Tag: Demon Slayer

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba anime series cover art
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Overview

Although Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (Kimetsu no Yaiba / 鬼滅の刃) was one of the better anime of the spring/summer seasons, I wouldn’t say it’s as good as most people would have you think. MAL currently has it rated at 8.94, and in my opinion that’s way too high for this series.

Demon Slayer is currently one of the most popular shounen series, right up there with the likes of My Hero Academia — though I think that one has dropped more recently. After all, especially in the shounen battle series world, whatever’s new is usually the most popular.

The series follows a trio of demon slayers as they travel the land and do what their titles imply, slay demons. However, our protagonist, Tanjirou Kamado, has a unique relationship with the demons — his younger sister is one of them.

While most other demon slayers view the demons as something which must be destroyed at all costs, that isn’t true for Tanjirou. His goal is to one day save his sister and return her to her human form. And if he were to view all demons as inherently evil, then it would mean his sister is incapable of being saved.

But while the story is alright, I’m not really sure if that’s the main draw for anyone. It seems that most people were drawn to the series thanks to the animation done by ufotable (which is the same studio that made Fate/Zero and UBW). And then there’s me, who just likes battle series with abilities I can break down and theorize about.

And while I won’t be getting into any ability discussions here, there’s plenty of that in my weekly episode reviews.

Characters

While I’d like to discuss the supporting characters because they’re actually a lot more interesting and less annoying, I should probably keep to the main cast for this review. If you’ve already seen this series, you might as well just skip down to the next section.

Tanjirou Kamado is a brand new demon slayer whose goal is to defeat the big bad guy of the series: Kibutsuji Muzan. It’s heavily implied, if not outright stated, that Kibutsuji was the one who turned Tanjirou’s sister into a demon, and also slaughtered the rest of their family.

Each demon slayer also has a “breathing technique” they specialize in, with Tanjirou’s being the water breathing technique. I should also mention that despite how these breathing techniques look, they are simply styles of swordsmanship and don’t actually have any elemental properties.

Shinobu Kochou from the anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Shinobu Kochou

Nezuko Kamado is Tanjirou’s younger sister who was turned into a demon. However, unlike “most” demons, Nezuko still has a sense of self and isn’t merely a bloodthirsty monster. And I put “most” in quotes, because as we’ll see, that’s not actually the case at all.

Zenitsu Agatsuma is Tanjirou’s first companion, aside from Nezuko. He’s terrified of literally everything other than cute girls, and that basically sums up his entire character. 99% of the time Zenitsu is insufferable, and the other 1% of the time, when he uses his lightning breathing technique, he’s the coolest character of the series.

Inosuke Hashibira is the third member of the demon slayer trio and uses the beast breathing technique. Like Zenitsu, he’s also often extremely annoying, but at least he’s not a coward. Inosuke charges into any fight head first while yelling with both of his swords drawn.

Strengths and Weaknesses

What does Demon Slayer do well? The biggest thing is the visuals. I was surprised by the amount of people who had never heard of ufotable before Demon Slayer. Out of any animation studio, they’re just about the only ones who can actually make 3D CGI animation look good. And they’ve been doing it for years.

I’m not going to say this series is a visual masterpiece, but for the scenes that really matter, I’m not sure there’s anything better within this genre.

The other big thing I liked about this series is that it gives us a lot to theorize about: the blade colors, breathing techniques, and blood demon arts are just a few examples. However, this is also tied into one of the things I think the series did poorly, which is world building.

Giyuu Tomioka from the anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Giyuu Tomioka

Once we get to the end of the season, the world building does get better, but for most of the season it doesn’t make a lot of sense. We’re given information on a lot of things, but we’re not given a lot of information on any one thing. This leads to an issue where the rules of the world are constantly changing.

Over the 26 episodes I believe the answer to the question, “how are demons created?” is changed about three times. It’s like the author of the series kept revising the world mechanics he previously laid out. And that’s not the only example.

Like I mentioned earlier, the same is true for the idea of Nezuko being the only “sane” demon. In actuality, the vast majority of demons we see in the series retain their sense of self. There’s actually very little about Nezuko that’s special other than the fact that she’s stated to be special.

