Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 5 Review

Quick Summary of Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 5

In Demon Slayer: Swordsmith Village Arc episode 5, “Bright Red Sword,” Muichirou had just saved Kotetsu from the clutches of a fish demon. But that’s only the start. Demons are swarming the swordsmith village, and the smiths are unable to defend themselves against such an onslaught. Plus, Muichirou’s sword has seen better days. Can Kotetsu find Kozo Kanamori, Muichirou’s swordsmith, in time? Is he even still alive? And when will Mitsuri arrive?

Collaborating with Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime!

Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime and I are collaborating to review Demon Slayer: Swordsmith Village Arc this season! 

Hi, Irina! How are you doing? The temperature is finally warming up down here in Ohio. For a while then, I thought fall had returned! But here in Ohio, we have spring for about 1.5 days, so I expect upper 80s and lower 90s Fahrenheit here soon.

I googled that and 90F is 32.2C. Which I consider a heat wave. I can survive hotter temperatures but why? Seriously. It has been gorgeous here and pretty much summer already. We had lunch on a terrasse a few weeks ago and it even got too hot. But the temperatures have been low to mid 20C so that would be 68 to 77F. 

I didn’t realize Ohio was such a hot place.

Now Montreal has actually been great for weather these past few years. Hopefully I didn’t jinx that now. But in the past it did regularly go up to 40C (104F) in the summer and I am NOT looking forward to that!

Are you guys enjoying our elevator weather small talk? That’s definitely the content you came here for 😉

Review of Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 5

Three Main Threads in Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 5

There were three events that represented the highlights of this episode, plus one hook for the next episode. We finally got to see Mitsuri fight, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say it was worth waiting for. We got to see Muichirou show some emotion. I know, shocking, right? And we got to see Tanjirou get in touch with another of his inherited memories. Then, at the very end, we got a hint of why Genya seems so resistant to fatal wounds.

Irina, do you have any thoughts to share before we dive in?

I’m always impressed by how you subdivide episodes like that. I can’t wait to see what you came up with for this week’s Demon Slayer!

Mitsuri’s Grand Entrance

Mitsuri finally arrived in the village. And just in time, too! Those fish demons were feasting on swordsmith villagers. She took out the first demon so fast I wasn’t sure what I’d seen. Then she sprinted through the column of demons attacking the main thoroughfare. And I tell you what: she’s fast. I mean, sure, the other hashira are fast. But she took off at a dead sprint and destroyed every demon she passed.

Still, I couldn’t even see what she was doing – she’s that fast. I’d have to wait a little more, because one of the villagers yelled for her to save the chief. She dashed off towards the village’s stronghold.

Whatever the superlative of fast is, Mitsuri embodies it. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Both Hashiras are really fast. I guess all Hashiras are really. Maybe it was just that Giyu was sort of slow in season 1. You know, now that I think about it, that could definitely be it. Giyu is so the type to just chill in the middle of a battle. You gotta love that huge dork!

Anyways, it was cool seeing Mitsuri get her chance to show off in battle. Even if that isn’t necessarily her thing. She certainly did look impressive but those were just minor demons. As always beautiful scene though.

When she arrived, she found a disaster. The demon had killed all of the Demon Slayer corp who had been stationed to guard the chief. Only one swordsmith remained, and he knew he was no match for the demon. Still, he tried, and earned a collision with a wall as his reward. Meanwhile, the demon continued to squeeze the chief, who it held in one of its fists.

Before we get to Mitsuri’s weaponry and technique, what did you think of the CGI the animators seemed to use for the demon, Irina? Did you think it was effective?

I thought it was fine. I love the way Demon Slayer looks and I think the technical aspect is one of the if not the biggest draw of the show.

Mitsuri and the Village Chief

Oh, did I mention that where most demons had a single vase on its back, this one had four?

That’s when Mitsuri arrived. And finally, we got a good look at her sword. It’s more like a steel ribbon than a straight sword! It looked very elegant. Wasting no time, she invoked “Love  Breathing… First Form… Shivers of First Love!” She prompted sliced the demon, all four vases included, into very large and very dead chunks.

