Posted by Lenlo on 13 May 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kimetsu no Yaiba

Welcome everyone to another episode of Yaiba! We are 1/4th of the way through now and Yaiba is 3 arcs in, with no plans of slowing. We arrive at the town, a hunt ensues and combat begins with our first super powered Demon. Lets jump in!

As always, production first. I could go on and on about how pretty Yaiba is. How much I love the water effects and uneven line work, etc etc. I have done that every week though, so this time let’s talk sound design, cause whoo. It’s good. Not only is it a Yuki Kaijura OST, always a plus, but Yaiba is just nailing the folly work. Seriously, whoever did the sound of the gnashing teeth deserves a raise. That was a suitably creepy and hair-raising, a unique sound I have no heard before in anime. As a whole it all comes together for a simply fantastic sounding episode. My only real complaint with it is the CGI crowds/walking. Yaiba is finally starting to show some cracks in the CGI, with the wide shots. Luckily all of the closeups are still 2D. That aside though, onto the story.

Before heading out into the city, we get a nice family sort of scene with Urokodaki that I enjoyed. Getting these small moments where the gruff old man shows his love for these kids. Like a father watching a son go out to war. As nice as it was though, there were some… interesting story bits here. First off, that’s a really creepy box. I love Nezuko, shes a great little sister, but Tanjiro is now keeping her in a box. Forever. The second, much more confusing one though, is who attacked Tanjiro’s house. We learn he is the First demon, the only one able to make more Demons. I have to wonder why in the world such an important figure would be in the woods near Tanjiro’s house. It just stretches belief. All in all though I enjoyed this segment and its quiet moments before the main arc.

For the start of the actual mission, I am conflicted. On one hand, Yaiba continues at its blistering pace. Starting and wrapping up arcs very quickly. This is refreshing, we aren’t watching an MC make stupid decisions just to drag out the plot. Yaiba feels like its continuously moving at a reasonable pace. However, thats only good in so long as the story doesn’t suffer. Because here, Tanjiro meets a victim of the attack almost immediately. He didn’t have to work on or flex and sort of investigation skills. He runs into someone, and sniffs his way to victory. And that might be my biggest worry with the episode, the smelling. I was ok with it at first, because it’s just scent. Its not crazy. But it’s getting to the point of ridiculousness. Smelling magically hidden demons, and how to attack. It’s becoming a Deus ex Machina for the series.

Speaking of smelly super powered demons, we run into our first “advanced” demon this week. Getting our first look at what kind of powers they can have. While I am a little concerned about the power of Tanjiro’s nose earlier, I do think the demon was a good fit though. If they are going to go down this road of OP nose, this was the first to show that off. I imagine a lot of other Demon Slayers would have trouble with this kind of demon. One able to split into 3, and come out of the walls and floors. I also enjoyed how this affected the demon’s personality, splitting them into 3 distinct people. It really sets the groundwork for how crazy some of these powers can be and how they can inform a demons character, if the OP didn’t already do that as well.

For the fight itself, I enjoyed it. Yuki Kaijura’s music combined with the visuals were just good fun. Tanjiro actually had trouble with the fight, the first one since his training arc. Making it clear these advanced demons won’t be easy. Even with his OP nose, Tanjiro needed Nezuko to help him out. I like how this paints them as equal members of this partnership in battle, at least for now. A team, rather than just an MC and his follower. Yaiba also made good use of its sword forms. Staying consistent with attack names and visuals. Making note of how switching forms quickly can weaken his attacks, showing he isn’t as flexible as he should be. The choreography wasn’t that great, at least not until the 2nd half of the fight. But for an introductory fight as a real Demon Slayer, I think Yaiba did well.

The last thing I want to talk about this week though is Nezuko. I gotta say, Yaiba is doing a great job of making her cute. With the little crawling under the covers,and how she treats people sort of thing. That plus her design just makes me like her. However I think Yaiba has shot itself in the foot here with her “hypnosis”. It really removes the struggle for her character of not actually eating people. It’s an easy out in my opinion, for what could otherwise be a a great moral conundrum. Yaiba may still give us this in the future, since Nezuko recovers energy by sleeping. She may need a power up for some fight. But for the normal day to day, I think Yaiba is piling to many easy outs for Nezuko.

So all in all, how was this episode. Aside from a few hiccups, Yaiba is still going strong in my eyes. It’s an incredibly competent Shounen. The fights are fun, its pretty to look at , the music is awesome. Aside from nitpicking the occasional CGI screw up or uninspired plot thread, if you like Shounen this should be right up your alley. For those that don’t like classic Shounen though? Yaiba isn’t going to engage your brain or try to trick you, like a serious drama or thriller. Looking deeper isn’t going to reveal any hidden messages or story. What you see on the tin is what you get, Yaiba is very straight forward like that. For me, with currently watching Lain, Dororo and a disappointing OPM, thats perfect.

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