Tanjiro was left unconscious after the fight in the Entertainment District, but when he woke, his first thought was that he broke another sword. He hoped to go to the Swordsmith Village and apologize to Haganezuka!
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Katanakaji no Sato-hen (Season Three)
What did you watch?
Previously, I’ve reviewed each season of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba episodically, but I’ve changed my schedule to focus on season reviews and offering up some insight into the way the stories are created. I also believe that there are some shows that are hard to review episodically. Shows with lots of cliffhangers and action that spans multiple episodes can become tiresome and don’t lead to good analysis. Well, worry no more, because I watched the whole of season three in forty-eight hours so nothing will have slipped by me. Let’s dive straight into the third season.
Tanjiro woke after an extended period of time in bed recovering. He was keen to return to training and get his strength back. He was also aware that he broke his sword in the last fight and would no doubt face the wraith of Haganezuka once more. Determined to do what he could to reduce the scolding, he asked to be allowed to visit the Swordsmith Village and apologise in person. The location of the village is a closely guarded secret, but he was granted permission, although he wouldn’t be allowed to walk there himself.
Once there, he met with the chief of the village and discovered that Haganezuka was in hiding after another of his swords broke in battle. It would appear that Haganezuka felt similarly to Tanjiro. While he waited for his new sword, Tanjiro made friends with a young blacksmith whose family had created a clockwork training device. After Muichiro, the Mist Hashira damaged it, Tanjiro was forced to train with it until he could land a hit. When he did, they discovered an ancient sword hidden within. Haganezuki appeared and offered to polish it for Tanjiro.
However, two Upper Demon Moons showed up in the village and started to cause chaos. Luckily, Mitsuri Kanroji was still nearby and returned to help fight back. But would that be enough against two Upper Demon Moons?
What did you think?
So, this season took Tanjiro away from Inosuke and Zenitsu and gave him some new Demon Slayers to play with in the form of Muichiro and Mitsuri. Both were interesting enough and neither was as whiny or as annoying as Zenitsu, so things were off to a reasonable start. However, the show quickly slipped into the same format as every other arc in the story only this time there were two Upper Demon Moons. But were they really? We learnt at the end of last season that this was the first time an Upper Demon Moon had been killed in over a hundred years. And now, they are battling two of them. Sure, they had an extra Hashira, but still, both were higher ranked.
Also, this series uses cliffhangers too much and without much thought. It’s the third season, if we were not going to keep watching, we would have tuned out a long time ago. It wasn’t a bad season, but it feels like they keep making the same mistakes.
What was your favourite moment?
I don’t think I can pinpoint exactly one moment that stood out although all of the fights were entertaining. Some went on too long because the heroes kept making the same mistake over and over and over again, but that just meant we got to see more stunning animation. I enjoyed Mitsuri’s fight with the wood dragons and also Muishirou’s fight with the Vase Demon.
I also enjoyed the scene at the beginning of the first episode when Muzan Kibutsuji was reprimanding the Upper Six in his Infinity Castle. That was cool and it was nice to see the big bad demons. One was of particular interest to me and I’ll talk more about that in a later post. I think there’s a lot to discuss about the number one Upper Demon Moon.
What was your least favourite moment?
So, just like last season where Tanjiro was about to cut off Gyuutarou’s head before it cut to the end credits and then Gyuutarou magically stopped him, the same thing happened this season with Hantengu. They located the main body and raced after it. They were slicing through his neck and then boom-end credits. The next episode started with something stopping them, and then they would do the same thing again. I understand the concept of fail, fail, succeed in storytelling, but there’s more to it. The hero has to learn something from the failures to apply which makes them succeed. Demon Slayer seems to assume that if they fail three times, they’ll magically succeed with the next attempt.
However, that was nothing compared to the moment when Tanjiro had to decide whether to stay and protect Nezuko from the sun or go after Hantengu who was chasing some blacksmiths. This felt like such a pointless scene. I knew as soon as the stakes were laid out that Tanjiro would not be able to make the decision. There was no way he was going to abandon Nezuko. Equally, there was no way Nezuko was going to die. For one, it would end Tanjiro’s quest. His mission is to turn her back into a human. If she’s dead then what? You could say he would turn his attention to making sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else, but that’s not the story we signed up for. That’s not what we were promised at the beginning of the show.
And finally, I hate the way this series foreshadows. Basically, it doesn’t. As soon as we need something foreshadowing, Tanjiro will magically remember something and instantly apply it like Zenitsu’s speed move. Even the letter to Tanjiro from Lady Tamayo tells us why she thinks Nezuko will be able to walk in the sun. That happened after Nezuko walked in the sun. It feels really lazy from a storytelling standpoint.
