The Sad, Sad Story of Genya.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba S3 Ep 6 Review

So, after the end of the last episode of Demon Slayer, I took the initiative and looked up what the deal was with Genya. I remembered reading how he has this power to absorb a Demon’s strength by eating them, but that’s all I could remember about him. After consulting the Demon Slayer Wikia and an anime channel on YouTuber, though, I found there’s more to Genya than meets the eye. Even though he’s a hot-headed and abrasive guy in the vein of Bakugo, he’s got a very tragic past. As in, it could give what happened to Sasuke a run for his money. 

No wonder he wants to be a Demon Slayer so badly.

So Close to Victory, but Not Quite.

Last week, it looked like Tanjiro and Genya managed to end the split Demons of Hatengu of the Upper Four. All of their heads were separated from their bodies and everything. However, despite this…the Demons don’t die. Their injuries only slow them down, but they’re ready to make Demon Slayer heads roll once they heal.

This is a regular occurrence in Demon Slayer. Right when the Demon Slayers look like they’ve got things in the bag, the Demons pull an ace out of their sleeves. Tanjiro realizes that the main Demon, Hatengu, isn’t dead in this case. Instead of fully splitting into four Demons, Hatengu broke them off his body while he ran and hid. As a result, Hatengu’s body is the size of a mouse and beyond durable. The sword breaks when Genya tries to hit him with his shotgun and sword! How does that make any sense?

Now, Genya’s lost his sword, and one of the emotion Demons is about to run his skull through with their staff. That makes it the perfect time for a flashback! 

The Sad Story of Sanemi and Genya Shinazugawa

I don’t know if it was already explained, but the flashback reveals Genya’s the younger brother of the Wind Hashira, Sanemi Shinazugawa. AKA the man who stabbed Nezuko in her box before trying (and failing) to goad her into attacking him. The fact that they’re brothers make so much sense, but what happened to them explains why Sanemi was so biased against Nezuko.

Sanemi and Genya’s childhood was fairly horrible. Their father was an abusive deadbeat who died via stabbing on the streets. Their tiny Mother had to care for them and their five brothers and sisters. Since they were the oldest of the two, they had to look out for their Mom and siblings. 

Then, one cruel night while their Mom was out, a monster broke into their home and killed all but Genya and Sanemi. Sanemi forced the monster outside while Genya ran to find a doctor, unable to accept his siblings were dead. Then, as the sun rose, he saw something that made his blood run cold. His brother, Sanemi, stood over their Mother’s bloodied, dead body. Sanemi killed their own Mom! It wasn’t until later that Genya realized that their Mom had been turned into a Demon and killed her own family, forcing Sanemi to kill her in self-defense. Thus, Genya feels like the worst brother ever.

Genya Needs to Open up His Heart to Become a Hashira

I cannot lie: what happened to Genya and Sanemi is messed up. It might be up there with what happened in Sasuke and Itachi’s backstories; it’s that bad! Like Sasuke, Genya blamed his brother for what happened, only to realize that his brother had no choice. It was that or let himself die and, more importantly, let his brother die. In other words, Genya feels like the worst brother ever and thinks Sanemi hates him for it. That’s why he wants to become a Hashira despite being unable to use Breathing techniques. He has to rely on his ability to eat the flesh of Demons and gain their strength. However, determination alone does make someone great. Naruto proves it, Luffy proves it, and Tanjiro proves it. Genya must learn to open his heart again if he wants to succeed.

Genya’s intentions are good, but due to the absolute hell he went through as a kid, he’s closed himself off and become abrasive to everyone. His powers, while cool, can only take him so far. Now compare that to Tanjiro. Despite losing almost his entire family and his sister becoming a Demon, he remains cheerful and friendly. That equates to him making powerful friends and thus overcoming great obstacles, a hallmark of the Shonen genre.

Now, Tanjiro’s kindness even gets through to Genya. Despite wanting to secure the win against an Upper Four, he realizes he can’t do it, but Tanjiro can. So, he lets himself get skewered while allowing Tanjiro find and end Hatengu. It’s the start of good character development.

Once again, Demon Slayer slays with another awesome episode. It might be my preference, but I’ve always been fond of expository flashbacks, so this episode got points. Meanwhile, we still have depraved Demon artist Gyokko holding one Hashira hostage and another defending the Swordsmith Village. If we’re lucky, this arc will end with a fight as cool as the one that leveled the Entertainment District!

I Give “Aren’t You Going to Become a Hashira?” a 4/5