Demon Slayer Episodes 1 & 2

Demon Slayer Episodes 1 & 2

Cruelty

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is probably going to be the hit anime of the Spring 2019 season. We all know One Punch Man 2 is going to be disappointing compared to the first season, and I don’t think Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 is really going to be that big of a deal.

Yes, there are other anime out there, but let’s be honest, the shounen series typically get the most attention. And, because the initial premise of Demon Slayer is somewhat similar to that of Dororo, it’ll probably be able to ride the Dororo hype train for a bit too.

Now, you may have noticed that the title of this review says episodes 1 & 2, and the reason for this is simply because I didn’t review episode 1 last week. I wanted to see what else the season had to offer before deciding on which series from it I was going to review weekly.

But, that doesn’t mean I’m going to be doing a full review of episode 1 here. Instead, I’ll just be going over the general plot and some main points before jumping into this week’s episode.

Nezuko Kamado from the anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Nezuko Kamado

So, the basic plot of Demon Slayer, at least for now, is that a teenage boy went into town to sell his family’s charcoal, and then on the way back spent the night at a man’s house because it was getting too late. This stop unknowingly saved the boy’s life, because the rest of his family were murdered by a demon that night.

Well, most of his family. One of his younger sisters was spared death, but instead was turned into a demon herself. But, Tanjirou Kamado refuses to kill his last remaining sister, Nezuko, even after being attacked by her. Instead, he’s determined to return her to being a human.

Then a wandering demon slayer passes by and attempts to kill Nezuko, but is stopped by Tanjirou. When the demon slayer attempts to get Tanjirou out of his way, a strange thing happens, Nezuko comes to his rescue despite being a demon.

Seeing this, the demon slayer determines that Tanjirou and Nezuko are no ordinary children, and allows them to live as long as Tanjirou takes responsibility for allowing his sister to live as a demon.

Initial Assumption

That basically sums up the first episode of the series, but one thing I found interesting about it was that Tanjirou’s family was simply killed, not eaten, and Nezuko was left alive. It’s explained how Nezuko became a demon, but things still don’t seem to add up.

We’re led to believe this was the work of another demon, but I have my doubts. Instead, my guess is that the murder of Tanjirou’s family wasn’t committed by a demon at all, but rather a human or group of humans. This explains why his family was only killed, not eaten.

But, what about the fact that Nezuko was turned into a demon? We’re told that this happened because she got demon blood inside a wound on her body, so that means a demon was present, right? Well, it could, or it also could mean that the murderer brought some demon blood with them to purposefully turn someone into a demon.

Maybe their end goal was to create a demon all along, or maybe they’re just a murderer who wanted to frame their crimes on a demon that doesn’t exist. Either way, something tells me it wasn’t actually the work of a demon.

Trainer Sakonji Urokodaki

Remember how I mentioned that Tanjirou and Nezuko fought against a demon slayer in the previous episode? Well, after his encounter with the pair, the demon slayer wrote a letter to Sakonji Urokadaki, who I believe is his former master, asking him to train Tanjirou in the ways of the demon slayers.

We’re then introduced to Sakonji Urokodaki in this second episode, and you may be familiar with his voice if you’re a fan of shounen battle series. His voice actor, Houchuu Ootsuka also voiced Jiraiya from Naruto (and Guillotinecutter from Kizumonogatari, but more people are probably familiar with Jiraiya).

But, before Sakonji makes his appearance, Tanjirou and Nezuko come across another demon. They had been making their way in the general direction of Sakonji’s home, initially sleeping by day and travelling by night. The reason for this is that since Nezuko is now a demon, she’ll burn up in sunlight.

However, because he wants to be able to travel during the day as well, Tanjirou makes a basket to carry his sister in. It’s at this point that we learn Nezuko can change her body size at will, and she becomes smaller to fit into the basket.

Sakonji Urokodaki from the anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Sakonji Urokodaki

Eventually they come upon a temple as it’s getting dark, and Tanjirou smells blood (he has an extreme sense of smell by the way). The pair race up the stairs to the temple, and find that all three people inside were killed by a demon who’s still there eating them.

A battle ensues, and Tanjirou and Nezuka come out on top thanks to Nezuka’s demonic strength. But, the enemy demon still needs to be finished off. This is when Sakonji appears to inform Tanjirou that the knife he’s wielding won’t be enough to slay the demon.

Tanjirou then decides to smash the demon’s skull with a large rock, but can’t bring himself to do it. Eventually the sun rises and the demon burns up in the sunlight, without Tanjirou having committed to finishing off the beast.

The First Test

Due to the fact that Tanjirou was unable to finish off the demon, we, and Sakonji, learn a bit about how he thinks. Despite his family being killed by a demon (allegedly), and the fact that he just witnessed this demon eating humans, Tanjirou still doesn’t necessarily see demons as pure evil.

This is probably because his sister has been turned into a demon and shows signs of having kept some of her human memories. It’s kind of like one of the dilemmas that was brought up in Fullmetal Alchemist.

In Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed refuses to kill the souls bonded to suits of Armor because he views them as human. If he decides to kill them, and therefore accept that they aren’t human, he also has to accept that Al is no longer human either. This same concept applies in Demon Slayer.

If Tanjirou views demons as pure evil that can’t be redeemed, then he has no shot at restoring his sister’s humanity. I like this development a lot more than if Tanjirou didn’t want to finish off the demon simply because of some blanket statement like, “all life is precious.”

Sure, that’s a nice message, but it’s just not as compelling as when there’s a specific reason for a character acting a certain way.

Anyway, now that Sakonji knows a bit about Tanjirou’s resolve, it’s time to test his physical capabilities to see if he’s worth training. First he has the boy carry his sister while running to Sakonji’s house. Then, once they arrive and Tanjirou is ready to drop from exhaustion, the real test begins.

After leaving Nezuko at Sakonji’s house, they head up the nearby mountain. Once they’ve gone a decent distance, Sakonji tells Tanjirou to make it back down to his house before sunrise, and then he disappears into the mist.

Not only does Tanjirou have to make it back in time, but there is a plethora of traps set all the way down the mountain. In the end, Tanjirou makes it back in time, and Sakonji agrees to take him on as his student.

Conclusion

I have to say that I’m really enjoying Demon Slayer so far and I do think it’s a bit better than Dororo for now. However, based on what we’re shown in the OP, it looks like this series is quickly going to turn into your standard battle shounen, and I’m not entirely sold on that direction.

That said, it still looks like it’s going to be a good series even if it goes in that direction. And, since ufotable is the studio making this series, I have faith that it’s going to look great. They’ve done some nice work on the main series Fate anime, and I have no doubt the same will be true for Demon Slayer

If you enjoyed this review, be sure to let me know by clicking the like button ❤ down below. And, give me a follow over on Twitter @DoubleSama if you aren’t following me already.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you can become a supporter of this blog, and the benefits you’ll receive for doing so, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the next episode is available here.

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