Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 8: Remarkable Child

Quick Summary of Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 8

In Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc episode 8, “Gathering,” Tanjirou managed to return the sleeping Nezuko to her box while Tengen fought the demonic duo of Daki and Gyuutarou. The flashy Hashira seems to be slowing down a bit, though. Does Tanjirou have enough energy to return to Tengen, much less be of any use? Where are Inosuke and Zenitsu? If they all get together, will that improve their chances? Or have Daki and Gyuutarou only showed a part of their abilities?

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? We’re getting our second substantial snow of the season, and I’m glad I moved my snow blower from the back shed to the garage!

We did get a decent snowfall as well. But it was supposed to be much more than we actually got. Still it’s nice to have to shuffle some snow to get out. It feels more like home. 

We were having a really unseasonably warm winter so far. And although that has some upsides, there’s also a lot of drawbacks, And it’s just generally worrisome to see the climate change so much. I’m happy it finally looks like winter.

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 8 Review

Opening Thoughts

Can you imagine being an animator for uftoable? Talk about pressure! Given their portfolio, and I just finished watching Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] III. spring song, wouldn’t you feel the insane weight of all of those viewers’ expectations? And yet, they still managed to give us some really cool fight choreography. Do you have any opening thoughts on this episode, Irina?

Ufotable is notable for their early integration of heavy CG. They have always used a lot of it and in my opinion are now the best studio for CG in the business. There was one scene that got a bit uncanny though this week. It was still nice, in fact I found it visually striking and enjoyed it a lot. But it was also much more obviously CG than usual.

That was the scene of the civilians fleeing the district towards the last act. I thought it was cool and looked great. But I also thought it looked like a video game if you know what I mean. It created a slight clash with the rest of the episode and that’s unusual for ufotable. 

I’m really going on about a scene that lasted less than 5 seconds. Most people probably won’t even know what I’m talking about. 

See! We have high expectations! 

Tengen Meets Kagaya Ubuyashiki

Given Tengen’s experience with father figures, I don’t think he expected what the Master said! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Demon Slayer has a few go-to narrative tools it likes to use. Maybe I’m just favorably disposed towards the series, but I enjoyed their use. The first was the relatively quick flashback we got to Tengen’s past. He’d been part of a comfortably-sized family. That is, until some disaster struck that left only him and one brother. Their father trained them mercilessly, and Tengen’s brother adopted their father’s mindset. People were tools; even wives could be expended, provided they produced heirs. Tengen took one resolution out of that mess: He would not become like his brother or father.

That explained a lot, like Tengen telling his wives they were not expendable back in episode 5. What I found even more interesting, though, was what we saw of Tengen’s first meeting with Kagaya Ubuyashiki. It looked like a tense moment. We could see the faces of Makio and Suma, and they both looked terrified. Even Tengen looked tense. 

Then Kagaya praised Tengen for taking the hard road, a road that involved protecting others. “Thank you,” Kagaya said (06:04). “You’re a remarkable child.”

In that instant, it looked like Tengen seemed to relax. Hearing Kagaya’s honest praise, especially in the absence of any such thing from his biological father, seemed to earn Tengen’s loyalty.

Also, and I almost noticed it because the camera angle had me a bit distracted, but it looked like Kagaya still had his eyesight at this time. It’s a little detail, but I thought it was interesting. 

Irina, what did you think of that scene?

More of the Master, Please!

I’m just impressed you’re on a first name basis with Oyakata-sama!

Like the character of Oyakata-sama quite a bit. In fact, if there’s one thing I would have liked to see a bit more of this season, it’s the inner workings of the Demon Slayer Corp. I miss that from season 1. 

It would be interesting to learn more about the inner workings of the Demon Slayer Corps. What had Suma and Makio heard that scared them so much? What’s the Master’s story? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Because of the structure of the show, I find that it’s easy to think of it as just Tanjirou and his friends against the demons. Sometimes they have the help of a really strong guy. But in fact, it’s a huge army, all fighting their own battles while this is happening. I think we lose that sense of scale when we focus in too thighly on specific characters.
Of course we do get a more intimate bond in exchange.

I try to take the first name in Anilist, but I’m not sure if they already flipped it. So, apologies to the Master if I’m being too familiar! 

Before I talk about another go-to narrative tool, I want to mention something Daki said. It was just after the flashback to when Tengen met Kagaya. The Hashira launched a rapid, multi-pronged attack that involved his swords and those cool little Ninja explosives he uses. He managed to slice Daki’s head off again. I know I shouldn’t laugh at other’s misfortune, but a) she’s a demon and b) I just couldn’t help it.

