Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (Season 3) Episode 2: After a longer, special episode last week to begin the third season, Demon Slayer returns to a standard runtime this week. In this episode, we are properly introduced to two new characters who will likely play a large role in the Swordsmith Village Arc moving forward: Muichiro Tokito, the Mist Hashira, and Kotetsu, a young boy who is a resident of the village and a swordsmith. The episode also has Tanjiro begin a new form of training by sparring against a Battle Doll, making for a strong episode overall and no doubt leaving viewers eager for more.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (Season 3) Episode 2 Recap:
Picking up right where last week’s episode had ended, the swordsmith boy still refuses to give Muichiro a key and insists that he won’t demonstrate how to use something that Muichiro presumably wants to use. Tanjiro observes the argument from behind some trees and feels compelled to intervene. However, as he is thinking, the Mist Hashira becomes annoyed and strikes the boy on his cheek and he cries out in pain.
Tanjiro rushes over and confronts Muichiro, trying to pull his hand away from the smith, but the Hashira’s arm is too strong. Muichiro demands that Tanjiro let go and strikes him in the stomach with his elbow, causing him to fall to the ground in agony. He then insults Tanjiro for his weakness and questions how he managed to join the Demon Slayer Corps. Muichiro suddenly senses a demon, Tanjiro’s younger sister Nezuko, inside the box he is carrying on his back.
Tanjiro deflects Muichiro’s hand away and sternly instructs him not to touch the box on his back. He then frees the young swordsmith from Muichiro’s grasp, which surprises the Mist Hashira to some extent. However, despite Tanjiro’s offer to help, the distraught swordsmith still refuses to hand over the key, convinced that the item he is guarding will be damaged.
Muichiro ridicules the swordsmith for thinking he can withhold something so insignificant and argues that he can simply create a new one. He points out how many lives may have been lost during the time he has been withholding the key and suggests that a Hashira’s time is more valuable than that of a swordsmith, who is only useful for crafting weapons since they cannot fight.
Muichiro then demands the key again, but Tanjiro intervenes to protect the swordsmith. Frustrated by the Hashira’s attitude, Tanjiro agrees with his arguments but also emphasizes the importance of a swordsmith’s role. He explains that a swordsman and a swordsmith are interdependent and cannot exist without each other. However, Muichiro abruptly interrupts him, calling his speech boring and striking him on the neck to render him unconscious.
As Tanjiro is about to lose consciousness, he catches a glimpse of Hotaru Haganezuka, the person he came to the village for. When he wakes up later, he asks the swordsmith if Haganezuka has been around, but the latter informs him that he hasn’t as Haganezuka didn’t want Tanjiro to see him.
Tanjiro then inquires about Muichiro’s whereabouts, and the smith reveals that he gave him the key to get rid of him. Although he feels guilty for intervening in a futile argument, the young boy expresses his gratitude towards Tanjiro for defending him. He then explains that the man they were arguing with was actually a mechanical doll that requires the key to operate. The swordsmith warns that the combat doll is capable of overpowering a person with its hundred and eight movements. Suddenly, they hear a loud crash, and the smith realizes that Muichiro has activated the doll.
Tanjiro and the swordsmith observe as Muichiro engages in a swift battle with the combat doll. The smith reveals that the doll, known as Yoriichi Type Zero, was created by his ancestors. When Tanjiro asks why the doll has six arms, the boy explains that it was designed based on a real person whose movements were incredibly fast, and six arms were necessary to replicate them. Upon examining the doll’s face, Tanjiro has a vague sense of recognition but cannot place it. He asks the smith about the person, but even he doesn’t know as they lived in the Sengoku period.
Despite being impressed by the 300-year-old technology that still outperforms modern-day inventions, the smith points out that if the doll is damaged, it cannot be repaired by anyone. As Tanjiro watches Muichiro’s skillful fighting, he is amazed at how someone so young can be so talented.
Out of nowhere, Muichiro’s Kasugai Crow interjects, attributing Muichiro’s exceptional abilities to his lineage as a descendant of the Sun Breathing user. Tanjiro points out that Muichiro doesn’t employ Sun Breathing techniques, which prompts the crow to bite him for insulting her owner. Tanjiro then mentions seeing the man in a dream. However, the crow dismisses his claims, insisting that he couldn’t possibly know someone from the Sengoku period.
