Demon Slayer Season 2 Entertainment District arc episode 1 has finally aired and it is absolutely worth the hype. Featuring Ufotable’s stunning animation, and an equally riveting storyline, the series won over the viewers’ hearts in the first season itself, with the Mugen Train arc establishing a masterful balance of action and drama.
With the episode opening directly where the previous arc ends, it doesn’t take long to pull at our heartstrings, while also setting the stage for the next part of the story. This article takes a look at how this episode connects the two arcs as well as divulges information that will become significant later on in the Demon Slayer storyline.
Here is a complete breakdown of episode 1 of Demon Slayer Entertainment District arc
Sun Breathing and the Flame Hashira
The episode begins with a recap of Flame Hashira, Rengoku Kyojuro’s final moments at the hands of Upper Kizuki demon, Akaza. With the words “Set Your Heart Ablaze”, the episode begins with a tribute to Rengoku and the trigger that will likely spur Tanjiro into action and grow stronger. Rengoku had been established in the previous arc as a mentor who quickly developed a bond with Tanjiro and even accepted him as his apprentice, technically making Tanjiro his Tsuguko.
Another small detail is when the crows are delivering the news of Rengoku’s death. Ubuyashiki Kagaya hears the report of Tanjiro’s final desperate attack at Akaza using his Nichirin sword like a spear while using Hinokami Kagura Breathing Style, and cryptically says “Tanjiro did…”
With Ubuyashiki being the current leader of the Demon Slayer Corps, it would not be surprising that he knows the history of Breathing Styles, and would recognize Tanjiro’s Hinokami Kagura as being a form of Sun Breathing.
Though still recovering, Tanjiro makes a trip to the Rengoku household to honor the Hashira’s final request and deliver his message to his family. Unlike his brother Senjuro, the former Flame Hashira, Rengoku Shinjuro, insults his son for being useless and worthless, even going as far as claiming he brought this upon himself by joining the Demon Slayer Corps.
But during the tirade and his accusations towards Tanjiro’s real intent being to mock him, he reveals the true nature of Tanjiro's new-found technique and its actual coinage, Sun Breathing.
His vicious hostility and the torn up Flame Hashira record, that Senjuro later shows Tanjiro, suggests that Shinjuro’s hostility lies not towards his son but towards himself, as he finally breaks down in tears after hearing Kyojuro’s last words: "Take care of yourself."
Being the first character in the Demon Slayer series who might provide concrete answers regarding what Sun Breathing is, it is safe to assume we might see him again in later episodes, or at least get a cameo of him entrusting Tanjiro with records of it.
While taking his leave from the Rengoku residence, Senjuro insists on Tanjiro keeping Kyojuro’s sword handguard, one which appears at the very beginning of the opening theme as well. This, coupled with Tanjiro’s Sun Breathing being fire-based, firmly cements the possibility of Tanjiro becoming the next Flame Hashira.
Tanjiro’s interaction with Rengoku Shinjuro also highlights the importance of Tanjiro’s hanafuda earrings, symbolic of his heritage. The earrings first singled him out as a threat in Kibutsuji Muzan’s eyes back in season 1 of Demon Slayer, but it is after this incident that Tanjiro is first able to connect his father’s ritual dance to the almost-mythical sounding Breathing style that Shinjuro mentions.
Muzan’s new form
In between all of this, we find Muzan having changed his form again from Demon Slayer season 1, now living with a different family as their adopted child. His inability to go out in the morning is conveniently explained away by a skin allergy, and his ruthless personality once more comes to the surface when Akaza comes to deliver his report after killing Rengoku.
Not only does Muzan punish him for leaving survivors, but also for failing to find or even confirm the existence of a blue spider lily, which Muzan has apparently been seeking. While he doesn’t mention it again in the conversation, the fact that it takes priority over the death of the Flame Hashira, clearly depicts its importance in the Demon Slayer plot, though it is still a mystery as to why.
Exposition to the Entertainment District arc
The exposition to the current story arc arrives late in the episode. After a brief breather segment featuring a furious Haganezuka, Zenitsu being a devoted Nezuko simp and the trio training for the following four months alongside solo missions, we are awarded with a sibling-combo fight.
This sequence highlights how Nezuko and Tanjiro have figured out a rhythm for fighting together, and with the clue in the opening theme of this season of Demon Slayer, we can be sure to see the siblings engaged in combat together again soon.
Another thing to observe would be Tanjiro’s attitude while demon-hunting in episode 1 of Demon Slayer Entertainment District arc. Where he previously always experienced overwhelming emotions of either fear, anguish or anger, now he appears more calm, detached and self-assured. He apologizes but is no longer hesitant about dealing out the finishing blow.
Sound Hashira Uzui Tengen creates quite an impression on both the protagonists and the viewers with his first proper appearance in the show after the Hashira meeting in Demon Slayer season 1. Causing a ruckus and attempting to kidnap Aoi and Naho from the Butterfly Palace, everything about him screams ‘flamboyant’, which also seems to be the man’s favorite word.
His attitude towards women and his confident womanizer stance in the opening theme not only provides clues towards his personality, but also sets the mood for the latest arc of the Demon Slayer anime.
As for why he might need girls for his mission becomes evident when we realize that Yoshiwara is the fashionable pleasure district of Edo, and the title of the second episode being “Infiltrating the Entertainment District” makes it fairly obvious what Tanjiro and friends are in for.
Demon Slayer Entertainment District arc opening theme
The opening theme for Demon Slayer Entertainment District arc perfectly embodies the arc, incorporating Easter eggs and clues to later events in this season. All in all, being a visual treat. Besides a glimpse of Rengoku’s sword handguard and Uzui’s three wives, the opening also reveals that there will be some cross-dressing on Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu’s mission to infiltrate the place.
The opening also hints at the Sound Hashira’s past in monochrome, with a younger Uzui standing in front of several corpses. Uzui himself acknowledges himself as being a former shinobi, and his backstory would likely be revealed in the season. Last but not least, the opening theme teases the presence of another Upper Kizuki demon besides Daki, possibly in the later half of the series.
Demon Slayer Entertainment District arc started airing on a weekly basis from December 5, 2021 on Crunchyroll and Funimation. The series is available for streaming on Netflix as well. The second episode, titled "Infiltrating the Entertainment District", will air on December 12, 2021.