I demand compensation for my tears. I didn’t expect to go into this episode on Father’s Day no less and end up crying. Why they gotta hit me on both freaking parent days???? Anyways, I think this was a good wrap up to a… kinda sub-par arc. Though I wish we still got some final words/farewells with the other characters besides just Tanjiro. Since I feel like they should have at least said SOMETHING to each other before Tanjiro left especially after everything they went through. Oh well…
While Tanjiro was chasing Hantengu down, I couldn’t help but wonder why he thought back to Gyokko. Especially since Tanjiro never even met him and wasn’t present when he displayed how little he cared about human life. I can’t tell if the episode was just demonstrating how terrible demons in general to the audience or if these were specifically what Tanjiro was thinking back to while he was narrating his rage. Though if Tanjiro actually witnessed Gyokko’s complete disregard for human life, I’m sure he would have absolutely lost it.
Hantengu was just becoming more and more annoying with how he would constantly try and run away all the while playing the victim card. So when he turned around and asked if Tanjiro felt the least bit sorry. To which, if given the chance to answer, Tanjiro would have given him a big, fat NO. Especially when he just ups and becomes a very large version of himself and nearly crushes Tanjiro’s head if not for Genya and Nezuko’s help. Like BRUH. I couldn’t feel any less sorry for this guy, especially when we already know that’s he’s killed so many people and yet he STILL paints himself as the victim. At least the other villains own up to the fact that yeah, they are terrible and they’ve committed terrible acts against humanity. Some even brag about it, like how Gyokko did with his artwork of swordsmiths. He then has the sheer audacity and hypocrisy to go after the “weak” and defenseless swordsmiths.
And just as I had gotten from the opening, Muichiro does come in to throw Tanjiro his new sword despite it not being fully done yet much to Haganezuka’s chagrin. So now Tanjiro can really go beyond
PLUS ULTRA and finally slice Hantengu’s stupid little head off. Or at least they try and make us think.
I think the most gripping part of the episode had to be when Tanjiro finds himself in the Trolley Problem. Sunrise has always been a complicated matter in terms of the demons. On one hand, the sun kills them. However, on the other, it also causes them to flee and the Demon Slayers often miss their chance to finish them if they’re able to escape. Such as what happened with Akaza. Hantengu HAS to be beaten before the sunrise or else he’ll end up getting away and also puts Mitsuri at risk since she’s currently keeping Hatred occupied and only has so much stamina. However, in this situation, the sun is a very real threat to Nezuko since she’s out in the open without any cover. And because freaking Hantengu wasn’t actually dead and had split off into yet ANOTHER emotion, Resentment, he was still chasing after the swordsmiths to kill them. Due to Nezuko’s hypnosis of seeing all people as family, of course she’s going to be more concerned for their safety than hers. Which then leads to one of the biggest problems Tanjiro has ever had to face.
Seeing Nezuko get burned and just writhing in sheer agony from essentially getting burned alive, that was painful to watch. It was at this point that Tanjiro was faced with a terrible choice: His sister or innocent people. I was a bit put off by how some people just waved off the swordsmiths since they’re not as “important”. Essentially saying that it’s fine if they die. But in this situation, they were CRUCIAL. Not only would they have three less talented swordsmiths, but then the demon would heal itself and get stronger and most likely get away before the sun killed it, which would inevitably lead to Mitsuri getting killed as well since it’s crucial they end things before she runs out of stamina. It’s a terrible choice to make since if he choose to save Nezuko, the losses would be incredibly heavy. But if he chooses to save the swordsmiths, Tanjiro would lose the only family he had left and the entire reason why he became a Demon Slayer in the first place.
I can’t even imagine just the sheer amount of panic and confliction Tanjiro was in when it felt like he had to choose between his sister and the swordsmith villagers. He straight up went into a panic attack. And the scene made sure YOU FELT IT. Because man, I could hardly blame Tanjiro for not knowing what to do in this situation. So many things were at stake and he couldn’t make up his mind on what to do. It reminded me of that time back in season 1 where he had to figure out how to kill the demon but was unable to make a choice on what to do. Since then, Tanjiro has been incredibly decisive and hardly hesitated. However, in this moment, it felt like that brought him to how he was at the start. Being hindered by his massive amount of kindness. So the choice had to be made for him.
