Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 10: Not Over Yet

Quick Summary of Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 10

In Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc episode 10, “Never Give Up”, Tanjirou finds himself alone amid the burning buildings, an unconscious Nezuko nearby. Tengen’s lying nearby, his heart not beating, one arm sliced off to his side. Inosuke is also done, a gaping hole in his chest from where Gyuutarou had impaled him. Zenitsu, the only one who might still be alive, struggled feebly to escape the heap of burning building that had collapsed on top of him. And then Gyuutarou approached Tanjirou and began to gleefully taunt him. Can Tanjirou take advantage of Gyuutarou leaving him alive? Or does it matter, given that Tanjirou can’t even feel one of his arms – and the rest of his body isn’t working very well, either?

Warning! This post may contain spoilers.

My Turn to Host!

Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime has graciously consented to review this season and this episode with me! Before we get into the episode, Irina, how was your week? Central Ohio narrowly missed a major ice storm, but we still got a solid 12 hours of continuous sleet. That was a new and fun experience!

I don’t know if you remember the ice storm that happened a few decades ago. Where it rained ice for like a week and basically knocked out power to the province for weeks (months in some parts) in some of the coldest winter days. It was pretty rough. Amazingly not that many people died but so many farms had their livestock decimated. 

To this day, people around here tense up when freezing rain or sleet starts coming down. 

I’ve discovered it’s hard to review ufotable’s work. They represent the pinnacle of animated fight scenes, at least as far as I’m concerned. Given that this episode was a single continuous fight scene, and given that apparently ufotable wanted to show off a bit, at first glance, I’m not sure where to start. Thank heavens they included a few solid character moments! 

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 10 Review

Opening Thoughts about Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 10

Before we talk about the particulars, do you have any opening thoughts about the episode, Irina?

It’s basically the same thing I’ve been saying for a while now. I loved this episode. I thought it was great. If I sit down and dissect it on paper, it was a beautifully crafted episode, with a deluge of action and emotional highs throughout. But I might have hit diminishing returns. I’m just out of breath.

I loved the episode. I don’t have anything bad to say about it. But it also didn’t hit me anywhere near as hard as it should have. Honestly, if I hadn’t been watching this one fight for the past, what is it now, month and a half?, I would have been completely in awe of everything I just saw. As it is, I’m not going to lie, part of me is relieved that it’s over. The pacing this season was just a smidge off for me. And it’s a shame since everything else is so on point. 

Personally, I had a blast reviewing the Garden of Sinners movies. I think they were dense with metaphor and some ambitious direction. I actually had to cut off some of my reviews because they were getting way too long. 

A Great Example of What Shōnen Can Be

Pushing a character to their limit, forcing that character beyond their limit, and then showing them perform some kind of amazing level-up in spite of their exhaustion and wounds, is a time-honored trope in Shōnen anime. So much so, that I thought I’d seen pretty much every permutation possible. After seeing this, I’ll give the series credit: They gave me some more reference points with how Zenitsu, Tengen, and Inosuke rejoined the battle. I’ll talk about that in a minute.

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 10: Our heroes are in deep trouble.

The opening made one thing crystal clear: Our heroes were in deep trouble. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

But to start with, let’s talk about Tanjirou. The dude was near death already, having been all beat up and then blown off the roof at the end of the previous episode. He was so far gone that the impact with the ground knocked him unconscious. It took a speech from Nezuko, which started with her yelling at him for apologizing all the time! I’m with her on that; he does seem to spend a lot of mental energy tallying his mistakes. 

Maybe that softened him up, because when she screamed at him that she wanted him to understand how she felt, he woke up surrounded by burning buildings. That’s when Gyuutarou showed up and started taunting him about being weak, being a terrible brother for relying on Nezuko to protect him, and the like. 

Irina, Tanjirou’s plot armor aside, what did you think about this scene?

Tanjirou and Nezuko, Mirrors of Gyuutarou and Daki

To be fair, it’s not just Tanjirou. This entire series is full of some pretty unbelievable escapes and coincidences. But that’s o.k. I think that action shonen is escapism and sometimes you just have to go with it. Especially when it’s trying to tell such a grand story.

What this scene establishes is something that is echoed through the entire episode. Namely that Tanjirou and Nezuko are essentially mirrors of Gyuutarou and Daki. Tanjirou ended up on this side of the conflict out of pure luck. And tons of it I might add. Since you mentioned plot armor and all.  But he could have very easily ended up a demon and it would have been a very different story.

