Posted by Lenlo on 22 April 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kimetsu no Yaiba

Welcome to Kimetsu no Yaiba, the premier Saturday Morning Cartoon of the season! This time we burn through a training arc, meet some ghosts and learn the arcs end-goal. Lets jump in!

Starting off, like always, the production. Yaiba does a great job here, like usual, looking fantastic. Assume you like digital effects that is. I myself have no problem with them, and so for me, I find it quite fun to look at. It’s not just the digital effects though, Yaiba has a ton of small-details throughout. There are two specifically I want to call attention to though. The first, are the animated jaws. Yaiba animates the jaws of characters with masks as they talk, helping sell it. This is nice because most series wouldn’t take the effort, using the masks to save on animation of the mouths. That Yaiba refuses to do this is a nice touch. The other is another small detail, of the calluses on Tanjiro’s hands. We see them when writing his journal, and it’s just a nice small detail visually telling the story.

Speaking of the story, whoa boy did Yaiba burn through it this week. Not 1, not 2, but 4 time-skips getting us a total of 2 years into the future. Personally, I like this. Just get through the required training section and jump right to the action. By splitting it up into these 6 month sections, Yaiba can show us what Tanjiro is working on and that it’s not a fast process. It’s basically an extended montage, with a smaller story told/hinted throughout. Yaiba also sets up the end-goal for this training arc, that being the Final Selection exam coming up. You could say that this entire episode is setting up for this exam, with how difficult Tanjiro’s training is and the Sabito/Makomo’s story. Before getting into them though, I want to spend a bit more time on Tanjiro’s training.

I liked what we saw here, and how it ramped up over time. We practiced everything from swordplay to general breathing and form, which are important. We also got to see him actually grow up a bit through it, though it was mostly just his hair growing out. That isn’t to say Yaiba did everything perfectly though. There are a few things I have some issue with. For instance, we are supposed to believe that over the 2 years his training was ramped up to involve real knives and such, yet he doesn’t have a scratch on him. I don’t need some massive scars or anything, his design is fine. But some instance of recovery would be nice. Show he’s mortal and all that. I also found the comedy to be very meh in this section, going mostly for the obvious slapstick. But overall, it did what it needed to.

Yaiba also attempted something beyond a typical training arc here though, with its own episodic story. That being the one of Sabito and Makomo, apparent ghosts and prior students of Urokodaki. Yaiba has a lot going on with these two, from their possible fates to their past. Apparently Urokodaki took them in at some point, trained them and sent them off. Since Sabito managed to break the boulder, we can only assume he also made it to the Final Selection, and since he is a ghost, probably died there. It really sells how dangerous this selection is. Especially because Sabito’s clothes, the pattern on them, match the pattern on Giyu’s clothes, the Slayer from the first episode. Is Giyu also one of these adopted orphans, did he grow up with Sabito and see something similar in Tanjiro, who also has a younger sister? I look forward to finding out.

Yaiba also surprised me this week by not introducing the new characters I was expecting. Of course, we got Sabito and Makomo, but I am talking the two we see in the OP. The other clear members of our Lead Party, with the hogs head and the yellow hair, will most likely come later. I suspect they will appear next episode, or episode 5 at the latest. Fellow students who will appear at the Final Selection and they will bond during those trials. From the looks of things, one of them follows them because he falls in love with Nezuko. The other however I suspect will be a basic, “follows because Tanjiro is strong” sort of thing. Yaiba has surprised me before, so it’s possible there is more to it than that. I really hope so, as I am enjoying the series. But I don’t have many expectations for it.

One question I do currently have though is this, why is Nezuko sleeping? It seems very convenient for her to fall asleep randomly after last episode while he is training. Completely removing the whole “watch her so she doesnt murder someone” plot when it’s inconvenient. That this was never really explained or even stated that it happened last week concerns me. Yaiba could easily have said “She hasn’t eaten person so she’s tired”, and I suspect that’s what it will do. Afterall, she’s a demon and needs food and isn’t allowed to murder people. But that it was laid out as a plot point out of nowhere just feels wrong to me. I understand the reason it was done, just not how it was implemented basically. A short 5 second line could easily have smoothed that over, for at least this week.

So all in all, how did Yaiba do this week? Well it’s a serviceable training episode, leading into a legitimate first arc. I am happy with how quickly we got through training, and the interesting ways Yaiba tried to spice it up. Were this Naruto, we would be watchin Tanjiro learn to breathe for half the season. So that’s nice. Basically, Yaiba continues to be a solid standard Shounen fare, with Ufotable levels of production. After the mind-fuck that was my recent Paranoia Agent watch, this is a breath of fresh air. I don’t want nor need any deep philosophical commentaries. Yaiba still doesn’t look like it will break any molds nor be some grand landmark series, but that ok. Sometimes a solid Shounen is all you need after a hard days work.

But what do you think? Do you like your Shounen with a bit more meaning in them, or is something fun to watch all you need sometimes? Let me know down below, and I will see you next week!

2 Responses

  1. Avatar Jimmytimmy says:

    Lol. Naruto comparison really makes me appreciate the way kimetsu no yaiba handled this part of the story.

  2. Avatar Jimmytimmy says:

    Shonen is either love or hate for me, but not complicated. Avoid ridiculous power levels and keep things consistent. Don’t make the plots too convoluted. Also not changing the tone (Naruto went from killing Sasuke’s tribe to no deaths) helps a lot.

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