Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Review Episode 15

Demon Slayer’s Stock is Plummeting

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 15

Yeah, this one is going down fast. I am starting to actually hate the dynamic between the main three boys and as we waste 8 minutes of the episode watching them chase each other around in a circle or go through petty squabbles before we get into the meat of the episode, facing the spider demon on the mountain, I spent most of the first half of this episode wondering if it was time to drop this from the watch list.

Nezuko’s big entrance ruined by this idiocy.

Now once they get onto the mountain, and leave Zenitsu sitting on the road feeling sorry for himself, and encounter another demon slayer and are fighting other demon slayers being controlled by puppets, it actually improves a great deal. Tanjiro is in his element, which is to say in over his head and frantically trying to catch up. That’s where his character is most fun.

The boar head guy, who I will learn the name of after he stops annoying me every time he opens his mouth, also gets less annoying once the fight begins but still acts idiotically as he stabs spiders with his sword despite already being told that was fairly pointless. About the only useful thing he does is locate the demon controlling the spiders and even then I’m not really buying Tanjiro’s argument that he couldn’t have found her sooner or later.

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However, turns out this one isn’t going to be a simple case of find and kill the demon given there’s more than one demon on this mountain. Certainly taking out the puppet master is a must but it doesn’t seem like it will end there. We also get a couple of older demon slayers getting sent to the mountain so maybe things will get kicked up a notched in the next episode.

Still, from episode 11 my enjoyment of Demon Slayer has been on a sharp decline. The introduction of new characters was rough and to be honest they’ve killed a lot of the enjoyment of the anime since their arrival. I was hoping they would settle down a bit and that I’d get drawn back into the show but the opposite seems to be happening. I’ll give it a little longer but right now this one is definitely not something I now have to see as soon as it comes out. I’m very happy to wait, watch some other stuff, and get back to this one.

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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Review Episode 14

The Battle of the Screamers Begins

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 14

I think I preferred it when Tanjiro was alone. Zenitsu and the boar headed guy (who’s name I’ve forgotten almost instantly) are really, insufferably, hard to take as they scream and antagonise their way through every scene this week. Admittedly, with the injuries all the characters were carrying, some down time was needed, but with the absence of a demonic threat to fight that just put their personalities on full display and wow are they annoying.

Maybe they’ll find some balance further down the line but for now my enjoyment of Demon Slayer is decreasing in direct proportion to the screen time those two characters are getting and as we had no scenes of Tanjiro alone or even quiet respites from the others, there was very little that was really enjoyable this week.

Admittedly, watching Tanjiro clobber the boar headed guy in the face with a head butt was pretty entertaining in its own way but that doesn’t make up for a whole episode.

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But, to be fair, they did put the boar guy’s fighting style on full display in his bout with Tanjiro and he’s got some great moves. It was a really interesting fight. Now if only he’d stop speaking.

The animation remains fantastic. I’ve gained more and more respect for Tanjiro as a character the series has gone on. Nezuko is still the cutest demon ever, though Latina over on Uchi no Musume may be giving her a run for her money this season.

I still think her box is a TARDIS given when standing she seems way too big to fit in there.

However, they are going to have to balance these characters out soon or I just don’t think I’ll be having all that much fun with Demon Slayer if it continues like this.

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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Review Episode 13

The Battle is Won/The Battle Begins

Tanjiro - Demon Slayer

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.

Zenitsu - I protected it.

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.

Tanjiro - Knock it off!

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.

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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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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Review Episode 10

Instant Protagonist Recovery

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 10 - Tanjiro
This is Demon Slayer’s version of victory.

Demon Slayer Episode 10

I just have to wonder how fast a broken leg and ribs can heal given Tanjiro goes from crawling on the ground unable to even grip his sword from exhaustion to walking down stairs and talking normally within the space of one demon dying. It really was the one thing that threw me right out of full immersion this episode but it left me with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth given the rest of the episode worked well enough at ending the fight.

Tanjiro was crawling on the ground just a minute ago and now, fine.

Again, we do have the extended flashback of the end of the last episode to start this episode. I’m just accepting that this anime is going to keep doing that and move on at this point. It is wasted screen time and will be worse when trying to binge watch given you will have literally just finished the last episode and be stuck rewatching, but whatever.

After that we swiftly move into the arrow demon having his last revenge against Tanjiro even as his body is disintegrating and it essentially becomes a battle of attrition. The question is whether or not Tanjiro can hold out and keep using his moves long enough or whether he will become exhausted and the demon’s attacks will smash him to pieces before the demon is gone.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba - Demon head

It is one of those overly long and flashy fight sequences you get in shounen where you already know the outcome but the animation looks interesting enough and they are showing off lots of the sword forms so we’ll just kind of go with it.