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 10: There but for the grace of God...

The narrative leaves a lot of room to explore the idea of just how Tanjirou and Nezuko are different — or not — when compared to Daki and Gyuutarou. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

On a larger scale, I do think what we’re going with here is that in the end, Demons are people. Or at least, were people. And although they may not deserve pity, as this is likely to get a lot of people killed, they may deserve understanding. And possibly even love. This is a big theme in Demon Slayer. It’s one of the core elements of Tanjirou’s character. He is often set apart from the others because of his willingness to understand demons, or at least try. 

There are a few ways this theme could go. Either Tanjirou’s kindness will be proven valor. I don’t know, maybe his deep strength of character will move other demons to reconsider their actions and come to his aid at the last moment when it really counts or something like that. In a way, this view is already endorsed by Nezuko as a character. She’s consistently framed as a net positive and the show is telling us, see, Tanjirou is right to give everyone a chance.

Is Tanjirou Inspired or Naive?

But I think it would also be interesting to see that subverted a little and have Tanjirou’s faith come back to bite him. Because the other way this could go, and we’ve seen glimpses of that as well, is that demons are fundamentally different. Not evil per se, but they simply do not consider their actions of killing and eating humans anymore evil than humans see farming. 

Here is no question of appealing to morality or seeking out some remnants of humanity. Demons are demons and are simply acting like demons. And forever expecting something different is unfair and just dangerous. 

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 10: Could humans and demons co-exist peacefully, without Muzan's influence?

Outside of Muzan’s influence, might demons and humans be able to interact without all the death and suffering? Nezuko gives an interesting glimpse into the possibilities and pitfalls. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Of course, Demons have been personified as taking pleasure in tormenting others and inflicting pain. Something that’s a little more difficult to paint as simply dispassionate survival and acting in a practical way. But still, I think there’s something that could be explored there. That is if Demon Slayer has time for something like that.

After enduring the demon’s taunts, Tanjirou surprised Gyuutarou and Daki by grabbing Nezuko and sprinting away. It looked like Tanjirou had decided to make a run for it, much to the initial confusion then delight of the two demons. 

Gyuutarou, of course, gave chase. He finally cornered Tanjirou against another burning building, where Tanjirou threw bits of discarded candy and wood fragments at the demon. It looked like Tanjirou had gone all pathetic on us. It looked so plausible that I had no idea what he was up to. I just knew, or maybe hoped, he had a plan.

Tanjirou’s Legendary Head-Butt

He did. When Gyuutarou grabbed Tanjirou by the hair and tried to tempt him into becoming a demon, Tanjirou launched his plan. He head-butted the demon.

Now, that’s cool enough. Tanjirou’s head-butts are legendary. But he used it as a cover to jam one of Hinatsuru’s poison-tipped kunai into Gyuutarou’s leg. Then Tanjirou, one arm useless and Gyuutarou having broken two fingers on his other hand, swung his sword at Gyuutarou’s neck.

What did you think of Tanjirou’s plan, Irina?

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 10: Tanjirou just refused to give up

Major respect to Tanjirou for keeping his cool under seriously adverse conditions! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I thought it was a really cool plan. For a second I thought those sachets contained dried wisteria or something like that. But the fact that they were covering up the scent is even better. It does seem a little unlikely with how powerful Demons’ sense of smell is, but it sounded awesome at the moment. 

I have to say, those broken fingers, and how Tanjirou continued to hold his sword with that hand, were some of the most uncomfortable images I have ever seen. Every time the camera focused on them, I flinched a little. The weird shape and that very realistic shade of purple. I dunno man, it just got to me.

Daki, who had been watching in anticipation of seeing Tanjirou die, tried to go to her brother’s aid. But Zenitsu launched his attack! How did he disenagle himself from the burning building, you might ask? He used Thunderclap and Flash, that’s how! And then he used it a second time, using the form I didn’t know he had, “Godlike Speed.” 

It lived up to its name.

Daki on the Defensive

Within seconds, he had Daki completely on the defensive, to the point his blade was starting to slice through the ribbon holding her head on. But he was at his limit, as his internal dialogue explained he could only use this move twice, and it left him exhausted. 

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 10: Zenitsu pushed himself to his limit

I really hope Zenitsu can remember this, but he did really well! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I thought Zenitsu’s recover was solid, in that we knew he was “only” trapped and not necessarily incapacitated. Irina, what did you think?

