Now who really wasn’t looking forward to this next episode after what we got last week? I know I was! Demon Slayer is a series that keeps you coming back for more because almost every episode delivers in their ability to show you that you haven’t seen anything yet. I could easily understand why this was actually trending on Twitter. It deserved this spotlight. Which brings us to what comes next. They had my full attention wondering what the heck was meant by “As Tanjiro crawls towards Nezuko, who lies on the ground, riddled with wounds, someone appears before him”.
When that episode wrapped up, I’m sure all of us were left with the impression that this was it. How else would you proceed from Rui getting his head taken clean off? Sometimes it’s good to be wrong, and I’m sure those who read the manga were just waiting for our reaction to seeing that things were not quite as they seemed. From the start of the episode they wasted little time throwing us back into a state of panic since as we know, Tanjiro was supposed to have nothing at all left once he stopped moving. It was terrifying to think that things were not over and there was nothing he could do to defend himself from what came next. Obviously Rui would not be in the best moood after being bested like this, and the expression of his voice showed it. There was only one way that this could have really ended. Knowing that this was not going to be Tanjiro’s time meant that a certain someone had to make his presence known in the nick of time. From there you could at least appreciate that the action could proceed just a bit more, which was satisfying because once more we were seeing how these two Hashiras are on a completely different level of power in contrast to everyone else on this battlefield.
One thing that I did expect from this episode was seeing what would happen when it comes down to Shinobu versus the elder spider demon sister. This was never going to be much of a confrontation considering her power level, so your interest level was aimed more towards what Shinobu is like when she faces down an actual opponent. This was the stuff of nightmares because it was one thing to know that she is a bit psychotic about the way she talks, but it is another thing entirely to see her when she has shifted from that playful attitude to something a little more cold. Even her ability was terrifying as someone who does not fight the same way as most Demon Hunters. In spite of her fight happening pretty quick, there was still some animation to admire from the way that she moved gracefully like an actual butterfly. The way her robes moved like wings was pretty awesome in motion.
The story of Rui and his family was chilling, and I’m glad that they found the time to tell it properly by the end. It helped that they also told this through the perspective of the elder spider demon sister. If they did this with Rui, it probably would not have had the same impact on us since he is the main aggressor and past any point of sympathy. I mean it hit you right in the feelings to see this families story unfold to understand what kind of hell they all stepped into when agreeing to his kind of bond. I hated the fact that I could feel bad for them, but there was no denying the beautiful execution of this scene and the emotion put into it.
This week’s episode came and went in contrast to some of the others, but there was also a lot to take in in a short amount of time. I had to take a second to properly reflect on everything they gave us so that this arc could begin to reach a conclusion. I hope that next week we get some time to begin building a bridge between Tanjiro, Inosuke, Zenitsu, and slayers of a higher rank.
Aside from that, once more the animation was impressive. First off, the elaborate deigns of Rui’s webbings are awesome. For a demon of this one’s power, you would think a single web would be more than enough to throw at an enemy, but here he is getting creative with every patter till the bitter end. The last one getting so complex as to show the desperation and power he only now decided he needed to dig deep for. When it came to Shinobu, I admired the swordsmanship they showed from her. Not even for just what she did in combat, for just what she showed capable of when being only flashy.
Demon Slayer “Pretend Family” put the focus on this demon spider family, and created an engaging exploration into just how these bonds were both created and maintained. At the same time it managed to leave some of us anime viewers shook about a fight that did not end the way the previous episode led us to believe. Now would be the time where I would say that this was a fight for the history books. This could have easily been one of those big battles where the hero dug deep to overpower an overpowered villain, and they hit us with a twist that further dodged this among other things that help Demon Slayer break the mold.