They say when you’re about to die, your life starts flashing before your eyes. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it’s always a good plot device in fiction. Besides serving as a means to remind people of key moments in a character’s life, it also helps explain more about how they ended up the way they are now. In this case, we get to see the life of Muichiro Tokito and learn what made him into the Hashira he is now. The obtuse, potentially thoughtless Hashira we’ve come to know.
This Was My Life…and it Sucked!
Even though he managed to free himself from the water pot thanks to Kotetsu, Muichiro’s in no better shape. Those needles Gyokko and the fish Demons hit him with were poison. As a result, he’s still on the verge of passing out right as the low-level grunt Demons swarm around him.
And this is the moment where Muichiro remembers all of his traumatic past. It soon becomes apparent why his mind chose to suppress the memories, though.
When he was younger, he was the son of a kind and compassionate woodcutter, and he took a lot after his father. However, tragedy struck their family when his mother died from an illness brought on by overworking herself. In addition, his father died trying to find herbs that could’ve helped her. He lost both his parents in one day, leaving him an orphan and alone.
Alone, that is, except for this twin brother.
Yuichiro and Muichiro Needed Therapy!
In essence, Yuichiro, in order to cope with the loss of his parents, shut himself off from the world and not caring about anyone else, thinking that it would keep himself and his brother alive. That’s why even though the wife of the head of the Demon Slayer Corps came to recruit them since they were descendants of one of their members, he kept turning her away. However, that proved to be a massive mistake when a Demon came to kill them both.
In what can only be described as a fit of primal rage brought on by the urge to survive, Muichiro somehow managed to kill the Demon. The episode leaves the details a mystery, with not even the future Hashira knowing. What is known, though, is that Yuichiro didn’t survive the attack. In his final moments, the boy prayed to the heavens for forgiveness for his misguided attempts to protect his brother, something Muichiro witnessed.
No wonder Muichiro developed amnesia! He might have gone insane had this not happened.
Awakening a New Power and Wasting Gyokko
As painful as his past was, remembering it did help Muichiro in the long run. As a result of this near-death experience trigger his dormant memories, the Hashira unlocks a new level of power. His face gains markings similar to the ones displayed by Tanjiro in his fights against Demons. Without going into spoiler-territory, it’s safe to say that these marks are the Demon Slayer equivalent to the Super Saiyan. Once he gains them, Muichiro wastes all the fish Demons to save Kotetsu, then turns his attention to the distracted Gyokko.
What follows is the beginning of a fight that, once again, shows off Demon Slayer’s greatest asset: it’s animation. The animation becomes smoother, crisper, and breath-taking to look at. That’s the anime’s way of showing that the stakes are higher than normal, and that we’re going to see things get destroyed, as Gyokko soon learns.
The fight’s between the Mist Hashira and the psychotic artist Gyokko isn’t over yet, but I can already see the writing on the wall: Muichiro’s going to win.
This was another great episode of Demon Slayer, but I do have one complaint: the meaning of the episode’s title. It’s referring to how the Kanji for ‘Mu’ in Muichiro can have two meanings, according to his late brother: incompetence…and infinite or infinity. However, that loses a little meaning in translation to Western Audiences. Chalk that up to cultural differences, I suppose.
I Give “The ‘Mu’ in Muichiro” a 4/5
Also, this is a quick reminder that the dub for this season of Demon Slayer is now airing on Crunchyroll. If you’ve been waiting to watch it dubbed, then now’s the time to start!
I’ve seen my fair share of Shonen stories over the years, and I’ve come to notice a number of familiar tropes in them. Among my favorite of these tropes has to be the importance of one’s will to succeed. Think about it; how many shonen protagonists have we seen get beaten to the point where they shouldn’t be able to stand, let alone fight…yet do exactly that? Some call it corny or ridiculous; I call it a testament to the will of the human spirit. It’s why the good guys win in the end, and its why the Demons can never win no matter how many Demon Slayers they kill. Case in point, Tanjiro and the other Demon Slayers utilize their incredible willpower to turn the tide on the Demons once more in this episode!
Tanjiro Ain’t Buying That “Awful Villian” Garbage
So, right as Tanjiro’s about to decaptitate the diminutive Hantengu, he finds his sword’s unable to penetrate his skin. Then, to make matters worse, Sekido, the Demon representing Hantengu’s rage, takes matters into his own hands. He absorbs several of the other Emotion Demon’s into himself to create a new Demon, Zohakuten, Hantengu’s hatred. And Zohakuten is a piece of work.
The main thing about Zohakuten is the fact that he is a spiteful and foul-mouthed creature, calling the Demon Slayers awful villains for picking on the “weak and defenseless” Hantengu, who he tries to protect. The Demon then doubles down on the awful villains talk when Tanjiro admits that Hantengu’s never killed anyone that he knows or loves.
Tanjiro, though, is having none of it. He knows that the Demon’s have no right to claim the moral high ground when the vast majority of them slaughter Humans without a second thought. What Hantengu and Gyokko have done in the short amount of time they’ve been in the village is proof that they’re the villains, and they’re going down.
Gyokko Angered Over Haganezuka Being Better Than Him
Meanwhile, back at the shed, Tokito’s attempts to escape from his watery prison continue to be for naught. He’s close to drowning, and he knows it. Gyokko knows it well enough that he turns his back on the Hashira in lieu of seeing what’s inside the shed. There, in the shed, is Haganezuka, who remains hard at work fixing the sword that Tanjiro recovered from the mechanical doll. And Haganezuka is not letting anything distract him, not even the Demon that could easily kill him.
Since Gyokko considers himself a talented artist, he’s incredibly vain and full of himself. So, when faced with a Human that’s willing to ignore him in favor of his craft, Gyokko loses it. He keeps trying to make Haganezuka break his concentration by attacking him, yelling at him, and breaking his mask so everyone can see his face. Yet, Haganezuka’s will and dedication to his work is so strong, nothing can make him budge. And that just makes the Demon even angrier, making him blow his chance to kill everyone.
That proves to be a costly mistake. As Tokito begins to suffocate, Kotetsu demonstrates his own willpower. The young swordsmith willingly allows another Demon inflict a potentially fatal wound on him, just so he can breathe air into the Hashira’s prison. That kid’s willing to die to save Tokito so he can save everyone. As a result, Tokito manages to slice through the water jar to freedom.
The Demons Lack the Will to Win
This episode encapsulates why the Demons are destined to eventually lose to Humanity: they lack the will to do so. Save for the handful I mentioned, every Demon we’ve seen has been selfish and only cared about themselves. When faced with the prospect of death, they’ll run and abandon each other.
Now, contrast this with the members of the Demon Slayer Corps. Even when faced with certain death, they’re willing to keep fighting to ensure that one of them can come out on top. They’re willing to sacrifice their lives to ensure no one else can be hurt by Muzan. That’s how powerful the Human will can be, and it’s why they keep winning over the vastly more powerful Demons.
Overall, this episode was a good one. It reminds viewers of why Demon Slayer can stand amongst the greats of the Shonen genre. Like Naruto, JoJo, and One Piece before it, the heroes demonstrate a will to fight in spite of impossible odds. And, in accordance with Shonen rules, that can determine who the victor is.
My Clueless First Friend Initial Review by RJ Writing Ink
Have you ever had that one friend that’s so different from you? You question why your friend’s in the first place. Or you’ve seen a show about a gloomy person who has a super happy and upbeat person decide to be friends with them? Better yet, have you seen fictional protagonists who can win over the most closed-off people by being so kind, no matter how dumb they are? Combine all those concepts into one, and you get the anime “My Clueless First Friend.”
The result: something so hilarious, sweet, and heartwarming that you can’t help but smile!
The Shy Grim Reaper and the Embodiment of Kindness
My Clueless First Friend revolves around Akane Nishimura, this shy Elementary School girl. Because of how creepy her eyes look, everyone makes jokes about her, saying that she’s a “Grim Reaper” and that if they hang around her, they’ll get cursed! As a result, she has no friends and is very lonely in her life.
One day, a new transfer student, Taiyo Takada, this hyperactive, extroverted bundle of energy, shows up and hears about her nickname. His response? “THAT’S THE COOLEST THING EVER!!!!” Thus, Takada latches onto Nishimura like glue, becomes her first friend, and helps to bring her out of her lonely shell.
