Urokodaki’s Disciples // Kimetsu no Yaiba Ep. 4 Review
Final Selection: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 4 Review
Jumping back to Tanjiro’s battle against Sabito, Kimetsu no Yaiba episode 4 brings us right back to Tanjiro splitting the boulder. I am in as much disbelief as Urokodaki is seeing Tanjiro split the massive boulder. It is a magical feat of strength to cut a one ton boulder through the middle with a tiny katana. Urokodaki never intended Tanjiro to succeed. His plan all along was to have Tanjiro fail and give up his dreams to becoming a demon slayer.
There is a deep loss in Urokodaki’s thoughts. He setup Tanjiro to fail with his herculean task. Urokodaki knows what lies beyond the final selection. Nothing but death and loss. Something that he has felt personally. Up and until this point Urokodaki has seemed distant and even a bit dismissive of Tanjiro’s dream. We really understand his thought process this episode. If he can stop the kid in his tracks he can save another life.
The Ghosts of Sabito and Makomo
I guessed from the last episode that brother and sister Sabito and Makomo were not real. I was of the opinion that they were figments of Tanjiro’s delusional mind. It turns out they are the spirits of Urokodaki’s former padawans. Them not being real was both right and wrong. They were manifested as spirits, and it seems like they only came to Tanjiro.
The ghosts of Sabito and Makomo really drive home how hard Urokodaki wanted to fail Tanjiro. They are the spiritual manifestations of his failure. We don’t see it until towards the end of the episode, but he has failed a dozen times to have his ward pass the final selection. Now that Tanjiro has passed his impossible task, he has no reason to believe that he can’t succeed.
For this seemingly all important event, there is very little pomp and circumstance surrounding the Final Selection. Tanjiro shows up to the mountain and finds a dozen or so other candidates. Then some creepy twin girls start announcing the rules to the event and we get started. The young demon slayers must survive seven nights on the mountain top without dying. Numerous demons call this mountain home after they have been trapped there by the wisteria plants. Apparently demons absolutely hate this beautiful purple flower. This keeps them trapped on the mountain only to find themselves fighting the younglings.
While we only get most of the first night of the Final Selection, the action is spectacular. Tanjiro is almost instantly ambushed by a demon, and is saved when another demon jealously interrupts their fight. The water effects of Tanjiro’s attacks are gorgeous. It makes it a treat to watch his sword fighting. The action doesn’t take a back seat to budget in this episode. The animators did a splendid job of creating the choreography and showing the raw emotion that Tanjiro exhibits.
Before the episode is over Tanjiro meets the most monstrous demon. After some monologuing from the demon, we find out this sludge monster is the cause of Urokodaki’s pain. This one demon has single-handidly slain a dozen of Urokodaki’s disciples. Sabito and Makomo are two of his most recent victims. This reveals to Tanjiro that they were spirits, causing him to become emotional in his fight.
Kimetsu no Yaiba episode 4 continues to excel in the fighting. Tanjiro’s final fight with the old demon is the highlight of the show so far. The design of the water effects around his sword are magnificent. The pace of the show is also keeping it very interesting. The journey to Final Selection wasn’t drawn out. We are moving from set piece to set piece with just enough exposition in between to keep the demon slaying interesting.
[Source and Further Reading]
[Episode 3 Review]
[Images via Crunchyroll]