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EP. REVIEW: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba


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Violet Park



Joined: 18 Jul 2018
Posts: 40
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 4:15 am Reply with quote
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The training arc leads us to believe that only elite warriors have the skills necessary to kill demons, and throwing in the magic swords after that is confusing,


They didn't introduce the sword bit after. We learnt as early as episode 2 that simply decapitate a demon does nothing no matter how strong or skilled the fighter is. If demons' only weakness is sunlight then a sword that absorbs sunlight is necessary. It's not even that game changing, the sword doesn't make change Tanjirou faster, stronger or smarter.
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darkchibi07



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 7:42 am Reply with quote
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My one gripe with this first act would be how Nezuko continues to feel underutilized, both as a tool for creating spectacle and as a character in her own right......I could understand the convenience of setting Nezuko aside in her extra-long nap during Tanjiro's training arc, but now it just feels like Demon Slayer doesn't know what to do with its second most important character.


And it could have easily be fixed like maybe have the quiet moments just be some brother-sister bonding. And also maybe have her passively gain some conscious development along the way like how a certain zombie idol did few seasons ago. And is it really that hard to show off some brother and sister back-to-back action? I feel it's going to get worse for her screen time once the blond-haired dude and the pig-mask dude from the PVs and OP sequence join in.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2364
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 9:16 am Reply with quote
Dardre wrote:
Because it took 2 years of non-stop training and a pair of ghosts for Tanjiru to learn it, and he still almost failed; in fact, Sakonji technically failed to teach him the technique. It's also explicitly stated that the super strength only lasts a few minutes at most; if I recall correctly, Sakonji even mentions that the technique can exhaust the user quickly. A technique that gives super strength and speed, only lasts a few minutes, and can leave the user exhausted if used too much would be utterly useless to farmer. A farmer needs stamina more than strength or speed, after all.


It took him a pair of ghost because his master specifically didn't want to teach him, and tried to make the obstacle insurmountable. If you cut the training shorter and the person learning it is only capable of cutting a small boulder, it would still be an insanely worthy thing, even if the super strength is only temporary. A big boulder is in the field? Just push it out of the way. Need to cut down a tree? Just uproot it. Wild wolf attacking your field? Just punch them. At the start Tanjiro family make coal, making coal require cutting down a bunch of tree with an axe, cutting tree with axe without super strength takes a really long time (no surprise there they don't have chainsaw). One of the traditional way to do was actually to use an horse to help by having them pull on the tree, that was just a short burst of strength but it was still useful enough for people to go trough all the trouble of keeping horse (that means feeding them but also learning how to take care of horse). So even if after every tree they cut down with there super strength they have to rest for awhile, it would still be faster using technique.
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Alternative Ice



Joined: 07 Jul 2016
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 12:56 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
And if you want to consider that approach it makes far sense that the water breathing technique aren't taught to everyone, its a teaching so it's free to reproduce and would also be extremely useful for the general public, not only to protect themselves against demon but also in regular life which would lead to a huge increase in productivity of farming/industry/construction and such.


This is a terrible idea. What would stop the demons from learning this technique and becoming even stronger?
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steelmirror



Joined: 22 Oct 2015
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 4:50 pm Reply with quote
I think the saddest moment for me so far in this series was seeing what happened to that poor bowl of noodles. Maybe I was just really hungry when I was watching, but I mourned more for that poor udon than I have for any other death in the show. They looked delicious!

meiam wrote:
steelmirror wrote:
Not everyone learns demon slaying techniques for the same reason that not everybody learns surgery, even though it would be handy. It takes a lot of time, a lot of dedication, and a measure of talent to learn that skill, and you just aren't realistically going to be able to have a population full of surgeons/demon slayers.


Why would a farmer learn surgery? How would that be useful for him in his day to day life?
I meant the metaphor to be more about the difficulty of learning the skill. You seem to be assuming that not only can everyone potentially learn the skill, but it would be relatively easy. The show so far doesn't seem to bear that out, since it took 2 years for Tanjiro to learn it, and we're told that he is very talented.

