Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 9 Review

Quick Summary of Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 9

In Demon Slayer: Swordsmith Village Arc episode 9, “Mist Hashira Muichiro Tokito,” Gyokko was seriously displeased to see Muichirou still alive, but obviously unharmed by the demon’s poison. Muichiro’s laid-back attitude didn’t improve the demon’s mood. Should even a Hashira be respectfully frightened of a demon? Or was Muichirou simply putting on a brave front? Is he on his last legs? And what’s going on with Tanjirou, Nezuko, and Genya

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! Welcome to our review of the ninth episode of a season that is going by very, very quickly!

Before we get to the episode, any opening thoughts, Irina?

I have to admit I was ready to put episode 8 behind me. It was an emotionally taxing affair and I was ready for a fresh start. But some tendrils of that sadness and suffocating grief still lingered, didn’t they? This said, it was in my opinion a pretty satisfying end to this particular turn of events. 

I can’t wait to read your detailed thoughts about it. You usually have such great insights!

Review of Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 9

Gyokko’s Artistic Vanity

On one hand, there’re a lot of details I could talk about in this episode, especially in the context of Muichiro’s fight against Gyokko. On the other, the episode divides neatly into two sections: Muichirou’s Good Fight and Ride of the Mitsuri. Let’s start with Muichirou. 

Gyokko has an insane artist’s appreciation for his own skills and privilege boosted to an Upper Rank Demon’s level. Which is to say, the dude is flat out rude. He considers himself not only the smartest person in the room. Absent Muzan, Gyokko considers himself to be the smartest possible one in the room.

I mean he is very liberal with the bravado but he isn’t the upper one is he. Remember in the first episode how much meeker his demeanor was? I have a feeling that a lot of the big words and chest beating is motivated as much by lack of confidence than by actual conceit. A rather mundane mix! Perfect for such a mundane demon who wishes so much to be extraordinary, wouldn’t you say?

Which made Muichirou’s trash talking all the more satisfying.

Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 9: Gyokko spoke from his own arrogance

Gyokko spoke from his deep well of arrogance. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

You know how, in earlier episodes, Muichirou came across as cold and condescending? Well, he capitalized on that in this episode. Gyokko tried his psychological attacks, and Muichirou shrugged them off before dashing off his own devastating replies.

Gyokko tried to compare him to a dung beetle. The Hashira shrugged it off and replied (02:58), “I don’t know, you seem more likely to be living in dung.” Muichirou wasn’t content with that, though. He went right for the jugular – Gyokko’s sense of artistic superiority.

Of one of the demon’s vases, Muichirou said (03:43), “It doesn’t look symmetrical. What a piece of crap.”

Muichirou’s Trash Talking Style

Irina, what did you think of Muichirou’s wit?

It’s almost sweet. You now how some people really pour it on thick when they trash talk. It’s like an art. Well Muichirou just does really down to earth if a little rude observations. Like you can’t be 100% sure he even is trash talking, he could just be making random conversation. He kind of talks that way to everyone when you really think about it. 

And I think it’s that lack of care. The refusal to see Gyokko as extraordinary that is really cutting here. Muichirou is carrying on a conversation as if he was admonishing a local potter for asking too much for a subpar piece. 

Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 9: Gyokko did not like Muichirou's taunts

Gyokko really did not like Muichirou’s casually biting remarks. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I know I spoke harshly about how this fight was playing out (in episode 7). The way this fight unfolded in this episode, though? It gave me nothing to complain about. It did the opposite, actually – including surprising me by what I liked the most.

I want to go on record to say that Muichirou’s “Mist Breathing, Seventh Form, Obscuring Clouds” was a perfect selection to use against Gyokko. The demon had powered up to become a fish-scaled, streamlined monster. Personally, I found his original form more disturbing, but that’s just me.

Feel free to interject with your opinion here, Irina!