The second demon, engages in a ball fight with Nezuko which also seems fairly pointless but is again fun enough to watch, before Tamayo casts one of her spells. Now the spell itself is pretty tame but it does loosen the demon’s lips enough that she actually says Kibutsuji’s name, at which point she freaks out and Tamayo points out that it is going to activate a curse. The more we learn about Kibutsuji the nastier he seems.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba - Nezuko pats Yushiro

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This sequence does teach us a few things though. Firstly, the two demons weren’t part of the 12 whatevers, so the question becomes whether they were lying or whether they were deceived. We also learn that Kibutsuji has taken some fairly solid measures to protect himself against the demons he creates, which only makes sense really.

They almost made me feel sorry for the demon here.

This episode works well enough but essentially it is just wrapping up this encounter before sending Tanjiro on his way to the next one and I guess we’ll find out more about the cowardly demon slayer next week given Tanjiro is about to run into him.

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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Review Episode 8

Not All Demons Are Created Equal

Episode 8

After the dramatic conclusion to the last episode this episode hit the brakes pretty hard but that actually works out well. Rather than forcing a confrontation between Kibutsuji and Tanjiro 8 episodes in Tanjiro is held up holding down the newly turned demon and Kibutsuji walks away with his family. However, both know that isn’t the end of things.

I do find his family man act to be more chilling than when he is actually being a vicious demon and killing people.

The majority of the rest of the episode is Tanjiro collecting Nezuko from the udon shop and then sitting down for a talk with a demon who is apparently also a doctor and discussing the possibility of finding a cure provided Tanjiro is willing to help her collect demon blood. That could have been pretty dull except for the fact that prior to this we saw Kibutsuji losing his cool and slaughtering three humans who just happened to be walking along in an alley before he sends two demons after Tanjiro.

Also, the conversation was kept fairly interesting because of Nezuko. And no, she didn’t join in the conversation at all but throughout it she was lying on her back and kicking her legs in the air or holding tightly to Tanjiro’s hand. She was so adorable it was almost easy to forget she’s a demon who may have been brainwashed.

Cutest demon ever.

There were a few questions that I ended up with though. For instance, how does the demon doctor know that Nezuko slept for two years? It wasn’t really raised in the conversation and she didn’t indicate that she had any other information source so her pointing out Nezuko’s unique traits as a demon didn’t make a lot of sense prior to having a chance to actually examine her.

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That one might just end up being a hole in the story but the other question I had was about Kibutsuji’s flashback to an exorcist wearing the same earrings as Tanjiro. We hadn’t been given any indication prior that his earrings were anything significant but it now seems like maybe there’s some history. In which case, wouldn’t Tanjiro have known more about demons? Or maybe there’s a bunch of stuff we’re missing at the moment.

Oh yes, these two.

Anyway, the episode ends again on a cliff-hanger which is pretty standard for Demon Slayer at this point and fairly standard for shounen in general so I guess we’ll see what happens next week with the demons who’ve shown up to attack. Then again, if the doctor lady wants demon blood it looks like two donors have literally just dropped in to her house.

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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Review Episode 5

The tender shounen protagonist.

Episode 5

And here we go getting an abbreviated version of the fight we saw at the end of the last episode and between the demon’s head getting lopped and his death we see a flashback of his terrible luck turning into a demon and killing his family before the demon slayer came. I always wondered in Bleach why they felt that as a character was dying it was a good time to give the audience some context for their behaviour and life. I mean really, we might have cared back when they were still involved in things but given they are in the process of dying I don’t think it makes all that much difference.

Tanjiro’s farewell to the demon and to the other children trained by his master was however an affective moment and one that distinguishes Tanjiro from the other demon slayers we’ve seen thus far. His continued efforts to communicate with demons and to try to find a solution to his sister’s condition, even while he fights them is fairly admirable even if not overly practical. At least he isn’t hesitating to land the final blow anymore.

Most of these kids never even spoke or had any real screen time and yet I still feel kind of sad for them.

The test complete, the few survivors get a brief run down on levels and stuff and we have the sickly sweet Tanjiro, the girl who stares vaguely away for almost the entire sequence, the scaredy cat, and the angry and obnoxious guy. It isn’t the most nuanced scene and while I’m sure the choosing the ore is significant, really this scene was perhaps the low point in the episode. His new crow is cute though later when the crow speaks the voice isn’t at all what I was expecting and it kind of killed some of the cuteness.

However, Tanjiro finally returns and Nezuko is conveniently awake. They really are just having her sleep and wake to their own narrative convenience, but awake she is in order to welcome Tanjiro home. The music swells as he hugs her and then the master comes out to hug them both. It is sweet, touching, and entirely over-wrought. Served which about as much subtlety as the reminders of Tanjiro’s sense of smell or the demons being evil. It works, to be sure, but without any nuance it is a scene that is brazenly asking your heart to swell with the music and to be honest Demon Slayer has yet to move me emotionally so mostly I just kind of noted what it was trying but felt little.

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By the end of the episode Nezuko is back asleep and Tanjiro has a first assignment. Of course, his master warned him about demons who can use supernatural powers so given he was warned about body morphing demons just before he was attacked by one I guess we can assume his first assignment involves a demon with magic powers?

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