Demon Slayer season 2: The Mugen Train Arc, episode 3 recap: Tanjiro’s warm soul


Nezuko’s demon blood art bleeds into Tanjiro’s dream.


The gang is asleep and vulnerable as Enmu continues his assault on the Mugen Train. From hilarious to gut-wrenching, everyone has a dream specially curated for them, allowing us to see into the depths of their psyches. The children employed by Enmu tether themselves to the slayers in order to find the slayer’s spiritual core and destroy it.

We get immense amounts of insights from the whole gang in this episode, including big character moments for Tanjiro and Kyojuro Rengoku. Like last week, everything here is largely covered by the Mugen Train film, so there isn’t much new content. Nonetheless, this is a great moment in the arc reminding us why Tanjiro joined the Demon Slayer Corps.

This episode is all about dreams, so let’s dig into each of them. And don’t forget there isn’t a new episode this Sunday: The Mugen Train Arc will return on Nov. 7. Episodes will continue streaming on Funimation, Crunchyroll and Hulu.

As always: Spoilers ahead!


Inosuke’s dream turns Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Nezuko into animals.


Inosuke’s dream

You ever wondered what’s going on in Inosuke’s mind? Well, here it is. And yes, it’s as hilarious as we could have possibly imagined. Tanjiro, Zenitsu (who looks extremely derpy) and Nezuko are part-animals in this dream. They’re hunting down the “demon train” in an underground expedition. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Inosuke views himself as the leader of the squad, calling Tanjiro and Zenitsu “Underling 1” and “Underling 2.”

Zenitsu’s dream


Zenitsu frolics with Nezuko over a river.


Compared to Inosuke, Zenitsu is having a less quirky dream, but it’s super cute. We all know about Zenitsu’s obsession with getting hitched before he gets eaten by a demon — his biggest fear. We see Zenitsu having a little date with Nezuko in this episode. Zenitsu is showing Nezuko some delicious-looking peaches, taking her on his back across a shallow river. He has no problem zapping into lightning speed in his dream, unlike in real life.


Kyojuro Rengoku training his younger brother Senjuro.


Kyojuro Rengoku’s dream

Kyojuro Rengoku’s dream opens with a conversation between him and his father, the previous Flame Hashira of the Demon Slayer Corps. Kyojuro lets his father know he’s become a Hashira, but his father says that it’s pointless since, in his view, Kyojuro will never amount to anything.

Kyojuro reflects on the fact that his father wasn’t always this way. In fact, Kyojuro’s father used to train him and his younger brother Senjuro with passion and vigor. But things are different now; perhaps his father’s disillusionment is related to the death of Kyojuro’s mother. 

Nonetheless, Kyojuro tells Senjuro that he will always believe in him and that his father’s words won’t extinguish his flame. The old theme for Mugen Train — Homura by LiSA — gently plays in the background while the brothers talk. We see Kyojuro continue to train Senjuro outside. Unlike the others’ dreams, Kyojuro’s dream seems more like a memory, though we don’t know for sure at this point.

Kyojuro’s dream intruder then finds Kyojuro’s spiritual core: a bright red orb surrounded by flames within the subconscious. Though the slayers shouldn’t be able to move while they slumber, Kyojuro’s survival instincts kick him into action. Kyojuro grabs the intruder by the neck, stopping her from harming his spiritual core. 

Tanjiro’s dream


Nezuko without her bamboo muzzle shows up in Tanjiro’s dream.


Tanjiro dreams of spending time with his family, like it used to be, and how it should have been if they hadn’t been attacked by a demon. His dream lets us see some of the dynamics and interaction among his family, which is great since we don’t get to see much of them before they’re murdered in the anime’s first episode. 

Tanjiro starts to realize he’s dreaming when an alternate dream version of himself tells him what’s going on. Nezuko tries to wake Tanjiro up by headbutting him, and then using her demon blood art, which affects Tanjiro in his dream; Tanjiro bursts into brilliant pink flames.

Before leaving his family behind, Tanjiro reminisces on the happy life he led with his family, making and selling charcoal. It’s gut-wrenching to watch Tanjiro run away in tears, saying another improper goodbye to his family.

Inosuke loves the thrill of the fight, but not Tanjiro. “I would have never laid a hand on a sword,” Tanjiro says before departing, as the soft tune of Kamado Tanjiro no Uta plays in the background. 


Tanjiro shows his determination in this risky decision. 


This episode reminds us why Tanjiro is fighting in the first place. His warm, genuine heart is further underscored when Tanjiro’s dream intruder rips into his subconscious. The intruder discovers a serene and endless sea reflecting a beautiful blue sky, with calm clouds, a true representation of Tanjiro’s soul.

Tanjiro’s father shows up and tells him to grab his sword and cut something close at hand. Tanjiro guesses he needs to slice his own neck. It’s a risky gamble: Will this wake him up or will this kill him in both his dream and in real life? 


Tanjiro junior speaks with Tanjiro senior.


Tanjiro talks to his father in post-credit scene

We haven’t seen all that much from his father in the anime yet, but the post-credit quip that rolls at the end of every episode has Tanjiro junior face to face with Tanjiro senior. As it turns out, Tanjiro’s warm demeanor comes from his father. Everything he’s been able to do is because of what his father taught him. 

“Even if you’re in anguish, try to be a graceful and strong person who can feel love for other humans,” Tanjiro’s father tells him.

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