Home Demon Slayer Season 4 Episode 8 Review: Strong Finale, Weak Season

Demon Slayer Season 4 Episode 8 Review: Strong Finale, Weak Season

The finale of Demon Slayer season 4 was an excellent watch, and it’s exactly for that reason that it sparks unique frustration about the other episodes so far this season. This season, more so than any other, has been absolutely rife with filler. This isn’t to say that filler is inherently bad; it can be a pretty welcome addition to the otherwise fast-paced nature of a show like Demon Slayer. But, in this case, the filler has been thematically repetitive and only briefly satisfying.

Giving the Hashira more opportunities to show their personalities and character is nice. Granting the other members of the Corps the opportunity to do the same and have some presence on screen is also nice, especially as the series approaches its climax and we remind ourselves that other Slayers besides the Hashira and our main cast even exist in the first place. But, I don’t feel like what was added was sufficiently satisfying or character-enhancing to justify dedicating multiple episodes to filler content.

In contrast to all of that, I really enjoyed this episode. In line with its longer runtime, much of it felt like I was watching an episode at the movies. The quality of art and animation felt in line with what I’ve come to expect from stronger episodes of Demon Slayer, and, rather than have some unsatisfying filler, the episode adapted some of my favorite sequences from the manga very well.

Ubuyashiki Faces Muzan

Voice acting absolutely carried this section. Despite making up nearly a third of the episode, I at no point found myself thinking that it was dragging or taking too long. Ubuyashiki simply speaking to Muzan was oddly captivating, something Muzan himself seemed to agree with within the context of the show. We’ve spent multiple seasons of Demon Slayer waiting for the sort of confrontation we got from the very beginning of this episode, so having that confrontation be so calm and conversational to start off with was eerie in the best way.

The art for the mansion is soft with excellent lighting, the music was just the right mixture of comforting and disconcerting (thank you creepy small children), and the mixture of those two with the dialogue was quite strong. This all of course contrasts quite a bit with the ultimate explosion and kickoff of the plan to use Ubuyashiki as bait and try to take Muzan out. Like Muzan, I found myself surprised at how little murderous intent even was hinted at during the previous sections. Incredibly satisfying to see play out and get animated.

Into the Castle

To praise the voice acting more, I felt like each one of the Hashira’s voice actors communicated the depth of their respective character’s love and loyalty toward Ubuyashiki incredibly well as they raced to try and save him. On top of that, the music as Ubuyashiki’s plan slowly came into being was the perfect accompaniment to the shock of the explosion, with a strong swell as the explosion swelled and overall just a really impressive strings performance.

Finally, we had all of the Corps members being sent into Muzan’s castle. As usual, the art style and animation where the castle is concerned is bright and fluid, which was nice to see. Even nicer to see were the different reactions to being spontaneously thrust into a demon death match. Inosuke’s reaction was appropriately hilarious, but Zenitsu was without question the most shocking, as he silently accepted what was happening.

This step to the story, sending multiple sets of characters to different locations, is common in shonen anime and positions the plot well in my opinion. Sending different people to different places means we get to see fights at various skill levels without having the presence of a Hashira invalidate the presence of a weaker Corps member. We’re in good shape for the movie trilogy.

Overall, looking now towards the entire season, I am a bit disappointed. I wasn’t sure how they were going to handle the Hashira training sections given how some were only a couple panels in the manga and some barely mentioned at all. The way those sections were adapted was below par in my opinion, even though I can find some positives in the adaptation to point at. This finale was a beautiful episode, but I can’t help but feel frustrated at the bulk of the episodes that came before it.

If you enjoyed the final episode, you can now vote for Demon Slayer in our Spring 2024 Anime of the Season polls.

©Koyoharu Gotoge / SHUEISHA / Aniplex / ufotable

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