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EP. REVIEW: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba


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NeverConvex



Joined: 08 Jun 2013
Posts: 850
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:06 pm Reply with quote
I can't quite decide if this show is enjoyable or not. Not sure I'd take any of the critical commentary as far as Alexis seems to have (though I glanced over you all's exchanges rather quickly!), but I certainly think the show would be dramatically better with more Nezuko and either less Zenitsu or a seriously different approach to Zenitsu's contradictions as a character / obstacles to growth. There are better ways to demonstrate that a character is struggling to face the courageous weight of his chosen profession than having him squawk in an ear-piercing scream every 30 seconds.

And agree with everyone that the show needs some serious humor upgrades, but anime that does comedy well is sadly very rare. I'd settle for it just trying jokes that never land less often.

I do rather appreciate the aesthetic of the world so far, and the unique mix of 2D and 3D. The artists' attempt to make 3D models look reasonably at home amid a mostly 2D landscape is really interesting, and I think has largely succeeded.

Not quite sure how I feel about the world-building, or about the MC's quest. He ran into the main villain awfully fast, with no real consequences worth noting, and now we seem to have languorously wandered our way back into a much slower monster-of-the-week burn. I sort of wish the story would develop more direction; Nezuko randomly deciding to sleep for like 5 episodes straight, and jumping rapidly from the medicine-demon-lady supporting duo to the two shriek-y yelling dudes didn't help the story feel less meandering, unfortunately.

Still kind've lingering around for this as something to watch when I'm bored, but it hasn't kept my attention the way I'd originally hoped. To be fair, though, in the past handful of years I don't think any super-long-running shounen entries have done that (unless Shingeki counts, as it was very strong at beginning and end, but it wasn't really super-long-running, though doubtless shounen; certainly Black Clover, the primary entry I can think of, hasn't earned my attention with its anime adaptation), outside of those that are in finale arcs, with a younger me having watched the first umpteen-hundred episodes of them to build up emotional investment, or at least distanced curiosity to seem them to completion. My interest in long-running-shounen these days seems to be limited to re-watching once every few years the sheer beauty of select 10-20 episode arcs (like the Pain arc in Naruto Shippuden) or staring with the morbid curiosity of a rubbernecking train-crash-watcher as Fairy Tail stutters awkwardly to a close.
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KarlFranz



Joined: 17 Jun 2019
Posts: 21
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:21 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Not quite sure how I feel about the world-building


We still only see the demon slayer corp through the eyes of 3 rookie, of course it not much. Also the series set in 1910s in Japan, so there not much to deviant from.

Quote:
He ran into the main villain awfully fast, with no real consequences worth noting

This because that part is a remain of the early publication, which the threat of Shounen Jump axe so the story have to introduce the main villain early. However, i disagree that it amount to nothing. It give out heroes a tangible goal to work toward. Finally he have a way to turn his sister back. Also we saw Muzan through the eye of the demon he created, from that we can infer what kind of a person he is, how they fear him yet wanted to gain his approval.

The series, especially the anime have much slower pace, despite the review said there been 5 episode ( 1 focus in Zenitsu) without Nezuko, the in-universe time that the 5 episodes span across isn't that much. They run into the controlled demon hunter-> Kill the mother demon -> Face the Father Demon -> Tanirou get seperate with Inosuke and meet Rui. It have been non-stop action and the heroes barely have time to stop. Also remember that Nezuko a demon, even though she not gonna attack human, the other Hunter wouldn't know that and will attack her if they saw her. There a good reason why Tanjirou don't want her to come out at the beginning. From a narrative stand point, it to not ruin the flow of the story. the demon that Tanjirou about to fight have a twisted view on bond and family so it only thematically for Tanjirou and Nezuko to team up and defeated him with their bond. This dictate that the sibling have to stick together. At the same time, Tanjirou need to separate from Inosuke so that Inosuke could have his solo character growth. It just more convenience and have the story flow better by keeping Nezuko in the box when Tanjirou sent flying by the father demon. There also nothing wrong with giving other character focus, flesh out the 2 new characters early while savng the 2 main characters development for the final part of the arc.
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
Posts: 1427
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:27 pm Reply with quote
Good episode this week, though I hope at some point Inosuke loses that mask as it's hard to take him seriously in that thing.

Hmm, wouldn't surprise me if that kid Rui was actually one of the 12 demons instead of the 'father'
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MiloTheFirst



Joined: 10 Dec 2014
Posts: 382
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:29 am Reply with quote
overall a good episode and the action was very much welcomed. even so it still baffles me how a show with so much potential seems to whimsically drop the ball for no reason. what's up with that random douchey demon slayer just randomly showing up just in order to get killed? I can totally get the show wanting to showcase how much of a threat the spider boy is by means of a disposable grunt, but why having him literally say out loud how much of a douche he is? so we don't feel bad about him dying? that seems counterutive with the tone and message of a show that routinely has his MC show sympathy even to his foes, not to mention extremely tasteless and basic.

then the other problem I have is how effortlessly Giyū defeated the spider patriarch, it looked cool AF and I can see why it would be appropriate for the narration to let us know around this time how much of a badass he is, but then it makes the whole conflict look surreal, why did the demon slayers HQ decided to sent SO MUCH cannon fodder before giving the green lit to the big guns? judging by the little we had been shown, Giyu and his partner where just chilling in the base camp which apparently wasn't even that far since they arrived the same night Tanjiro had entered the forest.

so far it appears as if the conflict went as following:
- "hey so we got a report of some demons in a forest"
- "sent some low ranked demon slayers"
- "we just received word from their birds that they failed"
- "sent a couple more low ranked demon slayer"
(rinse and repeat x10)
- "sent 3 of the 5 rockies that graduated this year, surely they will perform better than the 20 people that had at least 1 more year of experience than them"
- "apparently they are not doing so well sir"
- "Giyu, go get em tiger!"

it makes one wonder if the demon slayers currently have no middle ranked officers at all (although judging by how much they tend to use their rookies as cannon fodder it would actually kind of make sense). I mean, if they had at least made it look like Giyu had been several days in his way and make Tanjiro's orders a rescue operation of his peers or to just hold the demons at bay (not that they were planning to leave the forest for what we have been told) this would make more sense but nope, just send the rockies to die, lets save the seniors a 4 hours run
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Probablytomorrow



Joined: 04 Aug 2019
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:40 am Reply with quote
This is nothing but a guess, but I think this is how the sequence of events went: They sent one low-rank Demon Slayer, that one failed, then they sent a group of low-ranks, but Tanjiro and crew were still recovering from their injuries so they received the orders really late.

Last edited by Probablytomorrow on Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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ThatMoonGuy



Joined: 13 Oct 2017
Posts: 119
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:41 am Reply with quote
This is an issue I have with the worldbuilding in KnY. A lot of it doesn't exactly make sense. I mean, the existence of demons is something that can be absolutely proven so why don't the Demon Slaying Corps seek the help of the state to deal with them? I'm pretty sure the government would be very interested in not having demons running around killing its subjects and causing a lot of property damage. And that's without getting into the fact that they could be very interested in the potential of demons and Breathing Techniques as weapons. This is, after all, taisho Japan.

It also never gets clear how many demons exist. Muzan can create them pretty easily but keeps his hand steady so as not to create too many of them. Still, just how many people a year disappear because of demons? The way KnY is arranged makes it seem like demons are a very recurring problem since in a few months Tanjiro has fought at least a dozen of them.

I can understand the Pillars not handling everything since they're not that many in number, Japan is a pretty big place and so on and so on but I feel like the need to keep things simple ends up selling the whole situation a bit short. It'd be more interesting if every demon hunt was more complex, involving a larger investigation proccess before the hunt proper began. This does eventually happen but I still feel like more could be done with the setup. Besides, this would explain why not send the Pillars from the beginning. It's a big commitment of what are essentially elite units.

Kimetsu no Yaiba is a great series for very many reasons but it's also very clearly the work of an author in the beginning of her career.
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NeverConvex



Joined: 08 Jun 2013
Posts: 850
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:40 pm Reply with quote
Wow, today's episode knocked it out of the park. Turns out the secret sauce is some beautiful Nezuko-Tanjiro focus! And, of course, having the two shout-y kids beaten nearly to death / tied up so they stop ruining the show.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8351
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:23 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
my guess is that ... that other Slayer will find him and have some antidote handy.

Well I was kinda right on that score at least. I didn't think it would take 2 weeks to get there though. Giyuu was pretty smooth with Boar's Head Slayer. Looking forward to seeing what he thinks of Tanjirou's work. Damn, his sword is beautiful.

