Just as the title hints, this week’s episode saw Tanjiro and Nezuko in some hot water. As the siblings are pursued by a forest of demon slayers, the episode also takes a moment to look back on Rui’s life. After all, it’s not a Demon Slayer episode without tugging on some heart strings!
Japanese Original Episode Title: 隊律違反
The episode opened with Rui’s past. We see him as a young, frail child, trying to keep up with the other children but collapsing in the snow. Despite his weak body, Rui is cared for by his loving mother and father. Muzan visits him and offers to give him a strong body, that is to turn him into a demon. The change horrifies his parents but they still try to care for their child. At some point it becomes too much and they resolve to kill Rui. Rui is enraged by this and murders his parents, not realising that they intended to kill themselves after killing him. Rui is consumed by grief and regret and tries to form a new family for himself. But as he kills more humans and grows stronger, he begins to forget about his real family and his humanity.
The trouble is far from over for Nezuko and Tanjiro. While Giyu understands their unique situation, the other demon slayers are not as open. They’re pursued by Shinobu and another butterfly demon slayer. Before anything dire could happen, the slayers receive a message from a raven – Tanjiro and Nezuko are to be captured and brought to headquarters. There, the hashira will judge them.
Run Nezuko, Run!: As nervous as I was that Kanao would slice off Nezuko’s head, I couldn’t help but giggle at how cute small Nezuko was! I know there’s a G.E.M figure of Nezuko in her small form sitting down, but I need one of her running with her oversized clothing!!!
Nobody likes you: As in awe as I am of Shinobu, that was a pretty low blow to tell Giyu nobody likes him! I’m sure there’s a few in the corps who appreciate his blunt nature. Maybe a couple. Maybe one? Well, at least he has Tanjiro!
Inosuke’s greatest fear: Since we were first introduced to boar boy, he’s had only one thing on his mind – being the very best (like no one ever was). The events in the forest have definitely shaken his self-confidence. It will be interesting to see if he gets caught up in his own failings or learns to adapt and grow from this experience.
Keeping up with the Hashiras: The end of this week’s episode gave us a brief introduction to the hashiras. As we know, the demon killing corps is made up of ranks, of which Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu are at the bottom. The hashiras are the top rank demon slayers – the best of the best.
As great as the second half of this week’s episode was, the first half was what really captured my attention. I’ve been looking forward to getting a more holistic look at Rui’s backstory, and I was a little let down when last week he was pretty much like ‘I don’t remember why I did this.’ It was sad in its own way, but I wanted the gritty details! As a human, Rui struggled with his illness but had the support of his family. He felt safe and loved. But when he became a demon, it wasn’t just his physicality that changed but also his mind. He no longer saw his parents as filled with unconditional love. He became fixated on all the things they weren’t doing right. He focuses on this story of a man dying to save his child and uses it as a standard of love which his parents could never meet. When he does eventually kill them, he has a moment of deep regret and remorse. A moment of regaining his own sense of self. That is when Muzan appears and pushes him further down his dark path.
But what I’m most interested here is the difference between Nezuko/Tanjiro and Rui and his family. Just like Nezuko, Rui managed to maintain his sense of self for quite a while, so as not to kill his parents. But he did kill other humans. I don’t think this difference has anything to do with the ‘strength’ of bonds, but with how each of them views themselves. Rui saw nothing wrong with being a demon; he saw it as an escape from his previous life. While Nezuko does not speak, I’m sure she’s aware of the change in her body and wishes to go back to being a human. Perhaps a large part of this is also Muzan’s influence. Muzan visits Rui and actively guides his thoughts and feelings, whereas Nezuko has no influence besides her human memories and brother.
Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire
If a forest full of demons wasn’t hard enough to overcome, our demon slaying squad now have to face the entire corps. The corps are made up of individuals whose lives have been severely affected by demons. I can’t imagine many would find Nezuko as cute as we do! But with Tanjiro’s sincere manner, and Giyu on the side, I’m sure they’ll be able to convince the corps, eventually. Otherwise, we’ll have to hope Tanjiro is rested enough for another marathon battle!
NEXT TIME: Master of the Mansion
Remember to check back next week for my review of episode twenty two. 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