Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba (Season 3), Episodes 8 & 9: Recap & Ending Explained – Who saves Tanjiro from Zohakuten’s dragons?

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (Season 3), Episodes 8 & 9 Recap & Ending Explained: Continuing with the fight against Gyokko and Zohakuten, the two latest episodes of Demon Slayer are a mixed bag in that one is a weak episode (episode 8) and the other is a strong one (episode 9). This is because of a problem that’s been plaguing much of the third season: flashbacks.

Generally bland, uninteresting, and generic, these flashbacks also affect the pacing of the story negatively and completely break the flow, whether it be Genya or Muichiro. Episode 9, thankfully, remedies this to a great extent, with an action-focused episode with minimal breaks in the fighting, and if the cliffhanger ending is any indication, it will continue moving forward.

Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba (Season 3), Episodes 8 & 9 Recap:

Episode 8

Having just escaped from the water pot Gyokko trapped him in, Muichiro starts removing the poisoned needles from his body but is slow and numb because of the poison. Down on the ground, he still manages to remove the needles but sees an unconscious and injured Kotetsu about to be attacked by more fish demons. Unable to move to help Kotetsu, Muichiro sees a vision of his father telling him to get up.

A flashback begins here, where Muichiro is carrying timber with some difficulty yet manages to join his father, who is a woodcutter. In a voice over, he says that he enjoyed watching and helping and his father work, with a seemingly peaceful life that he is content with.

That changes, though, when his mother falls extremely ill one night and in desperate need of medication, his father goes to fetch herbs from the forest. Muichiro desperately reassures his mother that their father has gone to get herbs, but she complains of being cold as the scene shifts to his father in the forest. He reaches for the herbs he has spotted, but the rocks he is perched on break and he falls to his death, with the herbs in his hands. His mother dies that night as well, and Muichiro is seen at their graves, noting that he was all alone at the age of ten, only to remember that he was in fact eleven when he was alone.

At this point, it is revealed that Muichiro has a twin brother named Yuichiro, who speaks harshly of kindness and helping other people, strongly believing it to be meaningless. A hurt Muichiro says that helping others will help themselves in the end, which had been taught to them by their father. In response, Yuichiro says that he shouldn’t take the word of a dead man who couldn’t even save their mother.

Despite being reproached for saying that about their father, Yuichiro continues the sentiment and tells Muichiro that their mother was too ill to be healed by simple herbs. If he had stayed home, which was the sensible thing in his view, they would still have one parent, which shocks Muichiro. Yuichiro ends by saying that he is only speaking the truth, and that the ‘Mu’ in Muichiro is from the word for incompetent. Talking about this any further is meaningless, he feels, as they can’t change the past and that ‘Mu’ also borrows from the word for meaningless, reducing Muichiro to tears.

Continuing with the voice over, Muichiro says he feels like he became like Yuichiro in terms of manner and speech when he lost his memories. To him, life with his twin was restricting and he thought he was hated by his brother. Two years pass, and when he is fetching water from the river one day, he sees Amane Ubayashiki, (wife of Kaguya, the leader of the Demon Slayers) who meets with the twins.

Amane has come with an offer of having the two brothers join the Demon Slayers, but is rejected by Yuichiro, who is also furious with Muichiro for having dreams of becoming a Demon Slayer as they’re both descended from the first Breathing – style user. Because of Muichiro’s desire to help people and save them from demons, Yuichiro lashes out and asks how he can possibly be a swordsman when he can’t even make rice. Finding him to be exactly like his parents in his optimism and compassion, he remembers how their mother kept her illness a secret and kept working, while their father went out in the middle of a storm to fetch herbs.

Yuichiro tried to get their mother to rest, and their father to stay home the night he died, but to no avail. He says that saving others is for the chosen ones, and that they cannot do anything despite their heritage and that they will ultimately die a meaningless death like their parents did. He also believes that Amane will manipulate them into doing bad things, and closes the conversation.

From that point on, the two brothers didn’t speak to each other at all, their relationship having soured. One hot night, the two are unable to sleep and Muichiro goes to drink water as a demon suddenly appears and moves to attack Muichiro, but Yuichiro shields him with his own body and his arm is severed as a result. Both covered in blood, Muichiro takes Yuichiro further from the demon who states that they are just worthless woodcutters.

