This week’s episode was another testament to Ufotable’s fantastic animation. Fluid movements, dynamic action and great graphics – fight scenes don’t get much better than this. So while I would usually be a bit miffed about one fight going over a whole episode, it was so enjoyable it’s impossible to complain. So let’s jump right in to see what made this episode so epic.
Japanese Original Episode Title : : 手毬鬼と矢印鬼
Tanjiro and Nezuko are a great team but so are their foes. The temari and arrow demon seem made for one another, easily overpowering our heroes. As the battle continues, we learn that these demons are part of Kibutsuji’s strongest squad which is called the ‘Twelve Demon Moons’. Tanjiro resolves to take their blood and switches the fight up with Nezuko. With some quick thinking and a bit of luck, Tanjiro manages to take out the arrow demon. A hard-won fight, but it’s only half the battle.
Trust in Nezuko: Over the last few episodes we’ve seen a shift in the relationship between Nezuko and Tanjiro. Towards the beginning of the series Tanjiro tended to see his sister as in need of constant protecting, even when it was clear she was very powerful. Now, while he’s still very overprotective, he’s comfortable to fight alongside her and trusts in her ability to defend herself and him. It’s great to see the sibling duo come together, with their bond growing with each fight.
Adapt to Survive: I think almost all anime fans know that ‘pull the trump card out of my ass at the last moment’ in shows. It’s frustrating and ruins the tension of any fight or confrontation. But there are no trump cards in Demon Slayer. Tanjiro makes do with what he has and adapts his abilities to the situation. It’s great to see such a versatile hero!
Themes & Trivia
Kemari: During the fight, the Temari demon makes a comment about ‘kemari’. Kemari (蹴鞠) is a ball game where players aim to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible. The game is still played in Japan today and there’s even a festival dedicated to it, the Tanzan Shrine Kemari Festival, where professional performers play the game. Of course, you can join in for a game too!
While my introduction to this episode was pretty glowing, there were two parts I was a bit put off by. At around the halfway mark there was a repeat of scenes from just before the cut/ commercial break which was really unnecessary. At the beginning of the episode there was also a repeat of scenes from last week’s episode (not a recap). Perhaps the oddest thing about this week’s episode was how Tanjiro had to explain everything that was happening. There’s the old adage ‘show don’t tell’. Well there’s no reason to break that rule when you’re making an anime. For example, there’s a shot which shows when he slices the ‘direction arrows’ he gets pushed by them. As this scene is shown he goes, ‘well when I touch one I fly away’ – like yeah, we just saw that! These two issues felt like Ufotable were trying to buff up the episode so they could stop it just before the second fight. I can forgive it once but I’ll be keeping an eye out if they do it again!
On a smaller note, we are nearly at the end of the first cour/ half-way mark for this series, and no boar boy in sight! We also haven’t seen the other demon slayers introduced during the final selection for a while. I’m unsure how well the series will be able to delve into their characters and stories with the time we have left. I don’t doubt that Ufotable will renew this show for a second season. But it’d be great if the end of the first season doesn’t feel jam-packed with new characters.
Don’t Lose Your Head!
Tanjiro has managed to take down one of the Twelve Demon Moons. But before we can start thinking of the other ones, he and Nezuko have one more to face. With Nezuko critically wounded and Tanjiro exhausted, next week’s episode is sure to be a nailbiter.
NEXT TIME: Together Forever
Remember to check back next week for my review of episode ten. 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