Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc Episode 8

Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc Episode 8

Enigma and Prodigy

I’m sure we all agree that Episode 8 was the best episode of Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc so far. It’ll probably be beaten out by one of the future episodes. But for now, I think it’s the best. And I’ve heard this season is only going to be 12 episodes, unlike the first season.

The first thing I want to discuss regarding this episode, though, is something that wasn’t the focus at all. In response to Gyuutarou’s comment about Tengen being born gifted, Tengen responds by mentioning three other Hashira to whom that applies to more than him.

One of these Hashira is Rengoku, who appears to have been the “leader” of the Hashira before his death. I think all of the Hashira are actually equals. But based on how Rengoku acted and the other Hashira looked up to him, I think that’s a fair claim to make.

The Mist and Stone Hashira from the anime series Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc Episode 8
The Mist and Stone Hashira

The other two Hashira Tengen mentioned were the Stone and Mist Hashira. I don’t remember their names, but perhaps that’s because we weren’t given their names yet. So I’m going to assume that’s the case and not look them up.

Anyway, Tengen refers to the Stone Hashira as an enigma and claims that the Mist Hashira rose to the rank of Hashira within 3 months of first picking up his sword. If the latter is true, that would make the Mist Hashira a true prodigy.

As for the Stone Hashira being an enigma, I have no idea what Tengen could have meant by that. Is he saying that nobody knows how the Stone Hashira rose to that rank? Or simply that he doesn’t know anything about him?

Will Tengen Follow Rengoku?

When Tengen was putting on a brave front after being poisoned by Gyuutarou, we saw a visual comparison between him and Rengoku. Both were able to smile in the face of a formidable opponent and did so in order to protect those weaker than them.

However, I think the similarities between the two really stop there. Tengen was putting on an act when he was pretending that the poison had no effect on him. He knew the reality of his position but decided the best course of action was to not show weakness.

Whether this was a psychological tactic meant to fake out his opponent, a way to reassure the younger Demon Slayers with him, or both, I don’t know. But it was pretty clear to me that this was simply Tengen playing up his “flashy” personality.

Tengen and the spirit of Rengoku from the anime series Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc Episode 8
Tengen and the spirit of Rengoku

What makes Rengoku different is that I never got the impression his smile was fake. Even when faced with his own death, Rengoku’s smile was genuine, even if it did have the added effect of reassuring Tanjirou.

So, why were these two compared to each other in Tanjirou’s mind? Does he really think their personalities are so similar? Or was he comparing the way these Hashira were able to smile when faced with their own mortality?

Keep in mind, this comparison comes after Tanjirou finds out that Tengen has been poisoned. As far as Tanjirou knows, this poisoning could be fatal. In which case, Tengen would be smiling while facing down his death just as Rengoku did before him.

And if we consider that Tengen looked up to and respected Rengoku, it may be fitting for Tengen to follow in Rengoku’s footsteps. By that, I mean that Tengen may die by the end of this arc in order to protect the younger Demon Slayers, his wives, and the people of the red-light district.

The Shinobi Fighting Style

From the first time I saw Tengen’s character design, I thought his choice of weapon seemed impractical. He has two, relatively short swords with a much larger profile than a katana and a portion of the blades cut out. But that’s not what makes his weapon an odd choice.

What makes it odd is that these two swords are actually combined by a chain that connects their hilts together. That chain has to be restrictive to his movements. For example, he can’t extend his swords very far in different directions.

I’m not sure why he would need to extend them in different directions. But if he did, he wouldn’t be able to. It also means he often has to swing the two of them together in a single motion. At that point, why not just have a single blade?

Tengen Uzui fighting Gyuutarou from the anime series Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc Episode 8
Tengen Uzui fighting Gyuutarou

Well, now that we’ve seen Tengen in an all-out fight, his weapon choice makes a bit more sense. Tengen is, at his core, a shinobi. And as a shinobi, he fights in a completely different way compared to traditional swordsmen.

Many of Tengen’s attacks rely on the element of surprise combined with his immense speed and strength. We saw this when he extended his reach by holding onto the tip of one blade and swinging the other around at Gyuutarou’s neck.

His weapon allows him to perform these sorts of surprise attacks that his opponents won’t be used to countering. We also saw this fighting style in action when Hinatsuru fired off a volley of kunai at Tengen and Gyuutarou. Rather than dodging the kunai, Tengen took advantage of Gyuutarou’s surprise to close the gap between them.

Oh, and of course, Tengen also makes use of small explosives and smoke bombs. He relies on everything at his disposal, not just his blades.

Conclusion

What do you think of Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc Episode 8? Why do you think Tengen called the Stone Hashira an enigma? Do you think Tengen will die at the end of the arc? And which Hashira has your favorite fighting style so far? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of Episode 9 is available now.

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