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What You Need To Remember Before Watching Demon Slayer Season 2

Tanjiro Kamado sure has come a long way since he learned of the existence of demons and discovered nearly his entire family slaughtered by one. That moment was the catalyst for the young demon slayer's journey to help the Demon Slayer Corps rid the world of the bloodthirsty creatures, as he became determined to find a cure for his sister Nezuko, who had been turned into a demon during the attack.

"Demon Slayer" is based off the bestselling 23-volume manga series by Koyoharu Gotouge, which was serialized in Shōnen Jump in 2016, premiered as an anime series in 2019 and then dropped an English dub in 2021. It's one of the most popular anime franchises in the world, boasting a record-breaking movie — "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train" — and a new serialized version of that arc.

While the revamped Mugen Train Arc series could be considered a second season, the official Season 2 of "Demon Slayer," dubbed the Entertainment District Arc, is set to arrive with an hour-long special on Dec. 5 on Crunchyroll and Funimation. The second season follows Tanjiro, fellow demon slayers Zenitsu and Inosuke, Nezuko and the Sound Hashira Tengen Uzui on a mission to investigate probable demon activity related to the disappearances of a number of wives in Yoshiwara.

But before Season 2 drops, there are plenty of plotlines to remember, including several key arcs in Season 1 and the impact of the Mugen Train mission.

Tanjiro and Nezuko

The core of Demon Slayer is the relationship between Tanjiro and his sister Nezuko, alongside his dedication to save the only remaining family member he has. The siblings' bond is a key driving force throughout the first season.

The series begins with Tanjiro returning to his rural home to find his entire family brutally slaughtered — except for Nezuko. When Hashira demon slayer Giyu Tomioka shows up and tries to kill Nezuko, Tanjiro begs for her life even after she tries to attack him. In a twist, Nezuko also ends up protecting Tanjiro from Tomioka's attacks, stunning both young men.

In his unimaginable grief, Tanjiro vows to protect his sister and find a cure for her demonism by any means necessary. Throughout the rest of the season, Nezuko becomes an invaluable member of the unofficial team of young demon slayers — retaining enough of her humanity to want to protect humans, but gaining inhuman strength and a special blood demon art.

Even as the violent battles pitting extraordinarily-powerful demon slayers against ruthless demons captivates fans, the heart of the "Demon Slayer" story lies in its values of family, friendship and the blessings of humanity. Tanjiro wouldn't be as successful a demon slayer without Nezuko and her journey from the brink of death to powerful slaying demon — it's a key thread running through the entirety of the franchise.

The Demon Slayer Corps

Unbeknownst to Tanjiro — and much of the rest of the world — there is a secretive group of samurai-esque warriors whose sole job is to protect humans from demons. Called the Demon Slayer Corps, these skilled swordsmen and women have reportedly existed for hundreds of years. In Season 1, Tanjiro becomes the Corps' newest recruit.

Becoming an official member of the Corps means getting the privilege to wield a nichirin blade, which is forged to absorb sunlight — a demon's major weakness. Tanjiro's blade is black — a rare, not fully understood color for a nichirin sword. Demon slayers also get a talking bird companion to communicate with others and receive new missions.

During Tanjiro's training with Sakonji Urokodaki, the former Water Hashira teaches him the history of the Demon Slayer Corps and trains him for two years. The Corps is made up of hundreds of demon slayers organized into ten different ranks — mizunoto to kinoe. If a recruit completes and survives Final Selection — surviving a demon-infested mountain for seven days — they become mizunoto level slayers. Beyond the standard ranks, the Corps also has an elite group of slayers known as the Hashira — the most powerful and skilled of all demon slayers — and the Corps' leader, Kagaya Ubuyashiki.

Total Concentration Breathing

A big part of Tanjiro's road to becoming a demon slayer is spending two years mastering Water Breathing — a fighting style under the umbrella of Total Concentration Breathing. These breathing styles are influenced by elements of nature, like water and flame, and are the key ways demon slayers center themselves and concentrate their energies to enhance their physical and mental abilities.

In action, these breathing styles can look quick and elegant like a dance, but also often have explosive, violent outcomes — mostly for the demons at the other end of the slayer's nichirin sword. These breathing styles help slayers concentrate and visualize the most effective form of sword slashing, overcoming a demon's speed and strength and to get close enough to decapitate it. The original breathing style is Sun Breathing, and under that is a family tree of different styles, from Water, Flame and Thunder to Moon, Stone and Wind.

An advanced mastery of Total Concentration Breathing can also help a demon slayer stop bleeding, heal internal/external wounds and even slow the spread of poison in their body. In the "Mugen Train" movie, Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku instructs Tanjiro in Total Concentration Breathing to heal his stab wound.

