Deciding whether Mortality is a curse or a blessing is a matter of human values. It is the fear of death that makes us courageous. It is the limited time that compels us to learn and grow faster. However, mortality also robs you of your body and sometimes of people whom you love. Anime Film Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train is an exploration of human values and sacrifices made by a demon slayer to convey that the gift of humanity lies in our mortality.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train is based on the Japanese manga series created by Koyoharu Gotouge. An exhilarating anime drama series has already been made on the same and the Movie: Mugen Train marks the debut of the first feature film based on the manga series directed by Haruo Sotozak. After its release in Japan, the film instantly became a high-grossing anime film. So what makes it so great? Let’s find out.
‘Demon Slayer The Movie Mugen Train’ Summary
A quick brief for those who aren’t well versed with the plot of the original manga series. The narrative follows the journey of two siblings, Tanjiro Kamado and his younger sister Nezuko Kamado. Nezuko has turned into a demon and Tanjiro is in search of a cure. The siblings, however, get involved in the affairs of a secret demon society of warriors called Demon Slayer Corps who are fighting against the demons for a long time. These demons are basically humans who sold their souls to evil in order to gain power and immortality. Tanjiro Kamado pledges to become a Demon slayer after his family is slaughtered by the demons.
The film begins when Tanjiro, Nezuko, and two other aspiring demon slayers, Zenitsu, and Inosuke board a train. They have come to lend a hand to Flame Hashira Demon Slayer Kyōjurō Rengoku in his mission to kill a demon on Mugen Train who has been killing the passengers and feeding on them.
Demon Enmu is empowered with the magic to send people into a deep sleep. By luring passengers on the train with a promise of happy dreams forever, Enmu orders them to put the demon slayers into a deep sleep by trickery. He then instructs his slaves to enter the dreams of these Demon slayers and destroy their spiritual core which would make them crippled forever.
Tanjiro, Zenitsu, Inosuke, and Rengoku get trapped in their happy dreams and couldn’t differentiate between reality and dreams. Tanjiro is mesmerized in his dreams where he meets his slaughtered family. He starts spending time with them without realizing they’re dead already. Tanjiro wants to stay in his dream forever. It is the kind of spell Enmu masters. However, Tanjiro’s sister, Nezuko who was hiding in a wooden box because she is a demon and can’t roam in the public. Nezuko comes out of the hiding and burns down the rope that had Enmu’s magic spell. She also awakens Tanjiro’s consciousness and thus helping him to differentiate between reality and illusion.
Out of his dream, Tanjiro wakes up his friends too and slaughters Enmu, who with his demonic powers attaches himself to the train. Every inch of the moving train becomes his blood, bone, and flesh. In order to terminate this demon, Tanjiro and his friend decide to destroy the engine where the head of the demon lies.
However, that is not the end of their problems, as soon as the train is destroyed, another high-ranking demon, the Upper Moon Three, Azka appears. He tries to end Tanjiro but Flame Hashira Rengoku defends him. The film ultimately follows the final battle when Rengoku and Azka decide the fate of aspiring demon slayers and 200 passengers around.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Who is a Demon Slayer?
To understand the slayer, one needs to understand the world of demons. According to the manga series, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, demons are humans who sold their souls or mortality in order to gain power, super strength, and long life. They are distinguished by the level of their power which is Lower 12 or Upper 3. Ascending numbers signifies a much more powerful demon who has lived long and trained too hard to become strong.
For centuries, there is a secret society of demon slayers who have been waging a war against these demons in order to protect the world. A demon slayer trains and practices a special breathing technique termed “Breathing Styles.” It is the sole provider of super strength and super resistance against a demon.
In recorded history, Flame, Water, Wind, Stone, Thunder are the few fundamental Breathing techniques. There are other techniques, like Mist, Love, Sound, Serpent, Flower. These were coined by the amalgamation of these fundamental techniques. The color of the Demon Slayer’s sword is an emblem of his breathing technique. The flame demon slayer, Rengoku holds a red sword while Tanjiro’s sword is black. A black sword is an impure demon slayer who has no clue which style to master, but Tanjiro is destined to become an exceptional one.
‘Demon Slayer The Movie Mugen Train’ Ending Explained
Most of the exciting part of the film lies in its climax fighting sequence. The battle between Kyōjurō Rengoku and demon Azka could be labeled as the fight between Mortality and Immortality.
Azka tries hard to convince Rengoku to turn into a demon, but Rengoku is a true Hashira. He cannot shed his humanity nor the promises he made to her later mother.
“It is the duty of those born strong to help the weak. It is a mission they must fulfill responsibly. Make sure you never forget that.”
Thus when demon Azka makes fun of Rengoku’s mortality. He heroically narrates to him that growing old and dying is a part of the beauty of being an ephemeral creature like a human.
“The fact that we grow old and die is what makes human life so unbearably precious and noble.”
Despite his big words and high sense of value, Rengoku’s power is of no match to Azka. Yet, the realisation doesn’t crumble Rengoku’s will. He fights till his last breath until sun rises. The sunlight is lethal to Demon’s existence and Azka runs towards the dark forest to save his skin. Rengoku is dying, hence he fails to follow the demon and Tanjiro is already injured.
In the end, Azka runs away and Rengoku perishes. In his last moment, he visualizes the soul of her dead mother and seeks validation. Her mother assures him that he fought with dignity. Before leaving the world, Rengoku inspires Tanjiro and other aspiring Demon Slayers to “set their heart ablaze no matter how devastated they feel due to their weakness or uselessness.”
“No matter how many lives the demons take, the one thing they can never crush is a human’s will.”
The anime film is a deep exploration of mortality. Through the climax fight sequence, the narrative sets out an example that we are brave because we know this life is going to end. If we knew that we have infinite time, we wouldn’t dare to make brave or impulsive decisions like mortals. Our human will is fueled by our mortality and thus it is our strength. Unfortunately, that is the only impacting sequence in the entire film.
For one and half hours, the drama mingled around insomnia, dreams, and consciousness. It could be impacting for the viewers who know the backstory of Tanjiro and Rengoku. But for the first-time audience, the entire subplot is extremely stressful and unrelatable. The fight with Demon Enmu doesn’t ring a bell either. The only reason this film works is because of the last fight sequence which is incredibly designed and filled with an adrenaline-pumping background score. The dialogues throughout the film are captivating and moving.
The anime film tried to explore humor as well during the initial scenes. However, anime and humor don’t gel around. Either they become too sexual or too offensive. In Demon Slayer The Movie, the humor was too cold and unrelatable.
The film has really high reviews and it has already smashed the Japanese box office. It is going strong in other markets as well. However, in my opinion, the film is extremely hyped. It holds little to no emotional value. Some critics have written wholeheartedly about the character development but judging through the film, there is hardly any graph. The film is more of an incident than a dramatic narrative. It doesn’t push its character into a zone where they can grow or conquer their flaws, which is an integral part of character development.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train is a 2021 manga based Anime Film. It is currently running in theatres.
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