Really, Demon Slayer? ON MOTHER’S DAY??? YOU MADE ME WATCH THIS ON MOTHER’S DAY???? I already knew about Genya’s backstory, but just like with Rengoku’s death, just because I knew it was coming, didn’t make it hurt any less. Demon Slayer out here being childhood trauma the anime. I grew to have so much sympathy for the Shinazugawa brothers, even if they are overly angry people. But honestly, after such a traumatic event, it’s completely understandable to have such a dramatic shift in personality. But man, initially I was rolling my eyes at how they kept inserting humor at inappropriate times and then they hit me where it hurts with a flashback. I even complained that now isn’t a good time for a flashback, only for it to leave me in tears. Talk about mood whiplash lol.
I’m honestly glad that Tanjiro didn’t just body an Upper Rank on his own. Though it is a little frustrating that it didn’t feel like there was any progression with the fight. Despite that, it is really fun to watch a group battle instead of a one on one with so many different parts at work and switching between attackers. I was surprised that Hantengu was still out there since we saw his head and body become different emotions and I do hope they address how this happened. Though I should keep my expectations low in that regard in case they just don’t. Speaking of which, I absolutely LOST it when they showed how small Hantengu is. Also just the way he was animated was just too funny, I just couldn’t lol. However, despite his size, it seems as if he’s incredibly difficult to kill as both Genya’s sword and gun couldn’t do any damage to him. Maybe while the emotions excel in offense, the main body excels in defense? Either way, it seems as if this is the main body and the weak point of all the emotions as they were desperate to keep the others away from it.
And then there’s Genya. Genya, Genya, Genya… He certainly is an interesting character. While they haven’t delved into why he’s demon-like, he is thankfully coherent and still retains who he is for reasons we’ll find out later. Initially, he basically just seems like another Bakugo with him desperately wanting to be at the top and he’ll become the next Hashira. (To which Tanjiro gives a hilarious response to) However, unlike Bakugo who just wants to be the very best there ever was, Genya’s reason for wanting to become a Hashira is so that he could speak with his brother and apologize. He isn’t looking for self-glory and instead wants to be able to be acknowledged by Sanemi who he is now estranged with. And while at first I wasn’t too keen on getting a flashback in the middle of a battle, Genya’s backstory absolutely DESTROYED me because of course it did.
While Genya’s circumstances were different, the situation he found himself in was very similar to Tanjiro’s. Both had a bunch of siblings and a single mother and while not incredibly well off, they got by fine and seemed fairly happy. And in one unfortunate event, lost their entire family save for one family member, their siblings. Though I feel like Genya’s situation was a lot more tragic in the sense that he actually witnessed his siblings get slaughtered right in front of him. Made worse by the fact that he made a promise to Sanemi that he would protect the family with him. He wasn’t able to protect any of them and I think the most tragic death was the sibling he had been holding. Especially since Genya was spared because his little brother was sadly in front of him when the demon attacked. It’s honestly really sad to see how adorable and kind-hearted the brothers were prior to their family being massacred. Not everyone can turn out like Tanjiro in the face of trauma.
And to just throw salt on the wound, he ended up finding his mom dead in front of Sanemi. The fact that his mom turned into a demon and killed her children is incredibly heartbreaking. To make matters worse, in his delirious state, Genya immediately blamed Sanemi for killing her and cried out calling him a murderer, not recognizing the fact his mother had become a demon at the time. And while I do have some issues with Genya’s voice actor, he absolutely nailed his performance and actually brought tears to my eyes just hearing the raw pain and sadness in his voice. I can’t even blame Genya for how he reacted. He was in a state of panic and unable to really think of what was going on. He could only react to what he saw. It’s heartbreaking to see him realize how much he must have hurt Sanemi by calling him a murderer and what he must have been feeling at the time having been forced to kill their mother out of self defense. Genya is trying his absolute hardest to try and right his wrongs against his brother and I can’t help but feel really bad for him. Especially since he apparently can’t use any breathing techniques, which is probably why he resorts to using a gun instead.
