Aniplex’s passion project Demon Slayer dropped its sixth episode today, and it’s mostly one-sided this time. The Swordsmith Village has been attacked by two Upper Moon demons, and as Tanjiro, Nezuko, and Genya battle the four clones of Hantengu, Mist Hashira Muichiro Tokito is trapped inside a water prison by the vase-demon Gyokko. The episode is mostly dominated by Genya, with almost the entire attention being focused on the young kids’ attempt to kill Hantengu, and we only briefly see Gyokko sadistically laugh as Tokito fails to escape the water prison. What happens when Genya and Tanjiro join forces against the four clones who’ve started healing their severed heads? Find out in this week’s episode of Demon Slayer.
The Shinazugawa Savagery
The halfway point of Season 3 is where the MC of the anime series has to take a backseat and let a lesser-known guy shine. Wind Hashira Sanemi Shinazugawa’s younger brother, Genya seizes the spotlight with the heartbreaking backstory of his family. We all know Sanemi to be an abrasive Hashira who’s quick on the katana and even quicker to throw an insult or ten, but years ago, Sanemi was just the eldest child with six siblings after him. One night, when their gentle and kind-hearted mother didn’t return for hours, Sanemi went outside to look for her, but the thing that came in wasn’t the kids’ mothers. The beast had quickly mauled five of the youngest before Sanemi rushed in and dragged the creature away. Genya rushed out of the house and only a little further down the road saw his eldest brother standing shell-shocked, with blood all over him, as their demonized mother’s corpse burned in the first rays of the sun. As the anger demon, Sekido is about to pierce Genya’s throat with his Khakkhara; two thoughts run through the younger Shinazugawa’s mind. Pain that Sanemi hated Genya for not having the skills to ever become a proper Hashira because he lacked breathing techniques and terror that it’s impossible to dodge the Khakkhara now, and his neck will be hollowed out.
The Fifth Demon
However, Tanjiro comes to his rescue in the nick of time for Genya and reminds him not to give up. Genya had blurted out his burning desire to become a Hashira as the episode started, and Tanjiro did his duty as a friend to remind him of the reason to fight: becoming a Hashira like his brother Sanemi. The mission at the moment isn’t cutting off the heads of the four demons, though; it’s to decapitate the fifth. Tanjiro, with his nose that puts hounds to shame, could figure out that there was another demon hiding in the forest, and it was that pesky rat making the other four wreak havoc. With Tanjiro acting as the demon-locating GPS, he directed Genya to the fifth demon’s location, but when Genya did locate the mastermind, he was in for a very strange situation. The brains of the operation was no bigger than a “field mouse” as it panicked and ran from the chaos. The fifth demon is Hantengu, in its original, grotesque shape, just reduced to 6 inches in length, and running as it cries in fear. It seemed really easy for Genya to take down this Lilliputian demon, and he swung his blade at its neck, but instead of a decapitated demon, the rat’s neck shattered Genya’s sword into two. He fired his shotgun next, but the demon remained unfazed, except for its tears and panic, and Genya didn’t get a chance to reload either because this was when Sekido attacked.
Are The Demon Slayers Able To Kill The Demons?
Tanjiro swoops in at the last moment, just as Genya is about to get his throat punctured, and slashes Sekido’s arm off but suffers two deep gashes on his already battered body. Struggling to breathe, Tanjiro motivates Genya to go after Hantengu, but it’s too late. The sadness demon Aizetsu stands before Tanjiro, ready to poke holes through his defenseless self until Tanjiro is miraculously saved. Genya has thrown himself between the two, and he looks like a piece of Swiss cheese, with several holes in his body and blood dripping from each. Struggling to keep his consciousness, Genya pleads with Tanjiro to go after Hantengu. The protagonist of the show gets his moment in the spotlight as he detects the tiny coward darting through the forest like a cockroach fleeing an incoming shoe, and he runs after the Upper Moon. Realizing just a blade isn’t strong enough to hack an Upper Moon’s head, Tanjiro fires his sword with the Exploding Blood Blade, and you can count the seconds before he fires up the Hinokami Kagura: Sun Breathing, when the episode ends. Besides waiting a week for each episode, these bizarre moments to end an episode are one of the worst things about an anime that marvels in every aspect, from animation to story.
We finally learn Genya and Sanemi’s backstory in this episode, although Genya’s strange appearance with black eyes and a drooling mouth that shows four pointed canines hasn’t been explained yet. Genya really gives it his all, throwing himself as a meat shield before certain death just so that an Upper Moon can be brought down. Despite the infamous anger issues that the Shinazugawa brothers are known for, it turns out that both of them can be really caring if need be, even if they can’t show it. Sure, Sanemi is a hard-boiled Hashira who looks more like a methhead with scratches all over his body, but that’s the price of losing five of his siblings to a mother who turned into a demon and killed them all. We hope that the next episode brings an end to the pesky Hantengu demon because Tanjiro and a lot of others need another month of rest after suffering such brutalities.