Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Review (Episode 2): Underbelly of the Beast

Demon Slayer Entertainment District Arc Review (Episode 2): Underbelly of the Beast

At last. Inosuke can finally, truly claim the title he deserves: best girl.

Together with the Sound Hashira, our three heroes begin their operation to infiltrate the Entertainment District. They have two tasks: to find Tengen’s wives and to destroy the demon lurking somewhere in the shadows. To do this, Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke go undercover as women and begin their investigation. But can our three favorite idiots manage the task?

This episode takes full advantage of the main three perfectly. Upon entering the Entertainment District, each one is overwhelmed by their own personal weaknesses (Inosuke’s social akwardness, Zenitsu being lured by women, etc.) Yet as they progress, they begin to use their stronger traits in fun and unexpected ways to get by. Zenitsu’s great hearing is used to full effect, Inosuke’s feminine good looks make his job a hell of a lot easier, and Tanjiro’s work ethic helps him get by. It’s fun to see these three characters struggle and succeed in a totally different environment from what we’re used to, using the abilities and traits we’ve known about for ages now.

Of the three, Inosuke gets the best. His screen time is fairly limited, but he shows off the most development of the main cast. Rather than rushing in and screaming, he actually shows care and thinks problems through. It’s fun to see a character who always acts first and thinks later actually have to use his head for once. Especially since you can tell just how hard it is for him. Truly, he has become best girl.

Tengen is still a fairly unlikable character, but he’s a good one. He has solid chemistry with the main three, especially Zenitsu, who absolutely despises him. This episode does a great job of showing just how competent he is; he’s a man with a thoroughly thought-out plan and he is very careful in executing it.

Unfortunately, most of the jokes surrounding him get pretty repetitive. Which is my biggest critique of the episode. The humor tends to last too long. Jokes that are funny at first just go on and on for much longer than they needed to. Hell, the episode opens up on a four-minute long joke that has pretty much the same punchline, just repeated a handful of times. It’s funny the first time, but after a while you just want them to stop and get a move on.

Shifting gears a minute: the setting of this arc is incredible. Up to this point, most arcs have been in a private setting. The only people involved where the demon slayers and the demons themselves. Civilians kind of got involved in the Mugen Train arc, but they were more a maguffin for our heroes to protect than actual characters. Here, the action takes place smack dab in the middle of a highly populated city.

Not only that, but our heroes are pulled into an odd, kinda fucked-up hierocracy of prostitutes. This plays incredibly well into the story, as the main villain makes full use of it in order to hide herself. It makes for a wholly different and interesting problem for our heroes to face.

Presentation wise, this episode was pretty strong. There was never a moment that was truly mind-boggling, true; we’re not at the point where the animators are gonna bust out the sakuga yet. Still, there’s never a moment in this episode that looks stiff or awkward. It’s all smooth and extremely colorful.

The environments are the highlight here. There are so many different unique sources of light that cast every shot in multiple shades. Not to mention that there are so many freaking people in the streets! And the CGI background dudes blend in almost seemlessly! It’s a fully immersive setting.

Do I even need to say the music is good? Because it is. When hasn’t the Demon Slayer OST banged?

Overall, this episode was really strong. The humor got old and repetitive pretty quickly. But the character writing is incredibly solid, the setting is one of the best in the series so far, and the presentation is a solid 10/10. Thus far, this arc has been consistently great.

The question is: while it get better or worse when things start to heat up?

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