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


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Hal14



Joined: 01 Apr 2018
Posts: 398
Location: Heart of africa
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:27 am Reply with quote
KarlFranz wrote:


I think that what a lots of Western viewers see in general. See, Western anime fan care more about originality than execution. So when KnY exploded in popularity, people in the West just set their expectation to think it somekind of genre redefining rather than just a really well executed story.


That's simply untrue. Maybe a vocal minority do, but this runs counter to the boom of genres like isekai, high-school romcoms, etc., which are popular in the western anime communities. And I know you specified anime fans but even outside the medium this statement wouldn't be true.

I'm reminded of this line from a video about the Disney live action remakes:
"People say they want new ideas but what they really want is the comfort of the familiar".

Ultimately, is JJK really more original than Demon slayer? Cause, i think someone who disliked both series would respond "No!" to that question.
Personally, i prefer jjk. Not because it's more "original" but because I prefer its humour
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Sekaro



Joined: 12 Nov 2018
Posts: 223
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:51 am Reply with quote
KarlFranz wrote:
Scias wrote:
db999 wrote:


Also, I'm not sure where this idea that the reviewer is biased against Demon Slayer is coming from, because I read his reviews of Season 1 and I didn't remember him disliking the show. I actually went back to the Season 1 review and it turns out he really liked season 1. Here is the breakdown of his rankings for season 1 he gave twelve 4 star rankings, six 3.5 star rankings, three 3 star rankings, two 4.5 star rankings, two 5 star rankings, and only 1 2.5 star rankings. So the idea that he is biased against Demon Slayer doesn't hold much weight.


Funny because in a recent podcast episode he was pretty dismissive of the series, comparing it to Marvel films; cookie-cutter, trite, safe and casual easy viewing. And then went on to heap praise on JJK constantly. Guess I'm the idiot with his logic and I only like basic, safe things because I way preferred DS over JJK


I think that what a lots of Western viewers see in general. See, Western anime fan care more about originality than execution. So when KnY exploded in popularity, people in the West just set their expectation to think it somekind of genre redefining rather than just a really well executed story.


Sorry but I don't know where u got this idea from.... Confused
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Dab1za9



Joined: 27 Mar 2016
Posts: 68
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:35 am Reply with quote
KarlFranz wrote:

I think that what a lots of Western viewers see in general. See, Western anime fan care more about originality than execution. So when KnY exploded in popularity, people in the West just set their expectation to think it somekind of genre redefining rather than just a really well executed story.


Kimetsu movie earned $50M in the US and the boxset the just released sold 20K+ in a week(equivalent of 500k volume), so you aren't really correct, you are just mistaking loud minority with the general audience, Kimetsu just got added to France netflix this month and there were loads of praise for it and managed to stay in the top 10 since it got released so obviously majority of people have no problem with it.

Scias wrote:

Funny because in a recent podcast episode he was pretty dismissive of the series, comparing it to Marvel films; cookie-cutter, trite, safe and casual easy viewing. And then went on to heap praise on JJK constantly. Guess I'm the idiot with his logic and I only like basic, safe things because I way preferred DS over JJK


My post will get removed if i said the reason Laughing , but funny considering the reason JJK never caught like Kny is because it didn't work with older audience and only got really popular with teenager and kids but i guess appealing to all people from kids to seniors and resonating with them is cookie-cutter.
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jdnation



Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 1559
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:53 pm Reply with quote
I too am rather mystified as to how Mugen Train made so much money. I watched the film, and while I liked it, I left it feeling that it was basically a lengthier higher budget version of a couple of the TV episodes... I don't think even the people working on it expected it to be anywhere near the hit that it became... so I'm sure they are just as puzzled about how well this lightning was caught in a bottle...

That said, I think the reviewer is being a bit too harsh? I do think the reviews are right in that the breaking up of a film into several episodes does affect the pacing of what should be better consumed as a film. The film is also not a Rengoku story. It's still very much a Tanjiro affair, so Rengoku is just a character who comes and goes with only the briefest of insights into his character and backstory. I don't believe the film was that intent on you feeling anything about his loss, but rather it and the manga source perhaps only intended it as a way to demonstrate the scales of what Tanjiro is up against as a whole by showcasing a display of power between the Hashira and the Upper 3. So Mugen Train was not so much a full arc so much as a transition, like a lengthy cold open of a James Bond movie. It's primarily set-up material to serve as the beginning of a story.

