Adapted into an animated series and then into a feature film, the theatrical attendance of which exceeded all expectations, the universe of “Demon Slayer” owes its success to its graphic strength and its ability to address the concerns of young people.
If teenagers surround you, the phenomenon Demon Slayer cannot be totally foreign to you. The universe of this manga in twenty-three volumes created by the Japanese artist Koyoharu Gotōge is indeed a huge success with young people. It depicts the young Tanjirō, a small coal seller, who sees his family, except his younger sister, massacred by an evil spirit.
Adapted as an anime, that is to say an animated series, broadcast in France on the Wakanim platform, part of the catalog of which recently migrated to Crunchyroll and then to Netflix, it has also become a feature film which only exploits a part of the manga, the one taking place aboard a train. Demon Slayer: The Infinity Train broke theatrical attendance records. Released in Japan in October 2020, it quickly dethroned Spirited away, by Miyazaki, which has topped the box office for twenty years. In France, it attracted nearly 730,000 spectators. An exceptional score for the genre, due in large part to its neat aesthetics. ” Demon Slayer has a classic framework, which does not innovate much. But it’s a visual slap, ” summarizes the youtuber Rush Manga, with a community of 380,000 subscribers. There is indeed a bit of the stunning beauty of Studio Ghibli (My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke) : a poetic and dreamlike animation, with in addition spectacular fights.
The French exploitation of the film was to be very limited: only one week on two hundred screens. “Seeing the fan fervor rise and the incredible success of the film in Japan and the United States, we said to ourselves that we had to do more”, remembers Marie Clary, manager at CGR Events, which regularly organizes events around Japanese anime. The date of May 19, 2021, the day of the reopening of closed rooms after months of pandemic, was quickly chosen. It made it possible to take advantage of the total absence of American blockbusters. “The platforms that broadcast anime have understood the advantage of showing films in the cinema: the hall allows unifying events to be held, in a joyful atmosphere, with young people from very diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. All this has a media interest, but also, of course, an economic one.analyzes Marie Clary.
action and feelings
At Crunchyroll, a manager believes that the popularity of manga is benefiting from a “empty in offer” French comics, mainly intended for children and adults. “Where can teenagers find stories in which the heroes fight with fireballs or which approach the awakening to sexuality? In the midst of a hormonal surge, they want to see action, experience feelings that upset them or find an echo to their own desires”, he analyzes.
This enthusiast remembers that Japan had alerted France very early on to the extraordinary potential of the saga. “At first, we were a little cautious, because anime that takes place in a medieval atmosphere does not necessarily have the best audiences. » But, week after week, they are growing. Social networks are racing, word of mouth is swelling. The first season is a hit, and the feature film is eagerly awaited. It is also in its marketing intelligence that Demon Slayer draws its particularity: the film is not a derivative of the manga but an integral part of the work, which it is necessary to have seen before tackling the second season. To date, only half of the manga has been exploited in an animated version. Listen carefully, you haven’t finished hearing about Demon Slayer…
:2t: Demon Slayer: The Infinity Train, Tuesday May 3 at 11:35 p.m. on Canal+ Cinema, and available on MyCanal.