Her attack was not only fast and powerful. It was graceful, too. I was afraid it’d be some kind of gimmick, but she impressed me.

Irina, what did you think of Mitsuri’s technique and equipment?

I was a little disappointed that love breathing turned out to be a nondescript and sort of standard physical attack. It looked like the sort of special move we’ve been sing in anime and fighting games for decades now. Of course because this is Demon Slayer it looked great but I had whipped myself into a frenzy imagining all sorts of wacky possibilities for the Love power of Hashiras and I couldn’t help but feel a little let down when they went for such a standard and safe route.

Her sword’s awesome. Maybe she’ll reveal other techniques later. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Muichirou and Gyokko

Meanwhile, Muichirou had his hands full with Gyokko, who happened to be at the building where Kozo Kanamori had been working on the Hashira’s new sword. Muichirou kept his cool, of course. He’s practically emotionless. That is, until the demon asked if it could show off its artwork.

It produced another vase – it can apparently teleport them at will. And out of it flowed its latest sculpture – its latest swordsmith kills. Each was contorted in agony. Each had been skewered. And it bragged about how it could twist one of the swords to get an apparent reaction from the swordsmith.

“Behold,” the demon said, pride in its voice (11:31). “‘Death Throes of the Smiths.’”

Kozo Kanamori and Kotetsu were mortified. As the demon bragged about his artistic choices, I saw something unexpected: Muichirou tightened the grip on his sword hilt – in anger. “Hey,” the Hashira said (12:54). “You’d better knock it off… you piece of crap.”

He struck – but Gyokko teleported to another vase.

What did you think of this confrontation, Irina? Or about Gyokko’s continued taunting actually triggering one of Muichirou’s memories a little later in the fight?

I’ve always liked Muichirou although admittedly some (a lot) of it is due to character design. I happen to like the colour teal a lot. But I also like stoic types and huge dorks. The fact that he was unfriendly but not mean, tactless but dedicated makes him an interesting character and a good foil. I’m not sure how many of you pay attention to the ED but we see him smiling a lot in it and he looks like a completely different person.

Now that we have seen that flashback, we know that the clothes he has on in the ED are the same so those are probably images from the past as well. It makes you wonder what he’s been through. If shonen anime has taught me anything, it’s that it’s not smart to reawaken deep emotion in main characters. Just sayin…

I think Irina’s right about it not being a good idea for the demon to reawaken Muichirou’s emotions. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Tanjirou Engages “Sack of Potatoes” Mode

Remember how Tanjirou was been knocked unconscious with Nezuko in the previous episode? Well, Nezuko had recovered first. She had thrown Tanjirou over her shoulder like a sack of potatoes, and she ran through the buildings trying to get away from the multiple incarnations of Hantengu. Unfortunately, a lightning strike finally got her, and it was Tanjirou’s turn to treat Nezuko like a sack of produce. 

The net effect was that the demon with the palm-leaf weapon hit them so hard it blew out the whole side of the building – and demolished the village for blocks. That was actually good for our heroes, because it gave them a chance to hide.

Now, I’m about to criticize Tanjirou here, but I don’t want it to sound too harsh. He said what he said out of love for his sister Nezuko. But she grasped his sword with obvious intent to cut her hands. Tanjirou kept telling her to stop. But I’m thinking, “Dude, you do know she’s a demon, right? Don’t you remember episode 19, don’t you? When her Blood Art took out Rui for you?”

Irina, what were you thinking at this point?

Oddly enough I’m the one that’s going to defend him on this one. I mean the entire series is predicated on the fact that Tanjirou is still and potentially will always be deeply protective of Nezuko. To be honest, I’m surprised he let’s her fight at all. I assume it’s because he has no choice otherwise he would keep her in a safe little prison all the time. That’s the central conflict of the main character and therefore the series. How can you keep a demon safe in a world like the one of Demon Slayer.

The entire driving force behind everything that has happened is that Tanjirou needed to get stronger to defend his sister. That’s why he joined the corp in the first place. To defend her and potentially find a cure for her. Sure saving other people is important too but Nezuko will always be his priority.

