Fair warning: This would possibly find yourself a fairly slight assessment, general, if solely as a result of I’m undecided what number of phrases I can moderately expend on “Move Forward!” It’s simply an motion scene. Literally, from stem to stern, it’s one single motion sequence that begins with our heroes close to the middle-rear of the Mugen Train, and by the top they’ve slashed and dashed their strategy to the entrance. Plenty of tv collection and even characteristic movies have been in a position to concoct compelling narratives out of such singularly easy arcs of ahead momentum, and it is not even like that is the primary time Demon Slayer has had a middle-of-the-arc episode that’s virtually completely dedicated to spectacle. There’s simply that recurring drawback of the pacing of this Mugen Train Arc, which to me nonetheless feels distinctly like that of a full-length film as an alternative of a serialized manga adaptation.

To put it one other manner, think about for those who took the climactic chase scene from, say, Mad Max: Fury Road, remoted essentially the most pulse-pounding 20-and-some-odd minutes of it, after which known as it an episode of TV. Even for those who had the entire requisite context from the earlier hour of the film in your thoughts, to take a seat down and watch only a single slice of Mad Max‘s medley of motorized mayhem can be entertaining sufficient…however what would you say about it? That’s the dilemma I’m going through right here. I am unable to very properly repeat myself concerning the narrative inconsistencies or disappointing stability of characterization once more, and there aren’t actually any twists or surprises on this episode’s plot for me to chew on. The prepare and the demon are one and the identical. Inosuke and Tanjiro have to work their strategy to the engine and attempt to slice off the demon’s head. It’s the standard shtick, besides, you recognize, the demon is a literal steam engine prepare now.

Even in a film like Fury Road, there are little character beats and prospers of world-building peppered all through the chaos to make it narratively attention-grabbing along with being a positively kickass sight to behold. With Demon Slayer although, there are hardly any characters to develop, and the world-building is not advanced or novel sufficient to warrant a lot nice element. So, as an alternative, all that is left is the kickass spectacle, the place what you see is strictly what you get, and nothing extra.

To the credit score of “Move Forward!”, I used to be actually by no means bored watching it. Inosuke is awake, for no matter purpose, so he will get to do all types of cool flips and spins along with his swords, proper alongside Tanjiro. Kagura can be awake, too, in some way, and he is additionally doing all types of flamey sword strikes, that are enjoyable. Zenitsu, thank the Lord, continues to be asleep, which suggests he’s allotted precisely one cool sword transfer when he helps out Nezuko. The CGI demon goop would not look incredible, I’ll admit, but it surely’s hardly the worst melding of 2D and 3D I’ve seen. Lots of flips. Lots of stabs. It’s neat to have a look at.

There are solely two different particulars I can actually consider that stand out to me. The first is the truth that Inosuke and Tanjiro uncover flame demon’s spinal column within the bowels of the engine automobile, which is nice—I wish there was even extra bizarre organ shit occurring with the Mugen Train as an alternative of all that CGI goop. There’s additionally that transient second the place Tanjiro turns into so disoriented by the Train Guy’s dream assaults that he practically cuts his personal throat within the waking world. Again, that is an concept I might have cherished to see much more of, the place the characters cannot even inform in the event that they’re awake or not anymore, however I’ll take what I can get.

And there you could have it. The massive, elaborate struggle scene of the mov…er, the season has lastly arrived after six weeks of anticipation, and it is precisely what you’d count on from ufotable and Demon Slayer at this level. Next week will most likely have much more shiny animation to have a look at. My one massive hope is that it has even a morsel of attention-grabbing story to associate with all of the carnage, since we’re rapidly operating out of time to make this in any other case forgettable plot into one thing particular.


Odds and Ends

• Inosuke will get plenty of alternatives to be an adorably silly badass this week, which I recognize. His finest line of the episode may be when he admonishes Tanjiro for nearly falling for Dream Guy’s nonsense, screaming, “Don’t die such lame deaths!” Words to reside by, these are.

• I virtually laughed when Nezuko appeared so baffled by Zenitsu’s heroic entrance, solely to be much more confused by how rapidly he reverted again right into a sleepy dweeb. However, if the present earnestly tries to promote us on a Nezuko/Zenitsu ship, I’m going to eat a shoe in rage.

• I forgot to say that Tanjiro bought stabbed actual good close to the top of the episode, but it surely hardly appeared to have an effect on him, so who is aware of if it is going to really quantity to something. Oh, he did his fiery Hinokami Kagura, too! That’s most likely necessary, proper?

• The finish credit tag sees Tanjiro again within the dream forest, being plagued by… a giant Nezuko who has a big ol’ butt chin. I, uh…I do not get it.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Mugen Train Arc is at present streaming on

James is a author with many ideas and emotions about anime and different pop-culture, which will also be discovered on Twitter, his blog, and his podcast.

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