Daki screamed (08:07), “He beheaded me again!”

Gotta say, that’s not a sentence I ever thought I’d hear. 

Zenitsu, Protecter of the Young

Zenitsu gave us our next  little narrative tool. Since he’s been asleep for most of last few episodes, he’s been quiet and brave. He and Inosuke arrived to back up Tengen, just before Tanjirou arrived, too. Daki’s reaction seeing Tanjirou was at first something that looked a lot like worry. She covered it quickly with bravado, but I don’t think she’s forgotten just how close he came to slicing off her head with a burning blade.

Tengen gave me reason to smile when he said (10:02), “Hey, you guys… Talk about flashy entrances! That’s what I like to see!”

I think he’s warming up to them!

Did you like that scene, Irina?

It was nice to see them all together. We now know that Tengen’s biggest strength and weakness is his unwillingness (even fear) of getting other people hurt. He blames himself for having put his wives in more danger than anticipated and was deeply worried about what would happen to his younger fellow demon slayers. He even wanted them to go home and get out of danger. 

I guess it’s a tribute to how much he now trusts them and also how strong these demons actually are, that he’s accepting help.

Tanjirou, Inosuke, and Zenitsu have done a lot to earn Tengen’s confidence. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I also liked that Zenitsu, now asleep for more than half the season. (I was joking when I said they should just leave him asleep the whole season but I guess they took me seriously!) immediately let out a god scale lightning attack without breaking a sweat. It amped up the rhythm of the episode which was much needed at that point. 

Does Zenitsu Remember?

I’m curious about how much he remembers when he goes into these fugue states. The demons will have been taken care of for over a week, everyone will be back home recovering and then all the sudden Zenitsu wakes up and panics because he has a shamisen performance to give and needs to practice.

Another thing this really highlights is the fact that the entire season is really taking place during the span of one night. Well, I think a few days might have gone by in the first episodes but really, since Daki showed herself, it’s only been a few hours. Almost like we’re seeing the fight in real time.. Only with week-long breaks. Brings me back to the DBZ days when it was an anime trope to have a single fight go one for 3 months or so. 

Well, Zenitsu took the initiative and, using his lightning speed, attacked to blow Daki into the air. Inosuke scrambled to follow him, telling Tanjirou that he and “Sleepyhead” would take care of Daki. Zenitsu faced Daki on the rooftops. He was quite upset with Daki. Why, you might ask?

Well, you probably don’t have to ask, Irina. You probably remember. But I was trying to use clever wording. Which is now less clever because I drew attention to it. Anyway, Zenitsu took Daki to task for nearly ripping off the young girl’s ear in episode 3. Keeping in mind he’s facing part of an Upper Six demon, he calmly said (13:36), “Apologize to the girl you hurt by pulling her ear.” 

Zenitsu certainly takes his self-image as protector of women-folk seriously! In this case, since he’s actually protecting a little girl, I give him full credit. And it was a lot of fun to see his attack. Irina, any thoughts on Zenitsu’s performance in this episode?

Sleeping Zenitsu can be an absolute monster in a fight! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I think it’s great that we get to see another aspect of his fighting. I’m not sure what the anime has planned. As in I don’t know if further seasons are already in the works. I hope so. The manga is finished now so they would have all the material they need. 

If the anime goes on, then I think it’s great that they chose to just show us sleepy Zenitsu throughout this arc. It’s a nice contrast to the others and to how Zenitsu usually is. But if this is going to be the last animated arc, then I hope they do show us some other aspects of his fighting.

Daki’s Belt and Hinatsuru’s Arsenal

A couple other things jumped out at me. One was Tanjirou noticing that Daki now had a companion demon, Gyuutaro, who seemed like the more powerful of the two. What struck me was Tanjirou also noticed that the “Belt Demon” wasn’t dead. Does that mean Daki’s belts are a separate demon? I had the impression from episode 5 that the Belts were part of Daki. What do you know about them, Irina?

I had the impression that the obi was a lesser or parasyte demon. I mean it’s sacred of Daki and of doing things that would make her angry. That seems odd for something that is a part of you. It does seem that Daki has the ability to carry other demons within herself, I thought the obi was like that. 

The last thing that really struck me was how scared I felt for Hinatsuru’s safety! She’s still physically unwell, but she joined Tengen on the battlefield. Using a really cool mass Kunai launcher, she fired at Gyuutaro. I’m worried for her because her death might be considered a great narrative device to weaken Tengen. But I don’t want her to be a narrative device! 

