Welcome back, one and all, to our Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba discussion post! I’m glad I get to share this show with you and grateful to Crow for taking the time to chat with me every week. I really do look forward to my Saturdays thanks to this. (ok…so there’s a small chance I would have looked forward to my Saturdays anyways but who can really tell?) Naturally Crow will be bold this week, as it just suits him! Before we get into the episode proper, how was your week Crow? Were you looking forward to this as much as I was?
Absolutely I was! So many unanswered questions last week! And then the preview mentioned Zenitsu sleeping? Forget the circumstances — how’d he calm down enough to sleep?
For those of you who haven’t watched the episode, go watch it! It’s a feast for the eyes! We’re going to get into what happened so there will be “spoilers,” but this week’s Demon Slayer isn’t really the type of episode you can spoil. Nevertheless, if you want to go in completely blind, please watch the episode first!
We left off with all our heroes (almost) trapped in what seems to be a pandimensional house. That was after the demon slayers met two young children who had their brother snatched by a demon. Tanjiro and the girl were separated from her brother and Zenitsu, and were just about to face the demon controlling the house when they got interrupted by a boar head wearing warrior.
I have to say, the lackadaisical demon sounded fairly reasonable. All he wanted was for people to stop bursting into his house and causing a ruckus. I get that. Ok, there was the kidnapping… This is the first depressed demon we meet. They really range a lot in personality. Did you like him Crow?
It’s interesting you should mention “depressed,” because in my notes, I wondered why the demon was sad! A sad demon covered with tsuzumi was just so unexpected! I mean that in a good way, too. It made the whole situation more interesting. Why was he sad? What path had he taken to get here?
I’m going to interject here, after the short opening tag we got the OP and I don’t think I’ve ever taken the time to mention how much I enjoy the music here. And the singer has a really lovely voice. I don’t think the visuals are that interesting but it’s a good tune and I listen to it every week!
As much as I want to dive into the episode, I watch the OP, too. LiSA’s Gurenge is just beautiful, audibly and visually.
After the OP we got back to business and back to boar head. I don’t know his name (your favorite Anilist to the rescue! It’s Inosuke Hashibira — you do prefer Anilist, don’t you? I do, it has stats!!! Girls love stats!). It occurs to me that I assumed he was a demon slayer because he’s human and hunting demons but I don’t think that the show ever made that official.
Turns out he’s another over the top loud guy, but in a different way from Zenitsu. This is the “I’m going to destroy anything and anyone that stands in my way, and be damned the consequences” type. I wasn’t that crazy about him but I do like the design.
Did boar head dude stepping on the little girl tick you off as much as it did me? Tanjiro was indignant as he said, “Don’t stomp all over her!” You go, Tanjiro!
You know writing Big Personalities is a bit of a gamble. If you get the balance right, you have an almost guaranteed fan favourite who will be highly marketable and your series can pretty much exist on the back of that character. On the other hand, that balance is very difficult to achieve and if you don’t get it, your character will annoy your audience and risk sinking the popularity of your entire franchise. I feel like the demon slayers, aside from Tanjiro, are an assortment of Big Personalities that the author is just testing out to see what works. I hope they find that balance before it gets too exhausting to watch! Boar head reminds me of the kid in the trial that just wanted to get a sword.
Did you catch him mentioning that his “Beast Breathing” was self-taught? Is he a real Demon Slayer? He has the right kind of metal in his sword… Dang it, sorry! I’m getting ahead…
That’s ok, I get excited too! But I’m really not sure how I feel about this guy. The latest characters are kind of iffy.
And of course, just as I say that, we get back to Zenitsu and the boy. I said last week that I had hope for Zenitsu, I just felt there was more to his character than meets the eye. And Demon Slayer decided not to test my patience. Sure, he started out with the same old exaggerated panic attacks and cowardly routine, but as soon as a demon showed up, Zenitsu stepped up to the plate and actually protected the kid.
Don’t get me wrong, he did not magically turn into a hero. He was still the same snivelling, whining mess, but he stood in front of that demon to protect the kid even while he was shaking and sobbing. He even told the boy to run and save himself. I was fully prepared to see Zenitsu use the kid as a human shield, so this was a surprise. A great one! And the fact that he was so visibly terrified the entire time only made it better. It’s not really brave if you’re not scared!
Maybe I’m easy to please, but it’s all it took for the character to be redeemed in my eyes. I immediately started cheering Zenitsu on!
I was the same way. Like you said — he was terrified, but he not only tried to put himself between the boy and the demon, he even encouraged the boy to run and save himself. I have to wonder if I’d have enough courage to do that! Sure, he’s no Tanjiro, but who is?
And then he reached his limit. All that emotion was just too much for him and he passed out, leaving the poor child to try and save him. Like I said, Zenitsu is no hero and that is one of the best things about him.
He was even snoring! Man, he can nap waaay faster than I can!
Let’s slow things down a little here and talk about this demon. This isn’t the drum demon who’s the master of the house. It seems there are several demons in here and they so far they are not working together. I really liked the design of this guy (again). The double eyes were particularly successful in my opinion. Once more this show has crafted a demon that looks a little childish, almost cute in a strange way, yet honestly scary and unsettling. The saturated colour palette helps with that I think. In any case, the overall aesthetic is fantastically suited to the story. Ufotable is good with that!
They certainly are! And that demon’s tongue! That thing must have been 10 meters long and it sliced through a tough wooden barrel like it was nothing. Talk about capable of a tongue lashing!
