I’ve been looking for another challenge to do and finally found one. The A-Z of Anime Challenge is probably self-explanatory, regardless the rules are as follows:
#1 Pick a favorite series/movie for each letter of the alphabet. For titles starting with “a” “an” or “the” use the first letter of the next word of the title.
#2 Since many titles have multiple names based on the language that you are using please pick one language for the entire list (Use all English titles or all Japanese titles) and let the readers know which language you will be using. If a title has the same name regardless of the language then it can be used in any list.
#3 If you don’t have a title that fits under a particular letter, you can name another favorite from a different letter in it’s place, just indicate which letter spot you are using for that series. This can be done up to three times. If you can’t fill a spot then you can leave it blank. No more than 26 total series are allowed.
#4 Including a picture for each series is encouraged.
#5 Share who tagged you for this challenge and nominate 3 more to try it themselves and include links to their blogs.
#6 Just have fun with this challenge. I wanted to get everyone to share some favorite series and to spread the word about awesome blogs!
Since I haven’t been tagged I will be ignoring part of #5. I will be using English titles. Let’s go.
Thorkell and Thorfinn battle twice in the anime. Their first encounter occurs at a bridge in London. Thorfinn, standing on the mast of a ship, is armed with a shield. He charges at Thorkell, leaping off the ship with super powered speed. Thorkell attempts to hit him with a log. However, Thorfinn manages to dodge mid-air. Thorkell continues to use his log as a weapon. Thorfinn dodges, acrobatically jumping threw the air. Thorkell is excited to find such a warrior. He tosses the log over board and challenges Thorfinn to one on one combat. Thorkell throws a punch that Thorfinn is able to dodge. He slices Thorkell’s risks, looking to attack his weak spots. Despite his speed and agility, he’s no match for Thorkell’s strength. He grabs Thorfinn, slamming him repeatedly on the ground. Before escaping in the water, Thorfinn manages to cut off two of Thorkell’s fingers.
Their second encounter is even more intense. Armed with two axes, Thorkell attacks. Like their previous encounter this is a contest between speed and strength. Thorfinn manages to get shallows cuts. He hopes to go for the tendons. However, when he and Thorfinn clash again, Thorkell sends him flying in the air. Thorfinn crashes into some trees, then the ground. Thorfinn’s arm is broken. Despite this he attacks Thorkell again. Aided by Askeladd, Thorfinn is able to gouge out Thorkell’s eye. Thorkell loses this duel.
29. Douglas Bullet vs The Worst Generation
Bullet challenges the Worst Generation to battle. With the exception of Blackbeard, Law and Zoro, he takes on the other pirates (Luffy, Eustass Kid, Killer, Basil Hawkins, Scratchmen Apoo, Capone Bege, Jewelry Bonney, X Drake, and Urouge) single-handily. He overwhelms them with his speed and strength. Apoo uses his combat music, creating explosions. Bege cannonballs get swatted away and he tosses X Drake aside, despite being in his dinosaur form. Bonney fails to touch him, being prevented from turning him into a child. Killer, Hawkins, Urouge attack, Bullet is unharmed.
He manages to cause Luffy and Kids attacks to hit each other. Luffy activates Gear Fourth: Snakeman. He hits Bullet with multiple fast past punches. Each fighter lands a powerful punch, sending the other flying. However, Luffy is exhausted and Bullet is still unharmed.
28. Asta and Yuno vs Licht
Licht pulls a sword from the floor. Asta draws his Demon-Dweller Sword, but Licht takes it. His slashes sent Yuno and Asta crashing into a wall. Asta loses his black form. Meanwhile, Yuno fights using Spirit Storm against Licht. However, he absorbs that spell. Licht slashes at Yuno, who easily evades getting hit. Asta recovers. He and Yuno team up against Licht. He releases a magical blast from the Demon-Dweller Sword, sending Yuno and Asta crashing to the bottom of the dungeon.
27. Thors vs Askeladd
Thors challenges Askeladd to a duel. As Thors approaches, Askeladd cuts the rope that was tethered to sail. When the falling sail hides Askeladd from Thors sight, he swiftly moves under it. He manages to cut Thors. However, it’s too shallow. Unable to use surprise attacks again, Askeladd is impressed. Thors attacks with a series of heavy hits, chipping away at Askeladd’s sword. Managing to break Thors sword, Askeladd is tricked. Leaving Thors with the victory.
