After a rather dramatic start to the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba series, this week’s episode shifts the mood. We gain a softer insight into the sibling bond between Nezuko and Tanjiro, and even a few laughs. The two of them are just so gosh darn adorable. But, it wouldn’t be a Demon Slayer episode if Tanjiro wasn’t being told off. Let’s go see what he did wrong this week.
Japanese Original Episode Title: 育手・鱗滝左近次
Following Giyu’s advice, Tanjiro and Nezuko journey towards Mt. Sagiri. They struggle to travel during daylight, so Tanjiro purchases a bamboo basket to carry Nezuko. As they near Mt. Sagiri the siblings come across a temple which has been attacked by a demon. As they face off against it, their inner struggles come to light. Hopefully, a new face can provide some guidance to them.
I’ll pay for it: As bleak at the first episode was, I’m really glad Episode 2 started off with some humor. The opening scene of Tanjiro and the farmer arguing over payment for a bamboo basket was pretty funny. It also showed what a sincere character Tanjiro is; he always wants to do right by other people, even at his own expense.
Demon Power: This week we got a further look at how incredibly powerful demons are. Not only do they have superhuman strength, they can heal themselves and have crazy durability. It was a harsh wake up call for Tanjiro. Now he has a bit more of an idea on what he is up against!
Themes & Trivia
Inner Battles: It’s interesting seeing the inner battles that both siblings face. Tanjiro struggles with making decisions. He constantly hesitates and his fear of doing wrong or hurting another is so overwhelming it causes him to freeze. For Nezuko, she has to reign in her inhibitions. She’s in a constant struggle trying to maintain her humanity and fend off her demonic impulses. The way these inner battles are addressed in future episodes will really define how good a series this is.
Tengu: Urokodaki is introduced wearing a tengu (天狗) mask, the most iconic feature being the long nose and red face. The lore surrounding tengu has developed significantly over time, as tengu have gained a reputation as tricksters, kidnappers, heralds of war, and guardians of forests. Today, you can still visit shrines and festivals devoted to tengu in Japan. You can read more about tengu here.
Cut your belly and die: Urokodaki tells Tanjiro that if his sister kills an innocent person there’s two things he has to do. First kill his sister and then kill himself . Urokodaki uses the word harakiri (腹切り), which literally means to cut open your stomach. Similar but not the same as seppuku (切腹), harakiri does not have a ‘ritual’ attached to it, but was similarly done to restore honor to oneself and their family.
Omake: After the episode’s end credits, there’s a short extra, also known as an omake (御負け). Omake usually feature a short gag sequence, either referencing something that happened in the show or a new joke all together. In this episode’s omake, Urokodaki chastises Tanjiro for not even being able to decide what to have for dinner.
In last week’s episode of Demon Slayer, Giyu chastised Tanjiro for not acting fast enough. In this episode, Urokodaki did the same. I find with a lot of shounen anime series a character gets a big talking to and suddenly their personality and actions change. It’s actually interesting to see conflict and hesitation. Tanjiro knows he has to change, but still he resists. I think a small part of him still wants to hold on to his past. Perhaps he feels that by taking that first step, killing his first demon will clearly separate himself from his previous life and self. On the flip side, Nezuko is having an equally tough time. I really appreciated how her struggle was communicated nonverbally. Camera angles, close-up shots, and character actions all added to the tension of what she would decide to do.
As I’ve said above, I did really appreciate how some humor was introduced this episode. It did give a bit of relief after last week’s incredibly dark episode. However, I do hope that the series continues to clearly separate serious moments and funny ones. The mark of a mess is when jokes are placed at inappropriate times and ruin the tension of a show.
The Training Starts Now.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is off to a fantastic start. This week, Tanjiro and Nezuko continued to work their way into ours hearts. However, I can see a few key areas that the series will need to take note of. Most notably, I hope it continues to develop each character’s inner battle and that comedic moments will be well-timed. For now, let’s hope Tanjiro survives his training with Urokodaki.
NEXT TIME: Sabito and Makomo
Remember to check back next week for my review of episode three. 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