The last two episodes of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba were a bit of a dip from its usual high standard. The introduction of two new characters, neither of whom were likeable, threw the show off kilter. However, this episode reigned it all back in. Another heart-wrenching demon backstory, a bit of redemption for one character, and the continual beautiful animation made for an enjoyable viewing.
Japanese Original Episode Title: 命より大事なもの
Tanjiro’s old wounds ache and he can barely keep up with the tsuzumi demon. While he gives himself a pep talk, words are empty if they can’t be followed by action. But relying on his breathing and nose, Tanjiro finally manages to find a way to defeat his foe. But the trouble doesn’t end there. After making his way out of the mansion with the children, he finds boar boy attacking Zenitsu. Boar boy has just become public enemy number one.
Tanjiro will always be best boy: The opening shot of Tanjiro giving himself a pep talk was another great insight into his background and mindset. As the eldest son, he felt he had to endure anything that came his way and face his troubles head on. After doing that time and time again, he relies on his resilience and perseverance to see him through. Another scene that really resonated with me was when straight after he defeated the demon, he carried one of the children on his back. Just moments ago he was struggling to breathe because of his broken ribs, but he’ll endure it to ensure the kids feel safe.
Zenitsu becomes a good boy!?: Yesss, redemption for blondie! Oh wow, I’ve never been so happy and proud to see a character come in to their own. The last two episodes have really honed into the fact that Zenitsu is a scaredy cat, but this episode showed he’s no coward. He’ll step up when he needs to and he’ll do what’s right. It’s a great development from the cringy boy we saw in Episode 7.
And a new worst boy: While Zenitsu has wormed his way into my heart, boar boy is the complete opposite. I’m sure there will be some good reason for his character, and heck he may even go through an interesting small arc like Zenitsu, but for the moment he has a lot of work he has to do to gain my respect.
Right in the feels: The painful, often traumatic, rejection of your art is an experience any creative can relate to. After seeing clips of the tsuzumi demon’s backstory, I was almost hoping he’d survive and help Tanjiro on his quest rather than the boar boy. But ultimately he had the best ending he could have hoped for – someone finally acknowledged his abilities.
As always, in each episode I’m most intrigued by the demon’s backstory. In these scenes, the demon has a very human appearance. In fact, when I watched it I thought this took place before his transformation. But, after his writing is rejected and he’s scorned by an apparent mentor, his eyes glow and he taps the tsuzumi drum to kill the mentor. Now of course these flashbacks are condensed for the sake of quick communication so it’s very possible it was just a representation of the tsuzumi demon at some point killing the mentor. But my interpretation was a bit more literal and took the scene as is. The demon may have continued trying to live a human life, while trying to follow his creative dreams. However, the complete rejection of his art may have pushed him over the edge. As the series goes on, it continues to be interesting to see how many demons are able to resist their bloodlust.
The more demons we see in Demon Slayer, the more intrigued I am for Nezuko’s future. Not the (hopefully) happy ending where she is cured, but more how she will grow into her demon abilities. While she has gotten the physical strength down pat, she seems to have lost much of her mental abilities. I hope to see Nezuko gain greater control of her hunger, like the demons we have seen who live among humans; she may not even need the bamboo strap anymore. I also hope to see her regain verbal communication. I’m sure she has a lot to say to Tanjiro!
Bringing the House Down
Zenitsu has made his way into my good books, and even more than that, has shown himself to be a character worth keeping an eye on. The snippets of his past and his kindling friendship with Tanjiro have set the stage for an interesting character arc over the next cour. In saying that, another character still has yet to prove himself and time is ticking. Judging from the final shot of this episode, Tanjiro is ready to knock some sense into boar boy. And if Tanjiro can’t do it, Nezuko surely will.
NEXT TIME: The House with the Wisteria Family Crest
Remember to check back next week for my review of episode fourteen. In the meantime, make sure to check out the rest of our Spring 2019 reviews. This series is also part of our weekly anime previews.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Spring 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast