Demon Slayer Season 2: The Slayers Desperately Need A Hand

Episode 9 of "Demon Slayer's" Entertainment District Arc hurt my feelings. I'm still recovering as I write this, and I'm not sure I'll ever be the same. My wish was granted for the show to crank up the action again, but as the old saying goes, "Be careful what you wish for." As a result of the action and violence I so desperately craved, "Defeating an Upper Rank Demon” left both me and my boyfriend speechless for a few minutes after the credits rolled. Although I'm still struggling to find the words, I'll do my best to unpack the devastating events of the episode. Spoilers ahead.

Tengen's Uncertain Fate

It's clear that Hinatsuro's heroic attempt at turning the tides of the fight didn't exactly go as planned, but I don't think all hope is lost. We also get a little more information on Tengen's backstory -– which is nice, but I don't really care about that right now. I'm more concerned with whether or not he's even alive. We don't see much of him after the episode shifts to the battle between Daki, Inosuke, Zenitu, and Tanjiro. In fact, we only see his severed hand, shortly before the episode ends on yet another cliffhanger.

I don't think he's dead, if only because it would be too cruel for the boys to lose yet another mentor just months after Rengoku died right in front of them. It also seems like an unfitting end for the flashy sound Hashira; he would definitely get a much more dramatic sendoff than being killed offscreen. I also feel that it would be much more narratively interesting to see how Tengen adjusts to the loss of his hand rather than just having him die. Amputation is not a death sentence –- even if it's done by a demonic entity rather than a medically trained professional -– so there's a glimmer of hope. He could even go Jaime Lannister on everyone and get a solid gold prosthetic hand, which would be very on brand for the fantastically flamboyant demon slayer. I just don't see Tengen allowing himself to be outdone by the likes of someone as "unflashy" as Gyaturo.

I Hate Daki's Creepy Brother

Speaking of Gyutaro, f*** that guy. I didn't think I could hate a fictional character so strongly, but after watching him stab Inosuke in the back like a coward, I can't help it. However, similar to my Tengen theory, I don't think Inosuke's injury will be fatal. I can't imagine how the show would look without Inosuke there, as each of the primary trio brings a certain level of balance to the team. Losing one of the core members at this stage would throw things off in a way that would completely change the tone of the show, and likely not for the better. Plus, Inosuke's untimely demise would mean we won't get to see another epic collaborative attack like the one that allowed him to slice Daki's whiny head off. My favorite wild boy also deserves to celebrate that victory, so he's just not allowed to die. Sure, Daki has already lost her head several times at this point, but the way Inosuke went about it -– frantically and enthusiastically sawing it off with his jagged blades -– had a hilarious, manic flair that the other beheadings lacked. You know, because it's very normal and cool to judge decapitations based on artistic execution. Tengen would be proud, I think.

Since the battle still isn't over (despite the episode's somewhat misleading title), not much else happens as far as plot progression and character development. While I'm always happy for the beautifully rendered fight scenes and overall top-tier animation quality that "Demon Slayer" consistently delivers, I'm ready for the season's primary demons to finally be slain. The fight between Daki, her disgusting brother, and the gang has taken up over half the season so far. It first started back in episode 5 of the Red-Light District Arc, and it's still going on with no clear winner or end in sight. Things have to come to a conclusion soon, since there are only two episodes left in the season. Episode 10 airs on February 6, and the 45-minute finale will air on February 13, 2022.