In "Demon Slayer" Season 1, Tanjiro hones Water Breathing, Zenitsu Agatsuma uses Thunder Breathing, and Inosuke Hashibira uses Beast Breathing (which is distantly related to Wind Breathing).

Final Selection

Right before heading to Final Selection, Tanjiro's mentor Urokodaki instructs him to cut through a massive boulder in order to qualify for the official demon slayer physical exam. Even after two years of training, slashing the boulder seems impossible to Tanjiro. That is, until he meets the spirits of Urokodaki's former students, who were killed by a demon during Final Selection.

Sabito and Makomo are key to Tanjiro mastering final elements of Total Concentration Breathing and assuming the strength of Urokodaki's fallen children to survive Final Selection. Final Selection is held on a mountain surrounded by wisteria, which keeps the many demons trapped within its borders. A little more than a dozen recruits partake in Final Selection, but only five survive.

Tanjiro kills several demons during the challenge, but the most formidable is a massive demon who he learns is responsible for the deaths of Urokodaki's former trainees, including Sabito and Makomo. The Hand Demon taunts Tanjiro with his history of eating all of Urokodaki's fox-masked children. But with Sabito's and Makomo's spiritual guidance, Tanjiro kills the demon.

With the completion of Final Selection, Tanjiro selects the ore for his nichirin blade, is assigned a talking Kasugai Crow, and receives the standard black uniform.

Asakuza Arc

In his second mission with the Demon Slayer Corps, Tanjiro is sent to an area of Tokyo to investigate the possible presence of a demon. But in this mission, the young slayer first confronts the powerful demon leader Muzan Kibutsuji, who smells familiar to Tanjiro even as he masquerades as a human man with a wife and child.

To deescalate the situation between Muzan and Tanjiro in the crowded street, a woman and a young boy step up and bring Tanjiro and Nezuko back to their home. In turns out, this Lady Tamayo and the boy Yushiro are demons — but the rare, good kind. Lady Tamayo is a doctor, and she tells Tanjiro that she and Yushiro are trying to find a cure, as well as a way to defeat Muzan.

Tanjiro and Tamayo come up with a plan to use Nezuko's blood to help craft a cure, but they're interrupted by two demon assassins sent by Muzan — Susamaru and Yahaba. Tanjiro defeats Yahaba with multiple Water Breathing techniques, and Tamayo disposes of Susamaru by casting a spell to activate a curse placed inside the Temari demon by Muzan.

This arc establishes Muzan as the core villain of the franchise, heavily implying that he was the one responsible for Tanjiro's family's deaths. It also cements Nezuko as a unique demon who still cares for humans — particularly, Tanjiro and those who help him.

Zenitsu and Inosuke

Besides Tanjiro and Nezuko, the other protagonists of "Demon Slayer" are a cowardly young man whose demon slaying abilities only manifest when he's unconscious, and a shirtless swordsman who wears a boar's head as a helmet.

Zenitsu survived the same Final Selection exam alongside Tanjiro, but Tanjiro is bewildered as to how the orange-robed young man was able to overcome his near-constant fear. Zenitsu has very low self-esteem, consistently wailing and crying over his lot in life as a demon slayer. Still, he holds great respect and admiration for his companions and his former trainer, Jigoro Kuwajima.

Zenitsu's true skill is first seen in the Tsuzumi mansion — where he faints and, in his unconscious state, performs powerful Thunder Breathing forms to slay a demon. His self-esteem is so low, however, that he cannot believe he killed the demon when he wakes up.

The complete opposite of Zenitsu is Inosuke, whom they meet while battling demons in the Tsuzumi mansion. His physical form is extremely muscular and toned, and he possesses extraordinary strength and stamina for his age. Underneath the boar's head, however, is a more feminine face with shoulder-length black hair.

Inosuke is short-tempered, impulsive and aggressive, constantly trying to prove he's the best and the strongest among the ranks. Unlike Zenitus, Inosuke's confidence borders on narcissism and arrogance, and he lacks many basic social skills. Despite all this, Inosuke is still a lovable, hilarious character who brings the powerful Beast Breathing forms to the demon slaying table.

Tsuzumi Mansion Arc

After joining Zenitsu, Tanjiro travels up a mountain and the duo meet two young children who say their brother was kidnapped and taken into a seemingly abandoned home. No one sees anyone come out of the large house, but the sounds of tsuzumi drums are often heard.

In this mission, Tanjiro and Zenitsu face off against several demons and accidentally meet Inosuke, who isn't happy the two are trying to take away his kills. After defeating a few lesser demons in the house, Tanjiro faces Kyogai, the Tsuzumi demon, who is controlling the house's orientation via his Blood Demon Art.

Kyogai is also revealed to be a former member of the 12 Kizuki, with plans to eat a young boy for the kid's rare "marechi blood" that would supposedly get him back into Muzan's good graces. Though still struggling from previous injuries, Tanjiro manages to sever Kyogai's head.

