‘Demon Slayer’ Returns for Long-Awaited Swordsmith Village Arc

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba S3, Ep 1 Review

Since its anime debut in 2019, Demon Slayer has risen to international superstardom. With a cast of memorable characters, incredible music, and animation so good it borders on otherwordly, Demon Slayer is one of the biggest names in Shonen anime. So when a new season drops, people pay attention to it, like they are right now.

During the events of the last season, Tanjiro and his comrades emerged from their toughest battle yet in the Entertainment District Arc. That battle reduced the location to rubble and left every Demon Slayer terribly injuries, but it was worth it. For the first time in a century, the Demon Slayers took out one of the feared Upper Six, AKA Muzan’s strongest Demons. The upside is that this could mark a shift in the war between the two factions. The downside? Tanjiro’s broken his sword for the umpteenth time, forcing him to get it repaired. With this as the backdrop, Demon Slayer heads into its third season and the Swordsmith Village Arc.

The Upper Six Demons Terrifying…ly Dysfunctional.

With the death of the Upper Rank Six holders Daki and Gyutaro, the King of Demons Muzan is not happy with his followers. Thus, he summons them to his lair in the Infinity Castle to remind them why they shouldn’t fail him. This marks the first time we see the rest of Upper Rank Six in person, and, in true Demon Slayer form, they’re all horrifying to look at. Their bodies are misshapen and distorted, with one Demon having mouths where his eyes should be and eyes where his mouths should be. They’re the stuff of nightmares!

At the same time, though, one thing becomes clear about the Upper Ranks: they’re on the same side, but they’re not a team. They make constant, mean-spirited jabs at each other…or flat-out try to kill one another. They’re at each other’s throats jockeying for power, and its only the power of Muzan and the Upper Rank One, Kokushibo, that keeps them in line. In short, they give off the impression of beings that, were it not for their powers, would be easy pickings for the Demon Slayers. That, or they would kill each other.

Tanjiro Awakens, and Hilarity Ensues

While all of this is going on, Tanjiro’s been out cold following the fight with Daki and Gyutaro, during which he has a strange dream. He seems a man who looks much like himself, minus the burn scar, speaking with a man wearing the earrings he now wears. Those who read the manga know who these two are and how important they are to the story. Anime-only people, though, have to wait for this to be revealed down the line. In the meantime, Tanjiro wakes up, much to everyone’s joy.

Especially Inosuke. He wouldn’t stop screaming at him to wake up from his spot on the ceiling.

Following yet another rehab session, though, Tanjiro hits a bit of a snag: his sword broke for the umpteenth time. Now the one who forged it is so mad, he’s refusing to make it again. As a result, Tanjiro and Nezuko have to go to the Demon Slayer Corps secret swordsmith village and get it fixed there.

Swordsmith Village: So Secret No One Can Know Where it is!

Calling the swordsmith village a secret is an understatement. It’s the Demon Slayer Corps most closely guarded secret. Without it or its swordsmiths, the Demon Slayer Corps would be unable to create the treasured swords that help them slay Demons. They pull out all the stops to keep its location a secret from everyone, even their own members. I would call this paranoia, but given how dangerous Demons can be, they have good reason to be paranoid.

As someone who takes an interest in historical facts and settings, it was fun seeing what this ancient, revered village looks like. The forging of swords is an art form in Japan, so getting to see it up close, even in an anime, was fun to watch. In addition, this episode also sees the return of the love Misturi Kanroji. Beyond the fanservice, I can see why people like her; she’s nice. In contrast, we also meet Genya, another Demon Slayer who’s rude and abrasive to everyone, including Tanjiro and Nezuko. Both are interesting contrasts.

The Demons Are Going to Find the Swordsmith Village, Aren’t They?

Now, I would normally say that this Swordsmith Village arc is going to be peaceful to counter how explosive the Entertainment District Arc was. However, the fact that this village is so important invites people to target it. In other words, the Demons are coming, and they’re out for blood.

Overall, this was a decent start to the new season. I’m not as devout a follower of Demon Slayer as I am with other anime, but I can see the appeal behind it, and the animation’s amazing. Given everyone’s expectations, I’m hoping that the new season can build on the hype of the last one as we ring in the Spring 2023 season of anime.

Also, Muzan’s a jerk.

I Give “Someone’s Dream” a 3.5/5

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