‘Demon Slayer’ Season 3, Episode 9 Recap & Ending, Explained: Is Tanjiro Able To Escape Hantengu’s Demon?

Aniplex has made it a norm to end its Demon Slayers episodes on the prime climactic point, earning a loud groan from every audience member each week. However, had the production house done the same for at least one of the two simultaneous battles raging in the Swordsmith Village, it’d have lost viewership. Thankfully, they knew better and ended one of the two ongoing arcs in this particular section, as the Mist Hashira Muichiro Tokito’s battle with Upper Moon Five Gyokko came to a head-on collision. On the other side, we get to see Tanjiro and Co. stuck in deep muck as Upper Moon Four’s ultimate clone terrorizes the lot. Tanjiro finds himself in especially troubled waters by the end, but is he able to escape?


Spoilers Ahead

How Does Tokito Frustrate Gyokko?

Gyokko has been dodging every attack that young Mist Hashira Muichiro Tokito makes the demon’s way, while taunting him. However, having been engrossed in pride for centuries and having killed hundreds of people, the Upper-Rank Five had become quite accustomed to their victims trembling with fear. This is all the more reason why the demon becomes increasingly upset as the Hashira not only shows no signs of weakness but also refuses to acknowledge the sheer monstrosity that was the demon’s appearance. After sending Gyokko into a fit of rage by insulting its vase-making skills, Muichiro slashes through thousands of its fish demons before slashing its neck, but even then, the demon has another trick up its tiny arms. Gyokko sheds its skin and unleashes its true form: a python-like grotesqueness with human-like webbed hands but hard as diamonds.


Muichiro understood early that this demon was way too prideful for its own good, much like every other Upper Moon, which borrows from a sin or two—pride being a common aspect. Thus, the Hashira knew the best way to get under Gyokko’s scales would be to deny the demon any credibility as the sadistic artist it takes pride in being. By maintaining a poker face that’s appropriate for Blackjack tables, Muichiro stays nonchalant as the demon thrashes and rages. That is until the Hashira decides it’s time to get serious. He remembers the moment when his brother Yuchiro was dying, and Muichiro held on to his twin’s hand as his breath faded. His consciousness returned to find Lady Amane nursing him along with her daughters as his brother breathed his last. Muichiro trained exceptionally hard ever since he regained strength because his body remembered the trauma he’d endured, even though his brain went into amnesia. Such was the ferocity of this training that the young 14-year-old child would cough up blood often after exerting his body to a superhuman level.

What’s The Final Outcome Of The Battle?

Muichiro would reap the effects of pushing himself to levels he’d never have imagined as a simple lumberjack, and Gyokko was to learn the same too. The Hashira unleashed his seventh mist-breathing form, an unseen technique that covered the entire area in mist. With Gyokko throwing fists at what were only the afterimages of Muichiro, it didn’t see the blow coming. Reminding us of the moment when we saw a Hashira for the first time and how Tomioka Giyu had simply walked past the spider demon Rui, slashing its head in one swift motion, Muichiro breezed past Gyokko. Moments later, Gyokko was able to see its target standing before the demon, and the Upper Moon was about to launch an attack when it realized it was falling as its severed head dropped and rolled on the ground. Unable to believe that an Upper Moon demon like itself had been beheaded by a child, the demon wailed and cursed at the Hashira until he used his katana to slice the demon’s head into pieces, which then turned to dust. Another Upper Moon had fallen, and Kibutsuji Muzan had lost yet another soldier to protect his cowardly hide.


What Happens To Tokito?

As Kanamori rushed to check on the Hashira, Tokito’s body was finally showing the aftereffects of such a fierce fight, and he collapsed on the ground, foaming at the mouth. With Kanamori panicking about the next move, Kotetsu arrived and suggested turning the Hashira on his side so that he wouldn’t choke on his own saliva. Kotetsu had survived because the fatal gut wound hadn’t been fatal after all; the blade guard that Tanjiro had given the kid had absorbed the blow. It was the same guard that once belonged to Kyujuro Rengoku and had been passed on to Tanjiro. Tokito found himself surrounded by his father, mother, and brother, and they welcomed him. For the rest of the episode, Tokito’s fate remained unknown.

Why Is Tanjiro In Trouble?

Immediately, the focus shifted to Tanjiro, Nezuko, and Genya, who’s been battling Upper Moon Four’s Hantengu, now an amalgamation of all its previous forms, called Zohakuten. Acting on the sixth clone’s drumbeats, the dragon leaped and pounced on Tanjiro while its other heads held Nezuko and Genya captive. Tanjiro figured out the maximum distance each head could extend and was about to launch an attack when the dragon launched a supersonic blast, bursting Tanjiro’s eardrums. With his sense of hearing gone, the head proceeded to wrap the young demon slayer with its protrusion and swallow Tanjiro whole!


Is Tanjiro Able To Escape Hantengu’s Demon?

As Nezuko and Genya watched in shock, the dragon’s neck pressed on Tanjiro from every side, about to crush each bone in his body. That is when a pink flash was seen in the sky as Love Hashira Mitsuri Kanroji arrived and used her whip-like katana to slice the dragon that’d swallowed Tanjiro, releasing its prey. Kanroji put young Tanjiro at a safe distance and asked him to rest, but his ruptured eardrums didn’t let him hear anything. She leaped back into the battle and used her speed and skills to defeat two more heads before sprinting towards Zohakuten, but before we could find out any more, the episode ended, as is the norm with Aniplex.

After such a fierce performance from a Hashira, it might seem a little unseemly that Tanjiro was so completely overwhelmed, but you need to understand that he’s a young slayer who’s barely had a year of training. It’s amazing that within such a short time, he’s helped take down an Upper Moon with the help of his friends and another Hashira, but he’s still inexperienced, and the enemy he was facing was an Upper Moon Four. Not even Hashiras are often equipped to take down such entities, and yet Tanjiro had sliced three of its clones’ heads in one swift motion. However, had the Love Hashira not arrived, it’d have been the end of Tanjiro inside the dragon’s throat, so Mitsuri’s timing couldn’t have been any better. However, while we marvel at Mitsuri’s stunning entry, we mustn’t ignore that the 14-year-old Muichiro Tokito managed to behead an Upper Moon singlehandedly. What becomes of Kanroji and the kids she vows to protect? Will she be able to kill the Upper Moon Four? We’ll find out in the coming episodes.


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Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh has a master's degree in English literature from Calcutta University and a passion for all things in cinema. He loves writing about the finer aspects of cinema, although he is also an equally big fan of webseries and anime. In his free time, Indrayudh loves playing video games and reading classic novels.

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