I tried SO HARD not to tear up when Nezuko kicked him off of her. I already KNEW she would be fine since I had read in TV tropes that she did somehow develop a resistance to the sun. So it felt emotionally manipulative that they were trying to make me think that she was legit about to die and these tears would be for nothing. However, just like with Rengoku and Genya’s backstory, I knew what was coming and yet I still freaking cried. Just the way how they set up and executed the scene pulled at my heartstrings reluctantly. They made it seem like it was a very real possibility that Nezuko was going to die from how she gave him a determined fist as if saying to continue on and went on to show us a freaking montage of their journey. STOP IT. STOP TRYING TO MANIPULATE MY EMOTIONS. I KNOW YOU’RE LYING. There’s no way you’d kill her off like this. Especially since she’s the reason this story started in the first place. YOU CAN’T KEEP GETTING AWAY WITH THIS. Nezuko saw saving the villagers as top priority and would much rather sacrifice herself than let them get killed. And that absolutely broke my heart.
If I wasn’t done with Hantengu before, I was super done with him now. This freaking coward needed to absolutely be put down. I was wondering why people really hated him and now I understand why. He’s begging for others to feel sorry for him, but he’s committed so many horrible atrocities. To which even extended to his human life. He pretended to be blind and stole from those who were actually blind. And when he was going to get turned in by his victim, he killed them and still tried to play the victim card. Then of course Muzan would feed into his victim mindset and be the person that “swooped in to save an innocent old man.” He was literally the same piece of crap as he is as a demon and I’m glad he doesn’t have a sympathetic backstory because at this point, I could really care less about him as a person/demon. Unlike Daki and Gyuutaro who at least cared about each other as siblings and went out of their way to look out for each other. Hantengu just played victim and acted as if he didn’t do anything wrong and just let his emotions do the dirty work. So when Tanjiro cut his head off with no remorse I was like: BYE FELICIA. I’m glad Tanjiro never felt the least bit sorry for him and feed into his delusions because I sure didn’t. What the magistrate told him all those years ago finally came to pass.
At this point, I was essentially crying for Tanjiro. We as an audience were sure that they wouldn’t kill Nezuko, especially when it just wouldn’t make sense narrative-wise. But to Tanjiro, this felt all too real to him and at this point he must have felt like he lost the reason to keep going. He started this journey just to find a way to turn Nezuko back to a human. So for him to lose that, must have been so soul crushing. I’m not even sure if he’d be able to live with the guilt of essentially having to sacrifice Nezuko. So to have her suddenly appear before him, seemingly having conquered the sun somehow must have been the ultimate relief to him.
I knew ahead of time that Nezuko would develop a resistance against the sun (it was semi-spoiled in the freaking opening if you were paying close attention), so it wasn’t as much of a relief to me than questions popping up as to how this even happened. One point of speculation must have to do with the fact that her family is connected to Sun Breathing in some form or another. While it manifests as a powerful breathing technique for Tanjiro, it’s not too much of a stretch to consider Nezuko being able to be out in the sun as how it manifests with her. Hopefully it is addressed later on because it does feel like a little bit of a deus ex machina to a certain extent since I feel like nothing felt like it was quite leading up to this. Not to mention they tried really hard to sell that she had died. So I’m not quite sure how I feel about this twist since it has its pros and cons. But in regards to Tanjiro, I’m glad she didn’t actually end up dying.
