Forum - View topic
EP. REVIEW: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba


Goto page Previous    Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8161
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 4:21 pm Reply with quote
vonPeterhof wrote:
It's a Hyottoko mask, which I guess counts as a sort of clownish stock character.

Oh thank you so much for that! I really have been wondering about it for years, but couldn't figure out how to look it up without a name or some other lead.

"In some parts of north eastern Japan, Hyottoko is regarded as the god of fire. ... The dance was part of a dedication for fire and steel."

Which explains why it's Haganezuka's mask of choice, along with his being kinda goofy. Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
Posts: 1340
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 12:49 am Reply with quote
Did I miss something, or was there a fifth person who survived but wasn't shown?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 2896
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 3:30 pm Reply with quote
Yes, when that leader guy said five, I thought I must have been blind or miscounted. But looking at it again I still counted just four. If there is a fifth survivor, we haven't see that person as far as I know.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
steelmirror



Joined: 22 Oct 2015
Posts: 201
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 12:45 am Reply with quote
I sure hope they give Nezuko something to do soon!

I found this episode pretty boring, but I suppose I've had problems connecting with the show for a while. I was cautiously hopeful after ep 1, incredibly jazzed after ep 2, and then it's been sort of downhill for me ever since.

I still feel like I'm being told about this world instead of being shown it, which has left it feeling really shallow and insubstantial. I had a better feel for how the world of My Hero Academia worked after literally the first 4 scenes of ep 1 than I do for how the world of Demon Slayer works at the end of ep 5. Part of that is because My Hero could rely on my pre-existing familiarity with super hero stories, but it's not like "feudal Japan but with vampires, and people with supernatural powers hunt them with swords" is exactly an unknown premise in anime either, and I'd be hard-pressed to tell you anything more about the world of Demon Slayer than that.

At least it's still pretty!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ultimatehaki



Joined: 27 Oct 2012
Posts: 1005
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 4:22 pm Reply with quote
Covnam wrote:
Did I miss something, or was there a fifth person who survived but wasn't shown?


A fifth person did survive and will be introduced next arc.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ThatMoonGuy



Joined: 13 Oct 2017
Posts: 100
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 5:31 pm Reply with quote
steelmirror wrote:

I still feel like I'm being told about this world instead of being shown it, which has left it feeling really shallow and insubstantial. I had a better feel for how the world of My Hero Academia worked after literally the first 4 scenes of ep 1 than I do for how the world of Demon Slayer works at the end of ep 5. Part of that is because My Hero could rely on my pre-existing familiarity with super hero stories, but it's not like "feudal Japan but with vampires, and people with supernatural powers hunt them with swords" is exactly an unknown premise in anime either, and I'd be hard-pressed to tell you anything more about the world of Demon Slayer than that.


To be fair, a lot of that is because those are very different types of world. In my hero academia, superpowers, heroes and villains exist all around the world and are known to everybody. They define the whole world to the point where it's a very different beast from ours. But Kimetsu no Yaiba is different. The existence of demons and demon slayers is far smaller, contained only to Japan and basically exist in secret. The very premise of the series is far smaller than that of HeroAca so there's not really much more than what you said. Save those things you pointed out, it's literally just taisho era Japan. Which, by the way, is not medieval but really set in between 1910 and 1926.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
steelmirror



Joined: 22 Oct 2015
Posts: 201
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 8:09 pm Reply with quote
ThatMoonGuy wrote:
Save those things you pointed out, it's literally just taisho era Japan. Which, by the way, is not medieval but really set in between 1910 and 1926.
That's actually good to know, I didn't catch that. Thanks for pointing it out!

ThatMoonGuy wrote:
To be fair, a lot of that is because those are very different types of world. In my hero academia, superpowers, heroes and villains exist all around the world and are known to everybody. They define the whole world to the point where it's a very different beast from ours. But Kimetsu no Yaiba is different. The existence of demons and demon slayers is far smaller, contained only to Japan and basically exist in secret.
When I say 'the world', I don't necessarily mean 'the things that make it a fantasy world' or 'the stuff about superpowers'. I'm talking about all the things that define the world that the characters inhabit.

