Demon Sayer Corps: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episodes 19 and 20 – Flames of Passion

The last week has been a crazy one for all of us, I think. Ply’s been real sick (so he’s out of the collab again), I’ve been dealing with physical therapy for my surgery recovery, Moya’s got a new job, and Aria’s had some chaos going on as well. Everything likes to pile on all at once, huh?

Despite all these complications, we (most of us) have managed to keep up with the show fairly well. In the interests of getting back on track, this’ll be a twofer, covering the much-celebrated episode 19, and the perfect follow-up, episode 20.

To keep you all reminded:

I’m blue, da boo die

Aria (na) Grande

Moya Nagoya


Episode 19

What are your general thoughts on this episode? 

YES, YES, YES!! This episode is one of the things I’ve been waiting all season to see! The final showdown between Rui (confirmed to be one of the 12 kizuki) and Tanjiro. Here we learn that Rui also values “family bonds” but prefers to enforce those bonds through fear, rather than love and trust. Of course, this conflict of values really gets to Tanjiro, and they engage in what may be the most incredible spectacle fight I’ve seen in years. Not to mention the pacing of the episode, which was utterly superb. Never a dull moment from start to finish. An absolutely incredible episode, and an unbelievable adaptation of one of my favorite moments from the manga.

Ooh, it was pretty…but damn if I didn’t have to temper my expectations thanks to Astral’s hype-sowing…

Hype was delivered indeed. This episode was violent, bizarre, and fairly touching.

Did the episode fit your expectations, and in which ways did it differ from it?(If it does)

No. No, this was far better than I could have possibly expected, and I had pretty high expectations. The insert song, the pure emotion packed into the whole episode… I must admit, I ended the episode in tears.

Yes in that it perfectly fits what I wanted from ep. 17, but also no in that I didn’t expect the kagura breathing. Tanjiro’s fire theming really goes against his water blade attacks – I remember reading there’s a Pillar of Flame out there (I found a TV Tropes page for Demon Slayer the day before I watched this episode, which is where I learnt about him), so it would’ve made a heap more sense for Tanjiro to learn under the guy.

Did not anticipate the fire twist. It did come out of nowhere without any build-up, but it felt appropriate and delivered some needed awesomeness. Also, I can’t believe we got to hear Nezuko speak (even if only in her mind)!

Discussion:

The insert song’s name is Kamado Tanjiro no Uta (Tanjiro Kamado’s Song) and it’s by Shiina Go feat Nami Nakagawa. I’ve encountered Shiina’s work before in Juuni Taisen.

For those who want to know (and if this info isn’t outdated by the time Astral gets to it), the single comes out on August 30th!

Insert song was definitely a highlight.

The song really brought tears to my eyes, it was absolutely fantastic. One of the best insert songs in my recent memory, honestly.

What do you expect to happen from here on out?(and why) 

Of course I already know what happens, story-wise… But I can only hope they don’t let that be the highest point. I hope they manage to top that, to wow me even further.

In the short term: Tanjiro collapses from Hinokami Breathing usage. Nezuko gets healed (or heals herself…? I’d still be open to a reappearance from Tamayo and her cat). In the long term: More Kizuki to kick the butts of.

I wonder if Nezuko is one step closer to being a normal human after this? Maybe I’m wrong to interpret her naming of her blood art as a sign of humanity (just because of how much it sounded like any normal anime fighter girl), but perhaps her new connection with her mother will have some sort of effect? I bet mom and dad are gonna be recurring characters during battles.

Which scene got the most reaction out of you? (If any at all)

There’s a lot that I could say. Some really, really amazing scenes in this episode. But I think the one that got me the most was when Nezuko finally activated her Blood Demon Art. Seeing the two siblings fighting in tandem again, especially with such high stakes, and so many raw emotions packed into that, was incredible.

Surprisingly, Inosuke’s moment of humour worked for me…but that doesn’t beat out the reaction I had to my note regarding Nezuko’s Art, which says, “Go for it, Nezuko! Be the Bakugo of the Demon Slayer world!”