However, the canonical downside to Nezuko being able to resist the sun was she was basically now on a hit list for Muzan. Due to her newfound ability, Muzan wants to devour her so he can gain that ability, the ability he’s been searching for his entire life as a demon. What I didn’t expect was to get a freaking Muzan flashback. Though from the looks of it, he really hasn’t changed that much as his time as a human. He was still a terrible person who along with Hantengu can die a fiery death once his time comes. Especially with the freaking audacity he showed by after killing his cover mom and servant, he didn’t even bother to step over their dead bodies and just bulldozed his way through them as if they were nothing. Even back as a human, he shows little to not care for human life. Even towards the person who was trying to help him. Muzan apparently had always been sickly and wouldn’t live past twenty. So a shady-looking doctor was making medicine to help save him. But because of… I don’t even know. Out of pure impatience (?), Muzan just kills the guy only for karma to rear its ugly head.
Had just waited longer, he would have realized that the medicine the doctor was giving him HAD worked. However, because of unspecified reasons, somehow turned him into the first demon. I don’t think it’s ever explained how this medicine ended up turning him into a demon, but if I had to guess, it might have been just an unfortunate reaction to whatever was in the medicine and Muzan’s sickness. But because he freaking killed the doctor before he could perfect the medicine, it left him with a vulnerability to the sun. Which is why Muzan has been seeking the “blue spider lily” since it was in the doctor’s notes. And I think the worst thing coming from this flashback was the only reason Muzan had been creating more demons was because he was trying to create a demon that could resist the sun. Just thinking at all of the innocent lives he’s devastated just so that he could become the “perfect being” is disgusting. He’s only ever cared about himself and his life, never thinking about anyone else. So many people have died because of him and it was all out of selfishness. It’s such a childish way of thinking and considering he must have still been a teenager when he became a demon, it honestly makes a lot of sense. There was never anything grand about Muzan’s plans, it was all just about “me, me, me.” And now that he’s finally found the demon that conquered the sun, he’ll be focusing all of his efforts on acquiring Nezuko, which honestly scares me. Since because we didn’t lose her this time, there is a very real possibility of losing her now that Muzan has his sights on her. So that’s going to be a big problem from now on. Though I guess the silver lining is that Muzan won’t be making any more demons now…
And after two seasons, we FINALLY get to hear back from Tamayo. I was honestly shocked to find out that she was able to bring back the human consciousness from the demon Muzan had created as a distraction back in season 1. I always thought that the guy was a goner, but he was surprisingly able to go back and be with his wife and most likely severing his bond to Muzan. Though it seems as if he still retains demon qualities by needing to drink human blood like Tamayo and Yushiro and most likely still needs to stay out of the sunlight. But that’s still a fantastic step forward in turning demons back into humans. Tamayo also brings up another interesting point as to why Nezuko still hasn’t fully gained back her old self yet and still acts like a child. Apparently something internal is holding her back as it seems she’s focusing on prioritizing something in her mind that is more important. What that is is yet to be seen. Was it so she could develop a resistance to the sun? Or because she needs to destroy all the demons before going back to normal? Hopefully we find out in future arcs.
This arc definitely ended a lot better than the previous couple arcs with the damages extending to only a handful of swordsmiths and the village being pretty banged up. While in the entertainment arc, the entire district was just leveled and there were A LOT more casualties. Not to mention it also cost Tengen an arm and an eye. So the fact they were able to get away with minimal damage is pretty good. If they hadn’t beaten Hantengu when they did, Mitsuri FOR SURE would have died. We don’t know how long she had been fighting the wood dragons, but she must have been at it for a while since she ran out of energy at the very end and her crest was gone by that point as well. So they were yet again able to prevent another Hashira from dying and also not sending either one into retirement. Which I think says a lot to how far Tanjiro has come as a fighter.
While I did find it very touching that everyone was thanking Tanjiro for his efforts… why not thank everyone else who participated? Tanjiro was a major factor in defeating Hantengu, but everyone else also played major parts in defending the village. Muichiro took out Gyokko all on his own and Mitsuri saved the village from the pot fish attack AND stood toe-to-toe against Hatred for a while. While Genya wasn’t a major force in the fight, he was still a big help and I’m sure Tanjiro would have just straight up died if not for him in more than one instance. So for only Tanjiro to be celebrated while not even having a final word of farewell to the others or even showing them just felt a little off to me even if they did have a moment in the field. I would have at least liked to have seen just a brief goodbye or something. But I digress.
