Coming off the incredible high of last week’s episode, Episode 20 of Demon Slayer had a lot to live up to. But you can bet it rose to the occasion! As many suspected, the episode focused on the spider demons and delved into the ‘why’ behind Rui’s obsession with family. As interesting as this was, the star of this week’s episode was Shinobu Kocho, our mysterious butterfly demon slayer. Let’s jump in and see how Shinobu mesmerized and terrified me this week!
Japanese Original Episode Title : 寄せ集めの家族
Rui shows that being part of the Twelve Demon Moons isn’t just about pure strength but also smarts. He survives Tanjiro’s attack by severing his own head just before Tanjiro’s sword sliced him. Rui is enraged and his red demon art threads circle Tanjiro. Tanjiro struggles to maintain conscientiousness; his body is broken and switching the two forms has been a massive shock to his system. It seemed to be the end of the line for our hero when a familiar face saves the day.
In another part of the forest, the final spider demon sibling thinks back on her time with Rui and the ‘family’, showing, once again, that the only bonds between each family member was a shared fear of Rui. The girl comes across a lone demon slayer and attacks him. Shinobu intervenes and it’s clear that she’s not nearly as sweet as she looks. She may even be more terrifying than any demon we’ve encountered so far!
Oh no, he didn’t!: The opening to this week’s episode was great. I went into it feeling so much relief, cheering Tanjiro on to get to Nezuko and also applauding him for surviving. My stomach quite literally dropped seeing Rui alive.
Eleventh form: Yay, the reunion we have been waiting for!!! I was cheering when Giyu jumped in to save Tanjiro. In his fight with Rui, Giyu used an eleventh water breathing form. I’m sure Urokodaki would have taught Tanjiro everything he knows, so perhaps this is a new form Giyu developed by himself. If so, it’ll be great to see him train Tanjiro!
The Family: I was really interested to learn more about the spider family and I’m glad this week’s episode delivered. Rui is truly cemented as a terrifying figure, forcing his ideal of a family on the other demons. In the flashback we can see that the Mother demon is in fact only a young child being forced into the role of Mother. The fear he instills in the demons is so palpable and comes to a head when the Sister demon betrays her friend. While the show does tend to give other demons a chance for audiences to sympathize with them, Rui’s backstory is rather empty. He can’t remember being human, and wishes for a family to try to stir his memories. Sure, it’s sad, but I feel far more sorry for the other demons who bend to his every will and whim lest they get strung up and left for the morning sun.
Trending: Last week’s episode of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba was appreciated around the world, trending worldwide for a day on Twitter! The episode was praised by many viewers for its stunning visuals and masterful storytelling.
One aspect of Demon Slayer I continually applaud is its realism. I mean, realism besides the demons. The Twelve Demon Moons are the strongest demons in the world, handpicked by Muzan Kibutsuji. Nine episodes back, Tanjiro nearly died in a battle against a demon that was expelled from this group because he was considered too weak. While I was caught up in the beauty of last week’s episode, and as much as I would have loved to have seen Tanjiro succeed in his battle against Rui, it wouldn’t have made much sense. Tanjiro went into that battle already tired and wounded, if he had defeated Rui it would have bought into that ‘shonen power up at the last moment’ cliche. Seeing Giyu take down Rui was fantastic on two levels. The first was seeing the incredible power difference between each demon slayer level and the second was to give us a sweet moment of Giyu acknowledging Tanjiro’s struggle.
As I mentioned in my introduction, the scary star of this episode was Shinobu Kocho. She’s agile, smart, and what she lacks in physical strength she makes up for with her pharmacology knowledge. What I’m really interested in is seeing her and Tanjiro’s clash of ideals. Tanjiro has the ability to empathize with the demons, often seeing them as victims themselves. He’s never unnecessarily cruel towards them, perfectly showcased by how he killed the Mother spider demon. But Shinobu appears to truly hate demons. For her, they must make up for the pain they’ve caused others through their own suffering. It’ll be interesting to see how flexible she is in her ideals, especially in regards to Nezuko.
Do You Want To Be My Friend?
Looking back on the last twenty weeks of Demon Slayer, it’s incredible how much has happened. We’ve seen Tanjiro grow in strength and mentality while maintaining his iron will and sweet disposition. We’ve met so many interesting characters and encountered unique stories. But there’s still a lot to cover in the coming six weeks. While I don’t expect the series to end with everything wrapped up, I do hope to be re-acquainted with the other two demon slayers from the Final Selection. I’m also dying for some more of Inosuke’s background. But, I’m sure Demon Slayer will deliver that and more!
NEXT TIME: Against Corps Rules
Remember to check back next week for my review of Episode 21. 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