Anime lovers began to take notice of Kimetsu no Yaiba when it was announced that the prestigious Ufotable studio would make its first adaptation of a Weekly Shōnen Jump manga, a publication from which giants such as One Piece, Dragon Ball or Naruto have emerged. The series premiered in 2019 more than responded to the broad expectations of it and gave rise to a social and commercial phenomenon that has conquered every sphere of Japanese society and millions of viewers around the world. The film industry in the West would become aware of the phenomenon with the premiere of Demon Slayer: Mugen Train last October, as the film destroyed in less than three months, and in the middle of a pandemic, the record held for almost two decades by Spirited Away (2001) as the highest grossing film in Japan. A few weeks later, it would become the highest-grossing anime film of all time globally.
For those still oblivious to this title, our story takes place during the Taishō era in Japan. Here we follow Tanjiro Kamado, Demon Slayer Mugen Train full movie a young man with a warm and noble heart who decides to become a demon hunter, in order to find a method to restore humanity to his sister Nezuko, who ended up turned into a demon during the attack of one of these bloodthirsty creatures in which the rest of his family perished. A fairly conventional tale for the average shōnen battle series, it draws on the best of its predecessors and stands out for the sensitivity with which Koyoharu Gotōge explores the basics of his universe. So what has been the secret behind the gargantuan success of it? Works like Demon Slayer are born when a group of exceptional artists in each department of audiovisual creation come together to transform a decent source material into something outstanding. In that sense, Mugen Train will satisfy anime fans and, in parallel, manages to encapsulate the franchise’s appeal for those who want to get on the Kimetsu no Yaiba train at this stop.
The production headed again by director Haruo Sotozaki picks up the story right in the final moments of the first season. Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu, and Inosuke board the Mugen Train, where some 40 people have disappeared in mysterious conditions. For this mission, they will be accompanied by Kyojuro Rengoku, the Pillar of Flames, one of the elite members of the Company of Demon Hunters. The antagonist this time is Emmu, another member of the Twelve Demonic Moons, who is already prepared to receive them. Tanjiro and company must overcome increasingly complex challenges to protect all passengers.
In an atypical decision for the great anime franchises, from Dragon Ball to My Hero Academia, which usually bet on entertaining secondary adventures in their films that do not have important repercussions on the main line of the series, Demon Slayer: Mugen Train is not only a canonical sequel – a faithful adaptation of the events of the seventh arc of the manga and a mandatory viewing for the second season – but the film assumes that the audience already knows the mythology and these characters. By taking this risk, the Ufotable staff can take advantage of the 117 minutes at their disposal to tell the story in turn, without resorting to an unnecessary summary or exposition that hinders the plot, leading the audience directly towards an action blockbuster full of dramatic moments , emotional, comic, horror and suspense, well balanced. The narrative grows in crescendo as the plot progresses to its explosive final act, with a powerful denouement that marks a turning point for this saga.
Is it essential then to have seen the first season before seeing the movie? Clearly, it would be highly recommended, with its 26 previous episodes available on Netflix, Crunchyroll, and Funimation. However, the film does a wonderful job of capturing the central themes at the core of Demon Slayer: brotherly love, friendship, duty, honor, courage, and the human spirit as tools to confront beings who have given in to their primal instincts and, protected by their apparent immortality, have dedicated themselves to sowing tragedy in their wake. Likewise, the film communicates the essentials of the colorful personalities and motivations of its characters through their actions. Tanjiro and Rengoku are the backbone of the film and end up monopolizing the spotlight, while the rest of the team receives the opportunity to shine at key moments to the delight of their fans. Those who suffer the most on the level of characterization are the antagonistic figures, who, contrary to the formula that had prevailed in the series, ca