I mean, we knew everyone was still alive and was going to come back for the fight so I didn’t really think much about it, beyond the simple joy of seeing Zebits jump in like that. It’s a fun rush and it was a fun rush every time they did it throughout the episode. I do think they went a bit overboard with it but hey, as long as it’s still fun, right? But you know me, I get wrapped up in the visual a lot. 

What did you think of it, Crow?

I almost think they had to go overboard so it would register at all, given the intensity of the rest of the episode! I will say I loved that moment. I think you mentioned this before, but I really, really hope that Zenitsu can remember this after he wakes up!

Tanjirou was out of strength. His blade could not slice through Gyuutarou’s neck. Worse, the demon pulled the kunai from his leg, and his fast healing restored his fighting ability. Instantly, it was all Tanjirou could do to keep himself from being skewered. Within moments, the demon was above to shove a blade into Tanjirou’s eye.

Tengen’s Flashy Entrance

That’s when Tengen made his entrance. As befitting the Hashira who likes flash, he wielded one of his swords in his teeth, having just lost an arm and all. He had even cleansed the poison from his system. How did he accomplish this miracle, you might ask (because I know I did!).

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 10: Tengen mad a flash entrance

Talk about making a grand and timely entrance! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

He used his Hashira powers to stop his heart so he could stop the poison from circulating. Using some technique that I still didn’t quite understand, he purged the poison, then restarted his heart. That’s why he appeared dead, even to Gyuutarou. 

Irina, what did you think of Tengen’s recovery?

I’m actually really curious what did you think of it, Crow?

Gotta say, I loved it. Especially the sword in the teeth thing. It was so perfectly in character! 

Even having gotten rid of the poison, Tengen could not change the fact he was down one arm, and Gyuutarou had all his limbs, and speed, intact. Tanjirou could see that it was only a matter of time. So, Tanjirou launched himself back into the fight. Tengen flung himself at Gyuutarou to entangle him, earning a slash across the left side of his face for his efforts. Tanjirou took one of the demon’s blades up and through his lower jaw.

You know, that looked really painful.

Summoning his last strength, doing the “reach deep for your last bit of power and morph your forehead scar into cool new flame tattoos” move, Tanjirou sliced into Gyuutarou’s neck. This time, the sword started to make headway.

I guess I’m still hurting from seeing the blade through Tanjirou’s jaw. Did that make you cringe as much as it did me, Irina?

That’s Going to Leave a Mark

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 10: A blade through the jaw had to hurt

Ow. Just ow. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Oh yeah, but for some reason, it still didn’t get me as much as the broken fingers. Maybe it was because there were so many other things going on and the camera didn’t get much of a chance to focus on Tanjirou’s jaw so I didn’t get the chance to take it in as much. But still, I sort of felt it and it was viscera.

I have to say, that’s a very good injury. Ok, that sounded weird. But I have rarely seen that exact thing in anime and I have watched more anime fights than I can count. It also feels like something that would be excruciating but not debilitating which makes it less likely to be an obstacle to disbelief. So in that sense, I thought it was a smart injury to put in. Not to mention that it has a powerful visual associated with it, without the need of showing us x-ray images or exaggerated sound effects. 

Actually, now that I really think about it, why don’t we see it in anime all the time? It’s way more effective than another sword through the back or shoulder. I guess you do need a short weapon to make it work though. If Gyuutarou had been fighting with a Katane, that blade would have gone straight through Tanjirou’s brain and if he was still fighting at full force after that, it would have looked pretty silly. 

I had to remember: Cutting off Gyuutarou’s was only half of the equation. Our heroes had to slice through Daki’s neck too, which was a problem because Zenitsu was at the limits of his endurance. Just as Daki was about to counter-attack, who should show up?

Inosuke’s Flying Entrance

Inosuke. Yes, the boar-headed god of the mountains showed up. How did he survive being skewered through the chest?

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 10: Inosuke and his mobile organs rejoined the fight

And just like that, the band’s back together! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

“Shifting the position of my internal organs is child’s play for me!” he said (18:49). Just in case we might think he was actually okay, the dude was coughing up blood with every word he spoke. He’s still in a bad way, but his blades made the difference. Daki and Gyuutarou’s rolled away to come to a stop about a meter apart.

Irina, what were you thinking at this point?

It was such an Inosuke thing to say. He was bleeding quite profusely though. I’m not sure how much was bluster. In any case, it was fun. 

I hope they have some sort of running gag that Inosuke’s anatomy is just completely alien. All of his organs are in different places, he has 4 stomachs like a cow. Maybe he moves his brain around as well.

