Anime Review – Demon Slayer: Mugen Train

“Stand tall and be proud. No matter how weak or unworthy you feel, keep your heart burning. Grit your teeth and move forward. If you just curl up in a ball and hide, time will pass you by. It won’t stop for you while you wallow in your grief.”

– Kyojuro Rengoku

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.

Japanese Title: 劇場版「鬼滅の刃」 無限列車編 / Gekijō-ban “Kimetsu no Yaiba” Mugen Ressha-hen

Release Date: May 2021 (UK)

Run Time: 1hr 57 mins

My Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

All I can say is, I see why this movie has broken some anime cinema records. It certainly lived up to the hype surrounding it.

I don’t think I can say a bad thing about this movie. From start to finish, it blew me away. The action was non-stop, with some emotional and funny moments sprinkled in. The animation was gorgeous, and it was so good to see on the big screen. This was my first anime film that I saw in the cinema, and with gorgeously animated anime like this one, it was an amazing experience.

I wondered how they were going to fit an entire arc into a 2 hour movie, as the events of this movie are canon and follow the manga, leading us into season 2, but it didn’t feel rushed at all. We catch up right where season 1 ended off, with Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu, and Inosuke hopping onto a train in the hope of finding the Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku, who may be able to help Tanjiro understand the fire dance he performed that he learned from his father. But, of course, it’s not a smooth ride. There’s a demon on board, specifically a lower demon who follows Muzan Kibutsuji, intent on devouring the entire train’s passengers, along with Tanjiro and his friends. His demonic power is to put everyone to sleep and make them have dreams about things that will make the person happy (and sometimes nightmares that make a person terrified), and it’s here that the emotion starts. Tanjiro has been through such loss and pain so far in his journey. Of course he was going to dream of his family, as the trailer shows. It’s such an emotional moment to have him reunited with them, if only in a dream. Everyone is sucked into pleasant dreams, both emotional and hilarious, and the demon’s plan takes effect. The demon slayers have to find a way out of their dreams in order to stop the demon from devouring everyone on the train.

Speaking of the demon, of whom we saw at the end of season 1 (Muzan Kibutsuji wanted to disband the Lower Moon ranks and slaughtered all of them except the antagonist of this movie, Enmu, who Kibutsuji kept alive purely because Enmu enjoyed seeing the slaughter of his fellow demons) was a very challenging opponent for Tanjiro and his friends. He’s sadistic and twisted, and every time you think Tanjiro has the upper hand, he throws a spanner in the works and pulls a rug out from beneath his feet. He’s a trickster, all powerful and menacing. Tanjiro, being the purest soul there is, does not stop fighting, even when all hope seems lost and it looks like an impossible task. Enmu pulls one big plot twist at one point that leaves your jaw on the floor like, “He did WHAT?!”

Arguably, the star of this movie alongside Tanjiro is Rengoku. He reminded me of Mirio Togata from My Hero Academia a bit, because he’s so upbeat and always smiling, no matter what he’s facing. He’s strong and powerful, and you can see why he’s a Hashira. He was a great addition to this movie, helping Tanjiro grow and concentrate his focus on the task at hand, even when it seemed like they were fighting a losing battle.

This movie was so full of, well, everything. As well as learning about Rengoku and his backstory, we learn a little more about Muzan Kibutsuji and his demon ranks. We get some beautifully animated fight scenes and action sequences, all upon a moving train for extra drama. We have cute couple moments, funny friendship moments, and team work. It’s fun and exciting, but there’s also a few very sad moments sprinkled in, especially towards the end. I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it, but have tissues at the ready because my goodness, there’s a scene about something tremendously sad and the voice acting and music really makes you feel the emotions of the characters. The soundtrack is just as epic as the animation, and the two go hand in hand really well. I watched the dub, and found it was just as great as the anime.

Mugen Train was a very exciting and emotional movie. It felt like I was watching a continuation of the anime, which it was, and I was worried about how this arc being made into a movie would affect the story, but it was such a great experience. The time flew by, and I was pleasantly surprised by all the twists and plot developments that were made. It’s made me very eager to watch season 2 later this year.

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