The swordsmith speculates that Tanjiro may have witnessed an inherited memory, perhaps from one of his ancestors. Delighted that his assertions aren’t entirely unfounded, Tanjiro asks for the boy’s name, and he introduces himself as Kotetsu. As they converse, a loud crash interrupts them, signaling Muichiro’s devastating blow to the doll, which causes severe damage. Kotetsu, in distress, flees the scene.
After locating Kotetsu up in a tree using his sense of smell, Tanjiro offers his help and encourages him not to give up on the doll, emphasizing that he must work towards his future self. Despite this, Kotetsu is resigned to his fate, believing that his generation’s accomplishments will end with him. However, Tanjiro suddenly appears beside him, having climbed up quickly and silently. Startled by his presence, Kotetsu is impressed by his agility and determination.
Tanjiro tells him that even if he can’t do something now, someone will help him in the future, and if a task seems too difficult, his descendants will eventually accomplish it. He shares his own goal of defeating Muzan Kibutsuji and saving Nezuko, acknowledging that he may not be able to achieve it himself but remains hopeful that someone will carry on his legacy. Tanjiro declares to him that they can do their best together. Moved to tears, the young swordsmith is inspired to continue and to not give up hope.
Upon their return to the doll, Tanjiro and Kotetsu notice Muichiro making his way towards them, having apparently finished his training. The Mist Hashira reveals that his own sword broke during training, and he will be using the doll’s arm, which has a blade attached to it. Kotetsu rushes to the doll while Muichiro orders Tanjiro to dispose of his old sword and tosses it at him. Despite the dismissive behavior, Tanjiro observes that Muichiro doesn’t seem to have any malice and not doing it intentionally, which is the opposite of his crow.
As rain starts to fall, the dejected smith looks at the damaged doll, but Tanjiro suggests testing if it is still functional. They set it upright and turn the key, and to their amazement, Yoriichi Type Zero is still operational. Because of his anger towards Muichiro and his behaviour towards him, Kotetsu wants Tanjiro to train with the doll in the hopes of surpassing the Mist Hashira.
During the fight with the doll, Tanjiro finds himself struggling to keep up with its speed, despite it now wielding wooden clubs instead of katanas. Kotetsu, who is both hot-tempered and sharp-tongued, insults the Hashira in front of Tanjiro, while also providing him with valuable insights on his errors in fighting the doll. Kotetsu also forbids him from eating or drinking during the training. However, even with his best efforts, Tanjiro still cannot manage to land a hit, and the lack of sustenance ends up making things more challenging.
In the midst of his fight with Yoriichi Type Zero, now armed with real swords by Kotetsu, Tanjiro faints due to exhaustion and hunger. However, a light rain offers him a chance to drink some water before he collapses again. He suddenly finds himself walking across a bridge in the Sanzu River, which leads to the afterlife. Unfortunately, he loses his footing and falls into the dark water, feeling dizzy and weak. There, he experiences a warm massage–like feeling and sees a shiny stone at the bottom of the river which he can somehow smell. When he touches it, he awakens and finds himself in the middle of an attack against the battle doll.
Tanjiro notices a distinct scent separate from the Opening Thread and focuses on the doll’s moving limbs. With this newfound knowledge, he skillfully evades a swing aimed at his head and quickly moves in for an attack. Though he still fails to make a significant impact and collapses onto the ground, he takes solace in the fact that he landed his most successful strike yet. Kotetsu notices Tanjiro’s exhaustion and offers him some food, which he gratefully accepts.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (Season 3) Episode 2 Ending, Explained:
What is inside the Battle Doll?
After eating, drinking and replenishing his energy, Tanjiro fares better in his fight against the bladed Yoriichi Type Zero. He becomes adept at anticipating its movements, allowing him to plan his attacks. After backing away to strategize, he sprints towards the doll, leaping over it as he descends and brings his blade down to slash it. However, he hesitates midway through the attack, unwilling to destroy something so valuable to Kotetsu. Surprisingly, the swordsmith encourages him to strike the doll, as he can repair it even if it breaks, enabling Tanjiro to achieve his objective.
While dodging an attack that nearly gets him and feeling the blade graze his hair, Tanjiro manages to strike the doll, causing the blade he was using to break and he falls to the ground. Apologizing for the broken sword, Tanjiro is comforted by Kotetsu who is not bothered by it at all. As they both recover, they suddenly witness the doll’s body crack open and its head crumble away, revealing a sword hidden inside. Astonished, they realize they are looking at a sword that is more than 300 years old.