And for a long time, he’s convinced that Nishimura’s an actual Grim Reaper! He’s so clueless that any attempts to make him understand this go through one ear and out the other.
Taiyo Takada, the CHAD Chuunibyo
To understand the thought process of someone like Taiyo Takada, one must understand what a ‘Chuunibyo’ is. A Chuunibyo, or ‘chuuni’, is a kid who usually acts all high-and-mighty, makes dramatic speeches about stuff, and may or may not believe they have special powers. Now, Taiyo himself would be a loose example of this. While he’s prone to being melodramatic and wears his emotions on his sleeve, he doesn’t think he has special powers. However, after hearing everyone call Akane a Grim Reaper, he’s convinced she does. And where other kids find that scary, he thinks that’s the coolest thing in the world.
It gets even crazier from there. No matter how many times people try to bully him for hanging out with Akane, he doesn’t let it get to him. He’s so pure-hearted that he fails to grasp the idea that someone’s insulting him or Akane. As a result, he takes every bad thing someone says as a compliment, throwing said bullies so far off their game they just leave.
In other words, Taiyo’s a clueless idiot. But he’s also the best friend anyone could ever ask to have, especially Akane. He doesn’t even realize it, but it’s clear early on that he’s gotten Akane to fall for him. I love this kid! It helps that his dub VA is Madeline Morris, who also does Rudeus for Mushoku Tensei.
Akane Nishimura, the Cutest Introvert You’ll Ever Meet
On the other end of the duo, we have Akane Nishimura, the girl everyone calls the Grim Reaper. Because of the way her eyes look, her classmates cruelly taunt her and give her that nickname, not wanting anything to do with her. As a result, she’s never had any friends, to the point where she lies to her Dad about her school life so he won’t worry. She even tries to tell Taiyo not to hang out with her since she knows everyone else will bully him for it.
So when all the hints fly over Taiyo’s friend, and he keeps taking that “Grim Reaper” stuff as compliments, she’s thrown for a loop. And the more and more he turns those insults into compliments, the more amazed she gets. It’s pretty clear early on that she’s fallen for him because she won’t stop blushing whenever he says something nice about her. Takada takes the cruel nickname she has and turns it into a term of endearment. This is good because it’s eventually revealed that Nishimura thinks her nickname’s appropriate for sadder reasons.
*Minor Spoiler Warning to Follow*
It’s revealed a few episodes into the show that Nishimura’s Mom died when she was young. To be more precise, she died shortly after giving birth to Akane. While none of her family blames her for it and showers her with love because they know that’s what her mom would want, Akane can’t help but blame herself. She thinks she’s taken her Mom’s place, and it’s why she never liked the Grim Reaper nickname. And poor Taiyo! When he finds that out, he thinks he’s been a horrible person calling her the Grim Reaper.
Clueless First Friend is Such a Sweet and Heartwarming Anime
This is another spoiler, but Akane eventually tells Taiyo that she doesn’t mind him calling her the Grim Reaper. Through his sheer levels of kindness, he turned the nickname she hated into one of endearment. It’s one of the sweetest things I’ve seen in anime in some time, and it’s why I love My Clueless First Friend.
The world we live in can be harsh, cruel, and unforgiving at times. That’s why it’s important that we remember to treat each other with kindness. With that in mind, I think what Akane and Taiyo have is the kind of friendship everyone should have at least once in their lives. If we had someone like Taiyo Takada in all our lives, the world would be all the better for it. My Clueless First Friend is on my watchlist for the Spring/Summer Anime season of 2023!
A Candid Recap of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation, Part 1
If you’ve been watching anime for the past decade, then you know about the concept of an isekai. We know the idea: someone living their life when they get sent to another world cooler than ours. It’s a concept that goes back centuries, but the 2010s saw it explode in popularity. Next thing we know, there’s an isekai in every season of anime coming out, all trying to cash in on the hype. It’s gotten to the point where people are starting to get sick of it, and how many of them seem dime-a-dozen. Look at all the hate that Sword Art Online gets! However, a few isekai truly live up to the hype, and after years of wandering, I have found it. After all these years, I have reached one of the Seven Summits of Isekai, and it is glorious. I have discovered Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation.
