Demon Slayer Season 3 Episode 6 Review: Aren’t You Going To Become A Hashira?
A hunt for a hidden demon turns into an emotional, reflective exercise for Genya and the other Hashira.
This Demon Slayer review contains spoilers.
Demon Slayer Season 3 Episode 6
“I’m the one who’s gonna be a Hashira!”
Over the course of three seasons, Demon Slayer‘s audience has become so invested in Tanjiro’s story because they know just how much he’s lost and exactly what he’s fighting for in this crusade. This isn’t just some empty pursuit to be the best at demon slaying or working out an unhealthy aggression towards monsters. There’s genuine pathos to his quest that adds weight to every swing of his blade. This season has added several new players to this war, many of which don’t have the same depth as the core cast, but “Aren’t You Going to Become a Hashira?” does impressive work to elaborate upon Genya’s complicated past and why he swings the blade. However, these healthy revelations arrive at a point where it may be too late for the standout guest character to stick around as the Upper Rank demons turn up the heat.
After Hantengu’s regeneration, “Aren’t You Going to Become a Hashira?” tragically sends its characters back to start with this fight, only now the heroes have the crucial knowledge that there’s also a fifth demon that needs to be executed in tandem with the rest. While it’s frustrating that Tanjiro, Nezuko, and Genya are forced to go back to square one with their fight, it’s thrilling to see them essentially speedrun the proceedings of the past two episodes. They’re winded, but they’re able to put their best feet forward in this concentrated attack where everyone is at their best and focused like a laser to weed out Hantengu’s fifth form. It’s a strong, simple angle to structure this episode around, as well as a twist that helps “Aren’t You Going to Become a Hashira?” feel different than the many other installments from this season that are built around battling Hantengu.
The crucial reveal of this fifth demon lights a fire under Tanjiro and it’s all hands on demon deck to stop Tanjiro from reaching Hantengu’s final state. This defeat will trigger Hantengu’s sudden doom, so this thrilling tag team attack is crucial for everyone involved. Meanwhile, Genya’s odd and aggressive transformation aligns with Tanjiro’s demon slaying goals, but he attacks with a vicious honesty that bites like someone who’s possessed and in the throes of an exorcism.
A lot of “Aren’t You Going to Become a Hashira?” revolves around gauging what’s really going on with Genya and where the conflicted Demon Slayer’s motives lie. Genya’s condition is so compelling because it’s not black or white. He continues to help Tanjiro and Nezuko. The battleground is too busy for either of them to properly process what’s going on with their new friend and if they should be more concerned and on guard. Genya’s heightened state functions like this extreme berserker mode that boosts his skills, but puts him on borrowed time as he grows increasingly erratic. Demon Slayer never quite makes Genya’s shift clear before this cryptic tactic fails to be enough to overtake the enemy.
Demon Slayer has indulged in plenty of gripping episodes that are structured around emotional flashbacks right when a character pays the ultimate price in the present. While this formula is nothing new and almost seals Genya’s fate once it’s revealed, it still leads to a rewarding narrative about identity and lineage as Genya eternally lives in his brother’s shadow. The massacre of Genya’s siblings, but their mother no less, is one of the most brutal displays of violence to come out of the series and suddenly Genya’s reserved behavior makes a lot more sense. It’s heartbreaking and an important reminder that every player in this war has experienced tremendous loss in order to reach this point. Everyone has a score to settle and personal vendettas to resolve.
Demon Slayer has never decided to tell an episode from Nezuko’s perspective, but it would likely function a lot like Genya’s story. There’s definitely a symmetry between her and Genya’s trajectories that makes his history hit harder. “Aren’t You Going to Become a Hashira?” is a stronger episode for not taking the obvious melodramatic bait and offing Genya. That’s not to say that he won’t perish in the next installment, but it will at least be on his terms after he’s been filled with love and confidence rather than dying full of regret.
“Aren’t You Going to Become a Hashira?” is largely devoid of Gyokko content, which could have made this episode a little more balanced. This Upper Rank demon’s presence is brief, but Muichiro Tokito continues to quietly drown and get punctured while Gyokko gloats like a true villain. Someone get this Hashira a straw!
The broader strokes of these past few episodes of Demon Slayer’s Swordsmith Village Arc may feel repetitive, but the animation continues to push boundaries and surpass visual expectations. There are still stunning uses of color with the red and blue lightning strikes that Nezuko bobs and weaves through. Tanjiro releases beautiful magenta fire strikes as he wipes these demons out, too.
This battle also deserves points for how Nezuko gets gruesomely impaled. This has admittedly started to lose its impact after becoming increasingly common. Nezuko is hardly invulnerable, but at this point she’s taken seemingly fatal damage from other demons a handful of times and still keeps on kicking. Audiences know that she’s not going anywhere and this confidence carries over into how Genya avoids the repeated death flags that wave in his face and will likely continue to do so until the season ends.
“Aren’t You Going to Become a Hashira?” is an episode of Demon Slayer that doesn’t technically move its story forward in a narrative sense, but despite this standstill it’s still full of dramatic highs and brutal battle sequences between characters who have had enough. There’s strong action, emotion, and intrigue as this demon feud deepens, grows more personal, and enters what may finally be its last act. Whether audiences are tired of Hantengu and his clones or not, these battle theatrics are ready to finally deliver now that everyone has put their cards on the table.