After a rather dramatic start to the Demon Slayer Merch: Kimetsu no Yaiba series, this week’s episode shifts the mood. We gain a softer insight into the sibling bond between Nezuko and Tanjiro, and even a few laughs. The two of them are just so gosh darn adorable. But, it wouldn’t be a Demon Slayer episode if Tanjiro wasn’t being told off. Let’s go see what he did wrong this week.
Following Giyu’s advice, Tanjiro and Nezuko journey towards Mt. Sagiri. They struggle to travel during daylight, so Tanjiro purchases a bamboo basket to carry Nezuko. As they near Mt. Sagiri the siblings come across a temple which has been attacked by a demon. As they face off against it, their inner struggles come to light. Hopefully, a new face can provide some guidance to them.
I’ll pay for it: As bleak at the first episode was, I’m really glad Episode 2 started off with some humor. The opening scene of Tanjiro and the farmer arguing over payment for a bamboo basket was pretty funny. It also showed what a sincere character Tanjiro is; he always wants to do right by other people, even at his own expense.
Demon Power: This week we got a further look at how incredibly powerful demons are. Not only do they have superhuman strength, they can heal themselves and have crazy durability. It was a harsh wake up call for Tanjiro. Now he has a bit more of an idea on what he is up against!
Themes & Trivia
Inner Battles: It’s interesting seeing the inner battles that both siblings face. Tanjiro struggles with making decisions. He constantly hesitates and his fear of doing wrong or hurting another is so overwhelming it causes him to freeze. For Nezuko, she has to reign in her inhibitions. She’s in a constant struggle trying to maintain her humanity and fend off her demonic impulses. The way these inner battles are addressed in future episodes will really define how good a series this is.
Tengu: Urokodaki is introduced wearing a tengu (天狗) mask, the most iconic feature being the long nose and red face. The lore surrounding tengu has developed significantly over time, as tengu have gained a reputation as tricksters, kidnappers, heralds of war, and guardians of forests. Today, you can still visit shrines and festivals devoted to tengu in Japan. You can read more about tengu here.
Cut your belly and die: Urokodaki tells Tanjiro that if his sister kills an innocent person there’s two things he has to do. First kill his sister and then kill himself . Urokodaki uses the word harakiri (腹切り), which literally means to cut open your stomach. Similar but not the same as seppuku (切腹), harakiri does not have a ‘ritual’ attached to it, but was similarly done to restore honor to oneself and their family.
Omake: After the episode’s end credits, there’s a short extra, also known as an omake (御負け). Omake usually feature a short gag sequence, either referencing something that happened in the show or a new joke all together. In this episode’s omake, Urokodaki chastises Tanjiro for not even being able to decide what to have for dinner.