Posted by Lenlo on 23 June 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kimetsu no Yaiba

Welcome all to what is, for me, a very conflicted episode of Kimetsu no Yaiba. Filled with fantastic animation, some well thought out fights and a character I loathe no matter how great his scenes look. Let’s dive in!

Starting off, Yaiba looked great this week. I don’t think that’s really up for contention. I have a good deal off issues with the episode, but they are all related to 2 characters in particular. Everything though was just awesome. From Zenitu’s whole lightning sequence to the rotating rooms and 3D environments. Could you tell it was CGI and that Tanjiro wasn’t really hitting the walls as cleanly as 2D animation? Yes. Was it still fantastic to see him roll around the screen with the changing environment? Seeing this well lit set spin around, all on model, as the camera sweeps through following our lead? You know it! Pessimists would point out every little thing, or whine about Ufotable’s overreliance on filters. Me? I am just gonna enjoy some well directed action scenes as Ufotable constantly tries something new in every shot. Sadly, this episode wasn’t all perfect animation fun.

Zenitsu was, once again, my biggest issue with the episode. His incredibly annoying, persistent whining, aside I find the basis for his fighting style annoying. It takes the “cowardly lion” approach to a whole new level. Where he can’t even fight for himself, but instead falls asleep from… fear? And then fights like that? It’s just sort of a buzzkill. Don’t get me wrong, it looked fantastic, and I really wanna see more of his style. It stands out and really grabs your attention. But then it ends, and Zenitsu wakes up, and suddenly all of the badassness is lost to a bumbling idiot that doesn’t even know he can fight. Attributing the slaying of a demon to a helpless child. Zenitsu isn’t the only character to suffer from this either, with the 2nd probably posse member suffering from something very similar.

That posse member being the as of yet unnamed Boar Head. He is the opposite side of the same annoying coin. Taking a shtick, a stereotype, and taking it to extreme levels. It’s all but guaranteed that either Tanjiro will defeat him, or save him, thus compelling him to follow our lead around constantly challenging him. That he is always screaming and never shuts up about it either is what makes him similarly annoying to Zenitsu. So far, both are one-note stereotypes. Sure, they are cool, I like their designs. Boar Head being self taught, introducing another kind of combat to the story is fun. But so far, what little they add isn’t worth sitting through their on-screen personalities. My only hope is that, once we exit this introductory arc, both are toned down a bit and given more nuance. Because if not, this will be a long 2nd cour.

Still, Yaiba didn’t butcher everyone’s character this week, as Tanjiro is still going strong. Prioritizing the protection of the kids, and thinking his way through the fights. And oh the fight, I love what is going on with Kyogai the demon. I said before that the animation was fun, with the entire room rotating with the beats of the drums. But narratively, I loved how Tanjiro is thinking it through. Analyzing the drums, figuring out which drum does what and how to handle it. Yaiba even called back to his broken bones, finally acknowledging that previous fights results. Sure, we know he will win, but in a Shounen its always about the “how”. “How” awesome is the fight, “how” clever are the tactics, etc etc. Yaiba clearly knows this, setting up demons like Kyogai with tactical powers instead of pure combat powers.

Speaking of Kyogai, as much as I enjoy his power, I am conflicted with him. On one hand, he used to be a moon! A weaker, lower one sure, but a Moon nonetheless. He got kicked out for not being strong enough, and now here he is. He also gives us more information on Muzan and how his Twelve Demon Moon’s organization actually functions. All of this is nice! However, I have to ask, is every demon connected to Muzan? It sure seems like it. Yeah, he is the big bad, we do need to see more and more of him. Conflict needs to get driven with him for a satisfying finale in 12 weeks. It just makes one wonder is all, if he controls everyone and is connected to everything, why the Demon Hunters haven’t done anything about it. I assume they have tried. Hopefully we get to see.

The last things I want to talk about are all minor gripes. For instance, how did the crow get into the house? Was he just in Tanjiro’s shirt the whole time? It just confused me when I first saw the bird randomly appear. The bigger gripe I have though has got to be the chibi/childish animations. Don’t get me wrong, I like it throughout the story. Nezuko is cute and with Yaiba’s designs I think it makes for a fun time. There is nothing inherently wrong with it. My issue though comes when it is over used in what is supposed to be a serious moment. Naturally, this mostly ties back into Zenitsu and my issues with him. Being the gag comic relief of the series. If Yaiba can fix Zenitsu, then this problem should fix itself. But we will have to wait and see.

So all in all, how was this episode of Yaiba? Pretty good, with only moments of “Why?”. The series has a strong grasp of its powers/combat. Making even annoying characters like Zenitsu a treat when they actually fight. What is holding the series back the most right now are the new side characters and its humor. Just like Yujiro from the last arc, Yaiba’s humor is to take a singular joke and beat us over the head with it. Screaming “Do you get it? How about now?”. It’s maybe funny once or twice, in specific circumstances, but eventually it gets tiring. We knew Yujiro for all of 3 episodes and I still got tired of him. Imagine how I will feel about Zenitsu in 3 months. If Yaiba can just fix this fixation on extreme comedy, I think it will be a treat. Currently though, its just annoying.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar jimmytimmy says:

    you make a good point about this shows humor. its pretty forced but the humor along with the characters being kinda stereotypical… well maybe it should get a pass because its shonen and most shonen are targeted towards a younger audience and simpler things do better for that age group? people just want to see some demon slaying basically. Tbh I dunno. Because on the other hand you also have shows fma, hxh and snk that break the trend but they’re classics.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Perhaps. There is a good chance Yaiba isn’t targeted at me. However, with the brutality of some of its scenes, I feel like I am right in its age group. It’s also not that its not to terribly. Zenitsu’s VA does a great job, there is a lot of range there. From the blubbering crying to the panicked screams and his “serious” combat voice, its all good. I just think its overdone. If Yaiba just… knocked him down 1 or 2 notches, I could see myself enjoying him. Hopefully thats what the series does after this introduction.

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