Hello All! I hope you are having a great Friday. I’m sure I will be because: Friday!
But before we start I would like to apologize to Crow. I am giving him this draft really at the last minute and it’s fine if it goes up a bit later than usual. It’s no excuse but I would like to say that this week has been particularly busy and I also bought a car yesterday. Like full-on bought. And it takes a huge amount of sitting around singing stuff and having people explain to you different types of potential warranty extensions while you try to figure out what the most polite way to tell them that they already have enough of your money, is. Long story medium, I got home way later than I was hoping for and was way too exhausted to write up a post. So here I am now! Sorry, Crow!
Another thing I would like to talk about before we start is the season. I found out a few days ago that the last episode which is going to be the next one will actually be a 70-minute extravaganza and I’m excited (although I also have a few qualms). Part of the reason I’m excited is that this episode was pretty fun.
Before we finally dive in, tell us about your week Crow! What have you been up to? What are your plans for the weekend? What about next week?
Congratulations on a new car! Getting a car is the fun part. The sitting and signing and sitting and signing? That’s way less fun. And no worries about the time – it’s been one of those weeks for me, too! I’m not sure I could have gotten to it any sooner than now!
My plans for the weekend are to try to emerge on Monday in one piece. I think of it as a stretch goal!
The news about next week being the final surprised me, too. Fingers cross it maintains the momentum this episode set!
OK, so you know how I was saying that 1- Kanroji is giving major Magical Girl vibes; 2 – I hope we get her background story and 3 – I’m ready for something not quite as miserable. Well, this episode delivered on all of those in spades. She was super duper magical girl this week! 😊
No but really. I think I’m a little too obsessed with this point but there is something that feels significant in a cultural way to having a magical girl character that embraces earnestly a lot of the classic tropes and trappings of the genre in an important role in one of the biggest shonen of modern times. It feels like it’s a significant shift for the market and general perception of anime and its demographics. Don’t worry, I’m not going to drone on about this the whole time. I’m just going to talk about it here, as the opener!
We saw a lot of Kanroji’s choreography this week. We even got a frame-by-frame breakdown at some point. And they are really making her look like she’s performing a gymnastics routine rather than a fighting choreography. I’m not complaining, it’s fun to watch. You don’t see that much in fighting shonen but you know where you see it? Huh, huh?
As for her characterization as a sweet and earnest girl who just desperately longs for love and acceptance. What can I say, I’m a sucker for the nice kids and a show like Demon Slayer can use a character full of sunshine!
Any thoughts on Kanroji as a character and how she is presented in the show, Crow?
It’s strange. I feel awkward about having an opinion. I’ve fought for years against tropes that reduce a female character to “wanting a man.” Part of me wants to rail against that trope. But, if I’m honest, she owns it so honestly that I not only buy it. I like it. It’s impossible for me to root against her.
As far as her fighting choreography goes – I endorse your take 100%. She’s elegant, graceful, beautiful – and ridiculously powerful. I really enjoy watching her in action!
So last week, I mentioned that I was hoping for Kanroji to have a surprisingly untraumatic backstory (although I didn’t know how likely that was). But to my delight, that seems to be the direction the show has decided to go in!
Ok, so we did get a backstory. There’s a somewhat underdeveloped but still honest attempt at giving Kanroji’s baffling strength and stamina some type of logical explanation. Demon Slayer is going with unusually (impossibly) high muscle density. But you know what, I don’t need Demon Slayer to be clear on the science of it all at this point.
What I liked is how they showed her strength in tiny little moments throughout her life. Lifting heavy objects as a baby to help her mom. Playing with her dad as a kid. Out eating sumo wrestlers as a young girl and then beating them at arm wrestling. It was all there but what you actually got from those scenes is that Kanroji was a very happy child who just wanted to help those around her and enjoy her life. What’s more, her family was entirely with her. Loving, supportive and happy as well. She is a little naïve and very optimistic because she had parents that created a world in which she could afford to be that way. And that’s awesome.
