Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 16, “Defeating an Upper Rank Demon,” began on a hopeful note with Hinatsuru’s intervention creating a much-needed opening for Uzui and Tanjiro, who were both heavily injured.
But things kept getting exponentially worse as the episode went on. The episode's pacing and animation were fantastic as usual, ending on a cliffhanger once more.
Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 16 highlights
Uzui and his wives
Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 16 began with a recap of Hinatsuru’s surprise attack on Gyutaro with poisoned kunai, allowing Uzui to cut off the demon’s legs before rushing with Tanjiro to behead him. The opening theme was followed by a flashback into the past as a younger Uzui paid his respects to his family shrine along with Makio, Suma, and Hinatsuru.
The memory showed the mutual love and respect between Uzui and his wives and mentioned his deceased brothers and Uzui’s belief that one day he would go to hell.
Gyutaro takes Hinatsuru hostage
The scene shifted back to the battlefield of Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 16, where the wisteria poison wore off and Gyutaro immediately regenerated his legs.
An action-heavy sequence complemented by Ufotable’s glorious animation began as Gyutaro used his Blood Demon Art to defend against the attack using the Rotating Circular Slashes: Flying Blood Sickles, which acted like two whirlpools surrounding his arms.
Uzui kicked Tanjiro out of the range of the sickles before using Sound Breathing Fourth Form: Constant Resounding Slashes to parry the attacks. But the demon used the opportunity to slip away and took Hinatsuru hostage.
Uzui panics, and Tanjiro rescues Hinatsuru
Seeing his wife in mortal danger sent Uzui into panic, but he was being attacked by a constant barrage of Daki’s obi, unable to go save her. The intensity of the moment was punctuated by another flashback where Hinatsuru spoke about her wish for all of them to live peaceful normal lives after defeating the Upper Rank demons and fulfilling their duty as Demon Slayers, even if not all four don’t make it through alive.
Back in the present, Uzui’s enraged scream woke up Tanjiro who struggled to move with all his injuries. Unable to maintain the Hinokami Kagura stance, Tanjiro blended it with Water Breathing to cut through Gyutaro’s wrist, freeing Hinatsuru and putting distance between them.
Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 16 shows Tanjiro remembering the fighting style taught to him by Urokodaki in Demon Slayer Season 1. Gyutaro rushes forward, pushing him into a defensive stance. Uzui attacks the demon from behind, while expressing his deepest gratitude to Tanjiro for saving his wife.
However, Gyutaro prevents his neck from being severed by Uzui and Tanjiro’s blades, twisting it completely backwards to bite into the Hashira’s second sword.
Inosuke, Zenitsu, and Tanjiro fight Daki
Meanwhile, Inosuke and Zenitsu kept dodging Daki’s obi slashes, unable to cut the flexible material. Seeing Uzui and Tanjiro on the verge of beheading Gyutaro made Inosuke impatient, with Zenitsu calming him down. He explained that it wasn’t necessary to cut their necks at the same time, as long as they could make sure one remained beheaded till the other was cut down.
With Gyutaro about to use his Rotating Circular Slashes again, Uzui drags the demon, and the fight, away from Tanjiro and Hinatsuru. As the kunoichi escapes, Tanjiro starts assisting Zenitsu and Inosuke in dealing with Daki. He advises a frustrated Inosuke to slash Daki’s neck from multiple dimensions at high speed.
With Zenitsu and Tanjiro flanking him, Inosuke activates his Beast Breathing Eighth Fang: Explosive Rush to charge towards the demon. Daki’s attacks intensified, but with the other two protecting him, Inosuke focused fully on offense, reaching Daki and sawing her head off with the serrated edges of his two Nichirin swords, using Beast Breathing Sixth Fang: Palisade Bite.
Gyutaro stabs Inosuke to get back Daki’s head
With the obi and the flying blood sickles still attacking them, Inosuke ran off with Daki’s severed head to prevent her from reattaching it. Tanjiro and Zenitsu were preparing to go assist Uzui only to see an unexpected and terrifying sight: Gyutaro piercing Inosuke through with his poisoned sickle and taking his sister’s head from him.
Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 16 ended with Tanjiro desperately looking around for Uzui, only to find him collapsed on the ground with his arm cut off. Zenitsu tried to warn him about Daki’s obi as it slashed through entire buildings.
The final scene showed Zenitsu reaching out to a falling Tanjiro who blamed himself and started apologizing to his comrades and to Nezuko.
Preview to Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 17
The preview of Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 17 featured no Taisho era secret, rather only Tanjiro looking around for Inosuke, Zenitsu, and Uzui. Despite being disheartened by the possibility of not winning, Tanjiro refused to give up. The title for Episode 17 has been announced to be “Never Give Up.”