26. Garou vs Bang, Genos & Bomb
Garou battles against Death Gatling, Chain Toad, Shooter, Gun Gun, Glasses, Stinger and Wildhorn. He quickly defeats them despite being injured. He manages to block all the bullets that Death Gatling fired, while prevent a child from getting hit. Genos arrives to save Death Gatling. He dominates Garou, but he manages to escape. Before they can reengage, Bang strike Garou with a devastating kick. Bang is a superior fighter than Garou, who’s even more injured having fought Genos. Bang and Bomb team up on Garou. However, he’s rescued by the Phoenix Man.
25. Gorgon vs Ushiwakamaru and Leonidas
Tiamat the Greek beast Gorgon attacks Ritsuka and Mash. The Goddess of Demonic Beast uses her Mystic Eyes of Petrification, Ushiwakamaru saves them. Tiamat enraged attacks the Northern Wall directly. Leonidas prepares for battle. Tiamat attacks with her snakes but Ushiwakamaru cuts them into pieces. Tiamat then shoots lasers at her, which she dodges while she jumps from roof top to roof top. Ushiwakamaru manages to reach Tiamat’s face, however, she is caught in Tiamat’s mouth. Ushiwakamaru then duplicates herself seven times. Her effort was valiant but she is defeated.
Leonidas takes on Tiamat next. Having a army behind him, they hurl arrows at her. It doesn’t have much effect. He then has them turn into shields to protect him from her stone turning mystic eye. Shocked, Tiamat turns up her power. This time Leonidas begins to turn to stone. However, he still manages to pierce Tiamat with his spear. At the end he begins to break apart as he turns to stone.
24. Kurapika vs Uvogin
Uvogin and Kurapika battle at a small canyon outside Yorknew City. Kurapika is able to endure the massive hits that Uvogin is able to deliver. Kurapika captures Uvogin with his Chain Jail. Begging to be killed, Uvogin begs Kurapika to kill him. Kurapika uses his Judgement Chain to try an force him to tell the truth. However, Uvogin still doesn’t care, forcing Kurapika to crush his heart with Judgement Chain.
23. Luffy vs Lucci
Luffy attempt to run past Lucci in order to get to Robin. Lucci fights back to prevent him from doing so. Franky runs into Luffy and Lucci, it appears that Luffy is losing. Luffy tells Franky to take the key’s and go save Robin. He tries to distract Lucci, so that Franky can get past him. Luffy fails to hurt Lucci, who uses his “Shigan”. Luffy uses his “Gear Second” ability and knocks Lucci out of the way. This allows Franky to succeed in getting past Lucci. Lucci then explains to Luffy that “his gear second ability is wearing his body away and shortening his life span by pumping blood into his legs, causing his blood-flow to speed up”.
Luffy doesn’t care as he’ll do anything to save his comrades. Lucci smashes a wall and it crumbles and water drowns everyone in the room. Luffy runs out of his Gear 2, Lucci gains advantage over Luffy. Luffy decides to use his “Gear 3” and explains that “Gear 3 is different from Gear 2 because instead of pumping blood through his body faster, he is blowing air through his bones, inflating them”. His are grows tremendously and he uses his “Gomu Gomu no Gigantic Pistol” knocking through the wall and toward the sea.
22. Madara vs Shinobi Alliance
Madara assaults the Shinobi Alliance impressively using his skills to destroy them. Madara uses his “Fire Release: Great Fire Annihilation technique”, which is countered by several shinobi. Naruto attacks Madara from above with a Rasengan while Onoki raises the ground. Madara activates his “Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan” and shields himself with Susanoo. Onoki lighten’s Gaara sand so it moves faster, he removes Madara from his Susanoo. He pulls him toward Naruto’s “Rasen Shuriken”, he activates the Rinnegan and absorb the attack. Madara use a jutsu draws a meteorite toward the battlefield. Onoki flies up to stop it, lightening the meteor so he could stop it. Impressed Madara uses a second meteor crushing the first, and kills most of the Fourth Division.
