Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

By Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram)

Rank 4 Hantengu is arguably one of the ugliest and sneakiest demons in the action anime series “Demon Slayer” so far. While lacking in character, this hideous abomination makes up for it through his alternate personalities and cowardly tactics. With a runtime of over 50 minutes, episode 11 serves as a near-perfect season finale for the “Demon Slayer Swordsmith Village Arc” (Kimetsu no Yaiba)! It is definitely more entertaining and intriguing than the 11-episode-long “Entertainment District Arc”.

Titled “A Connected Bond: Daybreak and First Light,” the episode begins with Tanjiro, Genya, and Nezuko chasing the tiny Hantengu through the dense forests of Swordsmith Village. Meanwhile, the Love Hashira Mitsuri Kanroji engages with his clone, Zohakuten, in order to buy time for her juniors to decapitate the main body. While the extended runtime of the season finale made me worry if it would be a long and overstretched battle royale, it surprisingly packed in much more than just a clash between demons and slayers.

From bloodied face-offs, grim flashbacks, disturbing revelations, and a painfully moral dilemma that plunges Tanjiro into an existential crisis, episode eleven brings together all the elements that made this series exciting in the first place. Moreover, fans finally get to see the meticulously crafted sword by Hotaru Haganezuka, which was first teased in episode two, “Yoriichi Type Zero.” With time ticking away, can the slayers kill the demon before dawn breaks and he runs away? It’s a tense edition!

However, the most unexpected and gripping part of this episode was Lord Muzan’s historical flashback, revealing what drove him to become the top demon boss and his current agenda.

Muzan traces his devious origins back to the Heian period (between 794 and 1185), when he was a young lord suffering from a mysterious disease. The animation for his flashback was rendered in black-and-white, with a slight grainy effect, creating a dark antique tone for the past. To heighten the drama, the artists add the color red only to the scenes that feature blood in them. The demon boss’ past perfectly ties up with the events occurring in the present and only spells more danger for the corps.

This season finale delivers two fantastic twists that will not only thrill fans but also bring tears, as it leaves ample room for future seasons. This means it’s back to waiting for the continuation of Tanjiro’s adventures once again!

Stream the series on Netflix.

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