Depending on what streaming service you use to watch Demon Slayer, a season could be different.
Fans of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba who have Netflix can now watch season 3, but hold on! If you have a Crunchyroll account, you’ve probably already seen the “Entertainment District Arc,” which Netflix is calling season 3 but is actually the second half of season 2, and moved on to the “Swordsmith Village Arc,” which is not yet available on Netflix.
Please let us explain. Before we talk about how different cultures affect when and where anime seasons start and end, it’s important to know that one arc doesn’t always mean one season.
An arc is like a mini-story inside the main story. Arcs are a big part of how the story develops and how the different parts work together.
Some arcs may be too short to be their own season, so a season may sometimes have more than one arc. Then there are storylines that are so long that they need to be broken up into two or more seasons.
There are no hard and fast rules about which story arcs go on which seasons.
However, the story arcs in American comics tend to be different from those in Japanese comics in a number of ways that affect how the anime series will look on screen.
Many American comic books are still put out one at a time. Depending on the story, there are a few exceptions, but in Japan, manga (which literally means “comics”) chapters are generally published in magazines like Shonen Jump.
This lets people read up on more than one manga story without having to buy different issues. Later, the chapters may be put together in a book called a tankbon, and a series may have more than one tankbon.
Arcs are not the same as the way parts and collections of comics are published in the U.S. or Japan.
Popular American comics from giants like Marvel and DC have been going on for years and often decades, with many different writers and plots.
What if, for example, a character’s time as a bad guy doesn’t do as well as expected?
With this kind of system, it can go in a totally different direction when new artists and writers take over. This is why most arcs in these kinds of comics can stand on their own and don’t need much or any background to make sense.
Most comics are written and drawn by the same person. The mangaka needs to be able to end the story at any time, in case the editor decides to do so.
This is why even long books like Bleach and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure have a clear beginning, middle, and end. This is also true of the anime.
Now, let’s talk about why Crunchyroll seems to be ahead of Netflix when it comes to Demon Slayer. When an episode of anime airs in Japan, it follows the plot and ending of the manga. This also means that there are no repeats.
This is done so that people will watch every week to see if Tanjiro finally kills that Upper Moon monster. More viewers means more money from ads, so there can’t be a break in the story between shows.
In this way, American TV gives people more freedom, since repeats are shown on TV and online services often let people watch whole seasons at once.
Notice that Netflix puts out whole seasons of Demon Slayer while Crunchyroll puts out one episode at a time.
Netflix is able to put out full seasons of this anime because it puts out a season after it has already played in Japan.
The Swordsmith Village arc has already started on Crunchyroll, so the timing is the same as in Japan.
The English dub isn’t out yet, but some fans like me like to watch anime in Japanese with English subtitles so we can learn more than “sugoi.”
Another Netflix anime, Vinland Saga, is on the same timeline as Japan, so a new episode comes out every week.
Even the English version of Vinland Saga hasn’t come out yet, so now is a great time to learn Japanese from a group of Vikings. But I’m getting off track.
The Swordsmith Village arc is not on Netflix yet because it is still being shown in Japan.
So, it makes more sense to call season 3 the story arc about the Entertainment District, which was released in full to keep the rest of the show consistent.
Crunchyroll uses the same seasons as Japan, so the Swordsmith Village arc is the third season.
Was it worth the wait?