21. Tanjiro and Nezuko vs Susamaru and Yahaba
Susamaru use her temari handballs to destroy the clinic. She decapitates Yushiro, but he doesn’t die. Tanjiro has a hard time dodging the temari. Yushiro places a talisman on the head of Tanjiro’s head. This allows him to see the arrows that direct the temari. Now able to see the direct they will go he is able to evade them. Susamaru grows four more arms, making the total six. Tanjiro sends Nezuko to find the demon with the arrow ability. When she finds and attacks him, the arrows fade.
Using his Water Breathing Third Form, Flowing Dance, Tanjiro cuts off the arms of Susamaru. However, she regenerates all of her arms. Tanjiro faces off against Yahaba, while, Nezuko battles Susamaru. Yahaba sends several arrows toward Tanjiro, sending him flying around. In order to prevent himself from crashing into walls, he uses his Water attacks to counter. Meanwhile, Susamaru tries to attack Nezuko with her temari. They engage in a tit for tat with the temari. Kicking it back and forth with Nezuko shocking Susamaru with her power. In his battle with Yahaba, Tanjiro outsmarts his opponent using his own ability against him, killing Yahaba.
Studio: Wit Studio | MAL: 8.61 | Genre: Historical
Vinland Saga is dark, violent series with a depressing protagonists that never smiles. If like me you have a love of Viking and Norse mythology this anime is for you. Wit Studio of Attack on Titan fame, continues to produce stunning animation. Vinland Saga balances the epic battles with realism well. Conflict manages to both feature superhuman feats with human consequences. The first scene in the first episode sets the tone, bloody, gorgeously rendered, outstandingly directed action. The quality remains consistent throughout. Vinland Saga also features complex characters and great world-building. It’s an anime series that simply cannot be missed.
The Promised Neverland shocked me. Not since Made in Abyss (also on this list) have my expectation been undermined for the better. Orphans housed in the Grace Field House live as a family under the watch of Isabella or “Mama.” Tested daily, the children are largely permitted to do as they will. Except they are not allowed to venture past the bridge. Being children they don’t question the world they inhabit much. However, the three eldest and smartest siblings begin to become suspicions of what’s happening. What they uncover is a conspiracy in which children are cattle for a mysterious alien race. You’ll need to suspend some disbelief as some of the plot can be convoluted, however, The Promised Neverland is never dull and will pull at your heartstrings.
Is it possible to like an anime based on a sport and not care for the sport itself? To be honest I have watched some ice skating, but I can’t call myself a fan. Regardless, Yuri on Ice made me love ice skating at least for a while. Yuri on Ice’s main protagonists is Yuri Katsuki. Unlike a typical sport anime protagonists, he’s . . . well a loser. Literally. At the beginning of the series Yuri is crushed as he suffers another humiliating defeat at the Grand Prix Finale. At the age of 23, Yuri is old (in skating anyway) and his window is closing. He return home to supportive family and friends. Outside of the public view, Yuri performs a routine from five time world champ, Victor Nikiforov. This performance goes viral, inspiring the actual Victor to come to Japan to become Yuri’s coach.
Izuku Midoriya subverts the expectation of a shonen hero. He’s born without any powers (in My Hero Academia they’re called quirks). Where characters like Monkey D. Luffy or Goku lack intellect but possess great power, Midoriya is the opposite. Sure he gains great power from the greatest hero All Might, but he struggles to control and master it. Izuku is highly intelligent, often stopping in the heat of battle to analyze the situation. Unlike most shonen anime, Midoriya is routinely outclassed by classmates, Todoroki and Bakugo. The series even switches from the heroes to the villains. Often the villains are already fully grown, in age and power. However, in My Hero Academia they must learn to be effective villains. Like the young heroes they develop new powers and simultaneously an affection for each other. This coupled with amazing action and humor, makes MHA on of the best series of the last decade.
If Izuku Midoriya is the start of a new type of shonen hero, Tanjiro continues the trend. Driven by the sole purpose of returning his sister back to a human, Tanjiro embarks on a journey that results in him joining the Demon Slayer Corps. Tanjiro Kamado is smart and courageous hero, but his kindness is what makes him stand out. He will give his life to stop the demons, but when he defeats them he is compassionate as he helps them into the next life. However, his relationship with is sister, Nezuko, is probably the heart of the series so far. She can be forgotten sleep in her box for hours, but she manages to display human traits despite being a demon. Characters like Zenitsu and Inosuke add humor to the series, although they’re an acquired tasted. Finally, the only true evil in the series isn’t the lower level demons, but Muzan Kibutsuji. There’s no nuance to him. He a monster that takes advantage of the weak and expects them to give in to his will. Demon Slayer is a top tier series with amazing characters and action to match.