So what I thought was a scar was a birthmark? Or did his father suffer the exact same injury? And now I'm back to wondering again why it changed after his testing in the forest.
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myskaros



Joined: 13 Jun 2011
Posts: 544
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:42 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
it's possible that this backstory for the Kamado Clan was mentioned earlier and I've just forgotten it

The part about the God of Fire wasn't explicitly mentioned or shown, or at least I don't remember either if it was, but when Tanjiro first finds Kibutsuji Muzan, the demon specifically tells his underlings to find the boy with the hanafuda earrings, then there's a short flashback showing a demon hunter with the same earrings towering over "someone" on the ground (Kibutsuji, most likely, but you never know with these things). Since Tanjiro's dad also has the earrings, and now we know he seemed weak to Tanjiro, the connection is probably that he used to be a big-shot demon hunter before taking some kind of injury and settling down to make some babies.
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KarlFranz



Joined: 17 Jun 2019
Posts: 21
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:13 am Reply with quote
myskaros wrote:
Quote:
it's possible that this backstory for the Kamado Clan was mentioned earlier and I've just forgotten it

The part about the God of Fire wasn't explicitly mentioned or shown, or at least I don't remember either if it was, but when Tanjiro first finds Kibutsuji Muzan, the demon specifically tells his underlings to find the boy with the hanafuda earrings, then there's a short flashback showing a demon hunter with the same earrings towering over "someone" on the ground (Kibutsuji, most likely, but you never know with these things). Since Tanjiro's dad also has the earrings, and now we know he seemed weak to Tanjiro, the connection is probably that he used to be a big-shot demon hunter before taking some kind of injury and settling down to make some babies.


Yeah, while it doesn't obviously stated those thing, from what we saw earlier we can interpret that the family have some connection to the demon hunter, the fact that Tanjirou father told him to hold on and pass down BOTH the earing and the dance showed the connection. As for Nezuko, we know that she will eventually get a demon blood art like most demon and the Blood Art power seem to have some tie to the users backstory and personality so when she finally unlock it at that moment doesn't strike me as that much of an asspull. But i don't think that person in Muzan flashback is Tanjirou father, connect to the family maybe, like an ancestor, but not his father
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Ryuji-Dono



Joined: 26 Apr 2018
Posts: 128
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:35 am Reply with quote
NeverConvex wrote:
Wow, today's episode knocked it out of the park. Turns out the secret sauce is some beautiful Nezuko-Tanjiro focus! And, of course, having the two shout-y kids beaten nearly to death / tied up so they stop ruining the show.


Look, I get that you don't like them, but you should be more considerate of those that like him if you don't want to get lunged into arguments.
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ProlificSky



Joined: 26 Jun 2007
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:57 am Reply with quote
As a reader of the KnY manga, I thought the lead-in into Tanjiro's new technique was done better than it was in the manga. The Pillar, Shinobu, ties in the concept of one's life flashing before their eyes when facing imminent death in the beginning of the episode, and you see that payoff with Tanjiro in the end. In the manga, it was a bit clunkier and didn't flow as well. As for Nezuko...well, like the demon says, there's something different about her from the rest of the demons and that "difference" unfortunately doesn't get explained all that well either. Tanjiro's new technique does get explained more down the road though.

To be honest, at least in my opinion, Tanjiro and Nezuko are the weakest of the ensemble cast and I think people may be setting themselves up for disappointment if they're hoping for more nuanced characterization from them. The story and characters only truly get interesting when the rest of the Pillars and the Twelve Demon Moons get introduced. Unfortunately, there aren't that many episodes left before the series gets to the meaty bits, so we can only hope for more seasons.

In the end, ufotable elevated an otherwise middling beginning of a series with their trademark pizzazz and I'm glad they did. It's been an enjoyable romp and it's always nice for someone to get recognized for their work. Gotouge sensei seems to be pleased and I heard the anime really bolstered manga sales.
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GrilleSechsH



Joined: 30 Jul 2015
Posts: 14
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:39 am Reply with quote
The season probably ends after they heal up and get a bit of a power up. Second season should start with the train.
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ThatMoonGuy



Joined: 13 Oct 2017
Posts: 119
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:01 am Reply with quote
GrilleSechsH wrote:
The season probably ends after they heal up and get a bit of a power up. Second season should start with the train.


I think so, too, even though that is a very awkward place to stop, specially after such an explosive fight as this one. I originally thought the first season might've gone up to the train since the ending of that arc makes for a perfect season ending but alas.

As for the episode itself, we did get hints before about both Tanjiro's and Nezuko's latent potential. They both awakening in face of danger is a bit contrived but it does te into the whole 'bond' theme this episode had going on. Overall, I think it was handled well enough and knowing what comes makes it all make sense in retrospect.

Oh, and that animation? Yeah, that was great. Ufotable really is great at selling big action but the scene with Tanjuro's hinokami kagura was lowkey awesome. The movements were very fluid and the whole sequence was built pretty damn well. No wonder this episode made such big waves around the net.
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 15859
Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:35 am Reply with quote
I agree with James that the set-up was a bit bumpy (and also about the successful menace of Rui), but for me the pay-off at the end more than made up for it. That the series can pull off that kind of thrill factor at its best is a big part of why I'm still watching it.
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