This season was kind of a mixed bag for me. There were absolutely fantastic moments that had me at the edge of my seat, but other moments where I feel didn’t hit and feel as satisfying as they should have. Which is a shame since Demon Slayer has a very special place in my heart. I did hear from my friend who has read the manga that this arc wasn’t as good, I was already kind of bracing myself to see just what made this arc fairly weak and I have to agree that this is probably the weakest arc so far. Especially in regards to how some of the fights just did not feel as satisfying as the other arcs. I was talking to Berry about the season and we both agree that this arc had potential but didn’t deliver in a satisfying way.
While Demon Slayer has had some wonky pacing, this season especially just felt really clunky. Especially with how rushed it felt at points and yet also dragged out. Humor was injected at inappropriate points where it felt like it lessened the impact of how serious the situation was. Just overall, it felt like a mess compared to the previous arcs. The Entertainment District arc just feels like the golden standard of Demon Slayer arcs so far and this arc just fell really short of it. Hardly anything felt earned and while I did end up liking Muichiro and Mitsuri, I didn’t love them like I do Rengoku and Tengen. Granted, they will probably have more chances to shine as Hashira since they’re neither dead or retired. But it’s just a shame that I couldn’t come to love them in the arc that they were supposed to shine. Not to mention that it felt like Mitsuri got the short end of the stick in terms of screen time.
Similar to the Hashira, I like Genya, but I don’t love him either. Though I am eager to see what kind of dynamic he has with Tanjiro now since he seems to have warmed up to him a lot since the start of the season. Not to mention just how his relationship with his brother will go with him eating demons to gain their power. I can imagine Sanemi probably won’t be the most thrilled about that.
The two Upper Rank demons this season ended up being fairly disappointing, especially Gyokko. People have argued that not all Upper Rank demons need a tragic backstory and I agree. HOWEVER, the execution of how Gyokko met his end didn’t feel satisfying. It’s similar to how Rui ended up going out, but he was the lowest ranked of the Lower Ranks and it made sense that a Hashira would take him out so easily. But we witnessed how difficult Gyuutaro was for Tengen. That fight showed us that the Upper Ranks are no joke. So Gyokko being taken out almost as easily as Rui just felt so unsatisfying to me. I felt like there could have been a better way to portray this fight and still show how strong Muichiro was compared to Tengen. But this just wasn’t it for me. While Hantengu himself wasn’t disappointing like Gyokko, his battle just felt way too drawn out and Hatred felt like wasted potential. He was cool and all, but he didn’t even bat and eye when he dissolved away. After all that smack talk, I think he deserved to voice some frustration about not being able to protect the main body or SOMETHING. Both Gyokko and Hantengu had so much more potential to be a lot more interesting than they were. So it was disappointing to see them get treated like this.
What I did like from this season was getting to know more of the characters. All of them have a lot of depth and I’m sad we couldn’t spend more time with them, Mitsuri in particular. So I am glad we’ll get to see more of them in future arcs. At this point, I think I would just love a story focusing solely on the Hashiras because all of them are shown to be really interesting with a lot more depth than expected from their first appearances. Even the two Hashira were the absolute worst in their first impressions were shown to have a lot more to them than being antagonistic. Sanemi having suffered a severe trauma that left him broken and a deep seated hatred for demons. Obanai also was shown to have a softer side to him, especially in regards to Mitsuri. So I am eager to see these two again especially.
Overall, this season had some exciting moments and even made me cry at certain parts, but just lacked in several departments for me. Animation is still on point so no complaints there. I’m just a bit disappointed in how a lot of the things went down and felt like they could have been better. Hopefully next arc will be better and I will say I am excited to see what goes down since it seems like ALL of the Hashira will be involved in some way or another. While it’s sad to see Demon Slayer go again, I think this arc made me tired and I’m glad that this arc in particular is over and we can move on from this. Despite my gripes, I’d still give this season a low 7/10. Maybe even a 6.8/10. There were things I enjoyed, but my disappointment for how things were executed brought it down. Until next time!