In shonen anime and manga, power systems are established in order to explain the mechanisms for abilities used in combat. These powers systems can make or break a series. It’s important for these series to be have well balanced power systems. The best made power systems will have unique abilities, that are difficult to master or at least take effort. They should feature a variety of techniques, that range in complexity. Some systems will become “broken,” allowing only a few characters to excel in the series. Dragon Ball Z is a great example of a series that ended up broken. Once a series that focused on martial arts, Dragon Ball Z eventually became a series that focused largely on three saiyans, Goku, Vegeta and Gohan.
While Goku and Vegeta continued to get stronger, Gohan fell behind. Due to the nature of saiyan cells (S Cells), Goku and Vegeta continue to get stronger at rapid rates. This eventual means that they’re the only two that will matter in battle. None of this is to say that the series stopped being enjoyable, just that the power system became broken at some point. That said many of the best power systems often incorporate a “broken” ability that allows the main character to surpass his or her enemies.
10. Demon Slayer – Breath Styles
The main form of combat in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba are the breath styles. In conjunction with Nichirin blades, they’re able to battle on par with Demons. Derived from the “Breath of the Sun” the Breath styles are taught by the Demon Slaying Corps. By making use of particular and concentrated breathing patterns, the lung capacity and oxygen in the blood increases. This is all in service of increasing the physical abilities. When focusing breaths, Demon Slayers are able to accomplish feats such as “clotting wounds,” and “slowing down the circulation of poison.” Overall there are 15 branches of breathing styles. Demon Slayer’s power system is simple but has variety.
In Black Clover, Mana is the primary form of energy that exists in nature. It is the source of all magic spells. Mana is used to activate all spells. Almost every human can use mana to some extent. Mages in the Black Clover universe have “affinities” for mana “attributes.” These attributes can be one of four great attributes: fire, water, wind, and earth. Or they can be one of several derivative elements like lightning or ice. In addition to this, mages can develop “latent abilities” connected to their element. Wind users have the latent ability “mana sensory.”
Elements like water and fire are common, with elements like light and space being rare. Mages are limited to their element, but they can augment their element into other forms. However, if a mage is a hybrid of two races they may have “dual affinity.” While rare it’s possible for a mage to use science to “artificially enhance themselves” given them more than one element. The more mana a mage possess the stronger they are.
Grimories are magical items that enhance the users ability to use magic. They are the written record of all the spells that a user learns. As the owner gets stronger the book becomes inscribed with newer spells. Connected to their owners, Grimoires cannot be used by other mages and disappear when their owners die. However, Grimoires of Despair are the exception.
A Stand is a visual manifestation of life energy, they’re generally represented as a figure that hovers around the “Stand user.” A stand can represent the ” the manifestation of an individual’s innate fighting spirit and embodies, to an extent, the individual’s psyche.” Stands follow a “loose” set of rules, they’re an embodiment of the user psyche, therefore, they are all unique. This “uniqueness” results in a vast difference in abilities, power and usefulness of Stands. Some Stands can even be detrimental to their users. Any damage sustained by a Stand is reflected on the user and vice-versa. However, automatic Stands and bound Stands are the exception. If Stands are destroyed their user dies with them.
Stands obey every command that is demanded of them within there limits. However, some Stands cannot be controlled by their user. This can result in the Stand killing it’s own user. One rule that governs Stands and their users is that they can only have one. Learning and mastering a Stands ability can be difficult. Stand users are usually ignorant of the ability of their Stand at first. Once they discover it, then they have to learn the various uses for the Stands abilities. To use a Stand, a user has to summon it. Then the user needs to command it, if they hope to use their powers. However, automatic Stands act by themselves.
Based on appearance Stands are classified into 5 different categories, Natural Humanoid, Artificial Humanoid, Natural Non-Humanoid, Artificial Non-Humanoid and Phenomenon. Furthermore, Stands all have supernatural properties, in addition to unique powers. Stands are invulnerable to harm by anything other than another Stand or damage to their user. A Stand’s powers vary wildly, ranging from using a sword, fire or even stopping time. An important limitation on Stands are “firing range.” This range is largely the distance that a Stand is still effective. On top of all that, Stands have six parameters that they can be judged.
The main sources of combat ability in FullMetal Alchemist is Alchemy. Based on the ancient metaphysical mystical art that allows the user to “manipulating and altering matter by using natural energy.” This is called Transmutation, which required three aspects to succeed.
Comprehension – Understanding the inherent structure and properties of the atomic or molecular makeup of a particular material to be transmuted, including the flow and balance of potential and kinetic energy within.
Deconstruction – Using energy to break down the physical structure of the identified material into a more malleable state so as to be easily reshaped into a new form.
Reconstruction – Continuing the flow of energy so as to reform the material into a new shape.
In order to use alchemy a practitioner would need to have complete understanding of chemistry and ancient alchemical theory. Generally, you need to have high intellect. The Alchemists are said to transmute using various substance. Some use the Four Classical Elements (Water, Earth, Fire and Air) and other use the Three Essential Principles (Salt, Sulfur, and Mercury). Regardless, the most important tenet of alchemy is the concept of Equivalent Exchange. Separated into two laws:
The Law of Conservation of Mass, which states that energy and matter can neither be created from nothing nor destroyed to the point of elemental nonexistence. In other words, to create an object weighing one kilogram, at least one kilogram of material is necessary and destroying an object weighing one kilogram would reduce it to a set of parts, the sum of which would weigh one kilogram.
The Law of Natural Providence, which states that an object or material made of a particular substance or element can only be transmuted into another object with the same basic makeup and properties of that initial material. In other words, an object or material made mostly of water can only be transmuted into another object with the attributes of water.
Alchemy includes more than simply an understanding of transmutation and adhering to the laws of Equivalent Exchange. Alchemists need to use a transmutation circle. These circles can be drawn anywhere and by any medium. transmutation circles are made up of two parts, the circle and a “alchemical rune.” Alchemy gets even more complicated, as it focuses on human soul binding, Homunculus (artificial humans) and resurrection.
The Bleach series features numerous different forms of fighting. However, the series primarily focused on the use of Zanpakuto or Soul Cutter Sword. The main weapon used by the Shinigami, Arrancar and Visored. The lowest ranked Zanpakuto is called Asauchi and they lack names. However, the Zanpakuto of a Shinigami Captain do have names. Each weapon are uniquely generated by the users soul. The soul of a Shinigami will determine the shape and ability of the sword. Zanpakuto’s are sentient beings and it’s name is that of the living spirit that powers the sword. Once the Shinigami learns the name of it’s Zanpakuto, they are able to communicate with each other and get stronger.
Zanpakuto are born with their Shinigami and will die with them. The one exception to the uniqueness of a Zanpakuto is the Ise Clan’s, Shinken Hakkyoken. A Zanpakuto can choose to withhold it’s true name from it’s wielder if they deem them unworthy. In order to communicate with their Zanpakuto a Shinigami must use an advance form of training called Jinzen. Based on the ability of the Shinigami to communicate with their Zanpakuto’s spirit, a Zanpakuto will develop two forms, Shikai and Bankai.
Shikai – is the second (or first upgraded) form available to a Zanpakutō. To activate it, the Shinigami needs to learn the name of their Zanpakutō. This is not as easy as simply picking a name, for the living spirit of the Zanpakutō already has its own name. The Shinigami must be able to communicate and harmonize with their Zanpakutō effectively, which requires being able to speak to the spirit within its world.
Bankai – is the second and final upgraded form of a Zanpakutō. To achieve Bankai, one must be able to materialize and subjugate their Zanpakutō spirit. Materialization means the opposite of getting dragged into the Zanpakutō’s inner world: the wielder needs to summon the Zanpakutō’s spirit into the physical world. It usually takes 10 years or more to achieve, plus the experience needed to master it. Despite the Zanpakutō spirit being subjugated for their Shinigami to learn Bankai, the Zanpakutō also becomes stronger and learns Bankai at precisely the moment their Shinigami learns it. Even though Bankai is the final stage of a Zanpakutō, it does not mean the Shinigami’s growth ends there. A Bankai, especially one recently obtained, can evolve even further as its Shinigami gets stronger. Ichigo and Urahara managed to achieve Bankai at accelerated rates.
A broken Shikai will regenerate, a broken Bankai will never return to its original state. However, a Zanpakuto can be reforged. Zanpakuto are generally grouped into three categories, Melee, Kido and Elemental. Despite the fact that Zanpakuto is the main form of combat in Bleach, there are three other forms of combat. Hoho is a more defensive style of fighting that focuses on fast movements and footwork. Kido (Demon Arts) is a form of combat the produces spells. They often require an incantation to activate. Finally, there is Hakudo (Hand to Hand Combat). Using their body, users attack with their feet and hands. Making use of their physical strength and martial arts skills.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba’s phenomenal first season ends with the introduction of a new movie. More on that later. Muzan Kibutsuji calls the remaining lower six moons. They’re summoned and trapped in a warped space that’s controlled by a female demon with a biwa. Muzan appears in a new female body, having changed his appearance and aura. This ability is obviously why the Demon Corps have had a difficult time finding him. Demon Slayer has made it clear that Muzan is the most evil relative to other demons. During this meeting his displays why. Muzan asks them “why are they so useless.” Granted he has a point, but if giving demon his blood makes them stronger isn’t he the real reason they’re weak. Apparently, the lower six moon are significantly weaker than the upper moon.
Muzan states that it’s been a century since anyone has graduated into the upper ranks. It’s the upper ranks that kill the Hashiras. It’s in this moment we learn just how unforgiving he can be. When one demon thinks to himself, “that’s easy for you to say,” he shows that he can read their minds. When Lower Four tells him that she doesn’t flee from Hashira when they arrive, he kills her for disagreeing with him. Lower Three realizes that they’re in a hopeless position. If they agree with Muzan or disagree with Muzan, they died. Smartly, but fruitlessly, he flees. Kibutsuji captures and decapitates him. Lower Two begs for more blood, Kibutsuji kills him for ordering him around. When asking Lower One for their last words, they state that they “considers it an honor to die by Kibutsuji’s hands and thanks him for killing him last as he got to witness the agony of the other five.”
This is the answer that Muzan wanted. He rewards him with more of his blood, offering more if Lower One can kill Tanjiro. This episode shows what Muzan values in his demon subordinates, complete subordination. They’re means to an end. He creates them from humans, gives them powers and expects obedience in return. Their strength is his, their thoughts are his and so are their lives. Muzan is short tempered, self absorbed, cruel and lacks empathy. This makes him the perfect villain. I anticipate that he will inspire one of his demons to betray him at some point, if he doesn’t eat them all. Meanwhile, the rest of the episode focuses on the trio. Tanjiro, Inosuke and Zenitsu have all completed their training and are given their next mission. They’re sent to join the flame Hashira, as he investigates the disappearances on the “infinity train.”
After the credits we are given a surprise announcement. The next arc will be a movie. I’m not sure why they choose to make it a movie (I’m hoping that it’s because it’s quicker) but I’m excited. Demon Slayer has been a spectacular series. Combining amazing animation with brilliant action sequences. The characters, both good and bad ones are given deep stories making them complex. Tanjiro is a new spin on the typical Shonen hero and it’s refreshing. Demon Slayer is a remarkable series. I hate to see the season end but can’t wait for the series to return.
Tanjiro continues his quest to master 24 hour concentration. Accomplishing this wasn’t ever in doubt, especially considering Tanjiro’s work ethic. He of course takes thing to a bit of an extreme. He asks the trio, Naho, Kiyo and Sumi to beat him with carpet beaters if he fails to maintain his breathing while sleeping. Meanwhile, while Tanjiro is working so hard, Zenitsu and Inosuke still refuse to attend training. They begin to feel guilty for their laziness. Zenitsu and Inosuke are manipulated by Shinobu into finally training. As Zenitsu, Tanjiro and Inosuke fuss while training, we see Kanao’s tragic childhood. She was rescued from basically child slavery by Shinobu and Kanae Kocho. Kanao is still mute, but uses a coin to flip and determine her decisions.
The return of Mr. Haganezuka and his associate Kanamori was the main source of comedy in this episode. Haganezuka is unsurprisingly pissed that Tanjiro “snapped” his sword. Meanwhile, Kanamori presents Inosuke with two perfect indigo gray swords. Anyone watching this far knew what Inosuke would do to those perfect swords. He takes a large rock and chips at them, creating jagged edge swords like his old ones. Both Mr. Haganezuka and Kanamori leave angry, with Tanjiro being apologetic. Tanjiro finally recovers completely and manages to catch Kanao during tag. I’ve already predicted that this season will end on some kind of cliffhanger. At the end, we see a new demon killing people on a train. It’s grotesque, having at least two mouths and three eyes. It’s unlikely that they will wrap up this mission in one episode so I’m betting that it gets resolved in the following season.
Finally closer to recovering, Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke put through “rehabilitation training.” Aoi creates the plan for them. Zenitsu doesn’t start right away. He’s been given the impression from the exhausted look on the faces of Tanjiro and Inosuke that the training is daunting. He is (as expected) petrified by attending the training. However, when the training is explained to him, stretching by girls, then a reflex game and finally a game of tag, Zenitsu is overjoyed by the chance to touch and be touched by pretty girls. After initially finding Zenitsu to be annoying and over the top, I’ve become accustomed to his personality. Zenitsu remains the primary source of comedy in this series, I appreciate that about him.
This episode isn’t all fun and games however. While, Inosuke and Zenitsu abandon training after they fail to capture Kanao, Tanjiro focuses on mastering his breathing. He’s informed that all the Hashira’s and Kanao can use the “Total Concentration Breathing” all day long. Tanjiro begins to increase his training hoping to achieve the feat. He must become able to use his breath to explode special gourds of increasing size, if he’s going to reach the next level. Finally, Tanjiro and Shinobu have a conversation on the roof. She reveals that she’s always angry, after Tanjiro asks why the scent he receives from her is always angry.
He sister was killed by a demon. Like Tanjiro she had sympathy for demon. Shinobu tried to emulate he sisters smile, but she finds it exhausting to do so. Shinobu decides that she will leave Tanjiro with the mission her sister started, forging relationships with demons. Unfortunately, the new character development seems to suggests that Shinobu will die soon. It think she will find the demon that killed her sister and finally let go of that anger to kill it. This coupled with the fact that Kanao has not so subtly been position as her successor, training under Shinobu and already achieving feats that the other Hashira’s can do. However, I don’t think this will happen this season.
Kyojuro Rengoku on the other hand will likely die this season. In the beginning of the episode, Shinobu asks him where he’s going. He’s likely going to encounter a member of the Upper Ranks. Since Giyu so easily defeat Rui a member of the Lower Ranks, I think we can assume that the higher ranks are significantly stronger. My prediction is that Demon Slayer will leave us with a understanding that Hashira’s aren’t enough and no one is safe. Regardless, Tanjiro, Inosuke and Zenitsu are going to have to get stronger.
Tanjiro begins using his breathing technique to free himself. Giyu stops Obanai from interfering. Nezuko remembers her childhood. She begins to control her instincts, she looks away from Sanemi. Surprising to Sanemi, The Master takes it as evidence that she can be trusted. The Master then tells Tanjiro and Nezuko that they must go out in the world and defeat demons. Tanjiro states that he will “defeat Kibutsuji.” The Master kindly points that Tanjiro is nowhere near as powerful as he needs to be. He tells Tanjiro that he should focus on the Twelve Moon. Tanjiro and Nezuko are taken to Kocho mansion, Butterfly Manor.
They’re escorted into the infirmary. We see Zenitsu whining (as usual) about the pour tasting medicine. He needs the medication to regrow his shortened limbs due to being deformed by the venom. Zenitsu and Tanjiro happily greet each other. Inosuke lays silently in the bed besides Zenitsu. His voice has been damaged by the attack Father inflicted on him. Hoarse, he’s depressed by his lack of strength. Clearly this is going to be an opportunity for Tanjiro, Zenitsu, Inosuke and maybe Nezuko to gt some training. Meanwhile, the Hashira have their meeting. Demons are more active now and they need to increase their recruitment number.
Natagumo states that the quality of the non-Hashira’s members is terrible. However, it’s difficult for the Corps to recruit because humanity is largely ignorant of demons. Only those that have lost love ones to demons and are descendants of former demon slayers. The Corps have a good grasp on their problems. However, the ignorance of humanity can be solved by educating them. If the Corps taught them how to protect themselves from demon (wisteria) it would be harder for demons to kill them and get stronger. Right now the Corps are hidden from the public.
