Does it live up to the hype? Sure, it does, “Mugen Train” serving as a bridge to the upcoming second season is a must-watch for Demon Slayer fans.
“Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train” already overtook the hugely popular Your Name (2016), making it the highest-grossing film of 2020 worldwide and the highest-grossing Japanese film of all time. This movie is a direct sequel to the extremely popular TV series Demon Slayer (2019) of 26-episode.
The film follows one of the most potent swordsmen of the Demon Slayer Corps, Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku, who is on his mission to hunt for a demon that has killed many passengers and demon slayers. To assist him, Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu, and Inosuke board the Mugen Train, soon they realize the enemy has the power to manipulate and control someone’s dreams. Can our heroes save 200 passengers aboard the train?
There isn’t much to say; similar to season one, the significant appealing aspect for “Mugen Train” is its breath-taking animation and dazzling soundtrack. The art style in the action sequence, the fire blazing from Rengoku, complex camera movements, vivid colour palette, dynamic backgrounds, smooth animation are pleasurable to watch. It’s Ufotable after all. The music underlines every action sequence that chains the audience with the atmosphere. As you thought this is going well, there comes a battle between Rengoku and Upper Rank 3 villain Akaza that will stand out from the rest of the movie. It is powerful, memorable, and visually stunning; the soundtrack used here, “Akaza Theme”, electrifies and gives chills to the viewers.
Now that we have the positive aspects out of the way, let’s address the main stumbling block in “Mugen Train”, the story and character development. I was not expecting Attack on Titan, Steins Gate level plot in Demon Slayer. Still, it could explore many gripping storylines that could be possible after the fantastic last episodes in season one. Rather than that, the screenwriter chooses to be generic with the basic plot; maybe they come up while travelling and forget to develop.
What is most disappointing is the character development, especially villain characters. They are bland and one dimensional; we don’t see any resolution to their actions, unlike in the series where we get to know even the level one villain, their intentions; that’s why we sympathize with their characters even when they are demons. And the side characters in the movie seem to be unpolished. We barely see Zenoski and Nezuko; Inosuke is served as comic relief, nothing more. If I have to rewatch the movie, I jump to Tanjiro’s dream sequences loaded with themes of family, regret and exhilarating battle sequences between Rengoku and Akaza.
Conclusion: The high-speed “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train” fuelled with enchanting visuals and breath-taking action sequences surely slows down by weak plot and character development. Still, the ride is enjoyable and a must-watch for Demon Slayer fans. My rating 7/10.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Director: Haruo Sotozaki
Related: Demon Slayer (2019)