Daki and Tanjiro stand side by side

All Demon Slayer Seasons, Ranked Worst to Best

Among the biggest anime series right now is Demon Slayer, adapting the manga series of the same name by Koyoharu Gotouge. After launching in 2019, a fourth season will premiere in 2024. Before that happens, though, let’s look at all the Demon Slayer seasons ranked from worst to best.

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All Demon Slayer Seasons, Ranked Worst to Best

Season 3

Tanjiro dodges a sword swing. This image is part of an article about all Demon Slayer seasons ranked from worst to best.

The third season of Demon Slayer is its shortest to date, running for only 11 episodes – though, in its defense, the season premiere and season finale are each an hour long. Adapting the Swordsmith Village Arc, the season brings plenty of new characters into the fold while providing compelling backstories and journeys for many of the major players. The season has Tanjiro travel to the titular village to have his sword repaired, only to be attacked in the interim when he is at his most vulnerable.

To be sure, Demon Slayer Season 3 is a good, competently made season of television, but it just doesn’t live up to the high bar set by its preceding seasons or films. The action sequences aren’t quite as kinetically awe-inspiring par as what came before. This, coupled with the truncated episode order, makes Demon Slayer Season 3 feel like an extended interlude before the next big narrative push.

Season 1

Tanjiro gathers wood in the snow. This image is part of an article about all Demon Slayer seasons ranked from worst to best.

The first season of Demon Slayer is the series’ longest to date, clocking in at 26 episodes and adapting the first seven volumes of the best-selling manga series. In addition to introducing the premise and its initial characters, including Tanjiro and Nezuko, the season is structured around Tanjiro’s training to become a Demon Slayer and avenge his family. The season takes on a familiar formula to other manga/anime fantasy stories, with the protagonist drawn deeper into this high-stakes secret conflict and learning how to combat the evil that upended his life.

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There is a lot to love about Demon Slayer, from its expansive scope and world-building to how well it welcomes viewers into the overarching story. The series’ balance of raw emotional stakes and quirky sense of humor is on full display here, with the show finding its overall tone and voice relatively quickly. From its stirring score to the memorable opening theme for the season by Lisa, Demon Slayer Season 1 is a solid opener to the series, starting it on a strong note.

Best: Season 2

Tanjiro charges Daki. This image is part of an article about all Demon Slayer seasons ranked from worst to best.

Divided into two parts, Demon Slayer Season 2 contains 18 episodes total and continues the story from the 2020 canonical anime film Demon Slayer: Mugen Train. This culminates in adapting the manga’s Entertainment District Arc, with Tanjiro and his friends investigating demon activity in Tokyo’s entertainment district that challenges them like never before. And yet, Season 2 still finds the time to double down on the series’ sense of humor to great effect here, including Tanjiro having to disguise himself in the Entertainment District to remain incognito.

Demon Slayer Season 2 really is the show at its absolute best so far, building from the momentum of Mugen Train and exploring its emotional fallout while moving the story forward at a decent clip. The best fights in the series are in Season 2, with Uzui’s duel with Gyutaro a highlight in the season. With its perfect pacing and memorable premise, Demon Slayer Season 2 sets a high point that has yet to be exceeded.

And those are all the seasons of Demon Slayer ranked worst to best.

Demon Slayer is streaming now on Crunchyroll.


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Author
Sam Stone
Sam Stone is a longtime entertainment news journalist and columnist, covering everything from movies and television to video games and comic books. Sam also has bylines at CBR, Popverse, Den of Geek, GamesRadar+, and Marvel.com. He's been a freelance contributor with The Escapist since October 2023, during which time he's covered Mortal Kombat, Star Trek, and various other properties. Sam remembers what restful sleep was. But that was a long time ago.