Hi, Irina! I hope you’ve had a good week. I didn’t hear how your video game session went last weekend. I hope it went well! Getting any time at all to kick back is so far too rare these days. At least it is for me! Hard to believe another week’s gone by. Here we are at Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba episode 25, Tsuguko, Kanao Tsuyuri, already. Other series are wrapping up, too. The Summer 2019 seasons sure zipped by!
Hi Crow, I just got home from dinner with friends and I’m looking forward to discussing a little Demon Slayer, maybe putting a few posts together and slipping into bed with a good manga. Speaking of which, I may end up ordering Demon Slayer in manga form. I have a feeling everything that annoys me about Zenitsu and Inosuke isn’t going to be nearly as annoying on a page!
But first, let’s get to this week’s episode. Spoilers and all!
The episode is named after Kanao Tsuyuri, and we learn a good bit about her before the end. It was about more than that, though. We learned the length to which Tanjiro will go to master his breathing technique. We see what a truly terrible teacher he is (at least without more practice). We get to see that Zenitsu and Inosuke are trying to make their own decisions about their training and futures. We also get an unexpected insight into Shinobu’s teaching technique. It’s only after all this that we get to see Kanao’s story, and it’s probably best that we got the frivolity out of the way first. Her story’s terribly sad. It makes what happens next between her and Tanjiro so much more layered and nuanced…
Irina, do you have any opening thoughts before we get this show started?
Well you pretty much covered it all there and then some. I guess I could add that Demon Slayer only has bad teachers so Tanjiro should fit right in!
We pick up pretty much where the previous episode left off. First off, we learn the names of the adorable therapy nurses. They’re Naho, Kiyo, and Sumi. We find this out when Tanjiro proclaims that he wants to master Total Concentration Breathing even when he’s asleep. He asks them to watch him sleep and if he stops breathing right, he asked if they would “clobber me with these carpet beaters,”
Two things about this scene struck me. First, the three girls seem really, really happy to help. I think Tanjiro should be worried. Second, it dawned on me why I think they are so endearing with Tanjiro. I read a tweet that I wish I’d book marked. The tweet said something to the effect that they brought out the big brother instinct in Tanjiro. I think that’s it! He loved being an older brother, and now it’s like he has three little sisters again. It’s really heart-warming to see how they cheerfully encourage him.
Tanjiro could not have asked for three more enthusiastic helpers! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
They remind me of Promised Neverland orphans.
Both worlds are infested with demons — the vibe’s there, isn’t it?
Zenitsu can only watch in shock and horror as Tanjiro willingly endures the beatings. I’m not sure Zenitsu has had a role model like Tanjiro before. I got a sense that Zenitsu was conflicted — he didn’t want to be weak, but he didn’t want to make the investment in his own training. This is a theme that we’ll pick up in a minute.
In the meantime, can I ask for your opinion on something, Irina? During Tanjiro’s training montage, he continued to improve. He even got close to tagging Kanao at one point, though she withdrew her hand at the last moment. It’s that hand I want to ask you about. After Tanjiro tried to grab it, she looked at her hand, and I couldn’t read her expression. Do you think that was significant?
Well considering what comes next in the episode I think the made it rather clear. We’ll talk about it a little later.
Let’s just say that I think Kanao has been a fairly isolated young lady and all these loud and energetic young men around is something new to her.
As another sign of Tanjiro’s continued improvement, he finally burst one of the small gourds. I thought it was awesome how happy for him the therapy nurses were. It really felt like family support. Of course, they immediately showed him the huge gourd as his next target. But he didn’t freak out about it. He knew it’s next.
Amazing what you can do with support!
Zenitsu did something absolutely shocking. Well, I was shocked; okay, I was mildly surprised, but in retrospect, I should have been shocked. Zenitsu had a quiet moment where he was thinking about how well Tanjiro was doing. His sparrow, Ukogi, tried to cajole/encourage him. After a brief argument (including Zenitsu saying that “Putting in effort isn’t my thing,”), he seemed to resolve himself. That’s when he grabbed the cup holding his medicine and drank it down. He didn’t even scream once. He shuddered at the taste, but no histrionics. I jokingly said I was shocked, but I thought this was real progress. What did you think, Irina?
Wait, what — no screaming? No crying? Good for you, Zenitsu! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Well, I interpreted it differently. I don’t think Zenitsu actually understands Ukogi. No more than any of us understand our pets I mean. I think Zenitsu talks for him, like people often do for animals. All that encouragement (and beratement) and even argument was coming from Zenitsu himself. It was a way for him to deal with his inner conflict but I thought he came to the resolve completely on his own.
That’s up for debate but it looked a lot like when I talk to animals…
I can see what you’re saying — and if that’s the case, it makes Zenitsu’s resolve even more shocking if it came solely from within! Good for him!
Finally having had enough of falling behind, Zenitsu and Inosuke went to Shinobu to ask her about Total Concentration Breathing. She told them the skill Tanjiro was working on was called “Total Concentration, Constant,” and that if they could pull it off, their stamina would increase.
