Dororo Episode 23: Things are going great

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Tahoumaru tries to talk down the raging Hyakkimaru

This episode is really not making me feel good about how this series is going to end. However, I like that the episode finally attempts to address the moral question that has been looming over the series as a whole. Dororo is a great advocate for Hyakkimaru in this episode, and I’m hoping that the ending won’t end up as grim as the series seems to be foreshadowing.

Hyogo taunts Hyakkimaru

I get that these people are trying to protect their land, but it’s lines like these that make it hard to sympathize with them. Hyakkimaru’s sacrifice is necessary to keep them alive, but they could at least accept the cruel thing that they’re doing. The idea that Hyakkimaru’s body was Daigo’s to give to the demons feels like a way to dodge the guilt the sacrifice to me.

Mutsu and Hyogo finally take down the horse

The scene with the flaming horse was interesting for me, since it seemed like a clear parallel for Hyakkimaru. A cherished loved one calls out to the horse, allowing it to regain its senses. However, Mutsu and Hyogo use the opportunity to cut the beast down, losing their own lives in the process. Dororo is even clearly shown in the reflection of the horse’s pupil as it dies, which heavily implies that something similar is going to happen with Hyakkimaru.

Dororo berates the villager

I’m happy to see this debate happening. Many of the conversations before now have been fairly sanctimonious, so they never felt like they were getting at the core issue. Hyakkimaru isn’t even exempt from this, since his quest to regain his body has become entirely one-dimensional without Dororo’s intervention.

Hyakkimaru's mother comments on the situation

I’m not entirely sure I understand the outcome of the interaction, though. Dororo seems to side with Hyakkimaru, but she also looks ready to beg Hyakkimaru to give up his body in the next episode. Perhaps she’s just saying that she wants Hyakkimaru to do whatever it takes to remain human.

Daigo faces off against the Asakura army

Part of me is annoyed at how much Daigo is sidelined in this series by the war with the Asakura lands. This is really his problem, but it looks like the battle is being entirely decided by his sons.

Jukai prepares to do what he must

Seeing Jukai doesn’t inspire confidence. Hyakkimaru’s surrogate mother and his real mother are both racing to his side at the moment along with Dororo. This can’t end well, huh?

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Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 11: Apparently not a liability

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Tanjirou steps in for the sparrow

When I said that Tanjirou should interact more with his fellow Demon Slayers, this isn’t quite what I had in mind. I guess someone like Tanjirou needs to be grouped together with some extreme personalities. That being said, Tanjirou’s abilities were getting a bit stale, so I think this is a good time to introduce some completely new fighting styles. I’m looking forward to seeing more of that in the next episode.

And because it absolutely needs to be said, the sparrow was the best part of this episode.

Zenitsu takes a beating

I can understand the idea behind a character like Zenitsu, but I still think he was overdone in this episode. I think he’s fine as a background character for someone as resolute as Tanjirou, but giving him center stage for 80% of the episode was not the best idea. He’s a bit much on his own…

Zenitsu hears something

I think it’s pretty clear that Zenitsu is secretly going to have strength comparable to Tanjirou. I’m not sure I agree with the idea that the first Demon Slayer that Tanjirou meets has a similar heightened sense. Is this the hidden requirement to become a Demon Slayer? Does the boar man have better eyesight or something?

That being said, I do like this scene. Later parts of the episode seem to explain the sounds that Zenitsu hears, which gives this scene a better sense of purpose. It can be inferred that Zenitsu is hearing the demon changes the layout of the house to combat the boar.

Tanjirou leaves behind the box

I’m a little sad that Nezuko gets no scenes in this episode, but the comedy surrounding her is funny. In a later scene, Tanjirou is crestfallen to see that the kids have abandoned Nezuko’s box, which I thought was a nice joke.

Tanjirou is out of commission

I’m happy to see that Tanjirou isn’t walking away from his previous encounter unscathed. The crow doesn’t give him any time to relax, so it makes sense that he wouldn’t be fully healed. Of course, this scene is undercut slightly when he attempts to fight the demon, but at least it’s here.

The boar man appears

This guy looks pretty interesting (and quiet). Serrated blades always seem really inefficient to me, so I’m curious to see how he fights with them.

