If I was Crow, I would probably be able to give you guys an in-depth 6k word review on this episode and still be holding back. Sadly, I’m the one hosting this week and I barely have anything to say. As much as I have been praising the arc of Demon Slayer, I think its motion picture roots are catching up with it.
But first let’s find out how Crow is doing. Thank god you’re here my friend, I am going to need your help on this one BIG time! I hope you had a nice and relaxing week so far and are ready for all this heavy lifting!
That is probably the most polite way of saying that I’m wordy that I’ve ever read! Cool! They say time flies when you’re having fun. It also flies when your workload doubles! I’m beginning to think it just flies regardless… But my family and I remain healthy, so it was a good week. I hope you had a good week, too!
And I’m really interested to hear what you have to say because your insight about this episode’s roots is spot on!
After 6 episodes of this, I have to say that I was ready for something other than fighting. I looked it up. The Demon Slayer movie is rather long, Anilist has it at 1:57 minutes. However that’s exactly 5 episodes and I figure there is part of that runtime that’s credits and setup and so forth. So I’m thinking that maybe this arc just got stretched out a bit too much.
I’m a big fan of Dan Wells’ seven point story structure YouTube series. More than the previous episodes, it felt stretched. A fight scene like this one, which would have been a smaller fraction of the movie’s runtime, felt like it went on too long. Though, it did remind me of the old Naruto episodes where fights would span episodes!
Then again, it could also be the pacing. As I started this episode, I immediately wrote down that this arc would probably be better as a binge. The flow of the action just doesn’t lend itself that well to a weekly watching in my opinion.
Having seen the movie, I think you’re right. I liked how the first episode gave us more reasons to care about Rengoku. But it’s hard to fit arcs designed for 2 hours into 23 minute or so chunks.
As for the story, Crow, what did you think of Enmu finally being brought down. Do you think that despite it all, it still felt a bit too easy?
I feel like I’m being really harsh on this episode, but I have to be honest. I agree with you. I’m not sure why none of Enmu’s tentacles didn’t just flick Tanjirou and Inosuke off the train. Tanjirou was already injured. That would have been it for him!
Crow is much better at describing the plot than I am usually but I will try my hand at it. The first half of the episode is essentially the fallout of last week’s cliffhanger. Tanjirou got stabbed in the stomach by the engineer, having gone a little mad because of the situation, but still managed to kill Enmu with Inosuke’s help. However, since Enmu is the train, it also caused a train derailment. I’m just happy that everyone in Demon Slayer is so hardy. I was thinking that everyone was just going to die from the train crash but it seems that most people are ok! We haven’t seen those kids again. I wonder how Tanjirou’s sick friend is. And so at this point, poor Enmu is pretty much done for. Why am I sympathizing with the bad guy who is also a demon?
Maybe it’s because I really liked Enmu as a character. I find that he is one of the more engaging antagonists we’ve had. Well, at least he was before he turned into a train. So I would have liked to have him around longer.
His sing-song way of speaking was different. His appearance, bordering on normal in a suit with tails, was also distinctive. I thought he should have more tricks up his sleeves, especially with the infusion of blood from Muzan. At least it took Tanjirou and Insouke together to defeat him!
After the crash, we caught up with Tajirou or should I say Satarou… and Inosuke. The good news is that Tanjirou is still alive and seemingly kicking. We have seen him and many others in Demon Slayer make it back to full health after much worse damage. The bad news is that Inosuke now has to take care of all the people. I figured if the train crash didn’t kill them, Inosuke probably will! Am I right?
I do like the running gag of Inosuke not being able to get Tanjirou’s name right. It made me giggle and I think it cut the tension really well right off the bat. I also just kind of like Satarou as a name.
I liked how Tanjirou doesn’t even seem to care anymore! I also had to laugh at how hard Tanjirou argued with Inosuke not to kill the conductor. Insouke finally agreed, saying, “After I rescue him, I’m going to pluck out all of that guy’s hair!” Tanjirou’s weak “That’s really not necessary” also made me laugh.
In the opening act, Tajirou mentions that he can’t die because that would make the other guy a murderer. It’s a bit ridiculous when you consider that Tanjirou has to save a train full of people and Nezuko to protect. Like there are other reasons for him to live.
This said, it’s not like we haven’t seen Tajirou being selfless to a rather puzzling point. This is why. This sounded like a sentence you would really like, Crow. Am I way off base?
I admire Tanjirou’s dedication to others. So from that perspective, it’s a cool statement. But I’m beginning to wonder what kind of perception Tanjirou has of himself. Though a question like that might be a bit too deep for this series to tackle.
I guess I was a bit off base. I was trying to think what you would write about if you were hosting but I still need some practice at it.
After this, there was an actual small respite and Rengoku took the opportunity to coach Tanjirou a bit on breathing techniques. Man, breathing is magical in Demon Slayer! Wouldn’t it be great if we could fix all our ailments that way? Sure would save on health insurance.
I do know that mastering and regulating your breathing does have some pretty impressive effects in real life as well but if you get an ice pick in the stomach, please go to the doctor. Let’s make sure our readers take good care of themselves!
It’s at this point that the plot takes off again with the appearance of a brand new demo. A much stronger one. I was wondering why Enmu made this dying speech about class distinction in the demon race and I got my answer right away! Throughout this arc, they have been insisting on calling Enmu “lower one” so when the new guy gets introduced as higher three, we know we’re in trouble.
I noticed that the stronger the demon is, the more humanoid-looking. Like this Higher 3 guy. Slap some foundation on him, maybe some contact lenses or shades and he could just blend into a crowd. To be fair you could say that about Enmu as well but a lot of the peons were grotesquely deformed or half spiders or something. Heck, even Enmu was a train for most of this arc…
Crow, what did you think of this new demon? Do you like his introduction at this point in the narrative? Do you think they should have given us a filler episode before that or is this really a question of reusing the movie scenes and not creating any new animation?
Unless I missed it, Akaza came as a complete surprise. No foreshadowing at all (and I admit I may have missed it). So, yes, it bugged me. The story felt like it should have ended with Enmu’s death. I mean, in retrospect, I know why they did it. Which I think you’re going to talk about next. But in the context of this narrative, well…
I think we got a glimpse of his weird markings at some point but I’m not sure if it was in this arc or last season. In any case, I have to agree, he did seem to pop out of nowhere.
So Rengoku and this guy fight. Maybe Crow can go into more detail about it. Let’s just say, that if you had heard any spoilers about the movie, this fight is moot. Like we all know the outcome. And therefore you would watch it to admire the technical skill put into creating these visuals. And I am here for that. It was gorgeous, of course. And the colours were great and the movements sharp and impressive but I’ve been pretty much watching this exact thing for 6 episodes now and it just doesn’t hit the same. I need like half an hour of the gang just chatting around a dinner table and maybe a makeover montage to reset my brain and remind myself just how mesmerizing these scenes are. Know what I mean?
Yeah. Which is why I don’t have much to add. I think that if we take your idea about a filler episode and use this fight as the climax of that arc, it would work. As it is, it feels like demon ex machina, to misuse an old saying.
Next episode is apparently the finale of the Mugen arc. And yeah, this arc is probably done. I’m glad I watched it but I suspect I would have preferred it in movie format. I am really looking forward to what comes next though. Apparently, the second season proper will start on December 5 with a 1-hour episode. Hopefully, I’ll have more to say about it!
I can’t say if you would have liked the movie more (I gave up trying to forecast other peoples’ reactions to fiction!), but I know that overall, I preferred the movie format.