Nezuko gushing blood all over and her muffled screaming. Kudos to her voice actress…

Discussion:

Continuing my trend of terrible homages, the cold won’t bother Tanjiro anyway…thanks to his fire theming. (LOL, but seriously though, whose bright idea was it to put in almost word-by-word homages to other things in the subs???)  

Which character did you like the most this episode? Have they done anything in particular/changed?

Nezuko is finally back after quite a few painful episodes of absence. But she is indeed back, and stronger than ever. We even get to hear her speak, a bit, as she cries out to protect her brother. Just fantastic.

Tanjiro’s dad, Tanjuro (more on him later).The flashback solidifies him as not being one of the abusive/absent parents anime likes to throw at us so often and that’s enough to please me. (Also, I swear my impulse for long-haired guys is getting annoyingly unruly…)

Discussion:

I have no idea whether Tanjuro’s dead or alive at the moment – it’s mentioned he’s frail, but that’s about it. It’s also a mystery as to why Tanjiro and his dad have matching scars…(for those who are caught up, do we ever get an explanation for that…?)

I tend to like long-haired guys too, especially if they’re chronically frail or a bit feminine (yes, illness is a criteria). That being said, I find it extremely difficult to not see Tanjiro in his dad, and my mental image of sick pretty man x loud hyperactive teen gets very confusing. Also, now that Aria gave me a name to put to his face…“Tanjuro”…

NB4 post-story Tanjiro has a kid named “Tanjaro” or something. Or maybe one of the permutations of nicknames that Inosuke likes to toss at him frequently.

What’s the high point of the episode for you and why? 

When that insert song kicked in… that was absolutely incredible. The fight from that point on was an absolute gem, and I just cannot stop thinking about it.

The entire ending! It was extremely cute…but also kinda horrifying to learn one of Tanjiro’s siblings looks kind of like Zenitsu.

When insert song came in for sure. I especially enjoyed its slower, hauntingly calming initial moments.

Discussion:

The scene where we see Tanjuro dancing were also pretty cool. I get the feeling the animators had a reference video to work off for that though, so I don’t think I can praise them for it.

Re: Tanjiro’s sibling looking like Zenitsu – I totally thought Zenitsu was photoshopped into Tanjiro’s family photo…

I really loved that kagura dance scene, it was really well-done, and even if they had a reference video to work off of, you can tell the animators put a lot of work into it.

What can be improved in this episode and why? (a.k.a low point) 

Literally nothing. For me anyways.

Tanjiro, in a rather unimaginative fashion, inherited his father’s name bar the middle kanji. However, that makes reading about the two in Japanese annoying since you have to pay attention to a single kanji, but it makes reading about them in English even worse – when I read the credits for the insert song for the first time, for instance, I thought it was about his father. Thank goodness I double-checked!

Make Tanjuro not look 90% like his son.

Pick a situation from this episode. If you were put in this situation, how would you have handled it?

I really value my family. I really empathize with Tanjiro getting upset over Rui’s treatment of his “sister”. I’d do pretty much anything to protect my younger siblings, even jumping into the jaws of death, so I understand.

Giyu’s “you’re an idiot” face early in the episode (see below) was great. I know I’d have exactly the same face when dealing with Inosuke, though.

Most beautiful scene?(screenshot)

mY2KMuR.png

I mean… come on… What a shot. The flames of Tanjiro and Nezuko mingling together to finally defeat Rui, the sprays of deep crimson blood, and the glow of the reflection on the dew-soaked soil makes this scene easily one of the most memorable, and beautiful, scenes of the whole show.

After I took screenshots of each of the ED images and tweaked them until they looked awesome together, this is (one of) the result(s).

Call me what you want, but you can’t deny that moon on blood is super effective.

Discussion:

I’ve put all of my experimenting with those images (+ the Giyu from the previous question) here. You’re welcome. (If you pay attention to the album images, you can also see how the image above was made.)

In 10 words, summarise what you want to say about this episode. (A good joke question?) [Could also be a haiku or other things of that creative nature]

Best imouto Nezuko belongs to nobody.

It’s quite beautiful

For a spider’s slaying scene –

that one insert song.

Fire can’t mix with water, and siblings can’t be shared.

Discussion:

I struggled to make a haiku until I realised “that one insert song” (of course, it refers to Tanjiro Kamado’s Song) is 5 syllables.


