WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Episode 26 of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, "New Mission," available now on Hulu, Crunchyroll and other anime streaming services.
Although the final episodes of Kimetsu no Yaiba Season 1 have been something of a slowburn, the events of the finale, "New Mission," result in a major shift in the status quo for the series, as Muzan Kibutsuji -- the progenitor of the demons -- executes some of his strongest warriors.
The episode kicks off with Tanjiro Kamado and Kanao Tsuyuri evenly matched in terms of skill, showing just how far the Demon Slayer has progressed in the months since his fight with the Twelve Kizuki demon Rui. However, "New Mission" then jumps back in time several months to Kibutsuji's base,where he's summoned the five remaining Lower Moon demons. At first the demons are indignant, as Kibutsuji has taken on a new appearance, and they don't recognize him. But after he forces them to kneel, they realize just who he is.
Kibutsuji then spends several minutes killing each of the demons one after another for trivial reasons, feeling the Lower Moon demons aren't performing well enough, as evidenced by the defeat of Rui, who was Lower Moon Five. When he reaches Lower Moon One, who is named Enmu, the demon doesn't beg for his life or try and make excuses. He instead welcomes death and thanks Kibutsuji for allowing him to hear others die and leaving him for last.
Happy with this response, Kibutsuji instead empowers Enmu with his blood, resulting in a massive increase in power. Kibutsuji then tasks Enmu with killing as many Hashira as possible before then putting a special bounty on Tanjiro for reasons unknown. The reward for killing the strongest demon slayers is more blood, and hence more power.
Back at the Demon Slayer Corps.' headquarters, Shinobu Kocho recommends Tanjiro, Zenitsu Agatsuma and Inosuke Hashibira team-up with Kyojuro Rengoku. Both Tanjiro and Shinobu think Rengoku, who is the Flame Hashira, may know more about Fire Breathing, the technique Tanjuro Kamado used and which his son drew upon against Rui.
On his way out, Tanjiro bumps into the last of the young demon slayers to pass the Final Selection alongside himself and his friends, though nothing really notable about the character is revealed. Tanjiro says his goodbyes to Aoi, who he praises for her hard work in training him, and then goes to Kanao, who has seemingly developed something of a crush on the demon slayer. After flipping her coin, she decides to finally talk with Tanjiro, eventually explaining that her coin helps her to make choices. Tanjiro grabs the coin, saying if it lands on heads she must learn to follow her heart. It lands on heads, and when Kanao questions what Tanjiro would have done if the coin had come up tails, he shocks her by revealing that he would have just kept flipping until it came up heads.
Tanjiro, Zenitsu, Inosuke and Nezuko Kamado arrive at the train station, where they find the "Infinite Train." As they board the train, there are flashes of the first season before the camera pans to Rengoku and then up to Enmu, who is atop the train. This sets up an adaptation of the manga's "Demon Train" arc, which the end-credits stinger reveals will come in the form of a movie.
Although the demon slayer-centric plot is still rather slow in this episode, Kibutsuji's actions have major ramifications for the story. In addition to creating an incredibly formidable demon with his actions, choosing to kill the Lower Moons may affect Tanjiro's quest to collect blood from the various Twelve Kizuki demons in order to reverse Nezuko's demonification. It remains to be seen whether this means he'll now just have to collect less, as the doses are more concentrated, or if he'll even be able to finish that particular goal since so many of the demons are now dead. However, the movie will certainly end up proving the fight of the young demon slayer's life.
Subtitled episodes of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Season 1 are available now on Hulu, Crunchyroll and other anime streaming services. Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Ressha-hen does not have an announced release date at this time.