Review – Demon Slayer “Kimetsu no Yaiba” The Movie: Mugen Train

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The latest installment in the Demon Slayer franchise has been slashing its way through international box offices and has now broken records in the US. Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train is the #1 Foreign Language film debut in U.S. box office history, and is Funimation’s largest opening three-day weekend theatrical release ever. With a selection of subbed and dubbed versions, fans’ appetite to return to the movies has never been higher.

Tanjiro and the group have completed their rehabilitation training at the Butterfly Mansion, and they arrive to their next mission on the Mugen Train, where over 40 people have disappeared in a very short period of time. Tanjiro and Nezuko, along with Zenitsu and Inosuke, join one of the most powerful swordsmen within the Demon Slayer Corps, Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku, to face the demon aboard the Mugen Train on track to despair.

Review

At the end of the first season of the Demon Slayer, Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke have just finished their training and are sent on a mission to meet up with the Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku. Lest we forget that Inosuke seems to have never seen a train before so his first reaction is that the train is a demon. It’s very on character for Inosuke but after the events of the film, we find it was more than a bit on the nose, but we will get to that later. The story in the film is more or less contained. The focus is spent on 2 demons of note, a lower-ranked and an upper-rank demon. Utilizing a curse that puts everyone to sleep, our Demon Slayers must now break out of their dreams before they are consumed by the demon.

Our opportunity to grow Zenitsu or Inosuke as characters is a lost one in this film. Neither of them shows anything worthwhile in their dreams or any growth as characters. Tanjiro and Rengoku both give us some insight into their souls and their past. Tanjiro is pretty much what we already knew, he loved his siblings and his family. However, we get some quick peeks at his father, which leads to some unexpected sword techniques during the battle that leaves some open questions. Even as he asked Rengoku if he knew the dance his father practiced, Rengoku claimed he didn’t know. Rengoku’s background reveals a younger brother and a proud family with a history of serving in the corps.

Tanjiro and Inosuke working together to battle the lower-ranked demon was a nice change. Oh and Inosuke’s previous comment about the train being a demon? Guess he was technically right. When the upper-ranked demon comes into the picture, that is when we get to see the true powers that the Flame Hashira Rengoku had to offer. Here is where ufotable stands out among production companies. They have a reputation for stunning animation quality throughout their productions. The Demon Slayer movie is no exception. Even more impressive is their ability to keep up that definition and stunning visuals during the heat of intense battle with demon blood arts and sword techniques being activated left and right.

The film ends with many questions still remaining. How is it that Tanjiro has two sword techniques that he can do (water and flame)? Just what do the scrolls at Rengoku’s family home have to tell Tanjiro about his father and the dance that he practiced? Plus how many more of the upper-ranked demons will our Demon Slayers run into before they get to their ultimate goal? On the plus side, season 2 has already had its official announcement so now we wait for the release date and the continuation of the story. Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train is in theatres now both dubbed and subbed. Funimation is an independently operated joint venture between US-based Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Japan’s Aniplex, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., both subsidiaries of Tokyo-based Sony Group Corporation.

Demon Slayer is a must-watch visual feast that highlights the best of ufotable and provides a no-holds-barred demon-fueled sword fight to the death that will leave you yelling at the screen.

Robert Prentice