Conclusion

This assumption isn’t limited to Demon Slayer, but I’ve had people claim that the reason I don’t like the world building in this series is because it goes in a direction contrary to my initial assumption. That’s not the case. I don’t like the world building in Demon Slayer because a new world is built with every episode.

It’s all contradictory, which is a sign of an author who doesn’t have a plan laid out from the start. These changes in the world weren’t made out to be revelations, they were simply stated as fact despite conflicting with prior facts. And no characters reacted to these changes even when they were drastic.

So in the end Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is a 7/10 from me. It was a good anime, but it had enough problems to keep it from getting into the 8 or above territory — mainly surrounding the main characters being insufferable and the world building being contrarian.

If you enjoyed this review or found it to be helpful in any way, remember to click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And, come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

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

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Demon Slayer Episode 26

Demon Slayer Episode 26

New Mission

Are you aware of how big One Piece chapter 957 was this week? Because Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba episode 26 is essentially the same thing for this series. I wasn’t expecting the final episode of the season to be anything crazy, so it’s safe to say I was pleasantly surprised by all the new information we got.

So I hope you’re ready for a long article today. We have a lot to cover, including the demon ranks, upgraded blood demon arts, Kibutsuji’s abilities, Kanao being Kanao, and information on the next arc of the series. I think it’s safe to say this was the biggest episode of the season.

That’s right, I’m saying this episode is bigger than when Nezuko awakened her blood demon art and Tanjirou used the Fire Breathing Technique. Sure, that was cool, but we still know very little about both of those things and haven’t seen them again since.

This episode further explains the world of Demon Slayer and shakes things up for the future of the series.

Demon Ranks Explained

Up until this point the demon ranks weren’t explained all that well. We knew Kibutsuji is at the top, the Twelve Demon Moons came next, the Lower Five were part of this group, then Six Lower Moons came after the Twelve Demon Moons, and finally came everyone else.

We now know that the “Lower Five” Rui was a member of is actually referring to the Six Lower Moons. Each one is numbered one through six, with one most likely being the strongest. Rui was the fifth Lower Moon, so his title was Lower Five.

So now that it’s been confirmed that the Six Lower Moons are in fact members of the Twelve Demon Moons, we also know more about the other members. If there’s are six Lower ranks, there are also six Upper ranks, and this is confirmed by Kibutsuji himself.

Lower One Demon from the anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Lower One Demon

However, although the Six Lower Moons were finally explained, they no longer exist. We learn about them via a flashback which takes us back six months, to right after Rui was defeated. Kibutsuji calls together the remaining five members of the Six Lower Moons to inform them he’s dismantling their group.

He then kills four of them for insulting him in various ways and Lower One is the last member standing. Kibutsuji then grants Lower One a hearty dose of his own blood and tells her that if she survives it her new mission will to be to prove herself by killing Tanjirou and the Hashira.

I should also point out that it’s unclear exactly what Lower One’s title is at this point. She still has “Lower One” written on her eye though.

Why Did Kibutsuji Dismantle the Lower Six Moons?

Let’s be honest, the Six Lower Moons are strong demons. Sure, they’re no match for high ranking demon slayers like the Hashira, but they’ve killed quite a few regular demon slayers. You would think that this would be enough to prove they’re worth keeping around, but Kibutsuji doesn’t agree.

To him, since the Six Lower Moons can’t even kill one measly Hashira, they’re useless. And this is an interesting development because what does that say about all the other demons? Kibutsuji is essentially saying there are only six demons he thinks deserve to live, the Six Upper Moons.

If this is the case, why even create all those other demons who are running around unorganized? You could say he was attempting to create strong demons and kept failing, but they still have a purpose, don’t they?

Demons without blood demon arts may even be on Kibutsuji’s radar, but from what we learned when we met our very first demon with a blood demon art, he was directly connected to Kibutsuji. He claimed that Kibutsuji was always watching which implies Kibutsuji has some sort of use for the random demons.

