Demon Slayer Season 3 Episode 1 Review: Someone’s Dream

Demon Slayer kicks off season three’s highly-anticipated “Swordsmith Village Arc” with blood, blades, and backstory.

Demon Slayer Season 3 Episode 1 Muzan Blood Experiment
Photo: Crunchyroll

This Demon Slayer review contains spoilers.

Demon Slayer Season 3 Episode 1

“Fate is about to take a dramatic turn.”

Many of the harsh principles that govern the chaotic world of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba exist because no one has been strong enough to truly disrupt this scary status quo. The whole purpose of Demon Slayers as a concept is to take down these predatory threats, but this has proven to be easier said than done. 

“I prefer unchanging,” hisses Muzan Kibutsuji, leader of the Twelve Demon Moon. “A perfect unchanging state that lasts forever.” Tanjiro and his Demon Slayer friends have made incredible strides over their escapades to execute evil, but now is where their skills really matter. “Someone’s Dream” from Demon Slayer‘s new Swordsmith Village Arc pits permanence against change as Tanjiro sets out to prove that he’s finally the one to break this vicious 100-year cycle of violence.

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There’s been incredible anticipation surrounding Demon Slayer’s third season after the top tier installments that concluded the previous season. Audiences are anxious for Tanjiro’s next big challenge, but “Someone’s Dream” curbs these expectations with an unprecedented look into the inner workings of the Upper Rank Demons. The first half of this premiere is one huge Demon showcase, which truly helps give weight to these characters, sets up the season’s scope, and the progressive dangers that lie ahead. “Someone’s Dream” sets palpable stakes for what Tanjiro has to accomplish this season and the difficulty of the task at hand.

The fact that Muzan Kibutsuji and the rest of the Upper Rank Demon run the episode’s first act without any intervention hints at these villains’ greater presence this season. These monsters are at their most unstable, unpredictable, and unleashed. It’s a whole new side of these creatures that  sets a thrilling tone for this new adventure. Viewers and Demon alike are conditioned to fear Muzan, which only grows more intense in “Someone’s Dream” as he dabbles in alchemy and rigorous Demon Slayer research in order to perfect his genocidal techniques. 

Muzan is quick to recruit some of his most intimidating Upper Rank soldiers–-Akaza, Gyokko, Hantengu, Doma and Kokushibo–all of which are terrifying in their own ways. Gyokko, who spends the bulk of this episode as a roving severed head, is especially nightmarish. Demon Slayer has previously done exceptional work when it comes to the humanization of its Demon enemies and this extended examination into Muzan’s support staff hints at some fascinating backstories to come.

On top of everything else, “Someone’s Dream” makes sure that the Demons’ Infinity Castle is as intricate and foreboding as it needs to be. Ufotable goes above and beyond with the mechanics behind this scary sanctuary. The architecture of this Dali-esque dominion never stops moving. It feels like a living entity that’s just as determined to snuff out Demon Slayers. It also feels intentional that a season that revolves around the Hashiras’ holy ground would also peel back the layers on the villains’ hideout. Demon Slayer’s most visually impressive moments are the ones that come out of combat, but they’ve already done sublime work with the Infinity Castle. With any luck, a major showdown will occur in this tricky tomb.

Muzan and his Demon disciples are committed in body and spirit, which kicks off “Someone’s Dream” with electric energy. However, the heroes are not nearly as productive in this premiere, which sees Tanjiro spend most of the entry in bed, comatose, as he heals from season two’s finale. Inosuke and Zenitsu, as well as a handful of new Hashira, also get their grooves back at a leisurely, patient pace. Tanjiro is frequently impulsive, but he understands that important work takes time. This calm philosophy fuels most of Tanjiro’s moments in “Someone’s Dream,” even if he’s still eager to gain a new Nichirin blade and improve his execution skills. 

The presence of the Love Hashira, Mitsuri Kanroji, never hurts an episode of Demon Slayer, but she’s accompanied by some formidable warriors. The Swordsmith Village teases the Wind and Mist Hashira, who are guaranteed to be pivotal players alongside Tanjiro this season, but at this point the audience–much like Tanjiro–is merely excited over the prospect of these allies rather than knowing what they can actually do. Hotaru Haganezuka could be the most important mentor that Tanjiro’s ever had, but if he can’t prove himself to the legend then he’s destined to meet his doom on the battlefield like past Hashira helpers.

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There’s still a genuine sense of adventure in Demon Slayer’s premiere despite its largely sedentary state. The pomp and circumstance that involves a blindfold, earplugs, and nose plugs to ensure maximum secrecy behind this blade Brigadoon makes it feel legitimately sacred. The reverence towards the Swordsmith Village reiterates the enormity of this situation. However, “Someone’s Dream” is also full of fun, comedic moments where characters freak out and the series’ art design leans into creative, playful choices. The episode’s epilogue is even dedicated to an unnecessary explanation regarding Inosuke’s freaky hiding spot on the ceiling. There’s also some hot springs fan service in there for you Demon Slayer sycophants. Tanjiro’s attempts to actively put more clothes on Kanroji to help cover her up is the perfect reflection of his honorable character. 

“Someone’s Dream” would be a pretty standard Demon Slayer season premiere, if not for its healthy Upper Rank Demon focus. It really adds so much and it makes this episode feel special rather than just another season opener where everyone catches their breath, even if that’s still largely what happens. Demon Slayer is often at its strongest when it’s lost in action, but “Someone’s Dream” is still a satisfying premiere even though it trades raids for recovery. 

Tanjiro and company have insurmountable obstacles in their wake, yet they’ve never felt more up to the challenge even if they still have a long way to go. Demon Slayer’s Swordsmith Village Arc has barely even reached its titular destination and this season has already set the stage for courage and carnage the likes of which the series has never seen.


3 out of 5