Dororo Episode 22: Poking the hornet’s nest

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Hyakkimaru vows to get Dororo back

Well, it seems that things aren’t going much better in this episode. As expected, Hyakkimaru isn’t taking the kidnap of Dororo very well, and his new demon friend probably isn’t helping. It actually makes for an interesting setup for a finale, because it’s hard to truly decide who to root for. Hyakkimaru seems to be standing in a better position, but I get the sense that his current course of action won’t ultimately work.

Mutsu succumbs to illness

Mutsu goes through kind of a weird arc in this episode. I think she has a strong performance throughout the episode, but I’m not so sure about the ending. With her speech about being Tahoumaru’s right arm in the previous episode, I really liked this line to Hyogo. With Hyogo’s left arm lost, Mutsu is effectively asking him to fight in her place and fulfill her role as Tahoumaru’s right arm. It’s a great interaction.

Daigo's wife tends to the sick

Am I the only who thinks that everything about this episode seems to suggest that Hyakkimaru’s mother is going to die? I’m honestly surprised she’s survived so long, but it seems like she’s meant to contribute to Hyakkimaru’s return to humanity.

Hyakkimaru rides forth on his new steed

Look, I know I’m not supposed to enjoy this outcome, but this combination of Hyakkimaru and the flaming horse is really cool. I also like that Hyakkimaru’s clearly exuding the red demonic aura that he typically sees in others.

Mutsu offers herself to the demon

This scene was one that I feel I initially misjudged. From the onset, Mutsu’s escape seemed to contradict her earlier words to Hyogo, so I was surprised when she comes just to offer herself in Hyakkimaru’s place. I was expecting her to be here asking the demon for power, but she instead chooses to sacrifice herself for the land. It would have put an interesting spin on the moral argument of the episode if it had worked.

Tahoumaru fights with some new eyes

I have trouble with the ending, though. Mutsu goes through an impressive character story throughout the episode, but I tend to think it goes away when she accepts Hyakkimaru’s arm from the demon to replace her lost one. To me, it seems to slightly cheapen her ability to let go from earlier. I get that Tahoumaru needs his loyal retainers to fight Hyakkimaru, but I think it’s a bit unfortunate.

I’ll be curious to see how this turns out, though. From Hyakkimaru’s side, it’s hard to blame him for being enraged at Tahoumaru for this move.

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 10: Finding the true humans

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Tanjirou uses his opponent's power to his advantage

This week’s episode felt better than last week’s episode. It seemed more properly paced, and it ended on some good notes. The series as a whole seems to be approaching the idea of what humanity is in a decent way. I think my overall complaint with this series is that it seems to hand-wave many of the explanations, which leaves a general sense of confusion in my case. Anyway, it looks like next week’s episode is finally bringing a different Demon Slayer into the mix, which should be interesting now that Tanjirou has some battles under his belt.

Tanjirou uses his moves to stop himself

This is probably just starting off with nitpicking, but this dramatic scene seemed a bit undercut for me. It’s cool to see Tanjirou pushing himself to survive the aftermath of his opponent’s defeat. However, it’s hard to feel engaged when he just decides that he has to keep using his moves to survive. Any small acknowledgment that the moves cancel the arrows or cushion the impact would have been nice.

Nezuko comforts Yushirou

Ah, Nezuko has the best moments in this episode. I like how she seems to be developed in this episode. While it’s true that her opponent never truly takes her seriously, it’s great to see Nezuko rush forward to defend Tamayo and Yushirou. The bit about the healing serum doesn’t fully add up for me, because the strength still has to come from somewhere. The most reasonable explanation to me is that Nezuko was sleep-deprived in the first part of the battle, so Tamayo restored her to a more normal state.

Tamayo taunts the demon

I don’t know where to start with Tamayo in this scene. My surface-level interpretation of the scene is that she tricks Susamaru into defending Kibitsuji despite knowing differently. Maybe the demons close to Kibutsuji have grown to suspect his true intentions, so Susamaru is goaded into saying something she no longer truly believes. This triggers Tamayo’s ability, which rips her apart. However, Tamayo seems to suggest that the curse is more related to Kibutsuji’s cells, which makes her own ability all the more confusing.

The demons were impostors

Well, that’s a letdown.

Tanjirou hears the demon's last words

I like that the series is continuing to push Tanjirou’s sympathy for the demons. I suppose he has to weigh the death caused by this demon with the fact that she’s effectively a child.