Just like not everyone can learn surgery, and even those who have the natural talent need to be incredibly dedicated and spend years of their life to learn the skills, I think it's entirely believable that becoming a vampire/demon slayer is just a really tough thing that not everyone can do. Nothing the show has shown us suggests otherwise, so I don't see it as a world-building flaw in any way. And I'm someone who loves to nitpick world-building minutiae!
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Iron Maw



Joined: 29 May 2008
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 6:29 pm Reply with quote
kotomikun wrote:
Kharthasus wrote:
You are speaking as if the MC was given super powerful weapons that give him power no one else has, while in fact it's the opposite. The nichirin swords are standard weapon issued to every single demon hunter.


Right--to every single demon hunter. But not to anyone else. Would probably be helpful to let other people use them, too, wouldn't it?

I don't want to belabor this point endlessly, so just to sum it up: Yes, according to what we've been told, you need these swords to kill demons because the enchanted blade interrupts their life force or whatever. They did not have to write it that way, and doing so was a strange choice after all the intense training with specific attention to swinging one's sword at exactly the right spot using a rigorously refined technique. The training arc leads us to believe that only elite warriors have the skills necessary to kill demons, and throwing in the magic swords after that is confusing, making it seem like the writers backpedaled on their original plan to make killing demons entirely skill-based. That's all. (Or at least it would be, until the Nezuko-got-hypnotized thing came along, establishing a pattern.)


I'm pretty sure if all it took to beat demons was just magical swords they would not be as problem as they are and Tanjiro wouldn't wasted two years of his life training. That's not even the fact the out of the 20 or so trainees that participated in the final selection which got witted down just handful of 5-6 people despite having magical swords and extensive training. So pray tell even if was possible manufacture those swords for everyone how who can anything? The swords are no better than ordinary blades in average joes' hands becasue without the necessary handling which requires rigorous spartan discipline you will die just as easily as if had nothing at all. Remember Tanjiro\s master lost 11 students before him at just freaking test. So no it's not just easy to grab a sword and cut a demon's neck and never shown to be the case outside the most skilled users. Even then Tanjiro had break various defenses a couple of them had. You're randomly downplaying the threat and difficulty in fighting demon with a flimsy basis.

The swords give Demon Hunters the edge in fighting, but they aren't the end to be all. The body counts of demon hunters alone should prove that.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 7:16 pm Reply with quote
kotomikun wrote:
did his wife and child and everyone else around them not notice him claw that guy in the neck?

Did you see how fast he did it? If the guy had reacted immediately, maybe someone would've put that together with the flicker they saw out of the corner of their eye (since why would they be watching him?), but he took half a dozen steps away before he even went "Ow."

As for the swords and training, this might be one of the stupidest discussions I've seen here for awhile. But hey, I'll play. Smile As Alternative Ice pointed out, training and arming everyone is a bad idea, since some of them are still bound to be turned into demons.

And giving everyone swords would be like giving everyone guns - half of the deaths would be people impaling themselves on their own blades in a fight, using them to kill their spouses in an argument, and making bad people even more powerful. Just look at the mayhem caused by the samurai class, especially those who became ronin. Giving people with lessor or no training swords wholesale wouldn't have made things better.

Also, again, demons are superhumanly fast. A few weeks or even a year training isn't going to help you against them. Professional swordsmen spend all their time training in the sword. They don't spend a couple hours training and then go farm for a few hours. Now if the training was easy, and swordsmanship was easy, then sure, having a certified demon hunter in every town and village and remote outpost would be great. But clearly, they barely have enough who can make the cut just to cover the land as itinerants. If they could build a demon hunter army (in lieu of the stupid idea of arming and training everyone, see above), they would've done by now.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 10:51 pm Reply with quote
steelmirror wrote:

meiam wrote:
steelmirror wrote:
Not everyone learns demon slaying techniques for the same reason that not everybody learns surgery, even though it would be handy. It takes a lot of time, a lot of dedication, and a measure of talent to learn that skill, and you just aren't realistically going to be able to have a population full of surgeons/demon slayers.


