Kimetsu no Yaiba: Yuukaku-hen Episode 11 [Final Impressions]
And finally the Entertainment District arc has come to an end. This really was an explosive season with lots of excitement and tense moments. Last episode ended on such a huge cliffhanger that kept me on edge, so I will admit that the start of this episode was a tad…anticlimactic?
I think this whole finale was very meh. A good portion of the episode was your typical Demon Slayer comedy with everyone yelling and crying. With last episode ending so seriously and Tengen literally about to die, and you have Suma crying and screaming and not shutting the hell up while he’s trying to say his last words, with all that bickering, it’s just annoying. Same with Zenitsu’s yelling and Inosuke, when everyone is on the brink of death. As I’ve said many times before, Demon Slayer’s comedy is very hit or miss, mostly a miss for me and this episode had a lot of misses. The comedy just didn’t feel appropriate after everything the characters have been through so it just irked me. Some shows are a lot better at balancing the comedy and serious parts, but I don’t think Demon Slayer is one of them. But that’s just me.
I’m also not sure how I feel about Nezuko’s very convenient ability. I know there’s a lot about Nezuko we don’t know about, such as that random power-up she had earlier as well as this ability to get rid of Gyutaro’s poison from everyone. Maybe the ability itself doesn’t exactly bother me, but I think it was the ease of it and the show just kinda glossing over it and not really questioning it much. Also it just happened so quick like it was nothing, after such a high stakes battle everyone got better just like that. I just have conflicting feelings over it, but at least Nezuko’s powers grow and just continue to be more mysterious as there’s more to her than everyone knows.
The big meat of this episode was the inevitable flashback of our demons. Tanjiro and Nezuko head out to find Daki and Gyutaro’s severed heads to make sure they’re gone for sure, only to come back to them arguing with each other as they slowly die. Hearing the things they were saying to each other, Tanjiro comes to step in to make sure Gyutaro doesn’t say anything more that he’ll regret before dying. This prompts the flashback to start of Gyutaro’s difficult life before Daki/Ume was born. It was a really horrible situation of living in an impoverished entertainment district, being bullied and looked down upon because of his voice and looks. He later used this to his advantage as a debt collector, making a living for himself after his mother’s death and raising Ume on his own. The two were just victims of a rough life with no parental figure, in a poor neighborhood where everyone looked out for themselves. What the customer did to Ume for stabbing his eye out was horrific (and it harkens back to when Nezuko set her aflame) and honestly their story was very sad. It explains why Gyutaro and Daki were the way they were and why they held so much contempt for the entertainment district. Also Gyutaro screaming for help and holding Ume’s body reminded me of Episode 1 when Tanjiro carried Nezuko’s body. The parallels just don’t stop!
We also got the introduction of another Upper Rank demon in the flashback and he sure made an entrance. Ufotable made it seem sort of ethereal with the brightness, but then that image deteriorates as he casually smiles while having a severed head and limbs on his body, as he offered Gyutaro his blood. Man, I love it when Mamoru Miyano voices creepy psychopaths. After his performance as Light Yagami, it was all over for us.
The flashback was good and the sibling feels got me when in the end, Gyutaro and Ume still stuck together in the afterlife. Snake Hashira shows up and thankfully alls well that ends well. Tengen officially retires, our boys and Nezuko are okay, and an Upper Rank demon has been defeated. However, Akaza gets summoned to the Infinity Castle but unfortunately we don’t see anything of it as the episode cuts away. I was excited to see Muzan’s reaction to this and if that Upper Rank demon from the flashback was going to show up, but I guess that will have to wait until next time. Which is really disappointing since whatever was going to happen in the Infinity Castle would have made this finale more interesting.
And that’s that. Honestly this finale could have just been the regular runtime since I felt like certain scenes were just dragged out and not that important and because of that this finale was just meh. With the hype of an extended episode I expected more from it so it was a bit of a letdown.
Still, I really enjoyed this season. This is probably my favorite season of Demon Slayer so far to be honest, though it’s still not perfect. Demon Slayer continues to have pacing issues which I already mentioned of scenes or entire episodes just feeling soooo long. Lots of scenes can be cut so we can get to the point of the scene/episode a lot faster and again the comedy (to me) just isn’t good most of the time. There were some great laughs this season, but scenes (ahem…Zenitsu) that overstay its welcome. There were also the scenes with the wives, namely Suma and sometimes Makio as those two bicker a lot, that would randomly happen at serious moments that would take me out of the scene. Such as when Inosuke rescued them from the ribbon jail, the end of episode 10, and here in the finale. Speaking of…
I’m really disappointed that Hinatsuru, Suma, and Makio weren’t really important in all this. Like, who are they? Tengen’s wives, yes. What else. I mean they’re a nice group and all and I don’t mind them, but really what else is there to them? The show made it seem like they would be super important in the beginning since the mission at first was to find the wives and rescue them. Of course things changed quickly afterwards but they still didn’t add much of anything to the story, except maybe Hinatsuru. But who is Makio? And Suma? Dear god Suma please just stop screaming and crying! She reminds me of fucking Suzume from Yuki Yuna: Dai Mankai no Shou. I already dealt with an annoying character that cried all the time, I didn’t need another one. Dx And, well…Zenitsu is there too but at least he’s an actual character. The wives not really doing anything was another letdown.
Tengen was a great addition, however. He did not make a good first impression in the first season, or in the beginning of this season either. But getting to know Tengen more, he really is a great guy with a good heart that cares about his wives and Tanjiro and the others. He takes a lot of responsibility and watches out for everyone, probably because of his rough upbringing and doing his best to stray away from it. I do wish we got to see Tengen more personally outside of battle, as well as his breathing technique. I feel like it was underutilized this season, compared to Rengoku where we saw his entire breathing technique arsenal. Tengen did not get that same treatment which is sad. I loved what little we did see, like when he made a song out of Gyutaro’s attacks. It’s really unique and I wonder what else Tengen would be able to do.
Other than those hiccups, this was a really enjoyable season. The entertainment district was a different but fun setting for the characters to be in. The initial mystery of the district demon was short but so well done. I love it when Demon Slayer gets into those horror genre moments with how certain scenes are presented such as Zenitsu getting caught by the sash demon. It was such a short scene but so well done! Another thing I really liked from this season was the fact that our main trio were separated from each other and were able to shine on their own. It’s not something we’ve seen a lot so for them to have their own responsibilities was great. Some great advancements in character development as well as relationships too. Daki and Gyutaro I personally liked for some reason, I just find them so interesting. Their relationship as siblings is pretty unique in the demon world too. And it goes without saying that this season probably had some of the hypest moments in the series so far, and I simply had a lot of fun watching this season.
Again, not a perfect season with ups and downs but still extremely fun. There’s always something to look forward to and the next season has already been confirmed so I don’t think we’ll have to wait too long for the story to continue. Not sure where to score this season of Demon Slayer, I keep jumping from 8.5-9/10 so I’ll just leave it at that for now. I’m excited to see where things will go from here with the Upper Ranks, as well as with Tanjiro’s quest to understand his Hinokami Kagura, learn more about Nezuko, as well as meet the next Hashira! Until next time~