Anime

Demon Slayer Season 2, Episode 15: The trio returns to face Daki and Gyutaro

In Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 15, “Gathering,” we learn a little about Tengen’s childhood and Zenitsu, Tanjiro, and Inosuke join the battle. The demonic siblings, Gyutaro and Daki, share more than just the title of Upper Rank Six. When Gyutaro said he and his sister share bodies he wasn’t kidding. Gyutaro and Daki may have two different physical bodies but they can exchange body parts. Gyutaro gives Daki one of his eyes. This increases her power and allows them to coordinate their attacks. Daki and Gyutaro are able to fight Tengen, Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu together despite being in two different places.

This episode was mostly a well animated high action packed one but we did get a short deviation to Tengen’s backstory and the larger Demon Slayer world. Gyutaro compliments Tengen on his fighting abilities claiming that “none of the Hashira he has killed are like him,” and Tengen was “born special.” Tengen states that he wasn’t “anyone special.” While demon slayers like Muichiro became Hashira only after two months, Tengen argues that he’s not “chosen like them.” It’s not made explicit whether the current generation of Hashira are stronger than previous ones, the fact that Gyutaro killed 15 and Daki killed 7 suggests this generation might be.

If someone like me gives that impression, you really are living a blessed life. – Tengen Uzui

We also learned that the shinobi were “wiped out” in the Edo era. Tengen was born one of nine siblings, with seven being killed by the time he was 15. His father, afraid of their clans extinction, increased training. Tengen’s younger brother resembled his fathers worldview more closely, “viewing his wives as expendable.” In order to become a Demon Slayer, Tengen and his wives had to reject shinobi ideology. I hope we’ll get more information on the past world in Demon Slayer. In the present, Tengen separates Daki and Gyutaro by kicking Daki into the air. At this point it seems Daki is comically weak. Demon Slayer went through all this effort to present her as a powerhouse only to quickly show her as a weakling.

In Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 15 Gyutaro and Daki fuse together
In Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 15 Gyutaro and Daki fuse together

It’s a odd choice. I’m all for running gags (her head getting cut off) but she’s been minimized into hindrance. Her power seems to mostly due to her brother. I’m sure there’s a typical brother protects sister narrative between Gyutaro and Daki, but the shift in how I perceived Daki (strength wise) is dramatic and it’s clearly deliberate. Anyway, Tengen is joined by Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu. I have remarked many times how surprised I am that Demon Slayer is willing to sideline it’s main character (Tanjiro) and it seems that will remain true this arc. Tanjiro is simply not stronger than Tengen. In most anime he would be or the stronger characters wouldn’t be present for some reason.

I also noticed that this season has more fights in the presence of civilians. In the first season most of battles to place in distant areas away from people but this season is different. I was surprised that Demon Slayer bothered to show Tengen’s wives evacuate the town, normally the civilians would have been ignored. Tanjiro and Tengen have teamed up against Gyutaro, while Inosuke and the sleeping Zenitsu fight Daki. Zenitsu seems to be able to fight and talk while completely asleep. I wonder if he’ll be sleep for the entire fight or wake up in the middle. I realized that neither Zenitsu or Inosuke have been able to show their full power yet. Hopefully, they will get a chance now that Tanjiro isn’t at the center. Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 15 is full of action. Tengen and Gyutaro fighting while Daki rains down her Obi was a marvelous sight.

Anime

Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 19: The Scream

Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 19 opens as Zeke (Beast Titan) collapses, Eren hammers into Porto Galliard’s Jaw Titan. Meanwhile, Armin and the others battle the Marleyan’s. Zeke awakens. With Eren in sight he announces that it’s “time to call the Titans.” He inhales, preparing to scream, before he does, Colt and Falco arrive. He makes a plea to allow Falco to get out of his scream’s range. I think we all know what Zeke’s answer would be. Colt, Gabi, and Falco should have tried to escape Zeke’s scream instead of wasting so much time. Actually, if Colt went alone to reason with Zeke, while Gabi and Falco left it would have been a better plan. Regardless, Zeke while sympathetic screams anyway.