Now, I know the controversy surrounding Mushoku Tensei and how some people think it’s overrated. However, it came at the right time when isekai were starting to blow up in Japanese culture. Thanks to that, it helped pave the way for the genre’s explosion in the 2010s. And once I started watching it, I realized that it was good. Like, really good! And with the new season coming out, I thought it’d be fun to recap the first season in my own words. My own candid, hilarious words. This is Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation.
In the Beginning…
So, this story starts out with this overweight, lazy, 34-year-old shut-in in modern Japan, and…he sucks. He’s a smart guy, but he started slacking off growing up, so he ended up in a bad high school. Then one day, he finna give this bully a piece of his mind. Their response? They beat him, strip him naked, and leave him chained out in public for the whole school to mock him.
Seriously messed stuff, I know. And then, he decides that he’s done with the outside world. He’s just going to live at home and mooch off his parents, spending his whole time watching anime and ogling waifus 24/7. He doesn’t even try and earn money off of YouTube or get remote work, something he is fully capable of doing!
Eventually, though, his parents die, and since this guy’s wallowing in self-pity, he doesn’t even show up to his parent’s funeral. When his family finds him, they find him ogling loli waifus. And they’ve had it, so they throw him the f out of his house. That’s when he finally realizes that he’s wasted his life and wishes, “man, I wish I had another chance to do things over.”
That’s when the dreaded Truck-kun shows up, and today’s victims are a trio of high schoolers arguing on a crossway. So the man decides, “Screw it. If I’m gonna do one thing right in my life, it’s this.” Now he saves the teens, but Truck-Kun takes him instead. But since this is an Isekai, he doesn’t die. His life’s getting started.
The next thing this dude knows, he’s opening his eyes someplace else, and he’s surrounded by these smiling, good-looking strangers who are all happy to see him. And it doesn’t take him long to figure out that he’s been reincarnated. And once he sees the grown-ups using magic, he realizes… he’s been isekai’d.
So, sweet. He’s finna put this new life to good use.
Oh, and from this day forward, this man shall be known as Rudeus Greyrat.
Finna Take His First Steps
So this grown man has been reincarnated into a world of magic and swords in the body of a baby but with all his memories intact. And since this is an isekai, that’s basically like a cheat code to help him get a head start. So once he relearns how to walk, talk, and read, he gets down to business. He starts reading these books on how to do magic and begins practicing in secret. And he quickly learns something. Even though those books say he has to use these incantations to do magic, and that everyone has a set amount of magic, or mana, in them… that’s all bunk. He learns how to do wordless magic and trains himself so he never runs out of mana. So, he’s a badass, and he’s only three.
Rudeus’ so badass that his parents, Paul and Zenith, decide to get him his own magic tutor. Enter Roxy Migurdia. Instead of being some Gandalf type, she’s a cute demon loli with blue hair. She only looks young, though; she’s 30-something. Her people, the Migurdians, can live around two-hundred years, and spend 75% of them looking 13. In other words, she’s legal. Stand down, FBI.
Anyway, Roxy spends the next two years teaching him everything she knows. By the time they’re done, he’s already surpassed her. More importantly, though, Roxy manages to heal all that trauma Rudeus’ been holding onto from his past life. So when she dips on out, Rudy is a changed person. From that moment on,
He still keeps a pair of panties he stole from her, though, as like this holy relic. It’s slightly sweeter than it sounds.
Out There Making Moves
So now that he’s not scared of the world anymore, Rudeus starts living his new life to the fullest. He’s making moves and making friends, like his new friend Slyph, this green-haired part-elf he rescues from bullies. Because he can’t stand bullying, thanks to what he went through in his first life. After that, Sylph latches onto Rudeus like glue, following him around everywhere and thinking he’s the coolest person ever. Rudeus thinks they’re pretty awesome, too, not to mention quite the looker. Give it a few years, and he thinks the girls will be trampling over themselves trying to get at them…maybe even the guys.
