Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train contains a big clue in its long title. The two colons should let any newcomers know they may be in over the heads. The plot sees members of the Demon Slayers Corp boarding a train in which people have disappeared. A demon seems to be the most likely explanation and must be stopped.
Right off the bat, if you are not familiar with the series, there is going to be some confusion. The film begins literal moments after the first season ends. It is best to get acquainted with it before watching the movie. The world of Demon Slayer is a complex one filled with lore and rules. Going in blind will be overwhelming and unwise.
But can a newbie still enjoy the film?
It is important to remember the new Demon Slayer movie is a continuation of an ongoing story. This means that anyone who is not familiar with the franchise will already be missing out. Characters and relationships have already been developed. Stories have been told and unlike other anime movies, Demon Slayer does not recap them.
This is a nice change of pace. While going over previous events provides some footing, it can also be tedious and take away from the actual plot. Instead, Demon Slayer assumes its audience knows what is going on and dives right into the action.
The film is essentially relying on its characters to appeal to those who have no previous knowledge of the series. It is a gamble that pays off as the entire cast is winsome. The good guys are appropriately heroic while the baddies are incredibly villainous. Even better, the relationships between the characters come across. Demon Slayer has its anime tropes, but there is an obvious depth to the characters.
There are also some great action sequences in Demon Slayer. The fights are over the top and fun. The animation is crisp and has a good look to it. The colors pop of the screen and the mix of modern and more traditional animation adds to the frenetic nature. It does not take much context to appreciate a well done battle sequence.
Can someone new to the franchise enjoy Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train? Thanks to strong characters and great animation, even those unfamiliar with the series will find something to catch their attention. They will definitely miss some of the nuances and will therefore not get the full enjoyment, but it is worth a watch.
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