Falco eats Porco

Beams of light erupt through the Shiganshina District. The military transforms into Titans and immediately begins attacking the Marleyan army. Falco appears as a Titan with a elongated neck. Zeke orders him to attack a horrified Reiner. Despite pinning both Eren and Falco down, Reiner cannot bare to kill Falco. His hesitation allows Eren to escape, leaving him open for Falco to bite at his nape. Reiner has been suicidal for a while now, only fighting to save those he loved. With Falco transformed, Reiner considers allowing Falco to eat him. However, Galliard appears claiming to no longer “have the strength to heal his body.” Dying anyway, he is the better sacrifice than Reiner. Falco eats him instead.

This moment doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Aren’t pure titans basically mindless. If they’re in the presence of one of the Nine Titans they will try to kill them but why would Falco abandon Reiner to eat Porco? He literal had Reiner’s nape in his mouth. Obviously, from a narrative standpoint this is better for everyone. The audience cares more for Reiner anyway, and if we’re being honest Porco was a terrible Jaw Titan, always getting beaten. It’s possible I missed something but it doesn’t make sense right now.

Eren’s premature betrayal

Poor Gabi. At this point she so damaged it’s hard to imagine how she manages. Although you could say that most characters in Attack on Titan. Gabi traumatized, picks up a weapon. When Eren flees from the Attack Titan’s body, she’s prepared. Taking aim, Gabi decapitates Eren sending his head flying in a violent spiral of blood. It was a shocking moment but maybe too dramatic? I kinda thought it was weirdly funny moment, especially with Zeke catching his head. With the introduction of the Paths, Eren’s “death” isn’t going to permanent. Inside the Path, Eren betrays Zeke. He asks Ymir to “lend him her power.” She walks past him and directly towards Zeke.

Eren revealed his hand too early. You should wait until you have the power then stab Zeke in the back. Zeke reveals that Ymir is nothing but a slave, “accept those of royal blood as her master.” Therefore, Zeke has all the powers of the Founder, Eren was just a key. Zeke isn’t upset that Eren betrayed him. Beside he can use the Founder’s power to “fix” Eren. The Path and Ymir’s ability to restore Zeke and likely Eren, has undermine what makes Attack on Titan such a dramatic series, the stakes. If Eren can’t die then there’s no need to fear for his safety. While other characters might still be fair game, I’m starting to get the impression that Armin, Levi, and Mikasa might get plot armor as well. I don’t actually want them to die but I want to feel like they can.

Anime

Demon Slayer Season 2, Episode 14: The secret hiding in Daki

The main theme of Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 14 is transformation, hence it’s title. Daki and Nezuko are the ones who transform, but in opposite directions. Daki loses her confidence and while Nezuko gains some. They both end up crying but for completely different reasons. Nezuko goes through a mental transformation. She enjoys the violent abuse she inflicts on Daki. When she gets a scent of human blood she prepares to attack. This means that when Nezuko transforms she’s looses all the control she had. To be clear, Nezuko has never been unaffected by blood but she’s always resisted. Luckily, Tanjiro arrives to hold her back. He’s desperate to keep his sisters from killing, especially considering all the consequences that will occur if they fail.

Like getting skinned alive or maybe getting your belly slit open

– Gyutaro

Daki loses her head in Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 14
Daki loses her head in Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 14

Nezuko misses her family and snaps out of her rage buy singing a lullaby their mother use to sing. Her tears are born from sorrow, whereas, Daki’s tears are largely due to her bruised ego. Poor, poor Daki. First, she gets humiliated by a rampaging Nezuko. Then Uzui decapitates her and dismisses her power, claiming she “too weak” to be a “Upper Demon.” Her insecurities rise to the surface. She practically begs Uzui to believe she strong. She becomes whinny, screeching and crying. Daki becomes pathetic. Demon Slayer has always tried to balance its more sentimental moments with action. This episode definitely exemplifies that.

I’m amazing, you hear me?

