The Battle is Won/The Battle Begins
Demon Slayer Episode 13
It is interesting when you are both right and wrong about where something is going. I wondered last week if Nezuko was going to get into the house and if she did whether one of the other demon slayers would attack her. Well, she didn’t get into the house but the two demon slayers that aren’t Tanjiro did get out of the house and one of them most certainly did try to attack her.
And this is where we see Kimetsu no Yaiba being a tiny bit smart about its characterisation. In three episodes we’ve had Zenitsu being the snivelly and annoying character we all hated. Then he was a snivelling coward who unleashed an awesome attack. It didn’t make us like him but his credit as a demon slayer went up a bit and we at least appreciated that he wasn’t entirely dead weight. And now we have this episode where he doesn’t fight or draw his sword but he manages to emotionally get the audience on his side. He defends Nezuko.
More than just defending the box because Tanjiro said it was important, Zenitsu defends Tanjiro’s important box knowing that Tanjiro is carrying around a demon. He knows it, he admits it, he doesn’t know why but plans to ask Tanjiro, but in the meantime, he isn’t getting out of the way and he is protecting the box.
None of this makes his screaming hysteria any easier to take but in three episodes they’ve made a character with almost zero redeeming characteristics one that for a moment at least is admirable and that may just be enough to balance out his less desirable character traits going forward. Well, I guess it depends how much crying he does as to how much good will this act buys him.
Plus, if you wanted to see Tanjiro genuinely angry, here’s your chance.
But all of this is the end of the episode and I skipped right over the fairly impressive fight sequence of the first half. It is amazing how I was really enjoying the first half of the episode and then the second half just blew it straight out of my mind.
We get the tragic demon back-story which does help us buy into Tanjiro’s compassionate stance on demons in general. Tanjiro’s injuries continue to play a role and even Tanjiro admits just spirit won’t be enough to win the fight (look at that a shounen hero who understands spirit and guts won’t overcome a lack of skill and power). Tanjiro’s final farewell to the demon where he admits the demon’s power was amazing but he couldn’t forgive him for killing people was perfect. Acknowledging the demon for who he was, both the positive and the dreadful.
All and all, there’s little to complain about in this episode and I’m really looking forward to next week because once again we ended on a cliff-hanger and I want to see just what Tanjiro does when Nezuko is seriously being threatened.
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Images from: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Dir. H Sotozaki. Ufotable. 2019.