Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – Entertainment District Arc Review

An extra anime review this week, due to its current relevance and me not wanting to delay the last little bit of Dragon Ball on Friday. Demon Slayer’s Ufotable-animated run gets back to a more normal TV series approach with the next arc after Mugen Train, dubbed the Entertainment District Arc. While I’m glad the series didn’t vanish into just movies I will say that looking at this arc it also would’ve worked as a film because the arc is eleven episodes long and the big fight starts four episodes in, ending with the last moments of episode 10, so there isn’t a lot of standing around and talking about plot, that’s for sure! Let’s take a look…

Synopsis:

Four months after Kyojuro’s death, Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke accompany the Sound Hashira Tengen Uzui to their next mission – infiltrating the famed Yoshiwara red-light district, where demons are said to reside…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

Even screengrabbed it looks great, it looks even better in motion!

I don’t really need to mention it, but the animation is jaw-dropping, as per usual for Ufotable, but it still needs to be emphasised. It’s strong throughout but the big fight/s and especially its climax are, well, as I already said, jaw-droppingly gorgeous and fluid. It’s anime eye-candy of the highest order.

As the for the story? Well, it barely exists, even for a Shonen anime. After an episode where our lead Tanjiro visits the family of Kyojuro, the Hashira who died in the previous arc, our lead, his demon sister Nezuko in a box, his two constant companions Zenitsu and Inosuke, and another Hashira in the form of Tengen Uzui all head to the “entertainment district” in Yoshiwara to hunt some apparently high-level demons. Uzui has three wives (though really they’re old ninja allies he keeps around and looks after) and he sent all three ahead to scope the area but hasn’t heard back from them so he dresses up our three young “heroes” to look like young girls and sends them to three different major houses in the area to search for them. Some brief hijinx ensue before Zenitsu accidentally uncovers the demon they’re looking for when he crosses paths with a young Oiran (high-ranking courtesan) named Daki. Tanjiro and Inosuke arrive to compare notes but realise Zenitsu is missing and before you know it Tanjiro is facing off with the demon while Inosuke finds where she’s keeping some of Tengen’s wives hostage thanks to the demon have a weird magic obi (that’s the large belt worn across kimonos) that she can control, attack with and absorb people into…

Nezuko actually does something! Hooray!

So that’s it for the rest of the arc: Tanjiro fights Daki (who is a upper-six ranked demon) and reveals some new tricks to nearly win, Inosuke, Zenitsu and Tengen free the hostages, Tanjiro looks like he’s done for until Nezuko emerges from her box and displays great power and nearly defeats Daki until her own bloodlust takes over and Tanjiro has to calm her, meanwhile Tengen arrives and cleaves Daki’s head off to reveal that she’s actually linked to a second demon called Gyutaro who soon emerges and overwhelms our heroes. Tengen and Tanjiro try to fight Gyutaro while Zenitsu, who at this point is asleep so is a super-fast bad-ass rather than a coward, and Inosuke battle Daki, which eventually leads to both demons being beheaded at the same time and victory for our heroes, who survive near-fatal wounds and demon poison thanks to a sudden reveal that Nezuko can heal the poison with her new abilities. It’s a lot of fighting, but again it looks so amazing that I was fine with it, if I’m honest…

Episode 11 deals with the usual post-fight stuff, everyone celebrating they’re alive, a look at all the devastation and a long sequence that tells us the backstory of our evil duo of demons to show it wasn’t all their fault that they killed untold amounts of people as they had pretty crappy lives as humans, which is… erm, nice, I guess? Tengen says as he’s now missing one eye and one hand he’s going to retire but he thinks Tanjiro is ready to succeed him…

The Bad:

Inosuke being out of his boar mask is far weirder than the kimono…

Not a lot, honestly! So long as you go into the arc knowing there is going to be little in the way of plot or character progression (beyond the gaining of new abilities) but a lot in the way of amazing visuals then you’ll be fine. I was a little disappointed we didn’t get more concrete backstory on Tengen and his three wives beyond being apart of a ninja clan, his brothers dying and him over-compensating on doing things with flashy style because as a ninja he was forbidden to do anything of the sort. For the sake of getting you to like him while he fights for his life though, it worked.

Overall Thoughts:

I have to give a round of applause to Gyutaro’s voice actor, his voice was genuinely creepy. Sadly no way of showing that in a picture on a blog!

Demon Slayer’s latest arc is once again a feast for the eyes, full of scenes that will no doubt be appearing in YouTube Anime Music Videos for many years to come. It’s short of actual plot or progression beyond your normal new moves for lead characters but in this instance it’s okay, after Mugen Train it was nice seeing a bit more of an upbeat ending if nothing else…

One thought on “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – Entertainment District Arc Review

  1. The Meta Hunter March 26, 2022 / 3:36 am

    The animation and art work is amazing, that’s for sure. I agree with you on there not being much of a story, but I still enjoyed it and would recommend it.

    Liked by 1 person

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