You could imagine that the Corps could become a military force, though that has other problems. Another thing that seems to cause them problems is the informal nature of how they choose demon slayers. Tanjiro was trained by a former Hashira, but his survival wasn’t really certain. The Corps seem unwilling to “hand hold,” at least not until after the final selection. Tanjiro is left to his own devices after he survives, given orders to fight but not how to fight. Basically, the leave them to fend for themselves which isn’t working at all. If they had a mentor continue to train with rookie demon slayers they would be better prepared than they tend to be.
This episode introduces us to the dynamic and colorful Hashira. There are nine Hashira in all and they answer to Ubuyashiki Kagaya. We already meet Giyu Tomioka, the Water Hashira and Shinobu Kocho, the Insect Hashira. The new Hashira’s are Kyojuro Rengoku the Flame Hashira, Tengen Uzui the Sound Hashira who’s obsessed with flamboyance, Love Hashira Mitsuri Kanroji one of the two female Hashira’s with an unnecessary cleavage window, the constantly crying gentle giant, Stone Hashira, Gyomei Himejima.
Muichiro Tokito the Mist Hashira, he’s rather detached or indifferent. The Snake Hashira, Obanai Iguro the serious one with two colored eyes. Finally there’s Sanemi Shinazugawa, the Wind Hashira. He’s an asshole and I predict I might like him at some point. He’s covered in scars that appear to be self inflicted. He’s the most willing to kill Nezuko and Tanjiro. We finally get to see Ubuyashiki Kagaya the blind master. Generally, blind characters are exceptionally strong, I wonder if he is. Regardless, he’s very mild mannered and kind.
He asks the Hashira’s to accept Nezuko and Tanjiro. Surprisingly, due to the reverence they have for him, several of the Hashira’s continue to disagree. Even after reading the letter from Sakonji Urokodaki (in which we find out that Tanjiro, Giyu and Sakonji will commit suicide if Nezuko attacks a human) Sanemi still doesn’t care. He cuts himself, using his blood to try to get Nezuko to show her true self. He stabs her a few more times and opens the box. Nezuko steps out with an angered look on her face.
We finally get the final moments from Rui. Demon Slayer has established that only Muzan Kibutsuji is the true evil. While the demons he creates do monstrous things and must be stopped they were fundamentally human in the first place. Tanjiro is the demon slayer that understands this most, as his sister Nezuko, Tamayo and Yushiro are evidence that demon aren’t evil at their core. Rui’s background is like all the demons from before, tragic. Born in a frail body he could barely walk. Kibutsuji turned him into a demon, giving him a strong body. His father attempted to kill him. Rui killed him and his mother. He realizes that both his parents intended to commit suicide after they murdered him. Unfortunately, Rui is too late to notice that the bond he thought he never had with his parents, was severed by him.
Kibutsuji told him that it was his parent fault that they were killed for not accepting him. It’s an excuse that Rui never really believed but accepted it anyway. He missed his parents so much that his was never going to be satisfied by the fake family. In the present, Rui’s decapitated body falls just short of Nezuko and Tanjiro. Sensing the scent of grief from Rui, Tanjiro reaches out to Rui. Rui accepts that he will go to hell, never seeing his parents again. However, the seem to meet him in the afterlife. They promise to stay together, whether it’s in heaven or hell. Giyu steps on the remains of Rui, telling Tanjiro that he shouldn’t have sympathy for demons. He then realizes that he has encountered Tanjiro and Nezuko before. He does so just in time to stop Shinobu from killing Nezuko. Prepared to defend Nezuko and Tanjiro, he tells Tanjiro to run.
Shinobu is understandably confused by Giyu’s behavior. As Tanjiro is running he’s knocked to the ground by Tsuyuri, the girl from the Final Selection. Tanjiro tells Nezuko to flee, but is knocked out by Tsuyuri, who then pursues Nezuko. Meanwhile, Giyu has captured Shinobu in a head lock. Before things go too far, Kasugai crows arrive and inform everyone that they’re to take Tanjiro and Nezuko into custody. Inosuke, Zenitsu are to be brought to the Butterfly Mansion for further treatment. Finally, when Tanjiro awakens he’s treated to the sight of the Hashiras. I always thought that Tanjiro and Nezuko would come up against the rules of the corps and general prejudice against demons. I highly doubt she will be harmed, but I wonder if Tanjiro will be forced to leave the demon corps all together.