Why would a farmer learn surgery? How would that be useful for him in his day to day life?
I meant the metaphor to be more about the difficulty of learning the skill. You seem to be assuming that not only can everyone potentially learn the skill, but it would be relatively easy. The show so far doesn't seem to bear that out, since it took 2 years for Tanjiro to learn it, and we're told that he is very talented.

Just like not everyone can learn surgery, and even those who have the natural talent need to be incredibly dedicated and spend years of their life to learn the skills, I think it's entirely believable that becoming a vampire/demon slayer is just a really tough thing that not everyone can do. Nothing the show has shown us suggests otherwise, so I don't see it as a world-building flaw in any way. And I'm someone who loves to nitpick world-building minutiae!


But practically everyone can learn surgery, it's just not very useful for them so they don't. The main difficulty with it is that the fail condition are very bad, fail at surgery the patient dies. But the fail condition of the water breathing are trivial, fail at using it to push a boulder and... well nothing happen, you can just try again. So even if someone is not very good at it... no big deal, it's still incredibly useful, completely worth the training time. Again, you don't need people to be demon slayer level, you just need them to be able to activate the ability which shouldn't be that hard since Tanjiro did it while his trainer specifically didn't want him to. So the government could just send people going around the country and teach it to village elder/religious figure, these would then teach the community and the community would teach there kid. Maybe it would take them a few years of on the side practice, but that would still be incredibly useful. And even if only a few people in each community would learn it, even that would be amazingly useful. Need a message delivered asap? Bob can do that! Road is blocked by landslide, just call Bob. Pack of wild animal threaten the village, bob.

As far as demon learning the technique, well if you don't want them learning it you shouldn't teach it to people who hunt demon. The demon are shown as being intelligent, they must have realize that the people hunting them have super strength, they were human once so they know that's not normal. Some of them would have naturally captured some demon hunter and interrogated them and would have learn the technique. Hell some demon hunter must have been turn into demon over the year. Since that hasn't happen (or at least there's no sign it has since that would definitely be something they'd cover during training/orientation) demon can't use the technique. It's not too hard to imagine that the demon hunter actually did the opposite of this, they learn the technique from studying the demon.
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steelmirror



Joined: 22 Oct 2015
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 11:51 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
But practically everyone can learn surgery
I disagree with that, at least as a practical matter. But at this point, we're in danger of completely getting off topic, so I'll leave it at that.

We're probably not convincing each other at this point, so I don't have a whole lot to add. For me, this is one place where the show has a satisfying explanation for things. I'm not completely satisfied with a few other things going on, but a magic or mystical technique that only a select few have access to but would be incredibly useful for just about anyone is like, anime ground floor suspension of disbelief, imo. It's uncommon for a fantasy anime to NOT employ that concept.

To change tracks, I'll echo the review in praising the scenes we got in Tokyo for really evoking a Japan in the dizzying transition to modernity. I really dig that aesthetic and that concept. I've been complaining about how the show is just a combination of things we've seen before, and this is actually a thing that I haven't seen as much, and certainly not as a setting for a shonen show. I hope they make good use of it!
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Alexis.Anagram



Joined: 26 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 6:28 pm Reply with quote
jenthehen wrote:
This show has been very good, but I’m really struggling with the fact that women seem to be decorative, shallow side pieces to man pain.

I'm not totally caught up on this show, but I just watched a couple of episodes and I feel this. It's a shame because the animation is gorgeous, and I love the setting and premise, but the writing is just all-around abysmal. Tanjiro in particular became super boring by like episode 3; I was really interested in the early depiction of his gentle personality and compassionate nature, but they haven't done anything with it other than trying to outfit him in this "noble" male power fantasy archetype; lovingly dispatching his foes while protecting his imouto at all costs.

I also didn't care for how they rushed through all the training material (and two years of potential character development) in like one episode. And then did seven days in twenty minutes of what was supposed to be a total nightmare survival test but...isn't? Tanjiro has a showdown with one demon which he wins by virtue of being the MC (the fact that he's suddenly a magic water ninja is pretty unearned considering how little time we spent seeing what his training actually consisted of), then it's over and we've learned nothing interesting about any of the totally-not stock characters who manage to make it through. Was there some sort of rule that Tanjiro and the others weren't allowed to work together during this test? Seems like they might've had a better chance at survival building some sort of group dynamic in which the writer could properly introduce these characters to us. Just sayin'.

