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My Own Steel (己の鋼 Onore no Hagane?) is the 5th episode of the Kimetsu no Yaiba TV anime series.

Synopsis

When day breaks, there are only four swordsmen left standing after the seven-day battle. The guides who greet Tanjiro and the other survivors explain the Demon Slayer Corps system. All four are issued uniforms and Kasugai Crows as messengers, after which they must select the ore for their own Nichirin swords. After gazing hard at each lump of ore, and using his keen sense of smell, the one Tanjiro chooses is...[1]

Plot

After learning the morphed demon is responsible for killing numerous applicants, including Sakonji Urokodaki's past students, Tanjiro attacks him to prevent more lives being taken by the powerful creature. With his forehead to evade an initial attack and Total Concentration Breathing to empower himself and reach its head, Tanjiro uses Water Breathing, First Form: Water Surface Slash to decapitate the monstrous demon.

A younger Sakonji Urokodaki.

The demon remembers the day he was captured and imprisoned; he was found eating several corpses by Sakonji. While still humanoid in form and strengthened by devouring several victims, the demon proved no match for the demon slayer. He was injured and fled the scene, only to be pursued by Sakonji, using his Water Breathing and incredible speed to sneak around the demon and defeat it. The demon sees Sakonji’s image in Tanjiro and becomes shocked seeing his archenemy once again. Decapitated, the demon’s head falls to the floor while its immense body begins to crumble to ash. He becomes angered that the last thing he will see is the face of a demon slayer. His soul finds himself in the afterlife, as the demon remembers his regret of devouring his brother soon after transforming.

Tanjiro prays for the Hand Demon.

Tanjiro approaches the demon’s fading body and sees a hand extended to him. Detecting the scent of sadness from the demon, he gently holds it, causing the morphed demon to cry. Despite its evil deeds, Tanjiro refuses to rebuke it and prays that the next time the demon is reincarnated, he doesn’t become a demon again. Amidst the dense fog, the morphed demon’s soul sees light behind him and runs towards it, reincarnated as a boy asking for his brother’s hand for comfort. With the death of the morphed demon, the souls of Sakonji’s past students are finally able to depart into the afterlife, including Sabito and Makomo.

For the next several days, Tanjiro continues to traverse the forest of Mount Fujikasane in the hopes of asking demons about returning someone back into a human. Instead of answering him, the demons attempt to devour him, forcing him to kill them without gaining an answer. Exhausted, he stops to catch his breath but quickly senses the scent of wisteria around him. He finds himself back at the shrine of the mountain, with the other survivors of Final Selection. He is shocked to see only four of them have survived after the seven days, including one girl; he also laments not being able to see the applicant he had saved from earlier, believing he was killed because he was unconscious. The blond boy next to him becomes scared that he survived, as he believes he would die anyway.

The survivors of Final Selection.

The twins who welcomed them to the mountain appear again, congratulated the four on their success. The last boy rejects their applause and asks what becomes of their situation now, demanding his sword. They state that they will first be given their uniform and are assigned the rank of Mizunoto, the lowest of ten ranks in the Demon Slayer Corps. They will then choose the ore of their swords but are told they will actually receive it at a later date. At the clap of one of the twins, birds descend to meet the four. The survivors are given Kasugai Crows to give them to new mission and for communication; the blond boy notices that he isn’t given a crow but a sparrow instead.

Tanjiro intervenes.

Enraged, the boy grabs the hair of one of the twins, to the shock of Tanjiro and the blond boy, demanding he be given a Nichirin Sword. Tanjiro intervenes and grabs his arm, threatening to break it if he doesn’t release his hold. When he implores him to try, Tanjiro tightens his grip, hurting the boy into releasing his hand. After the small scuffle, the four are presented with various ores for their sword to be made with. They are confused as they don’t know what to look for in choosing an ore, but it is Tanjiro who makes the first choice by sniffing a sample and selecting it.

At an unknown location, a man is informed by a Kasugai Crow that five have survived Final Selection. He is delighted at the news and ponders what kind of demon slayers they would become.

Sakonji embraces the siblings.

As he returns to Sakonji’s hut, an utterly exhausted Tanjiro struggles to walk back, using a stick to support himself. He remembers that none of the demons he asked responded to his question and instead tried to kill him, without leaving him an answer to return Nezuko back into a human. As night falls, Tanjiro finally reaches Mount Sagiri. Unexpectedly, the door is kicked down and Nezuko walks outside. Relieved to see her, he tries to run but collapses in exhaustion. When he tries to get up, Nezuko runs to her brother and pulls him into a hug. Embracing his younger sister, Tanjiro cries and asks why she had suddenly slept for so long. Upon see the siblings, Sakonji warmly embraces them and is relieved that Tanjiro has returned alive, as tears fall from his mask.

Inside, Sakonji is impressed to learn that it was Tanjiro who killed the morphed demon. He then explains that there are several kinds of demons. In particular, there are those that possess spells called Blood Demon Art, giving them supernatural abilities. He asks if Nezuko’s long sleep is an example of one but Sakonji doesn’t believe it to be so. He hypothesizes that Nezuko’s long sleep is the alternative of devouring human flesh in order to recover.

Several days later, a swordsmith appears and makes his way to Sakonji’s hut. He introduces himself as Haganezuka and states that he has forged the sword for Tanjiro Kamado. When Tanjiro informs him he is the recipient, the swordsmith ignores him and talks about the sword instead. When offered tea inside, he instead talks about the materials for a Nichirin sword, Scarlet Crimson Iron Sand and Scarlet Crimson Ore. He explains that the materials absorb sunlight and that they are found on a mountain that is bathed in sunlight all day long. Inside his hut, Sakonji hears the two and becomes annoyed that Haganezuka is once again ignoring others to talk about his swords.

Haganezuka meets Tanjiro.

He turns to see Tanjiro, shocking the demon slayer with his Hyottoko mask. Haganezuka calls Tanjiro a "Child of Brightness"; confused, Tanjiro is told he is referring to his eye and hair color, believing that his family must work with fire and calling it lucky and cause for celebration. Tanjiro is surprised to learn about this fact, while Haganezuka believes that the sword will turn red for him.

Tanjiro's blade becomes black

Inside, Tanjiro is provided with his Nichirin Sword, while Haganezuka mentions that they are also known as “Color Changing Swords”, as they change color according to the user. Upon unsheathing his new weapon, the blade turns black. The result surprises both Haganezuka and Sakonji; Tanjiro becomes worried that it is a bad omen but Sakonji calms his concern by stating that black blades are simply uncommon. On the other hand, Haganezuka becomes infuriated since he hoped to see a bright red sword blade; he tackles Tanjiro and locks him in his legs, while Tanjiro becomes confused at his strange antics.

At that moment, Tanjiro’s Kasugai Crow arrives and provides him with details for his mission. He must make his way to a town in the northwest, where young girls are reported to have disappeared. In the town, the newest victim has just been taken, a girl taken from her boyfriend in the middle of the night unexpectedly. Receiving the information, Tanjiro prepares himself for his first mission as a demon slayer.

Characters in Order of Appearance

Anime Notes

References

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