This anime episode opens up with a brief explanation of the Demon Slayer Corps and it’s battle against demons. Tanjiro decides to keep a journal for Nezuko recording his training. Tanjiro continues to sprint down the mountain, avoiding increasingly dangerous traps. He’s taught swordplay, recovering from a disadvantageous position, and something called “Total Concentration Breathing.” Total Concentration Breathing is the technique that is used by the Demon Slayer Corps to fight with the demons on equal ground. Since Mr. Urokodaki’s form of Total Concentration Breathing is water based, Tanjiro’s training contains him trying to become “one” with the water.
After a year of training, Tanjiro gets to the point where Mr. Urokodaki has nothing left to teach him. Tanjiro is told that he would be allowed to participate in the final selection only if he can slice a boulder, a task that appears to be impossible. All of Tanjiro’s attempts don’t even put a scratch on it. Six months pass with Tanjiro training on his own in an attempt to make himself strong enough to pass this test. One day, a boy with a fox mask shows up and confronts Tanjiro. After some harsh words the two spar with Tanjiro coming out on the losing end. The boy in the fox mask gives Tanjiro some tough love as he challenges him to pass beyond his limits and fully learn everything Mr. Urokodaki has taught him, finishing his lesson off with a devastating blow with this wooden sword.
Tanjiro’s training is then left to a young girl with a fox mask. She watched the bout and took over where the other boy left off. As it turns out, the girl, Makomo, and the boy, Sabito, look up to Mr. Urokodaki as a father. Makomo teaches Tanjiro to improve his technique and he steadily makes progress in his fights against Sabito. Finally, Sabito faces off against Tanjiro using a real sword. In this bout, Tanjiro finally defeats Sabito. The episodes closes with Tanjiro realizing that while he thought he sliced Sabito’s mask, he was really cutting the boulder.
For being a pretty standard anime training episode I enjoyed Demon Slayer episode 3. The relationship between Tanjiro and Mr. Urokodaki adds some humor to the episode. I had to laugh at the part where Mr. Urokodaki kicked Tanjiro off a cliff into the water. It appears that Mr. Urokodaki’s training method revolves around a lot of tough love. Tanjiro, to his credit, doesn’t stop and you can’t help but cheer for him.
When Sabito and Makomo show up things get a little more serious. You can tell right away that those two aren’t normal and that they have an interest in Tanjiro succeeding in his training. Sabito reminded me of Elfman from “Fairy Tail” with all of his talk about being a man.
The fight sequences between Sabito and Tanjiro are done well. They’re smooth and entertaining to watch. The final standoff between the two boys brings the tension to another level with Sabito bringing a real sword and it doesn’t disappoint. Overall, this is a good episode.
Mr. Urokodaki shows up at the boulder that Tanjiro just cut in half. He reveals that he had no intention of allowing Tanjiro to go to the final selection. Mr. Urokodaki thought that the boulder he instructed Tanjiro to cut was too large for him. We get a sense of the danger ahead when Mr. Urokodaki mentions that it was all because he didn’t want to see any more children die.
After a celebration dinner where we learn a little more about demons and their powers, Tanjiro is off to final selection. On his way out, Tanjiro asks Mr. Urokodaki to say hi to Sabito and Makomo for him, a request that takes Mr. Urokodaki by surprise. He wonders how Tanjiro knows those two as they are both dead. Tanjiro arrives to the location that final selection is taking place and learns along with the 20 other children there that they only have to survive for seven days. The mountain that they are on is populated by demons captured by the Demon Slayer Corps. The demons are unable to leave because of the wisteria flowers that bloom around the mountain year round.
Tanjiro quickly formulates a plan of action for the seven days but is confronted almost immediately by two demons. He quickly dispatches them using his training and we learn a little bit about the special swords that the Demon Slayer Corps carry. Immediately after his defeat of those two demons, Tanjiro picks up a rotten scent and sees as another participant runs for his life. He’s running from a large, mutated demon. Tanjiro interferes to save his fellow test taker only to find out that the demon was captured and taken to the test site 47 years ago by Mr. Urokodaki. From that point on, the demon vowed to kill all of the students Mr. Urokodaki sent to final selection. This demon is the one that killed Sabito and Makomo.
The fight commences with Tanjiro holding his own against this powerful demon. He is unable to land a killing blow though. All of the limbs that Tanjiro is able to sever regenerate in the blink of an eye. Tanjiro knows that he has to cut off the head of the demon, a task that even Sabito failed to do because of the demons hard neck. An opening occurs during battle and Tanjiro goes for it. The demon expects events to play out the same way they did with Sabito but that is not the case. We end Demon Slayer Episode 4 with Tanjiro cutting the head off of the demon.
This episode is the first one that we see that brings in the awesome animation style around the Water Breathing Style of swordsmanship. It brings to mind “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” piece of art. Apart from that, the bright colors offer a good visual against the darkness of the battlefield. Since demons only come out at night, each battle is dark in it’s tone. This bright visual cuts through that dark atmosphere to bring hope in victory over the evil demons.
Tanjiro’s fight against the Hand Demon, as he’s known, is generally creepy. The Hand Demon’s lust for vengeance against Mr. Urokodaki’s pupils brings an atmosphere of extreme danger, as well as his grotesque appearance. It’s a fitting end to this episode that Tanjiro is able to accomplish something that 13 other pupils of Mr. Urokodaki were unable to do.
Are these episodes worth watching?
I might as well go ahead and say that all of the episodes in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba are worth watching. I don’t think that there are any that I would recommend you skip. They bring action, story, a little bit of humor at times, and tons of emotion. You can’t go wrong with this anime.
Have fun and go watch some anime!