Friday, April 30, 2021

Movies: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba: Mugen Train

I'm a fan of the anime Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba, but I'll be the first to admit that it's pretty formulaic.  The series is about an earnest young swordsman who goes on a quest to slay the demons who killed his family, all the while learning attacks that he calls out in every battle.  Really, only two things separate Demon Slayer from other sh┼Źnen - the earnestness and empathy of its protagonist (who sheds a tear for many of the demons he kills), and the gorgeous stylized elemental sword attacks (which look like ukiyo-e paintings brought to life).

The movie version of Demon Slayer, subtitled "Mugen Train," is not a side story but merely another chapter in the series (albeit one that doesn't have much effect on the subsequent plot).  As such, it's totally inscrutable for people who haven't seen the first season of the anime; it feels like they jammed 5 or 6 episodes of the series together and called it a movie.  It's not even a particularly good portion to adapt into a movie - the train setting is claustrophobic and less cinematic than prior story arcs, which involved moody forests and dark mountains.

Still, the fighting and character animation is top-notch, and if you like the anime, you'll probably like the movie...if you can brave the hecklers.

Rating: 6/10


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