Hearing the demon say that, Muichiro is furious, and even in the present day finds it difficult to believe his rage, and cannot actually recall what exactly happened. Only that he killed the demon using makeshift weapons. The demon, despite his grave wounds, is still alive and dies when the sun rises.

Collapsing on the doorstep of their home, Muichiro tries to reach his brother by crawling, and sees his brother barely alive due to the blood lost from his wound. Despite that, Yuichiro is praying to the gods to spare Muichiro and take him instead, since he is the one who stopped him from helping people. He also says that the ‘Mu’ in his name actually comes from infinity, and the flashback ends.

In the present, Muichiro’s Demon Slayer Mark appears on his face, and he uses his Mist Breathing techniques to kill the fish demons and save Kotetsu. Kotetsu, though injured, insists that he save Kanamori, Haganezuka and the swords, and Muichiro moves to do so.

Inside the hut, Gyokko is furious that he hasn’t broken Haganezuka’s concentration in polishing the sword, despite injuring and even blinding him in one eye. He then notices Kanamori, and decides to kill him as that will probably get a reaction from Haganezuka. All of a sudden, he senses a sword about to sever his head and barely manages to dodge the attack.

Confused as to how Muichiro escaped the water pot, Gyokko realizes that he stopped thinking about the Hashira since he assumed he was about to die, but interprets it as having a strong focus on Haganezuka. He also notices the Demon Slayer Mark on Muichiro’s face, recognizing it as being similar to the mark Tanjiro gets, according to intel from Muzan. He is also taken aback as to how Muichiro appears to be unflustered and has even managed to injure him. Gyokko uses one of his pots to generate octopus tentacles to capture Muichiro and Kanamori, only for them to be cut away by the Hashira.

Muichiro thanks Kanamori for his new sword, who brushes off his gratitude by saying that he only did what his previous smith Tetsuido told him to do. Another brief flashback begins, where Muichiro is talking to Tetsuido, and Tetsuido shares his concerns about Muichiro with him, stating how he is constantly worried about him for many reasons.

Ending the flashback with an apology to Tetsuido, he cuts down the approaching tentacles quickly and aims for Gyokko’s neck, which the demon dodges but praises the Hashira. However, he still thinks that he cannot keep up with him, though Muichiro mocks him and it is revealed that Gyokko’s neck has been injured. In response to Muichiro saying he will complete the job next time, Gyokko warns him not to underestimate him.

Vanishing from sight and reappearing behind him, Gyokko unleashes a water attack on Muichiro who dodges it, as well as more poisonous needles fired by the demon fish. Continuing to dodge, Muichiro remembers his brother Yuichiro’s final words, which was an apology. He apologized for being the way he was as he had to protect him. Yuichiro said being kind was only something the chosen ones could do and that the gods will never protect you no matter how good a person you are. Yuichiro ends by saying that Muichiro is different from him, as he can act for someone other than himself and can draw out infinite strength by doing so as he is one of the chosen ones.

Dodging more of Gyokko’s tentacle attacks, he cuts the pots from the demon’s hands, which angers Gyokko as the episode ends.

A still from Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba (Season 3), Episode 9.
A still from Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba (Season 3), Episode 9.

Episode 9

Opening with Kanamori taking shelter behind some trees, the episode continues the fight between Gyokko and Muichiro as Haganezuka continues polishing the sword. Gyokko is seated high on a tree, demanding that Muichiro not look down on him to which Muichiro says he is not, and is just stating a fact in that he will kill him. The demon insults him for being young and reappears behind him while Muichiro makes his lack of respect for Gyokko clear.

Continuing to trade insults, barbs and sarcastic comments, Gyokko is the first to snap when Muichiro insults his pottery and sends several fish at him. The Hashira is unfazed and easily dodges them and responds with his own attack but finds that Gyokko has shed his skin like a snake.

Deciding to reveal his true form which makes him look like a humanoid snake, Gyokko is irritated when Muichiro responds with more sarcasm. He is even angrier when Muichiro doesn’t respond after his boasting, and attacks the Hashira, who again dodges but part of his clothing that was touched by the demon turns into fish. Boasting some more about his body’s abilities and its flexibility, Gyokko thinks that Muichiro is now afraid only for him to say that even the most powerful attack is pointless if it doesn’t connect.