Basically what I’m getting at is that things here don’t quite add up. Kibutsuji sees the random, rankless demons as useful pawns, but not the Six Lower Moons who are stronger? I could understand dismantling their rank and taking away their privileged but his plan was to eradicate all of them.

Maybe this will all make more sense once we finally learn what exactly Kibutsuji’s end goal is.

Upgraded Blood Demon Arts

Fun fact, just this morning I was planning out some new post ideas focused around chakra natures in Naruto. One of those posts was on the topic of “upgraded” chakra natures. And then guess what happens. We potentially see an upgraded blood demon art in today’s episode of Demon Slayer.

Coincidence? Let me know in the comments.

But anyway, what exactly do I mean by upgraded blood demon arts? I mean multiple demons who have what amounts to the same blood demon art, but one significantly stronger than the other. You can think of it like different levels within the same blood demon art.

Remember our old friend the Taiko Demon who was a former member of the Six Lower Moons? When he played his instrument the rooms within his home would shift around. Well, this episode introduces us to a demon with a very similar ability.

This time around we have a demon playing a biwa instead of taiko drums. However, the real difference in their abilities isn’t the instrument they each play, but rather the scale of their power. The Taiko Demon could alter his home, but the Biwa Demon can alter a seemingly endless expanse of space.

I think the Biwa Demon also doesn’t just alter a vast space around her. If my assumption is correct, she actually creates the space she’s altering as well. That makes her blood demon art proficiency much greater than that of the Taiko Demon’s.

Also, it’s implied she’s not a member of the Twelve Demon Moons despite having this immense power.

Kibutsuji Muzan’s Abilities

The strongest demon around is undoubtedly Kibutsuji Muzan. We don’t actually know if he’s the original demon, but it’s fair to say that he’s been around for a very long time. He even mentions that the same six demons have made up the Six Upper Moons for the last century, implying he’s been around far longer.

And we can assume that over the centuries, or even millennia, Kibutsuji has acquired more and more power for himself. But up until this episode we haven’t actually seen him do much other than turn random people into demons with his blood. That alone doesn’t explain why he’s so feared by demon slayers and demons alike.

Kibutsuji Muzan's new appearance from the anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Kibutsuji Muzan’s new appearance

So the first “new” ability Kibutsuji is revealed to have is shapeshifting (and body morphing which we’ve seen other demons use). Last time we saw him he looked like a man, but now he’s taken on the appearance of a woman. He likely did so because Tanjirou figured out who he was and lived to tell the tale.

It’s probable that the reason the demon slayers haven’t been able to track down Kibutsuji is simply because he can change his appearance at will. They can’t figure out what he really looks like, and most of them can’t sniff him out like Tanjirou can.

Along with shapeshifting, Kibutsuji can alter his “aura.” This means even the demons employed under him can’t recognize him. This also probably means Inosuke’s Beast Breathing radar ability wouldn’t work to pick him out from a crowd either.

And finally, he has some sort of teleportation or time-altering ability. We don’t know how this works, but he used it to capture and kill the Six Lower Moons member who attempted to flee.

Kanao Tsuyuri’s Heart

Alright, now I know Kanao isn’t as interesting as all the information we learned about the demons in this episode, but I still want to discuss her briefly. Obviously the big news here is that Kanao spoke to Tanjirou, but I actually remembered that this isn’t the first time she’s spoken.

Because she hasn’t said a word the entire time we’ve been in this recovery arc — and even in her flashback — I assumed she never spoke. But she actually did speak back when she captured Nezuko. She asked, “Are you Nezuko?”

Kanao also didn’t speak at the end of the Final Selection, so that’s the only other time she’s spoken until now.

As for why she spoke, it was decided for her by the coin she flips. Remember, Kanao doesn’t really have a will of her own — she’s basically a robot. She does as she’s ordered, and if she isn’t given orders, she flips her coin to determine what she should do.

But that’s all about to change. As any good shounen battle series protagonist would, Tanjirou doesn’t accept the fact that Kanao doesn’t have a will of her own. He takes her coin and flips it saying that if it lands on heads she has to stop relying on the coin and instead follow her heart.

Of course, even if it landed on tails he was just going to keep flipping it until it landed on heads.

Anyway, maybe Kanao will get some good character development going forward in the series. Though, I’m fairly certain that she won’t be playing a role in the next arc due to what we know about it. But who knows, maybe she’ll show up near the end.

Infinity Train Arc

I feel like I’m forgetting something pretty major that I wanted to discuss before this, but whatever, let’s move on to the next arc of the series. It’s revealed that the next arc is the infinity train arc, and it’s already giving me some serious Rail Zeppelin (review coming eventually) vibes.

Also, it was revealed that this next arc won’t actually be a second season of the series, but instead a movie. And no, we don’t have a release date just yet. It was only mentioned that the movie has been greenlit.

But we do know a small amount about the contents of the movie (from the anime — I’m sure manga readers know it all). We know that Rengoku is going to be a major character and that Lower One seems to be the main antagonist.

Flame Hashira Kyoujurou Rengoku from the anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Flame Hashira Kyoujurou Rengoku

I figured Rengoku was going to die before Tanjirou could ask him about the Fire Breathing Technique, but this seems to point to that not being the case. I figured he would die off-screen while on his mission, but since we’re going to be seeing this mission, now I’m not so sure.

He could still die during the course of this mission, but I find that to be less likely now. After all, Lower One isn’t a member of the Upper Six (obviously), and Rengoku will have Tanjirou, Zenitsu, and Inosuke as backup.

But there is one thing about this next arc I’m actually not looking forward to, and that’s the fact that it’s a movie. This isn’t always the case, but I often feel like anime series that transition into a movie for the next arc are never fully adapted.

Conclusion

What did you think of this final episode of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba? Did you like all the new information we got about the demons? Do you think Kibutsuji has the stand The World like DIO? And are you looking forward to the movie? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤ down below and follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama. I’m not sure which series I’ll be doing weekly reviews of next season just yet, but you’ll find out over on Twitter. Also, come join us on Discord to discuss Demon Slayer and other anime.

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

If you’re interested in a brief review of the series as a whole, it’s available here.

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Demon Slayer Episode 25

Demon Slayer Episode 25

Tsuguko, Kanao Tsuyuri

Episode 25 of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba wasn’t exactly the best episode of the series. You’d think that considering there’s only one episode after this one, it would have been a bit more important. However, all we got this week was more of last week‘s training montage and a little bit of backstory.

Well, that’s not all, but that took up the vast majority of the episode. And, since this week’s episode was very Zenitsu and Inosuke heavy, you already know I wasn’t entertained. Those two are fine when they’re actually fighting demons, but in every other situation they’re just annoying.

Before I get into the contents of this episode, I do want to take a moment to discuss the next episode. Next week’s episode is going to be the final one of the season, and for some reason it seems like we’re starting a brand new arc.

It’s pretty normal to have the next arc be hinted at in the last episode of a season, but from what I can tell this isn’t going to be a mere hint. It really seems like we’re going to be jumping into the next arc and then having it cut off until season 2. That goes a bit beyond using a cliffhanger.

Maybe the next season will be relatively soon, but considering it hasn’t been announced yet I’m not convinced. My guess is that by the time the second season comes around, I will have forgotten the events of season one, episode 25 and will therefore be lost.

Kanao’s Past

Kanao Tsuyuri’s past is something I honestly haven’t wondered that much about. Before this episode we knew she was strong, she’s the pupil of the Insect Hashira, Shinobu Kochou, and she doesn’t talk. I never really questioned why she never spoke, but this was answered nonetheless — probably.

Interestingly, Kanao’s backstory has nothing to do with actual demons. Most, but not all, demon slayers seem to go into that profession because of a past interaction with a demon. Typically, a demon slaughtered their family and they want revenge.

But for Kanao, she was simply an orphaned slave who was rescued by Shinobu and her sister, Kanae. It’s not explicitly stated, but we can assume Kanao’s muteness is a direct result of the physical and psychological abuse she suffered as a child. However, maybe she was mute from the start.

