Is everyone enjoying Demon Slayer: Swordsmith Village Arc? I might be jumping the gun a little, we’re just at episode 4 after all, and it’s still quite early. But for all of you who swear by the three-episode rule – what are you thinking right now? Yay or Nay?
I kind of like it even though it seems to be proving all my fears for the season. How about you Crow, any thoughts 4 episodes in?
Well, I’ll put it this way: at several points, I thought, “Wow. Irina’s fears are coming true.” I found myself doing something I haven’t done since takt op.Destiny: I’m actively adjusting my expectations and hopes. I won’t say I’m adjusting them downward. But I’ll say that I’m telling myself to enjoy the animation – because I think we’re going to get a lot of gorgeous battles!
Last week I wrote about two issues I was having with the season. First that it seemed to jump into the action really quickly without giving us a chance to catch our breath at all, and second that it was leaving into a might makes right/just hit everything hard enough and the problem will solve itself sort of storyline where I was hoping for something a little different from Demon Slayer at this point.
Well, let’s look at that first issue.
As far as we can tell from this episode, we are indeed due for another long-winded battle. The episode itself was entirely fighting without any break except for a few seconds-long flashback to Muichirou’s past. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was only a few seconds. So I can’t even really tell you the context, He was wounded and Oyakata-sama was taking care of him. Maybe this is when he became a Hashira. Maybe not…
Anyway, the rest was all guts and glory and battle. Except for not much glory cause we didn’t get the conclusion this week.
Crow, what do you make of another episode of just fighting?
We had a couple of glimpses at Muichirou’s past might be my favorite part of the episode. I want to know what happened to him to make him this way! Seeing how Kagaya Ubuyashiki had to comfort an apparently rescued, younger version of Muichirou looked interesting. I wanted to know more about that! Especially the hint about why he’s called the Mist Hashira.
That said, the fighting is really very well animated.
I will say, the animation and visuals remain stunning which makes looking at all these action scenes a lot more enjoyable than it would be otherwise but I just hope we get a bit more plot. Especially as I quite like the characters this season and I want to get to know them. I was really disappointed by how little we got on Uzui last season.
What about you Crow?
I think you hit the nail on the head: I want to know more about Muichirou. I want to know more about Mitsuri Kanroji. Like you said, we only learned a little about the Sound Hashira, and he seemed like a very interesting character, too!
And seriously – when are we going to learn more about Kagaya Ubuyashiki and his wife/caretaker Amane Ubuyashiki? Certainly, an info-dump wouldn’t be appropriate. But we’re getting further into the series. I’d like to know more about the people I’m rooting for!
As for the second point. I had floated the idea that maybe this demon was not going to be defeated in a straightforward way. To borrow video game vocabulary, I was hoping he might have some interesting mechanic and Tanjirou and friends would have to figure out how to defeat him without using their fancy swords.
Which would have been ironic considering they are at the sword village and all…
I did mention that this was a long shot and considering all I knew about the series, it would likely still be a physical fight. Well, I was extra right if that can even be a thing. The way to defeat the emotions demon is physical. In fact, it’s just to slash him like all the other demons but more.
What do you think of this turn of events Crow?
Keeping the demon’s weaknesses varied keeps them more interesting. I liked how Tanjirou, for example, had to figure out that extended subdivisions did produce a weaker demon. That was cool.
While varied mechanics helps a lot, what if – at the risk of belaboring the point – they combined varied mechanics and characterization? Wouldn’t that be cool?
But the fights really were visual treats. Seeing Nezuko rip the demon’s arm off and use his own weapon against him was very cool.
There was a scene in the middle of the episode where Tanjirou is fighting the Joy split of the demon by himself. He’s figured out that the thing can’t infinitely split but he still has to deal with the bird demon manifestation. And this thing is clawing at him like there’s no tomorrow. It gives a big speech about how sharp and powerful its talons are and indeed it does seem to be cutting through everything like butter, including Tanjirou.
We see Tanjirou get slashed multiple times with what looks like deep wounds in potentially fatal areas and yet, he just walks it off. I’m serious you guys, Tanjirou barely reacts at all. I have had more visibly painful reactions to paper cuts. In my defense, paper cuts really suck. They are the second worse thing to getting a small splitter stuck under your nail. But like Tanjiro’s thing also looked pretty bad.
