Warning: Spoilers ahead.
And just like the end of the film version, this episode made me cry.
Rengoku is severely injured from his fight with Akaza. Akaza, on the other hand, regenerates so quickly that he doesn’t have a scratch on him. Akaza again says humans are weak and that Rengoku will die from his wounds unless he becomes a demon like him.
But Rengoku never falters. He vows that he will not let Akaza kill anyone there. He will uphold his duties!
He activates his Flame Breathing Technique - Esoteric Art. Rengoku’s aura and mental strength, despite his injuries, greatly impresses Akaza.
Rengoku unleashes his Ninth Form. It’s a devastating fiery barrage that creates an explosive whirlwind of fire. Akaza and Rengoku go full force at each other. Rengoku strikes his body and slices through it multiple times!
But when the dust settles… Tanjiro and Inosuke can see that Akaza punched his arm right through Rengoku’s abdomen. It’s a fatal blow.
Rengoku recalls a moment with his dying mother, when he was a child. She says he was born strong, which means he has a responsibility to help the weak.
With the last of his strength, Rengoku slices halfway through Akaza’s neck. Akaza wants to escape, as the sun is beginning to rise. But Rengoku’s breathing technique is so powerful, he’s able to hold Akaza’s arm inside his body, stopping his escape!
Finally, Tanjiro gets up and grabs his sword. He calls Inosuke to come to Rengoku’s aid as well. They’ll chop off Akaza’s head together.
But they don’t reach Akaza in time. Akaza rips off both his own arms and breaks the blade off of Rengoku’s sword in order to jump away to safety.
Akaza flees into the forest. Tanjiro screams at him that he’s a coward, crying loudly. He throws his sword into Akaza, which stabs him through. But Akaza is still able to get away. Don’t feel bad. I expect he’s going to be killed off in the new season.
Rengoku calls Tanjiro to his side and says his parting words. He instructs him to visit the Rengoku household to find notes from the previous Flame Hashira. Maybe he’ll learn about the Hinokami Kagura. He also wants Tanjiro to relay parting words to his brother and father.
During Rengoku’s last breaths, he sees a vision of his mother. She says she’s proud of him. Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke all cry. Rengoku’s crow cries, too. And delivers the painful news to the oher Hashira.
Tanjiro mourns Rengoku’s death. But promises to grow even stronger and one day become a Hashira like Rengoku.