Talking about the Demon Slayer Season 3 anime may seem like putting the cart before the horse, considering that the production of the Demon Slayer Season 2 anime has not yet been confirmed.
But it is a timely discussion considering that the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga’s ending was released in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine already back in May 2020.
Yep, that’s right. If you missed the news, Demon Slayer Chapter 205 was the ending of the entire series.
Creator Koyoharu Gotouge capped off the story in a bittersweet way that doesn’t leave much wiggle room for a direct Demon Slayer sequel but provided hints about what happened to the characters in the future (yes, some ships did set sail while others sank).
It’ll probably be debated for years whether Demon Slayer’s ending was rushed or not. After all, it seems like the series just began to peak in popularity.
The manga sold over 60 million copies in total in about four years. Then suddenly, it’s all over (except for a side-story prequel about Rengoku).
But anime-only fans probably want to know how the Demon Slayer ending could impact the anime’s ending without being spoiled.
First, I’ll explain how the series is likely to be adapted into an anime without getting into spoilers. But near the bottom of this article, I’ll explain, with spoilers, why a Demon Slayer manga sequel seems unlikely — unless it takes place in modern times!
Updated December 31, 2020: Added Toho comments.
Why the Demon Slayer Season 3 anime or a Sunrise Countdown movie will adapt the Kimetsu no Yaiba ending
The first season of the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba anime series was 26 episodes long, and it ended by adapting through Volume 6: Chapter 51. The announced Kimetsuo no Yaiba movie is a direct sequel about the Mugen Train story arc.
The Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba movie release date was in Fall 2020. The exact U.S. release date remains unannounced although it’s been confirmed that it will premiere in North America in 2021.
The Demon Slayer movie adapted manga Chapters 52 through 66-69. It’s debatable where the best stopping point is in that story arc, but the film will feature around 18 chapters.
Due to the stunning financial success of Mugen Train, a Toho producer is already calling for a Demon Slayer: Yoshiwara Yukaku movie. While Toho helped Aniplex distribute the film in Japan, they’re not on the anime production committee, which is comprised of Aniplex, Shueisha, and Studio ufotable.
The other issue is that the Yoshiwara Yukaku (Entertainment District) story arc is so long that it would require at least two movies to adapt faithfully. So, some anime industry insiders believe it’s more likely that a second season will broadcast on TV and then be followed by a second movie (or three).
Assuming Demon Slayer Season 2 adapts the next two story arcs, that means the anime will include manga Chapters 70 through 127 with two anime cours since these story arcs have 58 chapters combined.
A “cour” is a three-month unit of TV broadcasting based on the physical weather seasons. Most anime seasons feature 12 or 13 episodes per cour.
Since Demon Slayer 205 is the end, that leaves 78 chapters to adapt for Demon Slayer Season 3. There are multiple ways anime studio ufotable could finish the anime series.
The final fight has two major parts, with the end boss battle in the Sunrise Countdown arc being 22 chapters long. Therefore, Demon Slayer Season 3 could be three cours long, assuming its pacing is similar to the anime’s first season.
It’s also possible ufotable could leave the ending for Demon Slayer Season 4. Unfortunately, that’d leave anime fans waiting based on a cliffhanger ending, which is hardly ideal.
Another option would be to finish the anime series with a Demon Slayer: Sunrise Countdown movie. The Mugen Train arc is 18 chapters, so a film that adapts the final 22 chapters would have a significantly longer runtime, but it wouldn’t be overly long.
A final Demon Slayer movie is not an ideal option since it’d make anime fans wait longer. On the other hand, the final battle would be given full animated justice on the big screen.
Arguably, it could be a better option than finishing with Demon Slayer Season 3.
Why a Demon Slayer manga sequel is unlikely unless it’s set in modern times [Major Spoilers]
Fans of the Demon Slayer manga might want a direct sequel, but the creator has not left any room. The main characters accomplished their primary goals, and the majority of the characters have died.
The villain has been defeated in a way that the Demon Slayer Corps’ mission is essentially over.
Warning: The following contains major spoilers for the Demon Slayer manga’s ending! Do not read unless you want major details to be revealed before watching the Demon Slayer Season 3 anime!
All of these accomplishments happened within 10 chapters. In Chapter 196, Tanjiro’s sister Nezuko was finally healed, her humanity restored, and her memories fully returned!
Chapters 199 and 200 contained a second major moment that’s hard for the series to walk back from. Demon villain Muzan Kibutsuji is killed, and his body begins disintegrating at the touch of the sun’s rays.
Since Muzan is the very source of the demons, it’d be difficult for a Demon Slayer sequel to be made. The only option would be to have a new demon master arise in the future. (Maybe a vial of Muzan’s blood survives?)
Chapter 201 contained a major plot twist that could have been developed into a Demon Slayer manga sequel. But the potential lasted for a mere handful of chapters before the conflict was resolved.
In killing Muzan, Tanjiro lost an arm, and he was slowly dying from the blood loss. Muzan attempted a last-ditch effort at revenge by injecting Tanjiro with his blood, transforming Tanjiro into a demon with spine-like whips that emerged from his back.
Worse, Tanjiro was immune to the rays of the risen sun.
The surviving members of the Slayer Corps couldn’t bring themselves to kill their friend, so Tanjiro could have escaped and created new demons for the newly awakened Nezuko to hunt down.
But creator Gotouge decided not to extend the plot with such a twist.
Instead, Tanjiro resisted the mind-manipulations of Muzan. Conveniently, there was one last dose of demon cure left, so Nezuko helped her brother regain his humanity by Chapter 203.
The next chapter is three months forward. The final surviving Hashira decides to disband the Demon Slayer Corps completely. Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu, and Inosuke live together in the Kamado household.
The finale, Demon Slayer Chapter 205, ends by jumping far ahead in time to a modern city. The manga finishes, showing the descendants of the main characters. The heroes’ story lives on in an autobiography, The Legend of Zenitsu.
Many of the modern-day descendants resemble their counterparts from the main story. Some characters seem to have reincarnated since some of the modern people resemble characters that couldn’t have possibly had children, especially the fallen Hashira.
Yushiro and Chachamaru are also still alive in the future, so demons still exist, as well. Yushiro became famous in modern times for his lifelike paintings of Tamayo.
This ending does leave a small opening for a Demon Slayer sequel set in modern times. A botanist named Aoba Hashibira announces the discovery of the Blue Spider Lily, which only lives for a short time. Regardless, the existence of the rare flower means it could still end up being used to create new demons.
The only negative to this ending is that Gotouge has mostly written himself into a corner since any Demon Slayer sequel would need to be set in modern times by necessity.
Coincidentally, the Kimetsu no Yaiba manga spin-offs are being written by Ryoji Hirano, whose own original manga series, the 2018 Bozebeats, was about modern monks using a combination of guns and magic to combat demons.
But would fans even be interested in such a premise for a Demon Slayer manga sequel? It would depend on the protagonist and villain’s motives and actions, which could reflect a modern twist on the formula.
In the meantime, let’s hope the anime series fully adapts the Kimetsu no Yaiba manga’s ending into Demon Slayer Season 3 combined with a movie. Stay tuned!