Is he completely invulnerable now? I know the kid’s resilient and all. And he’s gone through a few near-death experiences which in cartoon logic makes you stronger instead of crippling your body for life like in the real world. But still, it seemed like a bit of plot armor was involved there.
And don’t tell me it’s because the demon was weakened at that point. We still saw blood gushing from every wound!
What are your thoughts on this Crow?
Can I answer that the animation is gorgeous?
It is really beautiful, isn’t it?
Seriously, even if that’s all the show offers, it’s still fun to watch. But it would be more fun with its varied mechanics if it added solid characterization and realistic battle damage? Wouldn’t that be cool, too?
The challenge I have with him taking so much damage without consequence is that I no longer know what’s dangerous and what’s not. That reduces my emotional investment.
Anyways, Muichrou is somewhere in the village trying to get back to Tanjirou. Tanjirou for his part is trying to get back to Genya and Nezuko who are having a hard time
So if I am gripping about Tanjirou being unreasonably resistant. Genya is on a whole other level. But at least, even the characters on the show commented on this so I’m not going crazy, he really should not have survived that. Once again, I understand that anyone who makes it into the Demon Corps, to begin with, is probably better at survival than the average person. I certainly would have been a goner 12 minutes into basic training. But Genya’s deal is suspicious. I think he might not be entirely what he appears if you know what I mean. Like maybe he’s not completely not dead… Also, does he have a breathing technique? He hasn’t used his sword at all really.
What do you make of Genya, Crow?
This might sound like I’m contradicting myself, but I like the mystery of his power. We have seen so much about Tanjirou, including his training, that I feel like we should have a handle on his capabilities. But Genya? We only know he got through training. We don’t know what happened after that. And it’s clear the story is treating him like an unknown. So that’s fun.
And I give points to anyone who brings a double-barreled shotgun to a sword fight!
We left off Tanjirou, Nezuko and Genya in a rather rough state with the three demon splits ready to finish them off and the entire village getting overrun by demons. However, just then, it’s Kanroji to the rescue.
That was pretty much the final scene of the episode so I can’t tell you anything more.
I am so curious to see her fighting style. What is love breathing going to look like? Is she going to seduce demons or something? Cause that sounds a little awkward.
What do you think it’s going to be Crow? And are you looking forward to the next episode? I know I am.
Awkward for sure! I’ve been wondering about her power since we first met her. I have all sorts of guesses about how her power will look, but they’re just guesses. So, I’ll be surprised when I see it!
Yes, I’m looking forward to it. I know I joked a lot about animation style in this review, but I’m serious when I say it’s top-notch stuff. It’s a blast to watch!
11 thoughts on “Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 4 Review”
I liked how the monster CGI wasn’t well integrated with the rest of the show. I dare say it made them stand out like fish out of water.
Okay, that was funny!
I thought that was on purpose… Uncanny and all
Irina and TCrow, I was wondering what was up with the shiny blue rock that Tanjiro picked up when he was about to pass on to heaven when he lost consciousness because he regained his ability to have super smell and see the opening thread. With the reveal of Genya’s power to seemingly not die, I suspect that certain characters in the story, including Tanjiro and Genya, have been blessed with divine powers. Maybe Zenitsu’s ability to be a more confident fighter while asleep is an example of such a power.
That was a little detail I didn’t think anything about until you mentioned it. I wonder…
Irina mentioned that Tanjirou seemed indestructible now — I wonder if that was intentional or something? Though I don’t recall the story talking much about divine powers. Unless I missed it. Which is possible.
I’m sure there was 0 talk from the story about divine powers, but I believe this season may have introduced the concept with how Tanjiro lost his super smell and ability to see the opening thread after a near-death experience and recovered those abilities after another near fatal experience.
I don’t think Tanjiro is indestructable now. I’m guessing that Ufotable is taking liberties with the volume of blood splatter.
If the stone didn’t give Tanjiro divine powers, it could also have contained a special essence of sorts. Those are the two things that come to mind regarding what the stone could actually have done, but I lean towards divine powers since Tanjiro was able to reaccess them when on the verge of death again.
I have no clue but that’s a really interesting question. I wonder if there’s some Japanese mythology being referred to here