(Shueisha, Aniplex, Ufotable, Funimation / Koyoharu Gotoge)

Arts and Entertainment

Review: ‘Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train’ is bewitching and will make you hold your breath in excitement

First released in Japan on October 16, 2020, shattering records as the highest-grossing film in Japan ever and the fourth film at the global box office, it was no surprise that “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train” would be a sensation in the United States. The pre-release date for the movie was…
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/teresa-nguyen/" target="_self">Teresa Nguyen</a>

Teresa Nguyen

May 10, 2021

First released in Japan on October 16, 2020, shattering records as the highest-grossing film in Japan ever and the fourth film at the global box office, it was no surprise that “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train” would be a sensation in the United States.

The pre-release date for the movie was on April 22, and the official release date was April 23. With a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and 99% audience score, the Demon Slayer movie is currently certainly living up to the hype. Nevertheless, does it deserve the hype and record-breaking recognition? For the most part, it does. 

The “Demon Slayer” movie narrates the story of Tanjiro (also accompanied by his demon sister, Nezuko), Inosuke, Zenitsu, who are investigating the mystery of the disappearance behind many people on board The Mugen Train. With a member of the Hashira, Rengoku, they seek to find the demon lurking in the train, but when the conductor punches their tickets, they are sent on a slumber that could cost their lives.

Through the dreams the demon slayers are trapped in, the audience gets insight into the different character’s motivations, their most profound consciousness, and a better sense of who these characters admittedly are.

The movie’s sequence has its heartfelt moments that pleased the crevices of my heart and some playful progressions so that way the film is not just portrayed to be dreary, but the sequence felt dragged on.

We received multiple scenes of the same idea that I wish we had more varying scenes, which could have added more to the characters. The dream sequences did not develop the characters as much as I wanted, but it still made the characters transcendent.

A new character was introduced, Rengoku, signified the story’s essence. However, the main issue was that most audience members did not know anything regarding him due to being first introduced in this movie and with very little screen time in season one.

Besides Rengoku’s few quirks, which made him likable, I was not very attached to his character but still felt for him at the very end with his conversations with Tanjiro, so the director did succeed in making him the true heart of the story. 

(Shueisha, Aniplex, Ufotable, Funimation / Koyoharu Gotoge)

One issue in this movie was the villain, Enmu, who seems to fall flat. He is your typical villain–sadistic, only evil for the sake of being evil. Although his abilities are unique, unlike the other demons from the first season, which had an underlying backstory that made watchers sympathetic, the only “deep” layer of Enmu was that he wanted to annihilate more humans. That is it.

If Enmu did not have an incredibly attractive design, he would probably be one of the most forgettable villains of all time. The difficulties I had with this movie were its middle sequences, character development, and the main villain Enmu in short.

(Shueisha, Aniplex, Ufotable, Funimation / Koyoharu Gotoge)

That’s not to say the movie was terrible — in fact, this movie was nowhere near bad and was spectacular. One of the main standouts of this movie is its breathtaking animation.

Ufotable, the animation company behind “Demon Slayer,” does a fantastic job keeping watchers’ eyes glued to the screen with some of the cleanest animations I have ever laid eyes on. The battles sequences are exceptional, with alluring breathing designs that made me hold my own breath for the movie’s duration.

To be honest, I did not even remark on any of the issues until a day after I viewed the movie because I was charmed by the animation. Nothing seemed out of place or strange.

Unpopular opinion, but I thought the CGI was gorgeous too, as it is challenging to make CGI seem bewitching for an animated movie. The music blended favorably among the action sequences and even standard sequences, which made the film feel sumptuous and ultimately engulfed you into a different dimension.

After the movie, I observed how they made the soundtracks for the movie, and the movie had at least one hundred people to create the soundtrack, which was mind-blowing but also made sense.

Another aspect I relished in the movie was the climax and finale. Unlike the beginning and middle, which felt dragged on, the climax with some of the best fight scenes made this movie unquestionably sublime.

The choreography was swift, overflowing with energy, and I could not peel my eyes away. The climax additionally left the most emotional impact, which was most likely the reason why the Mugen Train is so beloved by many. I have to make a point to its genius marketing strategy as well.

Typically when animes have movies, they tend to stray away from the source material, which makes fans feel disappointed. However, in this case, the film stays very, and I mean very truthful to the manga. Furthermore, the end of season one leaves off on the demon slayers going on the Mugen Train, so indeed, whoever especially enjoyed season one would definitely watch the Mugen Train.

Final consensus for the Demon Slayer movie: although some parts of the plot were not as satisfying as I hoped they were going to be, the climax and ending made up for it. It is not how you start, but it is how you finish.

Villains and character development could be more robust, but the movie does succeed in making Rengoku the heart of the story and securing you to feel for the main characters. The animation was some of the most alluring and aesthetically as well that it would be considered eye candy.

Overall, if I had to rate the movie, it would most likely be an eight out of ten, but this movie is unquestionably worth your time. People who watched it blind like me and manga readers would unmistakably relish this movie as it is worth the hype from its stunning visuals, breathtaking music, and climactic ending.

(Shueisha, Aniplex, Ufotable, Funimation / Koyoharu Gotoge)

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