Well at least after the next episode we can look forward to new material. I figured they'd try and add another original Rengoku post-mortem like they did the first episode intro or something, but it's better to move on. That's the interesting thing. The first episode of this season was not a part of the film. The guys simply board the train and Rengoku is there. By putting this first original episode in, it feels as if they intended to make Rengoku a larger part, but it's just fan-service. And while it was cool, it is perhaps what is throwing off the reviewer. Rengoku doesn't really matter. He's just a yardstick of what it takes to be a Hashira and measuring the strength of the enemy. He's a side-character who hardly does anything for 2/3rd of the film, and only unleashes himself in the final 1/3. All along you have no idea what his strength or overall abilities are like. The original first episode kind of destroys the anticipation of seeing him fight at the end of the film which is more impactful as Tanjiro gets to finally witness the strength of Hashira and an upper ranked demon and so too does the audience. It's also somewhat a shock that he bites it as in typical shonen fashion you might've expected him to stick around, and not be introduced and be taken away so quickly, where in typical shonen fashion we normally get to spend time with each Hashira and learn about them and get things set up for a final battle towards the very end, kind of like Bleach etc. But that doesn't occur here, and perhaps as a good things gives you tension for whenever one of the other Hashira turns up as you don't know if he/she'll stick around or be taken out, or hell, if any one of them may be tempted to become a demon.
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
Posts: 1913
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:58 pm Reply with quote
Just completed the movie and be prepared to laugh at Ep7. I am a sucker for emotionalism (think Key classics) and this was just too much. spoiler[Even the crow is crying!]. There was no emotional investment I could find to justify all the drama and it came off almost like a parody. Seriously, if they just added a few more episodes to the last 1/3 to fix the silly emotionalism, it would have improved the show immensely. If you thought the Dream Demon's final monologue took a while, the fight end is several times that...I look forward to see what James has to say about it based on the latest review...
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KarlFranz



Joined: 17 Jun 2019
Posts: 123
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 12:56 pm Reply with quote
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:
Just completed the movie and be prepared to laugh at Ep7. I am a sucker for emotionalism (think Key classics) and this was just too much. spoiler[Even the crow is crying!]. There was no emotional investment I could find to justify all the drama and it came off almost like a parody. Seriously, if they just added a few more episodes to the last 1/3 to fix the silly emotionalism, it would have improved the show immensely. If you thought the Dream Demon's final monologue took a while, the fight end is several times that...I look forward to see what James has to say about it based on the latest review...


The tragedy came from the fact that the main cast is completely powerless to do anything in that fight. It echo back to what Gyuu said in the 1st episode:"the weaks don't have a choice". Tanjoru feel that he still can't do anything even after how much he tried. Like Tanjioru break down will become clearer in the next episode.

Also the in-universe reason why Akaza was there will be explain the next episode, while the story reason he was set up in this arc will be a major plot point down the line of the story. Like the story clearly set up Tanjirou and Akaza conflict using Rengoku death. I suprise that the reviewer doesn't see that. It a pretty clear set up, Tanjirou already at the stage he could handle Emmu who is stronger than Rui, but now a big wall appear on front of him that gave him a reality check.
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 2043
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 1:12 pm Reply with quote
I think for me, Rengoku (and this arc overall) is Demon Slayer's version of spoiler[Maes Hughes], just with a lot less emotional investment (or maybe the same level of investment, if you only watch Brotherhood.) Kinda like a "anyone can die" moment with lower stakes plus something to shake up the status quo now that Tanjiro has held his own against several ranked demons.

As for why it was so successful, I genuinely think it was a perfect storm of right place, right time. I don't think Mugen Train in and of itself is a *great* story (though I had a fun time with it! I got caught up in it; I gasped, I cried, I'll admit it!), but I think it just happened to release at an ideal time in Japan to optimally capitalize on Demon Slayer's astronomical popularity, and that popularity just heightened its appeal for overseas fans.
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tintor2



Joined: 11 Aug 2010
Posts: 920
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 1:37 pm Reply with quote
While these Hashiras remind me to Captains from Bleach, I'm having mixed feelings. On the positive site, the Hashira didn't completly removed Tanjiro's friends from the actual narrative unlike what happened to Inoue, Sado and Ishida. However, my main issue with this arc was how the funny chemistry between Inosuke and Zenitsu was kept until the final episode although the latter was the least explored here. The fact that the Hashira die and are remembered by most of their allies is also quite good considering everybody barely makes commentary of the dying Shinigami with two of them, Tosen and Ichimaru, being just traitors. Probably the biggest extra in this arc was Zenitsu and it might have been better if Rengoku's family be more explored (I remember there was a big deal about his family in the manga spoiler[coming from none other than Tanjiro in a violent scene.])
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Leviathonlx



Joined: 24 Oct 2019
Posts: 84
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 2:07 pm Reply with quote
whiskeyii wrote:
I think for me, Rengoku (and this arc overall) is Demon Slayer's version of spoiler[Maes Hughes], just with a lot less emotional investment (or maybe the same level of investment, if you only watch Brotherhood.) Kinda like a "anyone can die" moment with lower stakes plus something to shake up the status quo now that Tanjiro has held his own against several ranked demons.

