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Well, it’s been a while since I talked about this series, but this episode earned it. I feel like a bad person for slinking back to this series, but I was impressed and felt like I needed to talk about it. Other episodes have had strong animation moments as well, but I think this episode also adds some incredibly strong themes as well. Well, it also has Nezuko in it, but that’s definitely just a coincidence, right?
I admit I was completely expecting to see Giyuu bail Tanjirou out after seeing his sword snap in the previous episode. I think that’s part of what made this episode great for me. Giyuu appears at the beginning of the episode to save Inosuke, so it’s a logical conclusion that he will also help Tanjirou. It was a moment I was waiting for constantly throughout the episode, which would have pushed Tanjirou several steps back in his quest to take on the Twelve Kizuki. And yet, it doesn’t happen. Tanjirou fought against incredible odds and he’s rewarded for it.
I also think it’s great that Tanjirou’s fighting an enemy with a view of sibling bonds that is antithetical to his own. It gives him a reason to refuse to back down, and forces him into a moral battle. It takes the fight away from being about demons and humans. I’m also not surprised at all that this kid is the Twelve Kizuki instead of the father. That wasn’t a hard one.
This entire battle makes me wonder if Tanjirou even needs the blade on his sword. He seemed to do just fine without it. I look forward to seeing the conversation that goes along with repairing it, though.
Still, I think the strongest part about this episode is how many callbacks it has. Tanjirou’s memory sequence starts right as he’s facing death in a thread cage. In an earlier scene, the butterfly girl saves a dying Zenitsu while talking about near-death experiences. She talks about why memories flash before a mind when it’s close to death, and Tanjirou does the same thing later in the episode.
Giving Tanjirou fire powers to contrast his water techniques is pretty cool. I remember from a previous episode that someone mentions the importance of Tanjirou’s red hair, so it’s nice to see that finally come back around with the memory of the Kagura dance. It could also be why his blade is black, given that he has multiple affinities (as opposed to the blue blade of Giyuu, who uses the same water techniques).
Most importantly, the episode brings the sibling bond conversation back around by having Tanjirou beat the Twelve Kizuki demon with last-minute help from Nezuko. There haven’t been many battles in this series where Tanjirou and Nezuko can fight together, so I loved the significance of this scene. Usually, the two are split up by multiple opponents. Finally, it’s great that Nezuko gets a spoken line. It felt like a scene that had quite a lot going for it.
And yeah, the scenes just look great in general. That’s probably worth mentioning. For once, I felt like everything that Tanjirou does in this episode was deserved. I just hope that the next episode doesn’t pull it away by having the demon stay alive for a Giyuu entrance or something.