Who was your favourite character?
It’s obviously Mitsuri Kanroji. She is a strong woman with a sword after all. I did feel like she was kind of short-changed when they made out that she was about to give up just as Tanjiro defeated Hantengu. No one else in the series has given up, just the strong woman. I shouldn’t be surprised after we’ve spent two seasons being shown how strong Nezuko is just for her to be put in the box and have Tanjiro worry about her constantly rather than fighting with her. Anyhow, Mitsuri was interesting and I liked her backstory. It was sad obviously, but that’s to be expected with this show.
Who was your least favourite character?
The absence of Zenitsu is notably felt here. In fact, other than at the beginning with Inosuke, there weren’t that many over-the-top antics. There was some, but not enough to make me want to turn it off. However, I found the concept of the clockwork training device to be impossible. How did it know who to attack or even track its opponent? I felt like this was too much even in a world inhabited by demons. So, back to my least favourite character. Well, that would be Gyokko, the Upper-Rank Five Demon Moon that battled Muichiro for much of the season. The design was interesting but too distracting. Eyes in his mouth and mouths where his eyes were would have been fine alone, but with the mass of stubby arms and the vases, it just felt like too much. Not to mention, that in the end, he wasn’t that difficult to defeat.
Would you like some more?
Binge-watching the season is definitely the way to go. It was a far more enjoyable experience than watching an episode at a time and writing reviews for each episode. I think that made me focus on the negatives too much. At this point, I have invested more than enough time that I will see it to the end. I do want to find out what happens even if I’m half expecting the ending to be all about the power of friends and family. There have been enough hints that I’m quite certain it’s a key element of the story.
What have you learnt?
One thing that really bugs me is when a story introduces a scary monster that tears the place up and puts the heroes under incredible pressure. They start off terrifying and quite frankly, they should stay that way. So, when a series decides that the big bad isn’t that scary anymore, I get frustrated. We saw Rengoku killed by an Upper Demon Moon. Then, we saw Tengen with his ninja wives, Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke only just defeat an Upper Demon Moon. He lost his arm. His wives almost died, and the others were in comas for ages.
Then we get to this series and only Tanjiro remains from the winning team that defeated an Upper Demon Moon for the first time in one hundred years. We are given two replacement Hashiras and another demon slayer from Tanjiro’s entrance exam. Not only do they defeat two higher-ranked Upper Demon Moons, but they did so without any loss of life. In fact, they all seemed to be doing all right. Sure, they are training and getting stronger, but their tactics remain the same. I’d love to see Tanjiro learn from his fights and apply it to the next fight. His powers should be building upon themselves through his experience and not just remembering something Zenitsu told him some time ago.
Other Posts in the Series
- Season One
- Episode 1 – Cruelty
- Episode 2 – Trainer Sakonji Urokodaki
- Episode 3 – Sabito and Makomo
- Episode 4 – Final Selection
- Episode 5 – My Own Steel
- Episode 6 – Swordsman Accompanying a Demon
- Episode 7 – Muzan Kibutsuji
- Episode 8 – The Smell of Enchanting Blood
- Episode 9 – Temari Demon and Arrow Demon
- Episode 10 – Together Forever
- Episode 11 – Tsuzumi Mansion
- Episode 12 – The Boar Bares Its Fangs, Zenitsu Sleeps
- Episode 13 – Something More Important Than Life
- Episode 14 – The House with the Wisteria Family Crest
- Episode 15 – Mount Natagumo
- Episode 16 – Letting Someone Else Go First
- Episode 17 – You Must Master a Single Thing
- Episode 18 – A Forged Bond
- Episode 19 – Hinokami
- Episode 20 – Pretend Family
- Episode 21 – Against Corps Rules
- Episode 22 – Master of the Mansion
- Episode 23 – Hashira Meeting
- Episode 24 – Rehabilitation Training
- Episode 25 – Tsuguko, Kanao Tsuyuri
- Episode 26 – New Mission
- Season Two – Yuukaku-hen
- Episode 1 – Sound Hashira Tengen Uzui
- Episode 2 – Infiltrating the Entertainment District
- Episode 3 – What Are You?
- Episode 4 – Tonight
- Episode 5 – Things Are Gonna Get Real Flashy!
- Episode 6 – Layered Memories
- Episode 7 – Transformation
- Episode 8 – Gathering
- Episode 9 – Defeating an Upper Rank Demon
- Episode 10 – Never Give Up
- Episode 11 – No Matter How Many Lives
- Season Three – Katanakaji no Sato-hen
- Season One
- Bonus Posts