I rarely notice voice acting in anime but the voices of Daki and her brother Gyutaro were perfect. Daki’s high pitched wailing and nonstop talking really sold her desperation. However, her brothers voice was perfect. I’m not going to be able to do it justice by describing it, but it’s creepy. Both voices irate the ear but still felt appropriate. This episode suggested something tragic happened to both Daki and Gyutaro. When Nezuko’s Demon Art sets Daki ablaze, she recalls a brief flashback and says it’s “just like that day.” In the flashback we see a swordsmen and a female silhouette.

Gyutaro body is emaciated and he has a cringy tendency to scratch himself. It think he starved as a human and gave his little sister any food they had. Together, Daki and Gyutaro are, according to Gyutaro “two people in one.” Gyutaro is clearly the stronger of the two, but if they fight together, Daki’s obis could become a problem. Gyutaro has a powerful Blood Demon Art. As Tengen noticed he has amazing reflects. With his speed, Uzui might be able to avoid most of their attacks, but I think he’ll need help. I like the fact that Demon Slayer is willing to let other characters shine, but it seems odd if Inosuke, Tanjiro, and Zenitsu just sit idly by and watch. Regardless, I’m excited to see how this fight goes.

Anime

Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 18: The Brothers Unite

Armin maintains his belief that Eren is faking in order to gain control of the Founding Titan. His goal is to “protect Paradis Island with the rumbling.” Despite remaining skeptical, Jean and Conny agree to save Eren. Outside, Eren is pinned down by Reiner Braun. Eren continues to struggle against Reiner, summoning more War Hammer spikes. Reiner wants to end everyone’s suffering. He wonders why Eren continues to fight. He doesn’t see why he and Eren are so similar but they’re both fighting desperately for those they care about. Suddenly, The Beast Titan hurls a bolder at Reiner, sending him flying. For the first time in the series I was happy to see Zeke. Attack on Titan Season 4 has successfully blurred the lines between friend and foe. I’m still bias in favor of Misaka and Armin. I’m uncertain which side Eren actually is on but I don’t want him to died.

Zeke turns the tables in Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 18
Zeke turns the tables in Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 18

Zeke’s arrival dramatically turns the battle. His trademark pitching, overwhelms the Marleyian forces. He takes down the Marleyian airships down as the creepy Yelena enjoys the destruction. Armin, Jean, Mikasa, and Conny finally reach the roof. Jean notices Zeke and concludes correctly that something happened to Levi and Hange. Elsewhere, Colt and Gabi find Falco. Gabi releases that they were wrong about the Eldians. They aren’t devils just “people.” Both Falco and Gabi accept their roles in the current cycle of violence.

Yelena is just so creepy

Death of the Beast Titan?

With the introduction of the mysterious girl in the previous episode, it’s difficult to determine if Zeke will die or not. So when he’s shot through the nape by Pieck’s cannon I was shocked but not concerned. Maybe I should be. Attack on Titan has no issue killing off characters but the series haven’t killed any major ones in a while (Sasha wasn’t a major character, just a beloved one). Zeke is only useful for his ability to create Titans with his scream. If Eren eats him then the plan still worked. It’s unlikely he doesn’t turn at least some people into Titans. Considering Falco, Colt, and Gabi are rushing to stop Zeke. It seems obvious to me that Falco gets transformed, especially since he poured his heart out to Gabi. Zeke’s will probably die at some point but I don’t think it’s now.

Anime

Demon Slayer Season 2, Episode 13: Tanjiro and Nezuko let loose

Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 13, “Layered Memories” is an action packed episode that adds to the lore of demons and may have exposed Muzan’s only weakness. Daki gains more power as her obi sashes are absorbed. Her hair changes white, as she get excited at the prospect of facing another Hashira. She ignores Tanjiro who’s already struggling psychically. After she destroys part of a city block, killing several people and maiming another. Tanjiro is also cut deeply trying to reflect her attack. Witnessing the carnage Daki created and her indifference to the suffering, Tanjiro explodes with rage.