Fish based powers definitely are something new. I also would not have expected that but in my defense, who would expect something like that? It’s super weird! On an intellectual basis I’m not sure how effective it is. It looked pretty silly and the concept sounds like a joke. But for all the silliness, it was also just plain fun to watch random fish explosions.

As for Muichirou’s mist breathing. I loved it. I both like the idea of an obscuring skill paired with what seems to be one of the fastest Hashiras in combat. But it was also very visually arresting and ufotable really did the most out of that mist effect. 

I never thought I would say this, certainly not at the beginning of this season, but I almost wish the fight had lasted longer. Not that it wasn’t extremely satisfying to see it end as well!

Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 9: ufotable's animation felt visually exciting

The fight was a lot of fun to watch. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Muichirou’s Devastating Speed

But though I found the form less viscerally terrifying, it was even more lethal – faster, smoothers, with more offensive punch. Gyokko seemed really proud of it. But Obscuring Cloud made that form meaningless. Gyokko couldn’t hurt what he couldn’t find, and that Hashira technique made Muichirou all but invisible.

Until he struck. 

He blew right past Gyokko. The demon’s head came away, and for the longest moment, I feared Gyokko was one of those demons who hid its true vulnerable spot somewhere else. Maybe in another country for all I knew. But no, Gyokko seemed mortally wounded. He kept complaining and lamenting his fate. 

Well past his patience with the demon, so he diced and sliced Gyokko’s head to pieces. He knife work was so good it would not have been out of place on the Food Network’s show Chopped. 

It’s funny if you think about it.

“No need to ever be reborn again, all right?” Muichirou said to the melting form (11:48).

Pretty cool, right? I liked it a lot. But what I liked better was the villager’s response to seeing Muichirou. The villager was ecstatic to be on the winning (and alive) side. But he freaked out when he saw Muichirou. 

The Hashira had clearly pushed himself beyond his limits. He was staring; despite his insistence to the contrary, there was no way he was going to go help Tanjirou. 

Wasn’t Kotetsu on Death’s Door?

“You’re frothing at the mouth!” the villager exclaimed (14:38) as Muichirou crashed face-first onto the ground. That’s when Kotetsu suggested they roll Muichirou onto his side so he wouldn’t choke to death.

Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 9: Not sure how to feel about Kotetsu's salvation

I was surprised to see Kotetsu alive (not as surprised as this guy!). I’m with Irina in terms of my reaction. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The poor villager shrieked. The guy thought Kotetsu was a ghost! Even said the ghost would be the last to know. To prove he was still alive, Kotetsu showed the villager the hilt of the sword Tanjirou had asked him to attach to the new sword. It seems the reach of the Tanjirou Effect has become long.

I really liked how Muichirou wanted to keep fighting but just keeled over. Also enjoyed the interchange between the villager and Kotetsu.

What’s you think of that fight, Irina?

The fight I liked, undoing Kotetsu’s sacrifice I’m not so sure about. Sometimes I get the feeling that Demon Slayer is an extremely violent show for small children.

I’m not a monster, it’s not that I wanted the cartoon child to die, but this was the first significant rise in the stakes that we have had this season. Having the kid use his last breath to save Muichirou was poignant and emotionally resonant. It felt like the show was going “OK, time to get serious”. And now it feels like they completely walked back that moment. Like “psych”. And I honestly just don’t know how to feel about it.

It certainly is less depressing than the alternative but I also think it’s significantly less impactful. But that could be just me.

Mitsuri Kanroji Arrives — with Magical Girl Thematic Nods!

Now, finally – finally! – Mitsuri arrives in theater. Just in the nick of time, too! Hantengu/Hate’s wooden dragon had captured and swallowed Tanjirou. Nezuko looked stricken. Genya could not believe his eyes. Inside the dragon’s gullet, Tanjirou found himself unable to move. He felt himself being crushed to death.

Now, I know there was simply no way he was going to buy it. But I’ll say this: things looked dark for our hard-headed hero. That’s when Misturi showed up.

Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 9: Mitsuri's here!

