It goes without saying that Demon Slayer has proven to be quite the phenomenon, both in Japan and around the world. The fact that a Shonen Jump adaptation film wound up being the highest grossing Japanese film of all time, surpassing the likes of such cinematic greats as Your Name and Spirited Away, is an impressive feat to say the very least. So, does the film live up to the ridiculous level of hype that has surrounded it? Yes. Yes it does.
A big part of what sets Demon Slayer: Mugen Train apart from other Shonen Jump anime films is that it actually adapts source material and is canon to the ongoing story of Demon Slayer. Often these anime film takes on anime series either go the abridged format, adapting a popular story from the anime in abbreviated form, or they go for a completely original story that takes place outside of the canon of the main series. Perhaps the crucial element that led to the success of this film is that it is compulsory viewing for fans of the series, as this film will bridge the gap between the first and upcoming second season of the anime series.
Considering that the film is canon and adapting directly from the source material, the events of Mugen Train have a true sense of weight to them. What happens in this film genuinely matters and will have serious repercussions and consequences on the plot of the anime series going forward. Beyond that, it proves to be an absolute spectacle of a film, highlighting all of the great aspects of the Demon Slayer series whilst telling a focused and pointed story throughout.
The film picks up right where the first season ended, with Tanjiro and company boarding the mysterious Mugen Train. From there on, our heroes must team up with a member of the Hashira (named Rengoku) and solve the mystery of the disappearances occurring on the train. I will keep plot details light, as it is canon content and will ultimately be spoilers as we head into the second season of the anime. What I can say, however, is that the story takes many twists and turns and there is plenty of signature Demon Slayer action to satisfy fans’ need for swords clashing and demon heads rolling.
Beyond just being a fantastic Shonen Jump anime adaptation, the film has some truly powerful themes and messages it explores, and the philosophy of the character Rengoku proves to be a powerful part of the film. Ultimately, it is a truly moving and affecting piece of cinema, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house at my screening.
Overall, Demon Slayer: Mugen Train more than lives up to the unprecedented hype that has surrounded it. The hype train for Mugen Train was well deserved. If you are a Demon Slayer fan and eagerly anticipating the second season later this year, don’t miss out on seeing this film because it is a critical part of the story of Demon Slayer—and mandatory viewing. If you have never watched anything to do with Demon Slayer, you’ll still no doubt find yourself enjoying this film as it actually doubles as great entry point for the uninitiated. To put it simply, no matter who you may be, go and watch this brilliant film.