Well, this was an episode of redemption for all kinds of people wasn’t it. Although the backstory and sorta-redemptive arc for the drummer demon ended up amusing me more than anything, which I doubt was the intention.
In the previous episode, we learned that this demon guy was a former member of Twelve Moons, specifically he was a part of the lower six. He was cast out for being too weak. And so he mopes around this big old house with two other demons for company.
Both of which get taken out by Zenitsu and the Boar guy pretty handily. Tanjiro, meanwhile struggles to deal with the main demon thanks to his cumulative injuries he’s been carrying since the previous story arc.
So obviously he defeats the demon relatively easily himself, after come complaining about his ribs hurting.
Cut amongst this, we get flashbacks to the demon as a human, being treated like utter trash by his parent (I guess?). Telling him he can’t do anything right and he is the equivalent of human garbage. Y’know some of that prime beef parenting anime is so known for.
That, coupled with him being cast out by Kibutsuji, needless to say, the guy has a complex. Which is all cured in his dying moments thanks to Tanjiro’s last minute praise of how powerful his room rotating demon art was. Which he, ironically, only had the time to appreciate because he was so injured from before.
The last minute redemptive turn is a trope in storytelling I rarely sit well with. As if seeing the error of their ways in their dying moments is some kind of free pass. Bitch please, the only reason you are repenting is because you’re dying. If Tanjiro had complimented your drapes as he was casually walking by, I doubt you would have had the same bout of conscious.
One thing this episode does reinforce though, is the the demonising process affects people differently. As becoming a demon for his guy was a metaphor for giving into the darker side of his personality in order to lash out against the world that treated him like crap. Almost justifiably in his case.
Whereas Tamayo and Yushiro seem to have become demons out of decency. While mostly retaining their humanity for the most part. And then Nezuko seems to be suffering in a more lycanthropic manner. Except she’s a big cute cat.
Speaking of redemption though, my favourite part about this episode was Zenitsu showing some uncharacteristic spine and actually making me like him, after his travesty of an introductory episode.
After escaping the house, Zenitsu has an encounter with the Boar guy. Sensing there is a demon inside Tanjiro’s wooden box, he sets out to destroy its contents. Zenitsu shows more heart and bravery than I could have expected by no only shielding the box with his body, but also revealing that he knew there was a demon inside of it all along, then covering it anyway.
Zenitsu reveals something that was hinted at in a prior episode, that he has an advances sense of hearing. And through that he learned of Tanjiro’s staggering purity and kindness, and his fellow demon-in-a-box.
This guy in the boar mask as also at the final selection, and is a qualified as a demon slayer. But gives off more of a puritan zealot vibe in his case, simply wanting to kill anything and everything in the way of him and his quarry.
Thankfully, Zenitsu manages to hold him off long enough for Tanjiro to show and rage out on the Boar guy. Which is weirdly one of the more gripping cliffhangers this show has ended on. Despite all of the life threatening duels with demons going on around him.