I was also under the impression that the relationship between Tanjiro and Nezuko is supposed to be at the heart of this show but she doesn't seem like a real character so... that's a shame.

The sword stuff does look cool though, and the fight scenes are well choreographed. Maybe that's all the show is really here to do.
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Vanadise
Village ElderVillage Elder


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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 7:53 pm Reply with quote
Alexis.Anagram wrote:
I also didn't care for how they rushed through all the training material (and two years of potential character development) in like one episode. And then did seven days in twenty minutes of what was supposed to be a total nightmare survival test but...isn't?

You know, this is something that I actually really like about the show so far. I don't need to see all that -- I've already watched countless other shows where they hero spends half a dozen or a dozen episodes training. We all know the plot beats by heart; he gets his butt kicked multiple different ways, he learns a lesson, he gets beat up some more and grits his teeth and learns another lesson, his teacher teaches him a special move and he spends a whole episode failing at it before he finally gets it right, etc., and after that's over, he finds his resolve and beats his first real opponent, and then he's finally ready to go advance the plot. I don't want to watch a whole cour of Tanjiro saying "I'm gonna be a demon slayer!" while he gets beat up over and over.

I appreciate that Demon Slayer feels like it knows that we know how all of that we'll go, and so it just dashes right through the predictable parts so that it can get to the real meat of the show. Episode 7 is honestly the most I've enjoyed a Shounen Jump show since the Soul Society arc of Bleach.

I do think, though, that while the last few episodes were an improvement, Nezuko has been disappointingly underutilized so far. Hopefully the show will keep improving in that regard, and I have a good feeling about it since I've been pleased with the rest of the direction so far.
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Alexis.Anagram



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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 9:29 pm Reply with quote
Vanadise wrote:
Alexis.Anagram wrote:
I also didn't care for how they rushed through all the training material (and two years of potential character development) in like one episode. And then did seven days in twenty minutes of what was supposed to be a total nightmare survival test but...isn't?

You know, this is something that I actually really like about the show so far. I don't need to see all that -- I've already watched countless other shows where they hero spends half a dozen or a dozen episodes training. We all know the plot beats by heart; he gets his butt kicked multiple different ways, he learns a lesson, he gets beat up some more and grits his teeth and learns another lesson, his teacher teaches him a special move and he spends a whole episode failing at it before he finally gets it right, etc., and after that's over, he finds his resolve and beats his first real opponent, and then he's finally ready to go advance the plot. I don't want to watch a whole cour of Tanjiro saying "I'm gonna be a demon slayer!" while he gets beat up over and over.

I can totally empathize with this sentiment on principle. There's no shortage of shonen action anime that utilize the same template and narrative formulae ad nauseum to the point that it's natural for a seasoned viewer to find some subjective relief in a narrative that flows in such a way as to ostensibly avoid those familiar genre trappings. The problem with Demon Slayer is...it doesn't. It actually leans more heavily into them as a result of its self-conscious efforts to clear narrative shortcuts rooted in the presumed familiarity of those exact same plot beats, watering down its own premises in the process. The impression we have of Tanjiro is that nothing actually essential is changed about him, as a person, in two years of hard work that we don't get to see-- he "learns techniques" which we don't really have any basis for understanding in terms of who he is as a character and his relationship to this particular style of fighting, and what makes him as the protagonist best suited to this approach. Similarly, The Final Challenge (or whatever it's called) is set up as this major trial that will test our hero more than anything he has experienced up that point (a low bar to clear given how little we know about how his training has actually tested him), but that's not borne out by what actually happens. Sure, Tanjiro kills the Big Bad Demon, but it's not really clear why he was able to when the other kids couldn't, and it doesn't actually seem to strain his knowledge of his own skill set at all. He wins by luck, instinct, and main character prowess. Trying to use the ghost kids (only two of whom we ever met) as an emotional bookend to that subplot is a really thin exercise in drama because they are such transparent plot devices: I didn't see them as friends or even peers to Tanjiro, and his teacher doesn't have sufficient presence to make his connection to them feel meaningful.

