「改める任務」 (Aratameru Ninmu)
I don’t know if I’m disappointed or ecstatic all things considered. I’m still trying to understand my convoluted feelings towards the ending of season one. All this was to be expected. There was no way any of the Kimetsu no Yaiba fans (anime-only viewers, of course) thought a battle scene would ensue in this episode. The final arc of this series was largely focused on the boys’ rehabilitation and on the Hashiras in general, combining slapstick comedy and heftier themes, which dragged on to create quite the plateau. I don’t think it was an unnecessary arc, but as a viewer who has never even attempted to dive into the source material, I thought the momentum we found with Rui, Tanjirou, and Nezuko’s scene slowly dissipated. I would have much preferred this arc to be a precursor to something larger…but all things considered, this final episode provided a huge window into what’s to come. I’ll repeat what I said last week though: the show remains entertaining to watch. So in that regards, I do appreciate this final hook. I’m ready for whatever Kimetsu no Yaiba is setting up for, and apparently it’ll be a film adaptation covering the Infinity Train Arc. So, let me just finish off this paragraph by saying goodbye to season one, but hello to a whole new world of possibilities. Gimme, gimme!
After all my complaining this season, Kimetsu no Yaiba has officially made my personal top anime list. I know it doesn’t mean much to the anime community, but it does to me. The series has some issues which I’ll get into shortly but overall, it was captivating because of its characters (mostly), but also because of the quality of work that went into the series.
I wish so much that I had been a fan of the manga so I could watch it come to life. The use of CGI, especially in this last episode when Kibutsuji returned one last time as a classy morphed female demon, is spectacular. I only remember feeling jarred by the CG water during Tanjirou’s initial training sessions by the waterfall. That slight detail aside, its use in action sequences, particularly for moving objects, and even in establishing scenes, was so meticulous that the eye glided smoothly across the animation plane.
It’s not only the quality in animation that encouraged me to stay on, the music as well. It was a compelling soundtrack. The traditional Japanese songs and all other original soundtracks for demons appearing, for Hashiras emerging, for flashbacks, and more were simply exquisite. I also tip my hat off to Shiina Gou and Nakagawa Nami who helped carry this series and embed it in my heart with the beautiful ED song “Kamado Tanjirou no Uta.” I will forever recognize every note, pitch, and melody if ever I encounter it outside of the animated series.
Moving on from technical details, I’d like to focus more on the characters and story. While I think the story could do with some patching up, I think overall it did well in telling the tale of two siblings (mostly the eldest) trying to navigate new abilities, lifestyles, and challenges together. Character introductions haven’t been obnoxious with the exception of Zenitsu who could do with an attitude rework in the next season. I understand staying true to the character from the manga, but I bet readers didn’t flinch when they read his outbursts. To be fair, the last two episodes showed us a different side of Zenitsu’s. He was encouraged by the girls of the Kocho household to respect and treat women better. And he actually put in a lot of work and reached the same level of breath strength/capacity as Tanjirou. I didn’t expect that from him. It’s as though this rehabilitation training paved a road into maturity. Please hold back if you think I’m jumping the gun. This is my way to hold onto some hope as I prepare to see him again in the film adaptation and the second season. I will remain optimistic however as this episode marked the end of the ‘Coming of Age’ arc.
My absolute favourite thing about the show is Tanjirou. There is no surprise there. I haven’t got a single thing to complain about him, although my partner did mention he and his ‘crew’ have a pretty interesting choice of hairstyles, ha. As for myself, I love the character designs overall, and I really connected to Tanjirou’s personality. In this final episode, he told Kanao to follow the voice in her heart and to let it take space. When he said that something in me clicked. Tanjirou isn’t only kind, fair, and compassionate, he is an honest character. It’s rare for me to appreciate protagonists in shounen’s such as this but I find myself doing so here. If you read my intro, you know my name is Miss Simplice because I value honesty and honesty from the heart. I recognize it in Tanjirou, thus, Kimetsu no Yaiba is now a favourite anime series of mine. My rationale might be simple but I’m alright with that. I get to enjoy the show with an open heart as of now. It’s why I’m so transparent about how Zenitsu makes me feel. Tanjirou is the same. He is transparent when he speaks to others and when he meets others, allowing him to really express himself from the depths of his heart. That magic rainbow paintbrush he grazes his fellow slayers, enemies, and friends with is the magical paintbrush I sometimes want to use on the world around me. It’s unrealistic but for now, it exists within him, within this series.
So there you have it: that was my love letter to Tanjirou.
Now we have to wait a while longer for what I expect will be a fantastic film adaptation, Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Ressha-hen. It will be the sequel to this season and I assume the prequel to season two with a focus on Rengoku. We have a lot to look forward to as this series left the door wide open. We have to learn more about Muzan and the upper Twelve Kizuki demon; we have to discover why oh why Muzan is so afraid of Tanjirou that he changed his appearance; and, we have to find out what fate lies ahead for Nezuko and her brother.
You can bet I’ll be here to review the film adaptation and the second season, no matter where life leads me. I mean, I just wrote a love letter to an anime character. That’s put me in the ‘permanent’ category for the rest of my RandomC life.