I know Irina’s right, but Tanjirou’s got to start trusting Nezuko at some point! Maybe! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Now I do understand your point. She’s been injured way more severely before and she obviously wants to do something but that doesn’t mean that Tanjirou is going to be ok with watching her purposely injure herself when he doesn’t even know why. And at one point he was saying how he’s not going to leave her behind and she started that self-harm thing. It is worrisome. I’m not sure I would have reacted differently in his place.

Although let’s face it, if I was in Tanjirou’s place the series would have ended at episode 2…

Nezuko’s Blood Art + Tanjirou’s Sword = Visual Awesomeness

Nezuko finally finished her preparations. Having coated Tanjirou’s sword with her blood, she ignited it with that awesome-looking Blood Art of hers. It even turned his black sword red. That, in turn, put him in touch with one of his inherited memories – of when Yoriichi Tsugikuni wielded the red sword. 

To explain my reaction to what happened next, you have to remember that I adore vibrant animation, and I adore the trope of the modern hero picking up the threads of his history. Tanjirou realized that he stood in succession with that samurai. He realized his technique and abilities were a continuation. 

Best of all: he understood that he stood where he stood only because of the people who had helped him. That’s core Tanjirou. That spirit of humility and gratitude is, when all’s said and done, the reason I like him.

Emboldened by their support, he actually stepped out to face ¾ of Hantengu. The one with wings attacked first. But the one with the electrical staff realized something was very, very wrong. He actually had a flashback of one of Myzan’s memories. And guess what? The memory was of facing Yoriichi Tsugikuni and almost losing. But it was too late.

Tanjirou, the scar on his forehead growing to even more closely resemble his ancestor’s scar, started his flaming breathing technique. “Hinokami Kagura,” he said, flames escaping from his mouth (19:41). “Sun Halo Dragon…”

His attack, which described the shape of a coiled dragon, decapitated 3 of the 4 demons. It was beautiful. I got chills just I did back in episode 19.

Absolutely worth the price of admission! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

What did you think of the sequence, Irina?

Tanjirou’s Arc Bringing Lore to Light

I really liked it. I used it to create the header gif for my gallery post this week.

They are setting up some larger lore with this mysterious swordsman who is probably the upper one. I’m callin it. You can tease me if I’m wrong but it just seems like such a classic fighting shonen thing to do. 

I’m actually really glad about that. One of the things about last season is that it really didn’t develop much. I’m pretty sure that you can skip it and not miss anything about the main plot. But here, it seems like they are going into the overarching storyline and giving us something to sink our teeth in. That makes me happy.

Tanjirou realized he would have needed to slice off the heads of all four Hantengu bodies. Luckily, he saw that Genya was nearby and had done almost that exact thing! It looked like he had sliced along the jaw though, so maybe the demon part had survived.

But that wasn’t the issue. When Genya turned to face Tanjirou, Genya showed signs of being a demon himself!

Irina, what do you make of this?

He really does look like a demon. Maybe a half demon or something. Like his mother was pregnant when she turned and the baby survived or some such thing? Cause he doesn’t seem to have lost it. Then again neither does Nezuko so maybe the corp going around slaying demons indiscriminately is more horrific than we thought…

It does explain why the boy just does not die!

Well, that’s an interesting development! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Closing Thoughts about Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 5

So now we have three arcs moving forward: Muichirou facing off against Gyokko, Mitsuri getting things under control in the stronghold, and Tanjirou and Nezuko facing Hantengu – and now, potentially, Genya. Thinking about it, if Genya is part demon, then he’ll certain find a sympathetic perspective in Tanjirou!

Any closing thoughts, Irina?

I really like the plot threads that are being set up. Everyone has kind of a story. Genya’s nature is intriguing, Muichirou’s past looks like it’s going to be a heartbreak, Tanjirou’s connection to the mysterious swordsman is going to propel the story forward and well…I don’t know what Mitsuri’s arc is going to be yet but it’s just fun seeing her in action. I think she might be my new favourite character.

