Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 20: Pretend Family
Holy shit Shinobu. I love everything about her, her charm, her creepy smile, her sadism, her design, her breathing technique, her fighting style. She’s amazing and I love her, even though she kind of frightens me. So good! Saori Hayami also does a spectacular job with her, her performance reminding me of Yumeko from Kakegurui with the underlying craziness with the smiling, pretty face.
It kinda sucks that last week I said that I was glad that Tanjiro was able to defeat Rui without Giyu coming to the rescue…because that’s exactly what happened. I guess I get it, but it kind of takes away from the hype and emotion from last week. I get it, because if you want to look at it logically, the fact that Tanjiro had so much trouble with the spider dad, who wasn’t even a Kizuki, but was able to kill Rui, a Kizuki…doesn’t quite make sense. It’s just less satisfying that Giyu arrived and killed Rui in a few seconds, but through that we were able to see the Eleventh water breathing technique, showing that Tanjiro still has so much to learn if he didn’t even know there was an eleventh. Granted, he’s only been a demon slayer for a short time and he’s only scratched the surface of the type of training he needs to be doing. So while that was a little underwhelming, and slightly disappointing, the most important thing from last episode is that the strong love and bond of family with the Kamados is true.
And I can’t say that about Rui’s pretend family. A large chunk of the episode was dedicated to the backstory of Rui and the rest of his “family” and how they came to be. It was just as horrific and abusive as I expected it to be. Rui has the special treatment of being one of Muzan’s favorite as a Kizuki, so he’s able to turn other demons into one of his own as his family. The reasoning behind this is that Rui wants to know what a family is like, because he doesn’t even remember his own. In fact, he doesn’t remember anything about himself. Watching as he recruited the sister (in an extremely terrifying fashion), it was interesting to see how he made them act like family with their faux dinnertime with their empty bowls and plates. It was surprising to see how he molded them so they could each fit their roles, as the busty mom was actually a young demon girl. Which is…strange, and sad. It’s no wonder he was able to control her so easily, and his ways of punishing them was nothing short of cruel. It was hard to feel sympathy for the sister as she snitched on the other girl that wanted to escape. It was messed up watching her bound by Rui’s threads on the roof of the house, having to watch her burn to death by sunlight. It was just yikes. It’s really hard to feel for most of the demons in this show because of the atrocities they committed, including Rui. I don’t care that he can’t remember his family, he treated his own new family like garbage so he deserved his end. The only one I could feel bad for was the mother.
Shinobu handles the sister easily, but not without playing with her first. It seems that Shinobu takes pleasure in teasing with the demons, as I didn’t buy into her “let’s be friends!” schtick. Her proposal of torturing the girl in 14 ways to atone for the 14 people she killed was a terrifying thought, but again I really love this about her. It was very cool watching Shinobu fight as she moved around like a butterfly, and her breathing art technique was GORGEOUS. The pretty purple and all those butterflies, ahhh. Her way of killing with poison was very surprising, but so damn cool. It’s a very painful end for the demons though, so any demon victim to her is going to suffer bad after being humiliated and toyed with a bit.
Shinobu is not to be messed with. It’s also very cool that we learned of a different way of killing demons besides beheading. With her knowledge, I’m sure there’s lots of other things she can do, and there’s probably more people like her so hopefully we can see other forms of fighting.
A little overshadowed by last week’s episode, but this episode was also very well done. The backstory was interesting, and we got to see both Giyu and Shinobu in action. They’re both incredibly strong and they look like they’ll be awesome additions to the story. It looks like we’ll be done with this arc in the next episode, so I’m excited to see how they’ll wrap up the anime in the next few episodes after.