Demon Slayer Season 3 Episode 4 Review: Thank You, Tokito
A brutal battle royale plays out between Tanjiro, Nezuko, Genya, and Tokito as Hantengu’s Upper Rank clones coordinate a cruel clash.
This Demon Slayer review contains spoilers.
Demon Slayer Season 3 Episode 4
“Just don’t let your chance slip away…”
Demon Slayer knows how to celebrate action and it’s in the middle of a major clash against multiple top-tier tyrants. Demon Slayer has approached big battles from unique angles and the intensified feud against Hantengu and Gyokko continues to defy expectations. In “Thank You, Tokito,” the Demon Slayers are divided in distinct battle plans, but just because they’re physically separated doesn’t mean that their swords don’t symbolically swing in tandem with every strike.
Hantengu’s Upper Rank underlings fire off a myriad of Demon Blood Arts that include sonic sound blasts, high-velocity gusts of wind, and electrically-charged staffs. Alternatively, the heroes each rely upon their own eclectic tactics – prayer, strategy, and experimentation – that allow them to individually excel before they all come together as a united front to take down this Upper Rank Demon anarchy in Demon Slayer’s biggest episode of the season.
“Thank You, Tokito” immerses its characters in constant chaos and it economically divides this conflict into three separate battles with Tokito Muichiro and Toketsu, Nezuko and Genya, and Tanjiro. These warriors are always prepared to go above and beyond, but in this case they prove that they’ll fight until their final breaths. These are characters who will keep slicing off a demon’s head until their blades have dulled and their wrists have broken if that’s what it takes. These are heroes who are out classed, but their indomitable will won’t allow their bodies to stop.
Tokito may be the episode’s namesake, but ol’ “seaweed head” only makes a short, but sweet contribution to the proceedings. The episode’s emotional title makes it seem as if Tokito will meet his doom, but it’s Genya who nearly perishes. Tokito is the one demon slayer who’s occupied with Gyokko instead of Hantengu and it doesn’t take him long to figure out the method behind this Upper Rank Demon’s madness. The Mist Hashira determines that it’s the vases on Gyokko’s twisted Junji Ito-esque fish minions that function as their weak spots rather than the conventional brain or heart. Tokito’s improvisational resilience as a Demon Slayer is fully on display. He’s only just jumped into battle, but has already figured out the mechanics behind these abnormal creations.
Tokito remains on fish duty and peeks into his physically painful past to highlight what a difference simple acts of kindness can make. He’s able to clear the mist from his head, which functions as an effective metaphor for Tokito’s trusted role as the Demon Slayer Corps’ Mist Hashira. It’s an extra element that’s arguably not necessary, but it provides a little more clarity for the character in a manner that still feels natural. Tokito’s callous roots also add greater weight to the simple moment when Toketsu hugs Tokito after he’s been rescued. It’s a perfectly reasonable reaction, yet one that really speaks volumes and shows how far empathy goes in this cutthroat world. Ideally, both of these characters will survive the Swordsmith Village Arc and even grow into a team.
Nezuko and Genya find themselves in the most amount of danger and it’s their material that resonates the most in “Thank You, Tokito.” The demon duo are relentless, which turns into another welcome occasion for Nezuko to come out of her shell. Nezuko dishes it back just as strong, which continues to be extremely satisfying after two seasons of passivity. One of the best moments in “Thank You, Tokito” is when she turns Karaku’s own fan power back on him. She’s easily the episode’s MVP and it’s exciting to think about Nezuko taking on a more active role in the series as she gets in the driver’s seat and proves that she’s more of an asset than a liability. On that note, Genya also gets to strut his stuff in stride alongside Nezuko. It’s Tanjiro who feels the most underwhelming during this fresh demon free-for-all.