Hey! Look who’s here! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

We first see her in mid-air – utterly confident, supremely elegant, and efficiently lethal. She unsheathed that long, flexible sword of hers (and I’m still amazed that’s a real kind of sword), got the measure of her enemy, and attacked.

Mitsuri carved up the first wooden dragon’s head and neck like it was nothing. She even managed to free Tanjirou and lift him to safety – all without breaking a sweat.

Only then, after having calmly and methodically carved one of the monster’s heads into ribbons, did she turn around and shriek in terror. “What a ghastly monster!” she said (20:10). “What is that thing?”

The contrast between her cool attack and the reaction struck me as funny.

Irina, what did you think?

I really like Kanroji. I’m not sure why. A lot of it is just first impressions cause really we don’t know much about her at all but for some reason, I got super attached to her. And you bet I was cheering when she rode in to save the day.

I could be imagining things, but did she seem a little Magical Girl coded? I don’t know how to explain it but when I saw her jumping around with her sword whip (why is she the only one with a sword whip???) I got a very strong impression of watching Sailor Moon or something. 

It has something to do with her choreography and of course her weapon. 

I do like the mix in styles and influences in here. It’s a very small thing but it feels like an easter egg for those of us that have been watching anime for a long time. 

Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 9: Mitsuri and Tanjirou both had seen enough of the wooden dragon

I could see Sailor Moon reacting like this. Maybe not Asuka, though…

Closing Thoughts about Demon Slayer – Swordsmith Village Arc Episode 9

Muichirou was victorious. Utterly drained, but victorious. Mitsuri has engaged the wooden dragon, and while Tanjirou has taken quite a beating, he’s still in the fight – and so are Nezuko and Genya. It’s shaping up to be an exciting next couple of episodes.

Any closing thoughts, Irina?

I wonder if we’re going to get a back story for Kanroji now. Part of my hopes we will because I want to know more about her, but I don’t think I can take another super suffocating tragedy. What are the odds that she trumps tradition and she had a super happy childhood and her family is safe and happy in their super safe cottage surrounded by wisteria? 

I mean she did join the corp because she wanted to find a husband, right? Not because her entire family was slaughtered by demons. So maybe there’s hope?

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

  1. TCrow, Muichiro wondered aloud in this episode why he was in the zone, and I believe this is a further hint of essence theory. There should have been no reason for him to be in the zone given how he had recently been poisoned heavily, and that suggests he was channeling the essence of someone else who no longer living, who wouldn’t be able to feel poison. Gaining markings on his face much like how Tanjiro’s scar grew to match Yoriichi’s when he was using Sun Breathing to the greatest extent showed that Muichiro likely channeled the essence of either the original Mist Breathing user or the strongest Mist Breathing user, probably whichever is stronger. Given that before Gyutaro’s death that no Upper Rank demon had been killed in 100 years, this suggests that demon slayers from over 100 years ago were stronger or more talented than the ones living in more recent times.

    Before this, I wondered why there were essences of dead people in the story rather than straight up reincarnation, and I think I have an idea of why that is the case now. If I follow this line of thinking, maybe the people who became essences after they died rather than reincarnating truly believed that Muzan, and consequently, demons, could have been eliminated in their lifetimes, and this lingering belief prevented them from reincarnating because they had unfinished business. Maybe Genya can become a demon because he has the essence of a demon on the side of good like the small group of demons from Season 1.

    1. I wonder how significant it is that Muichirou’s scar or marking disappeared, while Tanjirou’s is doing nothing but grow?

      Lingering regret binding them to the world? That’s interesting. The show’s giving us a lot of hints, and I like how you’re assembling them into a theory!

      Episode 10 gave us one more piece, or at least confirmation of one. I’ll be interested to see what you made of it.

      1. I think Episode 10 gave two pieces of information, one of which was a likely confirmation of the theory. I’ll be ready to post about what I think about them on your and also Irina’s blog on Friday.

Please let me know what you think!

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