Quick Summary of Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 7
In Demon Slayer: Swordsmith Village Arc episode 7, “Awful Villain,” Tanjirou swung his flaming red sword and connected with Hantengu’s neck. The sword began to bite, but it was tough going. Tanjirou redoubled his efforts, but then something else attracted his attention – from behind. He thought he had accounted for the other four demons, and this felt very, very different. Is there yet another demon present? Had Hantengu split into more dub demons? And how’s Muichirou doing?
Collaborating with Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime!
Hi, Irina! How are you doing? We’re almost to summer, and I feel like I’m in a constant, “Wait, what happened to whatever time it was six months ago?”
We had a couple of days of summer but then Montreal was a like, no you don’t! Where do you think you are!!! And now we are very much back to spring. Tons of people got those annoying little springtime colds because the temperature just keeps changing unpredictably. Well not entirely unpredictably, there is a forecast and all, but who has time for that stuff!
But I know what you mean about time passing. I can’t believe how quickly this season is flying by. It seems like just last week Tanjirou got to this little village and some baddies attacked. Maybe because that happened in episode 1 and we’re still more or less at the same spot ;P
I’m just poking fun. I actually like this season quite a bit so far.
Review of Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 7
Muichirou is in Dire Straits
We followed two battles this week, and each had some developments worth nothing. Tanjirou, Nezuko, and Genya continued their struggle against the every-growing Hantengu family of demons. Also, Muichirou, who has apparently 10x my lung capacity, continued his fight against his watery prison. But there’s one thing we did not get this week, and I want to get this off my chest.
Just where is Mitsuri? I mean, she’s got a flexible sword (that Fred Au Natural pointed out was actually a real and terrifying thing), she’s got an effervescent personality, and she is just a joy to watch on the screen. Personally, I noticed a distinct lack of Mitsuri in the episode.
I can only hope they’re saving the best for last.
Irina, Before we dive in, do you have any opening thoughts?
Demon Slayer episodes are too short. Between the recap and the epilogue they are literally a few minutes shorter than average and on top of that they fly by. I think that’s unfair. They should remedy that!
Speaking of saving the best for last, let’s talk about Muichirou’s fight first. I’m not saying it’s a terrible thing; in fact, I want to make it clear it was great fun to watch. But, well, you’ll see my “concern” in a moment.
Muichirou is in quite a predicament. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Muichirou continued to hang upside down in the demonic water jug with transparent, flexible sides. Gyokko, whose character model is really disturbing (in a good way!), continued to taunt him. But growing bored of Muichirou’s stoic expression (which is hard to tell from his happy, sad, or hopeful expressions – just sayin’), the demon wandered off to see what was so interesting in the nearby workshop.
Gyokko’s Lack of Literary Depth
Apparently, Gyokko had never read the Evil Overlord’s site. Specifically, it’s clear to me Gyokko never read its appendix called The Dungeon, and it’s abundantly obvious he never read rule 125. It states:
“Should I actually decide to kill the hero in an elaborate escape-proof deathtrap room (water filling up, sand pouring down, walls converging, etc.) I will not leave him alone five-to-ten minutes prior to “imminent” death, but will instead (finding a vantage point or monitoring camera) stick around and enjoy watching my adversary’s demise.”
Now, maybe I should cut Gyokko some slack. He lives in an alternate universe and might not have access to this wisdom. Still, I thought he was brighter than that.
Am I making a mountain out of a mole-hill, Irina?
Gyokko’s departure gave Muichirou a chance to try one more technique. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
“Speaking of saving the best for last, let’s talk about Muichirou’s fight first. I’m not saying it’s a terrible thing; in fact, I want to make it clear it was great fun to watch. But, well, you’ll see my “concern” in a moment.”
So this was my favourite part of the episode…
I agree with you Crow, that’s a contrived villain trope, just like monologuing or having the hero swoop in unexpectedly at the last minute to save another main character (or the hero’s sister…)
Demon Slayer and the Joy of the Story
And in another show, I would probably be agreeing with you, but I feel like Demon Slayer has always used these tropes pretty liberally and the joy of the story isn’t in the realism or originality of it. It’s more about the pacing, beautiful production, sweet if kind of archetypal and also tropey characters and the embrace of these type of traditional if a little clunky narrative devices.
Maybe I’m wrong. Like it wasn’t a strong point or anything but it didn’t really bother me at all.
And I thought that the character growth it led to was worth it. Especially as they decided to go subversive on that point and not protect an innocent. That actually kind of surprised me.
Sure enough, as soon as Gyokko disappeared, Muichirou summoned his last breath and launched “Mist Breathing, First Form… Low Clouds Distance Haze.” It promptly failed. So maybe Gyokko was right to ignore him!
But then the Tanjirou Effect struck. Muichirou had a vision of Tanjirou saying Tanjirou-adjacent things. I say “adjacent” because Muichirou had never heard Tanjirou say those words before, yet the words still sounded familiar. That set up something kind of cool – but to get to the coolness, we have to get to my concern.
Muichirou thought he saw and heard Tanjirou. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
It’s about physics.
The ever-helpful Kotetsu tried to help Muichirou out of the trap. By this time, Muichirou was just about unconscious (like I said – at least 10x my lung capacity), and he wanted, but couldn’t, tell the young man to run for his life. Because a demon showed up and stabbed him in the solar plexus.
The Mechanics of a Dying Breath
My concern? The demon backed off long enough for Kotetsu to – and I have no idea why he did this – blow though the trap’s membrane. The bubbles did not rise. They defied gravity and all known laws (or even regulations) of physics, and they flowed right into Muichirou’s mouth. Whereupon, freed from any liquid content whatsoever, they flowed into his lungs and reinvigorated him.
