Miina McCown/The Broadside
“Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” is critically acclaimed and considered by many to be one of the most popular recent franchises, with the manga and anime making its entrance on the Shonen scene with a massive boom.
The simple tale of Tanjiro, a kindhearted boy and his younger sister, Nezuko, whom he strives to cure of her demon transformation and becomes a demon slayer to avenge his family captured the hearts of many viewers and readers with its moving storyline, breathtaking artwork and earnest characters.
The highest anticipated Japanese film of 2020, “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train” finally made its debut in American theaters on April 23 of 2021. Now the highest-grossing Japanese film of all time and surpassing the massively popular “Your Name” as well as Studio Ghibli’s “Spirited Away,” the anime film’s record-breaking release established itself as an unprecedented success due to its impressive numbers despite the conditions of the pandemic.
Instead of spending 20 minutes explaining the premise of the original season, the story takes off immediately into the action and takes on a dreamlike storyline aboard the Mugen, or infinity train and featuring the four main characters: Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu and Inosuke as well as Rengoku, a side character and a Flame Hashira from the original series.
And while wasting no time on the backstory may cause some initial confusion for those lacking prior knowledge of “Demon Slayer,” the basics points of the story are woven simply into the subtle bits of dialogue.
Covering the entire Mugen Train arc of 17 chapters from the original manga, the continuing storyline of the film is an entire journey in itself of courage, perseverance and love. With occasional moments of humor, many viewers found the film tear-jerking and poignant as well as visually impressive. If not the storyline, the art itself is enough reason to invest one’s time in the movie, with fight sequences especially displaying lighting, colors and angles abstract and artistic yet in its iconic style.
The film also becomes a story more so about Rengoku than anyone else, diving deep into his backstory with short segments rather than lengthy, unnecessary scenes. Following the fast-paced plotline, the film manages to portray the story of Rengoku’s character as genuine and significant.
While action-packed and full of bright colors combined with gory violence, the film also contained many moments of humor and heart, making for an exciting continuation of the original television series that is sure to leave a lasting impression on fans and newcomers alike.