Moreover, when it's done well, one of the joys a long-running shonen anime has to offer is the extensive training arcs where the cast generally grows and is bonded together, and all the real meaty character work is done. That process doesn't have to be rote and predictable: there are many ways Demon Slayer could have been surprising and compelling and constructed a story with clearer dramatic stakes. I would have loved to see an arc where Tanjiro is forced to really struggle with that compassionate quality he has in him, where we really get to see how difficult the idea of killing another creature, even a demon, is for him, and how he struggles with the burden it places on him to make that personal, moral sacrifice for the sake of his sister: maybe coming to a point of clarity through the guidance of the ghost kids and their conveyance of the sadness and pain of their own lost lives, so that transcending to the next stage of his training isn't just a matter of "git gud," but becomes about Tanjiro and his unique drive as a person. Instead, the show once again betrays its premise by arguing out of both sides of its mouth with regards to his characterization: he doesn't like killing demons, but he basically just gets over that off-screen and now he's a "nice" demon slayer.

As it stands, the show skipped over a lot of material that could have been enlightening, and it's not really any better or more notable for it: at least where I'm at, it's still not clear what Nezuko is even doing in this story, and there are barely any other characters with names to them aside from Tanjiro and his teacher. Maybe it gets better, but if the plan is to keep playing fast and loose with its own core ideas just so it can get to the flashy boss fights faster, that doesn't register as particularly strong reasoning for the approach it's taken so far.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 12:04 am Reply with quote
vonPeterhof wrote:
It's a Hyottoko mask, which I guess counts as a sort of clownish stock character.

Huh, after all the years I've been wondering about it, it shows up (a version of it anyway) in this week's Dororo too! Synchronicity!
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Alexis.Anagram



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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 6:05 pm Reply with quote
After episodes 6 and 7 this show has just become so ludicrously contrived it's more funny than anything. So there's only one demon in the entire world who can turn people and he just happened to take out the family of this show's protagonist, while the protagonist just happened to be away for an evening, but just happened to leave his sister alive/undead, and she just happens to have a strong enough bond with him unlike any other pair of siblings in the whole world so she doesn't immediately kill him...then pretty much immediately after learning who this one demon is when he could be literally anywhere, the protagonist just happens to run into him in basically the very first place he wasn't even really looking. Damn, Tanjiro, some shonen protagonists spend like hundreds of episodes trying to identify who their arch enemy is and you just stumble into that plot point by accident. So am I meant to believe Tanjiro, a total novice with a very convenient superpower, is the only Demon Slayer who has managed to track down this extremely dangerous demon, or do the other Slayers just not care/can't do anything about it? For that matter, how does Sakonji know about Muzan, down to his very name, when he prevents other demons from even talking about him? I don't even want to touch on him just turning a guy in the middle of a crowded street, it was just such a bizarre way to end the episode. I really was laughing at that point.

Can somebody explain what the point of episode 6 was in its entirety? Tanjiro learns nothing, doesn't gain any new skills or insights, everything remotely important is conveyed through flashbacks which take place at the teacher's house...which is where we were before this episode started. The encounter with this demon serves absolutely no purpose. The mission itself serves no purpose in the context of the story's structure. It doesn't point Tanjiro in the right direction, which could at least help justify the conclusion of episode 7. The whole show is just hop skipping from one plot point to the next with zero connective tissue.

Which brings me to: what is the narrative hook of this show at this point? I thought it was a brother and sister traveling and fighting demons in order to help people and maybe get the sister back to being human eventually by solving the central mystery of her condition, but...that doesn't seem to be the case? Is there going to be an actual journey involved at some point or is Tanjiro just going to shove his sword in various demon's faces and let his sister out of the box once every other week?

Hmm. I think I preferred this story more when it was about four guys and a jeep dicking around and occasionally killing things.
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killjoy_the



Joined: 30 May 2015
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 7:08 pm Reply with quote
Alexis.Anagram wrote:
Can somebody explain what the point of episode 6 was in its entirety?


To get a demon with a gimmick to up the ante/show that demons can just do whatever and have Nejiro kick someone for a little bit.
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