Cruelty (残酷 "Zankoku") is the first episode of the anime adaptation of the manga Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer)
The beginning of Demon Slayer (Kimetsu no Yaiba)
This is the Taisho period. Tanjiro Kamado leads a modest but happy life in the mountains with his family. One day, while returning from selling charcoal in town, he discovers his family massacred in pools of blood after a demon attack. Tanjiro rushes down the snow-covered mountain with the only survivor, his sister Nezuko, on his back. But along the way, Nezuko suddenly growls, turning against Tanjiro.
Plot of Demon Slayer Episode 1 (Kimetsu no Yaiba)
The older brother Tanjiro
Tanjiro Kamado, a young boy with an incredible sense of smell, leaves his family in their mountain home and goes to a nearby town to sell charcoal. His family has had financial difficulties since the death of their father, but they are happy nevertheless. When Tanjiro arrives in town, they welcome him and do small tasks to help the inhabitants. By the time he has sold all the charcoal, it is already dark.
Shigeru and Hanako reassured by Tanjiro who goes to fetch coal
On his way home, Saburo, an elderly man who has lost his family, severely orders Tanjiro to spend the night in his house. He warns Tanjiro never to travel at night, as man-eating demons are roaming the country.
The surviving Nezuko
When Tanjiro returns home the next morning, he smells blood and discovers that his entire family has been massacred. He discovers that his younger sister, Nezuko, is still warm to the touch and he tries to take her to the city for medical attention. Tanjiro slips and falls back into the snow, but when he tries to carry Nezuko again, she turns into a demon and attacks him.
Tanjiro's family was massacred by a demon.
The Demon Slayer, Giyu Tomioka
As Tanjiro tries to push her away, a Demon Slayer whose name will later turn out to be Giyu Tomioka arrives and tries to decapitate Nezuko, but Tanjiro puts her out of the way. He pleads with Giyu that Nezuko would never hurt anyone and that there was an unknown smell in his house that could have been the culprit. However, Giyu rejects his apology, and explains that Nezuko had turned into a demon after her wounds were contaminated with demon blood, and that she is a hungry demon who will eat humans. Tanjiro says he will heal Nezuko and begs to be spared her life, but this makes Giyu angry and he reprimands Tanjiro for his weak behaviour and determination.
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Nezuko protects Tanjiro
Giyu stabs Nezuko, causing Tanjiro to take action. He does his best to attack him, but he ends up losing consciousness. When she sees Tanjiro lying unconscious at his feet, Nezuko escapes from Giyu's grasp and runs towards him. Giyu looks at him in despair because he thinks she's going to eat him, but he's stunned to see that she's protecting his brother from him. Nezuko attacks Giyu, but he questions her strange behaviour and ends up hitting her instead of killing her.
Nezuko jumping over Giyu
The beginning of a new story
Tanjiro dreams that his family apologizes for leaving him and that his mother gives him custody of Nezuko. When Tanjiro wakes up from his dream, Nezuko is returned to him, and Giyu tells him to see a man named Sakonji Urokodaki at the foot of Mount Sagiri. He asks Tanjiro to say that he is the one who sent them, and warns him to make sure that Nezuko is never exposed to sunlight before he disappears. The siblings return home to bury the rest of the Kamado family, and leave hand in hand to embark on their journey.