At this point, another brief flashback begins, as Muichiro is lying in front of Yuichiro’s corpse, nearly dead himself but is saved in time by Amane Ubayashiki and her two daughters. Later, despite still being heavily injured and bandaged, he trains as he still feels great rage in spite of losing his memories. Muichiro believes the rage will not leave him till he dies.

Gyokko starts circling him at great speed as the flashback ends, gleefully asking him if he enjoys the speed since Muichiro is unable to land a hit. When Gyokko is about to hit him again, Muichiro uses a new technique which covers the area in mist and Gyokko is shocked to discover that he missed his attack.

He sees the Hashira moving around several times in the mist, but misses his attack every time as it passes through him, because it is actually an illusion. Gyokko then hears Muichiro’s voice ask him if he thought he was the only one holding back and he reappears with a swipe of his sword, severing the head of the demon.

With his head on the ground, it slowly dawns on Gyokko that he has been defeated by the young Hashira and is about to die. He refuses to believe that he has lost to a child, and keeps insulting Muichiro, leading to him cutting his head into small pieces to shut him up. Muichiro then recalls a conversation with Kagaya, who tells him not to be so rigid and he can grow stronger once he discovers his true self. Agreeing with him strongly, he watches on as Gyokko turns to dust and dies.

Kanamori approaches him, fretting about his injuries and Muichiro tries to reassure him that he is fine. A comical exchange between the two follows, and Muichiro falls onto the ground, and as Kanamori is worried about what to do, Kotetsu appears. Mistaking him for a ghost, Kanamori is stunned that Kotetsu is still alive despite a seemingly fatal wound from Gyokko. Kotetsu explains that the blood he is covered in is from an arm wound, and that Rengoku’s small sword guard protected him. It was given to him by Tanjiro, and Muichiro is hearing all of this while barely conscious.

He suddenly sees a vision of his family, with his father saying helping people eventually helped him as well, and Yuichiro commends him on a job well done, causing Muichiro to cry.

The scene then shifts to Tanjiro, Nezuko and Genya’s battle against Zohakuten, with Tanjiro being thrown into the air and just managing to avoid being crushed by the large wooden dragons. As he prepares to attack, he notices that the five dragons have taken up a defensive formation around Zohakuten, who beats a drum and causes one of the dragons to use Urogi’s sonic attack. Seeing him fly back, Nezuko tries to help but is confronted by two dragons herself while Genya’s shotgun blasts have no effect leading to him fighting barehanded instead.

Dizzy because of his newly burst eardrums, Tanjiro vomits and is disoriented. Zohakuten beats the drums, causing the dragons to use lightning, wind and sonic attacks one after another. Tanjiro realizes that not only can each of the dragons use the attacks of the different emotions of Hantengu, but that they are also more powerful in the wooden dragon form. Tanjiro tries to retreat temporarily to reorient himself, but is swallowed by one of the wooden dragons, as Nezuko and Genya look on, shocked and unable to help him because they are fighting their own dragons.

Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba (Season 3), Episode 9 Ending Explained:

Who saves Tanjiro from Zohakuten’s dragons?

All of a sudden, Mitsuri Kanroji appears on the battlefield out of nowhere, sprinting on the dragon’s body while cutting it and then destroying it so as to rescue Tanjiro from its insides. Zohakuten notes that this new enemy is a Hashira as she carries Tanjiro on his back and out of danger, while expressing her discomfort in seeing such monsters. Tanjiro attempts to talk to her but she enquires as to his condition and apologizes for her late entry into the fray.

Cheerfully telling Tanjiro to relax, and not realizing that he cannot hear him due to his burst eardrums, she reassures him that she will save his sister Nezuko and Genya. She concludes by telling him to leave the rest of the battle to her, and Tanjiro manages to inform her that the enemy is an Upper Rank demon. The episode ends with her sprinting towards and attacking three wooden dragons, putting them out of her path so that she can engage Zohakuten.  

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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (Season 3), Episodes 8, 9 Links: IMDb
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (Season 3), Episodes 8, 9 Cast: Natsuki Hanae, Zach Aguilar, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka
Where to watch Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba