Looking at forums and social media, I’ve seen many manga fans saying that ‘Zenitsu is great!’ and ‘just wait for it, he’s the best!’. While my first impression of him was very negative, over the last few episodes it has softened. He’s not my favorite character, but he still gives me a good laugh. But finally, with this week’s episode, I get what everyone was talking about! I am now a tentative member of the ‘Zenitsu is a good boy’ fan club.
Japanese Original Episode Title: 一つのこと極めけ
Inosuke is deeply wounded after his fight; Tanjiro attempts to get him to rest, but he refuses. While the two of them argue, the episodes shifts focus to Zenitsu. His moaning and groaning about being left behind is cut short when another member of the demon family appears. Zenitsu is overwhelmed, mentally and physically, and reflects back on his life with his teacher. When all seems lost, he faints and unleashes his lightning attack. However, he’s not out of danger yet. The episode ends as he tries to keep the poison at bay, while Zenitsu and Inosuke face a new foe.
Anything you can do, I can do better!: It seems Inosuke is still upset about losing out to Tanjiro’s headbutt. I’m sure we’ll see a rematch in the near future.
Noooooo: Oh gosh, this week’s demon was straight out of my worst nightmares. Not only it is horrifying, but its power made my skin crawl. I can’t imagine a fate worse than turning into that spider baby (Babyface) from Toy Story.
Senpai, stop noticing me: While we only had a small time with Giyu, he seemed quite kind and encouraging to Tanjiro… in his own way. But wow, Zenitsu’s senpai was horrible! I hope they get to meet each other again in later episodes and Zenitsu can show him just how much he’s grown!
Figures for everyone!: During Sunday’s Wonderfest, a number of Demon Slayer figurines were announced, including Nendoroids for Tanjiro and Nezuko as well as G.E.M figures from MegaHouse for all the boys! Nezuko’s G.E.M figure was announced earlier this year and will be available in September.
This week’s episode focused on Zenitsu’s battle with babyface and his past. I sometimes feel that with shonen series backstories are randomly slotted in to force audiences feel bad for a character. It almost cheapens whatever trauma they’ve gone through because they go ‘here’s some character development, now feel bad’! Or ‘cry now!’. Like those audience laugh tracks on TV, it doesn’t feel genuine. But Zenitsu’s backstory was so masterfully interspaced with the fight scene. Each past segment complimented his current thinking, and his frustrations at not being his ideal self. The scenes of past and present finally culminate when Zenitsu, as himself, not unconscious, remembers his teacher’s words – whatever you do, don’t give up. Despite the pain and his fear, he pushes through in his own way. We have seen a character come into themselves and finally reach a level we have been waiting for since their first episode. It was emotional, and most of all, it was bloody satisfying.
As a final note I just want to congratulate Ufotable and Koyoharu Gotōge for creating demons quite literally out of my nightmares. There’s a real ‘body horror’ element to how the human and spider body are combined to create each of these demons. Some are quite beautiful, while others are grotesque. But none of them I want anywhere near me. Even a TV screen is a bit much!
Making Him Proud!
Oh wow, this episode certainly hit all the right notes in creating an emotional backstory. Each scene not only explained a part of Zenitsu’s character but also left the audience with a feeling of hope. We know that Zenitsu has the strength to become who he wants to be. We see the same potential in Zenitsu that his teacher did. Now it’s all up to Zenitsu to meet our expectations, and I have no doubt he will exceed them.
NEXT TIME: A forged bond
Remember to check back next week for my review of episode eighteen. In the meantime, make sure to check out the rest of our Summer 2019 reviews. This series is also part of our weekly anime previews.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Summer 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast