Demon Slayer Episode 22

Demon Slayer Episode 22

Master of the Mansion

While I wouldn’t call anything that happens in this episode “action,” this may have been my favorite episode of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba so far. And I know there are a lot of people who will think this episode was boring because there weren’t really any action sequences or crazy animation.

However, those people are what I like to call, “wrong.”

Action scenes are cool and all, but they aren’t what make a series engaging to watch. There needs to be a plot, characters, and world that the viewer is invested in, and this episode builds up all three of those aspects.

With the introduction of the Hashira, the plot thickens. Now Tanjirou must not only fight against demons and try to learn how to save his sister, but he needs to watch out for enemies within the demon slayer corps. And not only are new characters introduced, but we’re given new information about old characters like Giyuu.

Finally, the world is also flushed out a bit more as we learn more about how the demon slayer corps is structured via the introduction of the Hashira. So, as you can probably tell, this review is going to be all about these Hashira.

The Nine Hashira

Last week I guessed that there may be more than the seven Hashira who were revealed, and this week confirms that guess. Though, the OP does show nine Hashira, so I guess I should have known from that. But, the OP shrouds two of them in shadow, so I didn’t actually think we’d meet them in this season.

The nine demon slayer corps Hashira are:

  1. Giyuu Tomioka – Water Hashira
  2. Shinobu Kochou – Insect Hashira
  3. Kyojuro Rengoku – Flame Hashira
  4. Tengen Uzui – Sound Hashira
  5. Gyomei Himejima – Stone Hashira
  6. Muichiro Tokito – Mist Hashira
  7. Mitsuri Kanroji – Love Hashira
  8. Obanai Iguro – Serpent Hashira
  9. Sanemi Shinazugawa – Wind Hashira

Last week I made some predictions about the breathing techniques for the Hashira, and some were pretty close. Kyojuro was obviously the Flame Hashira although I initially called him the Lightning Hashira. And as for Muichiro and Gyomei, my guesses of Heaven and Earth weren’t far off from Mist and Stone.

Unfortunately, I was completely wrong about Tengen and Mitsuri. I never would have guessed Sound and Love respectively.

The nine Hashira (and Tanjirou) bowing before their master from the anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
The nine Hashira (and Tanjirou) bowing before their master

Now, there are a few things you may notice from this list. First of all, there are Hashira for some breathing techniques which we haven’t heard of before. Second, there are breathing techniques we have heard of — and seen in action — that have no Hashira attributed to them.

So what gives? Why is there no Lightning or Beast Hashira? Well, it’s explained that the Hashira are the nine strongest swordsmen in the demon slayer corps. This means that regardless of how many breathing techniques there may be, there are still only nine Hashira spots.

How the Hashira seem to Work

While we know the title of Hashira is limited to nine members, there are some other things we can infer. For starters, although it isn’t expressly stated, we can assume that there cannot be two Hashira of the same breathing technique.

However, if each Hashira must be a master of a different technique, that would be a bit strange if we’ve already seen every technique. So far, we know of 11 techniques in total, so wouldn’t it be weird to limit the Hashira to nine members rather than 11?

For this reason, I’m fairly confident that there are more than just 11 breathing techniques. This also means that the nine breathing techniques featured among the Hashira aren’t always the same. It just so happens that the nine strongest swordsmen of the demon slayer corps use these techniques.

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

And this is where former Hashira come into play. It’s revealed that Sakonji is the former Water Hashira. Perhaps he was the one right before Giyuu, or perhaps there was a different Hashira in that slot between them. Either way, it’s clear that Sakonji trained Giyuu specifically to take over as a member of the Hashira.

And, since the man who trained Zenitsu seems to be from the same generation as Sakonji, I’m going to assume he was a former Hashira as well. This would have made him the Lightning (or maybe Thunder) Hashira. However, because he didn’t have a pupil to take over for him at the time of his retirement, there is currently no Lightning Hashira.

It’s unclear if Inosuke had a master. In fact, Beast breathing may be his own technique he developed while living in the wilderness. My reasoning for that is “beast” is more obscure than official techniques like “insect” or “serpent.”

The Demon Slayer Corps Master

Something we’ve known for a while is that the demon slayer corps has a singular leader. However, up until now we only saw him once, and it was only from behind. Now we know what he looks like, and his appearance has raised a couple of new questions.

The first thing we all probably noticed about the master as he’s referred to is the scarring on his face. The upper half of his face appears to be covered in a burn scar and it’s also revealed that he’s blind. However, while I initially saw these aspects of his appearance as wounds from a battle, Tanjirou points out that may not be the case.

After first assuming the master was wounded, Tanjirou then changes his mind and says that he’s sick. But why does this matter? It matters because those are two very different things, especially in terms of this series. We don’t yet know for sure what the deal is with the master’s appearance, so I’ll just give my takes on both sides.

If the master is wounded, then how was he wounded? At one point he was probably a Hashira himself and received those wounds from a powerful demon. However, the demon he fought probably wasn’t Kibutsuji because none of the demon slayer corps seem to know anything about him.

If he wasn’t wounded, and he is in fact stricken with an illness, what caused it? It must be a pretty severe illness to cause him to go blind and result in all that scarring. Was it the result of a blood demon art? Was he the victim of a sneak attack by Kibutsuji and somehow survived? Perhaps administering wisteria quickly enough was able to prevent him from becoming a demon.

What are the Demons?

Before concluding this discussion, I want to bring up one more question which is somewhat related to the master. And this is, what exactly are the demons? As far as I can tell, demons are simply humans who have been infected with a blood-borne virus.

Everything about demons, from the way they’re created, to their food, to their special abilities is related to blood. If this does mean that turning into a demon is a symptom of this virus, then that would make those infected by it “sick” — like the master.

The master of the demon slayer corps from the anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
The master of the demon slayer corps

Remember, Tanjirou’s sense of smell is insane. He can even smell the difference between humans and demons, so what if he could smell that there was something wrong with the master? Perhaps he referred to him as sick because the master’s body is still fighting off the demon virus within it.

This is also in line with what we learned fairly on in the series from Lady Tamayo. She’s a demon who was able to regain her human consciousness and now works to find a cure for demonization. So, it’s not like the idea that demons are the product of a virus is a new one in the series.

Finally, we also had Gyomei refer to Nezuko as being “possessed by a demon.” Notice that he doesn’t call her a demon directly. This could be due to his character being a priest, or it could be hinting at the fact that demons as we know them are actually just infected humans.

Conclusion

So what did you think of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba episode 22? Did you find it to be extremely interesting like I did, or are you one of the people who just wants to see action all the time? And, which Hashira is your favorite? I think I’m still #TeamShinobu, but Tengen is pretty neat too other than his flamboyant catchphrase.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤ down below and follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. There’s also a Discord server which is open to everyone where we discuss past and present anime.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier and Rob Wright and Keyboard Kadabra at the Kouhai tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the next episode is available here.

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