So Rudeus and Sylph end up becoming best friends, and soon, Rudeus decides to teach them everything he knows about magic. Pretty soon, they’re able to cast magic without incantations, which is a bit of a blow to Rudeus’ ego. Still, now the two of them can go out, make moves, and woo girls as a badass magical duo.
All of that changes, though, when they come back home after getting caught in a rainstorm. So Rudeus decides, “Alright, let’s hop in the bath so we don’t get sick.” But Sylph’s like, “Um, no thanks, I’m good.” But Rudeus thinks he’s just being shy, so he ends up forcing the matter. That’s when he gets the biggest shock of his lives: Sylph…is a girl. Her real name’s Sylphiette. Her hair was just so short that his stupid ass thought she was a boy this whole time.
Morgan Freeman: It was at this point, Rudeus knew…he fucked up.
So, yeah. Rudeus might be a pervert, but he’s got standards. He doesn’t need the FBI coming into his house and arresting him for being a pedo. So, he tells her he thought she was a boy this whole time, like a dummy, which makes her cry. However, after they’ve got time to think things over, Sylphie forgives him for being an ignoramus.
So, bet. Now Rudeus got a potential future waifu for a best friend.
Finna Save the Family
Not long after, Zenith discovered she was pregnant with their next kid. Happy feelings for all. Except… Lilia’s also pregnant. Now I know what you’re thinking: who’s the Dad? Well, the answer might surprise…Paul, it’s Paul. Everyone knew it was Paul!
Morgan Freeman: It was at this point Paul knew…he fucked up.
So, here’s the thing: Lilia plans to stick around to help Zenith give birth, but once that’s done, she’s giving her two weeks’ notice. The problem is that it’s a month-long journey to her hometown. With a baby to care for, that’s a death sentence. So, Rudeus pulls a big-brained move and resolves things. He throws Paul under the bus by lying and saying the whole thing was his fault, and Zenith buys this. Okay, I don’t think she does, but she uses it as an excuse because she doesn’t want to throw out Lilia since she’s her best friend. That, and this is Paul we’re talking about.
Full disclosure: it was Lilia that came onto Paul. She already had a crush on him from way back, and she had to spend years listening to them go at it after dark. There’s only so much a person can take, and no amount of maintenance can help. So, she did the only thing she could and cared for herself.
So, awesome. Rudeus has two baby sisters: Norn and Aisha.
Daddy Gets Rudy a Job
So, by this point, Rudeus is pretty happy with his life. He’s a badass magician, he’s got two adorable sisters, and his best friend Sylphie’s super cute. He’s finna enjoy his life the way it is. Except he gets this letter from Roxy, who says she’s been inspired by him to train to get even stronger and that she hopes to see how amazing he is once he’s grown up. She also got a job tutoring this Prince, but that’s for another day.
So, in his previous life, Rudeus was pretty smart and had all the potential to be successful. However, he let himself start slacking off, and everything went downhill from there. So instead, he’s going to make sure that doesn’t happen this time. So, he decides to enroll at Roxy’s alma mater and become a world-class magician. And when Slyphie begs him not to leave her alone, he decides they both should go. The only problem: how’s he going to pay for all this? His Dad won’t pay for both of them.
So, Rudeus decides there’s only one thing to do: he’s gotta get a job. And Paul pulls some strings and gets something that’s perfect for him. See, Paul’s not just some knight and former adventurer. He’s actually from one of the great houses that rules their country, and his cousin’s the heir to another great house that rules their region. Plus, his and Zenith’s old adventuring teammate, Ghislaine, who is the swolest-looking cat girl you’ve ever seen, is their bodyguard. So, he pulls some strings and gets Rudeus a job working as a tutor for the Boreas Greyrat family.
The catch is that he can’t come home, write home, or write to Sylphie for the next five years. They’re becoming co-dependent on each other, and that’s not good, so they need to be self-sufficient.
That’s All for Now!
And that is where we are going to end things for today. I meant for this recap to be done in one go, but it’s so huge that I had to split things up. Come back for part two as Rudeus starts his new life as a professional tutor and comes face-to-face with, quite possibly, the tsundere to end all tsundere’s.
