Home Demon Slayer Season 4 Episode 5 - At Last, More Canon

Demon Slayer Season 4 Episode 5 - At Last, More Canon

Demon Slayer finally picked up the pace a bit this week, advancing beyond the multiple weeks in a row of relatively slow, anime-original-scene-packed content and adapting more than just a few panels of the manga. Last week’s episode featured Tokito’s training session for the Demon Slayer Corps, giving us a look at his evolved personality, especially as it relates to Tanjiro.

Like the episode prior to that one, the core message communicated by the training was that while it’s clear that only named characters like Tanjiro are relevant in combat when it comes to non-Hashira Corps members, the generic characters want to try their best too and help out where they can. That episode, though slow in pace, was touching.

This week’s episode, in contrast, moved at a comfortable pace through multiple Hashira’s trainings, not giving any particular one any more or less than it needed to have within the episode’s runtime. On top of that, some threads of the story that haven’t been touched on in quite some time were revived, and revived in ways that still allowed us to see the results of Tanjiro’s training. Overall, in part because of the return to manga content, this is one of the best episodes this season, likely second only to Giyu’s story in episode 2. (Spoilers ahead for Demon Slayer Season 4 Episode 5: I Even Ate Demons).

Pancakes and Snakes

Kanroji’s training was short, quick, and to the point, as it should be. The flexibility scene was a nice little laugh but the moment things moved on quickly I was glad to know we wouldn’t be getting yet another “We can do it too!” episode this season. Iguro’s training (wild concept, by the way) had some additional scenes added to it, in my opinion for the better. The anime did a fairly good job showing Tanjiro’s improved strikes while also bringing up how his empathy can potentially be a weakness.

After he almost let multiple humans die in the Swordsmith Village while trying to shield Nezuko from the sun, it was good that he was forced to confront the inherent tension between his desire not to see harm come to his comrades and his need to strike at an enemy in front of him. I actually wish the anime had hammered that point in a bit more explicitly, but the way the training was showcased was visually nice (Iguro’s style is just quite pleasant to watch, animated beautifully, and has a super satisfying sound design) and done pretty efficiently.

Especially funny was the letter he exchanged with Kanroji; their slightly budding romance is a nice detail in episodes like this, especially given how wildly different their personalities are.

One thing some people may not have noticed with these trainings is that Tanjiro himself is actually finishing them faster and faster. With Uzui he spent 10 days. He completed Tokito’s training in 4 days. Kanroji’s training length is unclear, but we know he managed to cut Iguro’s haori on day 3, meaning he is progressively completing trainings faster even though those trainings are seemingly getting more and more difficult. The anime makes this more clear than the Demon Slayer manga, but it’s a detail I imagine some may have glossed over.

Brotherly Beef

The real meat of the episode, in my opinion, comes from the conflict between the Shinazugawa brothers and how Tanjiro became involved in it. For one, it’s quite funny to see Tanjiro express discontent toward the Wind Hashira for stabbing Nezuko so many episodes ago that I genuinely had almost forgot it happened in the first place.

But secondly, it gives us the chance to see a dynamic involving Tanjiro that we don’t really see elsewhere: him having antagonistic relationships with the upper ranks of the Corps. Given how buddy-buddy he is with most Hashira, it’s almost refreshing to see some of them hate him for being special.

As for the conflict between the two brothers, this episode planted the seeds of what is quite clearly a series of flashbacks waiting to happen. Genya has been an anomaly since the previous arc, both because he literally brought a gun to a knife fight and because he has the unique ability to consume demons and gain power from doing so, something we’ve never seen happen for other characters.

Tanjiro, as resident older brother-in-chief, can’t help but stick his nose into something like this, and it gave us an excellent moment of him flexing his character against someone else in addition to a decent hand-to-hand combat sequence. I would have appreciated a bit more there, but I suppose the combat between Iguro and Tanjiro was our strong art/animation of the week.

Overall, I was plenty satisfied with this week’s episode. It communicated what it needed to and set up a few threads Demon Slayer can return to and resolve later on. We got some nice combat mixed into our story progression, and that’s about all it takes for an episode to be solid.

©Koyoharu Gotoge / SHUEISHA / Aniplex / ufotable

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