At first, I wondered why they didn’t ask Tanjiro. Was it a macho/competitive thing? Embarrassed to ask a peer something like that? Then we saw Tanjiro trying to teach it to them, and it dawned on me. He’s a really terrible teacher! I guess, thinking back, he’s never had any practice, and being proficient at fighting doesn’t mean he’d be a good teacher.
He’s also never really had a good teacher himself. The last one just threw him out into lethal trap ridden woods and told him to survive. All things considered, Tanjiro’s approach is better than I would expect from him!
You know, insofar as he didn’t actively try to kill them, that is an improvement, isn’t it?
That’s when Shinobu showed up behind Tanjiro (is it just me, or does that woman have no sense of personal space)? She explained that it was really a basic skill. Then she used her Taunt skill on Inosuke, and it seemed to help him focus. She turned her attention on Zenitsu, gently holding his hand and saying nice things to him to encourage him. I immediately thought of pokemon. Shinobu used Flirt, and it was super effective! But it showed that Shinobu had a better handle on teaching than Tanjiro did. At least for now.
What did you think of that scene, Irina?
My actual notes on the scene are : “Boys are simple.” I mean that lovingly…
You know, I think Irina makes a good point… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Hey! What do you mean by… Oh…
Kanao showed up again, and Shinobu told her that the three boys were basically in her class and suggested she go practice with them. She seemed reluctant to me. At one point, she even flipped a coin, and her smile was gone. That’s when she remembered her history.
After seeing it, I’m pretty sure smiling would be tough for me, too. She had been destitute. Her parents hadn’t even bothered to name her. Things were so bad that at one point, she just stopped feeling pain.
She met Kanae Kocho and her sister Shinobu as an adult was leading her to be sold. Kanae asked about the girl, and when the man tried to brush her off, Shinobou slapped his hand away and said, “Please don’t touch my sister.” Her eyes had no “please” in them!
I thought it was interesting that it was Shinobu who decided to buy Kanao. I also thought it was smart that she threw the money — bills and coins — at the man before grabbing Kanao and running. The man was greedy; he had to stop to gather the money, and by that time they were gone.
Irina, any conjecture on why Shinobu made her decision? Or other thoughts on Kanao’s past?
I thought it was simply to please her sister. Kanae was the ever loving type after all. Shinobu told us as much last episode. Obviously she wouldn’t have wanted to leave that girl there.
Shinobu’s tactic of throwing the money in the air gave them time to get away. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
What struck me more was that young Shinobu both acted and sounded very different than she does now. It seems she has affected her sister’s speech pattern and even voice to a certain degree. She also seems to be emulating her sister’s actions to the best of her abilities.
I know this is not the case but for a second I thought to myself, what if Shinobu was really the one that had died. And Kanae completely shattered by grief and guilt over failing to protect her younger sister had decided to “become” her. Taking her name and appearance so that Shinobu would live on and Kanae would never have to face her guilt. It’s a fevered dream I know but somehow I still came to it.
I really, really like that idea. That would be amazing! I wonder whose campaign we could contribute to to make it happen?
Remember the coin Kanao had flipped? The coin, and the idea of how to use it, came from Kanae. Shinobu had been trying to train Kanao, but the little girl wouldn’t do anything on her own. Shinobu complained about it, but Kanae, ever the cheerful optimist, gave Kanao a coin and told her if she ever encountered a decision she couldn’t make, she should just flip the coin. Then Kanae added something that made me wonder how to interpret Kanao’s reaction to Tanjiro earlier in the episode. In response to Shinobu’s complaints about Kanao’s lack of agency, Kanae said, “As long as it’s given a chance, a person’s soul will open up, so don’t worry. When you fall in love with some boy someday, you’ll change too, Kanao.”
Kanae was much more hopeful about Kanao’s future; and Shinobu was much, much less empathetic. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
I need to rewatch it, but I really thought I saw that both faces of the coin where the same. It struck me the first time she was playing with it, before we knew where it comes from, I thought, huh she has a two headed coin, I wonder if she’s some type of hustler…
But if Kanae actually gave her a two headed coin to make all her decisions, that would be awesome!
I tried to rewatch it, and you’re right — they looked identical. So I did screen caps and subjected them to rigorous scientific review. Even then, I feel sheepish to admit it took me longer than it should have to see that they have very, very subtle differences. So much so that if I were flipping the coin, I’m not sure I’d know which was which.
Is Kanao falling in love with Tanjiro? We get some more evidence later, and I had to stop considering the question when Hotaru Haganezuka showed up with a replacement sword for Tanjiro. He brought Kanamori, who forged replacements for Inosuke. Tanjiro smelled them coming, and he and Inosuke fairly skipped out to meet them. They were like kids expecting presents!
Love might be strong but I do think she likes him. That’s the deal with the hand earlier as well, if you ask me. Considering the trauma that Kanao has gone through, she probably doesn’t really understand her own feelings yet.
