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EP. REVIEW: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Hashira Training Arc


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gumbaloom



Joined: 11 Sep 2017
Posts: 283
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2024 1:39 am Reply with quote
Yay James is back with his ruminations about Demon Slayer!

The world has been put to rights. Razz Razz Razz

This season is looking to be 7 or 8 epsidoes
4 volumes have been announced
3 x 7150 and 1 x 8250 which makes it look around that mark.

Training Arc is exactly 8 chapters of manga - thats it. The shortest there is.

The 64 million dollar question we have right now is how is this season going to play out.

1) Exactly 1 chapter per episode
2) More than 1 chapter per per episode but bits of anime filler to fill it out
3) What I'm personally hoping for (spoiler tags)
spoiler[ The arc ends with Muzan showing up at the mansion to "pay his respects" - what happens afterwards is all hell breaks out and a big battle - there is one part where Muzan basically opens up trap doors underneath everyones feet and rops them in to the Infinity Castle]

I'm personally hoping for 3) and they don't milk these chapters at the 1 chapeter per episode level as the way the arc ends is just well anti climax ?. My suggestion for 3) would be as someone on twitter put it a great UFO Table troll in light of what comes immediately after what I describe.
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andramus



Joined: 19 Apr 2020
Posts: 175
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2024 1:46 am Reply with quote
I'm hard pressed to think of any of James' episode reviews I've read that doesn't come across as either a scathing critique or full of ebullient praise.

Reading his reviews it never seems like something can be just OK.

Did this premiere blow me away? No, but then I didn't really expect it to either. It had some funny moments and some intriguing ones but was mostly table setting and that's all I required of it.

Actually one of the most intriuguing bit was the head of the Demon Slayer Corps reaching out to Tamayo - a demon - for help. Which I don't think got mentioned in the review.

Maybe James' review style is designed to be entertaining to readers and I'm sure many are entertained just not me. I'm too (I was going to say strait-laced but that's not quite right) literal-minded for that sort of thing to appeal to me.

I enjoy having civil/friendly discussions/debates with people. Even or perhaps especially when we disagree but only when I feel like we're taking each other seriously. Otherwise the discussion doesn't feel genuine.
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gumbaloom



Joined: 11 Sep 2017
Posts: 283
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2024 2:59 am Reply with quote
James points about season openers are kinda warranted

But that's not UFO Table's fault its the fault of the source material having these "down time" moments at the end / start of each new arc.

Would be nice to have something that grabs you and makes you thing "OMG" I wanna see what happens next.

That will of course change next season with Infinity Castle.

If UFO Table has made this season 100% strictly to the manga this isn't going to be a season to write home about - I don't think it's a spoiler to say no big demon battles happen this seasonunless they stray over the borderline in to the next arc.
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Jabootu



Joined: 17 Jan 2024
Posts: 130
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2024 7:10 am Reply with quote
Quote:
These episodes only exist to kill time before Tanjiro and the gang head out on their next mission, so they are always the weakest part of any given storyline.


Different strokes for different folks. I am *SO* relieved to have some downtime from the constant action. If you're going to do eight episode fights, man, you need some relief in there somewhere. We haven't had any time for quiet character moments since the aftermath of the Spider Mountain fights, and I for one am loving it. If anything, I dread the next action arc, although I realize we are actually moving towards the end of the story, which is nice.

The shout-y humor. OK, yes, that's pretty hit or miss. Sometimes it really works for me, sometimes it doesn't. More on the good side than the bad, though. But quiet scenes like Tanjiro talking with Shinobu on the roof or Tanjiro relating his fears to Nezuko in their room...more of that, please. Much more of that.
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tintor2



Joined: 11 Aug 2010
Posts: 1894
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2024 7:23 am Reply with quote
I feel bad for Zenitsu's actor. It feels the actor was told to sound as annoying as possible which doesn't help by how most of his lines are how he is forcing Nezuko to marry him. I wonder if the English one sounds better kinda like Black Clover.
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NeverConvex
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Joined: 08 Jun 2013
Posts: 2344
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2024 7:25 am Reply with quote
The "Okaeri, Inosuke!" line is, I think, the first time a Zenitsu-centric scene in this show has gotten a smile out of me (or, uh, more than a grimace Shocked ).
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Beatdigga



Joined: 26 Oct 2003
Posts: 4430
Location: New York
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2024 7:26 am Reply with quote
I genuinely believe that the prologue of Demon Slayers entering a mystic castle felt more like a Castlevania anime than the actual Castlevania cartoon has felt since Season 2. Just give the lead a whip instead of a katana and you might as well have it be a Belmont entering the Demon Castle to hunt Dracula.

