Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba’s two-part second season continued with the climax to the battle between Usui and Gyutaro. Here’s your synopsis for overall episode 42, episode nine in the Entertainment District Arc, “Defeating an Upper Rank Demon.”
Previous episode synopsis
Uzui continues his battle against Gyutaro. More of Uzui’s past was revealed: he descended from a line of shinobi, but hated the cold, calculating ways of his father, then his brother (the only other sibling of nine to survive). Gyutaro’s poison finally started affecting Uzui, who has a resistance built from being a shinobi.
Meanwhile, Daki fought Inosuke and Zenitsu on the roof with the assistance of some of Gyutaro’s Blood Demon Art. Tanjiro then reappeared to assist Uzui after safely dropping off a sleeping Nezuko in her Mist Cloud Fir box. Tanjiro used Total Concentration Breathing to the point he almost blacked out, and had to focus on Recovery Breathing.
Uzui and Gyutaro’s fight trickled outside. Suddenly, Hinatsuru appeared on the roof – Uzui’s wife abducted by Gyutaro and Daki – and used a device that shot out wisteria-laced poison kunai at Gyutaro. Gyutaro nearly blocked all of them, but one embedded in his neck as Uzui – with three kunai embedded in his own body – sliced Gyutaro’s legs, the latter unable to regenerate due to the poison.
“Defeating an Upper Rank Demon” synopsis
The episode opened with the closing moments of last week’s episode where Uzui sliced Gyutaro’s legs at the knees. Hinatsuru begs that this be the chance they need as both Uzui and Tanjiro close in to slice at Gyutaro’s neck. The opening credits played.
A flashback is shown where Uzui and his wives are at the Uzui family grave, showing their respects and saying a prayer for the departed. He poured out sake on the gravestone, saying he and his siblings “might’ve got together for a drink, sometime,” if they were still alive. He apologized to his siblings for still being alive, but asked them to cut him some slack since he brought some good sake. He promised they’d drink together on the other side.
Makio, Suma, and Hinatsuru sit around Uzui as they have a meal in front of the gravestone. As they ate, Uzui suddenly said someday, he’s gong to hell, but he’ll get scolded by them if he keeps talking that way. He ended by saying he’s going to live a flashy life with the three of them for the departed siblings.
Back in real time, Gyutaro neutralizes the poison quickly and regenerates his legs as they’re still reaching for the neck. In those moments, Gyutaro summons his Blood Demon Art, Rotating Circular Slashing: Flying Blood Sickles from both arms, sending out circular waves of destruction – a more twisted version of Nejire Hado’s Wave Motion Quirk from My Hero Academia.
Uzui engages his Sound Breathing Fourth Form: Constant Resounding Slashes to fight off the waves, each slash making a mini-explosion. Gyutaro disappears, then Hinatsuru warns Uzui to watch his back as Daki’s Obi come slashing at him. Hinatsuru says she’ll fight off the slashes, but suddenly Gyutaro appears, covering her mouth and saying she’ll pay for that. Uzui becomes trapped in a ball of Obi.
Another flashback is shown with Uzui and his wives enjoying a sunset. Hinatsuru asked him to leave the front lives so they can live normal lives. She said it won’t make up for the fact that they’re shinobi and have taken lives, but they need to draw the line somewhere. She said even if they’re not together anymore, they can live with their heads held high.
In real time, Uzui fights off Daki’s Obi and yells for Gyutaro to stop as Hinatsuru glares at Gyutaro with defiant eyes. Tanjiro forces himself up, saying someone else is going to die in front of him. He asks himself if he wants to continue being a hindrance, and instead tells himself to be useful. As he fights off some of Daki’s Obi, he says Gyutaro is ignoring him because he’s weak, so if he can make a move Gyutaro isn’t expecting, he can save Hinatsuru. He tells himself he needs to perform the Hinokami Kagura to close the distance. He tries to perform it, but as soon as he engages it, his body runs out of stamina.
