Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Review Episode 11

Tears and Tantrums Won’t Get The Job Done

Demon Slayer Episode 11

They aren’t going to let this broken leg thing go. In point of fact they are going to double down and deliberately bring it back up with Tanjiro explaining to Zenitsu that he won’t be able to fight at full strength because he has a broken leg. Points to Demon Slayer for having conviction but we’re going to have to deduct a few points for logic and common sense. Even in a fantasy about demon slaying I draw the line at seeing a character running around who claims to have a broken leg.

However, outside of the ongoing blunder that is the way this anime is choosing to deal with character injuries, the birds are utterly adorable. I kind of fell in love with Zenitsu’s sparrow, which is kind of a good thing given Zenitsu himself is an irritant on every level.

I don’t know. He’s one of those characters that from the minute they are introduced I loathe and just want him to die quickly and quietly off screen, but I kind of already know, given his presence in the OP and ED that he’s just not planning to go away. The crying and screaming, blubbering and instant turns to despair are all just hard to take and even if they are playing it for laughs it is missing the mark for me and just pushing me out of my comfortable enjoyment I was having with this show prior to now.

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But, so it isn’t all doom and gloom, Tanjiro and Zenitsu go on a mission together and find a house with a demon inside where a boy was apparently dragged in. The younger brother and sister waiting outside implore Tanjiro to rescue him and being a soft touch he agrees. However, even before we step foot inside the house we’re exposed to the horror within as a bleeding man leaps to his death from an upstairs window. It isn’t pretty but it is very effective at setting the tone for what is to come.

All and all this makes this episode very imbalanced as we swing between moments that are pretty awesome and then moments that threaten to break the immersion within the story. Hopefully Kimetsu no Yaiba can weather this rough patch and find its feet again because so far there’s been plenty to enjoy in this anime.

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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 9

He’s Got Some Moves

Demon Slayer - Tanjiro attacks

Demon Slayer Episode 9

We may have slipped into even more standard shounen territory this week on Demon Slayer as the battle with the two demons extends the length of the episode and we end with the battle as yet unresolved. Not that it was bad. In fact, the fight has been pretty interesting so far and some of Tanjiro’s attacks are bordering on spectacular even if they’ve yet to actually do significant damage.

One criticism I will make of the episode is the amount of reused sequences. We get a flashback to them discussing collecting demon blood and a replay of a sequence within the same episode. Not to mention the opening sequence is essentially a replay of the end of the previous episode. While the new material we got looked great, there was definitely some padding in this episode that just didn’t sit right and definitely felt like a cost cutting measure.

However, petty criticisms aside, it was difficult not to get swept up in the fight this week. As Tanjiro, Nezuko, and the demon doctor and her body guard go from cowering from attacks and getting beaten down to moving onto the attack. Even knowing three out of the four of them are demons and can regenerate, there’s still substantial weight behind the situation as characters lose heads and limbs alike (though they are going to have to explain why losing his whole head didn’t kill him).

As for Tanjiro, he’s being pushed harder than ever before (not that previous battles have been easy). He’s pulling out all the moves he’s got and for once his sense of smell showing him the winning move didn’t decisively and more or less instantly end the battle. Equally, he hasn’t pulled out some new secret move or gotten a mysterious power up. He’s combining the skills he’s shown the audience he has in new ways to fight a foe more powerful than any he has faced and while he’s taken a battering he isn’t down yet.

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I do love the water effects when he’s fighting though. Early on it seemed a little odd and slightly intrusive, but honestly it is beautiful and makes his attacks so much more dynamic and interesting to watch. Plus they continue to change up how he uses these attacks allowing for a variety of appealing visuals.

Nezuko and Tanjiro - Demon Slayer

The fight goes on and while I am still hoping this doesn’t end up being the kind of show that drags on fights for episodes at a time, there’s very little to complain about in this episode other than the fact that the fight is yet to resolve and a little too much repetition in between spectacular attacks.

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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 7

The Face of a Villain

I think I could do almost anything for that smile.

Episode 7

That was a beautiful escalation at the end of episode 7 of Demon Slayer. This anime is definitely racing but that is more to the benefit as I am constantly caught up in what is happening and never have time to get bored or even feel things are just kind of meandering.

The majority of this episode is finishing off the fight from last week but even that has a few key parts. Tanjiro decides to have Nezuko protect the boy and the rescued girl while he goes into the swamp to fight the demon. The underwater fight is interesting though over fairly abruptly. Realistically, eventually we’re going to have to see Tanjiro not be able to use a move or a demon will have to avoid it otherwise this is going to get a little tedious.

 Meanwhile, Nezuko has a much more dynamic fight with the one remaining demon on the surface. Considering she doesn’t eat people she’s putting up one excellent fight but eventually the demon gets the upper hand. This fight is a lot more thrilling even if Tanjiro’s return and intervention is a foregone conclusion.

Once again though, Tanjiro doesn’t finish the kill straight away. He’s pretty determined to get answers and now he’s got the name of the demon he’s supposed to be finding, Muzan Kibutsuji. However, the demon he’s interrogating first turns to putty at the mention of the name and then does a kamikaze attack and its all over.

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This fight sequence is solid, progresses the story while showing us how Tanjiro is going to go dealing with demons, as well as how Nezuko is going to factor in, and it is just fun with no part really lingering too long. The farewell to the boy gets a little sappy and then we’re off to the next mission, straight away.

I loved seeing Tanjiro’s reaction to the city.

And then we get to the end of the episode where Tanjiro catches the scent of a demon and I was very surprised by how quickly this all happened and yet I absolutely loved how this episode ended. Really looking forward to seeing what happens at the start of the next episode.

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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Review Episode 6

The first assignment.

Episode 6

Oh look, my guess was right. Episode 5 we’re told about demons with supernatural abilities and episode 6 of Demon Slayer brings us face to face with a demon who moves through water and can just kind of pop out of the ground or walls at will, and somehow has divided himself into three. It isn’t bad foreshadowing so much as just kind of telegraphed and lacking in any kind of build up, but that’s more or less the only fault I’m going to pick here and it is at least a consistent feature of this anime.

Nezuko now has her own custom suitcase to ride around in, or sleep in as the case may be, and while it looks too small for an actual human let’s just go with it. I wonder how much better and faster Tanjiro would be at fighting if he put the case down first before trying to fight. I mean at one point he was fighting a demon while holding a girl and carrying his sister on his back. That has to slow him down some.

That’s something a creepy stalker would say before locking you in a basement.

Just in case we thought his keen sense of smell was just a gimmick this episode uses it as an ongoing point as Tanjiro tracks the demon around town and ultimately uses scent to attack. The visuals of the red smoke for the demon’s scent are quite effective and at least it is a practical counter to an enemy you can’t see until it attacks.

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On that note, Tanjiro’s water based attacks look awesome this episode. Actually, the whole fight sequence was kind of fun, which is just as well because the tracking the demon and the fight took up the lion’s share of the screen time. There was one odd moment where the episode went to first person with Tanjiro’s sword waving in front of the audience that was a little jarring (and to be honest made me a bit queasy – there’s a reason I have no interest in trying virtual reality), but otherwise the visuals worked very well.

Lastly, Nezuko’s appearance at the end was more or less expected but still pretty awesome. I’m not entirely sure about the morality of hypnotising her and I’m pretty sure it would be narratively better if she just wanted to help others because of her attachment to her brother, but it does at least mean they don’t have to justify her actions as she fights demons.

Kimetsu no Yaiba continues to be entertaining and the quick pace of the story means there’s no time to be bored. While there’s not a huge amount of depth here it is working well enough.

He does look good in that uniform though.

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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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