As a contrasting example of a work set in around the same time period, the book Memoirs of a Geisha has, imo, some amazing world-building. Tatsuyo house is a completely alien (to me) world, but it has internal logic and compelling conflicts. When I recall it, I do so almost like a place I've actually lived in, which makes the conflicts and struggles of the people in the book that much more relatable and fascinating. And that's all for a work that has no fantastical elements at all.

When I think of Demon Slayer, I think in terms of simple descriptors of plot or fantasy elements. Dead family. [s]Feudal[/s] Taisho-era Japan. Vampires. Monstrous sister. Magic swords. Goofy masks. Training montage. What we have been shown is pretty standard stuff about demon hunters and the demons they hunt, which makes it hard to speculate on whether there are some underlying rules at this point or if it's just a compilation of fantasy elements that lend themselves to cool action scenes.

The parts that have stood out, like the creative weirdness of the three major demons shown so far, or some of the offbeat character designs previewed in the OP, are why I'm still pretty hopeful that the show can mature and put in some fun episodes in the future. But for me, barring ep 2, i's been a pretty slow start so far.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8161
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 8:14 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Also, we learn that Urokodaki used hypnotic suggestion to instill Nezuko with protective instincts for all humans. This feels cheap to me, a short-cut to a character arc that could have been earned more organically through Nezuko interacting with people. The whole idea of just “training” her not to want to attack humans also makes her feel too much like a pet.

So much this. When they did the whole "btw" reveal of this, I was like "wtf"? This is almost as bad as the slave seals in ShieldBro that force the girls to be obedient. She seemed to be doing pretty well on her own volition to protect Tanjiro, and extending that to other people doesn't seem like it would require hypnosis to achieve.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 644
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 8:52 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
This is almost as bad as the slave seals in ShieldBro that force the girls to be obedient.

Everything I learn about that anime makes me more glad I never even started watching it...

What makes the hypnotic-suggestion thing so annoying is that it's another explanatory element that feels tacked-on. I don't know if it's really sexism, per se, so much as the classic nerd-culture(?) impulse to shoehorn in a tangible justification for intangible concepts, making them less emotionally impactful. The "midichlorian" problem. No, she's not uniquely strong-willed and thus able to resist the demon's curse, she was hypnotized. No, his intense training and clairvoyant nose aren't what lets him kill demons, it's his magic sword.

It's frustrating, because the show keeps doing all the right things, and then backpedaling because they don't trust the audience or something. Maybe this is our own fault, a result of constant complaints from people who don't understand themes unless they're spelled out. But in trying to explain the themes, they end up explaining them away.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ThatMoonGuy



Joined: 13 Oct 2017
Posts: 100
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 9:16 pm Reply with quote
steelmirror wrote:
[

As a contrasting example of a work set in around the same time period, the book Memoirs of a Geisha has, imo, some amazing world-building. Tatsuyo house is a completely alien (to me) world, but it has internal logic and compelling conflicts. When I recall it, I do so almost like a place I've actually lived in, which makes the conflicts and struggles of the people in the book that much more relatable and fascinating. And that's all for a work that has no fantastical elements at all.

When I think of Demon Slayer, I think in terms of simple descriptors of plot or fantasy elements. Dead family. [s]Feudal[/s] Taisho-era Japan. Vampires. Monstrous sister. Magic swords. Goofy masks. Training montage. What we have been shown is pretty standard stuff about demon hunters and the demons they hunt, which makes it hard to speculate on whether there are some underlying rules at this point or if it's just a compilation of fantasy elements that lend themselves to cool action scenes.

The parts that have stood out, like the creative weirdness of the three major demons shown so far, or some of the offbeat character designs previewed in the OP, are why I'm still pretty hopeful that the show can mature and put in some fun episodes in the future. But for me, barring ep 2, i's been a pretty slow start so far.


Oh, ok. In that sense, I agree with you. It does get better later on and one of the greatest issues In the manga is just how long it takes to introduce some characters and plot points. It's basically just Tanjiro and Nezuko so far and that truly does make things look empty. If they keep the pacing they have now, the next few episodes should reveal a bit more about the world and give a better sense of weight to it.

