As the third season of “Demon Slayer-Kimetsu no Yaiba” progresses, things slowly start to unravel in the second episode.
Tanjiro Komado is on a quest to find a mysterious weapon that the Love Hashira Mitsuri told him was powerful. Along the way, he runs into the Mist Hashira Muichiro Tokito and a young resident of the Swordsmith village arguing and who looks to be the mysterious swordsman from his dreams.
The second episode, titled “Yorrichi Type Zero,” begins where it left off with Tanjiro witnessing an argument between Muichiro Tokito and young boy name Kotetsu. Tanjiro discovers that the swordsman isn’t really a man but it is a unique contraption called a Mechanical Doll that resembles a swordsman. And Tokito wants Kotetsu to hand him the key so that he can activate the doll and train with it.
Called the Yorrichi Type Zero, the doll was built by the Kotetsu’s ancestors and modeled on a swordsman who had a unique set of moves. According to Kotetsu, Yorrichi Type Zero “can overpower a human, and it’s capable of 108 moves,” which is why Muichiro wants to train with it. To replicate these moves, the doll has six arms armed with swords.
As Tanjiro is witnessing the fight between Muichiro and the Mechanical Doll, he cannot help noticed the doll’s resemblance to the swordsman from his dreams. The doll also happens to have Hanafuda earrings similar to Tanjiro, his late father Tanjuro, and the swordsman from the Demon Slayer’s dreams.
Tanjiro also learns that the doll was built during Japan’s Sengoku Period, or the Warring States Period which was 300 years before the Taisho Period, in which “Demon Slayer” takes place. The World History Encyclopedia states that the Sengoku Period, which took place between the years of 1467 to 1568, was an era of violent civil wars waged by warlords wanting control of Japan. This answers the question surrounding the origins of the Twelve Kizuki demon Upper One who also resembles the swordsman from Tanjiro’s dreams and the doll.
If Upper One was a Samurai from the bloody Sengoku period, there is no doubt that he is a warrior born into battle and one who would likely prove to be very dangerous for Tanjiro and the Demon Slayer Corps. While the defeat of the Upper Six demons Daki and Gyutaro is the first ever in 113 years, there is no doubt that Upper One is going to do everything he can to defeat the Demon Slayer Corps.
In addition, the question regarding Tanjiro’s dream is answered when Kotetsu tells Tanjiro that the Demon Slayer witnessed an inherited memory from his ancestor. Kotetsu adds that one sees an inherited memory from their ancestor or relative when they are staying at the Swordsmith Village.
One may ask that since the swordsman wears Hanafuda earrings, does he know the Sun Breathing Technique just like Tanjiro and his father?
The Sun Breathing Technique was first shown in the “Mount Natagumo Arc” when Tanjiro channeled it while taking on the lower rank demon, Rui. It is also shown that Tanjiro learned the technique from his ailing father in the form of a fire dance ritual. Tanjiro would not learn about the name of the technique or its origins until the former Flame Hashira Shinjuro mentioned it to him. Shinjuro, who is also the father of the late Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku, added that those who wore the Hanafuda earrings are practitioners of the Sun Breathing technique. If Upper One does indeed know about the technique, then the Demon Slayer Corps are sure to have a huge fight on their hands. Especially against a warrior from one of Japan’s violent periods.
While witnessing Muichiro’s training against the doll, Tanjiro learns from Tokito’s crow that the Hashira is a descendant of another swordsman who had the Sun Breathing fighting technique. One may also wonder if Muichiro knows the Sun Breahting Technique. While talented and a young prodigy of the Demon Slayer Corps, Muichiro exudes arrogance and dismisses the swordsmith profession which Tanjiro and Kotetsu take offense to.
What is beautiful about the dynamic between Tanjiro and Kotetsu, is that it resembles a bond between brothers. Tanjiro’s empathy is evident at the beginning of the episode when Tanjiro stands up to Tokito for belittling the swordsmith profession as weak. The Demon Slayer points out that without swordsmiths, the Demon Slayer Corps would be unable to commit to their mission of protecting the human race from demons. This action moves Kotetsu and establishes a quick friendship between the two.
After Tokito breaks through the doll’s armor, Kotetsu is heartbroken that he will never fix the training doll and will be the last line of his family since he is an orphan. However, Tanjiro motivates the young swordsmith to not give up on his dreams and tells him of his quest to defeat Muzan Kibutsuji and restore Nezuko back to human form. He also tells him that while he may die or fail in his mission, he has faith that someone will pick up from where he left off and continue. Tanjiro tells Kotetsu that his future children could do the same for him and convinces the young swordsmith to continue with his trade.
Like Tanjiro and Nezuko, Kotetsu is an orphan who dealt with tragedy at a young age and was molded by trauma. We also see that like Tanjiro, Kotetsu is headstrong and determined. And as someone who has been a swordsmith since birth, he has some knowledge of the Swordsmith Village and sword fighting strategies.
After Muichiro defeats the mechanical doll by amputating its arm and taking its sword, Tanjiro and Kotetsu vow to get the doll into working order. After Kotetsu gets the mechanical doll to operate, he tasks Tanjiro to train with it and defeat it by lending him a sword.
While determined to defeat the impressive contraption, Tanjiro is easily outclassed by the doll much to Kotetsu’s disappointment. What is funny and amazing about this scene is that the younger Kotetsu withholds food from Tanjiro until he defeats the doll and comments on his fighting skills. We see several scenes of Tanjiro acting uncharacteristically like fellow Demon Slayer and friend Zenitsu Agatusama by saying that he is going to die. And to make matters worse, Kotetsu eventually arms the doll with actual swords.
As Tanjiro is nearly defeated, he hilariously hallucinates going into the afterlife until he finds a blue gem. Awakened from his hallucination, Tanjiro manages to sense the doll’s movements and manages to defeat it. Even more hilarious, Kotetsu offers him food which the Demon Slayer happily accepts.
After regaining his strength and stamina, Tanjiro finally defeats Yorrichi Type Zero by beheading it.
What is powerful about this scene is that it shows the viewer about letting go of fear. Tanjiro almost hesitated due to his concern that he might break the machine beyond repair to the point where Kotetsu would be discouraged. However, Kotetsu, motivated by Tanjiro’s wisdom, tellshim to finish off the doll and that he will eventually fix it.
After Tanjiro decapitates the doll, it is revealed that there is a sword inside the body. Is this sword the secret weapon that Mitsuri was telling Tanjiro about in the last episode? And if it is, would Kotetsu, or perhaps, Hotaru Hafanezuka (the swordsmith who forges the swords for the Demon Slayers) know of its history from the Sengoku period?”
“Yorrichi Type Zero” was not the most action-packed episode but it was a decent episode to plant the seeds for what is to come in Tanjiro and Nezuko’s journey. It also plants the seeds for more revelations surrounding the Kamado family, Upper One, and the sword from the Sengoku period.
“Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Swordsmith Arc” is now streaming on Crunchyroll.