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Tanjiro and Sabito - Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 3

The Mystery of Sabito and Makomo // Kimetsu no Yaiba Ep. 3 Review

Sabito and Makomo: Episode 3 Review

I like to imagine to imagine that Tanjiro and Nezuko will have a happy ending. Tanjiro will become a legendary demon slayer and cure Nezuko of her demonic affliction. Kimetsu no Yaiba episode 3 gets our heroes that much closer to their goal.

The narrative takes a bit of a step back in this episode. It pulls back to more of Tanjiro’s narration of his training. The mysteriously masked Urokodaki really tests Tanjiro this episode. Even Tanjiro realizes that Urokodaki is probably trying to kill him with the level of intensity he is using for the training.

A lot of the focus of the episode is solely on Tanjiro. Obviously as the main character, he has the most screen time, but Nezuko is cast aside this episode. Urokodaki clearly did something to her in order to take her out of the picture. She hasn’t awoken since falling asleep in the last episode, and sleeps for two straight years. As a demon I understand how she can survive. Tanjiro must be something special to not accuse Urokodaki of doing something underhanded. That or she is going to wake up more powerful than before.

Trying to Kill Tanjiro

I am almost amazed by how far Urokodaki’s training goes in episode 3. We got a glimpse of how hard he hits in the last episode we the swinging logs knocking Tanjiro around, but he isn’t playing now. He is throwing knives and full on tiger pits at our hero. It crossed my mind just as it did Tanjiro that maybe this guy actually hates him and wants him dead. Why else would he being throwing him down a mountain of death everyday? It kinda seems like the training is working. At least we see a stronger and faster Tanjiro.

Aside from the physical training, Urokodaki has to prepare Tanjiro for the work ahead. We find out that the old man works for the Demon Slaying corps. It is a secretive organization whose sole purpose is of course to kill demons and protect humanity. Its pretty well stated that the leader of this group is unknown. Sounds like an obvious call to Chehkov’s gun here. Let’s see when that thread pays off.

After a year of beating poor Tanjiro senseless each day Urokodaki reveals the final test to him. Slice open this giant stone boulder with just a katana. It seems like an impossible task to me. The immense boulder is unbreakable. This is where things speed up. Urokodaki leaves and for another half a year Tanjiro is left to his own devices on the mountain, where he trains every day as Urokodaki instructed. Not a lot of progress is made until Sabito arrives.

Sabito and Makomo

I am not entirely convinced that Sabito and Makomo are not just figments of Tanjiro’s imagination. After a year and a half of struggling against the boulder, another masked figure, Sabito, arrives and challenges Tanjiro. The choreography of the fighting is fantastic. Sabito completely outmanuevers Tanjiro. He doesn’t even have to use a real bladed sword against our hero. A dull wooden stick is his weapon of choice. After a quick battle Tanjiro is left more broken than before. Luckily he has Makomo to set him straight.

Makomo is much younger than Tanjiro or Sabito. I would venture a guess her character is no older than Nezuko at almost fourteen. Despite this she seems to be well trained in Urokodaki’s ways. She reveals to Tanjiro that Urokodaki took her and Sabito in when they were younger, and taught them everything that he knows. With her help Tanjiro is able to overcome his struggle, slicing Sabito’s mask and the boulder in half.

There are a few reasons to believe that Urokodaki’s orphans are not real. They both arrive at Tanjiro’s breaking point. The perfect place to rebuild his psyche from. Their eyes are drawn differently from Tanjiro’s. Sabito and Makomo look glazed over in a haze. A haze which they mysteriously disappear into after Tanjiro’s success. The fact that Tanjiro successfully splits Sabito’s mask in a single stroke while also unknowingly cutting the boulder is the biggest red flag that they aren’t real.

Final Thoughts

This episode is hopefully a great litmus test for the action to come. I know there was basically no demons to be slain, but Kimetsu no Yaiba episode 3 certainly spells out a promising adventure. Now lets see who Sabito and Makomo really are.

[Sources and Further Reading]
[Images via Crunchyroll]
[Episode 2 Review]