Last week’s episode of Demon Slayer was great for the time that they spent creating a more central plot to follow. Up to this point it has been Tanjiro trying to make waves with this Muzan, but now with the introduction of the Hashira there is more legitimacy towards that. Not that Tanjiro needed this, but now we actually have our first taste of world-building when it comes to the way that the Slayer Corps would handle such a developing situation.
Just from the images alone, I knew that we were in store for a fun episode. We’ve seen these three when they are just going through rehabilitation, but it is another thing when you add training into the mix. From the minute it ended up being Shinobu who took them in, I knew that this was going to be quite the trial for the trio. Especially one Inosuke and Zenitsu who are far from okay after the demon encounters they survived. On one hand you have Inosuke whose pride has been smashed to pieces, and then you have Zenitsu who is pretty much at full-on panic mode with everything he has to endure in order to get better. Let’s start with Zenitsu, to be honest I spent half of the episode cringing because I wanted him to shut up and lower his voice. This didn’t mean that he wasn’t funny here and there, but they really indulged in the madness that comes with his whining. Even his excitement was as if he was on eleven while most were struggling to hit a seven.
It still stung to see Inosuke struggling with his confidence in his strength being taken away, but this was a realistic phase for him to go through. I felt amused that even now he would still find himself challenged to regain it. As I said, when you add training to the mix, that doesn’t mean that they are going to lay back and recover on their own. For anyone who wanted to see him quickly bounce back to the person he was before, this episode turned into a wake-up call that he would have to earn that. They did not lie when they said the drills were brutal, and they would find themselves broken in spirit. Aside from that, every effort from him to bounce back was welcomed.
As for Tanjiro, this was the point of interest for the majority of the episode because this was that point where he begins being that main character who sees every trial as an opportunity to get better. What we come to love about Tanjiro is that he is genuinely motivated for the lengths that he goes to in order to get stronger and protect those closest to him. He’s not getting stronger for himself, or because the plot demands it. Since the first episode he was given his drive, and everything after that has simply been fuel to the fire. This week is where he hit his biggest breakthrough for the fact that this was at the same time the first opportunity that any of these three were given actual guidance towards improvement. It really does go a long way when addressing what the biggest difference is between a Hashira, those directly below them, and everyone else.
I had myself braced for a pretty chill and entertaining episode since this was going to be yet another where we are winding down with the trio, but I was happy to see that there could be much more to this than that. We’re getting pretty close to the end of the first season, and that means this is no time for them to slow down completely. Not even if our three main characters are still in recovery. This was a great week for anyone who is a fan of Shinobu. I’m not going to lie, at first I didn’t like her. Everything about this character felt superficial because her smile betrayed a lot of what she said and did. At no point did ever feel like we were following an actual person. It wasn’t until this week that this perspective changed and for the best. Suddenly Shinobu became one of the more admirable characters because we could now see what motivated her to become a Hashira and as strong as she is. Everything we learned about her this week put her way ahead of the others who so far haven’t given us much to go on.
For the two weeks the trio spent with Shinobu for treatment, it was time spent well for the entertainment value and character development that we got out of this episode. Demon Slayer “Rehabilitation Training” was for the most part another slow episode, but the opportunity was still taken to show us where there is to go from here. When heroes are broken, the only step to take forward is to get better. This is where that starts with the right motivation.