I just realized, just now, that there are only two episodes of Demon Slayer left. That seems impossible. It feels like it basically just started. This is crazy. Judging from the Demon Slayer cosplay and merch I was seeing at the latest convention, fan reaction is pretty good to this one. Well, Montreal fan reaction, which is naturally what everyone goes by! I’m thinking there’s a decent chance for a second season and if so, I will watch it. Preferably with Crow.
That sounds like a capital idea! And you’re right. It seems like we just saw Nezuko stand over Tanjiro’s fallen body to protect him from Giyuu… And now here we are at episode 22, and truth be told, I’m more angry with some of these characters than I ever was with Muzan Kibutsuji! But, as usual, I’m getting ahead of myself! I’m Crow, and I’ll be in bold this week. And there will be spoilers!
So this episode picks up right where we left off last week. A few seconds before in fact. Tanjiro’s been brought back against his will to Demon Slayer headquarters to stand trial for the high crime of defending his little sister. Who is a terrifying demon, to be fair. We get our first good look at the Hashira’s and they seem to be quite the eccentric bunch. More than a few are happy to forgo formalities and execute Tanjiro on the spot.
At first glance, I was rather fond of Mitsuri. Fangirls are not a very common archetype for high powered shonen characters. Although I can also see her being big trouble. She didn’t get to where she is by accident and she’s suspiciously nice… I actually have more thoughts on the Hashidas coming up but tell me, was Shinobu still your favourite Hashida at that point or did last week’s Nezuko attempted murder coool your fervour?
I get what you’re saying about Mitsuri. Plus, I liked her because she didn’t immediately call for Tanjiro and Nezuko to be beheaded!
Think about how low the bar is if that’s the measure!
If you had asked me about Shinobu before I watched this episode, I would have had many unkind things to say about her. After thinking about how the Tanjiro/Nezuko situation looked from her perspective, though, I can forgive her initial attack on Nezuko in the forest. Also, she’s the one who insisted on hearing Tanjiro’s story before the Hashiras passed judgement. So, I’ve put her on probation!
In many ways this episode used Tanjiro’s “trial” to introduce the Hashiras. It wasn’t so much a trial as the Hashida’s arguing over a heavily injured and bound Tanjiro in a courtyard until the Master arrived. Then arguing some more. but you know what I mean. In any case, the first part showed us all the Hashidas and their respective areas of power. There’s ten and most are elemental, but you can also be an insect, snake and love Hashira. I’m very intrigued by that last one. Can’t wait to see it in action.
I realize that we’ve only really seen Giyuu, Tanjiro and Zenitsu’s combat skills. Looking forward to the rest.
Anywho, most of the Hashiras are all over the top tough boy types, Shinobu and Mitsuri being the only ladies. They really reminded me of classic fighting shonen shows more than anything we’ve seen from the series so far. Aside from Mitsuri, who remains my fave (with Giyuu I suppose, I put him in the main cast category), I took a liking to Muichiro. He wasn’t calling for Tanjiro’s execution one of the few and seems to be the cloudcuckoolander of the bunch. I usually like those characters and I’m defensive of them since most fans usually do not like them at all. Besides, I think Mist would probably be a very visually interesting power to have. Any first impressions on your end?
I’ll second your endorsement of Muichiro. I thought his attitude was perfect for a Mist Hashira, even though I have no idea what a Mist Hashira is! His demeanor just seemed to fit. Plus, he didn’t seem eager to kill Tanjiro and Nezuko. Remember my low bar comment earlier? It still applies!
It might be cliche, but I liked how Mitsuri thought it was beautiful that Nezuko’s brother was trying to protect her. Of all of the reactions, hers was probably closest to the truth.
While everything else is going on, I kept thinking where’s Giyuu? He’s a Hashira. Did he run away with Nezuko? Just to have the camera show us that he was basically standing one foot to the left. He’s in trouble too, it seems, but it hasn’t affected his usual impassive mood much. For some reason, the fact that he was right there all along was really funny to me. I was also just glad to see him.
I felt relieved. Like, with him there, there’s at least a little hope. Not much, because I doubt even he could stand alone against the rest of the Hashira. But some. It’s low bar day in my review world!
Finally, at the mid episode mark, we got the introduction of who will surely be our main antagonist or potential frenemy for season 2 (cough). Sanemi, the heavily scarred wind Hashira. This guy is just too obvious. He visually looks like a stereotypical bad guy, he stabs poor Nezuko through her box in broad daylight so she can’t even escape. He is violent and mean to Tanjiro. Not that he’s technically wrong from his perspective. He’s probably seen countless people get killed by demons and is past giving chance. And he did not attack Tanjiro. In many ways, Inosuke did worse. But he’s just presented in such an Evil way.
What did you think Crow?
I think I’m glad you can’t see my notes at this point in the show. I was ready to climb through my screen, confront Sanemi, and potentially make him slip in the pool of my blood (when he was done with me) to give Tanjiro a chance to get away with Nezuko.
