Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc (Kimetsu no Yaiba – Yuukaku-hen) picks up where the movie (Mugen Resha-hen) left off with the main trio consisting of Tanjiro (Hanae Natsuki), Inosuke (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) and Zenitsu (Shimono Hiro) and now along with the sound Hashira, Uzui Tengen (Konishi Katsuyuki) and his 3 kunoichi wives now headed to infiltrate the entertainment district to kill an upper rank demon that has been residing and terrorizing the area. Probably one of the most anticipated animes to air at one point, but did it really live up to the hype?
Starting off, it’s needless to say that Demon Slayer’s visuals and animation look absolutely mesmerizing. When anime fans talk about Demon Slayer, this may well be the very first thing they mention and UFOTABLE Studio definitely hit the jackpot (as always) with the stunning visuals and fight scenes.
Aside from the spectacular visuals, audio comes into play and as expected, it’s a truly immersive experience. The opening (Zankyosanka by Aimer) and ending (Asa ga Kuru by Aimer) were really enjoyable to hear and definitely hypes fans up. Epic backing soundtracks during explosive and key moments in fights is something that viewers are definitely going to experience and who wouldn’t love that?!
However, there are quite a handful of flaws that are present and didn’t seem to change since the previous season.
The main flaw that seems to remain unchanged is the repetitiveness of events and the lack of depth in the characters. Some of the characters’ pacing is very slow unlike Tanjiro thus making it seem like they lack depth. Take Inosuke and Zenitsu for example, the two characters’ lack and gap of character development compared to Tanjiro makes it seem like they’re there only to be comic relief characters. This divides the fandom in half – some are fine with it, while others are on the other end of the spectrum.
Fights in the anime follow a certain template. Because of the “template” of fights, the outcome and the series of events that will happen during the fight becomes clear and the plot becomes linear. It may be good for new anime viewers at it is very simple and very easy to grasp however it may not be the same experience for long time and experienced anime viewers. One thing that is a make or break for viewers is that the end of every fight, there will be flashbacks of the villain’s past life as a human. Some viewers might see it as forcing them to feel empathy for the villains that were introduced as heartless and merciless characters that seem to do bad things for fun whereas other viewers might enjoy the sudden change of tone of the villains and knowing their past and how they became evil demons.
Another noticeable flaw is the excessive use of monologue in Demon Slayer. Monologues are like a double edged sword, when used properly it can create depth but when overused, especially in the case of Demon Slayer, it becomes meaningless and doesn’t add layer to anything and as mentioned previously, repetitive. And since the over usage of monologues often happen during fights, coupled with the already predictable events and outcome of the fights makes the plot and flow of the fight scenes lacking despite the stunning visuals and choreography.
Speaking of fights, the main character trope and plot armor makes some events during fight scenes meaningless and doesn’t really make sense. Simply put, injuries don’t mean anything due to the plot armor. For example, at one point, Tanjiro was on the verge of death yet a flashback of Nezuko brings him back up and ready to fight again which just doesn’t make sense. Another example would be when Tanjiro has his fingers literally destroyed yet was able to hold and swing a sword which makes the finger injury meaningless and the plot armor becomes obviously shown.
Overall, Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc is still an entertaining anime to watch despite its fair share of flaws. A straightforward plot with ease of plot digestibility makes for an enjoyable experience for viewers out there who just wants to relax and feast their eyes on outstanding visuals and fluid animations. However, the flaws that the anime has can definitely be a dealbreaker and it’s up to the viewers to either stick through with the flaws or just overlook them completely.
Our Score – (6/10)
Title: Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc (Kimetsu no Yaiba: Yuukaku hen)
Director: Sotozaki Haruo
Voice Actors: Hanae Natsuki, Shimono Hiro, Matsuoka Yoshitsugu, Konishi Katsuyuki