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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Hashira Training Arc
Episode 6

by James Beckett,

How would you rate episode 6 of
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Hashira Training Arc ?
Community score: 3.5


I spent a long while racking my brain for ways to start this review because Demon Slayer really is not giving us much to work with this week. In the end, I could think of no better way than to quote from the lines of that classic tune by those old songsmiths, Messrs. Parker and Stone: "Show a lot of things happenin' at once/Remind everyone of what's going on/And with every shot, show a little improvement/To show it all would take too long/That's a called a montage!

Man, I sure wish that either Koyoharu Gotouge or the crew at ufotable had learned that most valuable lesson from Team America: World Police because this Hashira Training Arc would have turned out so much better if, like, 60% of it had been relegated to a couple of montages. This is pretty much all I could think about while getting through the screechiest and most inconsequential scenes of "The Strongest of the Demon Slayer Corps" (read: Basically every scene). Picture it: In montage form, we could get all of the funny sight gags of Tanjiro and Inosuke getting beaten into unconsciousness and/or making fun snacks for all of the Corps Cannon Fodder, but we would have also been spared having to hear Zenitsu speak. I have even gone so far as to experiment with rewatching all of Zenitsu's scenes on mute, with the subtitles off. Thorough application of the strictest experimental routines has proven with mathematical certainty that a completely silent and unintelligible Zenitsu is borderline tolerable in most circumstances. He might even make you laugh once or twice!

The funny thing about my wish for more montages is that a lot of this storyline is already composed of training montages, because why wouldn't it be? If we all had to watch Tanjiro learn to fold paper planes, do yoga, and push a boulder in real time, then this season would have to be reclassified as a form of psychological torture according to international laws and treaties. As it stands, even with all of the editing tricks that the show has used thus far, the Hashira Training Arc is still easily three times longer than it has any right to be. This is especially mind-boggling considering how Demon Slayer has chosen to use all of this extra time.

Have we gotten any much-needed characterization for Nezuko, the character upon whose shoulders this entire final act of the story apparently rests? Of course not. She has gotten literally seven words of dialogue in one scene of one episode of the season, and six of those seven words were just "Welcome home" repeated over and over. What about Muzan, the ostensible main antagonist of the series who is supposedly planning the massive attack on the DSC that everyone is scrambling to prepare for? Well, he's certainly doing better than Nezuko because, thanks to the two whole scenes he finally got to show up in during this episode, Muzan has accrued twenty-six entire seconds of screentime. No, we do not learn anything more substantial than "He is looking for Nezuko." Yes, I'm pretty sure this is the most we've seen of the guy since he was afforded a full sixty seconds to order his cronies around in the first episode of the Swordsmith Village Arc.

Look, am I going to sit here and argue that, on its own, "The Strongest of the Demon Slayer Corps" is a terrible episode of television? Of course not. It's too slight and weightless to warrant that degree of emotional investment, or any degree of emotional investment, for that matter. It'd be like if I told you I had a burning hatred for plain iceberg lettuce. In the grand scheme of things, though, this episode represents what is so frustrating about this entire season, which is that it has course-corrected way too far in the opposite direction of the chaotic slog of the Swordsmith Village Arc.

If watching the show last year was like being forced to down plate after plate of grease-soaked burgers and fries, then the Hashira Training Arc is what happens when Demon Slayer realizes that pantries are all picked clean and resorts to serve us multiple courses of the same ol' iceberg salad, sans vinaigrette. Sure, it might have been a welcome change of pace after all of those artery-destroying meat patties, but who are we fooling here? That's just about the only thing that has me looking forward to the final episodes of this season: If the show is going to go double- and triple-length for the big finale, then surely that means that it has something planned besides more of this farting around…


Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Hashira Training Arc is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

James is a writer with many thoughts and feelings about anime and other pop-culture, which can also be found on Twitter, his blog, and his podcast.


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