Using the label of the highest-grossing film in Japan of all time, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie – Mugen Train tries to cover a wider market. However, the storyline in this film is very dependent on the anime series or the manga. What a remarkable achievement, it signifies how much fame this story has.

The story of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba was first published as a comic originating from Japan, or what we know as manga. The comic created by Koyoharu Gotōge was first published in 2016. However, uniquely, the story only received great attention after it was turned into a Japanese animated series or anime and aired on Netflix.

When the manga ended in May 2020, the anime film was still quite far away. The first season ended when Tanjiro Kamado et al. was about to board the Mugen Train to meet one of the Hashira (the name for the nine best demon slayer sword warriors in this story), named Rengoku. Tanjiro hopes that Rengoku can explain and teach him why he can dance the fire that he remembers from his father as a child, the thing that produces a stream of fire when using a sword.

The unique thing about the animated series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is that it is shown in theaters. So, before the film was shown, this story already had a close relationship with the big screen. Moreover, the success of this anime cannot be separated from the role of Ufotable studio which can construct its visuals well for an animated series class.

With the story coming to Mugen Train and praise for both Ufotable’s visuals and Haruo Sotozaki’s directing, it’s only natural that this part of the story should be made into a film that will be shown on the big screen.

In short, the story that is present in Mugen Train is indeed epic. The fight of Tanjiro et al. fighting Enmu, one of the great demons in the 12 Kizuki (the best demon Muzan Kibutsuji, the leader of the demons), is already entertaining. Not to mention the great fight between Rengoku against Akaza, 12 Kizuki who are more powerful than Enmu.

It’s just that, if you haven’t watched the series or read the comics, it’s quite difficult to understand the storyline. It seems that the scenario of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie – Mugen Train did not do much reconstruction from the comics to introduce the characters and the conflict in this film. Therefore, it can be said that this film is very segmented.

It’s quite surprising that this film can actually become the highest-grossing film in Japan. However, the same story as you watch Avengers: Endgame which is the highest-grossing film in a very long film series, Demon Slayer also has time to build the interest of its fans, especially its anime screenings in theaters.

In order to really enjoy this film you also have to understand the patterns shown in the series or maybe the anime as a whole. For example, many jokes are in the form of loud screams of the characters, then silly faces, and the level of sentimentality. There are also many cries and touching efforts, although there are also many jokes.

If you see it as a regular film, you may feel uncomfortable because you are not used to the pattern. Not to mention the story is so dense. All that’s left to enjoy for those who don’t follow the series are the epic battles. However, for fans, the taste will certainly be different.

Visually, there is a slightly different handling of Ufotable for this film than the anime. This film experimented more with combat scenes and featured a much more realistic background image than the animated series.

Unfortunately, there are still treatments that are like chasing an animated series. For example, the characters are stagnant (in this film, the train passengers), when the main characters move and talk. In addition, the very realistic background does not match the characters who are very clearly animated.

In the end, to really enjoy Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie – Mugen Train (2020) is difficult. However, if you are a fan who follows the animated series or are not a fan, but can open up a little and want to look for references, there is a sense that makes goosebumps too.

By Kania