This season though, it definitely feels like it's going to be more character focused than action focused, which I get considering Zenitsu and Inousuke were out of focus last season in a major way.
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MyMasterMatthew



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 137
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2024 7:35 am Reply with quote
The recapping and wasted time in this episode was crazy. You can tell they were trying everything possible to stretch this into a 40 minute premiere. It's nice to be back, but I pray we don't waste any more time like this. I recognize that Ufotable is working with very little material, but filler isn't inherently bad (when done correctly).


[Pros]
- Snake and Wind Hashiras fighting the demon horde.
- Nezuko being outside the box.
- Nezuko calling Zenitsu the wrong name.
- Tengen and his wives returning.
- The moment with Master and Amane.
- Getting a brief overview of each Hashira's training regimen.
- The return of Tamayo.

[Cons]
- 15 - 20 of the 40+ minutes in this episode.
- Too much pointless chitchat during the Hashira meeting, and too much pointless chitchat in the infirmary.
- 95% of Zenitsu's screentime.
- Most of the moments with Tanjiro.

[Notable Mention]
- The painfully dull moments spent recapping and exposition dumping in the infirmary with Tanjiro and Goto (the cleanup guy) almost single handedly ruined the episode for me. Tanjiro was being questioned for the sake of refreshing the audience and also to stretch this episode out into a 40+ minute premiere. I get that, and yet, I feel like the show failed to accomplish these tasks in a meaningful way.
- We've seen very little of Goto, so the nonchalant way he questioned Tanjiro felt weird. The show was forcing this energy of familiarity, which I didn't buy. I know we've seen him before, but he doesn't stand out. Most of the questions Goto asked were unnecessary for him personally to be asking. Like, he should have already known the answers to some of the questions, and he's not in a position to get answers to the other questions (i.e. he barely knows Tanjiro on a personal level, and he's low ranking in the corps on a professional level). Had the role of Goto been swapped out with someone else, like Tengen, I would have been more lenient, but I can't get over how unnatural and cringe the infirmary scenes felt. Each time the episode decided to stop what it was doing and return to the infirmary, I wanted to bang my head.


Last edited by MyMasterMatthew on Mon May 13, 2024 7:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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KarlFranz



Joined: 17 Jun 2019
Posts: 180
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2024 7:37 am Reply with quote
It's called The Calm before the Storm. Light-hearted down time before shit hit the fan. I also like how KnY deal with it history and info dump. It showed that the knowledge had been lost over the age that they can only go with the spotty information that they can gather from experience or old notes, trying to recreate the effect throught guessing. Other shounen would just dump all the necessary info onto you while Kny keep it vague.
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James_Beckett
ANN Reviewer


Joined: 23 Nov 2015
Posts: 279
Location: USA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2024 8:52 am Reply with quote
andramus wrote:
I'm hard pressed to think of any of James' episode reviews I've read that doesn't come across as either a scathing critique or full of ebullient praise.

Reading his reviews it never seems like something can be just OK.


*Deep Inhale*

Demon Slayer Season 1

Season 1, Episode 6: "Moving forward, I'm not concerned about Demon Slayer's knack for action set pieces and raw emotional power, but I hope to see it tighten up its storytelling chops." (3.5 Stars)

Season 1, Episode 7:"Though the episode is still perfectly fine overall, even if its titular demon is rotten to the core." (3.5 Stars)

Season 1, Episode 10: "It's still a good episode, but it's also a natural lull in the story that isn't exactly firing on all cylinders after all that prior momentum." (3.5 Stars)

Season 1, Episode 11:"I might sound like I'm building a preamble for a grumpy review, but I honestly liked this episode." (3.5)

Season 1, Episode 12: "Fortunately, a merely okay episode of Demon Slayer is still pretty darn good, so it's not like our time was wasted this week." (3 Stars)

- - -

In the remaining 20 Episodes of Season 1, a total of seven (7) scored between 3 and 3.5 (which is what I would consider the "Fine" range), with only one (1) of them even getting below a 3. That's the only episode in all of Season One that I considered to be approaching the territory of "bad", at the time.