Irina, what did you think of her showing up?

I thought it was cool. In fact, that’s the scene I decided to use for my animated gif this week. I ended up choosing a moment a little later on but I still think it was one of the more visually interesting sequences of the episode. 

She might have been poisoned, but she’s not about to back down! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

One of the downsides with extended fights, is that the episode often look very similar. Having a new character join the mix, like Hinatsuru, even if it’s just for a brief moment, livens everything up.

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 8 Closing Thoughts

The episode left us on YAC (Yet Another Cliffhanger)! Gyuutaro seemed to be on the ropes with Tanjirou’s blade about to cut. But don’t they have to behead Gyuutaro and Daki simultaneously? I can’t see the opening moments of the next episode end this fight!

Unless we get a massive flashback, of course.

Any closing thoughts, Irina?

If I go by the timeline I was hoping they wouldn’t do, we still have 2 episodes of fighting. Or maybe 1 and a half. So I’m thinking Gyuutaro isn’t dead. Although it would be a real power move to start the next episode, kill off the main bad guy in the opening tag and then just move on to something else.

My thinking is, Gyuutaro narrowly escapes this attack. Then maybe we get a flashback to his past with Daki. You know how they always use to give random characters flashbacks just before killing them off in the Walking Dead, same sort of thing.

Gyuutaro is way too composed — he has some plan in mind. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Then back to the fight. We get some action on the Daki, Zentsu, Inosuke side, back to Tanjiru and Tengen. Things are looking bad but at the last minute Tanjiru prevails and gets Gyuutaro. Maybe he’ll discover a new technique hidden within himself or something. And then the two siblings will go down and the entertainment district can rejoice.

Hopefully they won’t lose too much money. Daki was still one of the top attractions after all.

Wow. I hadn’t thought of the financial impact to Daki’s house! Might be a bit of a downer to end the season on that note!

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15 thoughts on “Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Episode 8: Remarkable Child

  1. You REALLY misread the whole of Tengen’s past. Though, that makes sense, considering the anime didn’t really go into his the past. He came from a Shinobi Clan, and their Father trained him and his Siblings. Their final test was to defeat a group if fighters, and none if them knew it was their Siblings until Tengen figured it out when he killed one of them. After everything, Tengen and one if his Brothers were the only ones left. This was basically the same reasoning behind the Bloody Mist from Naruto, or the Final Test the Diamond Kingdom did to their trainees in Black Clover. To remove their emotions. After that, and some other events, Tengen took his Wives and left his Clan, eventually joining the Demon Slayer Corps.

    1. It’s a bit of a challenge to write reviews from an anime-only perspective. I can sometimes see where plot points were summarized or are missing entirely, but it’s hard to synthesize what they might have meant.

      Maybe after I retire I’ll have more time to read the source material!

      1. I just finished the original Fate/stay night. It was so hard to finish it because the Ufotable Fates were so much better lol

        1. I remember that! I had seen uftoable’s version first, too. Quite a difference! If you haven’t watch them yet, check out the Heavens Feel movies. There are some fight scenes in there that are just amazing!

  2. Remember Tanjiro does not know Daki’s name. So to him she is just the Belt Demon cause she fights using belts.

    1. I’ve been going back and forth trying to decide if the Belts are a separate demon or just a part of Daki. That’s where my uncertainty lies. When Inosuke first found the belts, they almost acted like a separate entity — as Irina suggested, something like a lesser or a parasitic demon.

      Still, I think you’re right. I can’t remember Tanjirou hearing any name other than Warabihime (possibly — I’m not sure). And I think that Gyuutarou only used her name when Tengen was alone with them, before Tanjirou, Inosuke, and Zenitsu showed up.

  3. This season has been such an emotional rollercoaster. It’s hard to believe it’s still only Season 2!

    A bit of a minor thing, but I actually like how they have each arc focusing on a specific Hashira and their relationship to the main characters. When they first introduced the Hashira back in Season 1, I was a bit worried that having a bunch of super important characters show up all at once would lessen their impact and make it harder for each individual member to stand out. But I really like how they’ve given Shinobu, Rengoku, and now Uzui their own character arcs; it shows off their unique personalities and gives them a more personal relationship to Tanjiro and co. in the story.

    1. That an interesting point about the Hashiras. I felt a little overwhelmed meeting them at first, too. Even Rengoku seemed lost in the crowd! But by the end of the train arc, I was pretty broken up by what happened to him.

      I really didn’t like Tengen at the start of this arc. Now, he’s really grown on me! Especially for how he interacts with his wives.

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