「鬼を連れた剣士」 (Oni o Tsureta Kenshi)
“Swordsman Accompanying a Demon”
Tanjirou is a very strong character. His abilities alone are astonishing but when assisted with his particular sense of smell, he’s almost unbeatable. Only factors outside his control affect the likelihood of his success. Now imagine him and his sister, Nezuko combined. I’ve been anxiously awaiting her return into battle. It’s been far too long since we’ve seen her at her brother’s side, protruded veins, sharp claws, and all. Their combined strength will probably become relentless in helping them achieve their goal which we now discover is much more specific than asking demons at random how to turn Nezuko back into a human.
Prior to departing from Urokodaki’s home for his first mission, he’s told by his teacher only one demon exists whose blood can turn humans into demons, Muzan Kibutsuji. This same demon is the culprit behind the Kamodo family’s destruction. Tanjirou has now made it his sole mission to locate him and find a way to turn his sister back to her human form. This definitely gives off ‘Dracula’ vibes when Urokodaki names him as the ‘first of his kind.’ With the next episode named after him, we might finally get a look at this character aside from what’s teased in the series’ OP.
Aside from the discovery of what seems to be the show’s ultimate enemy, Urokodaki provides Tanjirou with extra information about his sister. While she slept, Urokodaki performed ‘hypnotic suggestion’ on her, convincing her to perceive all humans as members of her family whom she must protect and all demons as the enemy. He really is acting as the father figure these two never really had. For now, the hypnosis seems to act as a ‘patch’ and my intuition is telling me her thirst for human flesh will eventually overcome it. If it doesn’t, I’d be a little disappointed. I do hope her demon state further evolves and contributes to the complexity of the story. Last she experienced true struggle with her new form was back in the first episode when she attacked Tanjirou in the snowy woods.
As for the quality of the episode itself, I don’t have much more to add other than what I’ve mentioned before. The animation quality hasn’t faltered which is extremely appreciated. The OST, especially during the scene where the targeted girl removes her kimono, gives off some serious Nier Automata OST vibes – a good thing. And, this episode was given a little more depth with visuals. I noted various POV shots from multiple perspectives: from Nezuko’s within the box she’ll be carried in during daylight, from the morphed demon’s as he prepares to capture his next target, and from Tanjirou’s as he’s about to strike.
I can say without a doubt, this is a series I’ll remember for a long time. If not for the story, then the visuals. If not for the visuals, then the OST. I’m sure this will still ring true in coming weeks.
But the question on everyone’s mind (maybe just mine): How is Nezuko feeling being cramped up in that box? She can shift in size, yes, but she must be getting knocked left and right whenever Tanjirou runs, jumps, or makes sudden movements. I don’t remember Urokodaki mentioning he fastened any padding to the interior of the ‘very light’ wooden crate…Nezuko is too cute to get treated this way~