As for the hypnosis thing, I also agree that it feels troubling but at the same time it does help to make the demon curse feel more dangerous. If I were to rewrite the series, I'd drop that aspect, though. There were other ways to handle the issue and I can understand people getting uncomfortable with what can basically be read as mind control - even if benign.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Scion Drake



Joined: 25 Nov 2017
Posts: 350
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 9:23 pm Reply with quote
kotomikun wrote:
Gina Szanboti wrote:
This is almost as bad as the slave seals in ShieldBro that force the girls to be obedient.

Everything I learn about that anime makes me more glad I never even started watching it...

What makes the hypnotic-suggestion thing so annoying is that it's another explanatory element that feels tacked-on. I don't know if it's really sexism, per se, so much as the classic nerd-culture(?) impulse to shoehorn in a tangible justification for intangible concepts, making them less emotionally impactful. The "midichlorian" problem. No, she's not uniquely strong-willed and thus able to resist the demon's curse, she was hypnotized. No, his intense training and clairvoyant nose aren't what lets him kill demons, it's his magic sword.

It's frustrating, because the show keeps doing all the right things, and then backpedaling because they don't trust the audience or something. Maybe this is our own fault, a result of constant complaints from people who don't understand themes unless they're spelled out. But in trying to explain the themes, they end up explaining them away.


Okay I understand complaints about the hypnosis thing but are you really complaining that he uses a demon-slayer sword to slay demons?

Cause I don’t see how a special weapon automatically takes away anything from his training. I mean you have to have the right equipment to be able to do the job. Training can only take you so far, it’s what keeps you alive but you still need the right tools to do the job which is to cut off the heads just right.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
lossthief



Joined: 14 Dec 2012
Posts: 559
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 10:33 pm Reply with quote
kotomikun wrote:
No, his intense training and clairvoyant nose aren't what lets him kill demons, it's his magic sword.


Well, it's both. The sword keeps the demons from regenerating if their head is severed, but it's not a magical win button that will easily slash through anything they touch. Tanjiro's training and sense of smell are both key to his fights because he has to have the physical power, stamina, and awareness on par with the demons' own. The Nichirin swords are just an explanation for why any any random weapon can't destroy demons.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2364
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 11:28 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
and Tanjiro has to use his wits (and his nose)


At what point did he use his wits? He showed up, started smelling and then just followed it to the demon. Are we classifying "follow the scent to the source" as a witty thing now? Wait till I tell you about following sound to loud thing. Laughing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Violet Park



Joined: 18 Jul 2018
Posts: 40
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 11:44 pm Reply with quote
I'm fine with the hypnosis because it makes sense that the teacher (who has slayed demons for decades and lost a dozen of students to demons) wouldn't just sent the kids on a mission without a safe fail and because it doesn't really change who Nezuko is. He just made sure her desire to protect other people was as intense as her desire to protect her brother. And it would make a lot of impact if someday the hypnosis fails but she regains control on her own.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
steelmirror



Joined: 22 Oct 2015
Posts: 201
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 11:45 pm Reply with quote
On the subject of episode 6, I thought it was a huge improvement. The slow burn thing mentioned in the review is fine by me, when it is used to build suspense and atmosphere. When the slow pace is a result of flashbacks that take us OUT of the moment, that's much less appealing to me, but at least we stopped getting long bouts of narration this time.

Netsuko getting to do stuff was a big positive. I'm not sure how on board I am with the whole 'voiceless little sister that spends most of her time packed up in a box' thing, but at least when they let her out of the box (yuck) she's pretty cool. I agree that we could have done without the hypnosis. If they just showed us that scene from her perspective, with the bystanders looking like her siblings, we would have gotten the message just fine. But why do that when you could instead have another flashback to explain a thing that the audience doesn't need an explanation for?

The music and sound design in this show have been a consistent positive for me, and they continued to be so in this episode. The creepy chants, the creepy strings, the fight music were all great choices that enhanced their respective scenes. I thought the sound effects of the black pools of shadow really helped sell them, and the horrible scratching teeth noise the demon made was really unnerving and annoying, as I think it was meant to be.

A step in the right direction for the show, and I'm cautiously back on the hype train.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous    Next
Page 4 of 11

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group