Demon Slayer – The Pleasure Quarter: review that catches its breath

Three Geishas and a Demon

After the sad death of Rengoku Kyojuro, aka the Pillar of Fire, at the end of the Infinity Train arc, our heroes recover their strength in Shinobu’s Quarters. We quickly find the humor of the series, the running gag of the blacksmith who goes crazy, Zenitsu who cries, finally you know. Next to that, we discover the concept of “breath of the sun”, the anti-demon technique from which all the others derive and of which Tanjiro would be a user (without knowing it).

But the breath of the sun is not what interests us in this season, because the scenario very clearly wants to save that for later. For the moment, Tanjiro, Nezuko, Inusoke and Zenitsu must go on a demon hunt in Yoshiwara’s pleasure district. The arc then starts lightly, with a fun little Mulan side. But trouble comes faster than we hope, for our greatest pleasure.

The most beautiful

The heroes conduct an investigation during the first four episodes of the season. This short phase of exposure makes us discover the decoration and its stakes. Tanjiro is, unsurprisingly, highly motivated to complete any task given to him, Zenitsu makes faces, plays the shamisen, and gets captured first by the demon moon. The entry on the scene of the latter is moreover frightening and, for once, we understand the terror of the yellow slayer. Inosuke, meanwhile, is surprisingly very involved in the mission entrusted by Tengen: to investigate the disappearance of his three wives, Makio, Suma and Hinatsuru.

After the friendly history lesson, the protagonist in turn meets Daki, the demonic geisha-eating moon. And from there, the fight hardly stops. The story of anime and manga is far from zero, but it is content to be simple and effective, nothing to do with complex narratives like Death Note Where The attack of the Titans. Where the scenario of Demon Slayer excel, it is in its reversals and revelations which take place during the fights. It not only keeps us going, but it’s also what makes the fights longer and more thrilling.

Demon Slayer: PictureMemoirs of a Slayer

Nezuko’s transformation, Gyutaro’s arrival, Tengen’s severed hand, the bloodthirsty explosion… the season is gripping enough that each cliffhanger makes us drop a “This is shit” from episode 6, even after the antagonists are defeated. It is also after the devastating and more than spectacular fight that we are served the not very useful flashback on the life of the antagonists. Season 1 had already made it clear to us that each demon had a human life before being in the pay of Muzan. What’s the point of getting closer to Daki (real name Ume) and Gyutaro) when they’re already dead?

Granted, the two antagonists are demonic versions of Tanjiro and Nezuko, but we didn’t need that flashback to figure that out. But we are not going to complain, the Ufotable studio offered us five episodes of almost non-stop fight, we can therefore tolerate a small anecdotal flashback. And it was not so useless as that, because, in addition to discovering a demonic moon having the voice of Light Yagami, we learn that it is possible for certain demons to create congeners, apart from Tamayo and Michael Jackson.

Demon Slayer: Picture“Then I take a crisp… Which I eat!” »

Three Ninjas and a Pillar

By discovering Rengoku in The Infinity Train, we instinctively set the bar very high for the other pillars. We can therefore rejoice that Uzui Tengen has nothing to envy him (except that the latter saw the pillar of flame as an example to follow). In terms of charisma, personality, and combat skills, Tengen has given us a treat. Besides, maybe we should talk about the fact that, without Nezuko, the pillar of sound would have died without having been able to place one. All because his three wives bickered around him. No ? We don’t talk about it? Okay.

And about his three lovers, vYou have certainly noticed their common points with our three protagonists. Makio is reminiscent of Inosuke, she is a brawler with a fiery temper who often shouts at Suma who, like Zenitsu, is a coward who spends her time crying. And we have Hinatsuru, the one who thinks of others more than herself, just like Tanjiro.

We would not be surprised to learn that the editors of the Shūeisha told Koyoharu Gotōge (the author of the manga) to include more pretty girls in his boards if he wanted to make teenagers want to continue reading his manga . The presence of the three kunoichis is not crucial, but certainly not useless. Along with the support they provide, Makio, Suma, and Hinatsuru add humor to the series and lend more depth to Tengen’s character. All without the anime colliding too violently with the classic problem of female characters revolving around a man.

