The end of a truly legendary season is here. After six months of tuning in, falling in love with these characters, and cheering on their growth, it’s hard to say goodbye. But I always knew I could trust in Ufotable to create a spectacular goodbye, and gosh, it was! Healing moments, golden promises, and bittersweet laughs. Let’s look at how we said goodbye (for now) to Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.
Japanese Original Episode Title : 改める任務
Muzan Kibutsuji is furious after learning of Rui’s death. Not because he cared for Rui, but because it’s a sign of weakness for him and the lower six moons. He kills all of the lower moons except for one – lower moon one who he gives an extra dose of his blood. On the slayer corps side, Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu have completed their training. They’ve grown so much in the last few episodes, and are ready to take on their next mission. The head of the corps decides to send them to join the flame hashira on his mission. People have been going missing on the ‘infinity train’, and we learn that the culprit is the juiced up lower moon one. The episode, and season, ends with Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu jumping onto the train just as it leaves the station. Zenitsu asks Tanjiro if it was a good idea to bring Nezuko with them and Tanjiro tells him that while it would have been safer for her at the corps, he never wants to be separated from her again.
Something familiar: The ‘space’ in which the lower six moons have their meeting with Muzan Kibutsuji was very reminiscent of the tsuzumi mansion. The space moved to the sound of the biwa playing, changing the space’s orientation and opening and closing portals. I am guessing the demon controlling the space is part of the upper moons. This could have been one of the reasons for Kyogai’s (the tsuzumi demon) frustration at being kicked out of the moons. Poor guy, not only hit his full potential but got replaced by someone with the exact same ability! Makes me wonder how many other demons share similar demon arts. Of course, I have to applaud the incredible CGI animation that went into creating that space.
Parting Words: This week’s episode wasn’t just a farewell for us, but also for the squad and those they have spent the last month or so recuperating with. The farewell between Tanjiro and Giyu was probably my favorite moment of the series. The respect and care they have for one another is so heartwarming – even if Giyu appears a bit cold and awkward! I have to admit I also did a little cheer when the cheering squad told Zenitsu to be more polite and respectful towards women. As much as he’s grown on me, the guy is still an absolute nuisance towards girls!
A scarred face: After over twenty episodes we finally got to see scar face from the Final Selection again! Unlike the slaying squad who have grown not only in strength but in character over the series, it seems like he’s still a bit of a twat. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see what his role will be in this story, besides Mr Moody.
They’re at it Again: The final scene of the squad getting in trouble with the police at the station was a great way to show while they’ve grown stronger they’re still their same silly selves. Tanjiro will always be the big brother, Zenitsu the guy with a level-headed whimp, and Inosuke’s an aggressive muscle head. The scene also answered a question most viewers have had for a while – why is no one talking about demons!? It seems the government does not recognise the demon slayers and I assume silences any talk of demons. I suppose the world would be thrown into chaos if people knew demons existed, so this is their way to maintain order. How well that’s achieved is debatable.
Announcement!!: Not quite the announcement that I was expecting, but an exciting announcement nonetheless – Demon Slayer will return as a movie! The next arc, the infinity train arc has been greenlit for a movie adaptation. You can check out the announcement which replaced the usual ‘secrets’ gag segment at the end of the episode over here.
There’s so much to cover this episode, I feel like no matter how much I write, my comments will still feel quite superficial. But also, so that this review doesn’t turn into a thesis, I’ll try to limit these comments by focussing on two parts of the episode. The first is regarding that bloody scene at the beginning of the episode. Muzan Kibutsuji’s god complex comes out in full force here. If he says 1+1 = 3, then all demons have to agree, if he says the sky is green then it’s green. He’s created a tyrannical rule over the demons, and almost trying to indoctrinate them with a cult-ish loyalty and ethos. He is their god and he is absolute. Every time he comes on screen he sends chills down my spine. It’s clear he doesn’t care about the demons he’s created but only how they can serve him. He kills the lower six moons, who I assume have been by his side for centuries, without batting an eyelid. A show of his disproportionate power and indifference towards them. He only spares the one who shows that unconditional love and loyalty towards him that Muzan demands. Perhaps, his thoughts on bonds is similar to Rui’s – to control others through fear and pain. I’m sure when Tanjiro finally faces off against him it will be a battle of philosophies as much as it is a battle of strength.
Of course the next person I want to focus on is Kanao Tsuyuri and her scene with Tanjiro. I do find with some shonen series the way character’s trauma or complexes are resolved are quite heavy-handed. It usually involves a combination of violence (slaps or headbutts) and shouting. Of course, these make the scene more dramatic but also unrealistic and ridiculous. Tanjiro’s approach towards Kanao is a testament to his character. He takes a moment to sit beside her, quietly listening before contemplating what best to say and do. Everything he does is carefully thought out on how best to support and encourage her. I’d also like to point out that his choice with the coin isn’t a ‘quick fix’ either. Again, a lot of shows seem to take the approach that a single screaming heart to heart session resolves all past trauma. But Kanao can’t immediately stop using the coin just over a few words. Tanjiro understands this and instead uses the coin to give her a path forward. She can still choose to rely on the coin but to also take more confidence in listening to her own thoughts and feelings on the matter. It’s truly a wonderful scene and I can’t wait to see their relationship progress throughout the series. Tanjiro has made lifelong bonds with the people he’s met during this series, bonds which have been built on mutual respect, support and empathy. I have no doubt these bonds will take him further than Muzan Kibutsuji could ever dream to go.
Farewell, For Now!
This week’s episode didn’t feel like a goodbye, more like the introduction to a stunning new adventure. Ufotable has sent this series off with a big smile and high hopes for the future. With how popular it is not just in Japan, but worldwide I have no doubt that the announced film won’t be the final stop for we’ll the demon slaying squad. For now, there’s plenty of time to check out the manga or re-watch your favorite moments from the series.
Thank you everyone for joining me on this wonderful Demon Slayer review journey. I hope you have all enjoyed the series as much as I have, and also enjoyed my weekly thoughts and musings on it. As the Summer 2019 series ends, remember to check out the other final episode reviews that are coming out!
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Summer 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast