Posted by Lenlo on 26 May 2019 with categories: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Welcome, one and all, to another fantastic week of Kimetsu no Yaiba! This time Muzan’s voice gets sexier, Yaiba gets trippy and Nezuko becomes the cutest little thing ever. Lets dive in!

Recently I have been skipping the visual aspect of Yaiba, because I gushed about it often. This week Yaiba managed to stand out beyond the norm though. It was simultaneously beautiful and horrifying, comedic and somber. The flower sequence at the start was beautiful, flowing across the screen like water. I would love to know how much of that was computer generated digital effects vs hand-drawn. Meanwhile, Muzan’s sequence in the alley with the woman was terrifying. Ufotable left nothing to the imagination with that, and as horrifying as it was, I couldn’t look away. I was enthralled with how they depicted a person literally melting. The only downside to the whole episode were 2, 3-4 sec sequences at most. Involving CGI walks that really exist only to save them time on the most minor of shots. It’s a nitpick, and one I will gladly ignore for everything else.

Now, let’s get to details, and I want to start with Muzan. Muzan and his sexy, sexy voice. Toshihiko Seki is doing a masterful job so far. Easily switching from smooth as silk to terrifyingly monstrous. Yaiba really sold him as an antagonist this week I feel, and it wasn’t just the VA. Muzan’s time in the alley also did a great job of ratcheting up the threat level. None of these people were a threat, so it wasn’t jobbing. But Yaiba showed him to be a discerning evil instead of an arbitrary one. Muzan was going to walk past, leave them alone, he had no desire to kill them until they started bothering him. Yet the moment they became inconvenient, he didn’t hesitate. It’s a short scene, but I think it does a lot for Muzan. Even hinting at some of his history and his relationship with his family.

On the topic of his backstory, we only got a small cut of it, however its rather interesting. Muzan was clearly defeated before, and somehow survived. Defeated by someone with the same earrings as Tanjiro. I am a little concerned on that front, I don’t want this to be some familiar dynasty of demon slaying. With the father having been one in secret. But for now, its triggered a strong reaction in Muzan I like. I can’t tell if it’s fear or anger, but both lead to an emotional villain rather than a blank slate of a character, so I like it. Yaiba also has Muzan pro-actively put out a hit on Tanjiro, instead of waiting for the hero to come to him. Proactive antagonists are some of the best. Also, that forced transformation was simply horrifying. I have never seen a melted body in such detail, and loved it.

Muzan isn’t the only interesting demon Yaiba gives us this week though. We also meet Lady Tamayo and her… butler/assistant(?) Yushiro. Of the two, I find Tamayo to be much more interesting, and Yushiro to mostly be annoying. His character is simply to exaggerated for my taste, and he also insulted the Best Sister Nezuko. Tamayo though is fantastic, I love that we are seeing more facets to demons. Getting one who is effectively a vegetarian in a sense, not killing humans. Posing as as doctor to get blood to survive off of peacefully. It’s a very World of Darkness, Vampire’s sort of story. Reminding me of White Wolf’s Vampire: The Masquerade. Also, everything about her is just beautiful. From her face/clothing to her fanciful ability, she seems like she was a joy to animate. Yaiba is going to be a strong contender for Best Girl, it seems.

Story wise, Tamayo also confirm’s Tanjiro’s quest and gives him more direction. Confirming that there is indeed a cure, though she doesn’t know how to make it yet. Seems odd to me, like a wish more than concrete knowledge, but could lead to some fun plot points in the future. As for the mission itself, there’s nothing particularly noteworthy about it. In terms of characters and such, Yaiba does a fantastic job, but its overarching story is still general Shounen. This quest from Tamayo serves as nothing more than a reason for Tanjiro to fight progressively powerful demons, to keep the series going. The only interesting thing about it for me was the strength required. Specifically the “Demons as strong as Muzan”, implying there are multiple. I figured he would be the end-all Antagonist for the series, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Can’t wait to see.

As much as I loved Yaiba this week though, it wasn’t perfect. The comedy was very hit or miss for me, and came at a weird time tonally. We just saw a person get melted to death, to immediately jump to Udon merchant? It wasn’t terrible, but I was definitely surprised. As for the comedy itself, I loved some and hated the rest. Yushiro, as I said earlier, just felt overdone to me. Exaggerated and over the top,I wasn’t a fan of any of his comedy. Perhaps it’s because of how prevalent, how much of it there was, in so short a time. But I could have done without the slapstick dog act. Meanwhile, Udon guy worked fine. He connected us back to last episode, and acted as a sort of “consequence” for Tanjiro’s sudden leave. It wasn’t all that invasive of an otherwise serious scene, basically.

Next up we have Nezuko, easily the cutest part of Yaiba. Every week she just becomes more and more loveable, with Yaiba really ratcheting it up this week. Normally this would be out of place with the rest of the episode. Afterall we just saw someone get melted and another get kicked into space basically. But Yaiba didn’t focus on her, just sort of let her… live in the scene. Making them more interesting visually without taking away from what was actually being said. For instance, just laying back and enjoying the tatami mats. Sliding around on the floor or kicking her legs in the air. It’s all very childlike and loveable, really emphasized by the simple dot eyes. Some would call this low-effort, but with everything else about her design, I think it’s a clear stylized choice for showing how checked out she is during the talks. Love Nezuko.

Finally, lets chat about Yaiba’s upcoming fight. While I think it will be visually a treat, and the two demon’s powers are interesting, I don’t expect much challenge for Tanjiro. Afterall, these two enemies don’t even have names, yet they are entering into a possible 3/4 vs 2 scenario. That said, I can’t wait to actually watch the fight though. Lady Tamayo’s power was beautiful, and the eye/arrow ability was very interesting as well. I think Ufotable will be able to do great things here with these abilities. The ball power seems a bit boring, visually comparatively. However with proper use of impact, motion and digital effects, I think Yaiba can make those veritable cannon balls fun. With how bright they are, at the very least following them won’t be an issue. So I am expecting a good time next week.

So all in all, how was Yaiba this week? Once again, it was strong. Oh so strong. I think it’s safe to say Yaiba is my current favorite of the season. Surpassing all of my expectations for a seasonal Shounen. Yuki Kaijura (EDIT: Go Shiina also composes for the series as well. My mistake) is making her most inspired OST in awhile, Toshihiko Seki is giving a fantastic performance as Muzan, and Ufotable is nailing it visually. Every aspect of this production so far has been a treat, and gives me hope after the travesty that is One Punch Man Season 2. I don’t even need to ask “If it keeps this up”, because at this point I would be shocked if it didn’t Yaiba is 8 episode’s in and going strong. So much so that, at this rate, its going to end up in my favorite’s for the year with Mob Psycho and Run With the Wind.

4 Responses

  1. Avatar Revokkin says:

    Hello, I have been immensely enjoying your posts so far on this series (I love it as well) but I just want to point out that there are TWO OST composers here, Kajiura and Go Shiina.

    It’s generally pointed out that Go Shiina has done more work here than Kajiura (and as an avid listener to the two, I can tell as well). The most Kajiura has done in a single episode is actually episode 1. Most tracks from then on have Go Shiina’s flair, right down to the use of synth , dubstep remixes of his chants, and the trumpet blair so often heard in his God Eater soundtracks.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Wow, thanks for letting me know! When I first checked the staff list for this series early on before the season started, I only saw Kajiura’s name credited for the music. I suppose the initial source was incomplete. I went back and edited to give proper credit to Shiina at the bottom with Kajiura, so I appreciate the catch! I will make sure to remember them going forward!

      Also, I am glad you are enjoying the posts! I live hearing that people actually read them!

      • Avatar Revokkin says:

        No problem! It’s really fun to read other people’s take on the episodes and how well they convey their thoughts.

        There is an upcoming Kajiura OST release for the show so her contribution will be properly marked there. Go Shiina’s OST release date hasn’t been announced yet though.

    • Avatar evafan says:

      Go Shiina is doing this? Ah maaan. And Midorikawa Hikaru and Ootsuka Houchuu alco work on this. This show is really luring me in… Must resist!

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