In this article, I will write about “Tomioka Giyu Gaiden” from the manga “Demon Slayer (Kimetsu-no-Yaiba)”.
The original “Demon Slayer” was written by Koyoharu Gotoge, and the “Tomioka Giyu Gaiden” introduced here is a spin-off manga written by Ryoji Hirano.
My impressions about “Rengoku Kyojuro Gaiden,” also an official spin-off manga, can be found in this article.
What is “Demon Slayer: Tomioka Giyu Gaiden”?
This story takes place after the first meeting between the main character, Tanjiro Kamakado, and Giyu Tomioka in the first episode of “Demon Slayer.
The main character of this Gaiden is “Mizubashira” Giyu Tomioka, the highest-ranking swordsman of the Demon Slayer Squad.
After receiving an order, Tomioka heads for a mountain village where he believes demons have appeared.
There he meets Yae, a young girl who goes alone to avenge her enemies, saying that her father and his companions were killed by a bear.
However, Yae seems to be hiding something…?
Tomioka and his colleague, Shinobu Kocho, a ” Mushibashira,” who happened to be there on vacation, are assigned to the mission.
Impressions of Tomioka Giyu Gaiden
The breath of water and Shinobu’s drawings are fascinating!
- Tomioka’s scene using water breathing is cool!
- Kocho’s cuteness and bewitching charm are good!
- The background and accessories give a realistic impression of the life of common people in the Taisho era!
The depiction of the demons is also very graphic.
I especially enjoyed the drawing of the wielding swords, which is both beautiful and weighty.
In addition, the detailed writing of the small objects and other items in the manga gives a realistic Taisho period feel.
Shouldn’t the author still be alive in the Taisho era…?
Don’t say it!
After the second week, reading this manga with an eye to the background makes you feel as if the characters were actually living in that time period.
We can see Tomioka in action!
The main story of Demon Slayer proceeds from the perspective of the main character, Tanjiro Kamakado.
Therefore, the following descriptions are not often seen in the main story.
- How characters other than Tanjiro are behaving
- Tanjiro as seen by other characters
In “Demon Slayer: Tomioka Giyu Gaiden,” it was good to see Tomioka’s work as a demon slayer and water pillar and his feelings toward Tanjiro in the early part of the story.
The comic dialogue between Tomioka and Kocho also made me slowly start to laugh.
I also recommend “Rengoku Kyojuro Gaiden”!
Demon Slayer Gaiden” also includes another book, “Rengoku Kyojuro Gaiden”.
In this one, Kyojuro Rengoku serves as the main character and describes his mission until he attains the rank of “Enbashira” (flame pillar).
The story also features Mitsuri Kanroji, who later becomes the “Koi bashira” (love pillar).
Both of them seem somewhat more primitive than in the main manga, and this story is also worth reading.
There are many descriptions of other Hashira, but Tomioka does not talk at all in this story.
(Although he appears in only a few frames, his presence is more noticeable…?
Is it my imagination?)
If you have not read this book, enjoy it.
Spoiler alert: Discussion of the relationship between Giyu Tomioka and Shinobu Kocho.
From this point on, I would like to discuss based on the main story of “Demon Slayer” and “Demon Slayer: Tomioka Giyu Gaiden”.
I recommend that you do not read this if you have so-called “weak areas” because some of the topics are quite in-depth.
If you’re like, “Spoilers OK!”
Scroll down to continue!
First impressions of their relationship
First of all, I would like to write about my impression of the Demon Slayer from the first to the last episode of the main volume.
The Mizu-hashira, Giyu Tomioka, tends to keep his distance from the other Hashira.
However, in the manga and fan book 2, he is portrayed as being relatively close in heart to Shinobu Kochou, the Mushibashira.
Tomioka is someone who has a good impression of people who “talk to him.
It was a comment that also entered into a favorable impression toward Kocho.
How well did the two actually get along?
This is a very controversial area.
This is because Tomioka is not a character who talks a lot, and Kocho is also a character who does not show her honest emotions.
Therefore, it is difficult to make a clear consideration of their feelings.
Kocho who is skinny-dipping, I wonder if she likes Tomioka…?”
At first, I also had that impression.
However, after reading the last volume, I don’t think so anymore.
I suspect that for Kocho, the poking and prodding and the frequent visits to talk to Tomioka were just a way for her to take a break from her work…something like that.
I will describe my reasoning below.
Kocho’s performance in the final battle
Butterfly’s final words were as follows.
Let the demons eat herself (Kocho), who had stored the poison for a long time, and leave Kanawo (and Inosuke) to take care of the rest.
From this we can read the following.
- Persistence to keep taking drugs that are harmful to the body for a long period of time
- The way they fight with no intention of surviving after the final battle
Wasn’t Kocho Shinobu’s persistence to “avenge the enemy and destroy the demon” by far the highest among the Hashira?
When you think about it, it doesn’t seem like she had the presence of mind to do so….
I think Tomioka still has more presence of mind after the 131st episode when Tanjiro listened to him.
Kochou is interested in Tomioka.
Instead of the above, I think the following may be more likely.
Tomioka is concerned about Kocho.
Well, neither of them would have had that luxury in the main manga.
Perhaps the original author, Koyoharu Gotoge, intentionally left the relationship between the two ambiguous.
（Demon Slayer is a work that clearly describes the CP (coupling) relationship.)
(So it is rare to find a relationship that is interpreted differently by each reader.)
- Their impression of each other is “relatively good”
- Shinobu Kocho’s way of fighting in the final battle (with no intention of surviving)
- In “Demon Slayer”, where the love (marriage) relationship is well depicted, there is no clear description of it.
In Fan Book 2, Ms. Butterfly complains to Mr. Tomioka that he should talk more.
I think she can make this kind of complaint because she is close to him to some extent.
Tomioka-san is also going for a clamping technique on Kocho-san…
However, in light of the above points, I consider that they could not have been more than “good colleagues,” at least in the Demon Slayer book.
If you review episode 28 of Demon Slayer and episode 44 with the amusing (?) exchange at Mount Natagumo, you will get a much different impression of the relationship between the two.
Shinobu Kocho: “Why don’t people and demons all get along with each other? Don’t you think so, Mr. Tomioka?”Quoted from Demon Slayer Episode 28
Giyu Tomioka: “It’s impossible. As long as demons eat people.”
There is quite a difference between the words and the actual actions of both of them….
The other difference in impression between the early and late stages of Demon Slayer is the description regarding Sanemi Shinazugawa.
I believe that the careful description of “how to show the characters” and “foreshadowing” in these areas may have been one of the reasons Demon Slayer became a popular work.
You can read thoughts on “Rengoku Kyoujuro Gaiden” in other article, so check it out!