Demon Slayer has been getting very anime in these last couple of episodes. Not only has Tanjiro gotten his inexplicable Ultra Instinct sequence, but now Nezuko has raged out and undergone her own transformation, one that seemingly puts her on par with the capabilities of an Upper Rank Demon. And all the insanity that comes with it.
Nezuko is fully raging out, using her Demon Art of igniting her own blood into a demon purging flame to its fullest and merely toying with Daki. What worries us is that as she gets stronger, Nezuko seems to lose control of her grasp on her own humanity. Relishing the fight more and more, giggling and wearing a sadistic smile on her face.
It’s at the sight of human blood in front of her that her resolve is once again put to the test. A test that, unlike during the meeting of the Hashira, she fails. Thankfully, a Tanjiro who has somehow managed to get back on his feet shows up to put her back under control.
It’s a desperate struggle, one Tanjiro could really do without. Thankfully, Uzui finally shows up after taking his sweet-ass time save the day. Or at least delay the slaughter. Because the second half of this first episodes is dedicated to revealing the true villain of the arc. Or at least the true nature of the Upper Six Demon.
Daki alone isn’t the Demon that fulfils the position of the Upper Sixth. Even after having her head cut off in an instant during Uzui’s arrival, she doesn’t die. Only to throw a tantrum and spawn another demon from her back. Gyutaro; Daki’s opposite in every way.
Where she is young, fair and attractive looking; Gyutaro is skeletal, covered in mottled, discoloured skin and detests everything that he deems pretty. Everything except his dear sister of course, whose head he reattaches while Uzui wonders what the hell just happened.
Thus we arrive at the main event, the stage is set and we’re about to start the long battle between the Demon Slayers and the fully revealed Upper Six Demons in all their powers. It’s going to be one hell of a fight, one I’m going to talk about… right now.
Following the events of the previous episode, Nezuko has been calmed down by a reminder of her past and her humanity by her brother and put back into her box. Before Tajiro can return to the fight. A battle we have to wonder how much use he can be in. The memory of how powerless he felt when watching Rengoku die at the hands of Akaza.
Meanwhile, we really start to see what is making Uzui tick as a fighter and as a person. I’m kind of surprised that Rengoku left such a deep shadow in his wake after getting killed. Unlike Rengoku who was a literal light in the darkness, Uzui is riddled with self-doubt and the regrets of all the people he lost along the way. So much so that he prickles at the insistence that he was gifted everything in life by Gyutaro.
We learn that he basically rejected everything his family stood for, basically he just loved too much to be a cold, uncaring Shibobi like his family wanted him to be. So he ran away with his wives and decided to kill demons instead. In the end, he ended up doing the exact thing he was bred, moulded to do by his family, but rather than doing the work of a mercenary or assassin of some Lord, he took his life into his own hands and decided to use those skills to save the lives of the innocent.
I knew Tengen Uzui was a good guy, he’s just cursed with a big attitude and an even bigger mouth.
He’s a cool guy not just in his personality, but how he fights too. While up until now, most of the slayers we’ve seen use breathing techniques; sword slashes that take on the aspect of some kind of element or force of nature. While Uzui might be the Sound Hashira, he doesn’t really do a whole lot of shouting forms and numbers before we see a flashy effect.
Very Ironically, Uzui fights with a rather utilitarian focus. Using his Shiobi tools and training much more than the traditional breathing sword techniques of the other Slayers. Fighting with misdirection, surprise and using tools like kunai and smoke bombs laced with Wisteria so that they damage demons and delay their ability to regenerate.
Uzui seems to hold his own well against both Daki and Gyutaro, able to resist the poison that coats the latter’s weapons thanks to his history building up resistance to poison. And he only grows bolder when Tanjiro, Inosuke and Zenitsu show up to back him up. Splitting the fight into two halves, giving our favourite two side characters the honour battling Daki while Tanjrio and Uzui team up against Gyutaro.
At the start of this arc, I had kind of hoped Zenitsu might have gotten a little bit of development. Having seen this episode, I feel like I actually see the reality for the future of the character. Because throughout this episode Zenitsu is “asleep”, which means he’s fully capable of doing everything he was able to do when awake; like fight, speak, use logic and plan, only, he’s a calm, cool and collected character rather than the crybaby he usually is.
And I don’t think we’re ever going to get a change to the status quo there. I think the yellow guy is going to stay this weird comic relief character throughout at this point. *sigh*. I know a lot of people don’t like Zenitsu, and I don’t blame them, honestly, I think the main reason I want better for him comes solely down to how cool Ufotable have made his techniques look in motion. I guess I just want the personality to match the technique. But this is anime and things generally aren’t that simple.
As the fight begins in earnest, Gyutaro sacrifices some of his power to give his sister added strength. And despite the pair fighting totally separately, they somehow manage to cover one another with their ranged techniques. It makes the battle seem the one between Rengoku and Akaza; only a matter of time until the humans are worn down.