Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 4: Final Selection
Here, like in any shounen, we’re starting the exam arc! Because EVERY shounen needs an exam arc and yet I usually enjoy them quite a bit. And it always involves forests. Hmm. Final Selection is here and Tanjiro is facing a harsh reality away from his warm mentor, Urokodaki. Now, on his own, he’s going to be facing dangers among the many demons around him.
Like Urokodaki had promised, Tanjiro can go to Final Selection after slicing down the boulder in half. Though he admits he wasn’t even planning on it, and the reasoning for that is made clear in the second half. We’re hinted at of the large grotesque demon when Urokodaki mentions that certain demons grow in size and strength the more humans they eat. He gives this warning to Tanjiro the night before he sets off, along with the same blue robe as his, and a fox mask like the ones Sabito and Makomo wear. Urokodaki is very surprised when Tanjiro mentions them, and I wonder why they were able to appear in front of him in the first place. Nezuko continues to sleep for some reason, but Tanjiro still leaves with a smile. For the Final Selection, we learn that the test is pretty simple: survive in the forest for a whole week. It sounds easy enough but there are plenty of demons roaming about, and Tanjiro already encounters two almost immediately.
Tanjiro has certainly gotten stronger and we’ve already seen the fruits of his labor as he is easily able to defeat them. Ufotable continues to impress with their animation. The water element in his attacks is drop dead gorgeous. The dynamic action movement is one thing, but the vibrant blue in all its stylistic glory is such a joy! It just looks so beautiful, but everything in this show looks beautiful. The scene of Tanjiro walking up the stairs among the wisteria flowers was probably my favorite part visually. And speaking of the wisteria, these certain flowers keep demons away. I’d like to know the reasoning for that, though I’m going to guess that maybe it’s something simple like its pollen. Or magic?
Tanjiro’s tears of joy getting cut short, he smells something rotten in the air. Looking around, he comes across the giant arm demon. Seeing how large it grew reminded me of what Urokodaki said and I knew that he must have been referring to this. It’s confirmed that Sabito and Makomo are dead and this demon was the one that killed them. The details of their deaths were gruesome and cruel, where I’m glad it was never actually shown in all that detail, and I’m glad that Tanjiro was able to take him out in the end. I wonder with his death, Sabito and Makomo will finally be able to pass on. But hearing that 14 of Urokodaki’s disciples have been killed, I also have to feel for Urokodaki as well. He’s trained many kids and yet all of them died. Not just one or two, but 14. That’s a large number and I’m surprised he’s not even more hardened. He’s actually very warm and kind, showing affection to Tanjiro with hugs and advice while also caring for Nezuko. Other than “I hope you survive”, I can’t even imagine what else went through his mind as Tanjiro set off for the Final Selection. The Final Selection and the demons are unforgiving, and he knows that for sure but that doesn’t mean it hurts any less.
But Tanjiro’s proven his strength as he takes down this large demon, along with the two smaller ones. He’s only started the test and still needs to survive the week. The episode flew by so quickly so I can’t wait to see the rest of the Final Selection, along with the blonde boy from the OP people seem to like a lot. Also RIP Tanjiro’s long hair. It made him look manly and cool, and I thought he would get his ponytail back. Darn it.