Demon Slayer Season 3 Episode 2 Review: Yoriichi Type Zero

A longing look into legacy and purpose pits Tanjiro against a six-armed samurai robot, but for a surprisingly pure purpose.

Demon Slayer Season 3 Episode 2 Crow Bites Tanjiro
Photo: Crunchyroll

This Demon Slayer review contains spoilers.

Demon Slayer Season 3 Episode 2

“So what if it breaks down? Just make another one.”

In the world of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba there’s solace to be found in knowing one’s place and embracing this role–whether it’s as a Demon Slayer, swordsmith, or a robotic teaching tool. That being said, there’s a big difference to someone who chooses to stay in their station in life as opposed to an individual who’s told that they’ll never amount to anything more. Muichiro, the Mist Hashira, spends most of “Yoriichi Type Zero” telling swordsmith Kotetsu that he’s destined to fulfill a specific purpose and play his desired role as one of the many cogs in life’s machine. Tanjiro preaches that all of these diverse skills complement each other and that one wouldn’t be possible without the other. It’s important to celebrate this ecosystem of talent rather than rank these abilities against each other.

Alternatively, Tanjiro reinforces when it’s appropriate to rise above your designated status and allow passion and desire to bring out people’s greatest potential. It can be deeply comforting and grounding to know one’s place, but the same satisfaction can be found in people surpassing expectations and discovering that their place is actually somewhere else. The latter of which is adeptly explored through Tanjiro and Kotetsu’s latest challenges in “Yoriichi Type Zero,” a contemplative Demon Slayer episode that’s somehow about a renegade samurai robot.

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Tanjiro has studied under some wise and unconventional mentors since the genesis of his Demon Slayer studies, but none have been so uninterested with him as Mist Hashira, Muichiro Tokito. Not only is Muichiro unimpressed with Tanjiro’s overall existence, but he explicitly undercuts him through pointed insults that highlight his “cruelty” and lack of “tact.” He even undercuts Tanjiro’s trademark inspirational speeches by calling them boring. Muichiro is set to be a major player this season If Demon Slayer’s opening credits are any indication and “Yoriichi Type Zero” begins to develop this abrasive warrior. Muichiro’s aggressive school of hard knocks approach rubs Tanjiro the wrong way, yet he finds himself completely helpless to intervene and protect Kotetsu in a physical sense. Even Kotetsu’s talking crow relishes any opportunity to roast Tanjiro and he dispenses enough spite towards the Demon Slayer to last a lifetime. 

Muichiro slices his way through “Yoriichi Type Zero” like a detached lone wolf who almost seems robotic in nature, which only makes his mechanical training tool all the more ironic. The Mist Hashira firmly believes that any problem can eventually be overcome through perseverance and persistence, which is an idyllic philosophy, but one that doesn’t apply to everyone. There are plenty of Demon Slayers who don’t have the luxury to “just make another one.” 

Many of these characters only have one shot and Muichiro’s failure to even consider this helps establish his clinical attitude that executes emotion like it’s an errant demon. It’s a characterization that works for Muichiro in the moment, especially when it positions him as Mitsuri, the Love Hashira’s, polar opposite in the Swordsmith Village. There’s likely greater depth headed Muichiro’s way that will explain his cold demeanor, but in the meantime it makes for a terse obstacle for Tanjiro to negotiate around as he endlessly leaks empathy wherever he goes.

The most exciting turn of events in “Yoriichi Type Zero” is when Muichiro unveils the titular piece of technology, which happens to be a six-armed mechanical samurai from over 300 years back. The Yoriichi robot doll performs over 100 murderous moves and it functions as one of the Swordsmith Village’s most essential tools. The Yoriichi doll is powerful, but its ancient technology is also far beyond Kotetsu or any of the village’s current residents. A malfunction or breakdown means the end of the Yoriichi doll, but also the family legacy that it represents.

The Yoriichi doll is a fantastic development that feels reminiscent of some of the more heightened detours from other shonen series like Naruto, Dragon Ball, or Gintama. Unfortunately, the Yoriichi doll doesn’t escape or gain sentience and go all M3gan on the Swordsmith Village. “Yoriichi Type Zero” is more interested in tenderly talking to the robot’s creator to better help them accept the fact that their ancestors’ creation might be broken and need to be put to rest. It’s an emotionally-driven episode rather than one that prioritizes action. 

There are more blades being swung in this episode than most Demon Slayer entries and yet “Yoriichi Type Zero” tells a story about the importance in believing in one’s self to become our idealized, perfect selves in the future, even if that journey seems impossible in the moment. Tanjiro’s goal to make Nezuko wholly human and defeat Muzan Kibutsuji are even more incredulous tasks than what Kotetsu, Muichiro, or even Yoriichi strive to achieve, yet he never wavers in the slightest over his belief that they’ll come to pass–whether it’s by him or someone else. Tanjiro becomes a beacon of stability that helps Kotetsu believe that anything is possible. 

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Yoriichi is designed to improve the swordfighting skills of Demon Slayers and “Yoriichi Type Zero” crafts some exciting scenes where both Muichiro and Tanjiro hold their own against this six-armed swordfighter. Admittedly, these action sequences lack the intensity of deadly battles where lives are on the line, but they’re still visually gorgeous and showcase creative choreography that takes advantage of the Yoriichi doll’s six blades that attack in tandem. There’s also a strong sense of mystery that’s created through the Yoriichi doll regarding the ancient warrior who the robot is modeled after, not to mention why this same figure has started to cryptically appear in Tanjiro’s dreams. Tanjiro’s family clearly bears some connection to this legendary swordfighter, the likes of which will surely be teased once the robot’s hidden sword gets examined in the next episode.

“Yoriichi Type Zero” robs its audience of an evil android altercation, but it stumbles upon a story that’s just as rewarding. A lot of the fun from this episode involves the many new characters that surround Tanjiro. “Yoriichi Type Zero” has a strong foundation even if it’s somewhat slower in its execution. However, the fresh setting of the Swordsmith Village and the opposite directions that Tanjiro finds himself pulled in this week between Kotetsu and Muichiro reflect the heavier decisions that lie ahead for him as a Demon Slayer. Demon Slayer’s previous pacing indicates that season three will be around a dozen episodes, which means that a more self-contained entry at this point in the season isn’t a problem. “Yoriichi Type Zero” continues to build momentum for what’s to come this year as well as test Tanjiro’s physical and emotional strength during a pivotal period of growth.


3 out of 5