As for why it was so successful, I genuinely think it was a perfect storm of right place, right time. I don't think Mugen Train in and of itself is a *great* story (though I had a fun time with it! I got caught up in it; I gasped, I cried, I'll admit it!), but I think it just happened to release at an ideal time in Japan to optimally capitalize on Demon Slayer's astronomical popularity, and that popularity just heightened its appeal for overseas fans.


Yea your example is an example of how to do things like this correctly. You have the character as a central part of the story and build up their emotional attachment to the main character over a period of time.

Demon Slayer on the other hand falls into the same trope I dislike in many JRPG's. It introduces a barely built up character, gives them a small amount of screentime where the MC somehow becomes incredibly emotionally invested into someone they only knew for a few hours, and then kills them off but makes sure to give a short backstory for the dying character to try and emotionally manipulate the viewer in a totally unearned way. It tends to be done mainly since the game or writer is too afraid to actually kill off one of the main cast.
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sourpatchthekid
Subscriber



Joined: 20 Dec 2016
Posts: 46
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 2:56 pm Reply with quote
Personally as someone who read all the manga but hadn't yet seen mugen train i really enjoyed episode 7. Seeing Tanjiro really break down at the end really got me. In the grand story mugen train is there to show spoiler[ yes characters really can be killed and demon slayers won't always win a fight ]
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jdnation



Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 1559
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 4:11 pm Reply with quote
In my view the emotional impact is nothing to do with Rengoku's backstory. Which is minimal here and likely explored only due to the demon's ability to infiltrate dreams and memories, and likely only to demonstrate briefly that demon slaying and being a Hashira are not all fun and games, but is sacrificial and with little reward unless your sole intent is on being da best and slaying the most.

So the emotional part that some may not appreciate is in a sense of one going to the limits to fulfill one's duty and not lose sight of, or spirit in, the cause. It's more to do with a patriotic sense of duty. A military general has fallen and he served to the end protecting his subordinates and the people and had no regrets.

In a way, you might even consider this a more typical Japanese cultural virtue, and therefore it would make sense why this would resonate with Japanese audiences more so than outside of it where others might value Rengoku more by familiarity and relationship rather than a strict appreciation of his military effort and duty.

His death in that sense is a major loss. And for Tanjiro and co, being both Japanese and trained and raised in this ethic, it is impossible for them and the others not to be touched by this example of a fallen comrade and leader. Especially devastating now knowing the strength of the enemy they are up against and their frustration of their own weakness and fear.

From this angle, the success of the film in Japan makes much more sense. It certainly doesn't explain the complete phenomenon at the box office it became, but at least the adoration of Rengoku makes sense when you consider him in light of being an example of a general and patriot rather than as a fully fleshed out character. Of course he would have undoubtedly benefitted from being both, but there was enough there to establish what was important - despite the personal obstacles and family issues and tragedy, Rengoku remained faithful and fulfilled his duty to the end. Outside of this it doesn't matter. He was the shining example to the rest and now fell in the line of duty.
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??????





PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 9:34 pm Reply with quote
From what I understand this show is being reviewed because it was voted in. If I'm wrong correct me. I don't get the mentality of people who voted this show in and will probably do again in the future. The people who've reviewed this show have not been in to it, and that's totally fair. They've made some sound observations and there job is to communicate how they honestly feel. I just think that by now it's clear the tastes of the reviewers on ANN aren't going to be satisfied by this show. In the first season reviews when there would be episodes they'd be more positive towards it came across as hesitant, like "well this is generic...but good", or like "finally something decent". Even this review which is mostly critical of the episode and the the show as a whole.....3.5 stars.

