Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train Review & Summary

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Video Source – Aniplex USA (Aniplex USA YouTube Channel)

Last year even the pandemic couldn’t stop Demon Slayer from killing off his rivals. It became the highest-grossing film in box office history in Japan and what’s surprising is that it was an animation film. Unlike Hollywood blockbusters with an immaculate star cast contributing to the box office revenue, this was an anime from Mappa adapted from the Demon slayer manga series.

The series was a popular shonen manga series authored by Koyoharo Gotouge & centred around the tale of a boy named Tanjiro Kamado who joins an organization of demon hunters to avenge the death of his family. Demon Slayer Mugen Train has the best narrative as a sequel to season one of the anime and also the movie acts as a perfect action-filled bridge to the events in season two. This paid off very well since the movie has gone on to become the most successful animated movie to ever be released in Japan even surpassing Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Spirited away’. 

Cast of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train

  • Yuki Kaji as Sabito
  • Saori Hayami as Shinobu Kocho
  • Natsuki Hanae as Tanjiro Kamado
  • Akari Koto as Nezuko Kamado
  • Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Inosuke Hashibira
  • Junya Enoki as Kyojuro Rengoku
  • Akira Ishida as Akaza

Plot of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Trai

After Tanjiro’s family was murdered by demons and his sister turns into a demon too, he encounters Giyu Tomioka one of the Hashira of the demon slayer corps. Following this, he becomes a demon slayer himself and he embarks on a mission with his comrades. In this movie, Tanjiro along with his sister Nezuko, comrades Inosuke and Zenitu and one of the strongest swordsmen of the corps the flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku, go to investigate the infinity train with a demon onboard, on track to despair. They assist Kyojuro to eliminate Enmu the lower rank demon who infiltrated the train while defending the 200 passengers on board. After boarding the train they are enchanted and put to a deep sleep where they see happy dreams.

Enmu instructs four passengers to enter their dreams and destroy their spiritual cores. But Tanjiro realises he is dreaming and following a vision of his father teaching him how to break free, he is successful. Nezuko is able to sever the connection and wake up other passengers as well. After this, a battle between Enmu and Tanjiro ensues where Tanjiro manages to behead him but the demon doesn’t die. Rengoku instructs the team on how to kill the demon and stop the train. However, after that Akaza upper rank three demon appears and Kyojuro fights him alone getting fatally wounded in the process but also manages to protect Tanjiro and his comrades. As Akaza is forced to flee when the sun rises and finally Kyojuro encourages Tanjiro and his friends before he succumbs to his injury. The entire demon slayer is informed of his death while Tanjiro and his friends mourn his death. 

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

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

The animation is first-rate, seeing the smooth transitions and movements makes me feel like the animators had an infinite budget and they never left the studio throughout the production of the movie. Ufotable really delivered with this one. The classic anime character design comes alive through compelling CGI effects and a story that keeps the human emotions intact. But if you are not into action-driven anime then this might not be your cup of tea. There are few scenes of violence but if you are into visual escapism then this film offers you that. It is fairly immersive and is great for both anime lovers as well as newbies. Rengoku’s fight and death will remain one of the most significant moments in the story and acts as a great interlude between season 1 and season 2 of the anime series. Any fan of the series should definitely watch the movie.

The movie’s main protagonist is Kyojuro though Tanjiro is proving to be a great warrior. It was the right decision to show this as Kyojuro’s fight and as it serves to take a turn on the character we knew little about into someone we are cheering endlessly for in the end. I was surprised by the bleak ending as I expected to see Kyojuro die but I thought he would be able to take out the upper rank three with him. But that didn’t happen as we see Akaza running away with the black sword stuck on his back and Tanjiro losing his potential mentor Rengoku. But we see that Rengoku’s death has a huge impact on Tanjiro and his sacrifice only makes Tanjiro grow stronger in season two. In the end, Rengoku also believes he has served his life purpose and sees a vision of his mother affirming that he did well as he dies with a smile on his face. I really enjoyed the second half of the movie, but not as much as the first.

Though I did like the character history of everyone told in the dream sequence as soon as the full-on fight sequence started with the lower rank demon Enmu this quickly reeled me into the movie more. Demon slayer fans have been perfectly happy to generate 435 million dollars at the box office and I totally understand why after watching it myself. It was directed by a veteran Sotozaki Haruo and the script was credited to the entire staff of animation studio Ufotable but the movie doesn’t bother to identify the character of the sick old man who shuffles through the cemetery and mutters about the embers of the human spirit and also about why Nezuko is carried in a wooden box. Some things are provided with no context at all like when someone exclaims they have received seven reports of demon catastrophes this month.

The Movie Culture Synopsis

If you liked season one of the anime then you should definitely watch this movie. You will simply adore it as it is a masterpiece with a captivating story and music that will make you cry. But if you are new to anime or simply have not watched the anime series you can still go ahead with the movie it won’t disappoint.