A Deeper Dive into Daki and Gyutaro! Demon Slayer, “Entertainment District Arc,” Episode 11 “No Matter How Many Lives” [Review, Analysis]

After an incredible ending in the previous episode that left us wondering, if it was still not over, well.. it’s over guys.. An incredible ending to an arc and it all started with the tragedies of Daki and Gyutaro. Let’s recap and discuss these human tragedies.

Recap

Once Tanjiro came back to, Nezuko was by his side, basically telling him, that she saved them. Zenitsu finally wakes up from his slumber to warn Tanjiro that Inosuke is slowly dying from the poison. Tanjiro, being unable to move had to piggyback off of Nezuko.

That’s cute

Nezuko proceeds to burn out the poison in Inosuke, as he snaps back into his upbeat personality. Now, onto to Tengen, Suma, Makio and Hinatsuru! We get a really funny scene here as the wives are bickering and crying, while Uzui is trying to get in his last words. Covered in poison, he makes some funny self-talk about having to die in this manner. Here to save the day, Nezuko and Tanjiro arrive and Nezuko burns out the poison in Uzui, saving our happy family of 4.

Nezuko and Tanjiro goes off again and was able to get the Upper Level Demon blood for Miss Tamayo. This is going to prove extremely useful later down the line.

Daki and Gyutaro Backstory

When we’re talking layers to a characters, who would of thought that 2 could play the role of one. Demon Slayer doesn’t take the viewer through a long grueling process of character development. It’s done in a formulaic way that very easy to understand in a short time and still provide enough depth. Introduce the character as the antagonist, show their abilities and personalities; and then give the backstory late into their waning last moments. The show answers these simple questions to: who is this character, what does this character do, why is this character the way this character is, how did this character get to this point?

Now, that at we have time to reflect after the battle, it’s time to discuss how this can tie into real life. This setting is after all, in an “Entertainment District.” It’s a euphemism for girls that sell their body and beauty that is the top of the hierarchy.

By the time Tanjiro and Nezuko get to Gyutaro and Daki, they are in the middle of arguing with one blaming the other. This scene goes really well into what is going to be explained about their past. Envy, not being able to take ownership, an incredibly tragic upbringing—these are all elements that can turn a ‘human’ into a ‘demon’.

It’s a sad, sad ending to their lives as they are denouncing each other in complete anger, as Tanjiro has to close Gyutaro’s mouth because of all the awful things he was saying. These are things you should never say to a person that is leaving to the afterlife. For the last time, Daki bursts out in a crying rage, as her head finally dissipates. Gyutaro bursts out with the name ‘Ume’. Now, we get the backstory of where these two came from. In the most unfortunate name, Daki was actually named after a disease their mother died by.

That is just totally f’d up.. Can you imagine being called aids, cancer.. corona? Moving along..

The demon siblings shouting at each other in profane blasphemy

Born into little to no opportunities, a young Gyutaro has to figure life with no adult guidance

Born into a time in Japan, where there was still a caste system, those at the bottom were literally living off of scrapes. The more children there were, the more they were cursed as “being another mouth the feed.” Gyutaro was extremely disgusting and filthy growing up. Eating insects and mice. He used a ‘scythe’ that someone left behind. That is the reason why, his weapon of choice is a scythe. Not only was he born into one of the worst situations you can be born into, his appearance would be considered bottom of barrel.

It wasn’t until his little sister was born, that he found his true purpose in life. Unlike himself, Ume was extremely beautiful, which of course attracts even the highest of power of men. Gyutaro found his role as a “debt collector” and was basically a bodyguard for his sister. Growing up with no sense of pride and no sense of direction, his “inferiority complex,” where his envy derives from was no more. He was now a fighter that loved to play the role being feared. All of that came crashing down as Ume eventually found herself in bed with a samurai and attacked him with a comb, blinding him.

Going back to a previous episode where Daki saw a flashback of herself being lit on fire, we now understand what is going to happen next.. It was this same samurai that she carelessly attacked, that eventually lit her body almost to a burnt crisp. Coming back home from work, Gyutaro finds Ume on the ground, holding on for dear life. He begins screaming and begging out to the Gods to not take her; then out of nowhere, the samurai slashes him in the back. The woman who employed Ume and the samurai who slashed him were in on it. As the samurai is getting ready to slash Gyutaro, he does a flip that lands a strike on the woman. It is here, where he gives his distinct introductory “envious speech” like the one he gave to Uzui. To the samurai’s surprise, it was in this moment, he realized that he done f’d up. In one fell swoop, the samurai was no more.

At this point, Gyutaro was left wandering in dread, until he runs into none other than “Upper Rank 6, Douma or Doma (童磨).” He is currently, Upper Rank 2. Douma, feeling sorry for them, offers his blood to them, turning them into demon and ultimately, becoming a part of the “Twelve Kizukis.”

