Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 17: Does Tanjiro get killed by upper-rank demons?

Episode 17 of the Entertainment District Arc starts with burning visuals of the city after a gut-wrenching spur between the Demon Slayers led by Tengen Uzui and the upper-rank siblings Gyuutarou and Daki. Tanjiro lies unconscious by the sidewalk, with Nezuko by his side in her wooden abode. Hashira Uzui lies dead with a decapitated arm, after being poisoned by Gyuutarou. Zenitsu is trapped under a heavy pile of wood at his probable worst, and Inosuke as well has been assumed to be dead after being impaled by Gyuutarou’s poisonous weapon. That leaves only our protagonist alone, at his physical worst after having already fought an exhilarating battle. (Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 17)

Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 17 – “I will never give up”

Tanjiro wakes and loses consciousness almost in the same instant. He dreams of his lost village, as Nezuko tells him that he has done the best that he could. He wakes up fallen and helpless, as the demonic figure of Gyuutarou appears before him. Gyuutarou revels in ecstatic animosity, at what is to be the most haunting scene in the Anime so far. He is quick to assert his superiority in the face of Tanjiro’s present broken condition. Tanjiro is mentally aware of his helplessness to severe the demon’s head. All through this exchange, Daki, the demon sibling sits on one of the burning houses in disgust. She does not engage directly in warfare as she expects that her brother shall take care of the same. Likewise, he does.

Nezuko, Uzui, Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu- primary battle unit of Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 10
Nezuko, Uzui, Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu- primary battle unit of Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 10

Gyuutarou breaks off two of Tanjiro’s right-hand fingers and hits him recklessly. It would have been enough to break down his morale as Tanjiro sat there without the slightest whim to protect himself. He wondered instead of why he wasn’t killed yet. We know why. Of course, Tanjiro alongside his demon sister would make for quite a powerful demon himself, if his human instinct could be botched down. The very condition of being a powerful demon came from a denunciation of possibly all the earthly human qualities like kindness, strength, or even love. Tanjiro runs sheepishly lifting up Nezuko’s wooden container in what seems to be like a desperate attempt. Gyuutarou reaches closer and emphasizes his state further with contempt saying:

I like things that are miserable, dirty, and pathetic

Gyuutarou, Kimetsu no Yaiba
Upper Rank 6, Demon Daki
Upper Rank 6, Demon Daki
Upper Rank Demon, Gyuutarou

Spoilers ahead – Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 17

Tanjiro stares aimlessly at the sky as Gyuutarou bullies him further reminding him of his weakness and the fallible state of being human. Just when we believe that it’s all over for Tanjiro, he headbutts the demon with all his might. Indeed a headbutt alone isn’t enough to cause damage and the futility of the situation is not over yet. The climax dawns on sharper when Gyuutarou is not able to fight back as he is hit by a poisoned Kunai, rendering him motionless, as Tanjiro has already managed to draw his sword on the Demon’s neck. What seemed an inevitable defeat for the Demon Slayers, turned into an instantaneous moment of hope by the actions of one individual. The mighty demon’s sister, Daki, stands up in anger and disbelief at the situation.

Tanjiro fighting back against Gyuutarou, in Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 10
Tanjiro fighting back against Gyuutarou, in Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 10

An upper-rank demon, like Gyuutarou is not to be sustained by such injury for long. However, he himself cannot help but be frustrated by his own disbelief. His incomprehensibility at a beaten human fighting back with sheer willpower echoes through his following words:

This guy… This guy is just a weak human being!
Even after I gave him a beating and showed the huge difference between our strengths…

Why hasn’t he given up yet despite being all alone?
is his spirit not broken yet?
Why is his will to beat me…

not wavering?

Gyuutarous, Demon Slayer Season 3

The chain of events..

Tahnjiro realizes how lucky he was, as one wrong move and he could have ended up as the demon himself. That there lies a very fine yet thin line for him and Nezuko to end up where the demon siblings currently were. It also makes sense for Nezuko to not directly engage in warfare. She had a spine-chilling encounter with Daki previously and the rest was much needed.

Daki is definitely not the kind to witness her brother fall before her, she advances in a desperate whim to attack. It is right at this instant that Zenitsu finds the strength inside him to reveal his true potential. He is already mid-air with his blazing electric trail, more intensified by the raging bid to save his friend. The otherwise meek and scared Zenitsu has managed to almost sever the demon’s head and draw her far away from her demon brother.
Tanjiro fails to sever the demon’s head with a swift blow and lands himself in turn way nearer to his death. Just about when he is close to getting his eyeballs and in turn his life pierced by the pointy demonic hand, the unexpected happens. Tengen Uzui enters the scene with a massive blow from his sword ‘DESTROYER OF DEMONS’; pushing off the demon in one strong blow. What is evident from this scene is the much-anticipated spur between the strongest.

Furthering to an epic conclusion

Gyuutarou realizes that the Hashira lay dead because he controlled his own heartbeat to reduce the effect of the poison, and in turn heal to save enough energy. Further scenes comprise massive action, where both demonstrate their greatest assets. The Hashira is quick to read Gyuutarou’s Blood Demon Art as he identifies them by musical notes. It leaves the demon stunned. Tanjiro joins in action as he cannot bear the thought of losing the Hashira again.

Victory or Defeat? – Demon Slayer

As Zenitsu struggles to decapitate the demon sister Daki, he nearly fails to the elasticity of the demon’s head. It is at this instant that the otherwise assumed to be dead Inosuke reappears on the other side. He lends all his might to the battle, as he yells how capable he is of shifting his vital organs at dire moments. Tanjiro with every last ounce of strength in his body manages to sever the head of Gyuutarou alongside Hashira Tengen Uzui. Simultaneously, after a fierce struggle and an eye-soaring dynamic, Zenitsu and Inosuke sever Daki’s head. This very action of beheading the two siblings together fulfills the very condition of killing them. The victory is sought but no winning ever comes without a cost.

The massive conclusion of Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 17
The massive conclusion of Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 17

It is hard to tell whether the Hashira will ever get his arm back again, or if he would ever rejoin the Demon Slayer Corps. Tanjiro, Inosuke, as well as Zenitsu fought the battle at the cost of their own lives which was pretty much up for gamble all this time. Their physical injuries although redeemable, it is sure to leave a mark on the memory. However, no matter how dark and desolate, they might be able to gather strength from this, in the events to follow. The latter and the final episode are a heartfelt encounter between the Demon siblings as they proceed towards Hell; following the conclusion for this season and anticipation for the next.

Decapitated heads of Gyuutarou and Daki lie on the ground
Decapitated heads of Gyuutarou and Daki lie on the ground

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