Episode 20

What are your general thoughts on this episode?

Whoo! Good episode as usual, guys.

A bit tame compared to last episode, but even so, it was very good. Especially seeing what some of the Hashira are capable of.

Oh my, I’m really appreciating the recent episodes. 

Did the episode fit your expectations, and in which ways did it differ from it?(If it does)

Yes in that Tanjiro collapses from Hinokami usage, but no in that I didn’t think we’d get any backstory on the sister spider.

Yeah. I actually feel like the anime is doing a better job highlighting the backgrounds of some of the demons than the manga did, because I can’t recall quite as in-depth a backstory for the sister demon in the manga. Talk about improving on the source material.

The sister’s backstory was a pleasant surprise. I thought we would be guided to sympathize with her entirely, but the anime did an excellent job portraying all the nuances in her character and past. While she suffered intense emotional and physical abuse, she is also clearly willing to inflict such abuse onto others through lying or physical harm, whether for the sake of self-preservation or otherwise.

Discussion:

Also, Shinobu is much creepier than I thought. I should have known better after seeing those eyes..

Shinobu is creepy and adorable and I love her

What do you expect to happen from here on out?(and why)

Now can we get off Mt. Natagumo…? Also, I sure don’t wanna know if Zenitsu is permanently stuck with a hand the size of a KFC spork (to use the words of Deadpool).

Unfortunately I don’t think the anime will get to the arc I was hoping it would before this season ends… but hoping Ufotable decides to keep producing the show to the end, because I’m loving it.

Giyu or somebody will probably brief Tanjiro on how his whole breathing thing works. Oh, and Tanjiro needs a new sword! He’s gonna have a good time once the masked sword-maker guy finds out…

Discussion:

(Not that there would be KFC in Taisho-era Japan, but I’d be up for a fast-food AU of Demon Slayer in the style of Hataraku Maou-sama!, y’know? I bet Giyu makes a mean burger…)

Now you’ve got me imagining Zenitsu as a cabbage patch kid for some reason…

How did “KFC AU” become “Zenitsu as a cabbage patch kid”…?

Do not question the Astral brain.

Which scene got the most reaction out of you? (If any at all)

When Rui’s body got up again and the head reattached. Big “oh crap” moment there.

Shinobu. I wasn’t expecting her voice to be nearly as much ASMR terror as it was…

Sister betraying other sister and watching her get tortured. Brutal.

Which character did you like the most this episode? Have they done anything in particular/changed?

Shinobu’s a bit off her rocker, so I’m going with spider sis. Being able to see her life (?) story as a demon made for some sweet sympathy. (I also find it extremely ironic a butterfly-themed slayer killed a spider-themed demon.)

Shinobu again. I’ve always been a big fan of her and her adorably creepy ways. I think the anime has really nailed her personality, and I’m so excited to see more of her.

I’ve always liked Spider Mother, and it’s quite a surprise to see that she’s much younger than she looks (though her behaviour now makes more sense). What little we get of her backstory makes the whole “role-playing” theme much stronger.

Discussion:

For some reason, when I saw the subs were “the moon is beautiful tonight, isn’t it?”, I thought of the romantic connotations given to the line by Soseki (who would’ve been alive during the Taisho era!) and wanted Shinobu to be (and I quote my notes) “really gay” for a second. I’ve never had that kind of desire before this, so it feels weird to make a sexuality headcanon for a character for the first time and then impose it onto them (every other time I’ve had non-canon ideas about characters’ sexuality, it was from other people’s influence).

(…yeah, sometimes I don’t get me either.)

Too bad the Demon Slayer Corps consists primarily of episodically disposable dudes with short black hair. We need more girls before gay Shinobu’s a thing!

There are actually a surprising number of girls in the Demon Slayer Corps. But yes, they are far outnumbered by the disposable meatshields.

What’s the high point of the episode for you and why? 

…normally anime is general is so gung-ho about found families, so it’s actually nice to see a more cynical point of view for once.

The backstory for spider sis. I actually don’t recall that in the manga at all… so either the anime has added that, in which case it was very well-done, or has managed to enhance it enough to make it really have an impact.