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9 thoughts on “Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 5 Review

  1. Mitsuri’s ribbon sword…

    In Rurouni Kenshin, One of Shishio’s henchmen had a ribbon sword. Almost beat Our Hero because Kenshin’s sword was broken. Of course surprise thing happens and Kenshin wins.

    There really is such a sword, called the Urumi. It originated in India and spread.

    1. Thanks for sharing that video! I had no idea there was such a thing. The psychological effect it would have on its opponent alone would be formidable!

  2. I like watching Demon Slayer reaction videos and one reactor had a commenter joke that Genya got rabies and now I cannot unsee this.

    Also, I love Mitsuri’s theme. It’s very reminiscent of older Kajiura songs. It sounds like it can fit in Tsubasa Chronicles or Pandora Hearts.

    1. Rabies? LOL Now I can’t unsee it, either!

      I’ve never seen rabies as a shonen power. That could be a blast to see developed!

      To this day, I find the Tsubasa Chronicles OP haunting. I’ll listen more carefully to her music in the next episode (which will air tomorrow, based on when I’m writing this). Thanks for pointing that out!

  3. Irina and TCrow, I used to think Kokushibo, the Upper One, is Yoriichi, but after this episode, I no longer believe that. Tanjiro’s scar growing to match Yoriichi’s when he uses Sun Breathing to its fullest extent suggests that Tanjiro is either Yoriichi’s reincarnation or possesses the essence of Yoriichi in his body. If that is the case, it’d be impossible for Kokushibo to be Yoriichi, so I believe he’s likely a close relative of Yoriichi’s, either his father or brother. I did post last week that I believed the shiny blue rock Tanjiro picked up either gave him divine powers or contained a special essence, and now I’m leaning towards certain characters in this series possessing the essence of dead people considering there’s nothing divine about Genya transforming into a demon.

    First off, I have long wondered how Zenitsu could be so much more confident of a fighter when he was asleep, and after the events of this season, I believe Zenitsu’s body also possesses the essence of a dead person. That deceased person’s more confident persona probably kicks in when Zenitsu loses consciousness and no longer has access to his own memories from when he was alive, making him pretty much a split personality of Zenitsu’s.

    This might also apply to Genya in that his body contains the essence of a demon that once died, which gives him the ability to transform into that demon somehow. I don’t know whether the transformation has anything to do with the chant he was reciting or how he’ll revert to human form, but I believe he might be in the same boat as Tanjiro and perhaps Zenitsu with essences of dead people in their bodies.

    Now as for Nezuko turning Tanjiro’s blade red along with the inherited memory, I’m not sure what to think of that. One thought is that Nezuko has the essence of Yoriichi’s original swordsmith even though we’ve never seen a female swordsmith. I find it very perplexing that Nezuko’s blood art can do that.

    1. “so I believe he’s likely a close relative of Yoriichi’s, either his father or brother.”

      That’s what I’m thinking right now. Hard to be sure — but clearly, there’s some family relationship, and Tanjiro is obviously channeling Yoriichi.

      Interesting thoughts on Genya and his abilities. I’m writing this on the day before episode 6, so maybe we’ll get some solid info then. I’m curious to see how Genya’s story compares to Nezuko’s. I wonder if there’s a way for Nezuko to recover her power of speech? It’s obvious she’s bright, though I suppose some of her attacks might be demonic instinct.

      I couldn’t tell if Genya’s chant invoked some power in his body, or prevented the demonic power from seizing control. Probably the former, but it’s still interesting to think about.

      “I find it very perplexing that Nezuko’s blood art can do that.”

      I can’t get a bead on whether or not the writers are deliberate to that level — in other words, are Nezuko’s powers an indicator or a larger truth, or are they simply visual coolness? I’m okay with either way, but I’d really like the former!

      1. After thinking about it, I think it’s possible that Nezuko also saw an inherited memory of her own off screen, and that’s how she knew that setting Tanjiro’s blade ablaze would have the effect that it did as she insisted on doing that despite never having done that prior to that moment.

Please let me know what you think!

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