This said Shinobu mentioned a few times that Tanjiro was similar to her sister. So Kanao may also hold affection for him as her reminds her of Kanae who took care of her and loved her so dearly.
It looks like Kanao is trying to understand her feelings. The coin doesn’t seem to be helping… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Irina, did you expect Hotaru to physically attack Tanjiro with a kitchen knife? At least it looked like a kitchen knife…
Yes, he said he would. I was waiting for it and was surprised it took so long!
I guess I had thought — hoped? — he was kidding. Guess I was wrong!
Kanamori tried to be more zen about the whole thing, even saying that he really hoped his sword would help Inosuke achieve victory. But there was a problem: the blades were smooth. So Inosuke, being the kind of person he is, attacked the blades with rocks until they had the serrated edge he prefered. It took Tanjiro’s herculean effort to keep Kanamori from physically assaulting Inosuke.
These swordsmiths really take their jobs seriously.
Side note, Kanamori had a very nice voice.
Tanjiro once again tries his tag skills with Kanao. This time, he managed to grab her arm. The therapy nurses were so happy for him! Kanao was surprised, too. She didn’t seem to know quite what to do. I’m still wondering if she’s developing feelings for Tanjiro. The best part, though, was the exercise where she tries to block him from grabbing a cup full of nasty medicine while at the same time trying to splash him with the contents. In previous exercises, she’d dominated him. This time, he blocked every single one of her attempts before grabbing one himself. Buoyed by the cheers of Naho, Kiyo, and Sumi, he was about to splash her when he realized: The medicine smelled terrible, and he didn’t want to splash her with it. So he just put the cup on her head.
Irina, was that a perfect Tanjiro moment or what?
I thought it was really cute. It reminded me of the very similar scene with Zenitsu last week and that was cute too.
So many new experiences for Kanao in this episode! I’ll bet she never had a cup of medicine placed gently on her head before. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Zenitsu and Inosuke, who were watching, muttered “Oh, crap” to each other. Tanjiro had just cleared another hurdle that they couldn’t.
During his final medical exam with Shinobu, Tanjiro asks her about his father’s flame dance and about Flame Breathing. She hadn’t heard of them, but she said something that seemed as confusing to Tanjiro as it was to me. “All I can tell you is that while Flame Breathing does exist, it’s not Fire Breathing. ‘Flame Breathing’ must never be referred to as ‘Fire Breathing.’ The Flame Hashira, Rengoku, might know something about this, but unfortunately, he’s out on a mission.”
I’m not sure what to make of that. What do you think, Irina?
Moments like this always make me wonder if I’m losing something in translation. I’ll be honest, I don’t really know what to make of it either. Maybe there’s a play on words that’s going over my head.
Finally, we get to see Nezuko again. Unfortunately, she remains asleep. Tanjiro talks to her about his goals, again. I was glad to see he hasn’t forgotten that his goal is to find blood samples for Lady Tamayo. With Tanjiro in recovery, he hadn’t had any chances to collect samples.
As he’s expressing doubts about whether he can take on the Twelve Kizuki, he thinks he hears Nezuko’s voice telling him he can do it. He wasn’t sure he heard it; I know I heard it, thought! Irina, do you think he was imagining things? Or is Nezuko developing telepathy or something?
I could do with Nezuko being awake more often. The bamboo’s got to go, too. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
I think he imagined it. I hope he did, it’s much sweeter that way.
Also, why does Nezuko still have that gag? At this point it seems very useless.
It’s starting to bug me more and more, too.
In the very last scene, we see a demon that reminds me of the main demon from the tsuzumi mansion. There were two main differences. First, it had more eyes (about three). Second, it had more and longer fangs. Some poor human had just found out how dangerous those fangs were. I wonder if this is the demon that Rengoku was heading after?
I don’t think we’ll get to find out. What do you think is in store for us next week?
If we go by previous experience, probably a gut-wrenching cliff-hanger. And maybe some yelling. I hope we get to see Rengoku in action. I’d like to compare his powers against what Tanjiro unleashed in episode 19.
Only one more episode to go!
Reviews of the Other Episodes
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 01: Cruelty
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 02: Trainer Sakonji Urokodaki
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 03: Sabito and Makomo
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 04: Final Selection
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 05: My Own Steel
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 06: A Friend fo All Humans
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 07: Muzan Kibutsuji
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 08: The Smell of Enchanting Blood
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 09: Temari Demon and Arrow Demon
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 10: Together Forever
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 11: Tsuzumi Mansion
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 12: The Boar Bears Its Fangs, Zenitsu Sleeps
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 13: Something More Important Than Life
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 14: The House with the Wisteria Family Crest
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 15: Mount Natagumo
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 16: Letting Someone Else Go First
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 17: You Must Master a Single Thing
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 18: A Forged Bond
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 19: Hinokami
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 20: Pretend Family
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 21: Against Corps Rules
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 22: Master of the Mansion
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 23: Hashira Meeting
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 24: Rehabilitation Training
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 25: Tsuguko, Kanao Tsuyuri
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 26: The House of Escher