Before I get too far ahead because I have a few things to say about the fiancée stuff, what did you think of her childhood, Crow? Did you also fall in love with her family like I did? The Kanroji’s are my favourites I think!
It was a huge relief to see her mom and dad a) both support her and b) end up not dead at the end of the backstory!
We’ve seen a lot of deaths in these background stories. I get it. It’s Demon Slayer, so demons have to figure prominently. But after a while, I get demoned-out. It was even hard for me to work up sadness when Yuuichirou died. I’d seen it all before.
Partly because it wasn’t traumatic, and partly her experience felt familiar, I really sympathized with Kanroji wrestling with her differences. It hit home and endeared her to me in a way that mass slaughter could not.
So little Mitsuri grew up loved and fairly carefree but she also grew up in a place and time where there are certain expectations placed on young ladies. Namely that it is their duty to grow up, get married and become a faithful and dutiful life. And of course, have a bunch of kids of her own. That’s the way it goes. And although Mitsuri’s parents never pressured her in that sense at all, she still felt that general pressure to conform to what she is supposed to do and be… This is going to be a familiar feeling for some of you. This self-imposed masquerade we put ourselves through.
So the first guy Kanroji was supposed to marry seemed like a bit of a jerk. We only saw him for a few seconds where he told her only livestock would marry her and that her hair colour is awful and he wouldn’t want his children to inherit it. First of all, she was way out of his league. Kanroji is a good-looking young lady and this guy well… she could do better and he shouldn’t be talking of livestock. Second, do you know how many people completely destroy their hair trying to get that pastel pink and green look? Your kids would have been psyched!
Anyway, they don’t explicitly show it to us but it’s implied that Mitsuri has had to deal with that type of prejudice a lot. Her physical strength being seen as unlady-like and a bad fit for her looks. Her hair making her stand out and really insisting on the fact that she’s different. Her upbringing made her louder and brasher than most young women around her. And because she was still young, for a second there she actually believed that all those things might make her unfit to be a wife. And in those times (sometimes even now) being unfit to be a wife sort of implies you failed as a woman. When it’s your only available role and place in society, then not being able to accomplish it leaves you pretty much out of options.
So Mitsuri did the only thing she could think off and tried to get rid of or hide all those things that make her special and extraordinary. And to her parents’ credit, although they were really saddened by it, they let her find her own way. Maybe because part of them know that in the end, she would have to be true to herself.
Did you see how sad they looked when they peeked in on her? Man, it’s a relief to see such good parents. And still alive, too!
I think I like that the show decided not to show is exactly what happened. One second Kanroji is wondering if she’s going to marry her new fiancée and spend her entire life pretending to be this weak, demure proper lady, the next she’s entering the demon corp. But we can pretty easily piece it together. She couldn’t make peace with the idea of faking it her entire life and she had mentioned more than once that she wanted to find a way to help people so with her skills the demon corp was a natural fit. And she rose through the ranks fast.
This is what I wanted. I wanted one of the Hashira’s to be there because they wanted to be. Not for revenge or atonement, but because it’s a career path they chose for themselves. And I’m glad it’s Kanroji who gets to be that person.
What do you make of it, Crow?
It really worked for me. She’s earned her position based on talent and hard work. She’s where she is because she chose to be. Specifically, she chose to embrace who she is. I’m a sucker for stuff like that. I wouldn’t mind more of it in my life!
One last little thing I thought was adorable, Iguro likes her! Like, likes her!!! Giant strength, bubbly personality, pink hair and all! He just likes her. And I squeeled. Because I like to have adorable human moments sprinkled into my demon apocalypses! I hope they end up together!
My only concern? I hope it’s not a death flag for him. Because I seriously think they make a cute couple.
Oh yeah, there was a fight as well. It went ok. Ups and downs. They didn’t managed to kill the demon yet but I’m sure they will next week. And I can’t wait to watch it with you Crow!
Looking forward to it as well!
- Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 1 Review
- Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 2 Review
- Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 3 Review
- Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 4 Review
- Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 5 Review
- Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 6 Review
- Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 7 Review