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OtapediaViz Media - Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer)

Viz Media LLC, often referred to as ‘VIZ’ is a United States based manga publishing company and distributor of anime and other entertainment media. It is the largest publishing house of comic books and graphic novels in the USA, where it holds a 23% share of the market. Viz media distributes anime and manga worldwide, working closely with publishing giants, Simon & Schuster in areas such as the UK and Canada, Diamond Book Distributors in locations across the globe, and Warner Home Video in regards to anime distribution.

Since 2016 Viz Media has published the Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer) manga, and in 2019 helped to stream and distribute the first series of the associated anime adaptation, with a film called Mugen Train recently released and the second series currently in development.


Viz Media was founded in 1986 by Seiji Horibuchi who had emigrated from Japan 9 years previously. It wasn’t until 1987 when the company started publishing manga in the US, with one of its first publications being ‘Legend of Kamui’. However, at this time the western market simply wasn’t ready for the unfamiliarity of Japanese manga, and as a result Viz Media struggled in its first few years of operation. To survive the tough initial years in business, Viz Media had to turn to publishing general art books followed by manga which had been rebranded by Horibuchi as ‘graphic novels’ to appeal to western book sellers. It was the release and popularity of the comedy manga series Ranma ½ which started to turn Viz’s prospects around.

Buoyed by this success the 1990’s saw Viz Media expand into anime distribution as well as the release of the Shonen Jump magazine to western audiences for the first time. By the end of the century Viz Media had started to expand into Southern America and Europe.

The next 10 years saw Viz Media’s success skyrocket, as both manga and anime have become part of the western mainstream. Striking deals with powerhouses such as Warner Home Video, BBC, and Cartoon Network have all cemented Viz Media’s title as the largest publishing house of comic books and graphic novels in the USA. Major successes for Viz Media in the USA have come from releases such as Inyuasha, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer)

Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer) Manga

Viz Media first published Kyoharu Gotoge’s manga series Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer) in 2017, and the series is still on-going, with the 18th volume being its most recent release. The Shounen manga series has made waves worldwide since its first release, and it was estimated that in early 2019 the series had sold over 3.5 million copies, and by December of the same year had skyrocketed to over 25 million copies in print; its sales only being surpassed by the legendary long-running manga series One Piece.

The manga series achieved large praise from its readers, and has even been recognized as one of the most recommended comic books in Japanese bookstores over the past year. It’s well-executed action scenes and strong visuals have made the series particularly popular with male viewers, however the cute female characters and goofy moments largely from Zenjitsu Agatsuma help to broaden Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer) audience.

Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer) Anime series

Through its affiliation with online service CrunchyRoll and also Hulu, Viz Media also played a part in bringing the first series of the subtitled anime rendition of Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer) anime to western audiences via online streaming. The series was produced by the popular studio Ufotable Production, and a movie adaptation soon followed with the second series currently rumored to be in development. In October 2019 the English dub adaptation of the series was aired on Adult Swim in the US.

The anime was, as many expected, received as well as the original manga release and dominated the 2019 Newtype Anime Awards. Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer) won awards for the best TV anime, best theme song, best character design, and voice actors Natsuki Hanae and Akari Kito won best voice actor and actress respectively. Their lead characters Tanjiro Kamado and Nezuko Kamado were also recognised as best male and best female characters.

The animated adaptation of Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer) was praised for its high-quality animation, and seamless action and battle scenes, which visually set the series apart from other releases of the year. One of the few critiques of the series came from original manga fans who found that compared to the manga, the anime’s timeline was slightly confusing and muddied by odd pacing and strangely placed flashbacks.

Though it’s release came at the end of an incredible decade for anime, Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer) has been considered by many to be at the forefront of the greatest anime’s of the 2010’s. With a plethora of goods, merchandise, brand collaborations to create more anticipation for the incoming Season 2 of the anime.


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Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer)