I’ve talked to a few people about this show since last week’s premiere. My takeaway is that reviews were generally good with a cautiously optimistic outlook for the rest of the season. Was that also your experience Crow?
That’s about where it struck me! A few negative reviews, sure, but most tended to be positive. Oh, I’m bold this week — just in case no one noticed!
The biggest complaint I’ve heard is that the story is generic. And you know what, yes it is…This second episode fit right in with the plot you’d expect. But hey, I like classic tales. There’s a reason they get told over and over again!
Episode 2 starts off much funnier and lighter in tone than episode 1 did. I think it may have been the unexpected clash of tom=nes but I found that little opening exchange with Tanjirou trying to buy a basket off a random villager much more amusing than I should have.
Turns out the basket was so that he could carry his sister around during the day and they could keep on the move. We had some adorable scenes with the photophobic (with very good reason) Neuko burying herself in a cave then shrinking to fit in the basket. It was almost jarringly cute.
Did you see her expression when she popped her head out of the hole in the case? A hole she’d dug by herself? She looked so pathetic! I know she’s a demon, but she’s a really sympathetic demon! -see it??? I made a gif of it!!!
Visually the show remains stunning with beautifully saturated and contrasting colors which pop even more with the judicial use of slightly thicker than average outlines. I found the music a touch much this week but not enough to be off putting. Those Zombie powers though sure turn out to be convenient….
Do you think it was a zombie power that helped her fit into the basket? Or just a little sister thing? I couldn’t tell… well he said it was like when she grew…
About a third into the episode we fell right back into horror when Tanjirou and Nezuko stumble upon a feeding demon. Once again the gore is extravagant but the camera doesn’t linger on the carnage, favouring instead a highly animated, bloody and fast paced fight scene. So far, I think action might be what Demon Slayer does best. That fight captivated me. Before I even realized it we were at the mid episode eye catch.
I quite enjoyed the opening as Nezuko stares at the bodies and her demon instincts well up. The early fight is intercut with angled shots of her, drool falling like tear drops. It’s quirky but also sad. A testament to the humanity ebbing out of her and her own realisation of it.
She didn’t feast, either, did she? So far, her humanity is winning!
And did you see her kick the other demon’s head clean off! That was my first “Holy crap!” moment. The second was when the head she’d kick off sprouted arms and kept trying to att Tanjiro. These demons are great as villains — clear motivation (they’re hungry) and powerful physiques!
It really was a great fight scene!
The story remains quite standard but the writing has improved, I think. The fight was in fact an exciting way to introduce Sakonji Urokodaki, a character that’s bound to become quite important. He also brings the entire notion of the “Demon Killing Corp”. Some type of vigilante(?) organization that protects the people from demons and counts Ginji as a member.
Did you see the other adorable little Nezuko moment? Tanjiro had watched in horror as the sunlight burned away the demon’s head (with two proto-arms — that’s still freaky!). When he turned around, Nezuko and Sakonji were gone. Tanjiro feared the worst, but he found her in the now-abandoned shrine, in the back corner, sitting in the basket with the sheet over her head. I just watched her kick a demon’s head off, and now I’m think she looks so tiny and scared! That’s some pretty good animation!
There are sweet or funny moments scattered throughout. And the expo is sofen, everything is shared with us through fairly natural sounding conversation rather than the exposition dump used to establish the setting last episode. Sure there were a few scenes of Sakonji lecturing Tanjirou and the audience but for the most part, information was doled out in small servings through their interactions and everyone made perfect sense.
I agree — it closed smoothly. I didn’t feel lectured to even once, and I’m pretty sensitive to that kind of thing!
Turns out that Ginji seeing some potential in Tanjirou asked Sakonji to make him his student and teach him to become a demon hunter. Sakonji for his part wants to make sure the boy has what it takes before investing too much in him. While Tanjirou is just trying to find a way to keep his sister safe while he searches for a way to turn her back, and the organization is his best bet so far.
You know, I always sneer at the trope of lethal and near impossible entrance tests. I mean what was the point of putting Tanjirou through that. He had to race down a deadly mountain full of traps. I mean, I guess it proves his endurance and dedication to the cause but if the boy wasn’t impossibly sturdy he would probably be dead and where would that leave them? It’s not like you can train to gain more stamina and agility, no need to wipe out all the scrawny kids before they even have a chance.
Training might help stamina, but agility’s hard to improve above better coordination (if I remember my high school athletics, which isn’t certain!). Still, if Tanjiro’s going to be Sakonji’s student, and if Sakonji also has fantastic sensory skills, then it makes sense to have an entrance exam of sorts. The traps weren’t enough to kill him (well, okay, most weren’t enough — some of those logs looked pretty lethal), and now both of them know he can do it. Heck, the test might have been as much for Tanjiro’s confidence as it was for Sakonji’s evaluation.
It did make for an absolutely beautiful scene though. Ufotable does mouvement well. The episode closes on Sakonji quietly accepting the siblings and making Tanjirou his student. Yup, formulaic action adventure stuff but…
But how often is a demon a part of the package? This brings all sorts of opportunity for themes on discrimination on one hand and extreme responsibility on the other!
In my opinion, the success of this narrative will depend entirely on the characters. And they’re not bad. So far, they haven’t had much of a chance to show their stuff as there was a lot of worldbuilding to do and this opening arc is leaning on the technical savvy of the studio. But from the OP we know there’s a menagerie of eccentric looking characters to come.
The tone has also lightened up quite a bit, with a few genuinely funny moments and a much more action that drama driven episode. Sakinji still brought up the uncomfortable fact that letting Nazuko live is putting everyone at risk and may not be viable in the long run but the conversation moved on pretty quickly from the subject. And looking at the ED this time it seems there are more lighthearted sweet moments to come. What do you think?
Remember in the opening when Tanjiro was yelling at the farmer to accept payment for a broken basket, some bamboo, and some straw? He was yelling so loudly and so intently that for a minute, I thought I was watching Black Clover! He it was not only funny, it offered an insight into Tanjiro’s character. So that was cool!
I also think the humor added to how enjoyable this episode was. Even the moment where Tanjiro urged Nezuko to get smaller so she could fit into the basket was diverting in an amusing way. Carrying around a demon is not only dangerous, it’s rife with little bizarre moments like, “Hey, can she shrink like she grew before?”
I don’t know if you stayed for the after credits tag but it was the cutest. These are the touches that tell me the show isn’t taking itself too seriously which is a very good thing.
Nezuko couldn’t talk through her gag, which was funny! Well, funny for me, but not so much for her.
Some random thoughts on this week’s episode. Nezuko still has her bamboo gag. Hilarious. But doesn’t she in fact need to eat at some point?
I wondered about that, too. Do demons have to eat humans? Or could they eat cattle? Or some other animal? Maybe vegetables? A vegan demon would certainly be a conversation starter!
Also I really want a pair of earrings like Tanjirus. Does anyone know where I can get some? I’ll be your friend!
But would you want to use them in battle? I kept expecting them to get torn off! Ow!
I keep saying this show is pretty, I should really show you: