Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba’s two-part second season continued. Here’s your synopsis for overall episode 43, episode ten in the Entertainment District Arc, “Never Give Up.”
A few flashbacks between Tengen Uzui and his three wives were shown in the heat of battle. Uzui and Tanjiro looked to defeat Gyutaro while Inosuke and Zenitsu battleed Daki. Gyutaro nearly killed Hinatsuru (Uzui’s wife), but Tanjiro used a combined Hinokami Kagura and Water Breathing to save her. Uzui took Gyutaro away from the two as Daki’s battle with Inosuke and Zenitsu drew near.
As the three battled Daki, Tanjiro and Zenitsu combined their attacks to provide an opening for Inosuke, who decapitated Daki and ran away with her head since both demons need to be decapitated. Suddenly, Gyutaro appeared behind Inosuke and stabbed him with one of his poisoned sickles from behind, coming out of his chest. Tanjiro looked down to see Uzui unconscious, one arm dismembered. A furious Gyutaro let out his power, destroying buildings and sending Tanjiro crashing to the ground to end the episode.
“Never Give Up” synopsis
The episode opens with the ending to last week’s episode before hitting the opening credits much sooner than in previous episodes.
Tanjiro hits the ground and apologizes to everyone in his head. He’s then shown in his mindscape (as he fell unconscious after hitting the ground) with a young Nezuko telling him to stop apologizing since he apologizes for everything. She asked if they’re poor, does that make them unhappy? If they can’t wear pretty kimonos, should people pity them? She asks if he’s so determined to blame others, like blaming their father for succumbing to his illness even though Nezuko says he tried as hard as he could. She says as humans, no one can expect everything to go their way. She says they need to look and move forward. Her hair suddenly lengthens and she is in her demon form, but yells to her elder brother, “I want you to understand how I feel!“
Tanjiro awakens with a shock with burning wreckage next to him, though the Mist Cloud Fir Box appears fine. The entire district is shown wrecked and burning. Tanjiro wonders about the people and checks on Nezuko, who is sleeping just outside of the box.
He turns and Gyutaro is right in front of him, wondering how Tanjiro is still alive. He says Tanjiro is lucky, the only thing he has going for him. Daki is shown casually sitting on a roof behind as Gyutaro mocks Tanjiro, saying he’s probably the only one alive. He says he used a single thrust to the “Boar’s” heart and the “towheaded” boy is trapped under rubble, squirming like an insect. He says the Hashira (Uzui) was so weak, only bluster.
Gyutaro calls them all disgraceful, then asks Tanjiro if the one sticking out of the box is a relative. He says he can tell they’re related even if she’s a demon, then asks if she’s his older or younger sister. Tanjiro wonders why Gyutaro hasn’t killed him yet, noting he has no strength left and his arm is still numb so he couldn’t slash at the neck even if he tried. Tanjiro responds that Nezuko is his younger sister.
Gyutaro laughs and says Tanjiro really is disgraceful since he’s not protecting her at all and it’s obvious that she’s stronger than him since she’s a demon. He pats Tanjiro’s head and says if he’s really the older brother, he should be protecting her instead of her protecting him. He grabs Tanjiro’s right hand, saying he should protect her devotedly with that hand, then snaps Tanjiro’s index and middle finger back, breaking them. Gyutaro mockingly slaps Tanjiro’s head over and over as he asks him how it feels to be the only to survive so disgracefully.
Gyutaro continually taunts Tanjiro, telling him, “What are you gonna do with your weak sauce, battered, disgraceful human body? Let’s see you cut off my head!” Tanjiro grabs the box with Nezuko and runs to the amused surprise of Gyutaro and Daki. He says Tanjiro is the most disgraceful of all, then kicks him into a burning building. Tanjiro just dodges a falling plank and begins to run once more.
Tanjiro falls over from exhaustion, then just starts throwing whatever he can at Gyutaro using his mangled hand – wood, rocks, satchels of aroma from courtesans. Gyutaro just kicks him in the gut, causing him to cough blood. Gyutaro says as disgraceful as Tanjiro is, he likes him because he likes anything that’s “pathetic, disgraceful, and filthy!” He rubbed Tanjiro’s “filthy” scar, then said Tanjiro should become a demon to protect his sister and then he’ll spare Tanjiro’s life. Otherwise, he’ll slaughter Nezuko because he “really doesn’t give a crap about other people’s little sisters.”
Tanjiro raises his head, then says he was waiting for this moment. With defiant eyes, he headbutts Gyutaro, who thinks it has no effect on him, but then wonders why he can’t move and notices a kunai in his leg that Tanjiro placed with his headbutt. Gyutaro says Tanjiro wasn’t escaping, but going for the kunai and throwing the satchels from the courtesans to mask the scent of the poison. Gyutaro incredulously talks to himself wondering why Tanjiro just won’t give up when he’s all on his own. Tanjiro swings with his sword – still tied to his left hand – and uses a Hinokami Kagura slash to try and decapitate Gyutaro as the mid-episode interlude plays.
Nezuko is shown as a child and demon calling out for older brother before Tanjiro realizes it’s Daki calling out for her older brother. He looks down to see Gyutaro, head intact, then juxtaposes his visage onto Gyutaro’s, saying one false step at every turn and he could have found himself in the same situation, but he was lucky enough to remain human. He admits there could have been a future where both he and Nezuko are both demons like Gyutaro and Daki.
Gyutaro unleashes his aura, reaching for the kunai while pushing back against the sword strike. The sword begins to enter the back of the neck, blood spurting. This prompts Daki to send her Obi at Tanjiro. Suddenly, Zenitsu uses Thunder Breathing First Form: God Speed to escape the rubble and draw her attention. She confidently says she knows how fast he is from seeing the move so many times. However, Zenitsu activates God Speed to tear through her Obi. He looks to decapitate her, but with her neck being Obi, it’s too soft. He keeps pushing, though he says he can only use God Speed twice, so this is his last chance.
Tanjiro pushes down while Gyutaro pushes up against the thrust. Tanjiro says he can’t cut through as Gyutaro removes the poisoned kunai. Gyutaro unleashes his Blood Demon Art: Rampant Arc Rampage to create a dome around him and repel Tanjiro’s blade. Tanjiro tells himself over and over to never give up until the very end. He has to defend against Gyutaro’s attack with Tanjiro noting his foe’s attack speed increased.
Suddenly, as Tanjiro is about to be pierced through the eye, Uzui appears – with one blade in his mouth – and deflects the attack, then sending an explosion at Gyutaro. Gyutaro is irate that Uzui lives, then realizes Uzui must have forced his heart to stop to make Guytaro think he was dead, which allowed the poison to stop circulating throughout his bloodstream because there was no pump. Uzui yells he’s finished his Musical Score Technique and charges. Gyutaro sends out his Rotating Circular Slashes: Flying Blood Sickles, but Uzui is able to use his Musical Score Technique to read the movements of the attacks.
Gyutaro says Uzui turned the Blood Demon Art into a song to deflect the attacks, with only one arm to boot. The Hashira and Upper Rank Six begin another furious battle that leaves shockwaves and explosions in their wake. Tanjiro keeps up, running alongside the battle with his blade in hand, noting Uzui will reach his limit first.
Gyutaro pierces Uzui’s gut, then slashes him down the face across his left eye. Uzui yells for Tanjiro to not stop and to jump for this final attack as he held Gyutaro. Gyutaro is able to pierce Tanjiro through the base of his chin, but not through the roof of his mouth. Tanjiro swings for the neck, sickle still in his chin, then summons a power through his scar. The scar increases, his hair gets a little longer and turns more red, and he gains more power.
Zenitsu is shows still flying around trying to decapitate Daki as Gyutaro says it’s fine as long as Daki isn’t beheaded. Zenitsu says he has no strength left and Daki sends her Obi to pierce him from the back. However, Inosuke appears and slices her Obi to her shock. He reminds her (and viewers) that he’s able to shift the position of his internal organs and poisons don’t work on him because he grew up on a harsh mountainside. He adds his two blades to Zenitsu’s as Daki pleads for her brother.
