Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 2: The Undercover Operation

Quick Summary of Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 2

In Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc episode 2, “Infiltrating the Entertainment District,” Tengen Uzui told Tanjirou, Inosuke, and Zenitsu that he had sent his three wives into the entertainment district, but that they had stopped communicating. That meant their mission was to infiltrate the district, discretely, and search for clues. Tengen’s genius idea to quietly place the three Demon Slayers? Why, by turning into entertainment district workers, of course! Does that plan have any chance of working? Does it give Inosuke an unfair advantage? And did we know that Zenitsu could rock a shamisen?

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 has your week been? Here in Ohio we went from almost seventy degrees fahrenheit about two days ago to the upper twenties last night. It’s great for allergies (and by great, I mean terrible).

It got warmer in the last few days here. Pretty much all the snow melted. It’s nice in a way. The weather is pleasant and the grass is very green. It feels like late May. But it is a little scary as well. 

I don’t have any allergies so I’m not sure what effect the weather has aside from hay fever.

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 2 Review

Opening Thoughts

My notes for this episode are unusually long, even for me. That means to keep this from becoming a novella-length review, I’m going to super summarize. Irina, please be on the lookout for any gaps!

I’m sure you’ll do well. You managed to keep it super concise even with a double episode! I believe in you!

But I get it. We got introduced to a lot this week. I’m sure some fans got annoyed at the Tengen – Zenitsu theater but when you take that away, Demon Slayer actually managed to get a whole lot of plot/world building done this week. I do think the show was never given enough credit for that. Regardless of whether you think the story is trite, boring, derivative or just plain bad and whatever one may feel about the characters I think there are two things that you really can’t take away from the show. One is that it’s stunning on  a technical level and ufotable is a real powerhouse right now. 

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 2: This show boasts immersive art

This show’s art is both beautiful and immersive. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Second it’s that it has always been very good at doling out substantial amounts of information without resorting to exposition so it just naturally flows with the action. That’s something even prestigious and beloved titles struggle with at times. Maybe it’s because Demon Slayer is an action shonen that it doesn’t get much recognition for writing. I’m not sure.

Very good points! I think that is the perfect way to kick off this review.

Tengen’s Mission

This episode introduced us to the mission. Tengen had become aware that there was likely demon activity in the entertainment district. To find out what was going on, he sent in his Ninja wives Suma, Makio, and Hinatsuru to go undercover. And is it just me, or does Suma look like Inosuke? It’d be funny if she were his sister. That aside, Tengen has lost contact with all three. So, he wants to send Tanjirou, Inosuke, and Zenitsu in undercover. Now, at least, we see why Tengen went after Aoi Kanzaki

Because this is where it gets weird. Tengen dresses our heroes up as young women with the intention of placing them at key entertainment district houses or establishments. So, I have questions. To put this as delicately as possible, don’t these jobs involve some, let’s say, intimate encounters? I’m not sure how any of them could maintain their cover! Though I suppose many jobs would not require that level of commitment.

I will say, though, that I did find the situation funny. What do you think of this setup, Irina? 

I don’t really find drag funny. I like it and I think it can be fun to watch, especially when it gets elevated to an artform but I guess I just don’t see anything particularly amusing about wearing dresses. I liked the scene though. It was a soft nod to what courtesan life was like and I always enjoy the visuals of traditional Japanese pleasure districts. 

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 2: The costumes are fantastic

The costumes in this episode were visually stunning. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I think geisha attire and makeup is just pretty to look at and in animation you can really go wild with it. I loved seeing it in Zombieland as well. I also thought it was interesting that Tanjiro ended up being hired more as help than for actual entertainment of customers. I suppose that makes perfect sense but for some reason I had never thought of that.

I also liked that the guys seem to be back to their old selves. It’s good to see their dynamic together. In many ways, Demon Slayer is both a hero’s journey and a friendship centric coming of age. We have been focusing on Tanjiro a lot lately, it’s good to see Inosuke and Zenitsu’s POV again.

Going into the Entertainment District

From that premise, the episode went on to acquaint us with the entertainment district. Our heroes entered through an ornate gate, and we got to see several shots of beautiful architecture. Irina, do you remember how you commented on the architecture in episode 7 of the original series? These shots reminded me of that.

At this point Demon Slayer isn’t just a feast for the eyes, it’s, I don’t know eye heroin or something.

I think it should be noted that Zenitsu has traded in his terrified screaming for outraged screaming. He’s outraged that Tengen has three wives, and he’s outaged that Tengen has made him dress up as a woman. He is so outraged that he learned the shamisen and impressed the heck out of the other workers. One of them, probably one of that house’s Oiran, thought Zenitsu has what it took to rise to the top ranks, given that “she” was going to get back at the man who abandoned her.

