DEMON SLAYER THE MOVIE: MUGEN TRAIN Review

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I know we are not supposed to be happy about lockdowns, but one of the things I have kind of enjoyed about the world’s cinemas being in lockdown is that we suddenly have an influx of Asian cinema being released in Australia. And I don’t just mean being released in small, crampy cinemas I mean released to the point where I have been able to go and see films like The Writer’s Odyssey and Earwig And The Witch at a multiplex. Now the latest to be released the same way is the intriguing Demon Slayer: The Movie: Mugen Train.

A direct sequel to the Demon Slayer animated television series the movie sees inexperienced demon hunters Tanjiro (voiced by Natsuki HanaeStarmyu), Nezuko (Akari Kito – Ex-Arm), Zenitsu (Hiro Shimono – Attack On Titan) and Inosuke (Yoshitsgu Matsuoka – Devil’s Line) are told to board the Mugen Train where they are asked to meet up with the mysterious yet heroic Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku (Santoshi Hino – Overlord) to investigate a demon that has killed over forty demon slayers.

Not long into their journey the group find themselves falling asleep due to a spell cast by Enmu (Daisuke Hirakawa – Ajin) and suddenly they are in as much danger as the other passengers on the train.

As far as anime goes this film is close to being the perfect film. There is just so much to love about a film where screenwriter Ufotable (Demon Slayer series) manages to make this rag tag group of people lovable heroes – yes even a pig head wearing psycho. A lot of Hollywood screenwriters could learn from Ufotable’s work here as he manages to find the right mixture of characterisation, suspense, emotion and action to create a film that becomes an amazing anime masterpiece.

Watching this film I found myself being taken through an emotional rollercoaster. From sitting on the edge of my seat during the epic battles sequences (think Harry Potter on steroids) through to the emotional dream sequences brilliantly brought to the screen by director Haruo Sotozaki (Tales Of Zertiria: Dawn Of The Shepherd) and then the times of pure emotion throughout… and I will warn you there maybe some times where you want to shed a tear.

Often when I watch an animated film I find myself completely removed from the emotion of the film, but this one got to me in much the same way that I Want To Eat Your Pancreas did largely due to the fact that the filmmakers behind this film haven’t simply just treated this as an action epic and they have instead spent time on characterisation that results in the audience becoming so emotional involved in the film that it is impossible not to find yourself feeling the same way that the characters do.

Be warned that if you haven’t watched the animated series before watching this film you will want to rush out and buy it straight away and for those fans of the series then get your wallet ready to want to go out and buy some of the new merchandise that is out there.

Demon Slayer: The Movie: Mugen Train has already become one of the highest grossing animated films of all time and I can certainly see why – this is an absolute gem.

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