Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 8 begins with Muzan Kibutsuji’s adopted parents are glowing over their brilliant and “kind” son. Muzan has assumed the form of a child. Suddenly, Akaza appears to debrief his master. Akaza informs Muzan that he failed to find the Blue Spider Lily but he did kill a Hashira. Sensing Akaza might feel he accomplished something, Muzan berates him. Calling him a “disappointment.” In the Butterfly Mansion, Zenitsu, Tanjiro, and Inosuke struggle to come to terms with Rengoku’s death. Still injured, Tanjiro visits Rengoku’s family. There, he learns of the Sun Technique and Rengoku’s fathers, Shinjuro’s, hatred of the users. After returning from a mission, Tanjiro encounters the Sound Hashira, former shinobi, Tengen Uzui.
The Oppressive Muzan
Muzan Kibutsuji is hands down on of the best anime villains. He just a massive narcissist and sees his demons as nothing but tools. In the last season, we saw how little Muzan cared for the lower six. I thought he held the upper moons to hire standards. No demon matters to Muzan. When Akaza tells him he killed Rengoku, Muzan becomes angry. He takes control over Akaza’s body causing him to bleed and decay. It was an impressive display of his power but also his manipulation. Muzan wants overwhelming control over his subordinates. They can’t think without him knowing what they think and their bodies are no longer theirs. He can’t be satisfied. If you do what he wants (kill a Hashira) he wants more. The twelve moons are always going to be failures in his eyes.
No matter how grueling or frustrating it may be. I am going to become a powerful Hashira like Kyojuro. – Tanjiro
Sun Breathing, the first breathing technique
After the bout with lower Rui, which Tanjiro displayed the Hinokami Kagura (Dance of the Fire God) for the first time. At this point in the series, Tanjiro only showed a affinity for the Water Breathing Style. In our general understanding of the basic elements, fire and water are opposites, so we were shocked when Tanjiro released a fire breathing style. However, Hinokami Kagura isn’t from the Flame Breathing Style. Shinjuro tells Tanjiro about the Sun Breathing Style without being asked. The bitter former Flame Hashira appeared jealous of the Sun Styles superiority. Shinjuro claims that the Sun Style was the “original Breathing Style,” the “most powerful,” and all other techniques are “derived” from it. Tanjiro was always going to need more than just hard work to become a stronger Demon Slayer, the Sun Breathing Style is it.
Training, solo missions, and growth
According to Tanjiro he already knows the Style. He just needs to continue to practice. While, Tanjiro may have access to the most powerful Style he’s not going to automatically excel at it. Demon Slayer makes it clear that Tanjiro and the others MUST work at it. Demon Slayer spends more time showing characters training the most anime I can think of. In this episode, Tanjiro remarks how much he hates his own “weakness.” He continues to train with Inosuke and Zenitsu. Tanjiro notes that Zenitsu is becoming braver and Inosuke is becoming more “aggressive.” Each of them are growing, increasing their strength, and learning to fight alone. Even Nezuko seems to have progressed, being more active in her and Tanjiro’s brief encounter with a demon in the mountain shrine. I hope she develops even more this season. So far Nezuko has been relegated to a bit character.
The Sound Hashira
Each of the Hashira introduced in the last season have a distinct look and personality. The Sound Hashira, Tengen Uzui had a habit of saying “flamboyant” repeatedly. He values flash and is clearly self absorbed. Tengen is introduced in this episode as being a bit of an ass. He abuses his power as a Hashira, to kidnap Aoi and Naho. The moment tries to blend humor with Tengen’s inappropriate behavior but I just instantly disliked Tengen. The coolest moment of this episode was when Zenitsu and Inosuke stealth appear on opposite sides of Tengen. Our trio volunteer to go with Tengen instead of Aoi and Naho. Tengen tells them they’re heading to “The number-one spot in Japan that’s dripping with lust and desire. A super-flashy place. The Entertainment District, where demons reside”.