Nezuko recognizes the demons as humans

I still question Nezuko’s hypnosis thing, but I think it’s used well here. It seems to be getting at the question of what truly makes someone human, which Nezuko has identified as something other than pure physiology. I wonder if a similar idea will be leveraged in the future to allow Nezuko to attack some nasty humans. That being said, I will probably continue to believe that this scene would be more impactful without the hypnosis.

Dororo Episode 21: A familiar flaming horse

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Dororo spots some soldiers

The hard times are not getting any easier. This series has an interesting sense of subdued drama to it. Normally, you’d expect to see heavy, over-the-top screaming in these fights, but the main encounter goes along at a reasonable pace. It’s definitely hard to see Hyakkimaru falling deeper and deeper towards a more feral side, given how much we’ve seen him grow. It makes me wonder if we’re just headed towards more tragedy at this point.

Daigo sacrifices some villages

I suppose this is the weekly reminder that Daigo’s land is suffering. I’m curious to see how they’ll resolve this, but this certainly has been the main moral dilemma of the series. Daigo cruelly cuts off the villages that are infected by the epidemic, and it’s not like any of those villagers played a part in his decision. Or did they?

Dororo tries to stop Hyakkimaru

I understand why Dororo pushes to stop Hyakkimaru from fighting his family, but it’s still kind of a hard choice. I can’t fault Hyakkimaru for wanting a normal body. That being said, Dororo watched her parents die, so it’s reasonable for her to not want Hyakkimaru to go through that. Also, it’s clear at this point that Hyakkimaru is losing his way, so she surely want to help him.

The mother is worried

This was an odd scene for me. It’s reasonable for Hyakkimaru’s mother to worry about her sons and curse her own powerlessness in the matter. However, this seems to be the first time I recall seeing her act genuinely concerned for Tahoumaru. Where was this before?

Hyogo and Mutsu join Tahoumaru to face Hyakkimaru

Showing Hyogo and Mutsu’s past in this episode doesn’t bode well for their futures. They seem to have gotten out of this fight with their lives, but Mutsu is looking pretty dim in this scene. Is this just a function of their relative resolve to fight Hyakkimaru? Or is Mutsu facing another problem entirely?

Hyakkimaru faces off against Tahoumaru

To be completely honest, I liked the last fight between Tahoumaru and Hyakkimaru more than this one. That being said, this fight was still pretty impressive. The camera largely centers on the two as they face off, and there’s a clear progression of moves in the fight itself.

Hyakkimaru is pushed off the cliff

The random intervention at the end seemed a bit overboard, though. I get that Daigo instructs that guy to watch over Tahoumaru, but the character itself seems to come out of nowhere. Anyway, I look forward to seeing Hyakkimaru ride in on a flaming horse next week. If he does it, that certainly won’t be a good sign, since he typically kills demons without prejudice.

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 9: Enhanced dodgeball

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The house was hidden with Blood Demon Arts

This week’s episode felt oddly stretched, as though time was being padded for some reason. The large flashback in the episode felt unnecessary, and I got the sense that Tanjirou was going through too much effort to explain battle circumstances (rather than just strategy). The series also seems to be showing its shounen colors more with the “12 generals” that Tanjirou apparently has to defeat now. That being said, the fights themselves were mostly cool, even if the heroes were largely on the back foot.

Yushirou loses his head

I feel like I should make a joke about the angry guy losing his head. Yushirou’s happened pretty quickly, so it was hard to react to it. The episode definitely made it look more serious than it was. Additionally, I think replaying this scene later in the episode was kind of overkill.

The building couldn't fully be concealed

It also seemed to play into a general theme of demonic regeneration in this episode, which seems to be at least some indicator of strength. I think it might be interesting if Nezuko’s slow regeneration is a recurring theme even if she continues to get stronger. It would make sense given that she doesn’t eat humans.

Tanjirou faces off against the temari

For the most part, I liked seeing how the main characters interacted with the temari in this episode. The movements they used to dodge them generally looked nice. However, I think it was fairly obvious in this scene that the camera was zooming out to make the CG harder to see. I suppose it helps, but it’s not hard to notice.

Yushirou gives Tanjirou a vision upgrade

I think it’s funny that Tanjirou gets enhanced vision in combination with his sense of smell. It makes me curious how much Yushirou will be contributing in future episodes. His abilities seem to compliment Tanjirou’s abilities well.

Tanjirou remembers a conversation

Hey, this scene looks familiar. I suppose you could be pardoned for replaying this lengthy explanation, but the episode makes it worse by following it with a copy of the scene that was immediately preceding it. I understand that commercial breaks happen, but this flashback should have covered that.

