Watching this episode, it made me realize something:
Not all Shonen protagonists are created equal.
With characters like Naruto, Emma, Izuku, and Gon, they aren’t really great at handling power, and they have to work for it. With characters like Ichigo, Luffy, Asta, and Jotaro, while they knew how to effectively use their powers in the beginning, they also had to learn how to use them. Now, out of all those JUMP protagonists they all have one thing in common:
They knew how to make decisions, and quickly, at that.
This very episode shows that Tanjiro has trouble making decisions. At least, quick decisions that involve death. When a demon attacks him and Nezuko, and he is pinned under the demon, he swings his hatchet, but the demon catches it in his teeth, but Nezuko punts his head off, and fights off his body, while Tanjiro takes care of his head.
After the demon’s body is taken care of, Tanjiro tries to stab its head with a knife. However, Sakonji Urokodaki, who is Giyu’s master, shows up to tell him to smash it with a rock. However, because he asn’t killed anyone before, he hesitates before the sun comes up, desintegrating the demon.
Sakonji chastises him for taking to long to decide what to do, and asks him the Armor-Piercing Question: What would you do if your sister were to eat a human? Sakonji immediately gives him an answer: Kill her, and then himself. Because if he can’t make decisions to kill demons fast enough, he shouldn’t be able to live.
This is a big lesson for Tanjiro to learn in the beginning of his journey, and in his life. Throughout his (16-year old? 17?) entire life, Tanjiro has never had to worry about killing anybody. He didn’t ask for his entire family to be murdered by demons, he was just launched into this world by chance, and his sister was turned into a demon because of chance. Cruel, sadistic chance.
But Sakonji tests him, with a challenge to find his way down from a thin-air, trap-filled mountaintop before the sun rises. And while it trips him up initially, in the end, he finds his resolve to get down from the mountain, to kill the demon who killed his family, and cure his sister.
As dawn approaches, and Tanjiro returns.
This was needed for Tanjiro to grow, because after all, this is still the beginning of his story, and who would drop this at the beginning of the story? That would be like turning off Spider-Man after 30 minutes because he doesn’t have the costume yet! The 2002 Spider-Man, not any of the others. Anyways, fantastic episode, can’t wait to see more.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is available on Hulu, FunimationNow, and Crunchyroll.
Well, until next time, I’ve been Aze, and I hope you come back to my vault.