Tanjiro rages after Daki kills innocents in Demon Slayer Episode 13
Tanjiro rages after Daki kills innocents in Demon Slayer Episode 13

Demons have nothing to lose

Daki tries to escape but Tanjiro grabs her by the leg, attempting to decapitate her. She evades, only losing her foot. Like most demons at her level she quickly heals. Demon Slayer has consistently made the point that humans are at a natural disadvantage against demons. Tanjiro has always felt like he was struggling against the more powerful Daki. He constantly under pressure, pushing his body past its natural limits just to inflict pain on the Upper Demon. Bloodshot and determined, Tanjiro accelerates towards Daki. She uses Blood Demon Art: Eight-Layered Obi Slash trying to cut Tanjiro into pieces.

Tanjiro uses Hinokami Kagura: Burning Bones, Summer Sun, creating a series of circular flame spirals. Daki feels pain from the burning and cannot regenerate quickly. Daki leaps to another house, wondering how Tanjiro can still move. Following the demon, Tanjiro manages to cut Daki’s neck, but she protects herself using a soft sash. Feeling the heat, she increases her sashes to 13. Tanjiro is able to easily parry them as they appear to move slowly. He stabs all the obis, pinning them down. With explosive movement, he leaps into the air slashing the obi with fiery strikes. It’s an amazing moment that displays what makes Demon Slayer such an amazing series, beautiful animation, colorful design, and impressive action.

The evolution of Nezuko

Nezuko occupies a strange position in the Demon Slayer series. She not a very active character. She’s literally muzzled and sleeping in a box most of the time. Nezuko is often out of sight and out of mind. Obviously, she can’t walk around during the day but she could come out at night. If we consider the fact that most humans are ignorant of demons existence and their white skin doesn’t trigger too much suspicion (Muzan claims he has a special disease) there’s no reason for her to be so absent. Especially, because she protects Tanjiro more than her protects her. Anyway, that trend continues.

Tanjiro apparently stopped breathing while he was fighting and just before he decapitates Daki, he’s stopped by a vision of his sister telling him “to breathe.” Tanjiro collapses in agony, giving Daki a chance to capitalize. Suddenly, Nezuko appears behind her and crushes Daki’s head while sending the demon flying. Nezuko attacks Daki with her trademark right kick. Daki slices off her leg, arm, and cuts deep into her torso. Nezuko has never eaten a human and hasn’t developed in the normal way demon tend to.

Like Tamayo, Nezuko escapes the control Muzan exerts on his progeny. Regardless, Nezuko begins to regenerate, according to Daki at “a Upper Demon level,” develops vinelike markings and grows a horn. She stomps Daki into the ground giving her a menacing stare. Nezuko shouldn’t have this much power especially considering she doesn’t train at all. It conflicts with the painful effort demon slayers like Tanjiro put into their breathing. Granted she’s a demon so they generally have it easier than humans. However, she doesn’t even have to consume humans like those demons.

Marks, Scars, and Cells

Demon Slayer Episode 13 introduces the more subtle aspects of the power system of the series, marks, scars, and cells. When Muzan creates a demon he gives a human his blood, this process is “performed at a cellular level.” Normally, Muzan maintains control over demons, but for some reason Nezuko and Tamayo can’t be controlled. One thing they both refused to do is eat humans which is likely the main reason. In this episode, Shinjuro Rengoku writes Tanjiro a letter in which he explains that Sun Breathing users have a “red mark on their forehead.” While Tanjiro denies he’s the “chosen one” claiming that he got the scar through other means, I think Shinjuro is one to something. Especially after we witness the memories of Muzan. The man in the vision has the mark Shinjuro referred to.

I don’t know who the man in the vision was but I don’t think it was Tanjiro’s father. Maybe a grandfather? It doesn’t matter. What is important to know is that Muzan was afraid of this Demon Slayer, who like Tanjiro can use Sun Breathing. Nezuko’s markings are only seen, but it’s obvious they’re associated with her transformation. I expect we’ll get more information next episode. This episode was great. While Nezuko’s transformation is a bit of an ass pull, I’m still excited to see her fight.