Kanae, Shinobu, and Kanao from the anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Kanae, Shinobu, and Kanao

We also learned that Kanao is extremely subservient to the point that she won’t eat without being ordered to. This, I like to assume, is something she’s grown out of. But, she still seems to have trouble deciding things on her own, which is showcased by the fact that she flips a coin given to her by Kanae.

At this point, if you’re thinking that Kanao’s backstory was extremely bland, I don’t blame you. Like I said, her past isn’t something I ever wondered about, and now that we’ve seen it, I can safely say that we wouldn’t have missed out on anything if it was skipped over.

Zenitsu and Inosuke Training Montage

Now, you may have noticed that Tanjirou has been training on his own — without Zenitsu and Inosuke — for days, or even weeks. And before his training montage, I still would have labeled him as the strongest of the three. So how are Zenitsu and Inosuke going to be useful if Tanjirou keeps getting stronger than them?

It appears I wasn’t the only one wondering this — Zenitsu and Inosuke were too. And they eventually came to the conclusion that they can’t let Tanjirou continue to widen the gap between their skill levels. But it’s fairly obvious that they wouldn’t really be able to catch up to Tanjirou at this point.

This is where the power of the training montage really shines though. While last week we got Tanjirou’s training montage which brought him up to the level of Kanao (sort of), this this week’s Zenitsu and Inosuke training montage was even more intense.

That’s right, to even out the playing field, the author just said, “they worked harder and caught up.” That’s pretty lazy.

Shinobu, Zenitsu, and Tanjirou from the anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Shinobu, Zenitsu, and Tanjirou

But as much as I hate these two characters and think the explanation for how they don’t get left behind by Tanjirou’s skill is lazy, I did like how Shinobu convinced them to train. She knows what each of their motivations are.

For Inosuke, she implied that he was weak if he wasn’t able to use constant total concentration breathing. And for Zenitsu, she appealed to his obsession with the fairer sex. And since Tanjirou is a shounen protagonist, I can only assume she would have motivated him with food.

Through the Fire and Flames

Finally we get to the only part of the episode that I felt was actually interesting — though it was stupid at the same time. After being cleared to return to his missions by Dr. Kochou, Tanjirou asks her if she’s ever heard of a Fire Breathing Technique. She responds that she hasn’t.

Originally I figured this was just Shinobu messing with Tanjirou, but she then elaborates on her answer. While she doesn’t know of a Fire Breathing Technique, there is the Flame Breathing Technique used by Rengoku. Seems like a strange distinction to make, but alright.

As Shinobu says, the exact phrasing of the breathing techniques is both intentional and important. But while it’s true that Fire and Flame are different words, I still fail to see exactly what the difference would be in this context. Why is the fact that it’s Flame and not Fire so important?

Shinobu almost seems to imply that fire is a negative word while flame is a positive one. But, we’ll have to wait until later to find out, because she tells Tanjirou to ask Rengoku himself if he wants more details.

Also, does this mean that what Tanjirou used to fight Rui, the Spider Silk Demon, was the Fire Breathing Technique, and not the Flame Breathing Technique? Probably. So if this is the case then I guess we won’t be seeing him get trained by Rengoku any time soon.

And as one last point, last week I did predict that both Rengoku and Shinobu were going to be dead shortly. It seems I was wrong about Shinobu since she’s still alive and well, but I still think Rengoku is a goner. I don’t think Tanjirou will have the chance to question him.

Conclusion

So, that’s everything I have to say about episode 25 of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Let me know in the comments what you thought of this episode. Did you find Kanao’s backstory interesting? Do you like Zenitsu and Inosuke? And, what do you think the difference is between the Fire and Flame breathing techniques?

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤ down below and follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama. I tweet out every time a new post goes live, which could help you not miss out on one such as this — which is being uploaded late at night.

There’s also a Discord server you can join if you’re interested in discussing and watching anime with other members of the community. This season we watched How Heavy are the Dumbbells You Lift?, but I’m not sure what we’ll be watching as a group next season just yet.

And last, but not least, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika 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 final episode is available here.

