If you ain’t a Japanese manga or anime fan, I bet the title ‘Demon Slayer’ or ‘Kimetsu no Yaiba’ doesn’t seem foreign to your ears. The franchise itself has become a cult for its binge content and beautiful animation (anime) that generates high revenue. This year, its direct sequel of the TV series ‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train’ (2021) was adapted into the theater. Now unlike ‘Mortal Kombat’, I had finished the entire manga series and with abundant knowledge of the ‘universe’ it would be no stranger to enter the theater with high expectation. Guess what? It delivers.
With the popularity it gains,‘Demon Slayer: Mugen Train’ could turn into a fan-service film anytime and that’s what worries me the most. Sure, it is a film that is made primarily to satisfy fans but that’s only it and I’m highly grateful that they set the limit within it. Throughout the film you’ll definitely expect to come across its cheesy humor, cute animation, and other aspects of mainstream anime series that will hinder your cinematic experience. Yet it’s safe to say that all of these moments appear in the manga, making it a faithful adaptation that is tolerable once you get used to it.
This is not to say that non-fans couldn’t enjoy the film. To grasp the whole universe of ‘Demon Slayer’ is merely impossible and that would hinder the deeper meaning ‘Demon Slayer: Mugen Train’ has. Such examples would be the system and hierarchy the Slayer and Demons had in their own community. Nevertheless, it is enough to enjoy it on the surface. The story is simple enough; 3 young demon slayers board the Infinity Train (Mugen Train) on a new mission to slay demons with the Fire Hashira, Kyōjurō Rengoku, only to find out that the train had been boarded with demons.
Just sit tight back, enjoy the mesmerizing animation and its visually wonderful, complex fight scene and you are rewarded enough when you exit the theater. The fight scene, especially, where it doesn’t hold back the R-rating with its gore and deadly slices you won’t really expect for the film to be this violent. Yet under the sleeves, it had a surprising deep character development with emotional value that at the very least could make your tears drop. And this doesn’t come once, but thrice. This is something I didn’t expect of how much deep this film could be despite knowing the whole storyline already.
‘Demon Slayer: Mugen Train’ is a well adapted visual stills into movement that doesn’t only wows you but also moves you deep enough with its story. There would be moments where you have to stand for its quirkiness but overall, it’s a passable watch with memorable action sequences that never hold back.