Tanjirou's moves are weakened

Let’s be reasonable here. Did we really need to know this? I feel like saying that the arrows are messing up Tanjirou’s timing should get the point across, so this is once again excessive. It almost feels like the audience is being talked down to at this point.

Dororo Episode 20: The nature of revenge

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Tahoumaru sees his suffering subjects

After the lighthearted fun of last week’s episode, this episode really got back into the gritty bits. Despite the obvious implications for Hyakkimaru in the episode, I thought that the antagonist introduced here was interesting. He seemed to have a different thought process than typical revenge seekers. As for what comes next, it looks like Hyakkimaru is preparing to confront Daigo again, so I’m curious to see how that will turn out.

Dororo admires the scenery

I think it’s cool that Dororo is recognizing her own sense of comfort while travelling with Hyakkimaru. In the past, she’d been too distracted to simply notice her surroundings. This scene does a good job of showing how far she’s come. Similarly, we see Hyakkimaru attending to her more, especially when the combat starts.

Saburota introduces himself

As I mentioned before, I liked how Saburota was portrayed in this episode. He’s introduced as a typical samurai with a vendetta against the demon Hyakkimaru is hunting. However, he ends up with an interesting reaction to the death of his mother, albeit a rather sick one.

Saburota teams up with the demon

Rather than blindly running at the demon who killed his mother, Saburota instead decides to help the demon kill others. Basically, he’s inflicting the same suffering on others. It’s a strange approach that makes a lot more sense when you see his backstory.

Saburota returns in shame

His twisted form of vengeance is simply a manifestation of his own fear. Unlike Hyakkimaru, who’s willing to sacrifice his own life to get his body back, Saburota isn’t strong-willed enough to fight what he sees as an impossible fight. So, there’s no point in trying to kill the demon because he’d just run away from it. It’s a cool idea, giving his character some surprising depth.

Hyakkimaru cuts down Saburota

This episode also sees Hyakkimaru killing another human. Who knows what the implications of that will be? That being said, I’m curious about the fact that he didn’t get his arms back. Given his inability to help Dororo earlier in the episode, the story was clearly setting up the return of his arms, but he once again regains nothing.

The demon's arms glow

Given the fuss about the newly unleashed “final” demon, I’m guessing it has something to do with Hyakkimaru’s arms. In this scene, the statue’s arms start glowing in response to Hyakkimaru’s victory, which implies that the demon is holding on to Hyakkimaru’s arms now that the Goddess of Mercy is no longer holding it back.

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 8: New demon friends

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Tanjirou is forced to leave Muzan for now

While I’m still a bit skeptical about the direction the series has decided to go, I’m curious to see how it will play out. I think it’s intriguing to bring more friendly demons into the mix. In contrast, this episode has made me lose interest in Muzan a bit, since the episode seemed like it was trying hard to make him look villainous. I appreciate that he seems to be somewhat consistent, but I guess it’s too early to tell about his motivations.

The police arrive on the scene

It was interesting to see the police’s reaction to Tanjirou in this episode. While it’s true that he’s an unknown, I would have expected demon slayers to be somewhat respected. Perhaps the scene is meant to show that demons are somehow less of a concern in city life, where folk legends are less prominent.

Tamayo sees Tanjirou's empathy

The visual of her power was a bit overkill, but I liked the introduction of Tamayo here. Yet again, it plays off of Tanjirou’s natural sense of empathy given his sister’s condition. It’s something that has been shown in small ways before this episode, so it’s nice to see it become a driving force in the story. I also think it’s interesting that Tanjirou’s fighting together with more demons before he joins up with fellow demon slayers.

Muzan is perfect

This line from Muzan has that sense of narcissism that makes me lose interest in his character. I suppose it could still be a misdirection, but I’m not all that interested in that standard sense of superiority as a motivation. There were a couple of scenes where Muzan seems to react strangely, but it’s hard to read off of expressions alone. Also, seeing the girl melt away was rough.

The udon seller is upset

It’s such a small scene, but I really enjoyed seeing the episode take a step back to address the udon that Tanjirou dropped in the previous episode. It’s an entertaining way to lighten the mood.

Tamayo is able to live without eating humans

While I’m fine with Tamayo’s introduction for the most part, I do get the sense that she unloads too many large reveals in a short time. Not only is she able to live without eating humans, but she has apparently been able to turn a human into a demon as well. It’s a lot to take in. Then, she ends it by saying she could help find a cure for Nezuko.

