Tanjiro knows. He knows this fight is over. As do I, but that’s only because I’ve seen the movie. But, I’m not sure anyone told Rengoku, because, despite his exhaustion, he has one big final blow in him. And even if he’s going down, he’s determined to take the martial arts demon down with him.
As Rengoku stands before his opponent, gasping for ait, we really do get a reminder of the stark disadvantage the slayers have against the demons. Even the most powerful ones like the Hashiras are always going to eventually meet someone who is their match.
As powerful and skilled as Rengoku is, probably more-so than Akaza even is, the demon’s seemingly infinite stamina and immunity to anything bar a lethal strike ends up allowing him to come out on top.
Although Rengoku still choses to go out beautifully, making one final, tremendous assault on Akaza using his own original form named for himself. It’s a fantastic sight to behold, but ultimately not enough to put an end to the powerful fighting demon.
It’s strange, even when dealing a fatal blow to Rengoku in order to prevent himself from being beheaded, Akaza seemed filled with this desperate remorse. Having found an amazing opponent that can keep up with him, he is almost pleading with his opponent to become a demon so that he can save his life and they can just keep fighting forever.
Although his tune soon changes when Rengoku’s indomitable will proves to me too much for him and Akaza suddenly finds himself trapped between a rock and a hard place. With his own arm pinned through Rengoku and the sun about to rise he could very easily see his end happen without a fight. Something I imagine this warrior would find abhorrent.
In his desperation, he tears his own arms off to escape. An act Tanjiro is absolutely outraged by, calling Akaza a coward and hurling his sword after the demon. An act as brave as it is stupid. Good job Tanjiro, you just lost your sword, again, just after getting it made as well. Plus, while Akaza doesn’t seem to regard you as anything other than a flea, I have no doubt he will remember you. And as you are now, you don’t stand a ghost of a chance against this demon.
Seeing Tanjro get mad though, it’s always effecting to me in some way. He’s such a good boy that for him to be filled with a rage such as this, there’s something pure and righteous about it. Even to the point that is puts a smile on Rengoku’s face as he’s dying.
When I watched this ending in the cinema, it didn’t hit me anywhere near as hard as it does now. Maybe it’s from watching it in the more intimate setting of my own home, or maybe it’s having it spread out over the course of 7 episodes and talking about them bit by bit here, but hearing Rengoku’s final words and seeing him dying with a smile on his face, reunited with his mother again…
I really am just a shonen trash boy aren’t I, because it does the works on me.
It’s like I said during the very first part of this series; If Tanjiro is the goodest boy, then Rengoku is the bestest boy. Unflinching in the face of death, he passes on the information Tanjiro wanted regarding his flame techniques, as well as giving a last message for both his brother and father. Ending with a final few words of encouragement for Tanjiro and his friends and for them to not lose hope.
Even acknowledging Nezuko as a member of the Demon Slayer Corps having seen her fighting to save the people aboard the train from Enmu and his CGI tentacles.
I’m going to miss Rengoku. Despite how little the time we spent with him was in the end, the show did a great job of making him just the greatest guy in the world and a real hero and aspirational figure for Tanjiro to look up to. You could say it’s all very heavy handed in typical shonen anime style, but honestly, the show has built up so much good will with me that I don’t even care.
I love this show and this ending was even more affecting to me than it even was in the cinema.
I know this is a relatively short entry but there’s not really much else top say. The episode begins with a fantastic final clash between slayer and demon and then does a brilliant job of dealing with the fallout, ending on a real sense of frustration from Tanjiro at his own weakness.
In the early days of the series, I always felt like Tanjrio was very strong, seeming to take out enemies maybe he had no business defeating. Now, with the 6 upper demons between him and Muzan, it really does feel like he is out of his depth, and I am really look forward to seeing how much stronger he, Inosuke and Zenitsu can end up getting.
And that’s the end of the Mugan Train arc. Next week we’re into some brand new content and I am super excited to see where we go next. Tanjiro has been tasked with visiting the Rengoku estate to pass on the Flame Hashira’s final words, but I get the feeling we might not be getting there right away, not unless Rengoku’s home was located right in the middle of the Red Light District.
Which I understand is where these three 15(ish) year olds are going next.