Demon Slayer has made quite the impression on anime fans as of late, becoming a new favorite in the genre of shonen anime. Full of heart, humor, and demon-killing action, there’s a little something for everyone in this anime. Being a supernatural action shonen, it does remind some of one of the former members of Shonen Jump’s “Big Three,” Bleach.
While it might not look like it at first glance, there are quite a few similarities between these two anime when comparing them. Of course, this doesn’t mean they’re identical and there are just as many things that separate them as completely different shows too.
10. SIMILAR: SUPERNATURAL ACTION
The unknown can be scary and downright oppressive at times, and the supernatural can embody that sense of dread and fear, but some of the best stories have those who can push through and fight back against the supernatural. Of course, an action shonen wouldn’t be an action shonen without some high-stakes battles and both anime have that in spades.
Bleach and Demon Slayer are intense, supernatural action anime, featuring some powerful a grotesque monsters for the heroes to fight. Of course, these creatures have their weaknesses to be exploited, leading to some tension-filled action that leaves an impression on the viewer.
9. DIFFERENT: DEMONS & SPIRITS
While both anime incorporate the supernatural into their respective worlds, the demons and spirits are not the same. In the case of Bleach, a lot of the supernatural elements remain unknown to the public, as the Hollows and Soul Reapers can’t be seen by normal humans. Meanwhile, in Demon Slayer, demons are very much known about and people’s lives can be drastically changed in an instant by them, and the fact that they devour humans leaves people in constant fear of them.
It’s not only their nature that separates the spirits and demons, like how demons can’t walk around during the day whereas spirits can, but also the way in which they affect the world around them is different too.
8. SIMILAR: ORGANIZATIONS OF SWORD-WIELDING MONSTER KILLERS
When supernatural forces seek to terrorize the world, it’s good to have an organization formed that are tasked with exterminating the beasts. Thankfully both anime have such organizations devoted to keeping the peace by killing whatever threatens everyday folks.
The Demon Slayer Corps and the Soul Reapers of the Soul Society are pretty similar, with a mission of eradicating these monsters. Both have an intense training regimen in order to become one, have a group of the most elite among them (the nine Hashira and the Gotei 13), and are lead by a wise leader too.
7. DIFFERENT: SOUL REAPERS HAVE SUPERPOWERS, DEMON SLAYERS DON’T
Demon Slayer’s action is very stylized, and it’s part of what makes each action scene so memorable to fans. The effects each character has for their strikes (such as water or lightning) makes it seem like they are manipulating the very elements themselves to perform these attacks, but this is an exaggeration to amp up the action.
The Demon Slayers don’t actually have powers, their breathing techniques are just pushing their bodies beyond their normal limits. At the end of the day, they’re still human, while Soul Reapers are actually using spiritual power in order to pull off all the crazy stunts they do.
6. SIMILAR: TONS OF OUT-THERE SUPPORTING CHARACTERS
Like any good shonen anime, both series have tons of out-there characters that appear or accompany the protagonists throughout the story. They don’t always have to be friendly, but they do liven up the cast.
Some of these characters are even capable of stealing the show away from the main character, whether it’s through their incredibly strong fighting prowess, bizarre personality quirks, or a combination of both. It’s one of the many components for making memorable characters that stick with the viewer and luckily Bleach and Demon Slayer have quite the cast of intriguing personalities.
5. DIFFERENT: BLEACH HAS A LARGER CAST
Demon Slayer has a good amount of characters to work with, but its cast is a lot smaller when compared to Bleach’s. Since Bleach had a much longer run in its manga than Demon Slayer, naturally this meant there’d be a lot more characters in both the supporting roles and the antagonist roles.
Bleach even had “anime-original” characters added in, usually during filler, to increase that number even further. While not every character introduced in Bleach was universally beloved by fans, the sheer number of players in this series far outweighs the amount seen in Demon Slayer.
4. SIMILAR: OLD-SCHOOL INFLUENCE
A lot of different anime take influence from their Japanese roots, both in their story and visuals. Both Demon Slayer and Bleach take visual cues from old-school feudal Japan for the design of their worlds (the Soul Society, specifically in Bleach’s case) and character designs.
Demon Slayer actually uses this more heavily as part of its stylization, but Bleach uses it too to show the difference between the Soul Society and the living world, sometimes even combining those aspects together. Definitely a case of “old meets new” in the best of ways.
3. DIFFERENT: BLEACH IS SET IN A MORE MODERN TIME
Demon Slayer doesn’t just look the part of feudal Japan, it’s also set during Taishō-era and it fully embraces that setting. This is definitely a contrast with Bleach which takes place in a more modern setting, as seen by the living world, and it’s also part of its identity.
Bleach is known for its mix of old styles and more contemporary ones, and that modern touch is something that only this series could do and was part of what made it stand out. When all’s said and done, the settings for each series are radically different.
2. SIMILAR: UNDERDOG PROTAGONISTS
Sometimes a story is only as good as its hero, thankfully Bleach and Demon Slayer definitely have some pretty memorable ones. Bleach has the stoic, but rebellious Ichigo and Demon Slayer has the driven and kind-hearted Tanjiro. Both these protagonists didn’t wake up as strong as they were, they both had to work for it, both on and off the battlefield.
While their abilities and skills might be different, what really makes these two similar is how they’ve been able to shatter their own limits. When their backs were against the wall, they were able to push through the pain and defy expectations to win the day.
1. DIFFERENT: THE PROTAGONIST’S PERSONALITIES
While Tanjiro and Ichigo’s ability to come out on top despite being an underdog might be similar, there are a few things that set the two apart as characters. Their abilities are one thing, but the real big one is how different their personalities are.
While Tanjiro is level-headed, and often polite to a fault (even respectful to his enemies occasionally), Ichigo can be hot-headed and a lot more like a delinquent. Despite having some similarities in their background (such as the tragedies in their families), they are definitely not the same person and have their own ways when dealing with problems. Regardless Ichigo and Tanjiro are some of anime’s greatest heroes.
Source of: ComicBookResources