Upper Rank Demon 6 (童磨; Dōma), Presently, Upper Rank 2

Gyutaro is by far, the most relatable demon. Encompassing envy and being born into a horrible situation, this is a character that makes us really begin to think, how we could have ended up like him. How does your own life draw parallels to this make-up believe story? Maybe more than you think.

Out of all the traits that Gyutaro displays, it is the one that we all can relate to and that is ‘regret’. Having to play the role of the older sibling and basically father, he regrets not giving Ume a better shot at a better life. Ultimately, regretting the negative influence he had on her, that eventually led to her stabbing the samurai. After all the misery that he helped inflict on people, the envy he felt towards those more fortunate, there was still a ray of light within that misery. Within that misery, he still felt that he could have done better, not only for himself, but for his younger sister. That may be the last impression of a good antagonist that ended up being just perfect for this arc.

Transitioning into what looks like purgatory. The Demon Slayer story usually ends with the story’s tragic demons getting to say their last goodbyes and right their wrongs, except for poor Enmu in the “Mugen Train Arc.” He kind of just dies because Akaza versus Rengoku was more important. Here we have Ume, pleading and apologizing to Gyutaro for saying bitter things. Gyutaro, coming off that flashback of regret, tries to push her away, but Ume’s love for her brother doesn’t falter. Now, we get the feel good ending to an otherwise tragic ending to these poor souls, as Gyutaro carries his sister into the field of fire.

The scene ends perfectly with the contrast of Tanjiro and little sister Nezuko being there to witness their end.

How you end up as Gyutaro and Ume

If you are a demon in the show, then it is very likely you’ve faced hardship and tragedy to get to the point you end up throwing way your humanity. In this arc, we get to understand the misfortune of a brother and sister that had to do undesirable acts and earn for themselves. With no real adult supervision, that mindset of taking from those more fortunate never goes unchecked.

The “Entertainment District” isn’t a place for nice pleasantries. It’s a place for lust and profit; not an ideal place to raise children, especially when you belong to the lowest class.

Wandering in life, having to real way out, a ‘shiesty’ character like Douma arrives to give them a 2nd chance at life. There really isn’t a better option, other than dying. If you go to a developing country and offer a family $500K scamming people, would that not be an enticing proposition to those lacking opportunity? Being offered this deal, knowing fully that you don’t ever have to worry about money and having struggling to take care of your kids again, the incentives are there for most people to take this deal. Rationalizing through envy or misfortune, Gyutaro could be that real life guy trying to scam you through your phone.

At the end of the day, sometimes it takes your deathbed to learn what you have done wrong. In a sea of darkness, there is a ray of hope even a demon realizes. Let this be a lesson learned that you will always regret not taking the high road, when presented a darker option.

So, What’s Left For Our Heroes?

After the tragic story of Gyutaro and Ume ends, in a funny shift in tone; Hashira Obanai Iguro ( () (ぐろ) () () (ない) ) arrives to condescendingly, mock Uzui and his wives about ‘only’ killing an Upper Rank 6 demon. After some fun back and forth with Iguro telling Uzui that “he can’t retire” and “he has to die fighting because all of the Demon Slayer Corp trainees are too weak.” It is here that Uzui tells Iguro that Tanjiro can replace himself and Kyojuro!

Then, we get a scene of Kagaya Ubuyashiki, acknowledging that the tides have turned and revealed a really big spoiler. That is Ubuyashiki and Kibutsuji are descendants from the same clan!

Anime Vs Manga

This episode covers chapters 95-97

We got a scene clip at the beginning of the episode that was anime only scene of Nezuko coming outside her box to help save them from Gyutaro’s self-destruction.

At the very end, we get some added animations of this arc’s star hero, Tengen Uzui and his wives. A truly happy ending for a hero that fully accomplished his duty! Then, it panels to our other main family of 4, Tanjiro, Inosuke, Zenitsu and Nezuko! Crying out loud about surviving this whole, this was a masterful feel good way to end the arc!

Tears of joy!

Last Thoughts

This is by far my favorite arc of the entire series, besides the ending arc and that is probably 2 seasons away. In this arc, we got to witness our main characters grow beyond their weaker “Mugen Train Arc” counterparts. A great story, bad guys with relatable depth and tons of new flashy moves, we got to see it all only within 11 episodes. Although short, there was no episodes that did not disappoint. We got to see a hashira accomplish in full, what Rengoku could not. A truly happy ending to an arc that will be remembered for decades. Season 3 is already in production and I’m sure we all can’t wait for another great season of Demon Slayer. Up next is the “Swordsmith Village Arc!”

What do you think about the “Entertainment District Arc” and the next? Let me know below!

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