He tells himself to think and asks what is that he can do right now? Tanjiro decides on a combined Hinokami Kagura and Water Breathing to slice off Gyutaro’s left arm and save Hinatsuru, though he begins immediately coughing. Gyutaro remarks this kid shouldn’t have had that kind of power. Tanjiro realizes he needs to mix these breathing styles together to have a chance. By mixing, he realizes he has more power than just Water Breathing, but more mobility and endurance than using just Hinokami Kagura.
Tanjiro then says this must be how it was for every sword bearer, constantly tinkering with their styles to find what suits each individual sword wielder. He says that’s why the breathing forms branched off into so many different schools. He reminds himself he can take any form flexibly, a lesson he was taught by Urokodaki. He says even if he can’t become a Water Breathing expert like Tomioka, he at least won’t let Urokodaki’s teaching go to waste. As he thinks this, Gyutaro lunges at him, hooking Tanjiro’s word with his sickle, but suddenly, Uzui appears from behind and thanking Tanjiro as he goes for the decapitation. The mid-show interlude plays.
Daki is shown having fun toying with Inosuke and Zenitsu on the roof, with Inosuke complaining that the Obi are annoying and “They’re all bendy, but hard!” As Inosuke leaps into the air using the Obi, he notices Uzui closing in on Gytaro’s neck and realizes they need to get to Daki. He says they need to beat them both at once and while they’re able to dodge, just dodging is pointless. Inosuke basically goes into Berserker mode, but Zenitsu yells for him to calm down. Zenitsu, still sleeping, says it doesn’t have to be the same time as they just need a moment when both don’t have their heads on their shoulders.
Tanjiro aims for the opposite side of Gyutaro’s neck as Uzui closes in, but Gyutaro stops both of their blades with his sickles. He laughs, asking, “Do you think I’d lose my head to the likes of you?” His sickles send out membranes to Tanjiro’s and one of Uzui’s blades, trapping them. Uzui lunges with the other, but Gyutaro turns his head around fully to block the blade with his teeth. Gyutaro once again begins to unleash his Rotating Circular Slashes, so Uzui – with one of his blades still grasped by Gyutaro’s teeth – leaps and takes the two away from Tanjiro and HInatsuru.
Suddenly, Daki’s battle with Inosuke and Zenitsu makes its way to Tanjiro and Hinatsuru. Inosuke says there’s no choice but for a change of plan, saying they need to work together as a trio and leave Uzui to the “praying mantis demon.” Zenitsu says Daki’s weaker than Gyutaro, and asks if Tanjiro can still fight. Tanjiro looks down to see a blur of action as Uzui fights Gyutaro. Daki’s Obi close in around Tanjiro, but he uses Water Breathing Eighth Form: Waterfall Basin to clear them.
Tanjiro tells them Uzui’s been poisoned, so they need to finish this quickly. He fights off sudden blood sickle attacks, remarking at Gyutaro’s ability to fight Uzui and them simultaneously. Daki cackles at their predicament as Inosuke says he and “Monichi” (Zenitsu) are pretty much unharmed. He says he’s been training so hard and for what, as the image of the sunrise coming upon Tanjiro, Zenitsu, himself, and the dead Rengoku plays in his mind. Tanjiro tells Inosuke that Daki’s neck is too soft and needs to be cut either at extreme speed or from two directions.
Inosuke says it appears that ever so slightly, the attacks coming at him seem to be less, so, “That’s what I’ll choose to believe!” He says if it takes two directions, then leave it to him and his two blades. He yells that the three of them can win. Tanjiro and Zenitsu agree to defend Inosuke as Daki unleashes her Obi at full power. As Tanjiro and Zenitsu fight off the Obi, Inosuke engages Beast Breathing Eighth Fang: Explosive Rush. He runs straight ahead as Tanjiro uses Water Breathing Third Form: Flowing Dance on one side and Zenitsu uses Thunder Breathing First Form: Thunderclap and Flash Eightfold to fight off the Obi. Tanjiro and Zenitsu combine their last attack to provide an opening for Inosuke.
