This week’s episode was not my favorite. I was a little shocked when the twenty minutes were up and all I had seen was a training montage. Although, truth be told, Tanjiro desperately did need some training if he had any hopes of saving Nezuko. But first, to answer the question on everyone’s mind – did Tanjiro get told off again? Yes, yes he did. Seriously, it seems the boy can’t do anything right
This week’s episode took place over two years. As Tanjiro trains under the tutelage of Urokodaki, his sense of smell sharpens, he grows stronger, quicker, and adept at the sword. After 1.5 years, Urokodaki acknowledges Tanjiro but tells him he must split open a certain bolder if he is to be recommended for a Demon Slayer Merch examination. As Tanjiro tries time and time again, he nears his breaking point. Just when all seems lost, a mysterious boy and girl appear, and help him over another 6 months.
Be a Man: Ugh, another episode, another person complaining about Tanjiro being too weak-willed and crying. One of the reasons I’m loving Tanjiro’s character is that he isn’t just some ridiculously strong machine. He’s expressive, kind and cries when he wants/needs to. That’s a strength in itself and I’m a little over him being told off about it in every episode!
Face/Off: The fight scenes between Tanjiro and Sabito were really well animated, but the highlight was definitely Sabito’s expression when Tanjiro sliced his mask. That final shot perfectly captured how proud he was of Tanjiro.
Themes & Trivia
Sabito’s robes: When Sabito first came on screen, I actually thought it was Giyu from way back in episode 1. Sabito’s robes are very similar to Giyu’s, that is, both feature the same gold, orange and green geometric pattern. Perhaps I’m taking this a bit far, but their irises also seemed to match. A large dark circle with a lighter bottom curve, although Sabito also had a long white rectangle. The show also made a point of pointing out that Sabito and Makomo aren’t siblings, perhaps Sabito and Giyu are?
Kitsune Mask: Sabito is seen wearing a kitsune (fox) mask for most of this episode. In Japanese mythology foxes can be both a force for good and evil, but are known as messengers for the god Inari, protector of agriculture and fertility. Many readers will have heard of the famous shrine, Fushimi Inari (伏見稲荷大社), located in Kyoto. Fushimi Inari is the head shrine for Inari, and known for its thousands of torii (鳥居) gates.
As I mentioned in the introduction, I was a little disappointed by this episode. I definitely recognise the importance of Tanjiro training, I just didn’t expect it to go for a whole episode. Perhaps, I’ve been a little spoiled by twenty second training montages in most other series. Nevertheless, it is exciting to see Tanjiro grow stronger and more confident in his abilities. However, on the flip side, there was no Nezuko this episode! She spent the last two years in a coma, and the reasons why are not really explained. I do hope it is explained in the next episode, perhaps when she awakens. Otherwise it seems like a weird way to avoid having to deal with her and her human-eating impulses while Tanjiro trains.
The first part of the episode provided some more interesting information on demons and the slayers. We gained a recap of demon’s abilities but also found out one really important piece of information. That is, demons can only be killed by sunlight or a special kind of sword. With this information, some viewers may be confused by to the events of last week’s episode. Specifically, when Urokodaki chastised Tanjiro for not killing the demon with a stone. This ultimately links back into what Urokodaki and Giyu have been saying. If Tanjiro truly wants to live, he’ll do anything to survive. Urokodaki was testing Tanjiro’s resolve. Tanjiro obviously did not know the stone wouldn’t kill it, but Urokodaki wanted to see him still try to.
Get Studying, Tanjiro!
Now that Tanjiro has split the rock, he can finally face the ‘Final Selection’, AKA the Demon Slayer Corp entrance exam. It’ll be interesting for Tanjiro to meet other hopeful demon slayers, and others whose lives have been destroyed by demons. How will they react to Nezuko? That all remains to be seen, next week!