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EP. REVIEW: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Mugen Train Arc


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jdnation



Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 1556
PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2021 7:02 pm Reply with quote
Somewhat disappointed that we need to sit through Mugen train again. I doubt that anyone would've minded if they just went straight to the next arc considering the film's popularity... but well... guess I'll watch it again. The first episode was at least all-original, but I don't know if it really contributed in any way. It was nice to see more Rengoku, but I feel the film did it better where we are basically following Tanjirou on his journey and encountering things at the same time as he does, and while we do get moments in the first season where we do cut away from him, it's never for too long. Rengoku is kind of a mystery and you watch that unfold until towards the end of the film where we really get to see why he is a hashira. So there's always that anticipation, and episode 1's original story kind of robs a bit of that. Anyway, it's not a major problem, and the show is still pretty good I imagine for those who haven't seen the film.
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Amuro1X



Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 107
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 5:12 pm Reply with quote
The reason Mugen Train blew up in popularity has nothing to do with about the first half of the movie. It's literally all just the climax.
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 2039
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 5:17 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, even as someone who liked Mugen Train, I felt like I’d paid to see an early preview of the anime rather than an anime movie, if you get my meaning, right up until ufotable decided to flex their creative muscles in the last thirty minutes or so.

That said, I don’t know if even a properly serialized adaptation really would’ve saved the parts James takes the most grievance with. Apparently Inosuke isn’t supposed to be delved into until much later (according to my sister who read all the English volumes), and in the manga, the solution to how Nezuko saves everyone is literally just an author’s note scribbled in the margins (yes, really): she burns the tickets, not the ropes. If the movie didn’t even bother to clarify that the first time around, I doubt it would be a priority in serialized form. :/
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ZiharkXVI



Joined: 29 Jan 2009
Posts: 247
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 7:19 pm Reply with quote
I have to interject a bit here since a lot of the criticism is aimed at the show not fleshing out the mechanics, or every last bit of context to tertiary characters. And then folks wonder what they are missing. I can't say it enough, but Demon Slayer is written like a fairy tale (I would argue it basically is one). It's story is exceptionally simple. I hate the word "dumb" or "lowbrow" cause that suggests that the show is for uncultured idiots (and reviewers should take care when a particular type of tale is less their cup of tea not to make it seem like it's just "dumb"). Mugen Train was not a popcorn action flick. It had spectacular action scenes in there at the end, but a large portion of the movie is/was dealing with the illusion and highlighting some key ideas. People don't sit through multiple viewings at a theater to see a climax.

But anyways, I just disagree that it's failing on the basis of not getting info out. That's not the point of the show as a whole. If you want a magic system explained, or details on each of the kids used by the demon, you won't get it...ever. And you likely won't enjoy past this arc either (honestly not sure why you would still be watching at this point given the show has always been like this). It's the difference between enjoying an old tale like going back and watching the Disney movie Snow White and someone who dislikes said story because it's extremely light on details. They need a modern spin, complex plot points, or deep dive into characters and motivations.

Don't get me wrong, you can definitely enjoy all of those things on different levels, but you miss the point and the emotion of the original fairy tale (and if I had to guess we so seldom revisit the old stories that when one is brought back correctly, it can explode in attention and popularity). And it does have one - timeless and classic if you look. That's what chord Demon Slayer is touching. I remember feeling refreshed after the ending of the movie. It was bittersweet, but there was an element of triumph in the finale that made the entire story work.
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KarlFranz



Joined: 17 Jun 2019
Posts: 122
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:35 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, i agree that Kimetsu is like a fairy tale so people shouldn't try to find complex power system in the story since it not the point of the story. The series lean heavily on the mystical element and the emotional elements which i think why KnY success. Most modern stories try too hard to subverting expectation with plot twist and complexity. KnY fell back into the more classic story style that touch audience on an emotional level through simplicity.

As for why the kids decided to help the demon in the first place, i think it pretty clear why without the need to spellout for the audience. They already gave up on live. Their disease and hardship made them gave up on live, Emmu gave them an out with his dream, allow them to live out the rest of their short life in happiness.
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CrowLia



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 5425
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:59 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Mugen Train Arc is not a properly adapted serialized story; it's a 117-minute feature that's been chopped up into six twenty-minute chunks with a few minutes of footage sprinkled in for good measure.


I don't know about that last part, it may be an issue with perception due to the change in format, but to me it feels like minutes have been chopped off the movie. The dream sequences and the parts with the dream kids searching for their soul cores felt way longer which helped build much more tension in those moments. I thought the weekly serialization would mean they'd have to pad the runtime and fill in some episodes but instead this version feels way faster -rushed, i'd say- even if i have to wait one week to see the next part compared to the movie i saw in one sitting.

That being said, if i'd known we'd end up seeing this arc on TV, even as an inferior, haphazardly chopped up version, i wouldn't have spent money to see it in the cinema, definitely feel duped by whoever made this decision. The movie was fine -although the train portion of it is certainly the weaker segment, and the overall thing didn't even work that well as a movie- but it was certainly not good enough to warrant the double dip and watching the weekly version, rather than make me appreciate the movie is just highlighting the weakest parts of it.
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Zefram



Joined: 02 Oct 2019
Posts: 65
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2021 10:20 am Reply with quote
CrowLia wrote:


That being said, if i'd known we'd end up seeing this arc on TV, even as an inferior, haphazardly chopped up version, i wouldn't have spent money to see it in the cinema, definitely feel duped by whoever made this decision. The movie was fine -although the train portion of it is certainly the weaker segment, and the overall thing didn't even work that well as a movie- but it was certainly not good enough to warrant the double dip and watching the weekly version, rather than make me appreciate the movie is just highlighting the weakest parts of it.


Actually it is a very common occurrence with Anime Movie based on ongoing anime series if said movie adopts in-canon storyline. The big example is DragonBall Z where Movies DBZ Battle of the Gods and DBZ Resurrection F were the first 2 arcs of new DB Super TV series. The reverse of that are so-called "recap" movies where several TV episodes are merged together as a movie.
The exception to that if a Movie is an original story, Filler story, fresh retelling of TV series, or conclusion of TV series. (Frankly most of Anime Movies based on TV series fall under these exceptions).
However, when you have that rare occurrence of anime movie so faithfully adopting manga story and situated in-between seasons, it is rare that movie is not chopped up into TV episodes for next season.
Let's just say, I would have been VERY surprised if producers did NOT do that.
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John the Dark Lord



Joined: 19 Jun 2020
Posts: 130
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:39 am Reply with quote
James Beckett wrote:
Usually, I'm on board with Tanjiro's Good Boy Instincts, but his insistence that he would be the murderer if the conductor died in the crash was just goofy.


Was that what the English subs in Crunchyroll said? Because the Brazilian Portuguese subs said the very opposite: That if Tanjiro died the conductor would be a murderer.

Is there someone here who knows Japanese and can tell me which one is right?
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RandomCommenter



Joined: 07 Feb 2021
Posts: 22
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:49 am Reply with quote
John the Dark Lord wrote:
James Beckett wrote:
Usually, I'm on board with Tanjiro's Good Boy Instincts, but his insistence that he would be the murderer if the conductor died in the crash was just goofy.


Was that what the English subs in Crunchyroll said? Because the Brazilian Portuguese subs said the very opposite: That if Tanjiro died the conductor would be a murderer.

Is there someone here who knows Japanese and can tell me which one is right?

That's correct, Tanjiro says the conductor would become a murderer had he died.
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Sekaro



Joined: 12 Nov 2018
Posts: 223
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:56 am Reply with quote
To the show's defence, they did somewhat mentioned Akaza indirectly during Dream Demon's monologue & even shown his very obvious silhouette. However, I have absolutely no idea where this guy came from whether it be the movie or the TV show. My first guess would be that he teleported there via the Shamisen Demon's blood art but idk... Confused
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Araki



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 362
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:29 pm Reply with quote
Excellent review. Demon Slayer's definition of a "weak plot carried by great animation" became painfully obvious to me after I read the manga. I mean, I'm getting old, I saw all these beats done much better multiple times already.
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Hal14



Joined: 01 Apr 2018
Posts: 396
Location: Heart of africa
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:29 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
What's disappointed me more than anything is that, for my money, the whole Mugen Train Arc isn't even the best thing this show has ever done.


It really isn't. IMO, the Mugen train arc is one of those shonen arcs that suffers from being between two more significant arcs. In this case, b/w the spider mountain arc and the entertainment district arc.
Personally, the arc didn't leave an impression on me in the manga so I was surprised to see just how popular the movie became. I thought maybe it had changed some things: developed the flame hashira, or better introduced the upper-rank demon.
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blahmoomoo



Joined: 27 Jan 2020
Posts: 208
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:44 pm Reply with quote
Part of the reason why the story seems so thin here is the section from Akaza's arrival to the end of this episode was just one chapter and a page in the manga. They added a lot of extra fighting (or at least spent more time showing the moves in motion) to this part of the adaptation.

Not to defend it too much; I also am finding that turning the movie into TV format is diluting the experience. I didn't think the movie was incredible, but I at least appreciated the action. I am finding I care less about that while watching the TV version.
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Dab1za9



Joined: 27 Mar 2016
Posts: 68
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:52 pm Reply with quote
Can we please change reviewers for the show when Entertainment district start ? James whole review is "wow did people really like this!! how ?" and it is obvious the show popularity got into his head. and also apparently lack reading comprehension
Quote:
but his insistence that he would be the murderer if the conductor died in the crash was just goofy.


There is also a point to be made but the TV version isn't the one that people like, it is the same content but this content just works better as a movie being watched in one setting, which is funny since we had some people complaining it felt like a couple of episodes stuck together so props for Ufotable for proving them wrong i guess lol.
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KarlFranz



Joined: 17 Jun 2019
Posts: 122
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 1:13 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Tanjiro gets really concerned about the fate of that train conductor who stabbed him in the gut last week. Usually, I'm on board with Tanjiro's Good Boy Instincts, but his insistence that he would be the murderer if the conductor died in the crash was just goofy.


I think there a problem with the translation, he said that he don't want the conductor to become a murderer.
Quote:

but the pathos that Tanjiro feels for his foes is one of the only standout elements of Demon Slayer's otherwise cookie-cutter writing


I think you and a lot of people mistake about Tanjirou personality, like it not that he unconditional feel bad for his foes, only those that he sense feeling regret about their actions. He give his empathy to people who he think is deserve, not everyone. That a lot more mature than most Shounen protags.

Another issue is that the movies actually didn't adapt the following few chapters which put Akaza actions and Rengoku sacrifices in to context. It's like people complain that the story doesn't have an ending when they didn't read the ending. Remember that the story is a continuous one so the arcs don't just stand alone.
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