The anime community decided to take the path of painting demons differently from the usual perception of people towards them. The mere thought of demons can be scary. Demons are usually tied to evilness, hostility, and hatred. However, it cannot be denied that they are one of the most popular supernatural entities and that they have taken over quite a lot of anime shows not as the villains, but as the heroes who save the day.
In most shows or stories outside the anime community, demons are ruthless creatures who always tempt people to do bad things and sway them away from the path of holiness. However, many anime shows are changing this mindset by implying that not all demons are bad and not all saints are good.
With demons like Nezuko (Demon Slayer), Anos Voldigold (Misfit of Demon King Academy), Asmodeus Alice (Welcome To Demon School! Iruma-Kun), and more, fans cannot help but side with demons at times. The world is constantly changing, and so is the anime community. The said industry is completely playing along with this change. This is because of showing to fans that what appears to be bad is good, and what appears to be good is bad through the various series released.
Why are Demons Heroes in Anime?
Not all heroes wear capes because some of them have horns, fangs, or tails. One of the most common misconceptions is that when demons are part of a series they are immediately the villains. However, with nonstop releases of animes following the popular overpowered protagonist trope, many artists or authors started to add some twists. Demons are now the highlight of these shows because of the power that they possess and the heart they have for humanity.
Yes, demons have hearts and feelings too. This has been the main message of most series and humanity is sometimes the race that acts greedy and deceitful making a plot more interesting. Hence, many viewers find it demons playing as main characters not solely for its coolness, but due to the relatable wisdom and experience they share with fans.
For instance, the modern isekai series, Welcome To Demon School! Iruma-Kun, completely burns the idea of demons being evil to the ground. Iruma-kun, a human adopted by one of the most powerful demons, Sulivan, proves that demons can become one’s closest friend or family. Although Iruma still finds his school’s anthem a bit scary because of the other demon students singing wholeheartedly “Humans only exist to be our food“, it cannot be denied that his demon friends and family have treated him more humanely than his parents.
Moreover, Nezuko may have turned into a demon, but this wasn’t a hindrance for her in fighting alongside his brother, Tanjiro, and saving those who needed to be saved. One of the most popular half-demon from the early 2000s, Inuyasha, also became an outstanding example that demons can even fall in love with humans like what happened to him and Kagume.
Basically, demons are becoming the heroes or main characters of plenty of anime shows because it explores the other side of the coin. Through these series, we now have anime fans who are sharing their aspirations of becoming a demon king.
Some fans shared on Twitter how much they want to be reincarnated as a demon king because of this kind of trope’s popularity:
Record of Ragnarok is an anime series that focuses on humans and gods fighting to determine whether to let humanity live or be extinct. Although demons aren’t necessarily present in the show. This series emphasizes that gods are not all good. Some of them harbours hate for the human race, use deceit, and even mock other races because they believe they are inferior.
In addition, churches and even popes are also depicted as an antagonist in some series today instead of the heroes’ allies. Churches are seen in these shows using God as an excuse in doing heinous things to others, such as corruption.
In The Rising of the Shield Hero featuring Naofumi Iwatani, the people from the church is one of those people who are making his life miserable just because of being the shield hero. It was the church that summoned him from modern Japan, but they were also the same people who wanted him to stay weak so he would easily die on the battlefield.
Demons playing as heroes and churches as villains is eye-catching for the viewers. It gives them something new, different, and cool. If one thinks about it, it seems to be so cruel to paint even the church as villains, but that is how the industry works. If you do not show something unexplored and fresh, then fans will not be paying much attention to it.
In conclusion, Demon Kings possess physical prowess as powerful as the Gods or even humans destined to be heroes. Hence, it is not unlikely for them to be the leading characters in a series. Most anime shows are just showing that demons are just another classification of races. They are like gods and humans. Also, like the other races, they, too, have their own characteristics, be they good, evil, empathetic, cold-hearted, pessimistic, or optimistic.
Why Demon Tropes are Popular in the Anime Community?
Demon tropes are popular in the industry because they are probably one of the most misunderstood types of races. The word demon is attached to other words like monster, satan, villain, and brute. But like what is stated above, these cruel words aren’t the only words one can use to define them.
This is because demons are also defined as someone with great skills or genius. The anime community embraces demon tropes because they are entertainment at their finest. However, their popularity is also because it somehow features the Japanese culture.
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Yokai are Japanese mythological beings or spirits. Yokai are not the same as Western mythology, like demons and gods, but are close to it. These are supernatural monsters that are either good or evil. Plenty of animes feature yokai as a touch of Japanese culture. Furthermore, the demons as main characters are also a popular trope. This is because the animes they get featured is not limited to a single genre.
Demons are part of the anime series, which can be supernatural, isekai, action, comedy, and even romance. The era of high school romances may still interest a lot of viewers. However, it’s refreshing to see that other authors in the romance genre are now taking a different path. Authors are creating masterpieces showing that demon kings can also have their own love stories.
I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss is the perfect example because it follows the story of reincarnation in a game as the villainess, Claude Jeanne Elmir. In order to avoid the tragic end she is about to face; the villainess had to change her destiny. She aims to develop a romantic relationship with the powerful demon king, Cedric Jeanne Elmir.
Lastly, demons are popular because they are also appealing to the eyes. Yes, most demons starring in these different anime shows do not have a monster-looking appearance that would scare people away. In fact, most demons are too handsome or pretty not to notice or like them. Their attractiveness is a plus point that pulls the audience to try the series or binge-watch them. Their looks tempt the viewers, which is undeniably effective in increasing the demon tropes popularity in the anime community more.