Inosuke also had an advantage. When the house who had purchased him washed off his makeup, they thought they’d got a real beauty for a bargain! It’s a shame that Tengen had to tell him never to speak, because there was no way he could disguise his voice. 

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 2: Inosuke blended in well

Inosuke did a surprisingly good job fitting in. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Tanjirou even fit in by being, well, Tanjirou! He was so helpful that the other workers semed to like him quite a bit. It was Tanjirou who found the first clue: He overheard a conversation saying that Suma had committed Ashinuke, which meant she’d left town and broken her contract. Tanjirou immediately recognized that as the story a demon would use to explain an absence. 

However, when Tanjirou asked the Oiran about it, she became suspicious. That meant we got to see something very, very rare. Something I wasn’t sure was possible. We got to see Tanjirou try to lie! He sucks at it, and even the two little girls with the Oiran saw that something was strange, but Tanjirou said that Suma was his older sister, and he was looking for her.

Irina, is that a good summary so far? What did you think of our heroes trying to go undercover?

Your summaries are always fantastic. Much more thorough than I could pull off! I’m sure our readers occasionally discover stuff they had missed in the episode thanks to you.

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 2: Ummm...

I have questions… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Inosuke Does Something Shocking!

The episode ended on a tremendous shock and a strong enticement to come back for the next episode. The shock? Inosuke overheard two women mention that Makio would not come out of her room. Inosuke decided to check it out, so he started running down the hall. One of the women warned him not to run. Well, I figured Inosuke would go off on her, or at least give her a dirty look. But no, and this is the shock, Inosuke demonstrated restraint! Well, it shocked me, anyway. 

The hook for the next episode came in the form of Makio. We see that she’s bound, in her room, and someone, presumably a demon, is questioning her. The look on her face is still defiant, but time’s clearly running out. The last shot is of Inosuke making his way up the stairs towards Makio’s room.

What’s you think of Inosuke’s restraint, Irina? Did you see any details worth calling out in Makio’s room?

You know, as soon as I saw Inosuke in drag, I thought to myself, why are they putting makeup on him. In season 1 he was canonically very beautiful and delicate, to clash with his personality. (As an aside, I loved how Inosuke just accepted Tengen’s god speech and immediately introduced himself as king of the mountain. That got a laugh out of me). So I was pretty psyched when the show acknowledged that continuity and had all the ladies at the brothel think he was a lovely girl. So now he has to lay low and act meek to not attract attention. I bet the clothing is also making it a bit difficult for him, he doesn’t even wear a shirt most of the time, a woman’s kimono might as well be a straitjacket on him. And Tengen told him not to speak so he’s ultra quiet again. That scene of him in the hallway, after being told by the ladies to take his time walking was awesome. At that time, even I was thinking that Inosuke was a lovely lady!

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 2: Zenitsu's co-workers were impressed with his

Zenitsu’s coworkers were shocked to see how well he played! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

This is a different situation than what the boys are usually dealing with. This is a building full of humans, there’s very little information and no one even knows for sure if demons are involved at this point. It’s a situation that needs discretion and careful consideration. So to stick Inosuke alone in this type of premise, is very daring and I like it a lot. I was actually a little mad that the episode ended!  

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Closing Thoughts

The episode seemed to do a good job laying the groundwork and rules for this arc. I’m really interested to see what happens to Insosuke and Makio in the next episode! 

Irina, any closing thoughts? 

Like I said, I’m looking forward to next week.

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8 thoughts on “Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 2: The Undercover Operation

  1. Reading this arc was interesting. I don’t know how I felt reading it back then, but…….. Sorry; almost gave out a Spoiler!! But I AM really interested in how the anime adapts this arc.
    Inosuke having an effeminate look really played well into this mission. But I agree: NO WAY he can sound like a woman(subbed OR dubbed). And Zenitsu channeling his anger into his shamisen playing was a nice touch.
    Sounds like a great episode. Can’t wait to watch it!

    1. We have the Flashiness God Tengen and the Inosuke as the Festival. But most amazing of all was Shamisen God Zenitsu!

      This arc is certainly going places the previous season didn’t!

    1. It might have been the most surprising part of the episode for me. Demon torturing someone for information? Interesting, sure, but Inosuke being restrained and discrete? Wow!

  2. I don’t think they have to worry about any intimate encounter due to they are newbie. See, these kinds of place have reputation to keep, the girls working here don’t sell sex easily like lower class brothel so they almost never let girls in-training serve customers. The girls here are more about selling their craft such as dancing, music, chess, poetry….Sex only happened at the end of their contract when someone bought them. And a high class courtesans’ wife actually a status symbol for wealthy men (like a trophy wife) since they are both beautiful and very talented.

    1. That makes sense. Start the new employees on basic tasks first.

      From what I’m reading, the presentation here is historically accurate. It’s an interesting setting for this kind of story.

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