Demon Slayer: PictureSuma closed her eyes again because of the flash

Daki and Gyutaro make a very interesting duo. One is beautiful and graceful, manages to be chuffed when she whines, she fights without directly touching her opponents and only eats prey she finds pretty; the other is repulsive and deformed, he fights hand to hand and speaks like a thug. But brother and sister may be complete opposites, but they are one. The only way to kill them is to have them decapitated at the same time, which quickly creates incredible tensions in the double confrontation.

Now that we’ve seen demon moons with mostly offensive abilities, we would like the next higher demons to be endowed with powers a little more enigmatic, in the style of the old number 12 of season 1 which tapped drums to interact with its environment. And how will number 1 be? We can’t wait to discover it in 2028!

Demon Slayer: PictureCloak & Dagger

Don’t worry, we’re going to talk about Nezuko’s metamorphosis, we just want to do a parenthesis on Zenitsu. This coward sleeps during the final fight, so we can’t hear him crying and that’s cool, but it would be even cooler to see him overcome his fears in a critical situation (as he briefly did before getting abducted by Daki). And above all, we would like him to learn other movements of the breath of lightning. And going back to Nezuko’s transformation, well that was stylish. Here.

More seriously, this dazzling growth raises a lot of questions for us. We will first of all evoke the flashback of the two villains: we see that Daki has become a demon when she did not yet have an adult body. Yet demons do not age. And we have seen lower moons with appearances of children and teenagers; we can therefore very well imagine that body growth is a sign of power in a demona power worthy of a higher moon.

Our adorable little Nezuko has been a demon for about two years and that’s enough for her to humiliate an upper moon (and still enjoy it). She is also able to regenerate as fast as number 3, Akaza. And of course, Nezuko escapes the grip of the Smooth Criminal., while others explode if they talk about him. These exploits can be explained in particular by the long sleep in which she immersed herself in season 1, but also by the genetic heritage of her father who was very obviously a wielder (or the descendant of a wielder) of the breath of the sun.

Demon Slayer: PictureNezuko activated the Dragon Force

Knights of the Round Ufotable

Now let’s talk about what is worth District of pleasures the prestigious rating of 4.5 stars. The artistic direction, the dubbing, the music, the work on the sound, the 2D and 3D mix, and above all the animation offered by the Ufotable teams are incredible. It’s with Fate/Zero that the studio started to really get noticed and it was with Demon Slayer that it becomes unavoidable.

Just the recap of the fight between Rengoku and Akaza sends heavy, so we could only expect a breathtaking climax. As soon as Tanjiro starts hostilities with Daki, the action and violence gradually builds up to the killing of the demons in episode 10. The monstrous exchanges of blows are lessons in animation, everything is fluid, colorful, well-paced, well-edited and our gaze does not let go of the screen for a single moment.

Demon Slayer: PictureSantoryu Oni ​​Giri

The staging does not tolerate any dead time, the actions follow each other quickly, the characters continually surpass themselves and do not think for ages. They react well and really do what is expected of them. For example, once Daki’s head is severed, Inosuke grabs it and runs off with it without question. Alas, the attempt fails (because the fight is rich in twists), but we were not frustrated to see the characters immobile for a few moments, which would obviously have led to failure. It is precisely by seeing that the irreproachable reactivity of the characters is not enough to take over, as the enemy is formidable.

At the fateful moment, it is obviously the breath of the sun which puts the deathblow to Gyutaro, Tanjiro obtains the famous mark of which the father of Rengoku spoke to him in his letter. A mark that we see on the forehead of the mysterious man who allegedly beat Muzan, as we can glimpse in a brief reminiscence. Yes, well, the father of Tanjiro and Nezuko has most certainly a link with this slayer, it is probably one of his ancestors, who knows? Manga readers, shut up.

Demon Slayer: PictureWe live in a good time

Finally, the music of Yuki Kajiura and Go Shiina is more beautiful than ever. We are entitled to symphonist, electronics, emotions, dread, choirs and epic without moderation. Inosuke’s theme is invigorating, just like the character, the music during Tengen’s tirade in episode 8 is simply magnificent. Post the soundtrack, please. The new opening is visually much more beautiful than the first, even if yours truly prefers to goof off with the music of season 1 (instead of sleeping).

We know that the scenario of season 3 will welcome the pillars of the mist of love to frame the four terrors. We are waiting to find out more and we will take our troubles patiently if necessary, but we sincerely hope that the sequel will arrive in less than a year. The anime is too good for manga, really.

Demon Slayer – The Pleasure Quarter is available in full on Wakanim and Crunchyroll since February 13, 2022

Season 3: Official Poster