Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train (2021)

Director: Haruo Sotozaki

Running Time: 117 Minutes

Certification: 15

Starring: Natsuki Hanae, Akari Kitō, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Hiro Shimono, Satoshi Hino, Daisuke Hirakawa, Akira Ishida, Megumi Toyoguchi, Rikiya Koyama, Junya Enoki

Based upon a manga series, Demon Slayer has become one of the more popular anime series in recent years. Set in Taishō-era Japan, the story begins when Tanjirō (Natsuki Hanae) finds his family slaughtered by a demon, with the exception of Nezuko (Akari Kitō), his sister who has been transformed into a demon. From there, Tanjirō joins the Demon Slayer Corps to turn his sister back into a human, and to avenge their family.

This feature follows immediately after the first season, as the siblings are joined by fearful Zenitsu (Hiro Shimono) and rambunctious Inosuke (Yoshitsugu Matsuoka) aboard the Mugen Train. Aided by one of the corps most powerful swordsman, Flame Hashira Rengoku (Satoshi Hino), they investigate the disappearances of innocent passengers caused by a demon.

When TV shows make the leap to the big screen, a common issue occurs because of their standalone nature. This decision helps market the film to wider audiences, while not resolving anything fans of the show may miss, yet limits the storytelling prospects. Here, the issue is avoided because there's real weight and consequences to what happens.

The story dives into the main characters dreams in a style resembling Inception, allowing a look into their personalities, hopes, and sheer determination to save the day. The excellent animation brings this alive, while also lending the pulse-pounding action a wonderful style, yet the biggest strength is its characters. There's a sense of who each person is, developed in stunning ways while delivering excellent heart and humour. It's sure to resonate with both series fans and newbies.

Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train is available in selected cinemas now