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Demon Slayer Episode 24

Demon Slayer Episode 24

Rehabilitation Training

Unfortunately, this week’s episode of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba had way too much Zenitsu content for me to call it good. I still don’t like Zenitsu, and I will continue to dislike him until he stops freaking out about every little thing.

But, there are still some things I want to touch on in this episode aside from Zenitsu (and Inosuke). We learned a fair amount of information about both the Hashira Shinobu Kochou and her student, Kanao Tsuyuri. But before I get into those two, there’s something else I need to point out first.

At the start of the episode we see Kyoujurou Rengoku, the Flame Hashira, telling Shinobu that he’s about to go on a mission after one of the Twelve Demon Moons. Shinobu then comments on the fact that it will be a dangerous mission and tells him to stay safe.

Why were we shown this scene?

My guess is that Rengoku isn’t going to be coming back from this mission. Perhaps it really will turn out to be one of the Twelve Demon Moons he runs into, or maybe it will be Kibutsuji Muzan himself. Either way, I think Rengoku is going to die on this mission.

Think about it, why else would we have been shown this scene? It has nothing to do with the episode, so it must be foreshadowing something. Also, since Tanjirou might be able to use the Flame Breathing Technique, this could open up a future Hashira spot for him without Giyuu needing to die or step down.

I’m not saying Tanjirou would replace him now, but maybe in the distant future once he’s stronger.

Three-Step Program

Alright, so onto matters regarding Shinobu and Kanao — sort of. Tanjirou, Inosuke, and Zenitsu are forced to undergo rehabilitation training once their wounds have sufficiently, but not entirely, healed. Inosuke and Zenitsu later drop out of this training, but Tanjirou stays on.

The first step of this program involves (forced) stretching to make their bodies more limber. The second step involves a game of reflexes centered around cups of tea (or medicated water). Finally, the third step is a full-body workout in the form of one-on-one tag.

While the three were eventually able to defeat Aoi, Kanao’s subordinate, none of them were able to defeat Kanao herself. It was then revealed that the reason for this is likely because Kanao has mastered something only she and the Hashira can do.

Kanao is able to use the Total Concentration Breathing Technique 24/7. By comparison, Tanjirou can’t last more than a few minutes using this technique. So if he wants any chance of defeating Kanao, he’ll need to train more.

The training to be able to use this technique mainly focuses on strengthening the lungs. For example, Tanjirou does a lot of cardio and then is instructed to make gourds explode by blowing into them.

Basically, we got a training montage this week.

Kanao Tsuyuri

Kanao Tsuyuri is currently the strongest member of the demon slayer corps. we know of who isn’t a current or former Hashira. Or at least we can assume that’s the case based on the fact she’s the only non-Hashira to have mastered the Total Concentration Breathing Technique.

But there’s actually more to her strength than just that breathing technique. And it’s Tanjirou who gives us two important clues as to what makes Kanao such a formidable opponent. He says she has the same scent as the Hashira and that her eyes are “different” from most people.

Initially I didn’t think much of his comment about her scent. I also thought perhaps it was going to be revealed that Kanao is blind. However, at this point I don’t think that’s the case. Her eyes physically look like Shinobu’s, not the demon slayer corps. master’s.

Kanao Tsuyuri from the anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Kanao Tsuyuri

No, the thing that sets Kanao apart from most demon slayers is that she’s unable to forgive the demons for one reason or another. That’s something that’s true for many demon slayers, but for Kanao and the Hashira it’s something that defines who they are at a fundamental level.

Later, during his talk with Shinobu, we learn that the scent he smells on her, the other Hashira, and likely Kanao is the scent of anger. It’s also during this conversation that we get a hint pointing to the difference Tanjirou saw in Kanao’s eyes.

Despite physically smiling, Shinobu has sadness in her eyes. Kanao is the same way. She always has a soft smile, but it’s as if she’s trying to mask her true feelings with it. The reason the Hashira, and Kanao, are so strong is because they’re emotionally dead inside.

They no longer fear failure because they’ve already lost everything.

Shinobu’s Dream

As for why Shinobu hates demons and has a sadness about her, it stems from the death of her older sister. We don’t really know anything about her, but it does appear that Shinobu inherited everything from her.

Shinobu wears the same cloak (or whatever that piece of clothing is called), she uses a similar sword, and I’m assuming she took her position as Insect Hashira. We also know that Shinobu took up her sister’s dream which is to one day be friends with the demons.

Aside from those things, Shinobu’s sister is a mystery. We don’t really know how she died — obviously it was in battle, but against who? Was it Kibutsuji? One of the Twelve Demon Moons? Did they go after Shinobu and her sister sacrificed herself to protect her? We’ll probably never know.

Shinobu's older sister dying from the anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Shinobu’s older sister dying

But after telling Tanjirou about her dream, Shinobu says something else interesting. She says she’s exhausted, that Tanjirou will continue to work in her place to fulfill that dream, and that she can rest easy now. Is this merely her saying that she’s glad she doesn’t have to carry that burden alone, or is there more to it?

To me, it almost seems like Shinobu plans to retire from the demon slayer corps. Or, perhaps she knows she doesn’t have much time left for whatever reason. Is she sick? Is she planning to die? Her words to Tanjirou didn’t seem like the words of someone who was going to be around for much longer.

While retirement was my first thought, that doesn’t seem like Shinobu’s style. The more I think about it, the more likely it seems that she’s going to do something reckless. Maybe she’ll join up with Rengoku and they’ll both fight — and lose — against Kibutsuji together.

Conclusion

Obviously I don’t want Shinobu to die — she’s the best girl of the series. But just as I mentioned that Rengoku’s death could open up a spot for Tanjirou, the same could be said about Shinobu’s death and Kanao. Eventually Kanao has to succeed Shinobu, so why not now? She’s ready.

What are your thoughts on this episode of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba? Do you think Rengoku is going to die right after we met him? Do you think Shinobu is going to as well? Is she going to retire? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤ down below and follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama. I tweet out every time a new post goes live, so it’s the best way to stay up to date. There’s also a Discord server for those of you who want to discuss anime with other community members.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika 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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Demon Slayer Episode 23

Demon Slayer Episode 23

Hashira Meeting

Like last week’s episode, this week’s didn’t really have any action. In fact, Tanjirou didn’t even headbutt anyone, so there was no action at all. And, unfortunately, we didn’t actually learn all that much new information in this episode either.

Because of that, this week’s review is mostly going to focus on speculation. But, let’s start off with a fact that was confirmed.

Kanao has been confirmed to be Shinobu’s pupil. I assumed this was the case already because of their similar hair clips and the fact that Kanao works under Shinobu. However, it’s now confirmed, and we learned that each Hashira generally takes on a singular student.

Also last week I mentioned that this is probably so that the Hashira can train someone to take their place when they retire or if they die. But as of right now, the only Hashira we know to have a student is Shinobu. My guess is that Tanjirou is going to become Giyuu’s student in the near future.

Oh, and remember that other boy from Final Selection? You know, the really angry one who’s been featured in the OP, but whom we haven’t seen since? I’m thinking he’ll show up in one of these final few episodes of the season as the Wind Hashira’s student.

Originally I thought he might use the Flame Breathing Technique, but now I’m not so sure. Based on his attitude I think he’s much more likely to be a student of Sanemi. I also really thought we’d meet him again in the story by now. He seemed like he was going to be a more important character than Kanao.

Tanjirou’s Mission

Hashira and their students aside, Nezuko has proven herself worthy in the (blind) eyes of the Master. She refused to attack Sanemi despite his provocation. However, this still isn’t really enough to prove that Nezuko is harmless to some of the Hashira.

And, because I don’t know where else to fit this piece of information in, Sanemi has a green sword. We don’t know what it does yet, like with all the colored swords, but I wanted to point that out. I wonder if we’ll ever actually get an explanation of the different sword color abilities.

Mitsuri Kanroji holding in her laughter from the anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Mitsuri Kanroji holding in her laughter

Now that Nezuko is a pseudo-member of the demon slayer corps. she can officially join Tanjirou on his missions. And their first mission is to slay one of the 12 Demon Moons. Well, they’ll probably have other missions before that, but the Master specifically told them to do this so that there would be no questions as to Nezuko’s loyalty.