Back to the action. Zenitsu is out, a fit of stress-induced narcolepsy it seems. The poor kid has his back against the wall and the demon is closing in when… We were all waiting for it, weren’t we? Zenitsu finally has his moment of reckoning. And what a moment it is! I knew he didn’t survive on pure luck! Sure, Zenitsu is no hero, but in his sleep, he’s a Big A** Hero! That scene was just so much fun. I could help but physically clap!
And it also works as a sort of metaphor for the show. It’s a somewhat cliché scene but with some nice twists. You see it coming from a mile away but when it does it’s so well executed that you thoroughly enjoy it. And there’s always just a little extra touch that you didn’t predict to keep you on your toes!
That moment was worth the price of admission. It wasn’t just a simple masterful attack. It was the equal of any strike we’ve seen! The sound, the animation, it call came together. Good stuff! And did you think that Zenitsu was almost the anti-Rock Lee? In the original Naruto, Rock Lee trained and trained and trained. He was a powerful fighter, but one time, he got knocked out. He had trained so much that his body continued to fight! Even when he was unconscious. It’s like he was the anti-Zenitsu or vice versa!
I was wondering if all demon slayers had elemental powers. It’s starting to look more that way, since Zenitsu has electricity (thunder) based powers and he seems to wield them very well, as long as he’s unconscious! If I hadn’t already been sold a few minutes before, this would have done the trick. I’m a Zenitsu fan now, I want to see more of him.
When all was said and done, it became apparent that Zenitsu doesn’t remember anything. He actually does think he’s a weakling incapable of protecting anyone because as far as he knows, that has always been the case. I like this twist, I’m not sure I’ve seen it before!
It borders on tragic! He probably doesn’t know how he survived the selection match. He knows he’s always getting into danger and thinks he has no way out. Poor guy! You know what? I take back “borders on tragic.” It is tragic!
In the meantime, Tanjiro and the girl have left both the demon and Boar head behind and discovered the kids’ brother. He’s alright folks! It seems the boy has special blood, so when he got dragged away it attracted more demons who all started to fight over who got to eat him. The drum demon got injured and lost one of his drums, which the brother managed to grab and use, immediately bringing him to another room, safe for the moment. Since then, he’s just been using the drum as soon as he sees anything and that’s kept him safe.
This is smart! Really smart! I like that. A victim that desperately needs help but isn’t just a prop or completely helpless. It just makes the character more real, you know?
It does. The little boy’s not a plot device to show how awesome Tanjiro is. That detail made him into the little scared boy trying desperately to stay alive. That’s a ton more dramatic!
Tanjiro also thinks this was a great plan because he decides to face the demon alone and tells the girl and her brother to keep doing what they’ve been doing. Banging the drum at the slightest hint of danger. He promises to find them again when the battle is over.
Two things I quite liked happened here. First, the show addressed Tanjiro’s injuries. I still think he is inhumanly resilient, but they do go out of their way to show us that he did get treatment and that he is still in serious pain. Enough to affect his abilities. And he has been in pain all along! We even saw that Zenitsu is the form of Tanjiro’s insecurities which was pretty funny.
The explanation is still a little lacking but at least the story does take it into account. Were you happy with this explanation Crow?
Yeah, and I’ll do the opening Kimino thing here: Yes, many of us men are really that much of an idiot. We’ll push through pain just to look tough. Who are we trying to impress? Everyone, of course! Especially ourselves. Even worse? I’m an oldest son. Yes, we oldest sons will often go through stupid pain simply because we don’t want to disappoint mom or dad. It’s why medical folks have to make billboards that say men shouldn’t be stupid and ignore pain — we should go to the hospital instead! Well, this billboard kinda sums it up. So, what Tanjiro did isn’t just realistic. I’ve done it myself (though not with broken leg).
The second thing I liked was the fight itself. This was just gorgeous. That constantly spinning room, with Tanjiro’s clothes, hair and entire body weight visibly adjusting to the shifting gravity. The animation was so smooth and consistent that it was mesmerising. I feel a little bad for anyone with motion sickness, as I assume the quick and constant movement must not have been pleasant. However, I thought it was beautifully done! I’m ok with watching fights that take 3 episodes to get through if they look this good!
I think this is what the word spectacular was invented for. It was such a unique battlefield! Last time I saw room spinning like that was in the movie Inception, and I think it was more effective here!
It might, in fact, take three episodes to get through this fight as episode 12 ended before Tanjiro got the chance to get to the demon. And I screamed at my tv!
The pep talk he needed to get himself to that last moment was fantastic! “My injuries are making me imagine the most awful things!” struck me as powerfully authentic. Like the detail of the little boy clutching the drum, Tanjiro’s inner dialogue elevated him from just another hero to a young man struggling to keep it together. Little touches like that are setting this show apart for me.
As much as I enjoyed this week’s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba, there was one little thing that kept gnawing in the back of my mind. Nezuko is still all alone out there. Is it still daylight out?
I could be glib and say that in the OP and ED, we see Nezuko in the same frame as Zenitsu and boar head dude, so she’s got to be okay, right? Right? Sigh. Yes, I’m worried about her. Not only is the sunlight a danger to her, but other demon slayers haven’t been as understanding of her situation as Tanjiro…
Reviews of the Other Episodes
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 01: Cruelty
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 02: Trainer Sakonji Urokodaki
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 03: Sabito and Makomo
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 04: Final Selection
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 05: My Own Steel
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 06: A Friend fo All Humans
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 07: Muzan Kibutsuji
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 08: The Smell of Enchanting Blood
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 09: Temari Demon and Arrow Demon
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 10: Together Forever
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 11: Tsuzumi Mansion
Of course, I took a lot of screencaps! And yes, I would love to share them with you!