The bond between Tanjiro and Nezuko has already been established a close. However, due to her being a demon and staying in the wood box she can be forgotten. Tanjiro manages to escape terrible damage from Rui’s thread, only getting a scarred on the face. Meanwhile, Inosuke is impressed with Giyu abilities. Giyu is annoyed by Inosuke and ties him up in a tree. Shinobu injects Zenitsu with an antidote, while other Demon Slayers arrives to free the others. Tanjiro is finally cornered by Rui’s web of threads, Nezuko jumps out of the box. She saves Tanjiro, but is severely wounded.
This event stuns Rui, who claims that he wants that kind of relationship. His pretend sister, becomes insecure. She asks “what about me,” he cuts her into pieces. She begs for a second chance, he tells her to kill the other Demon Slayers on the mountain. Rui tells Tanjiro that because he’s so moved by their bond, he will let Tanjiro live if he gives him Nezuko. Obviously, this isn’t going to work. Tanjiro refuses and tells Rui that he’ll kill him first. Rui finally reveals that he’s the member of the Twelve Moon. His eye says “lower five,” which is an odd way of to number between one and twelve. We still don’t know a lot about the Twelve Moon’s, but it seems that maybe the numbering isn’t quite straight forward. Regardless, he simply takes Nezuko. She slashes him with her claws.
None of this seems to bother Rui. He tethers Nezuko in his threads, cutting into her limbs as punishment. She falls to sleep in order to heal herself. Meanwhile, Tanjiro uses the Final Form of his Water Style. He’s able to cut the threads now and creates a water dragon. Realizing the threat that Tanjiro possess, Rui uses his Blood Art to strengthen his threads. We get a flashback of Tanjiro’s family, mainly his father. His father was frail and was able to dance to pray to the God of Fire. His father told him that he was able to dance because he was using “special breathing techniques.” Tanjiro transforms his water dragon into a fire one. He now able to cut the more enhanced threads.
Tanjiro moves closer to Rui, who finally moves into striking range. He accepts that he will likely die from their encounter. Nezuko is awakened by a vision of her mother asking her to save her brother. Nezuko uses her Blood Art: Blood Ignite, burning the blood on the threads. The fire travels along the threads, destroying the webs that Rui created. As Tanjiro says that “the bond between he and Nezuko can’t be severed,” his sword with Nezuko blood on it severs Rui’s head. My review won’t give this episode any justice. We’re talking about anime here. The animation and the music created a experience that gave me chills. To say I was hyped would be an understatement. If you can watch this episode, you won’t regret it.
Zenitsu was always going to be a character that required getting use to. I always figured that with this series he would be more than a coward. While he remains one, he has shown some willingness to change. This episode gives him more complexity. Zenitsu flees from the creepy spiders demons with human heads. Turns out that when the original human head spider demon injects venom into humans they become spider demons. Of course, Zenitsu is bitten on the hand. Zenitsu panics in a tree. We get a flashback, of him crying in a tree (with brown hair). His master (Gramps) begs him to get out of the tree. Zenitsu realizes that while he wants to live up to the expectations of his master, he lacks the ability to do so.
Zenitsu’s ability to use lighting causes him to be struck by it, turning his hair yellow and knocking out the tree. When his hair falls out he faints and goes into his trance. We learn that Zenitsu has only mastered one attack, Thunder Breath: First Form. However, he’s managed to perfect the form. In another flashback, his Master gives him permission to cry and run away, but not to give up. However, another student, Kaigaku, bullies him. He considers him a “waste of time.” Zenitsu, being an orphan, only had his Master to support him, having been abandoned by everyone else. As he starts to cough up blood, Zenitsu still in his trance, turns up the power.
He begins to move at lightning fast speeds, and decapitates the Spider Demon. He falls, being crippled by the poison. He uses the breathing techniques to slow the effects of the poison. Meanwhile, Tanjiro hears his attack and plans to investigate. However, the “Daughter” of the Spider demon family shows up. Inosuke follows her. She flees, calling for her “Father” that arrives from above. He begins to attack Inosuke and Tanjiro. I suspect that the Father isn’t actually the member of the Twelve, but his Daughter is. This series likes to play with our expectations. The seeming fearful Daughter being the member of the Twelve would do just that.
Murata offers to hold off the controlled Demon Slayers, allowing Inosuke and Tanjiro to progress. They run into a living member of the Demon Slayers. Controlled, she is force to fight beyond her psychical limits. Rui, the male child demon, arrives to tell his “mother” to hurry up. In this moment we get the impression that they’re not really that close, as the demon doesn’t want Rui to tell his father. As a result she becomes inpatient. She increases her intensity with regard to how she uses the female Demon Slayer, breaking her bones as she swings violently.
Tanjiro, not looking to kill anyone, decides to toss the girl into the tree tangling the webs. Inosuke eager to prove he can do what Tanjiro can dose the same to the remaining two. Mother, now angry, breaks all of their necks. This was a shocking turn of evens for me. I mean all the work Tanjiro did, lead us into believing that he would be rewarded for his efforts. This isn’t the first time Tanjiro will be let down, but it was surprising that they weren’t saved. Regardless, they have no choice but to move on. Mother releases her “trump card,” a headless demon doll with bladed arms.
Meanwhile, Zenitsu is wandering the forest whining and loudly calling for Nezuko. He is followed by the smaller spider demon. Considering his advanced hearing it’s likely the case that he knows he’s being followed or will realize it at some point. When that happens he’s likely to run than fight. Anyway, Inosuke is becoming an interesting character. He seems like a complete moron that doesn’t think thing through, however, it seems like he does think on some level. He’s also appears to have developed an admiration for Tanjiro. Together they defeat the demon doll by working together, with Tanjiro taking the lead.
Tanjiro is tossed in the air by Inosuke, this sends him towards Mother. It’s unclear whether Inosuke intended to that or was mindlessly throwing Tanjiro in the air. Regardless, Tanjiro heads for Mother preparing to decapitate her. She initially is preparing to defend herself but decides that she rather die. When Tanjiro notices that her body language changed, he shifted to a more gentle form killing her without pain. We see her interaction with Father. The dynamic is clearly modeled what is typical for a domestic abuse situation. As usual, the demon is a former victim with a sad backstory. As a reward for his kindness, she tells Tanjiro that a member of the Twelve is around.
Episode 14, The House with the Wisteria Family Crest
This episode picks up right were the last one left off. Tanjiro lands a devastating blow on Inosuke breaking some of his ribs. He tells them that members of the Demon Corps should fight each other. Inosuke takes it as an argument against using swords and decides he should use his hands. Inosuke shows that he’s quite flexible. He’s relentless until Tanjiro headbutts him. His mask fall off revealing that he’s a “pretty” guy. Inosuke passes out. After they bury the victims they head down the mountain.
The siblings go their own way after the Kaugai crow gives Kiyoshi a charm to ward off demons. The three, Tanjiro, Inosuke and Zenitsu head to a manor to rest. They receive food and clothes from the old lady of the manor. We learn that Inosuke is an orphan and that he became a Demon Slayer after hearing about it and the Final selection. Zenitsu finally asks “why does Tanjiro travel with a demon.” Nezuko finally emerges from the box, of course Zenitsu freaks out. He becomes smitten with her. He accuses Tanjiro of carrying around Nezuko to “make out with.” The episode was fine. Not much happened. I was right about Inosuke being a aggressive airhead. Like Zenitsu, I expect that Inosuke will turn out to be more complicated than that.
We are introduced to Agatsuma Zenitsu the annoying, neurotic and cowardly swordsmen. As we left the previous episode Zenitsu was harassing a young girl. Zenitsu claims that he’s weak and will die during his next job. For some reason he wants to get married before he dies, although it’s unclear why that’s better. Apparently, he never wanted to become a demon slayer but he was “tricked” by a woman and ended up in debt. His trainer took over his debt and forced him to become a demon slayer.
Tanjiro’s crow orders both of them to head towards a mansion. Zenitsu’s hearing is apparently as good as Tanjiro’s sense of smell. They run into two children that claim that a demon kidnapped their older brother. A man is thrown out of the mansion and dies. He’s not the brother however. Tanjiro asks a terrified Zenitsu to accompany him into the mansion. The children enter the mansion against Tanjiro’s wishes and they’re now all trapped inside a house that switches rooms around.
Zenitsu and the brother and Tanjiro and the sister, Teruko are separated. The brother berates the whiny Zenitsu for being a coward. Trying to escape Zenitsu looks for an exit but only finds other rooms. In one room he encounters a strange man with a boars head. The man runs past them. Meanwhile, Tanjiro attacks the demon of the house, but before he can connects the demon uses his blood art to flip the room. The boar headed man smashes through the walls, armed with two jagged edge Nichirin swords prepared to attack the demon.
While, I can image that many might find Zenitsu to be annoying, I think he kinda funny. Sure his cowardice might become tedious at some point but I anticipate that he will mature and become bravery throughout this series. The boar-headed man has been shown in the opening credits so it’s safe to assume that he will become a important character like Zenitsu. Unlike, Zenitsu I think that he’s going to be reckless rather than a coward. he seems like he will also lack the intelligence that Tanjiro posses. A three of them might be contrast to each other.
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.