The 2020 Demon Hunter The film made headlines and made history when it premiered in Japan in late October. The first feature film based on the popular Shonen Jump manga and anime series raised more than $ 350 million at Japan’s box office on the opening weekend, not only beating the record set by Hayao Miyazaki Spiritually gone as the highest grossing Japanese film of all time, but the fourth highest grossing film of 2020, Period. This is happening as the future of the film industry continues to flow after the COVID-19 pandemic. This speaks to the obvious fact that anime is dominating economic and cultural dominance as global entertainment.
Now, more than half a year since the film was released, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the movie: Mugen Train finally landing in the States. Given the massive concentration of fanfare and the newfound mainstream attention for the series after its premiere, the question remains: is this film worthy of the hype? For the most part, it’s emphatic.
Directed by Haruo Sotozaki, who supervised Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaibais the first season and is expected to return for the second season next year. Mugen train picks up immediately after the events of the end of the first season. Series protagonist Tanjiro Kamado, his demon slayer cohorts Zenitsu and Inosuke, and his demon possessed but pacified sister Nezuko try to help high-ranking demon slayer Kyojuro Rengoku, also known as Flame Hashira, in investigating the disappearance of 40 people aboard the mysterious one Mugen train. (Mugen is Japanese for “infinite,” but that has nothing to do with it Infinity train
The film is more than just a continuation of the series’ broad plot. It is based directly on an arc of Koyoharu Gotouge’s original manga and is intended as a canonical bridge between the events of the first and second seasons. This itself is a novel: The Most Popular Anime Franchise Company (ex My hero academia, Naruto, Dragon balletc.) feature one or more feature-length films, which are usually funny, non-canonical side stories that don’t care about the arc of the series’ main characters and focus more on “what-if” scenarios. As a rule, anime franchise films allow for looser experimentation when it comes to animation and characterization.
Mainly, Mugen train benefits from its role as a canonical footnote in the larger arc of the series, with one exception. Inquisitive newbies to the series are left behind as there is no exposure to the characters or who they are fighting and why. There is no clear answer to what exactly a “Flame Hashira” is, or a clear explanation for Enmu. Mugen trainis the antagonist. The film does not examine what that insane “Lower Rank 1” kanji tattoo means on her eye, except for the obvious inference that (1) they are a demon and (2) they want to kill demon slayers.
Mugen train It is assumed that the audience knows what was covered in Season 1. There’s no time for a recap as the film uses every minute of its two-hour runtime to move the plot forward. That might sound like a blow to the film, but frankly, the ideas and themes at the core of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba‘s The appeal lingers to the point where even without exposure the movie will be a blast not just for existing fans, but for anyone who wants to see a bit of sword fighting and extravagant 3D action scenes. There are plenty of both here.
With most of the television series’ main creatives returning for the film, the break between the art style and visual composition of the film and the anime series is not dramatic. The dynamic CG animated set pieces that characterized some of the most visually remarkable sequences of the first season are returning Mugen train. Some of the impeccably rendered fight scenes and dramatic beats compete with, or even obscure, the anime’s most notable moments, like that Beginning-esque rotating climax of the Tsuzumi Mansion Arc or the breathtaking finale of the phenomenal 19th episode of the first season, “Hinokami”.
While Mugen train doesn’t go into how the characters ended up in this story, the writers are excellent at communicating why viewers should be interested in them, especially in the case of Kyojuro Rengoku. Kyojuro was introduced late in season one and didn’t receive much personality or motivation. Mugen train
Ultimately what does Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the movie: Mugen Train A great movie is not only a pitched adaptation and interstitial continuation of the anime series, but it also shows what makes its core cast of characters tick, and sums up that allure in memorable standout scenes. At the beginning of the film, Tanjiro and his cohorts are captured by Enmu, who uses a spell to manifest their deepest desires. For Rengoku, this dream means being adored and sharing a moment of sibling bond with his younger brother Senjuro. For Tanjiro, it is up to his sister Nezuko to return to her human selves and reunite with his family, who was slaughtered by the show’s main antagonist. And for Zenitsu, it’s an idyllic moment of weird, romantic bliss with Tanjiro’s sister.
But the most memorable of the dream sequences is Inosukes: she portrays him as a kind of militant mole man who speckled through an underground cave, along with anthropomorphic animal caricatures by Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Nezuko. It’s going to be weird. The film regularly returns to these dream worlds throughout the film and delights audiences with Tanjiro and his cohorts about the moments and people that are most important to them, mixed with their respective quirks and eccentricities. It’s enough to literally pull the audience into their headspace Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba‘s protagonists and drive home why exactly the series has become popular with so many fans of both the manga and anime series.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the movie: Mugen Train is a brilliant summary of the show’s strengths and appeal, filled with moments of pulsating action, exhilarating emotional gravitas, and fantastic character-affirming moments of ease and humor. It’s not the best spot for newcomers to the series to jump on board Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Fandom, but nonetheless, proves it to be a thoroughly entertaining thrill that feels both consistent and essential.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the movie: Mugen Train will hit theaters on April 23rd. Before going to a movie theater, Polygon recommends Read our guide to local state COVID precautions.