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
One of the big draws to Demon Slayer is how creative the Demons themselves can be. They can range from the ones that can pass for Human to the ones that look like hideous abominations, but they all look interesting. However, I don’t think I’ve seen a Demon as strange or unnerving as that of Gyokko of the Upper Four. Not only does he have mouths where his eyes would be, but Gyokko looks like centipede with stunted limbs! The most disturbing thing about him, though, is his sick, depraved ideas about “art.” If I hadn’t already seen many sick things in fiction, the art of Gyokko might make me puke.
The Demon Slayers and swordsmiths have their work cut out for them in this fight!
I Now Understand Why Mitsuri Kanroji’s a Waifu
First, though, we need to address the arrival of the Love Hashira, Mitsuri Kanroji, at the Swordsmith Village. With Tanjiro and the other’s tied down fighting the Upper Four, the Swordsmiths can’t do much to stop the fish Demons from killing them all. However, all that changes when Misturi arrives on the battlefield. We get to see her Love Breathing style first-hand, and it is impressive. It’s strange that her sword’s more of a whip, but the results speak for themselves. She wastes the Demons attacking the villagers and saves the village chief while doing so!
Her crazy strength alone is enough to impress most people. What makes Mitsuri a top-tier waifu is her personality. The first thing she does after saving the village chief is to make sure they’re all right, much to his happiness. She’s a precious treasure, and I’m looking forward to seeing what else she can do in this arc.
Gyokko is One Messed Up Demon
While all of this is happening, Muichiro’s heading to the shed with Kotetsu to get the new sword promised to him by the swordsmith Kozo, only to save the latter en route. By the time the three make it to the shed, though, Gyokko’s already beaten them there in his demonic vases. The Demon’s already creepy enough, but once he decides to show the three his “art” before killing them, it’s enough to make people’s stomachs churn. This Demon has been capturing villagers from the Swordsmith Village in his vases, fusing them, and then spitting them back out as these horrifically grotesque statues! If that wasn’t bad enough, then Gyokko explains in great detail the meaning behind everything like an artist explaining his work to critics, and he does it without caring how he made the thing.
The worst part, though? When Gyokko twists a sword embedded in the thing, the “statue” starts screaming in pain. The people that make up his “art” are still alive and in unspeakable agony! If it weren’t for the fact that I’ve seen messed-up stuff like this before, I might have puked then and there. Muichiro needs to put Gyokko down. He’s not only a threat to humanity, but a menace to art! That might be hard, though, since Gyokko can create magic vases, teleport them wherever he wants, and imprison people in water.
Tanjiro Unlocks that Shonen Super State!
Meanwhile, Tanjiro, Nezuko, and Genya’s fight against the four Demons that make up Hatengu isn’t going well. The Demons prove to be even stronger when fighting together, as seen when they level the building they were fighting in! Tanjiro gets ready to fight them anyway but is surprised when Nezuko grabs his sword and refuses to let go until it’s coated in her blood. At first glance, it looks like she’s trying to stop him, but then the sword catches fire. Nezuko used her Blood Demon Art to set Tanjiro’s blade on fire!
A flaming sword’s cool enough as it is, but it’s more than just for coolness points. The blade that Tanjiro and Kotestu found in the training doll was also bright red. The same bright red used by the man Tanjiro’s had dreams of, and what his own sword became in the Entertainment District’s final battle. A lot of Shonen stories have the protagonist’s unlocking some kind of super-powered state at one point or another, and this red sword, combined with that mark on Tanjiro, is the Demon Slayer equivalent. As a result, Tanjiro cuts through three of Hantengu’s selves like a hot knife through butter! Once again, Demon Slayer’s animation proves to be one of its biggest draws.
The Fight Could Go Either Way Right Now
As of now, the Demon Slayers and Demons seem to be in a stalemate. At first glance, it looks like the Demons have the upper hand, but that’s what tends to happen in these fights. The Demon Slayers are always fighting an uphill battle. However, between Mitsuri showing up, Muichiro tying down Gyokko, and Tanjiro’s flaming sword, things could turn in their favor. In addition, one of Hantengu’s persona’s has a memory from Muzan of that swordsman from Tanjiro’s dreams using the same power against him. People who read the manga know what that power is, and what it means that Tanjiro’s unlocked it for the second time now. Muzan has reason to be afraid.