Probably the sister’s backstory, but in addition to that, I must reiterate what I’ve said in the last episode: it’s so refreshing hearing Giyu state his Breathing Forms without screaming, even though he and Tanjiro presumably studied the exact same thing. I’m guessing the Eleventh Form was his later invention?

What can be improved in this episode and why? (a.k.a low point) 

There was quite a bit of “rewind the script, we missed a bit of plot right…about…here!” sort of thing going on this episode. It was vaguely disorienting…but that’s just a minor quibble.

Nothing, really. I even enjoyed the rewind portion for adding new perspective.

I thought it was a perfect, calmer episode after the craziness that was episode 19…

Pick a situation from this episode. If you were put in this situation, how would you have handled it?

If I were Shinobu, I may show the sister some mercy, or ask her for more information. What does she mean by “I was forced to do it”? Though in retrospect, being kind to an opponent like her may not be the best idea…

Discussion:

I was gonna talk about somewhat the same thing as you, Moya, but in a slightly different context. I think most of the demon slayers are demon slayers because they’ve had sad experiences with demons in the past. Tanjiro is more the outlier rather than the norm. So to me, it makes sense that Shinobu didn’t show any mercy…

But maybe probably i’m just crazy

Most beautiful scene?(screenshot)

Working my wallpaper magic (i.e. my aesthetic sense, combined with my trusty photo-editing software) once more to splice images together.

The angle is pretty cool. I’d love to try dinner like this one day…(ideally not with spiders)

maxresdefault-57.jpg

I just really love Shinobu. She’s a really cool character that has a lot of influence on the plot from here on out, so i’m super happy to finally see her in action.

In 10 words, summarise what you want to say about this episode. (A good joke question?)

Spider sis learns to

Steer clear of Shinobu – her

Poison’s deadly, folks!

Butterfly poison

Corrodes even spider flesh

A reversed food chain

Nezuko is truly the best imouto

Discussion:

That’s clearly not my best haiku, huh?

Except spider sis doesn’t learn (not until it’s too late anyways). And she thought she stood a chance.

Astral’s Q 10 Nezuko comments count: 2 in a row (plus 3 where she’s referred to as simply “imouto”).

I have a pretty one-track mind…


Astral: Now it’s time for some taisho secrets!

Nezuko: Mmm?

Astral: Yes, Nezuko, I know Aria did a Taisho Secret last week as well, but this is really pertinent to these episodes in particular!

Nezuko: Mmm… *Stares suspiciously*

Astral: So basically, there are a TON of different breathing forms used by different Demon Slayers. While many of them are widely-know, and passed down from teacher to student, such as Tanjiro’s Water Breathing, or Zenitsu’s Breath of Thunder, there are even more than are somewhat unorthodox!

Nezuko: Mmmmm?

Astral: Yes Nezuko, Inosuke is a good example of this. His Beast Breathing is self-invented, and as such, he’s the only person who can use it!

Nezuko: Mmm!

Astral: This means that definitely not every breath style is created equal, nor does it mean that every style has a Hashira representative. That would make Inosuke a hashira, after all!

Nezuko: Mmm… (worried)

Astral: I agree, that sounds like a bad idea. The point I was trying to make here though, is that many of the breathing forms are derivative of each other. For instance, Shinobu’s Insect Breathing is derived from the Flower Breathing form, which is itself derived from the Water Breathing forms!

Nezuko: Mmmm?

Astral: Basically, it means that new breathing forms are always being created, and new styles being added, such as Giyu’s self-invented 11th form of the Water Breathing. BUT, there had to be a starting point, right? An initial style that inspired all the other forms in one way or another?

Nezuko: Mmm… (very confused)

Astral: Well, that’s just something to think about, because we’re out of time for Taisho Secrets!

As always, thank you all so much for reading. The season is drawing nearer and nearer to a close, but we’ve all had so much fun making this collab, and I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading it… But more importantly, we hope you’ve enjoyed this awesome show.

Make sure to go check out all the other awesome bloggers in this collab, they’ve got some awesome stuff to read on their blogs, so check them out. Thank you all so much for reading, and I’ll see you all in the next post!!

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