- - -

Demon Slayer Season 2

Season 2, Episodes 1-2: "This might not have been the barnburner of a premiere that some of us were hoping for after all this time, but Demon Slayer still has plenty of opportunities to remind us all of why and how it became one of the biggest franchises in the world." (3.5 Stars)

Season 2, Episode 3: " I can't help but wonder if the story of the Mugen Train Arc would have been better off if it had just stayed a movie, after all." (3 Stars)

Season 2, Episode 4: "There are some cool things going on in these episodes, but...this arc has been pretty disappointing." (3 Stars)

Season 2, Episode 5: "My one big hope is that it has even a morsel of interesting story to go along with all the carnage." (3.5 Stars)

Season 2, Episode 7: "I'll consider this arc a decent time-killer, and a fine excuse for ufotable to flex its muscles and show off its moves, but that's about all the credit I can give it." (3.5 Stars)

- - -

I think I've made my point here, with only one (1) of the 7 episodes of the Mugen Train Arc scoring below a 3. Also, for anyone keeping score at home, every single one of the Entertainment District Arc's 11 episodes scored a 3 or better, and one of them even earned a full 5 Stars! Things only start to get really shaky when we hit the Swordsmith Village Arc, which is where the show managed to snag four (4) scores of 2.5 or lower out of the season's 11 episodes. That's still technically a positive K/D Ratio, though if I'm being honest, if I were to go back and reevaluate that season, I'd probably knock a couple more of those 3-Star episodes down a peg. Still, at the end of the day, I think it's worth nothing that, out of the series entire 55-episode run (as of this writing), I have only ever deemed an episode to be outright "less than fine", like, five times. Even if we were to account for how lame the Swordsmith Village Arc ended up being in retrospect, we would still be looking at a full 75% of the series that I think is, at worst, completely functional popcorn entertainment.
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NeverConvex
Subscriber



Joined: 08 Jun 2013
Posts: 2344
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2024 9:14 am Reply with quote
Legends say James is still holding his breath to this day.

On the whole "boring premiere" thing: I guess I wasn't thinking carefully about Demon Slayer's history (or about much at all Embarassed), but in the moment, I honestly completely expected the wind/snake hashira to enter the Mugen Castle inside the more finite castle, and to get utterly bodied inside. The loss of two hashira to their own hubris in leaping headfirst into the main enemy fortress would've been an interesting declaration of war and establishment of stakes for the season, even if we don't know enough about these two to really be deeply invested in their fates. Maybe the big bad's super castle's rug-pulling disappearance out from under the two hashira as they were leaping into it was a metaphor for what the episode was about to do to the viewers narratively..
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Jabootu



Joined: 17 Jan 2024
Posts: 130
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2024 12:05 pm Reply with quote
MyMasterMatthew did write:

Quote:
We've seen very little of Goto, so the nonchalant way he questioned Tanjiro felt weird.


I don't know, Tanjiro is pretty much an open book. He probably considers everyone he's barely met a friend, so I imagine he's someone you get comfortable with pretty quickly.
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Dr. Wily



Joined: 09 Nov 2007
Posts: 310
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2024 1:03 pm Reply with quote
tintor2 wrote:
I feel bad for Zenitsu's actor. It feels the actor was told to sound as annoying as possible which doesn't help by how most of his lines are how he is forcing Nezuko to marry him. I wonder if the English one sounds better kinda like Black Clover.


I don't know if you're talking about this episode or just in general but the answer is "kinda better, but not enough to matter"
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Jabootu



Joined: 17 Jan 2024
Posts: 130
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2024 2:46 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I feel bad for Zenitsu's actor. It feels the actor was told to sound as annoying as possible which doesn't help


He'll be fine. A *LOT* more people love him than hate him, especially in Japan.
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tintor2



Joined: 11 Aug 2010
Posts: 1894
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2024 3:32 pm Reply with quote
Hiro Shimono has had several other works but they were far calmer. Zenitsu just yells when he is awake. Tomokazu Seki is probably another example as he tone is always calm as Kogami in Psycho-Pass or more aggressive as Sosuke in Full Metal Panic. Meanwhile Megumi Ogata is the master of changing tones from angst ridden children like Shinji to always chill guys like Kurama
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