Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 19: The obligatory return

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Inosuke is ignored

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?

Nezuko appears to save Tanjirou

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.

The demon reveals himself

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.

Tanjirou cuts the blades with a hidden technique

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.

Tanjirou remembers his past

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.

Tanjirou unleashes a new attack

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).

Nezuko is awakened by her mother

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.

Tanjirou unleashes a combined attack

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.

Summer 2019 Grab Bag Week 1: Fruits Basket, Kimetsu no Yaiba

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It’s time for a brief break from the newer shows. I haven’t forgotten these shows!

Tohru visits her mother

Fruits Basket Episode 14

Just when I thought that this week’s episode would be a carefree grave visit (cough), the series throws another crazy emotional loop with Momiji’s backstory. Does anyone have a happy childhood in this series? This episode definitely made me feel sorry for Momiji in a way I didn’t think was possible. Additionally, it also seems to waste no time building on the respective mysteries surrounding the pasts of Yuuki and Kyou, which remain somewhat unknown.

Momiji's mother rejects him

Momiji’s resolve in this episode was truly impressive. It’s clearly not his fault that his mother rejected him, but it’s touching that he’s willing to endure being treated like an absolute stranger by her just so he can see her. It’s such a harsh reality that he has to live. At this point, the series has introduced such tragic characters in the Souma family, that I’m looking forward to seeing Tohru singlehandedly save every one of them. I sure hope that’s where the series is going.

Tohru talks about her father

The feels are making it hard for me to pay full attention to rest of the episode. A few moments in the episode felt like they were setting up some reveals further down. For example, the fact that Tohru only has second-hand knowledge of her father’s death is oddly suspicious. Additionally, Kyou starts to act obviously disturbed by Kyouko’s grave.

Kyou apologizes to Tohru

I’m curious to see what this scene means. Based on the content of this episode, it feels like there’s only one thing that Kyou could be apologizing about, but it seems too easy.

Tanjirou questions Inosuke

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 14

Well, that was an odd one. I know I’ve said this about a different character very recently, but I find Inosuke to be hard to tolerate. I’m also not sure I buy his shtick as the pretty boy with a brutish personality yet. If the series comes up with a reasonable story surrounding it, I might change my mind on it, though.

Inosuke is convinced to help bury people

I did think it was funny to see how Tanjirou deals with Inosuke’s personality, though. He effectively tries to spin everything Inosuke does as productive and elaborates some kind of grand plan behind his actions. Additionally, I did think it was funny to watch Inosuke bashing trees throughout the episode.

The three characters have broken ribs

Is this just a running gag now?

Nezuko arises

We’ve missed you, Nezuko. I’m not sure how I feel about Zenitsu’s reaction to Nezuko’s appearance. It’s true that it fits his lovesick personality, but it almost feels like the scene is making light of Nezuko’s condition. I don’t know if I’m okay with that…

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 13: Choosing to protect

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Zenitsu relies on Shoichi

My concerns regarding this series as a whole haven’t changed much. This episode definitely had a couple of moments that made me further question the pacing of this series. It’s a shame, though, since I think that the overall fight between Tanjirou and Kyogai was interesting. Tanjirou definitely complains too much about his broken bones, but having him fight in a constantly shifting environment gives the fight some complexity.

Kyogai deals with an editor

Kyogai’s flashbacks add an interesting question into the mix. We see him turning into a demon to retaliate against his abusive editor, which seems a bit strange. It’s possible that the memory is meant to be entirely symbolic, which would mean that Kyogai’s editor is one of his early victims after he becomes a demon.

If we take it at face value, though, it could suggest that Kyogai was a demon while he was writing his novels. We’ve already seen demons who try to coexist with humans peacefully, so it’s possible that he become one of Muzan’s generals because of his mistreatment.

Kyogai slashes his editor

This scene is also an example of the weird pacing I noticed in the episode. As Kyogai dies later in the episode, we basically get a complete repeat of this scene as he finally gets the acknowledgment he desires. The emotional point is fine, but we really didn’t need the rehash.

Tanjirou dodges the papers

I wonder if this scene was meant to give some form of reward for Tanjirou’s kindness. He respects Kyogai by avoiding the papers strewn across the ground, and it allows him to figure out how to win. It’s kind of a weird sequence on its own, but it makes more sense if it’s supposed to give positive feedback for Tanjirou’s empathy.

Cat appears for service

Delivery cat: here for all of your blood transport needs.

Also, is this meant to be a joke about the rivalry between cats and crows? Maybe I just watch too much Haikyuu.

Zenitsu protects Nezuko

Honestly, I really like the fact that Zenitsu acknowledges that there is a demon in the box but chooses to protect it anyway because of what it meant to Tanjirou. His magic hearing aside, he seems to have a healthy sense of charity for others. Despite being lied to in the past, he’s willing to accept that other people might have good reasons for their actions.

Tanjirou leaps into action

On the flip side, Tanjirou has a weird reaction to this entire scene. Watching Zenitsu get beaten up is indeed a brutal thing, which is why it’s odd that Tanjirou has to build his rage before acting. As someone who blurs the lines between demons and humans, Tanjirou seems like the last person who would hesitate to attack a human who was acting cruel. So, I feel like I have to conclude that this is just meant to drag out the scene again…

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 12: In a flash

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Tanjirou chastises the boar

Comparatively speaking, I found this week’s episode to be more fun than last week’s episode (I can’t imagine why). While the episode definitely treads into some weird territory with its “magic blood”, I liked what it did for its characters. Even Tanjirou seems to have a decent growth moment in this episode, as opposed to skipping through it.

The boar is not a gentleman

There’s not too much to go on for the boar man in this episode. It’s clear that he’s more of a loose cannon than the other characters, but that much was already obvious. The episode also seems to imply that he’s not a Demon Slayer in the same sense as Tanjirou and Zenitsu.

Zenitsu strikes

I’m not entirely sure if this moment makes up for Zenitsu’s display in the previous episode (and in this episode), but that attack was pretty awesome. Additionally, I like the use of thunder as a theme for his character. As opposed to the consistent flexibility of Tanjirou, Zenitsu is clearly someone who’s only useful in a pinch. Similar to his thematic namesake, he strikes in an instant and disappears immediately.

The demon attempts to regain his status

It’s still too early for Tanjirou to face one of the Twelve Kizuki? Let’s put him against a former member as a stepping stone. Honestly, I’m not too sure about the whole “marechi” thing in this episode. It implies that the Twelve Kizuki are just a bunch of demons who drink special blood, which I think makes them feel questionable as enemies.

The crow appears

The birds in this series are amazing. That aside, I do like that the brother’s struggle to survive in the demon house inspires Tanjirou in his later fight. I think it comes off as a bit archaic to refer back to being the firstborn, but it’s an interesting way to motivate Tanjirou as a character.

Tanjirou becomes one with water

It feels a bit late for Tanjirou to be learning this, but I don’t think it’s a bad development for him. It’s nice to see him actually learning through battle, rather than just having the skills. Also, he seems to do a good job of analyzing his opponent in the fight. We saw the beginning of this in the previous episode when he starts to watch the tsuzumi strikes, but I do like to see Tanjirou using his head in combat.

Being Nezuko is suffering

I feel so bad for Nezuko…

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 6: The first mission

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Tanjirou learns about his new gear

I’m still curious to see how Tanjirou will progress, but I get the sense that there’s something off about this series. While I’m happy to be learning more about the world of this series, I feel like the information generally trickles in at random times. As I’ve said before, I like how the fights look and feel, but I have trouble following Tanjirou’s thought process while he’s fighting. He reacts to things, but I don’t have a strong sense of what he’s trying to accomplish or what he knows.

Tanjirou learns about the black blade

As far as explanations go, the one for the black blade was alright for me. I like the idea that the rare sword color is treated as an unknown and downplayed as a result. Typically, you’d see the opposite, where the rare occurrence gains a special sense of value. That being said, I don’t really get what the colors are meant to contribute, so there’s much left unknown.

Tanjirou searches for the source of the demonic scent

Tanjirou’s investigation generally makes sense, but I think it would have been cool if the initial scenes in the town gave a better sense of how Demon Slayers are regarded. Perhaps I’m just meant to conclude that no one generally cares. Tanjirou could also be the type of person who wouldn’t want to take advantage of his position. If that’s the case, I’m okay with it, but the series doesn’t draw much attention to that concept.

The demon splits into three

As I’ve said before, context often feels missing in this series. Going into this fight, Tanjirou mentions the heightened demon activation that he sees in his foe, but I as the viewer have no idea what that means. Sure, the enemy is more dangerous, but what part is even the indicator? Is it just another magic smell thing? Does it give the demon the ability to split into three?

Tanjirou finds out about his foe

I guess it’s not completely surprising that Tanjirou’s ultimate goal involves finding the oldest demon in existence. It sounds like we’ll learn about this demon named Muzan Kibutsuji next week, since it’s the title of the next episode, but that’s a crazy escalation. I suppose there was no way this was going to be easy, huh?

Nezuko joins the fight

I’m looking forward to seeing Nezuko help Tanjirou next week. I think it would be cool if the two were to work together in the upcoming battle, since it would play into their previous bond.

Urokodaki admits to hypnotizing Nezuko

This scene was probably the weirdest moment in the episode for me. The series has spent the past few episodes establishing that Nezuko is different from other demons, so saying that Urokodaki has somehow hypnotized her to help humans kind of cheapens that internal struggle. I guess it depends on how it’s used, but it feels strange to me. I don’t see how this is okay.