Thus far, the Swordsmith Village Arc’s shaping up to be just as exciting as the Entertainment District was, if not more. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens, but above all, I want to see Gyokko get what’s coming to him! That Demon must die!
How did the Demons find the Swordsmith Village in the first place? That’s what I’m asking myself as I watched the new episode of Demon Slayer. The fact that it’s under attack by two members of the Upper Four, though, is just as concerning. However, for all their power, the Demons have themselves a tough time against the likes of Tanjiro, Nezuko, and their allies. What follows is a rather interesting series of battles that sees all the Demon Slayers get a chance to show off their skills. And that includes Nezuko!
Muichiro Does Have a Heart, After All
Despite having a personality akin to sandpaper at first, the last episode proved that underneath all that, Muichiro’s a decent person. He wound up taking Tanjiro’s words about kindness to others to heart. As a result, he saves Kotesu from the fish Demon. What’s more, despite wanting to prioritize the safety of the village over a single person, he agrees to help Kotetsu save Hotaru and his comrade.
So, Muichiro’s not a bad person. However, this episode also revealed something interesting: he has amnesia. He doesn’t remember much about his past, so the head of the Demon Slayer Corps has been telling him to talk to others. Sometimes, minor moments can trigger a person’s memories. Thus, he jumps back into the fight to save Hotaru, AKA the guy fixing the sword that Tanjiro’s going to need to win.
Speaking of which…
Tanjiro, Nezuko, and Genya vs. the Quadruplet Demons
I’ve seen a number of Demons with bizarre powers in this series, but I wasn’t expecting one that could split into more Demons like Hantengu can. As a result of this ability, now the three are facing off against four Demons, each representing a different emotion of Hantengu: Urogi, Sekido, Karaku, and Aizetsu. At first glance, they all appear to be tougher than them, but that’s usually the case with Demons. Yet thanks to some good old-fashioned swordsmanship and inegunity, Tanjiro still manages to come out on top. Thanks to his wits, Tanjiro discovers that there’s a limit to how many times the Demons can split themselves. In addition, despite being separated from his sister and Genya, he uses Urogi to quickly reunite with his comrades. This is why Tanjiro’s one of the best the Demon Slayer Corps has to offer.
Nezuko, meanwhile, starts struggling against her opponent. On paper, she should be fine, but the more she uses her Demon powers, the greater the risk she has of succumbing to them. Thankfully, Genya manages to cover for her well enough, despite taking a beating himself.
I don’t know that much about Genya, but his fighting style’s unlike any Demon Slayer we’ve seen thus far. He doesn’t use breathing techniques, he uses a shotgun, and he can heal from bad injuries. He’s an interesting character, to be sure. I hope we learn more about him as the arc progresses.
The War has Come to the Swordsmith Village
It doesn’t matter how you slice it, the war against the Demons has come to the Swordsmith Village. Worse, since it’s location is a secret even from the Demon Slayers, there’s no surefire way to get people there in time to help. It’s fortunate that the Love Hashira, Misturi, happens to be nearby and rushes to help. Beyond that, the villagers and the Demon Slayers there are on their own.
I don’t know the full details of what happens, but I do know that something very important happens at the very end of this arc. As such, I’m going to be paying close attention to what happens. Given how this is Demon Slayer, we’re bound to get some jaw-dropping action in the coming episodes. It will be worth it!
In my review for the season premiere, I missed an important scene at the end of the episode. In it, Tanjiro’s in the woods near the swordsmith’s village when he stumbles upon a man who looks exactly like the one he saw in his dream in the episode. As we see in this episode, that man isn’t a man but a training dummy. A training dummy that puts 21st-century robotics to shame, at that! Modeled in the likeness of a long-dead Demon Slayer, it will help Tanjiro get stronger if he can get past the abrasive Hashira who called dibs on it. The Yoriichi Type Zero doll appears!
Muichiro Tokito, the Sand Paper Hashira
Picking up where the last episode left off, Tanjiro watches as one of the twelve Hashira, Muichiro Tokito, butts heads with this little blacksmith named Kotetsu. Muichiro demands to use the mechanical doll, the Yoriichi Type Zero so that he can get stronger. However, that young blacksmith refuses, not wanting it to get damaged. The Yoriichi doll was made by his ancestors three hundred years ago, and it’s so advanced they don’t know how to repair it if it gets damaged.
