Demon Slayer’s Swordsmith Village Arc has been a mixed bag for viewers, bringing together high-octane battles with flashbacks to give more backstory to side characters. Fittingly titled “Mist Hashira Muichiro Tokito,” Demon Slayer Season 3 Episode 9 picks right back up with Muichiro Tokito’s (Kengo Kawanishi) battle against the Upper Five demon (Kousuke Toriumi).
The encounter between Muichiro and Upper Five has felt like an exposition sandwich. The battle originally started out several episodes ago with Muichiro trapped in Upper Five’s water trap. After an interesting flashback sequence in the last episode, I was surprised to see Demon Slayer Season 3 Episode 9 continue to use flashbacks in the middle of what was supposed to be an epic battle. The flashback scenes do serve an important role — it is useful to know what drives the different heroes to do the things they do, but it is incredibly jarring when they take place right in the middle of a massive battle.
Because of the jarring stoppage, the massive battle between the two supposedly strong foes in Muichiro and Upper Five was disappointing. Seeing Upper Five unveil a new form and new attacks was fascinating at first, but the way he is discarded almost immediately was not. The almost mermaid-esque look was so visually appealing and his new higher-powered attacks looked like they could really pose a threat. Because of how awesome the newest form looked I was really bummed that such a beautifully animated and powerful enemy is only given a few moments to show his true strength. And, in the end, his true strength is almost a joke considering how easily he is defeated. He is supposed to be one of the strongest demons out there, but he was so easily dispatched by just one demon slayer.