Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc Ep. 8 “Gathering” finally gives us the epic battle between demon slayer and Upper Rank demon we’ve all been waiting for. With an equally epic assembling scene to boot. The Avengers would be proud.

"Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc" key art.
Almost as good as what we see here in this key art, really.

Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc Ep. 8 “Gathering” Is the 8th episode (you can find spoilery reviews for episodes #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, and #7 here) of the Entertainment District Arc: the latest season of the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba anime series after the Mugen Train Arc, which is itself the award-winning anime adaptation of the equally-as-award-winning manga of the same name by Koyoharu Gotouge. This particular episode features Ken Takahashi as both the director and the person responsible for the storyboard. Haruo Sotozaki is still the overall director of the anime. Yuki Kajiura and Go Shiina are still the composers responsible for the wonderful music you hear in the anime. Ufotable is still the animation studio behind the anime. Finally, Aniplex of America is responsible for bringing this anime to NA shores.

Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc Ep. 8 “Gathering” premiered on January 23, 2022. You can watch it on either Funimation, Crunchyroll, or Netflix. Normally, I would recommend Crunchyroll if you want to watch this anime for free with ads. However, Funimation is actually the one offering the anime for free viewing with ads this time. I don’t know why. I’m just the one writing it down.

Warning: spoilers for Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc Ep. 8 “Gathering” below. If you want to watch the action for yourself, stop here, and come back once the dust settles and the blood has stopped flying.

Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc Ep. 8 “Gathering” ~ Plot Summary

"Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc" screenshot showing Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke gathering peacefully...which is not what they should be doing right now.
Maybe you guys should start prepping for battle instead of gawking at the pretty lights.

Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc Ep. 8 “Gathering” picked up where we last left off, when the Sound Hashira, Tengen Uzui, was in a standoff against the Upper Rank demon Daki and her just-as-demonic older brother. The 3 of them actually chat for a bit, with the older brother wondering why his poison was apparently having no effect on Tengen. As it turned out though, it was. Just very, very slowly thanks to Tengen’s shinobi training. Thus, Tengen is basically fighting on a timer. He needs to kill the demons before the poison gets him.

Fortunately, Tanjiro (after putting his adorable and snoozing little sister back in her box to keep her from going berserker again), Zenitsu, and Inosuke show up to provide backup. Zenitsu and Inosuke get to deal with Daki, while Tengen and Tanjiro fight her older brother. Seems like a fairly even fight, but it isn’t. Daki reveals that she can see everything her older brother can see, and vice-versa. As a result, Daki is able to effectively engage Tengen and Tanjiro with her obi sash sword-tentacles, while her older brother can do the same to Zenitsu and Inosuke with his flying blood blades.

Tag Team Battle Of The Ages

"Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc" screenshot featuring the epic tag team duo of Tengen and Tanjiro.
You know they have good chemistry when they can tag team up without ever working with each other before.

It takes all of Zenitsu’s and Inosuke’s concentration just to keep from getting impaled/sliced by the obi tentacles, so they can only barely distract Daki as she launches wave after waves of attacks against Tengen and Tanjiro. Tanjiro realizes just how out of his depth he is in this fight, and as a result, is forced to fight in a support role. However, he does this extremely well. He blocks attacks aimed at Tengen, allowing Tengen to focus on the older brother demon, and he takes advantage of openings created by Tengen to launch attacks on the older brother as well.

Despite these improvised tag team tactics between Tengen and Tanjiro though, the combination of flying blood blades and obi tentacles means that it seems like the older brother is impervious to attack. And then surprise! One of Tengen’s wives shows up and fires this crazy awesome multiple kunai launcher at the older brother demon. Even better, each kunai is coated in wisteria extract, which is highly toxic to demons. The result is that the older brother demon has to focus all of his attention on dodging the kunai, and leaves an opening for Tengen to chop his legs off. This in turn creates an opening for Tanjiro to slice his head off. Will this decapitation take? Well, that’s what we’ll find out in the next episode of Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc because that’s it for this episode.

Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc Ep. 8 “Gathering” ~ The Good

"Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc" screenshot featuring one of Tengen's wives and her awesome multiple kunai launcher. I want one of those.
Okay, this girl’s got firepower, and she knows how to use it. She just jumped up the coolness chart for me.

The action is definitely the greatest thing about Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc Ep. 8 “Gathering”. The fight choreography in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has been great for the entire anime, and this episode is no different. There is a very distinct and logical flow to all of their actions, making their fight scenes very pleasing and satisfying to watch. The evenly matched fight between the combatants (despite the demon slayers outnumbering the demons 2-to-1) only makes it better. Curb stomps aren’t very fun to watch. At least, now for very long. Give me an even fight any day.

And then there are the efforts of one of Tengen’s wives to turn the battle into a distinctly uneven fight in favor of the demon slayers. With an epically awesome kunai shotgun to boot. Honestly, that was my favorite scene in the entire fight so far. You can just imagine her saying “Surprise, motherfucker!” when she fired that thing. I cannot for the love of me remember her name, but she just jumped way up the coolness chart for me. All the more because she’s a mundane human being, unlike the demon slayers.

Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc Ep. 8 “Gathering” ~ The Bad

"Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc" screenshot featuring a Tengen Uzui funny face telling you how creepy you are. You creep.
“What? Do you get off on making your audience scream in frustration or something?”

Okay, here’s my one real complaint about Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc Ep. 8 “Gathering”, and by extension, the Entertainment District Arc as a whole. The ending of this episode. Specifically: where Ken Takahashi ended the episode. He ended the episode right at the point where Tanjiro was slicing into the older brother demon’s neck. Meaning that we have to wait an entire week to find out if it worked. Gah!

I mean, I get that Takahashi had to end the episode somewhere to meet that 24-minute limit. But still, gah! It’s so frustrating! I can’t give it a perfect score because of that, even though the rest of the episode was so good. Perhaps you in the audience might give it a perfect score in spite of the ending?

Source: Funimation, Crunchyroll, Netflix