Again, this isn't to say reviewers should be more positive. Demon slayer has quirks that make it not for everyone and flaws that will bother people. This Mugen train season sucks and butchers the movie, it should totally be torn down. But a review, negative or positive, means more to me from someone who really gets the appeal of what they're reviewing, especially more than a season in to the show. I don't see episodes or storylines down the line that get great reviews, or even horrible ones, just more of the frustrated boredom these reviews communicate
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
Posts: 1913
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 9:59 pm Reply with quote
KarlFranz wrote:
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:
...There was no emotional investment I could find to justify all the drama and it came off almost like a parody. Seriously, if they just added a few more episodes to the last 1/3 to fix the silly emotionalism, it would have improved the show immensely....
The tragedy came from the fact that the main cast is completely powerless to do anything in that fight....Tanjoru feel that he still can't do anything even after how much he tried. Like Tanjioru break down will become clearer in the next episode. Also the in-universe reason why Akaza was there will be explain the next episode...
For me, it's not so much that I don't understand why Tanjirou and the rest were emotionally affected so much as the magnitude of it. They barely said a few sentences between them and Tanjirou breaks down like he was best friends with the guy for years. Similar for Inosuke. Going from your synopsis, they should have been more angry than sad like the one Hashira shown later and that would have caused tears to stop relatively quickly and anger to be expressed instead of "weeping and wailing" for several minutes.

As it was, this latter breakdown seemed too strong given the relationship and gave me the unfortunate impression of a parody where sorrow is amplified far beyond believable bounds relative to the cause generating humor by excess. If it had been Zenitsu (oh please, let that happen) the reactions might have been more understandable because of the more substantial history...
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KarlFranz



Joined: 17 Jun 2019
Posts: 123
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 10:24 pm Reply with quote
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:
KarlFranz wrote:
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:
...There was no emotional investment I could find to justify all the drama and it came off almost like a parody. Seriously, if they just added a few more episodes to the last 1/3 to fix the silly emotionalism, it would have improved the show immensely....
The tragedy came from the fact that the main cast is completely powerless to do anything in that fight....Tanjoru feel that he still can't do anything even after how much he tried. Like Tanjioru break down will become clearer in the next episode. Also the in-universe reason why Akaza was there will be explain the next episode...
For me, it's not so much that I don't understand why Tanjirou and the rest were emotionally affected so much as the magnitude of it. They barely said a few sentences between them and Tanjirou breaks down like he was best friends with the guy for years. Similar for Inosuke. Going from your synopsis, they should have been more angry than sad like the one Hashira shown later and that would have caused tears to stop relatively quickly and anger to be expressed instead of "weeping and wailing" for several minutes.

As it was, this latter breakdown seemed too strong given the relationship and gave me the unfortunate impression of a parody where sorrow is amplified far beyond believable bounds relative to the cause generating humor by excess. If it had been Zenitsu (oh please, let that happen) the reactions might have been more understandable because of the more substantial history...


They don't need to know the guy for long to have an impression about him. To them, he is the idealize hero. Tanjirou feel that he can't protect anyone, not his family and now not this. You assume everyone deal with event the same way, like you can see other Pillar deal with the news differently . As for Inosuke, his break down came from the fact that this is the first time he see someone that he attracted died. Inosuke is effectively a kid who learn about loss for the first time and trying to cope with the only way he know how.
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Dab1za9



Joined: 27 Mar 2016
Posts: 68
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2021 4:00 am Reply with quote
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:
KarlFranz wrote:
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:
...There was no emotional investment I could find to justify all the drama and it came off almost like a parody. Seriously, if they just added a few more episodes to the last 1/3 to fix the silly emotionalism, it would have improved the show immensely....
The tragedy came from the fact that the main cast is completely powerless to do anything in that fight....Tanjoru feel that he still can't do anything even after how much he tried. Like Tanjioru break down will become clearer in the next episode. Also the in-universe reason why Akaza was there will be explain the next episode...
For me, it's not so much that I don't understand why Tanjirou and the rest were emotionally affected so much as the magnitude of it. They barely said a few sentences between them and Tanjirou breaks down like he was best friends with the guy for years. Similar for Inosuke. Going from your synopsis, they should have been more angry than sad like the one Hashira shown later and that would have caused tears to stop relatively quickly and anger to be expressed instead of "weeping and wailing" for several minutes.

As it was, this latter breakdown seemed too strong given the relationship and gave me the unfortunate impression of a parody where sorrow is amplified far beyond believable bounds relative to the cause generating humor by excess. If it had been Zenitsu (oh please, let that happen) the reactions might have been more understandable because of the more substantial history...


They are kids, all of them are what, 15 years old, when you meet a guy that could have been their mentor and are fascinated by his character(especially Inouske) then they will obviously be sad, also not to mention if millions of people cried over his death and we only got to know him in two hours then is it strange that the other character respond in the same way ?
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