I feel like this is the turning point for Genya and Tanjiro’s relationship. Especially with how Tanjiro came in to save Genya, just like Sanemi did all those years ago. Even going as far as to tell him that he’d protect him. Tanjiro out here acting like everyone’s older brother. You are too good for this world… However, before Genya could even respond, freaking Sorrow sneaks up on them and fires off an attack that would for sure kill a normal person. Honestly, out of all the emotions, I feel like Sorrow is the most lethal as he is constantly doing kill shots and once you’re stabbed by a staff like that, there’s no walking away from that if you’re not a demon. And if Genya hadn’t covered for Tanjiro in that moment, Tanjiro most likely would have died considering all the holes Genya was covered in afterwards. Him shielding Tanjiro felt like a redemption of sorts for him being unable to protect his siblings.
Despite what Sanemi did during the trial, I actually never hated him. And looking into his character more, I started liking him a lot. With this flashback, it essentially brought a lot of context as to why he is so adamant about killing demons no matter what. The poor guy went through such a traumatic event where I can hardly blame him for hating demons as much as he does. Their existence is what basically forced him to kill his own mother. He seemed like such a good guy when he was younger and genuinely cared so much for his family. Even going as far as to make a promise with Genya that they would be the ones to provide and protect his family after their father died. I can’t even imagine what Sanemi must have felt during that whole incident. Not only did he have to kill his own mother, but he also was too late to save his other siblings. Everything he swore to protect was taken away from him in an instant. Not to mention that the person he was fighting tooth and nail to protect ended up calling him a murderer. The amount of pain, sorrow, grief and trauma this poor boy must have went through in this moment.
As the oldest sibling in my family, I couldn’t help but empathize so hard with Sanemi. He looked absolutely broken upon realizing the demon he killed was his mother. It’s honestly no wonder why he believes no demon can be saved and was one of the Hashira’s to heavily deny Nezuko. If the loving mother he cherished became a violent demon who killed all of his siblings, how could there be someone who could anyone retain their humanity after becoming a demon? Also, it could also just be too soul crushing for him to even consider a good demon because if Nezuko was able to be saved, then there could have been a chance to save his mother. And after having to kill her with his own hands, I can only imagine how devastating that thought could have been for him. I think I ended up liking Sanemi (or possibly just reinforced) a lot more after this flashback despite him being a character I normally wouldn’t care for. It’s probably because he cared so much for his family and me being able to relate to him as an older sibling. Also that last smile he had… UGH I’M WEEPING. There’s definitely a lot more to Sanemi that needs to be unpacked, especially his current coldness towards Genya, but probably won’t get into it until later seasons.
While Tanjiro took more of a supportive role in this episode, he was still amazing. Not only was he able to keep the emotions at bay, he also allowed Genya to be the one to find and kill the Upper Rank because he knows that it means a lot to him. Heck, he essentially just broke through Genya’s one-sided rivalry by just being nice lol. He was also the one to realize that there was a fifth demon running around due to the scent. That ability of his has always been so weird to me, but it sure comes in handy in a pinch. His support and encouragement to Genya was also very sweet and I do hope that they eventually do become real friends by the end of this.
I didn’t expect to be freaking attacked by mom feels in this episode. I was initially criticizing it because of my distaste of adding humor into very serious situations only to be punched in the heart by heartbreaking circumstances on freaking Mother’s Day of all days. I didn’t need to feel more sad on this day! This episode legit made me feel depressed after I watched it. But man, Demon Slayer really loves their cliffhangers because this one just felt so disrespectful. You really gonna leave me hanging like that for a week??? The audacity lol. Also the fact that nothing changed with Muichiro’s situation also felt a tad disrespectful. Like: Yup, the guy is still drowning. Thanks Demon Slayer lol.
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The Mother’s Day in my country is still several months long, but I do sympathize with how you feel having to watch a flashback of a mother killing her own children and then killed by one of her surviving children. The Shinazugawa brothers certainly not having a happy celebration for Mother’s Day…
Though it’s in the middle of a deadly battle, I’m glad that Tanjiro’s patience and sincerity finally able to penetrate Genya’s wall. How could anybody think badly of him when he’s staring at you so purely and earnestly? That’s my boy. lol
Why do you have issues with Nobuhiko Okamoto voicing Genya? Does his voice not to your liking?