When all the demons of the house are gone, the three young men begin fighting over what happened in the home and over Nezuko's box. Still daytime, Nezuko hasn't come out yet, and both Inosuke and Zenitsu don't learn of her existence (and the siblings' situation) until later that night, as they all rest at a nearby home.

Natagumo Mountain Arc

Arguably the scariest mission in "Demon Slayer" Season 1 is the Natagumo Mountain Arc, which sees Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke face a family of demons — each member possessing their own unique, horrifying spider abilities.

Controlled by Lower Rank demon Rui, the family comprises the Mother, Father, Daughter and Son, with Rui being the youngest brother. Though demons are typically solitary creatures, Rui longs for a family, so he created one. But this Spider Family is far from caring, as the Lower Rank 5 brutally punished past members who went against his wishes by stringing them up outside, to burn in the sun.

The Natagumo Mountain Arc pushes the three young demon slayers to their limits as the spider demons slice them with sharp webs, try to dissolve them in cocoons and use captured demon slayers as corpse marionettes to fight them. Though the trio manage to slay some of the family, two Hashira are dispatched to help them defeat Rui: Giyo Tomioka and Shinobu Kocho.

This arc also features Nezuko unlocking her Blood Demon Art and Tanjiro's first use of his father's Hinokami Kagura technique. While the Spider Family was defeated, an exhausted Nezuko and Tanjiro are taken into custody by the Hashira for having a demon as a companion. The group, along with Inosuke and Zenitsu, are then escorted to the Demon Slayer Corps headquarters to meet its leader and the rest of the Hashira.

Meeting the Hashira

Immediately after the events on Mt. Natagumo, Tanjiro and the others are taken to the Demon Slayer Corps headquarters and put on trial before the Hashira for harboring Nezuko, a demon. Though Tanjiro tries to explain the unique situation and Water Hashira Tomioka vouches for the siblings, the other Hashira are not convinced.

But then the leader of the Demon Slayer Corps, Kagaya Ubuyashiki, steps in and tells the Hashira to pardon the siblings, saying a letter of explanation came in from former Water Hashira Urokodaki.

Some of the Hashira still don't fully accept them, but Tanjiro and Nezuko are safe for now, and they meet the rest of the Hashira: Mitsuri Kanroji (Love), Obanai Iguro (Serpent), Sanemi Shinazugawa (Wind), Gyomei Hinejima (Stone), Tengen Uzui (Sound), Muichiro Tokito (Mist) and Kyojuro Rengoku (Flame).

Tanjiro is then brought to the Butterfly Mansion for rehabilitation training with Zenitsu and Inosuke. The end of this arc (and the first season) features the trio regaining their strength and mastering Total Concentration Constant, which allows them use a focusing, healing breathing technique all day and night.

Elsewhere, as Tanjiro becomes further ingrained in the Demon Slayer Corps, demon leader Muzan Kibutsuji slaughters the rest of the Lower Rank demons except for Enmu. He then tasks the Lower Rank 1 demon with killing "the demon slayer with the Hanafuda earrings" (Tanjiro) and a Hashira slayer.

Mugen Train Arc

The "Demon Slayer" movie "Mugen Train" picks up where Season 1 left off — with Tanjiro, Nezuko, Inosuke and Zenitsu hopping aboard a train to help the Flame Hashira Rengoku investigate demon activity and disappearances.

The main storyline of "Mugen Train" is the group of demon slayers battling the Lower Rank 1 demon Enmu, who gained powerful hypnotic abilities when Muzan gave him more of his blood. To save the hypnotized and slumbering passengers, Zenitsu and Rengoku have to slash through Enmu's regenerating arms after he fused himself with the train. While Inosuke uses Beast Breathing to battle Enmu's limbs outside the train cars, Tanjiro is able to harness the Hinokami Kagura technique to cut the demon's neck, which was fused to the coal-cart.

Exhausted and injured, Tanjiro and the others have little time to celebrate their victory because another demon shows up — this one an Upper Rank named Akaza. A brutal, epic battle ensues between Akaza and Rengoku, who protects the younger demon slayers and refutes the offers to become a demon. In the end, a nail-biting standoff features Akaza's arm ripping clean through Rengoku's torso while the Flame Hashira holds the powerful demon in place to keep pushing his nichirin blade further into his neck.

Unfortunately, Akaza gets away and flees into the nearby woods to escape the rising sun, and Rengoku falls and bleeds out into the dirt next to the train. Despite being in his final moments, Rengoku smiles and welcomes his fate, as a shaking and sobbing Tanjiro looks on. The Flame Hashira may be gone, but Tanjiro and the others have another reason to hunt down Muzan and destroy all the demons for good.