Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 16, “Defeating an Upper Rank Demon,” leaves Tanjiro, Zenitsu, Inosuke, and Tengen are in mortal danger. Tanjiro and Tengen attempt to decapitate Gyutaro, who quickly removes the kunai, regenerates his legs, and neutralized the wisteria poison. Gyutaro responds with Blood Demon Art, Rotating Circular Slashes: Flying Blood Sickles, his blood pours out of his arms forming spinning blood blades. Sensing the danger, Tengen kicks Tanjiro out of the way and activates Sound Breathing, Fourth Form: Constant Resounding Slashes. The Hashira spins his swords while fireworks explode. He manages to destroy the blood blades from Gyutaro.
In the explosion, Gyutaro disappears. At this point Tengen’s wife Hinatsuru becomes the target. Despite being shinobi, Tengen’s wives are largely helpless. Granted Hinatsuru was already injured, but she becomes a burden in this fight. I’m relieved when she finally leaves. Before that however, Tanjiro steps up to rescue her from Gyutaro. Being underestimated, Tanjiro is ignored by Gyutaro. This let’s him think. Tanjiro combines Water Breathing and Hinokami Kagura increasing the speed of the Kagura Breathing and adding power to Water Breathing. Sakonji Urokodaki apparently taught him “to modify the style into any form.” Tanjiro suggests that the other Breathing forms were created this way. I wonder if Tanjiro will merge the two styles in a more official matter.
Meanwhile, Inosuke and Zenitsu are struggling to get close to Daki. Her obis overwhelms them, preventing them from getting to her neck. Inosuke becomes impatient watching Gyutaro almost get his head cut off. However, he still can’t reach Daki. Zenitsu, who’s still asleep, tells him to calm down. Tengen and Tanjiro once again fail to decapitate Gyutaro, who manages to grab their blade with flesh from his sickles, then twists his head around to stop Tengen’s other blade. With his prey captured, Gyutaro uses his Rotating Circular Slashes again. This time Tengen pulls himself and Gyutaro away to fight alone. Hinatsuru, Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke are left to face Daki on the roof.
After Hinatsuru leaves, the trio decide to use Tanjiro and Zenitsu to defend Inosuke, as he uses Beast Breathing, Eighth Fang: Explosive Rush. The three combine their techniques and Inosuke successfully decapitates Daki’s head. With her head in tow, Inosuke runs off with her head preventing Daki from reattaching. It’s a light hearted moment that is quickly ended by Gyutaro stabbing Inosuke through the chest. Tanjiro is shocked and quickly looks around to see what happened to Tengen. The Sound Hashira lays on the ground with his left hand severed. Suddenly, Daki’s obi destroy the surrounding houses. Zenitsu pushes Tanjiro out of the way.
Everything is looking grim for our heroes. The only chance they had was to team up with Tengen but he seems outmatched by Gyutaro. Tanjiro is barely holding it together, Nezuko is asleep, Zenitsu still knows only one move, and Inosuke is mortally wounded. Despite this predicament, I’m certain that Tengen has more in reserve and most likely Tanjiro too. I’ll admit that the Beast Breathing and Tengen’s Sound Breathing Fourth Form were underwhelming. Inouske’s technique doesn’t really have any well flash and the flashy Tengen’s technique seem cheesy. At the very least his Sound Breathing should be more explosive. I get that elements like fire, water, and lightning are easier to render, but I still want more from the other styles.