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.
This episode opens up the world a little bit. We are introduced to the Demon Slayer Corps. A group that has “several hundred members,” they aren’t unrecognized by the government and seem to have no leader. It seems obvious to me that Tanjiro will become that leader. Demon’s are explained further, as demons go in anime nothing is new. They have powers, they regenerate and they’re stronger than human etc…
Meanwhile, Tanjiro begins to train. Sakonji explains that he is only one of several trainers. In order to join the Demon Corps, Tanjiro must survive the “Final Selection process.” Sakonji determines whether Tanjiro qualifies. This is all interesting except that we all know that Tanjiro will pass, otherwise how does the show go on. Throughout the training Tanjiro writes a diary detailing the daily training.
Somehow Nezuko has been asleep for six months. The training arc is seamlessly speed up a year. After the training ends, Sakonji tells Tanjiro that he will support his candidacy for the Demon Corps if he can cut a bolder. He keeps trying and failing. He meets a mysterious man (Sabito) who question his manhood. He attacks Tanjiro and challenge him to a fight. Tanjiro is outmatched by him. He says that Tanjiro has only memorize what he was taught, not internalized his lessons psychically.
After he knocks Tanjiro out, Sabito tells Makomo to take care of him. She’s corrects Tanjiro’s technique. Sabito and Makomo were both raised by Sakonji. She further explains the value of the “Total Concentration Breathing.” It’s a way to make you as strong as a demon. She tells him the only way to accomplish this is to “train to death.” Sabito and Tanjiro have a final showdown, with Tanjiro quickly defeating Sabito. The ending makes it unclear whether Sabito and Makomo are real. Regardless, Tanjiro cuts the bolder, meaning he’s going to the Final Selection.
One of the early theme’s in this series is that Tanjiro is too empathetic to be a good demon slayer. When tasked with finishing off a demon, Nezuko decapitated, he is unable to decided what to do. He’s concerned with the demon that massacred people would suffer. It’s probably a good chance that this compassion will be to his benefit. However, so far it results in him making decisions too slow, which is bad.
Earlier in the episode, he crafts a basket for Nezuko to hid in during the day. While, I find it highly implausible that she can fit into the basket, its necessary for the story. Regardless, at night they stumble upon a temple. Tanjiro smells blood a goes rushing in. He witnesses another massacre and a demon feeding on a victim. Nezuko begins to cry as the demon attacks Tanjiro. The fight is weirdly violent but funny. Nezuko kicks the demons head off, then it’s body begins to move and Nezuko kicks it into a tree.
Tanjiro of course is never in real danger. The demon begins to talk, proclaiming that he knew that Nezuko “was strange.” The fight further it’s oddness when said head sprouts a pair of arms. Tanjiro pins the demon head (and new arms) to a tree. Just as he tries to “finish him off,” Sakonji Urokodaki arrives. We then get more of an understanding as to why the sense of smell is important. Sakonji is able to “smell” the “scent of kindness” coming from Tanjiro. Later, Tanjiro uses his smelling ability to “sniff out the traps.”
The details of this ability and why it’s important will be further elaborated on later obviously. However, the fact that Sakonji also has this sense of smell is clearly important. Finally, my thoughts that the demons in this series are vampire like have been confirmed, as the demon burns to death when the sun arises. After successfully surviving the test he was given, Tanjiro returns. Sakonji accepts Tanjiro as his student. Overall, another good episode and I’m looking forward to the next one.
Having been reading the many anime blogs I frequent, I noticed that Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba or Blade of Demon Destruction was a common anime reviewed. Reading the reviews I decided to give it a shot. I have a tendency to favor anime over manga, so I was largely ignorant of the manga of the same name. Written by Koyoharu Gotoge and published by Shueisha since 2016, the series focuses on Tanjiro Kamado. He lives with his family as they make money selling charcoal.
Said family is massacred by demons and his sister Nezuko becomes one. Tanjiro sets out to seek his revenge and return his sister to humanity. I generally enjoy going into a new series without being familiar with the source material. The first episode of the series, Cruelty, obviously lays out the premise of the series. The first thing you notice is the animation and particularly the infusion of CGI. Combining CGI with 2D animation can be hit or miss. Ufotable seems to limit CGI largely to the background.
The massacre of his family is bloody. Tanjiro runs through the snow with his sister on his back, unaware of the origin of the attack. His sister awakens, now demonic and attacks him. At this point it has been established that Tanjiro has a good nose. His sense of smell clearly is going to be an important part of this series. He tries to deduce if she was a always a demon or if she was at all responsible for their families death. As he begins to cry so does Nezuko, giving the impression that she still has human feelings.
Their struggle is interrupted by a mysterious swordsmen. His sword is branded with the words “destroy demons.” He asks “why are you protecting it.” He grabs Nezuko and plans to decapitate her. Tanjiro begs him not to kill his sister. The swordsmen then becomes upset that Tanjiro was so passive. He then tries to kill Nezuko, but Tanjiro attacks him in a fruitless but clever assault. The swordsmen, Giyu Tomioka decides that he will give Nezuko and Tanjiro a chance. He muzzles Nezuko, telling Tanjiro to seek out Sakonji Urokodaki.
Demon’s are a common troupe in anime, I wonder if the lore will be different or be derived from mythology. So far it seems that demons have zombie like lust for flesh and can’t be in direct sunlight which borrows from vampire lore. Tanjiro will need to learn how to kill demons himself. Despite Nezuko, we haven’t seen a demon that’s not human yet. I’m curious to see how powerful and large they can get. So far I like this series, I’ll definitely give it a try.