Inosuke closes in on Daki, who realizes Inosuke’s thrown defense away for the sole purpose of attacking. She tries to defend against his dual blades, but he engages in Beast Breathing Sixth Fang: Palisade Bite, using high-speed sawing actions with both blades to Decapitate Daki (again). Inosuke then catches her head and says he’ll run somewhere far to prevent it from being reattached. Daki’s Obi shoot at Inosuke. He evades and runs away with the head, telling the others to help out Uzui.
As Inouske runs, Daki yells for him to return her head. She tries attack with her hair, but Inosuke easily cuts it, saying without her head, her attacks are significantly weaker. Suddenly, Gyutaro’s sickle makes its way through Inosuke’s back and out through his chest. Inosuke falls as Gyutaro grabs his sister’s head, all the while Tanjiro wondering why Guytaro is up there. He looks down to see Uzui unconscious, his left hand up to the mid-forearm cut off and laying behind him.
Zenitsu pushes Tanjiro off the roof as Daki’s Obi, now seemingly overpowered, crash into and slice through buildings. Zenitsu reaches out for Tanjiro’s hand. Tanjiro blames himself as he falls, apologizing to Inosuke, Uzui, everyone, and finally, on a black screen to end the show, “I’m sorry…Nezuko.”
The post-credits scene showed Tanjiro on the ground, calling for the others, then saying to never give up, which just so happens to be the title of the next episode.
What are the various schools of Breathing Styles that Tanjiro mentioned?
The Breathing Styles used by the Demon Slayers all descended from the first Breathing Style in Sun Breathing. Sun Breathing then branched off into Water, Moon, Flame, Thunder, Stone, and Wind Breathing Styles. Water then branched into Flower and Serpent Styles, which then branched into Insect Breathing.
Flame Breathing branched to Love Breathing and Thunder Breathing branched into Sound Breathing. Finally, Wind Breathing branched into Beast and Mist Breathing Styles.
As Tanjiro stated in this episode, the various Breathing Styles came about as each individual sword wielder tweaked and found what worked best for their fighting style, physique, and skills.
What Breathing Styles are currently being utilized by the Demon Slayers?
While some of the users listed below are deceased, their Breathing Styles are still being used by others so they’re included.
- Sun Breathing: Yoriichi Tusgikuni (first Sun Breathing user; deceased)
- Water Breathing: Sakonji Urokodaki, Giyu Tomioka (Hashira), Tanjiro Kamado, Murata, Sabito (deceased), Makomo (deceased)
- Moon Breathing: None (SPOILER: an Upper Rank Twelve Kizuki possesses Moon Breathing techniques)
- Flame Breathing: Shinjuro Rengoku (former Hashira), Kyojuro Rengoku (Hashira; deceased)
- Wind Breathing: Sanemi Shinazugawa (Hashira)
- Thunder Breathing: Jigoro Kuwajima (deceased), Zenitsu Agatsuma
- Stone Breathing: Gyomei Himejima (Hashira)
- Flower Breathing: Kanao Tsuyuri (deceased), Kanae Kocho (Hashira)
- Serpent Breathing: Obanai Iguro (Hashira)
- Love Breathing: Mitsuri Kanroji (Hashira)
- Sound Breathing: Tengen Uzui (Hashira)
- Mist Breathing: Muichiro Tokito (Hashira)
- Insect Breathing: Shinobu Kocho (Hashira)
- Beast Breathing: Inosuke Hashibira
What does the ending mean for the next episode?
The title of this episode was a bit misleading depending on interpretation. They may have defeated Daki, but without defeating Gyutaro, her decapitation becomes moot.
With Tanjiro alive and well on the ground, it appears his next move will be to ensure Uzui, Inosuke, and Zenitsu are fine before heading off to continue the battle with the brother-sister duo who make up Upper Rank Six of the Twelve Kizuki.
The title, “Never Give Up,” not only is indicative of Tanjiro’s general motto, but probably a key to them figuring out how to finally slay the two demons.
Catch Demon Slayer on Crunchyroll outside of Japan.