It’s not a good plan, but it’s the best I could come up with.
I was seriously angry with that guy. Tanjiro gets major points in my book for using what had to be the last of his strength to charge at Sanemi, use Giyuu’s distraction to leap straight into the air, then slam his forehead into Sanemi. Even a Hashira couldn’t stand against the all-powerful Tanjiro Forehead!
Before things got too beheady, everyone gets interrupted by the Master. We had seen glimpses of him in past episodes, and I somehow got the impression that he’s a demon. Well, I know how I got the impression. We saw just a little bit of his scar and it looked like a deformity a demon would have.
Turns out the Master is a handsome and soft-spoken man who must have been in a horrible accident as half his face is completely scarred. It looks like it’s been burned maybe? It’s also left him blind. Yet, despite his gentle tone, he seems to command a huge amount of respect. And true respect at that.
It looked like either flame or acid burns. I thought it was touching how the two little girls (was one of them Kanata Ubuyashiki from the selection match — the one Tanjiro protected from the hot-head?) had to guide him to the edge of the porch because of his blindness. Though just as we got a sense that Mitsuri might be more formidable than her manner suggests, I have a feeling that the Master would be wildly dangerous to fight.
The Master reveals that he is aware of Tanjiro and Nezuko’s situation and has given his blessing. I couldn’t help but think that he may have wanted to share that information with his lieutenants just a bit sooner. Have the crows spread the word or something… Don’t get me wrong, he seems cool and all, but he is bad at communication!
Take it from me — the Crows would have been happy to spread that news!
Apparently, his approval isn’t enough to sway the Hashiras though. And this is what I mean by true respect. They aren’t blindly (uhm…) or mindlessly following orders. They don’t worship him. They disagree and argue their points. They are willing to go against his wishes if they believe it is the wisest course. But even in disagreements, they show him tremendous respect and deference. There must be a reason for that…. What do you think Crow?
As a group, I’m in a harsh mood toward them because of how they treated Tanjiro and, especially, Nezuko. So I’d say they know he could kick their butts in battle! But if I put aside my protective instincts, I’d say that he fought gallantly on their behalf some time in the past — maybe even earning the wounds he has today. Their attitude toward him feels like he did something major to earn it.
But I’m still quite cross with them.
In order to make his point, the Master reads a letter from Urokodaki vouching for Nezuko and swearing that if she should ever attack a human he would kill himself along with Tanjirou and Giyuu. I won’t lie, I cried a bit at the show of faith. Giyuu didn’t seem the least bit surprised by this, so he must have in fact given his consent and staked his own life on Nezuko.
You and me both! And not just kill himself. He committed that he, Tanjiro, and Giyuu would commit seppuku! That moment was absolutely beautiful. That’s what trust and faith is all about. Talk about contrast to Sanemi!
However, this still doesn’t convince our manly wind man Sanemi, who is desperate to show the master that demons cannot be trusted. Once again he tries to provoke Nezuko, first by wounding her through the box, then by letting his own blood leak in to tempt her, and finally by throwing her into the shadows so that she could come out. It was a surprisingly intense scene. I was on the edge of my seat. Seeing a very angry Nezuko finally emerge had me biting my nails to the knuckle. Seeing the credits roll right at that moment, had me screaming obscenities at my TV. Demon Slayer if amazing/horrible with the cliffhangers!
My cat’s virgin ears will never be the same… Oh, who am I kidding? She’s already bored with my harsh language at times like this. You’re absolutely right — that scene was intense. Did you see how the Serpent Hashira Iguro Obanai slammed his elbow into Tanjiro’s back in this scene? These Hashiras didn’t impress me at all. Attacking a bound, wounded, fellow demon slayer? That was disgusting. They act more like demons than many of the demons did!
At the same time, the Demon Slayer produced Urokodaki and Giyuu. I’m beginning to trust the Master, but time will tell. So I guess I’ll give them a little time. But far from being impressed, they made me wonder if I was backing the wrong side all this time.
In fact, it reminded me of one of a comment from David Boone (Moonhawk81) after our review of the first episode. He said, “Please forgive my crass opening, but: SCREW THE DEMON HUNTER!!! Family is family, whatever malady they might have. Do what you need to do to protect your sister, your brother, your family. Any goodie-two-shoes can hope for Heaven; be better than that, be loving and loyal.” After meeting the Hashiras, with just a couple of exceptions, I’m beginning to think he was right!
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
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 12: The Boar Bears Its Fangs, Zenitsu Sleeps
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 13: Something More Important Than Life
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 14: The House with the Wisteria Family Crest
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 15: Mount Natagumo
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 16: Letting Someone Else Go First
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 17: You Must Master a Single Thing
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 18: In which Tanjiro Dispenses Good Advice
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 20: Playing House
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 21: Challenge Accepted and Be Careful With That Thing