I Will Protect You
Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 19
I’m really not sure where to even start with episode 19 of Demon Slayer. I mean, it was absolutely amazing to watch even as it went through so many steps that other similar stories have done before. It kind of reminded me of the opening episodes where it felt like the show was simply refining the standards for the genre rather than trying to do anything new or different.
Just note I’m not avoiding any spoilers here.
However, I can’t really argue with the end result here. This episode was great to watch. From learning the big ‘father’ demon wasn’t one of the 12 whatevers to realising that the scary kid who has been watching Tanjiro and the others from the beginning was in fact the real villain of the mountain, to seeing Tanjiro fighting him, Nezuko’s attempted rescue, and then the double power up for Tanjiro and Nezuko at the end of the episode that may have finally won the fight… This episode just never let up.
The visuals remain an ongoing strength and the movement and colour in the final fight sequence was just gorgeous. There’s absolutely no way to capture it in stills and really it is the whole sequence that just works as a visual feast. Okay, the water dragon head showing up probably caught my interest because I love that kind of motif, but then when Tanjiro unlocked the flames and the whole scene was tinted crimson and orange, before Nezuko threw in her pink blood explosion, it was all just beautifully done.
However, while the visual spectacle certainly worked, what elevates this episode to more than just a passing entertainment is how well Tanjiro and Nezuko sell their character motivations. Admittedly, the big brother protecting little sister and little sister (who is a demon) looking out for big brother dynamic has also been done in countless stories, and yet Demon Slayer manages to make these two feel authentic and fresh and at the end of the day you genuinely want them to be able to help the other.
On the other hand, we also got another indication that maybe there’s something different about Tanjiro. They made a big deal about his sword going black, Kibutsuji seemed to recognise the earrings he was wearing, and now we find out that they were passed down from his father and he was supposed to pass those and a dance down to the next generation as well. Plus, Nezuko is just a bit different, even for a demon. It is all making me fairly curious as to what the story with their family is.
Basically there’s almost nothing to complain about this week. While Tanjiro didn’t end up rescued by the older demon slayers as I expected I found this to be a reasonably delightful outcome to watch.
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Images from: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Dir. H Sotozaki. Ufotable. 2019.