Tanjiro’s battle against Urogi, Hantengu’s flying clone, fulfills a crucial purpose even if it comes across as the fight that’s the most lacking. He discovers that Hantengu’s four clones–Urogi, Aizetsu, Kataku, and Sekido–represent the demon’s different emotions. This also means that some clones are more powerful than others and that it’s possible to develop a method to slowly gain the upper hand in this tag team demon attack. Hantengu’s clones are fueled by hatred, which is the opposite of what motivates Tanjiro during this encounter. He’s so driven to win against Urogi because it means that he can get back to Nezuko, Genya, and make sure that his loved ones are safe. Tanjiro’s bloodlust has more to do with his compulsion to protect others than a desire to just execute demons without any rhyme or reason. Tanjiro’s violence remains proportional and it’s his response to pointed attacks that are aimed at him all while he just tries to exist.
Tanjiro also faces a terrifying reality in that his natural Demon Slayer instincts to slash the enemy only create grander problems. It emphasizes the importance of a good battle strategy as Tanjiro attempts to not get overwhelmed and learn on his feet. Piece by piece he’s able to ascertain more about Hantengu and how this Upper Rank Demon functions. There’s a pendulum-like nature to this fight as Urogi perpetually swoops down to strike Tanjiro. It carries the atmosphere of a protracted video game boss battle that’s more interested in finding the right window for when to attack than it succeeds as a sequence that’s properly paced and constructed for an anime episode.
For a minute it looks like Hantengu’s four clones might turn on each other, but fortunately Demon Slayer doesn’t head down this predictable path where in-fighting among the clones becomes their own downfall. It’s smarter to have the heroes survive through their strength and ingenuity rather than the overly simplified idea that villains can’t cooperate. These clones are all part of the same person even if they still represent Hantengu’s many extremes. They should be able to get along. In fact, Tanjiro turns the demon clones against each other, just not in the way that one would expect. He figures out how to Frankenstein together various parts of these demons so that he uses the skills of each of Hantengu’s respective selves to cancel each other out.
This Demon Slayer episode is purely action beyond the brief glimpses of Tokito’s backstory. It doesn’t lose time in its setup like its predecessor. There’s technically more combat in “Thank You, Tokito” than there is in “A Sword from Over 300 Years Ago,” yet the previous episode still reaches comparable heights with its battle choreography and animation. Granted, if “Thank You, Tokito” were to result in the destruction of Hantengu or Gyokko then it’d likely leave a greater impression. It’s unclear if this demon encounter really needs to span three episodes in a season that’s only around a dozen episodes, but if nothing else, next week’s continuation to this clash will likely be the strongest of the lot.
Demon Slayer’s “Thank You, Tokito” is an episode that’s easier to appreciate for its broader strokes and what it sets up. However, the specifics to the fight’s first act really make an impact. There are savage, blunt moments where Tanjiro slices a demon’s face in half mid-insult or Genya viciously blasts off a demon’s head with Nichirin shotgun blasts. Even Nezuko gets a foot impaled through her stomach and out her back.
Demon Slayer normally isn’t this callous and barbaric with its acts of violence. However, “Thank You, Tokito” gets a certain license to indulge in this extreme behavior since Hantengu’s clones miraculously regenerate their head or limbs in the next frame like they’re a Looney Tunes character who’s caught in the middle of “demon season.” The episode’s sound design really elevates the visceral nature of this combat. Every chest-bursting squelch induces cringes and the work that’s done with Urogi’s Sonic Scream mouth blasts is particularly impressive. You can almost feel Tanjiro’s pain as he endures these psychic shockwaves.
“Thank You, Tokito” is an intense installment that showcases the higher caliber of combat that’s in store for Tanjiro and his fellow demon slayers this season. Whether there’s four of Hantengu or just one of him, he lives up to his Upper Rank reputation and it’s reassuring that the major enemies from this season won’t just be defeated in one or two entries. It’s still early in the Swordsmith Village Arc, but Hantengu and Gyokko already come across as infinitely more taxing than anything that was faced back in the Entertainment District. “Thank You, Tokito” could be slightly better paced, but it delivers the unpredictable action and intrigue that audiences have come to expect from Demon Slayer’s biggest battles. The episode concludes on a powerful note and promises even greater carnage once Mitsuri Kanroji joins this battle royale. Win or lose–the Love Hashira puts it best during her inspirational pledge: all that anyone can do is their best.