Tanjiro is able to behead Gyutaro as the combined efforts of Zenitsu and Inosuke behead Daki. The two heads land, rolling to eventually face each other. However, Tanjiro begins succumbing to the poison. He tells himself to fight it with his breathing, then notices Uzui yelling at him, though he can’t discern what Uzui is yelling. Uzui is yelling for them to run as Gyutaro’s body explodes in Rotating Circular Slashes: Flying Blood Sickles. The episode ends on a cliffhanger with the credits playing over a scene of a destroyed village with small embers raining down from the sky.
The post-credits scene show a young Nezuko pleading with her brother to live as he fought off the poison at the end of the episode. She then says it’s time for a Taisho-era secret that has helped Tanjiro overcome countless dangers: his rock-hard head is from their mother. She says her mother once repelled a boar – acted by Inosuke – with just her head.
How was Gyuatro’s body able to explode with his Blood Demon Art after being decapitated?
Before decapitation, Gyutaro said he needed to activate his Rotating Circular Slashes: Flying Blood Sickles to survive. He was able to just prior to his head being sliced. However, it’s interesting that there was a delayed effect to the Blood Demon Art rather than exploding immediately. This is probably due to the head being disconnected from the body.
Are Gyutaro and Daki dead?
Not quite, as their bodies had not yet disintegrated by the time the episode ended. However, with the conditions for their defeat being a simultaneous decapitation, the battle is over and they will soon depart the world of the living.
What is the significance of Tanjiro’s scar (spoilers)?
Tanjiro’s scar is known as the Demon Slayer Mark. These Marks are unlocked by truly powerful Demon Slayers. Each Mark that appears is unique, dependent on the Breathing Style of each user.
The first Demon Slayer Mark is that of Yoriichi Tsugikuni, the creator of the Breathing Styles, who was born with the Mark. Others had to unlock it through a catalyst (sounds like Heroes!).
To unlock the Demon Slayer Mark, the Demon Slayer has to survive a life-threatening situation with a heartrate above 200 BPM and an internal body temperature over 39 degrees Celsius (just over 102 degreed Fahrenheit). A precondition to unlock the Mark is being born as someone directly related to a Sun Breathing user.
However, other Demon Slayers can obtain the it if a Demon Slayer who already has the Mark can act as a catalyst, spreading the Mark to other powerful Demon Slayers who meet the above requirements. This will then form a Mark on their bodies in relation to their Breathing Style.
Tanjiro, thanks to his relation to Sun Breathing and inheriting the Hinokami Kagura, sees his Mark become a flame-like pattern.
What abilities does the Demon Slayer Mark grant (spoilers)?
When activated, the Mark grants the Demon Slayer superhuman physical capabilities, increasing their strength, speed, and Breathing Techniques. This is how Tanjiro was able to decapitate Gyutaro even while a Blood Sickle was jutting out of his chin, poison coursing through his body as he lost a significant amount of blood.
Another ability is that the Nichirin Sword of the Demon Slayer can turn bright red. Beyond the aesthetic change, this will affect the regenerative capabilities of demons, hampering them.
Lastly, the Mark grants what’s known as Transparent World. This allows the Demon Slayer to literally see the blood, muscles, and interior of someone’s body. This helps to accurately predict their movements as well as check on the health of others – say, noticing the location of poison! Further, it grants hyper-perception, essentially able to process their surroundings so quickly it seems like time has slowed.
Are there any drawbacks to the Demon Slayer Mark (spoilers)?
Yes, there is one big drawback to the Mark. It is said that any Demon Slayer who unlocks the Mark will die by the age of 25. Those who unlock it after the age of 25 are believed to die shortly thereafter. The Mark decreases lifespan in exchange for immense physical gifts. Even the conditions to unlock the Mark are dangerous and literally life-threatening.
Only two Demon Slayers in recorded history (up to this episode’s point) were able to live beyond 25 with the mark, though for different reasons. Tsugikuni lived until 85, and it’s surmised that this was because he was born with it rather than having to go through the strain of unlocking the Mark.
The other is Kokushibo, though the brother of Tsugikuni only survived by becoming a demon.
What does the ending mean for the next episode?
There was no official preview of the next episode, “No Matter How Many Lives,” though if it keeps up with the pattern of the series, we’ll most likely see backstory on Gyutaro and Daki before they became demons. It will probably be another sad story, as with most humans who became demons.
Catch Demon Slayer on Crunchyroll outside of Japan.