Generally speaking, we both agreed last week that this was going to be the episode in which the Demon Slayers won because there just isn’t enough time left in the season for much else. And I guess after this episode, I can forget the thought of just having the character roam around the pleasure district and have fun at all the different types of entertainment to be had. Oh well. 

How’s the Episode Going to End?

So at this point in the episode I was thinking that they were either going to end the fight in the closing scene this week or the opening scene next week. And then we would have to bring the main characters to the hospital and reconstruct the district. I did not realize just how right I was about that second part yet, though. In fact, I’m not even sure reconstruction is an option at this point.

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 10: The entertainment district is a shambles

There’s not much left of the entertainment district at this point. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

What about you Crow, what were your thoughts?

First, I was thinking along the same lines you were – that might have been the most Inosuke line I’ve heard! Second, it just fit – it fit the moment, it fit Inosuke, and it fit the show. 

Also, I remember your prediction about the long running fight, and I remember thinking, “Hey, Irina was right again!” To be honest, I felt a twinge of regret for not seeing more of the entertainment district. Given the devastation, I’m not sure there’s even an entertainment district to visit anymore!

I thought that maybe, just maybe, they’d won. But it looks like Gyuutarou had one more trick up his sleeve. Tanjirou could barely hold onto consciousness. He didn’t know what Tengen was saying to him, but Tengen looked panicked.

Run, Tanjirou, Run!

He was telling Tanjirou to run.

That’s when Gyuutarou’s body exploded into a mass of those cutting blood blades he liked to use. The episode ended on that note with the end credits playing over the blasted cities. It even looked like some of the fires had died down by the time the last credit rolled.

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 10: The demonic explosion leveled what remained of the district

That was a devastating explosion. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Any ideas how this development might work out. Irina?

I think the main characters will be brought to the Demon Slayer hospital/recovery center. Maybe we’ll get some scenes of people looking over the debris or maybe just like an exposition on whether they’ll rebuild the district or not. 

By the end of this episode, I felt exhausted. I figure that Tanjirou, Nezuko, Inosuke, and Zenitsu will survive. But I honestly don’t know about Tenten, Hinatsuru, Makio, or Suma

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 10 Closing Thoughts

Irina, what do you think? Also, any closing thoughts on the episode?

Throughout the season, we’ve seen Rengoku’s little brother a few times. Just in little throwaway scenes. And we learned that their father is trying his best to overcome grief. I think it would be a nice bookend to the season if they brought these characters back. The brother at least. Maybe they can visit Tanjirou while he’s recovering and talk to him about a newly discovered faith in the Demon Slayer corp or something like that.

It won’t happen but it would be hilarious if the city slapped them with the bill for all that structural damage. Maybe they can send it to Muzan. Demon or no demon, taxes need to be paid you know!

I really like the idea of Rengoku’s family coming to visit. That would be a great emotional capstone to this season! 

Guess we’ll find out soon enough!

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6 thoughts on “Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 10: Not Over Yet

  1. Uzui didn’t purge the poison. but poison do circulate through blood so by temperately slow down his heart, he can slow down the spread of the poison for awhile.

    As for Zenitsu, it really just the 1st form but stronger. He can only use that 2 times since it basically breaks his legs due to the force needed. It make sense that it just the last resort since it won’t do him any good if he out of the battle after 2 attacks.

    1. So, if he didn’t purge the poison, then I’m concerned. He seemed to have a resurgence of energy. I attributed that to him purging the poison somehow. It could not be from rest; blood flow plays a role in purging lactic acid and what not from expended muscular energy. So, if his blood wasn’t pumping, and if he did not get rid of the poison, where did his boost come from?

      I know I’m raising a nit-pick in the context of a Hashira wielding a sword in his teeth! Still, it seemed to me like he did more than just slow the poison down.

      But a nit-pick is just that, and it took nothing away from the dramatic power of this entire episode.

      I got that Zenitsu was still using his first form — his only form, as I remember from season one. It’s interesting to me that he gave a new name to the more powerful version of that form.

      And I agree with you. It made perfect sense as a last resort.

  2. Tengen did not purge the poison as temporarily stop it circulating.

    Also fun bit of trivia. This Red Light District did burn down back in 1913 around the same time as this anime takes place.

    1. I’ll comment on the poison situation in my response to Thong Do’s comment.

      But it really burned down in 1913? That is so cool! Not that it burned down, of course. But that Demon Slayer decided to tie into that.

      Little details like that are a lot of fun!

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