Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Review Episode 21

Are We All Over Rui Yet?

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 21

We have a pacing issue here. After the last wo episodes were just nicely done, with the exception of Rui’s flashback sequence, this episode starts with nearly ten minutes of Rui dying and flash back. The character is already dead. We’ve already had flash backs. While this does give us a bit of a reminder about Muzan it isn’t enough to justify the time given to it and the whole sequence isn’t emotional enough given we’ve already ceased to be invested in the character who is slowly disintegrating. This flashback would have worked better about two weeks ago when we might have still cared.

However, while half the episode feels like down time, the rest of the episode moves along nicely with Tomioka Giyuu recognising Tanjiro and then defending Tanjiro and Nezuko from Kocho’s attack. It is a tense moment because we’ve always kind of wondered about the logistics of a demon slayer travelling with a demon and Kocho is pretty adamant that she’s going to kill Nezuko and that Giyuu is breaking the rules by getting in her way.

There’s also confirmation of something someone told me about Nezuko actually being able to change size, which makes her fitting in the backpack make more sense, given Nezuko shrinks to avoid being killed by another demon slayer. Why it has taken 21 episodes for this fact to actually be clearly presented in the anime I do not know. This might have made a lot of things make more sense if it had been made obvious earlier. Given how many times they remind us Tanjiro has a great sense of smell, surely they could have slipped in a ‘by the way, did Nezuko shrink?’ comment just to actually clarify.

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Meanwhile, the demon slayer corps have really taken charge and all three of the characters we’ve been following have been taken into their charge. Zenitsu is wrapped like a mummy as part of ‘treatment’. Inosuke has realised he might not be that strong afterall. And Tanjiro… well I guess we’ll find out next week how things are going to work out for him and Nezuko.

So a mixed bag of an episode. It wraps up the events on the mountain nicely and transitions us to the next thing with a wonderful moment with the sun rising on the characters. Hard to believe everything happened in just one night but we’ve been jumping between characters so it kind of makes sense. Looking forward to what is coming, and again, if binge watching, this episode probably wouldn’t be a problem as there wouldn’t be a week gap between Rui’s head being removed and his flashback.


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Karandi James



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Images from: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Dir. H Sotozaki. Ufotable. 2019.

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6 thoughts on “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Review Episode 21

  1. I agree about that flash back being better placed last week instead of the demon family flash back.

    With Nezuko they did briefly show her shrink when she first got into Tanjiro’s basket way back and then she grew when she climbed out of the box the first time Zenitsu saw her.

    1. I don’t recall the basket one, but when she got out of the box for Zenitsu I kind of thought she grew but then I was just wondering if perspective had shifted. It wasn’t clear until someone told me Nezuko could change sizes that that was what had happened. This time with her shrinking it definitely was clear exactly what happened.

      1. Yes, it was far more obvious this time for sure and like you said it’s odd considering they like to constantly remind us of other details.

        1. I know I don’t like being spoon fed information but maybe we could have something in-between this and Tanjiro’s sense of smell in terms of make it clear but don’t hit us over the head a thousand times.

  2. The shrinking Nezuko thing took me out of it for a bit (after getting over how adorable she was running around), but then I remembered that this was actually an ability they showcased in the pilot. Nezuko essentially swols up to defend Tanjiro, and can be seen shrinking back down to normal size when it’s over. Now, initially I took that as her muscles can bulk up, but if you look at it closely, her entire bone structure had actually changed to make her physically larger, not just stronger. If she can grow, why not shrink as well? I’m sure it has it’s limits for energy consumption (and might not be entirely practical given the fact she’s only used it to get bigger for that one fight). It’s weak but passable enough for me to give them a pass on this one.

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