Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Swordsmith Village Arc (Season 3) released episode 6 on Sunday, and we finally got to learn more about the backstory behind Genya and Sanemi Shinazugawa and their aggressive attitudes. The episode opened right where we left off last week, with Tanjiro talking to the demon-like Genya and wondering what’s going on. Genya seems to be extremely set on becoming a Hashira, and he seems to see Tanjiro as a rival. As he is confused by Tanjiro’s genuine kindness, Hantengu’s clones end up recovering and they’re forced to continue the fight despite now knowing that fighting them is meaningless as there is a 5th demon.
As Genya went through his existential crisis, Tanjiro guided him to the 5th demon while keeping the other four at bay together with Nezuko. We saw Sekido recognize Tanjiro’s explosive growth while fighting, and he seems to have gotten a grasp of using the red sword to properly damage the demons. It was a bit surprising to see how long Genya remained distraught considering his previous appearances, but it made sense as his ego had been crushed. When he finally catches up to the demon and fails to behead him, we see the tragic backstory of him and his older brother Sanemi Shinazugawa (Wind Hashira) flash before his eyes as Sekido is about to end his life.
Demon Slayer has always been good at telling emotional stories, and it delivered another one here despite using only a few minutes to do so. Genya and Sanemi had 5 younger siblings, a kind mother and an abusive father. After the father got killed, the two promised they’d protect their family together, but it all changed one night when their mother was late coming home. Shortly Sanemi went to check on her, someone knocked on their door, which was the beginning of the tragedy. While predictable, the way they showed Genya try to warn the others not to open the doors before getting massacred and later how Sanemi behaved was very good. Nobuhiko Okamoto’s voice acting was brilliant as well, and the scenes hit hard, particularly the ones where he accepted death and apologized to his brother.
The story also explains why Sanemi previously refused to trust Nezuko. He had everything taken away by a demon, so of course he would have a hard time believing that one is not dangerous to humans. We learned that he is actually a very kind person, and he probably only wants Genya to stay away from the Demon Slayer corps to protect him.
Back to the present, Tanjiro wouldn’t let Genya go down. He saves the confused demon slayer, and encourages him to keep going. However, Aizetsu comes back and is about to hit Tanjiro with his ability. Here we already see huge character development for Genya as he protects Tanjiro and gets riddled with holes. He also entrusts Tanjiro to behead the demon slayer as he recognizes his weakness and knows he can’t do it himself. He had previously commented he can’t regenerate his head, but it might be possible to regenerate the rest of his body.
If you enjoyed episode 6 of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Swordsmith Village Arc (Season 3), make sure to vote for it in week 7 of Spring 2023! It ranked second last week.
The Demon Slayer: Swordsmith Village Arc episode 7 preview features Tanjiro again, and it will premiere next Sunday on May 21.
Images via Crunchyroll, where you can also watch the anime.
©Koyoharu Gotoge / SHUEISHA / Aniplex / ufotable