This entire episode feels like some weird D&D Campaign I was a part of a few years ago. I know means absolutely nothing to anyone reading this, but it immediately puts me in a headspace regarding what’s going on in the early parts of this arc. And honestly, I can already say it’s not what I was expecting at all.
We start this episode in a manner that seems to persist throughout the whole thing following it:. Zenitsu surrounded by idiots. What kind of timeline are we in, that it’s Zenitsu of all people acting the straight man. I suppose he is the most street savvy of the three considering Tanjiro and Inosuke are total country bumpkins. So he’s a bit more mentally prepare for the “Entertainment District” than his cohorts are going to be.
Once they arrive though, Uzui is immediately playing babysitter as the gang get washed away and overwhelmed by all the excess of the entertainment district. It’s a town that sleeps in the day and becomes bright and alive at night. It’s a lot for Tanjiro and Inosuke to take in.
We get the lowdown from a very grumpy Uzui who probably never expected to have to play chaperone to these corps slayers. A lot of the women working in the district are in brothels, working as prostitutes. Sold to the houses by parents or lovers with debt. Their hopes being to work off what is owed, get bought out by a client who falls for them. Or just work their way up and eventually become in charge.
For all the love and respect the trio payed to Rengoku right off the bat, Uzui is getting no esteem at all, getting razzed by Zenitsu incessantly. Inosuke is also treating him like crap, but he generally does that to everyone. It makes it so Uzui’s default expression is pissed off, rather than that cocky smile he seems to have throughout all the opening.
It is Zenitsu who is particularly incensed by the Hashira though, thinking he’s brought them there to find him a wife. Only for Uzui to correct him and yell that he already has, not just one, but three wives. All three working undercover within the district and sending him secret letters to report their findings. A clarification that enrages Zenitsu even more.
You’re throwing some real jealous incel energy out right now Yellow Boy.
We finally do hear the plan once Uzui punches Inosuke and Zenitsu out. And oh boy; it’s not a great one in my opinion. The idea is to dress up these three teenagers as girls and sell each of them to one of the houses where one of his wives had been held, with the idea of investigating what happened to them.
So, we’ve got three, super ripped, teenage boys posing as girls to infiltrate brothels… This seems like such a bad plan. I mean, I know Inosuke is hilariously pretty, but he’s also a mead-head and an angry dumbass. I’ll be shocked if this doesn’t blow up in their faces right away. Which, it actually doesn’t seem to somehow.
With the three, against all odds, on the inside, they all take different approaches to trying to blend in with the other girls. You know what, I can see this arc really being Zenitsu’s time to shine. Seeing the animation of him playing that shamisen is actually super pretty. With the addition of him getting increasingly pissed off with Uzui and breathing out that steam with the electricity arcing within it, it looks so cool.
As much of a coward and a crybaby as Zenitsu is, his powers look so cool in action. With him having matured a little in the time since the spider forest, I really hope we get to see him taking a little more agency in this story. He kind of didn’t have anything to do during the Mugen Train arc.
Tanjiro is the first to get a lead though. He talks to two young girls who speak about how some of the working girls will skip out on the town without repaying their debt. Basically cutting and running. It’s not necessarily spoken about as a good thing or a bad thing, but I suppose a lot of them would have nowhere to go if they did run off, so it was always a risky proposition.
They talk about one of Uzui’s wives potentially running off, as she hasn’t been seen in a while. Although Tanjiro is less than inclined to believe that given her role as a spy within the house. Tanjiro ends up having to cover by pretending to be her sister. Telling what has to be his first lie of the series, which seem to be physically causing him pain to do so.
He’s such a good boy. Or a good girl now I suppose for the purposes of this mission. Did I mention that this plan blows.
Tanjiro does make the connection that if there is a demon running around in this town, then the idea of girls just vanishing as “runaways” is a very convenient cover story for the demons whenever they decide to kill one of them. That’s not a fate I imagine these girls have suffered considering they’re all over the show’s new opening.
Uzui sits and watches over the bustling night streets from a rooftop, commenting on how quiet is all is. He wonder that, if a demon is able to conceal itself in such a place so expertly, then it could very well be one of the Upper Six of Muzan’s inner circle. A scary prospect given what happened the last time we encountered one of those six demons.
The episode ends with Inosuke being the one to stumble onto what might be the best lead to find on of Uzui’s wives. I’m actually kind of shocked at how together Inosuke is being during this mission. Usually, he’s ranting and raving to the point of lunacy. Almost as if he was actually nuts. But he’s acting the part perfectly in his guise as a girl. I’m genuinely shocked.
He overheard that one of the girls he’s looking for has been shut up in her room for some time and is refusing to leave. The audience, following the source of this rumour spot that one of the girls: Makio is being tortured and interrogated by someone. Having discovered her correspondents with Uzui. I can only assume this is the demon they’re looking for and Inosuke is walking right into it.
This was a pretty goofy episode all in all. Which doesn’t bother me, for some reason I never seem to associate Demon Slayer with being an especially comedic anime, even though it has plenty of it in there. I guess it’s because it went so hard and so fast with action in the beginning that by the time the more light-hearted stuff started to happen, I’d already cemented my first impression of the anime.
Based on how this episode ends, I wouldn’t be shocked if we wade right back into that heavy action next time. Although I don’t know how Inosuke is going to manage considering he doesn’t seem to be armed, and is hampered by the Yukata he’s wearing… Did I mention I thought this was a bad plan?