Irina, are you aware of any laws of physics that would allow such a thing to happen? Or am I being silly expecting such a thing in the context of a supernatural shonen?
No? I actually have very little conception of the physics of magical water summoned by a demon’s palm, that stays in vase shape and cannot be pictured with a sword. I know he said it was water but it’s not like normal water, right?
Wasn’t the breathing in part lovely? This huge obstacle that was overcome not by brute force but by willingly giving up some of yourself for another. In this case a bit too melodramatic for my taste “dying breath” but still very poetic and a perfect way to recapture and wrap up Muichirou’s arc as a character.
Sometimes my mindset blinds me to poetic moments like this. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
The fact that he needs to both rely on others and find his strength in them is the character lesson the season has set out for him. It’s repeated over and over again and I guess this scene was really on the nose but if we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a dozen times: Demon Slayer is NOT a subtle show. I thought it was sweet and I have been longing for a resolution that wasn’t just “hit it with a sword but harder.” However, I don’t blame you for thinking it was corny. It was…
Well, when you put it that way…
Who is Tanjirou to Muichirou’s Father?
Now, there was something kind of cool that came from this. The Tanjirou avatar said (20:38), “And humans are creatures who can summon unbelievable strength for the sake of someone other than themselves…” That provided the time-honored trope. Muichirou summoned the strength for “Mist Breathing, Second Form… Eight-Layered Mist,” which blasted him free of the prison.
As he lay on his belly, trying to regain his strength, he experienced a revelation. The avatar had been Tanjiro-adjacent because Tanjirou had the same red eyes – as Muichirou’s father! So now I think we have Muichirou 2.0 to look forward to next week.
What did you think of this revelation, Irina?
How are these related — or are they related at all? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
I don’t really know. We’ve not seen that many characters with red eyes in the show so far so it could be significant but if there’s a family connection, it’s starting to get a bit soapy. So maybe it’s just a random coincidence thrown in for a bit of extra Tamjirou flare so we don’t forget that he had an impact on this storyline?
Back to Tanjiro, Nezuko, and Genya – they had their hands full. Pushing themselves close to death, they finally found where the miniature Hantengu had been hiding. His emotional designation is apparently Fear – not sure we knew that (though Irina probably did – she knows things). Tanjirou tried to put his sword through the little guy’s neck. That is, he tried until he felt a new and ridiculously powerful demonic presence behind him.
Anger Led to Hate — Yoda Foresaw This Moment!
Genya saw what happened. Anger had had enough of not killing Tanjirou and friends, so he decided to up the ante. He sucked Joy and Pleasure through his palms (which was perfectly gruesome!). He also inhaled sorrow, leaving only Fear running free.
Anger became Hatred. And the dude was powerful. His very presence froze our heroes. He’s the one who unleashed that wood hydra/dragon we saw in the OP. If he had attacked right then and there, he might have been able to defeat even Tanjiro, who is pretty battered by this time. But Hatred made a fatal mistake. He decided to monologue. If you watched The Incredibles, you know the dangers of monologuing!
Hatred really liked the sound of his own voice. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Hatred decided to lecture them about them being the villains. How they were terrible people for attacking the poor, tiny, helpless little miniature Hantengu. How they should live and let live – stuff like that.
That offended Tanjiro’s Sense of Righteousness, and it enabled him to regain his mobility – even if Genya was still frozen. Tanjiro and Hated actually got into a debate about morality! Of course, Tanjiro, while rhetoric is not his strength, never strays far from the facts, and he won handily.
CGI and the Uncanny Valley
Cutting through all of Hatred’s ridiculous arguments, Tanjirou finally said (09:33), “Don’t you dare play the victim card after killing and eating scores of people!” Hatred eventually instructed the wood hydra/dragon to attack.
Irina, what did you think of this portion of the battle?
This time even I couldn’t ignore the CG. The wood dragon this, although really pretty to look at, was just a little too uncanny and took me out of it. It just didn’t mesh with the background and having the animation of the siblings running along the trunks was so reminiscent of so many video games that I could swear I’ve seen the same cutscene frame for frame.
YMMV, but when I compared how this scene made me reaction to my emotional reaction when Tanjirou almost sliced off Fear’s head in the beginning? This scene felt less effective by comparison. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Not horrible by any means, just a bit jarring and I was a little distracted for a while afterwards.
Ads for hatred. I guess I’m a little fed up with this demon but I guess we’ll see what this emotion brings to the table.
‘Fed up” is a sentiment I can confirm!
Closing Thoughts about Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 7
I know I complained about how Muichirou got out of his prison. And I didn’t even talk about Hotaru Haganezuka, who had some great scenes this week. But I don’t want to turn this into a novella! Or maybe it’s too late for that…
Do you have any closing thoughts, Irina?
Let’s keep this short and sweet. I thought it was another good episode and I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 7: Other Posts
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Katanakaji no Sato-hen • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Swordsmith Village Arc – Episode 7 discussion
- AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Katanakaji no Sato-hen Episode 7
This Collaboration (I Drink and Watch Anime and Crow’s World of Anime!)
- Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 1: Someone’s Dream
- Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 2: Yoriichi Type Zero
- Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 3: A Sword from Over 300 Years Ago
- Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 4: Thank You, Tokito
- Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 5: Bright Red Sword
- Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 6: Aren’t You Going to Become a Hashira?
- Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 7: Awful Villain
- Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 8: The Mu in Muichirou
- Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 9: Mist Hashira Muichiro Tokito
- Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 10: Love Hashira Mitsuri Kanroji
- Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 11: A Connected Bond: Daybreak and First Light