Also during this whole scene I remembered for the first time that Nezuko is still wearing her muzzle. Does she even need it anymore? She’s not going to attack humans anyway, so why does she keep it on? Is it just a part of her character design at this point?

Tamayo & the Master

And speaking of good demons who don’t wear muzzles, it’s revealed that the Master knows who lady Tamayo is. Of everything we learned in this episode, this was probably the single biggest piece of information. Which in some ways sucks because it prompts way more questions than it answers.

My main question is, if the Master is aware of Tamayo’s existence, why aren’t the Hashira? The Hashira seem truly confused about a demon, Nezuko, existing which doesn’t attack humans. If they knew of Tamayo already then Nezuko wouldn’t be as much of a surprise.

Why is the Master keeping Tamayo’s existence hidden from his underlings? Does he think they will seek her out to slay her? Does Tamayo have information about the Master which he doesn’t want getting out? Or, did Tamayo perhaps request that her existence be kept a secret?

There are two main theories I have regarding the relationship between the Master and Tamayo — and they aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

Obviously the master’s knowledge of Tamayo played into his decision regarding Nezuko. Sure, a the backing of Sakonji and Giyuu is powerful, but likely not enough to sway the Master’s decision. But if the master already knows good demons exist, that’s a powerful factor.

So, who is Tamayo to the Master? Is she a random demon he met at some point during his life? Possibly, but what if the two of them were actually related? What if Tamayo is the Master’s sister like Nezuko is to Tanjirou?

That would be an interesting development, but also what if Tamayo is the one who saved the Master? Last week I mentioned he was probably going to be turned into a demon, but was saved. Could Tamayo have been the one to save him?

The First Breathing Swordsmen

Regardless of what the relationship between the Master and Tamayo is, it’s also hinted that the Master has some relationship with Kibutsuji Muzan. I get that all the demon slayers want to defeat Kibutsuji, but when the Master says it, it sounds way more personal.

Going along with Tamayo possibly being the one who saved the Master, I still think Kibutsuji is the one who left him scarred and blind. And maybe this is theorizing a bit too much, but what if the Master, Tamayo, and Kibutsuji were all once allies as humans?

I like this idea, possibly because it reminds me of the Sannin from Naruto, but there is one major issue. We don’t actually know how old any of these three are — mainly Kibutsuji and Tamayo since demons are likely immortal (I don’t remember if that was confirmed).

The Hashira meeting from the anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
The Hashira meeting

What we do know though is that the current Master of the demon slayer corps. is the 97th one total. From this, along with Shinobu’s mention of how the current era is different from the previous era, we can assume the demon slayer corps. has been around for a while.

But since we know so little about the origin of the demons, it’s hard to say how far back Kibutsuji and Tamayo’s lives go. For all we know, Kibutsuji could have been around ever since the founding of the demon slayer corps. Though, I don’t think this will turn out to be the case.

The Master also mentions the “first breathing swordsmen” and these are likely the founders of the demon slayer corps. While I would love to learn more about them, I don’t think this series is going to be long enough to dive into their history very much.

Conclusion

I should also point out that both Inosuke and Zenitsu are alive and well. They’re both being taken care of at the hospital Shinobu owns due to their serious injuries. It was also pointed out that the other demon slayer who was with them on the mountain is nowhere to be found.

I don’t remember his name, and I don’t remember if we saw him die, but I feel like he’s alive. Perhaps we’ll come across him again at a later point in the series. Maybe he was even turned into a demon himself while the others were fighting. I just think that the fact he was brought up again means he still has a role to play.

So, as always, what are your thoughts on Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba episode 23? Do you think that boy from Final Selection is going to be Sanemi’s pupil? Why do you think the Master kept Tamayo’s existence a secret from the Hashira? And, what do you make of my theory about the Master, Tamayo, and Kibutsuji all being allies at one point? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤ down below and follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama. You can also join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing past, present, and future anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika 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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