Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc Episode 3 Review: I Wish I Could Stay Here Forever

Quick Summary of Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc Episode 3

In Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc Episode 3, “Should Have Been,” the demon Enmu’s attack on Kyoujurou Rengoku, Tanjirou, Inosuke, and Zenitsu intensified. Rengoku is forced to relive telling his father about become Hashira, but his father didn’t care. Zenitsu found himself back on his grandfather’s farm, on a date with Not Demon Nezuko, while Insouke was leading a cave expedition with Nezuko as a bunny girl. Tanjirou, though, had the most difficult dream. It seemed to be a perfectly-crafted dream to ensnare him forever. The worst part about it? He was more than a willing participant. Can any of them throw off the attack, before it’s too late?

My Turn to Host!

Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime and I are back to bring you our reactions to the latest episode! It’s my turn to host, so of course I tried to tidy up and make snacks. Then I realized I can’t exactly share them digitally, so here’s a do it yourself Halloween cookie recipe

It’s starting to get cold and rainy in Ohio. How was your week, Irina? How’s the weather where you are?

It’s pretty warm for montreal. We have often had snow at this time of year but now it’s like 45F. It’s still light jacket weather. 

Apparently Food network doesn’t want to share those cookies with Canadians. They must be a national treasure of something. I’m sure they are extra super delicious. In fact I’m a little hungry. I’m going to cook up some Okonomiyaki after this.

They’re even regionalizing cookie recipes now? Sigh…

Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc Episode 3 Review

Opening Thoughts about Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc Episode 3

This week, Enmu/Lower One intensified his attack through the exhausted children. The dreams that Rengoku, Tanjirou, Inosuke, and Zenitsu descended into were, let’s say, reflective of their characters! Though I’m scratching my head over Insouke’s dream! The mechanics of the attack were interesting, too. But the scene I found most impactful had to belong to Tanjirou, especially after all he’s been through.

Irina, any opening thoughts on the episode?

In any case I have to say that Daisuke Hirakawa is doing a really wonderful job. (I liked him a lot as Franky in Nobless as well) I think a lot if not most of the menace of the character is coming through thanks to the performance and it’s really chilling. 

Like I mentioned already, Enmu strikes me as the most dangerous demon we’ve seen so far. And for me, that has to do with his voice. The sort of sing-song way he speaks and the slightly sickeningly sweet tone along with a calm, very measured performance. It all comes together to create a very chilling atmosphere.

The Four Dreams in Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc Episode 3

I didn’t think it was surprising that Rengoku’s dream centered on his father, who wouldn’t praise him even after Rengoku earned his position as a Hashira. The first episode gave us some hints as the the importance of Rengoku’s father, after all. Tanjirou’s dream, too, made perfect sense. The best way to attack Tanjirou is through his deceased family — or the one member of his family who is not deceased.

Demon Slayer 2 Episode 3: Zenitsu had a happy dream about Nezuko.

Zenitsu had a happy dream — nothing scary in it at all! The flowers were even in crayon! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Even Zenitsu’s dream made sense. He dreamed he was back on his grandfather’s farm. Hand in hand, he strolled through the meadows with Not Demon Nezuko. She even acted all cute and helpless when he mentioned crossing a river, so he got to carry her on his back and show off. He seemed like he would be perfectly happy in that dream pretty much forever.

But Inosuke’s dream… Maybe it’s because he was raised by boars? He was the leader of a Cave Expedition Team, which had quite the catchy little matching song. Nezuko was there, in her demon form, but with bunny ears. Tanjirou and Zenitzu were there, and together with Nezuko, they made up Underlings 1, 2, and 3. 

What did you think of the dreams, Irina? Any of them stick out as particularly significant?

Rengoku aside, the seemingly most important element of all the dreams was Nezuko. Like she seemed to be the one thing that was keeping them in their dream, if that makes sense. Even for Tanjirou. She was absent for the most part. I’m guessing that it’s because her presence would have risked creating a dissonance that would have shaken him out of it. But when the chips were down and there was nothing else to lose, the ace in the hole, the one thing that could maybe change Tanjirou’s mind and convince him to stay was Nazuko alive and well. 

The show is really milking that fan favourite status.

Demon Slayer 2 Episode 3: Nezuko was a normal human in Zenitsu's dream.

