looks cool!

It is clear that Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles is an average game in all respects. The combat system is simple, the levels are spacious, but, in fact, they are all corridors. And the ability to fight for demons is sorely missed – just imagine how cool it would be as Kibutsuji to fight Tanjiro! Therefore, in our coordinate system, this is a passerby.

But it should be noted that this is a purely fan service project for those who have long dreamed of finally uniting Zenitsu with Nezuko, so that they would fight, for example, with Rengoku and Tomioka for fun. Or arrange a “boar” a long-awaited duel with the main character of the series. So yes, for the fans it still turned out, as Rengoku would say, delicious, good. But it could have been better.

Pros: You can play as your favorite Demon Slayer heroes; rich system of unlockable bonuses; vigorous online battles; spectacular picture; correct voice acting (especially in Japanese) and music.

Cons: corridor levels; uncomplicated combat system; the characters are mostly slightly different from each other; network connection problems in the PC version; you can’t play as demons; the characters’ lines are often repetitive and start to get annoying.

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