The Training Doll
Episode 2 of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba season 3 (Swordsmith Village Arc) titled ‘Yoriichi Type Zero’ begins with Muichiro, the Mist Hashira beating up the kid swordsmith. Tanjiro steps in as he is upset that the Hashira is looking down on the swordsmith as he says his time is much more valuable.
Hotaru hides nearby and hears Tanjiro standing up for swordsmiths as he says that without them demon slayers wouldn’t have the swords needed to kill demons. Muichiro just knocks him out and leaves. Hotaru comes to check on Tanjiro but runs away when he wakes up. The child swordsmith thanks Tanjiro for helping him but he anyway ended up giving the key so Muichiro could leave.
Tanjiro notices that the other demon slayer with the Hanafuda earrings is also missing. The kid says that is Yoriichi Type Zero, the prototype of an actual demon slayer and it needs the key to operate. They hear fighting and run to find Muichiro training with Yoriichi who has six hands. The kid says the actual demon slayer was so remarkable that the doll couldn’t follow its actions without the six hands.
Tanjiro finds the doll familiar but can’t remember why. The kid says the doll is from the Sengoku period which is 3 centuries ago and they still cannot replicate it. He didn’t want to give the key because if the doll breaks he cannot repair it. They watch Muichiro in awe as he fights with the doll and Mitsuri’s crow suddenly shows up and says the Mist Hashira is a descendant of the Sun Breathing user.
Tanjiro notices that he is not using the technique though and the crow attacks him for besmirching his name. He suddenly remembers the demon slayer from his dream and the kid says it can be an inherited memory. He says the dream must be of Tanjiro’s ancestors while the crow just laughs at him. Tanjiro thanks the kid for the information who introduces himself as Kotetsu.
At that moment they see Muichiro break the armour of the doll and the kid cries and runs away. He hides up in a tree and Tanjiro encourages him to work hard and become a good swordsmith to continue his family’s legacy just like he is doing his best to take down Muzan. As Kotetsu cheers up, Muichiro walks by them and they are surprised at his nonchalant behaviour.
He says his sword broke so he took the doll’s sword and shows it. It is attached to one of the arms he broke off the doll. Tanjiro notices there is no malice and he is just apathetic. It’s raining by the time Kotetsu and Tanjiro find the doll broken on the ground. They turn the key and the doll still moves albeit with 5 hands.
Angry, Kotetsu says he will work hard and help Tanjiro become strong and beat the Mist Hashira. The young slayer is shocked as the kid launches the doll at him to immediately start his training. Over the next few days, the doll keeps beating him up and Kotetsu either curses the doll or Tanjiro to fight better. He points out that Tanjiro moves on habit and should move according to his opponent.
He berates Tanjiro every day and doesn’t give him any food or water. Tanjiro marvels at his analysis and teaching techniques but is annoyed that he has to survive on rainwater. One day, he blacks out and in his dream, he falls underwater and sees a shiny stone. He comes to and can suddenly gauge the doll’s next attack. His defence is weak but he still gets a hit in and Kotetsu gives him food. Tanjiro can finally smell which way the doll is going to attack.
He leaps and is about to cut its head but stops as he doesn’t want to break the doll. Kotetsu cheers him and says he will work hard to fix the doll and that Tanjiro should just complete his training and finish the strike. Tanjiro falls and Kotetsu goes to check on him. They suddenly see the doll fall and turns out Tanjiro did slice its head off. As the head falls, they see a 300-year-old sword stuck inside its body.
In the epilogue, Tanjiro and Nezuko wear the swordsmith’s masks. Tanjiro reveals that there are rumours that Kotetsu’s face looks like the mask he wears and so many villagers told him that he need not wear the mask. Tanjiro says he has a sharp tongue but he is a sweet boy. At that moment, Kotetsu searches for him to continue his training and berates him while Tanjiro and Nezuko run away.
The Episode Review
Even though Episode 2 of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba season 3 is sort of a filler episode, it was still fun to watch. The truly unique ways Tanjiro is trained by his different masters, whether it be Sabito or Aoi, are quite hilarious. Well, this time he got a 10-year-old swordsmith whose words are as sharp as his sword.
As for the secret weapon that Mitsuri hinted at in the season 3 premiere, it seems that we finally have a glimpse of it. With the 300-year-old demon slayer sword possibly being protected in the doll’s body, it could very well be the secret weapon she is talking about.