There goes Demon Slayer being Trauma the anime again. I’m sure there are people who just look at this episode and are just super tired of all the tragic backstories in this series. Thankfully, I feel like I’m fully prepared for an overdose of traumatizing pasts after watching Fruits Basket lol. So it doesn’t really bother me or tire me out if literally every other character has a tragic backstory. Especially since the world that the characters live in is depressing and tragic, which this world is with how people either get turned into demons or how many people are killed by them. And considering what the Demon Corps stand for, it only makes sense for the demon slayers to have intense motivations for wanting to destroy demons. Especially in the cases of the Hashiras.
We finally get Muichiro’s backstory and I was yet another case of “I knew what was going to happen but it didn’t make it hurt any less.” Though granted I actually didn’t know the full extent of his backstory, but I did know that he had a twin brother. It was obvious that Muichiro was going to be an orphan, but I had thought his dad was killed by a demon. However, it almost feels even more tragic to have lost both his parents in the way that he did. Especially since the dad ended up dying in an attempt to try and find something to save the mom. As soon as they showed him climbing up the cliff side reaching for some herbs, I knew he was going to slip. It was terribly tragic, especially since this resulted in Muichiro losing both of his parents in one day. On one hand, I can understand why he went out and risked leaving his kids behind since it was for his wife, but on the other hand, if he hadn’t gone, at least he would be there for his kids. Though considering the emotional damage he would have sustained from the loss and possibly even guilt of not even trying, it’s hard to gauge just how much he’d actually be able to be there for them.
After losing both of their parents, it seemed to fall on the older brother, Yuichiro to continue the household. And while I did think Yuichiro was way too abrasive and unnecessarily cruel, I do understand why he is the way that he is. As the oldest, it seemed like all of the responsibility fell onto him and he took it upon himself to provide for him and his brother. He was doing a lot of the heavy lifting as shown with the amount of firewood he was carrying as opposed to how much is brother was. And while his words about their parents dying were cold, he saw it as an example of what happens when people go out of their way for others. Which is honestly really sad, especially when Muichiro recites what his dad told him, which ended up being similar if not exactly what Tanjiro said back in episode 3. Which also explains why Muichiro reacted the way that he did to those words.
Yuichiro is essentially the personality that Muichiro took over after getting amnesia. Most likely subconsciously emulating what his brother said and thought. Blunt, logical and cold. Literally everything that Yuichiro exuded minus his temper. It’s sad how Yuichiro’s personality was the thing to drive a stake between their relationship, as shown in several scenes where there is always something shown to separate them in a shot. However, the thing that was the needle to break the camel’s back was when Muichiro expressed so much enthusiasm over hearing how they’re descended from the First Breathing swordsmen. It was at this moment when Yuichiro broke down yelling at him where I finally understood just how much he was actually hurting and how their parents’ deaths affected him. While it doesn’t justify taking out his frustrations out on Muichiro, it’s understandable just how much he has been bottling up all this time. Especially since he’s still just a kid who had so much responsibility dropped on him all at once. It’s heartbreaking that he has to bare so much at such a young age and I can’t even blame him for being so irritable all the time.
Despite it all, it was still clear that he cared for his brother despite how much he belittled and criticized him. Even in that scene where he just walked past Muichiro struggling to put the log over by the others. It clearly shows that he wants to help or at least say something to him, but his pride prevented him from doing so. And it was made crystal clear when he sacrificed himself by jumping in front of a demon’s attack to shield Muichiro without any hesitation. It’s honestly really sad that he couldn’t be more outspoken about how much he cared for Muichiro. However, there are those who are only capable of expressing their feelings through actions rather than their words. It’s just tragic that when Yuichiro was finally able to voice his true feelings, he was on the brink of death. However, I am glad that Muichiro was able to hear them and boy, I couldn’t help but tear up over just how much he cared for him. Just hearing him pray to save his brother hit me like a truck, especially since all this time Muichiro thought Yuichiro hated him but in reality it couldn’t have been more wrong.
It’s honestly no wonder why Muichiro felt so much motivation from the Master believing in him. After having his brother tell him he can’t do anything for anyone for so long, it only makes sense that someone to tell him otherwise would build him with confidence. Coupled with the fact that in his brother’s final words told him that the “Mu” in Muichiro actually meant “Infinity,” which essentially titles him as someone with endless possibilities. Even going as far as to show Muichiro develop similar markings to Tanjiro. And we thought that Sanemi was a beast for being able to bring down his mom as a demon with just a butcher’s knife. Muichiro has proven to be an even bigger beast by essentially mutilating a demon at such a young age. And we all thought that Tanjiro was the chosen one, naw fan, Muichiro is the true shounen protagonist of this world.
I absolutely loved the transition from Muichiro’s old swordsmith telling him how much he worries for Muichiro’s situation to Muichiro saying that he’s all right now. And then it hit so hard finally hearing Yuichiro’s thoughts and seeing things from his perspective during all the times that Muichiro thought he didn’t care about him. Coupled with the freaking OST that was playing and the action, the scene brought tears to my eyes. Everything about this part was just straight up beautiful from the emotions to the visuals and the soundtrack. Everything flowed together so well in this scene and while it was short, it felt like it left such an impact. Especially in terms for Muichiro’s character. This series does a great job in fleshing out the Hashiras despite a lot of their bad first impressions and showing us their reasons for being part of the Demon Slayer Corp and in the end makes you want to root for them. At this point, I don’t think there is a Hashira that they’ve delved into that I don’t like. And while I don’t think I’d rank Muichiro over Tengen or Rengoku in terms of favorites, I still really like and respect him as a character.
This episode was great in telling us about Muichiro as a character and everything that factored into his mindset. Muichiro and Yuichiro’s relationship reminds me a lot of a certain relationship in idolish7 with how much the older twin treats the younger one coldly but shows that he still cares in his actions. Though because the younger twin is a lot more emotional than the logical older twin, their actions comes across as cold and uncaring. I feel like this season is emphasizing brothers a lot with Genya and Sanemi earlier and now Muichiro and Yuichiro. Showing us different dynamics and just how much trauma can strain a relationship but in the end, they still deeply care for one another. Now that Muichiro finally seems to be able to show us just what he’s made of now that he has his sword, I do wonder if he’ll be able to body an Upper Rank Demon all on his own or if he’ll need back up. Just judging strictly from the opening, it might be leading up to that with him joining the others against Upper Four afterwards. Which honestly would be incredibly impressive. I also appreciate that Tanjiro isn’t really the main source of inspiration to Muichiro’s actions and instead just triggering a former memory. While it does eventually lead him to remembering the rest of his memories, it isn’t as intentional or personal as Tanjiro is towards Genya. Instead, it seems to be a combined effort of those around him that allowed him to regain the part of him that he had lost.
Looks like next episode still has Muichiro as the forefront character, which makes me wonder if Mitsuri will have a chance in the spotlight. I hope so since I am curious about her as well. Though judging from the opening, she’ll definitely have her time against Upper Four since I would love to see the rest of her fighting abilities.