Episode 4, Final Selection
Tanjiro is finally ready for the final selection. Urokodaki expresses that he didn’t plan on sending Tanjiro to the final selection, having grown tired of sending children to their deaths. He tells Tanjiro that a demon gets stronger with each human they consume. This will be important later. He gives Tanjiro a fox mask that has a protection spell. It is revealed that Sabito and Makomo are actually dead, explaining the ending from last week. Tanjiro heads to Mt. Fujikasane where he sees a number of teenagers.
It’s made clear which of the teens are the strongest and apparently everyone a facial scar of some kind. It’s unclear if the scars this a design feature or if it has story implications. Regardless, the goal is simple, survive for seven days and you pass. Tanjiro runs into the woods and is quickly ambushed by two demons. We finally get to see the fruits of the training that Tanjiro underwent. He uses his Water Style to kill them. The animation of the water style was spectacular and is reminiscent of the waves found in “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” woodblock print.
He immediately smells another demon. Another applicant is being pursued by the massive demon. Unlike most of the other demon shown so far this one doesn’t look like a human with fangs. The demon has several arms that are wrapped around itself. Tanjiro rescues the applicant. The demon asks for the year and becomes enraged when he’s informed that it’s passed into another era. He reveals that it was Urokodaki that captured him 47 years ago and he has been seeking revenge ever since.
The demon is the one that killed Sabito and Makomo, along with eleven other students of Urokodaki. The mask that was suppose to protect them actually made them targets. The applicant abandons Tanjiro when he’s knocked down. Tanjiro uses his new training to reach the demons neck, managing to sever it unlike Sabito. This episode was basically perfect. I usually don’t notice the music but it was used to great effect. The effects of the water as I mentioned was a great stylistic addition. Were also given some important info regarding how to defeat demons, wisteria repels them and they use “Nichirin sword” to kill them. I’m excited to see what the other children bring to a fight.