We are back with the second episode of Demon Slayer: Swordsmith Village Arc. After the spectacle we got last week, this was a much more tame episode and brought me back a bit to season 1, when Tanjiro was training all by himself.
Happily though, I’m not all by myself. I have Crow with me! Did you guys enjoy that segue? I worked hard on it!
So before we get to the review, Crow, how has your week been? Any opening thoughts before we dive in?
Busy week! I keep saying “it’s better than being bored,” but I’m beginning to have my doubts! In terms of opening thoughts, I think you’re right. It felt more like early episodes, especially given how little respect Muichirou showed him! Tanjiro just helped take down an Upper Moon, after all!
If we distill it down to the core, this episode was really just a setup to introduce us more broadly to the characters of Muichirou and Kotetsu, and give us a nice variation on the sword and the stone legend. I did like the way they twisted that. So there isn’t really all that much to say but there were still a few good moments.
Right off the bat, we were shown the mysterious red-headed figure from the front and it was immediately obvious that they weren’t human but also not a demon. Personally, I still preferred my explanation that Tajirou was either haunted or losing his mind. I think that would have made a really great subplot and added another layer of supernatural to the series, but I guess a 300-year-old puppet is not bad either.
That would have been a lot of fun to watch!
What was more intriguing though is that if we are to believe everything we were told, this puppet was modeled on a swordsman who lived 300 years ago. Why would Tanjirou see him with his own father? Did that swordsman live for such a long time?
What do you think Crow? And what did you think of the puppet reveal in general?
The fact it was a puppet took me by surprise. I was thinking a demon or a figment of imagination. I like the way it worked out. The impression I got was that the swordsman was a mechanical representation of the man Tanjiro saw in his dreams.
Giving it six arms amped up the cool factor.
With only a few brief scenes, we got to know Muichirou’s character pretty clearly. They were really efficient in defining the character!
He is one of those archetypes that come up ever so often. I don’t know if there’s a name for them but you know the type. They are extremely talented but come off as rude yet it’s not really on purpose. It’s almost like they don’t notice it.
Personally, I’m fairly neutral on this character type but I like his design so I guess overall I’m on the slightly positive side. Also, Demon Slayer has a tradition of introducing Hashira in the worst possible light so I figure he’s going to become more engaging at some point.
Any impression of the mist hashira, Crow?
At least he didn’t assault Aoi like Tengen did! Though he did elbow Tanjiro in the gut. I see him as a lead software developer from the mid 1990s – talented, rational, and completely oblivious to emotional nuance. Tanjiro even said he sensed no malice from Muichirou. But, like I mentioned earlier, Muichirou completely glossed over Tanjiro’s role in defeating that demon! I’m not sure what to read into that.
We also got to know Kotetsu who is the genki kid sidekick to Tanjiro’s more mature outlook. He was mostly there as a foil and to allow Tanjiro to look like a hero once more.
I have to say, I really like plain nice good guys in general but I feel like Tanjiro’s getting a little too one-note for my tastes. The speech he gave this week sounded to me like a slight variation of a speech he’s already given half a dozen times and I would like to get a bit more nuance or variety out of him.
I have a feeling you might have a different view on this one, Crow.
I think we’re in sync on this one. I wanted something different from Tanjiro this week. I did like how he tried to get all self-righteous with Muichirou but couldn’t. At one point, he even said (4:20), “You’re not wrong. I admit that what you’re saying is mostly true, and it’s probably not wrong!”
But overall, I’d like to see a little more development. Or maybe a little more of Dark Nezuko. But unfortunately, she’s still trapped i the box.
The latter half of the episode was dedicated to a training montage. It was fun to watch and genuinely funny in a few ways. One of the issues with a show like Demon Slayer, one that is both visually striking and very action heavy, is that it’s going to be very difficult for the animators to keep one-upping themselves. As such, this particular training sequence was fine, great even,
But sort of paled in comparison with all the amazing fighting sequences we’ve seen in Demon Slayer so far. And that makes sense. They are going to want to keep those big impressive visuals for key moments. It just makes the less vital action scenes, like the ones this week, feel a little shallow if you know what I mean.
I’m not sure if this is just me being spoiled though. I can see a perspective where the contrast between really big-budget fighting sequences and more subdued action scenes is what keeps the visuals interesting for a person.
Where do you land, Crow?
I think Demon Slayer is subject to the law of diminishing returns. They simply can’t keep improving the animation! I mean, what’s beyond cinematic? So throttling back this week made sense. It also felt kind of comfortable, you know? You mentioned earlier that the focus on Tanjiro felt like an earlier season. To me, this montage had the same kind of feel.
The last scene of the episode revealed that the training puppet was hiding a sword within its core all along. In 300 years no one had found it. And it didn’t look rusty or anything. Of course both I and Tajiro were making a lot of assumptions here. For all we actually know, someone from the village put that sword there last week…
But if we take it at face value again, and we probably should, Demon Slayer has always been a pretty straightforward show, then this is being set up as some sort of legendary sword and it was probably “fate”™ that brought it to Tanjiro!
He does have that special property that allows him to use different techniques after all, maybe a special sword is what he needs to tap into his full potential. That and near-lethal training!
I assume they used special machine-grade oil to protect the blade all these years. Either that, or they kept the robot in a dry garage. I have to admit, though, that I’m really curious to see what the sword’s all about.
One last thing before we leave, we got to see the ED for the first time this week and I thought it was extra cute. I really liked it. How about you Crow?
I really enjoyed the ED – and the soundtrack in general. The show’s a visual treat!
4 thoughts on “Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 2 Review”
He has his replacement sword, leaves to go home, end of arc. Right?
Irina, I don’t think it was ever confirmed that the person Tanjiro saw in his dream was his father. Yoriichi existing over 300 years ago suggests that it was a much older ancestor of Tanjiro’s.
I thought there would be some grand mystery regarding the relation between that swordsman and Tanjiro, but this second episode highly suggests that Yoriichi passed on his Sun Breathing style to the Kamado family as the Hinokami Kagura dance considering he talked about how he could pass on his name without an heir. So Tanjiro is using the original breathing style that all breathing styles are derivative of, and that will be key to defeating Muzan.