The demons attack

This attack makes me wonder how Tamayo managed to hide from Muzan for so long.

Dororo Episode 19: Opposite day

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Hyakkimaru finds a horse

Well, we definitely got a lighter episode this week. I guess it worked as a bit of a breather after the more dramatic episodes. At a certain point, I feel like Dororo’s insecurities about her relationship with Hyakkimaru are becoming a recurring thing. However, I think the episode worked for injecting some fun into a primarily dark story.

Hyakkimaru chooses to be with Okowa

This episode was surprisingly subtle with its “opposite day” gimmick. I liked the fact that the episode immediately jumps in with the first villager Hyakkimaru and Dororo meet. I didn’t think anything of it when the villager said that the smith in the village wasn’t any good. It makes the scene an interesting one in hindsight.

The villagers wish Okowa well

I liked seeing Dororo and Hyakkimaru fight an enemy without brute strength. Dororo got to shine a bit more in the episode as a result, since she tends to be more perceptive than Hyakkimaru. That being said, I did struggle with buying into Dororo’s struggle. Feeling abandoned by Hyakkimaru feels like something she’s already overcome, so it’s weird to see it again.

The smith was to create a sword to stop fighting

I realize that the source material for this series is incredibly old, so I wonder if Rurouni Kenshin is based off of this concept. It certainly seems familiar.

Hyakkimaru wants his swords

Hyakkimaru really doesn’t get any goofy scenes, so this scene was hilarious to see. I do wonder why he doesn’t just flatly reject Okowa now that he can speak normally, but what do I know?

Hyakkimaru finally regains control

This hug was also a nice touch. These two characters are great together.

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 7: The last boss appears

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Tanjirou stops Nezuko's rampage

Despite the weird bombshell dropped at the end of last week’s episode, I thought that this week’s episode was pretty solid. I thought that Tanjirou’s first mission was wrapped up well, and I’m very intrigued by the introduction of Muzan, the main villain. I do wish I had a better sense of where Tanjirou keeps pulling these sword skills from, but I think it’s just something I’ll have to accept (or read in the manga).

Tanjirou debates leaving the fight to Nezuko

It’s a small moment, but I liked the scene where Nezuko jumps over the demon on her way back to Tanjirou. I don’t think there was anything about the hypnotic suggestion that forces her to obey Tanjirou, so I get the sense that this is an action born out of pure will. So, I can conclude that Nezuko isn’t blindly attacking demons and has some reasonable mental faculties.

The demon analyzes Nezuko

I’m a bit torn on Nezuko’s fight in this episode. I think the episode explains her struggle in the fight well. She’s not trained like Tanjirou is, so it makes sense that her attacks are straightforward. However, I feel like having Tanjirou jump in at the last minute to save her somewhat undermines his decision to leave her to fight for herself. I guess his trust is well-placed in the sense that she succeeds in holding off the demon long enough, but the hero moment of Tanjirou’s appearance seems like overkill.

Tanjirou asks about Muzan

The fear in this demon’s eyes at the mention of Muzan is good way to introduce a fearsome enemy without directly calling out his power. It also brought up an interesting question. If Muzan truly is the only one who can turn humans into demons, then does that mean that every demon in existence has some connection to him?

Tanjirou tries to comfort the widower

This scene is probably my favorite one in the episode. When the man lashes out at him, Tanjirou doesn’t try to bring up his own past to quell him. He lets the man vent it out without trying to come out on top with his own personal suffering. It truly felt like the right thing to do in that situation. The drama isn’t all about Tanjirou, after all.

Tanjirou sniffs out a familiar scent

I wasn’t expecting Tanjirou to find Muzan so quickly, but this development made a lot more sense as I thought about it. This is Tanjirou’s first experience in a larger city, and it’s reasonable for Muzan to be in a heavily populated area. Given Tanjirou’s magic sense of smell, it’s a surprisingly fair series of events.

Tanjirou finds Muzan

I’m not sure how to feel about Muzan so far. He ends the episode by quickly turning a nearby human into a demon, but I’m wondering how much that’s supposed to be taken as a malicious act. It certainly seems like he’s the type of person who has no qualms with creating demons, so why is he living with a human family? I find it hard to believe that he’s simply manipulating them. It might be interesting to find that out.