At least in Zenitsu’s dream, Nezuko can speak. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The Dream Sequences Were Effective

I liked the dreams. Like I mentioned, it’s a conceit that I generally enjoy in fiction. But I think what was more telling, at least to me, were the illustrations of Rengoku and Tanjirou’s subconscious. 

Normally confident and kind Rengokou is an inferno, suffocating! Despite all the turmoil in his life and all the pain he clearly holds in his heart, Tanjirou’s subconscious space was serene, almost blissful and beautiful to behold. Comfortable and vast. OK, so it’s super hamfisted. Tanjirou has a huge warm heart, we get it. The interesting part is what that means for Rengokou? Passionate but tortured? Raging? At first I thought it might just be their elements but Tamjirou showed a sky instead of a beautiful ocean, so that’s not it.

Tanjirou’s dream vied with Rengoku’s for the most poignant, but let’s face it. We’ve known Tanjirou longer. Seeing him reunited with his mother and younger brothers and sisters was hard to take. He looked so happy there, and they looked happy he was with them. 

Knowing it was all a lie felt dramatically effective. Equally effective was how Tanjirou learned he was in a dream. I can’t count the number of times that a dream attack was supposed to be super powerful, but it turned out that the main character used The Force of Will to shake themselves out of it. It’s a let down when that happens!

In this episode, that’s not what happened. He tried — his waking self, through his reflect in the river, tried to pull himself to consciousness. But he couldn’t. It took Nezuko’s Blood Arts to start him on the path to consciousness. 

And seriously, did Nezuko think head-butting Tanjirou would wake him up? Dude’s forehead is like granite.

Tanjirou’s Family Begs Him to Stay

But after Nezuko’s push, Tanjirou began leaving his family. They begged him to stay. Tanjirou practically begged himself to stay. He knew that in the real world, though, Nezuko was in danger, and so were his friends. 

There’s a shot of him facing away from his family as they beg him to say. It begins to snow, and he starts to walk away. And he doesn’t look back. He knows if he did, he would waver.

Demon Slayer 2 Episode 3: It had to be hard for Tanjirou to leave his family again.

It had to be agonizing for Tanjirou to leave them behind. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Irina, what’d you think of Tanjirou and Nezuko working together to get him out of the dream?

I’m always uncomfortable when the show makes it obvious that Nezuko is seriously intellectually affected. Most of the time I can think of her as more or less herself. Non vocal and a bit changed by the experience of course but a young woman trying her best to survive. Like Tamayo or Yushiro. Both of them are demons but most of the time, it’s hard to tell. But Nezuko isn’t all there. She seems to have regressed to the state of mind of an infant. You mentioned last season that there were scenes that she came off more like a pet. And that’s really creepy and actually terribly tragic. 

I hope her mind isn’t destroyed forever. 

Truth be told, when I saw her basically tumble out of the box, I thought the same thing. A little humorous, maybe, but much more troubling and sad.

The soundtrack popped out at me as particularly effective again this week. I noticed it especially as Tanjirou left his dream family. Of course, this being a ufotable production, the animation looked fluid and emotionally satisfying. 

Closing Thoughts

Any closing thoughts on the episode, Irina?

I have to say I didn’t notice the soundtrack but that’s not a bad thing. I’m way most likely to notice it if it’s annoying. When it fits with everything else it just sort of blends into the whole. 

Otherwise, I really liked this episode. The closing credits took me by surprise as I was kind of lost in the action. I’m looking forward to next week.

Demon Slayer 2 Episode 3: Tanjirou sure does trust his dream-state father!

All joking aside, Tanjirou did not have an easy time of it this week. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

You might say it was an abrupt cut to the credit… Which should make sense if you watched the final scene! Or maybe not…

Oh no I didn’t mean it caught me by surprise because it was abrupt. Simply because it went by very quickly. I thought there was 10 more minutes left or something.

I was trying to make a joke about Tanjirou and his sword making a cut… Putting the blade to his own neck, then the cut to the credits. So, yeah, my Dad Joke Sense has misfired again! Or maybe that’s its job? Would it be a Dad Joke if it worked? Maybe I’ll figure that out before next week!

Oh wow, that went way …over my head…

Other Posts about Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc Episode 3

Other Anime Sites

This Collaboration (I Drink and Watch Anime and Crow’s World of Anime!)

Copyright 2022 Terrance A. Crow. All rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc Episode 3 Review: I Wish I Could Stay Here Forever

Please let me know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.