Picking up right where we left off, episode 2 of Demon Slayer season 3 starts with a young swordsmith named Kotetsu is accosted by the Mist Hashira. The boy refuses Muichiro’s demand for a key, claiming that he wouldn’t know how to use “it”. The Hashira chops Kotetsu’s neck, rendering him unconscious, prompting an enraged Tanjiro to intervene. However, Tanjiro is surprised when he’s easily overpowered by the younger, smaller and thinner demon slayer. Adding insult to injury, Muichiro wonders aloud how such a weak kid could be in the Corps.
Distracted by the presence of a demon within Tanjiro’s box, Muichiro briefly loses his grasp on both the Kotetsu and Tanjiro. Muichiro chastises Kotetsu for delaying him, bluntly stating that a demon slayer’s time is more valuable than a swordsmith’s – giving viewers their first taste of Muichiro’s aloof, condescending demeanour. Tanjiro defends Kotetsu’s honour by stating that swordsmen are nothing without the weapons swordsmiths craft. He encourages Muichiro to be respectful, before being suddenly knocked out cold. Muichiro has no time to listen to a “boring speech”.
After he comes to, Tanjiro asks about the other man who was there –- the one he recognised from his dream in episode one. Tanjiro is stunned to learn that it wasn’t a person but a Mechanical Doll – a combat robot capable of 108 movements and overpowering a regular human. Known as Yoriichi Type Zero, the doll was built by Kotetsu’s ancestors 300 years ago, and is modelled after a swordsman from the Sengoku era who was so skilled, that the doll had to be built with six arms in order to replicate his speed. Tanjiro is awed that ancient technology could be so advanced, while simultaneously wondering why a warrior from three centuries prior would be familiar to him. Kotetsu posits that it could be an “inherited memory.”
The pair catch up to Muichiro, who has used the key to activate the doll in order forto engage in a training session. Kotetsu admits that he has no idea how to fix the doll if it gets damaged, while Tanjiro is amazed by Muichiro’s ability as he watches him fight, noting that it’s rare for someone so young to be so talented. This is when Muichiro’s female Kasugai Crow shows up to shrilly brag about her owner’s legacy and accomplishments. Amidst all this, Muichiro lands a blow on the doll, slicing off an arm. A despondent Kotetsu runs away, forcing Tanjiro to use his famed sense of smell to track him in the forest.
After a pep talk where Tanjiro convinces Kotetsu that he will one day learn the technology if he works hard, Kotetsu offers the doll to Tanjiro for his own training. Selfishly, he wants Tanjiro to get better in order to put Muichiro in his place. Hilariously, Kotetsu proves to be a tyrannical teacher, pushing Tanjiro to fight the doll for days on end without food and water. After a hellish week, a beaten and battered Tanjiro finally improves, learning how to read an opponent’s movements instead of simply attacking and reacting. The demon slayer is finally able to land a killing blow, decapitating Yoriichi Type Zero. However the feeling of triumph is quickly replaced by shock when the pair discover a 300-year-old sword hidden within the doll’s body.
- Muichiro’s crow is the first Kasugai shown to have a distinctive personality. It’s too bad that her personality happens to be uppity and arrogant.
- Muichiro is said to be a descendant of the originator of Sun Breathing (though he doesn’t use the technique), and a prodigy who’s risen to the rank of Hashira faster than any demon slayer in history.
- While fighting the doll, a starved and thirsty Tanjiro hallucinates about a mysterious, shimmering stone at the bottom of a river. Was it just his imagination, or could it be a vision?.
Demon Slayer is streaming now on Crunchyroll