Muichiro doesn’t care, though. After knocking Tanjiro out for trying to intervene, the Hashira proceeds to train with it and chops off one of the arms! Muichiro’s officially the Mist Hashira, but he might as well be the Sand Paper Hashira. He’s so abrasive and arrogant he makes the likes of Sasuke, Bakugo, and Vegeta look pleasant in comparison.
So, Tanjiro and this little boy, Kotetsu, aren’t going to take this disrespect lying down. Even though he’s only ten and knows he can’t fix the doll if it breaks anymore, Kotetsu doesn’t care. He goes full drill sergeant and forces Tanjiro to try without rest or food until he can beat the thing. It gets so bad, Tanjiro has to drink the rainwater to stay upright!
It’s worth it, though, to fight the Yoriichi doll.
The Six-Armed Demon Slaying Doll
There needs to be a way to discuss the person who the doll was modeled after without spoiling the manga. For now, the important thing to know is that Yoriichi was a Demon Slayer who lived three hundred years ago and was a master swordsman. He was so powerful that swordsmiths had to give the Type Zero doll six arms to capture his skill with a blade fully. In addition, as Tanjiro discovers from his dreams, this man eventually meets Tanjiro’s ancestors. The earrings that Tanjiro wears match the ones Yoriichi wore in the dream. In other words, the Kamado family was close to this man.
That doesn’t do a lot of good for Tanjiro, though. Despite his best efforts, his exhaustion (and Kotetsu’s drill Sgt. behavior) almost get the better of him. However, in true Shonen fashion, pushing himself to his limits lets Tanjiro unlock a new power. And while I don’t understand how smelling the doll’s attacks works, I don’t need to understand it. It allowed him to beat the doll…and break it.
The Perfect Sword for Tanjiro, Courtesy of Yoriichi
As shocking as it was to see the Type Zero doll break thanks to Tanjiro’s training, what’s more, surprising is that a sword is embedded inside the doll. It may have shocked Tanjiro and Kotetsu, but I know why it was in the doll. I guess that Yoriichi himself put the sword inside the doll that bears its likeness as a reward. Anyone strong enough to beat the Yoriichi Type Zero would be good enough to wield the blade within. In other words, it’s likely that the sword’s special.
Again, I never read the manga, so I am still determining what will happen next. However, I’m willing to bet that that mystery blade will become Tanjiro’s new weapon of choice before this arc ends—the perfect tool to kill Muzan’s evil Demons.
This season’s gotten off to a slow start, lacking the ecstasy-inducing action we saw in the Entertainment District’s climax. However, once things get underway, Demon Slayer will start breaking the Internet again. I look forward to seeing what happens and learning more about Yoriichi in anime form.
When we last left off with Tanjiro, he was going through training from Hell, fighting against an advanced training doll modeled after a legendary Demon Slayer. He eventually overcame it, but broke the doll in the process. However, he ended up getting the prize inside: a new sword! The bad news, though, is that the sword’s rusted from 300 years of neglect. That, and the Demons found the Swordsmith Village. That’s not good.
You Can’t Just Show Up, Mr. Haganezuka
Just as Kotetsu and Tanjiro are lamenting the rusty sword, none other than the swordsmith Haganezuka appears, demanding they hand over the blade for him to fix. Since he bailed on them in the first place and just says, “leave it to me!” this leads to some Shonen comedy. Tanjiro has every right to not let Haganezuka work on the sword since he bailed on him when he arrived. Since another swordsmith explains that Haganezuka had gone to train to make the ideal sword for Tanjiro, though, all is forgiven. The sword-polishing process will take three days, though.
In the meantime, though, the world of anime gets blessed with the light of adorableness that is Nezuko. Getting to see Tanjiro braid her hair to look like the Love Hashira is so adorable, as are Nezuko’s antics. She even manages to make Muichiro let his guard down a little. Despite me calling him the “Sand Paper Hashira” last week, Muichiro at least manages to talk civilly with Tanjiro and Nezuko.
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.