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Review:

Demon Slayer Movie: Infinity Train also known as Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen is a shounen/action series featuring demons. Infinity Train was a runaway commercial success gaining numerous records such as the highest ever grossing anime of all time plus being the highest grossing film in 2020. This movie is a sequel to the highly popular Demon Slayer anime series; if you wish to read the review for that series, please click the link below:

Season one: Demon Slayer

Story/characters

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Infinity Train starts immediately where the series left off as Tanjirou Kamado, Zenitsu Agatsuma, Inosuke Hashibira plus Nezuko Kamado all board the infinity train. They are assigned the mission of investigating the various disappearances taking place and are to partner Kyoujurou Rengoku; a Hashira (elite) demon slayer.

Like its main series counterpart, Infinity Train is primarily a shounen/action series and should be treated as such if you want to enjoy this film to its fullest. Also similar from before is the fact the demons fight in a unique style making it highly likely you will enjoy the fight scenes as the flow is always different. What’s more the quality of animation is superb making all the battles a treat for the eyes. It is definitely the highlight of the movie.

Saying that, if you expect to get high action right out of the blocks then you need to rein your horses in. The start of the film spends a considerable amount of time building tension and there is almost a sense of mystery as to what is going to happen next. It is certainly not what I expected but it works, what’s more the way things develop in terms of plot meant we got a good insight into the psyche of Tanjirou and Rengoku. This was a nice touch.

On this point I feel newcomers to the series would actually get more out of this than veterans as while Tanjirou’s is backstory is nice for older fans (especially if you hadn’t seen the series in some time) for the most part it is simply rehashing old ground. On the other hand, if you are new to Demon Slayer you will definitely get more out of this segment. The part with Rengoku on the other hand should appeal to old and new fans alike.

What I did find a touch disappointing is the movie could have done a better job developing Inosuke and Zenitsu as they were major characters who do not receive enough character development in the original series. It would have been nice to see bigger revelations and felt that if the writers had more ambition, then a better backstory could have really added to the movie as I was genuinely interested in learning more about these two characters. I will concede though that this part was still enjoyable in its own way so it is likely you will get a kick out of this especially if you are fan of certain characters.

Beyond this arc is when the real action starts and like previous arcs of Demon Slayer, is when Infinity Train movie really shines. It has it all. The demon shown here is unique and nothing we have seen before. What’s more every major character gets their chance in the sun as we get to see all of them fight at their very best. These gripping scenes are all topped off with the stunning animation and music that delivers the appropriate mood.

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One notable omission I noticed in this movie is the lack of backstory for the demons. This was something the original Demon Slayer series went out of its way to present and whilst this method of storytelling had its own problems what it did do was add a sense of depth to the demon characters. While those character expositions didn’t necessarily make us like the demons what it did do is present them as highly flawed characters thus avoiding the common trope of the demons being simple cartoon villains. While this lack of backstory was not such a big deal for the first demon (hey sometimes people are just plain assh*les) I found this omission had a greater impact on the climatic fight at the end.

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In fact, I would argue that the weakest part of the movie was the climax as we are introduced to a new fight that was, in my opinion, added in a clumsy way. I found the setup was contrived and this was made worse as we got little to no backstory for the demon and the main person who fought the demon could have done with more development also. It was this lack of build-up to the fight coupled with little character development that meant I wasn’t really invested in either character. As a result, this meant the accompanying scenes lacked impact which was a shame because the power of both characters meant this fight had the potential to be the most epic in the entire series if the build-up was handled better.

These final scenes made me think of the largely climatic Rui fight from the original Demon Slayer. In stark contrast to this Infinity Train fight, the Rui fight had such a profound impact because both the demon and Tanjirou had great backstories which meant we were really invested in both characters fates. It is because of those elements that the fight was so exhilarating despite it being less ground breaking than the Infinity Train fight. Don’t get me wrong, the final fight in Infinity Train was still good. Plus, if you watched Demon Slayer purely for action then you will have less misgivings than I did it and will still get a big kick out of it. For me though I just saw a lot of missed potential.

Animation/music

Infinity Train like the original Demon Slayer series maintains an incredibly high standard of animation although I have to say it did not exceed the quality of the main series. I did feel the musical score was not quite as good as the original series but remains strong nonetheless. The song used for the ending credits is "Homura" by LiSA.

Summary

Infinity Train is a very solid movie that I can see lots of newcomers and veterans alike enjoying. This is especially the case if you are a fan of the action/shounen genre as the movie delivers on those areas with spades. The biggest gripe I had with the movie was unlike its main series counterpart, it was weaker on the character development front. Demons and humans alike suffered here and this had the effect of making the tone of the battles have a more generic feeling. Demons are bad, humans are good was what I got here and there was no sense of ambiguity that was often implied and hinted in the main series.

This issue was even especially prominent in the final fight as this lack of character development was really laid to bare. I couldn’t help but feel if this fight got its own OVA series then it could have left a bigger mark as it definitely had the potential to leave a Earth shattering experience for the tone of the series. Still despite this flaw I feel most anime fans would get something from this movie and if you like action or shounen shows then simply add a point to my scores.

Story 7 – Starts with a sense of mystery and suspense before we encounter the main action. Once the action train starts it doesn’t let up and we get to see the best of Infinity train. The ending to the movie has major ramifications for the future seasons so it will be good to see what happens with those developments.

Characters 6 – Tanjirou and Rengoku got the most development in this movie which is just as well considering the nature of the story. I was disappointed we didn’t get more revelations from Inosuke and Zenitsu who really did need more time for development. A bit more ambition in this regard would have benefited the movie and overall anime franchise. What is also notable is the lack of character development for the demons which I felt was sorely missed for the final fight.

Animation 9 – As good as ever and is one of the primary reasons to watch Infinity Train. Personally, I found there was no major improvement from the original series but considering how good that was one cannot complain. Music is good but could have been better.

Overall 7.5 – If you liked the action from the original Demon Slayer then you will like this. Action/shounen junkies will also gobble this up so add one point to all my scores if you fit in those groups. Fights are as good as ever plus the level of gore has been toned down making this more suitable for family viewing (parental discretion is still required for young kittens). Main reason this movie scores lower is the weaker character development which meant that some fights lost some of their impact.

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The animation for Demon Slayer Infinity Train continues to impress so I would recommend you check the gallery (and watch the movie!):
 
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