Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is one of the best-selling manga and anime in existence, so it’s no wonder that the mangaka, Koyoharu Gotouge, has become so famous. So the fact that they’re on the Time 100 list probably shouldn’t have been a surprise. And yet, it was.

The first 3 volumes of Demon Slayer in place of Koyoharu Gotouge's portrait.
Apparently, our mangaka is a bit camera-shy.

Time magazine recently announced that Koyoharu Gotouge made it onto their list of Phenoms for their 2021 edition of Time 100. Indeed, they’re the first mangaka in history to make it onto this coveted listicle. Just being on the list practically assures Gotouge-sensei‘s fame in world history. It really is a mark on just how popular Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is, and how good it is as well.

Time writer Kat Moon goes on to further describe Koyoharu Gotouge’s achievements thus:

For almost two decades, Spirited Away was Japan’s highest-grossing movie of all time. That changed last year, when the animated film Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train logged the biggest opening weekend in Japan’s history and wound up grossing a record-setting $313 million—a surreal achievement that only deepened interest in the mysterious author and illustrator at the franchise’s heart.

Demon Slayer: Koyoharu Gotouge no Yaiba

Demon Slayer Vol. 1 cover art.
Still no protrait, I’m afraid.

Indeed, Koyoharu Gotouge has gone to great lengths to conceal their identity. No portrait of them exists anywhere, and they’ve asked for the staff at Weekly Shonen Jump to keep their identity a secret as well. In fact, the best thing to a portrait we have is the mangaka’s avatar. It’s basically a chibi crocodile with slightly bent glasses sitting in seiza position. The seiza is formal sitting position in Japan, and it’s also guaranteed to cut off the blood-flow circulation of the legs of anyone not used to it.

Koyoharu Gotouge's crocodilian avatar.
Crocodiles can’t feel their legs anyways.

The only clue we have to Koyoharu Gotouge’s identity is from a Weekly Shonen Jump employee. They apparently claim that Gotouge-sensei is a woman, and that’s it. However, since this is both unofficial and a breach of anonymity, just take it with as much salt as you want.

Rengoku-brand potato circles, tasty salt flavor.
Mm, salty, potato-ey goodness.

However, is Koyoharu Gotouge’s identity really that important? It doesn’t change the fact that they created the Demon Slayer manga, which resulted in the equally-as-great anime. I think we might be overblowing the importance of their identity. The Time 100 article is a lot better at putting it, with:

While Gotouge maintains anonymity in public, Kohei Ohnishi—an editor at Weekly Shonen Jump, the manga magazine that publishes Demon Slayer—says the writer’s personality shines through the series, in particular in Tanjiro’s “serious nature, honesty and strong sense of responsibility.”

If Koyoharu Gotouge-sensei chooses to reveal their identity, we’ll cheer them on. If they choose to keep their identity a secret, we should respect that. But that’s just my opinion on the matter.


Koyoharu Gotouge is now officially a Phenom on the Time 100 listicle, making them the first mangaka in history to do so. It’s a well-deserved reward for creating Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, I believe. With their place in world history now cemented, we can now look forward to Gotouge-sensei‘s next work, which is just as mysterious as their identity. All we know is that it will be a sci-fi romantic comedy, and that’s it. Well, at least we have the Mugen Train anime film and the second season of Demon Slayer to look forward to here in the US…eventually.

Source: Time, Shuukan Bunshun, Anime News Network