The Three Musketeers and the Sound Hashira take care of some monster business.
Kimetsu no Yaiba: Demon Slayer, created by Koyoharu Gotouge, has returned with new episodes featuring breathtaking animation, exhilarating action, balanced humor, truly terrifying antagonists, and a multitude of emotional moments. While the recent season slashed the bar previously set in the first season, it’s impossible to talk about the show without mentioning the first seven weeks. The Mugen Train movie made $505 million USD at the box office, dethroning Spirited Away as the highest-grossing anime movie of all time. Originally released as the first film in the Demon Slayer franchise, Mugen Train was eventually stretched out into seven episodes. New scenes were added, as well as new opening and closing themes. And I had to watch Rengoku Sensei get taken away again.
Then there’s the commencement of season two itself. Though short, with eleven episodes, it lives up to the anticipation and meets expectations. Season two introduces Tengen Uzui, part of the highest-ranking classification in the Demon Slayer Corps called Hashiras or Pillars. The Sound Hashira hires Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke to track a possible demon presence in the lively Entertainment District. Uzui is personally determined to shine a light on the district’s uneasiness and is concerned about the absence of reports from his three wives, who he sent ahead on covert missions inside the prefecture. Yes, you read that right, he has three wives. This god of flashiness and festivals is the organization’s most elite and formidable fighter, playing a critical part in the war with Muzan Kibutsuji and the Twelve Kizuki.
Anyway, the Sound Hashira is a major supporting character in the new arc and is one of my favorite characters in the Demon Slayer series. Though not as strong as Rengoku, the Sound Hashira is still a powerful opponent. From his drip alone—the man is outfitted with golden rings around his arms and wrists, swords Ichigo from Bleach could play with, and a steel-plated headband with gemstones encrusted in it and more gemstones hanging from the sides—Uzui has an exuberant and ostentatious attitude and is constantly striving to be “flamboyant.” The Sound honcho may not be able to replace Rengoku, the Flame Hashira (Mugen Train Arc) but he is a caring hashira who adores the Motley Crew (Tanjiro, Zenitsu, Inosuke).
Aside from its disappointingly short length, season two of Demon Slayer is fantastic and I believe the Entertainment Arc is one of the main reasons for the show’s success. The second half is spectacular, the plot and characters leave questions unanswered that I look forward to seeing more of in the coming seasons. The season overall did a good job showing off the enormous responsibility and hardship that Tanjiro, Zenitsu, Inosuke, and Uzui go through.
Even for Hashiras, Demon Slayer never shies away from the difficult obstacles our trio must confront. Season two continues the fear, adding new techniques that cause some complications before revealing the bigger picture behind the Kizuki Twelve, Daki AKA this arc’s villain, and her brother Gyutaro. We’ve seen Akaza, Upper Two, from in the Mugen Train Arc, who is staggering in terms of strength but Gyutaro feels far more sinister and extremely dangerous.
With the extra complication of how our main trio and Uzui would takedown Gyutaro and Daki, for the first time, we see new powers from Nezuko and we also see Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke battle as a team. Complete with flashy, high-production action scenes and insane power. Daki makes an outstanding first impression but as Gyutaro, the main strength behind the dynamic duo, enters the battle, Daki fades into the background and becomes a liability. Daki can merge her body with her older brother Gyutaro with the help of Muzan Kibutsuji’s cells (all Upper-Rank Demons get their powers from Muzan), which in turn enhances her and her brother’s abilities. Causing the Demon Slayers to deal with more than one growing pain.
Daki can slash her foes with tentacle-like sashes. These sashes are said to be as sharp as swords, with the flexibility of cloth. She is similar to Doc Ock from Spider-Man but with a lot more arms that are removable. Daki remains a menace but as the situation escalates she becomes a child’s game. I have no problem with this but it’s evident that Gyutaro was the mastermind behind the previous massacres. Gyutaro is a formidable enemy with a broad range of blood arts, venomous sickles, regenerative healing, and power that puts Uzui on the defensive.
Lately, I’ve noticed a shift in animation. The style and quality have improved exponentially. Every frame is executed perfectly. It’s like when you put in a USB on the first attempt. We anime watchers are getting movie-quality content in episodic series. Jujutsu Kaisen, Attack on Titan, One Piece (Wano Arc), Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation, and most recently Ranking of Kings are a few examples (side note: Please watch Ranking Of Kings, trust me). My point is, that this season of Demon Slayer is the continuation of movie quality from the Mugen Train Arc.
Ufotable’s work is always amazing and noticeable visually. The environments looked as though they were real with animated characters giving them life. The coruscating colors of battle sequences, characters, and settings are awe-inspiring. The battle between Tengen Uzui x Gyutaro is one of the best fight sequences I’ve seen this year. The voice acting, the lighting, the animation, and even the score gained a few points from me as well. Yuki Kajiura and Go Shiina, who composed music for the first season of Demon Slayer and the Mugen Train movie, also composed music for season two. The OSTs are outstanding and one of the few opening themes I let run before the episodes start.
If you have not watched the Entertainment Arc of Demon Slayer, I implore you to drop everything right this second and go watch it. See what you think about it. I feel as though they should’ve had an extra episode or at least an extra scene but the first episode was double the length so it wasn’t all bad. After rewatching it for the fifth time (don’t judge me), my final verdict on the second season is a solid nine out of ten. I’m about to watch it for the sixth time.
This short but very sweet season of Demon Slayer gives the right amount of satisfaction to anyone taking their time to watch.