「遊郭潜入」 (Yūkaku Sennyū)
“Infiltrating the Entertainment District”
I won’t go much into the details of this episode but the gist of it is that we discover why our rookie slayers are brought to the Entertainment District, we get a good setup for the rest of the season, and we get in some great laughs. If you haven’t caught up yet, there aren’t many spoilers ahead but do yourself a favor and catch up.
I had hardly expected this but I am thoroughly enjoying the dynamic between the teenage slayers and this new Hashira Uzui Tengen. He’s got such an interesting personality (I know, I did a full 180) it’s hard to put my finger on just one thing. Overall, he’s got a knack for flare, is quite conceited, and has of lack of interest in others (except his wives). His wives are the Kunoichi assassins that he stationed within the Entertainment District’s most famous houses to track and gather intel on the demons. But he’s lost all contact with them which is why he sought out the help of new corps members.
What was great about this episode was the environment and its exposition. The team enters the Entertainment District and all their senses are livened. Inosuke is unable to contain his social anxiety, having come from a mountain so he barges into the busy streets being the only tactic he knows to release to swell of emotions. Zenitsu, the womanizer he is, is struggling to keep to himself. And Tanjirou – well not much has changed. He’s on a Corps mission so he’s pretty focused and always asking the right questions. Even though they’re too young to experience the red light district activities from themselves, that doesn’t stop them from experiencing some of the funniest moments I’ve seen in the series so far. Each of them having their own focus and objective means that they’ve officially embarked on solo missions, something we haven’t seen in quite some time. Based on the opening theme sequence, they’re to live within their new shared houses for some time as the mission progresses (I think). If that’s so, it’ll provide just the right environment for their characters to evolve. Already, we can see a huge shift in their personalities since the kick-off of this arc.
Zenitsu is not as annoying as he was in the beginning and whatever tears and whines he had once upon a time have now turned into pure rage towards Uzui. Inosuke, rather than ramming into everything and leaning into his instincts, is using his wits to investigate and focus his attention on the mission. And Tanjirou, well, he’s just being Tanjirou with the cross-dressing add-on. I expect there to be a lot more character evolution as they each progress on these solo sub-missions so I’m glad they succeeded in replacing Aoi and Naho during this mission. It’s offered some serious belly laughs!
Another thing I’m leaning into more is the humor. There seems to be something more natural and easy-going with humour this season. What was once cringy and at times, so extremely unnecessary, is now welcomed, elevating the episode. I remember watching the first few episodes of season 1 and loving the tonality. Once Zenitsu and Inosuke joined, the humour set in and often times jarred the pacing for me. I think it’s being done much more smoothly this time around and interjecting at the right moments. Take for example Tanjirou’s inability to lie. I loved how that was expressed. The same goes for how Zenitsu focused his anger and jealousy towards Uzui’s good looks by hammering the instrument. I might be speaking too early but I’m crossing my fingers that things remain a little more ‘steady’ in regards to the humor.
Overall, I think that the Entertainment District arc has had a very strong start with few to no hiccups. The new set looks like it’ll be offering audiences tons of new content and adventures, even having Inosuke featured more often without his bore mask. And we’re about to journey into new territory with new characters who are bound to contribute a wealth of dynamism to the plot! I’ll touch more on the plot in later reviews just to give any of the new readers time to catch up on the series.