Demon Slayer’s final fight against Daki and Gyutaro felt like a Dragon Ball Z homage to wrap up the “Entertainment District” arc.
The fundamental issue of the “Entertainment District” arc was resolved in the penultimate episode of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Zenitsu Agatsuma and Inosuke Hashibira had their own confrontation with Daki while Tanjiro Kamado and Tengen Uzui celebrated their triumph against Gyutaro. Massive destruction, a lot of screaming, and even a bonus hair for the protagonist characterised Demon Slayer’s most spectacular combat. This episode, “Never Give Up,” feels nearly like a Dragon Ball Z episode. Only a narrator at the end of the episode saying, “You’ll know next time in Demon Slayer Z,” was absent.
Yoshiwara, the “Entertainment District’s” namesake city, has seen better days. During the last battle against Daki and Gyutaro, the demon siblings who share the rank of Upper-Rank Six, much (if not all) of the city was engulfed in flames. The Demon Slayer had never witnessed such devastation. Tanjiro dashed across the ruins, attempting to defeat Gyutaro. Gyutaro would never have made it if he hadn’t succumbed to the same affliction that afflicted so many DBZ villains: arrogance. Gyutaro’s decision to play with Tanjiro rather than murder him was the beginning of his demise, as Tanjiro’s last stand spurred his injured companions into action.
Tengen Uzui powers up at the last second to commence a high-speed battle with Gyutaro, in a scene right out of the most renowned shonen anime of all time. On the battlefield, two swordsmen engage, and explosions follow one another, razing the structures in their route. To Dragon Ball Z’s credit, its tendency for high-speed, screaming deathmatches works well for conveying the intensity of fighting and the effort put forth by fighters, and Demon Slayer appears to be influenced by that style for this fight.
Dragon Ball Z is known for heroes who obtain new abilities when they are up against a wall and then turn things around, and Demon Slayer saw all four protagonists in this fight gain new abilities. Tengen Uzui has refined his Musical Score Technique, which allows him to turn his opponent’s actions into a song with a predictable pattern, allowing him to battle while avoiding injury. Thunderclap and Flash: Godlike Speed were used by Zenitsu to nearly decapitate Daki before she could react. After moving his inside organs to evade Gyutaro’s strike in the last episode, Inosuke exhibited another horrible power.
Meanwhile, Tanjiro appears to have unlocked the Demon Slayer’s Super Saiyan (Super Slayer?) counterpart. His scar more than doubled in size, his pupils vanished, and his hair turned a different hue and stood on end. While it’s unclear exactly what happened to Tanjiro at the time, it was likely similar to his earlier encounter with Daki, and this newfound ability allowed him to cut Gyutaro’s neck like demon butter. Daki and Gyutaro were killed simultaneously in a DBZ-worthy final boss fight while six characters screamed their heads off. Even Gyutaro’s beheaded torso’s final blood quill burst felt like DBZ, as the huge blast seemed to demolish what was left of Yoshiwara.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has done a fantastic job of carving out its own niche in the crowded anime market. “Never Give Up” was almost awkwardly reminiscent to DBZ’s distinctive flair. Demon Slayer’s apparent homage to Dragon Ball Z during the franchise’s greatest battle isn’t necessarily a bad thing – unless it becomes a habit. With only one episode left in Season 2 — a 45-minute double episode – Demon Slayer appears to be returning to its roots in the aftermath of the first High Rank death in 100 years.