Episodes: 7 Original airing dates: 10th October 2021 – 28th November 2021
Studio: ufotable Genre: Supernatural/action
Prequel: Demon Slayer
Alternative version: Demon Slayer Infinity Train movie
Sequel: Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc
Recommended audience: Action lovers and those who have not seen the Demon Slayer movie
Demon Slayer Infinity Train arc also going by the name Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Ressha-hen is a shounen/action series that was released in the autumn 2021. It is the sequel of the original Demon Slayer series and is an adaptation of the highly successful Demon Slayer Infinity Train movie. If you wish to check out those series reviews for those series look no further than the links below:
Season 1: Demon Slayer
Season 2: Demon Slayer Infinity Train
Infinity Train arc starts immediately after the original Demon Slayer movie with various demon slayers called on to investigate the numerous disappearances found on the Infinity train. Our main characters Tanjirou/Nezuko Kamado, Zenitsu Agatsuma and Inosuke Hashibira are to join up with the elite “Hashira” demon slayer Kyoujurou Rengoku to uncover the mystery within the train!
Beyond that this mini-series runs in an almost identical fashion to the movie. I am sure there are differences but unless you got some pen and paper you won’t notice those changes. Because of this I feel that in many ways this mini-series will rank almost identically to the movie. The question then becomes which format is better a short series or movie? To me I felt the movie is probably the better of the two because it gave a more flowing and complete experience. The various opening and ending sequences, whilst enjoyable made for a more disjointed experience which will only be compounded if you viewed the anime as it was originally airing.
As such many of the strengths and weaknesses, as seen in the movie, are present here with the main highlights being the highly enjoyable battle sequences when we see our heroes duke it out with the various demons that take place in this story arc. If you have come to watch this show for all the action and slick animation then you will surely not be disappointed even if you watched the movie already.
In terms of character development this series, likes its movie counterpart is relatively light. There is not much character growth to be had and this counts doubly so if you saw the previous season. Newcomers will get more out of this seeing as we gain some insights on Tanjirou’s background but to people who saw the film or movie those flashbacks is simply covering old ground. Even the various demons are not given much depth unlike the main series which at least attempted to add some redeeming feature to the antagonists. Because of this lack of growth and depth this show becomes a straight up tussle between good and evil with little grey areas so don’t expect any deep moments here. To enjoy this series to the fullest you simply need to enjoy the ride and watch it for all the great action.
Beyond the action-packed story and character development there are some comedic moments with Inosuke and Zenitsu providing much of the comic relief although Kyoujurou certainly chips in here particularly at the start of the anime. For the Nezuko lovers she has her moments but is not featured as prominently as in the main series. *cries*
Demon Infinity Train arc continues the Demon Slayer tradition of wowing us with its stunning visuals which only get better when we get to the highly charged action sequences that people are clamouring for. It is a series that can be watched just for its animation prowess alone. Things do improve on the musical front, at least when compared to the movie as both the opening and ending have some good beats. The opening track is “Akeboshi” by Lisa whilst the ending song is “Shirogane” by the same artist.
Seeing as this series is so similar to the movie it is hard to recommend watching Train arc. It essentially delivers the same story but in a more disjointed fashion as the movie’s story is essentially broken into six episodes with breaks in the show that stifle the overall pacing of the show. Whilst this breakup does work in the opening episodes when the pacing is slower (the movie did start slowly too) this breakup of episodes becomes an increasingly bigger impediment as the action hots up and we are interrupted with more and more recaps.
The biggest saving grace this mini-series has its opening episode which does provide something unique. Even if you have watched the movie you will gain something by watching the intro so give it a go. It is because of those points my suggestion, to get the most out of Demon Slayer series, is to watch the original, episode one of this arc followed by the movie. This optimal way of watching means I would not recommend watching this arc for newcomers or veterans alike even though the series is actually not that bad. However, if you are a big Demon Slayer fan or a lover of action then then you will likely get quite a bit of fun from this.
Story 6.5 – The early prelude is definitely worth watching but the subsequent episodes are essentially a rehash of the movie so if you have watched that recently you are pretty rewatching the movie. Newcomers to the franchise will enjoy this Train arc more but the disjointed experience acts to hinder the overall enjoyment you will have here.
Characters 6 – Tanjirou and Rengoku were the stars of the show and as such got the most character development. The rest of the cast was simply there and got very little love in terms of character growth. I was particularly disappointed that Zenitsu and Inosuke were not expanded upon considering the amount of screen time they received in the main series. It is also notable how little exposition or backstory was given for the main antagonists which meant the fights didn't carry the same sense of drama as the main series.
Animation/music 9 – The main jewel of this series. The Train Arc continues to impress with its fluid animation and signature fighting sequences. It certainly adds a sense of flair to the fight scenes and is one of the major selling points of the series and franchise. This strong animation was also supported by strong musical acts in both the opening and ending sequences.
Overall 7 – One that the shounen and action fans are bound to enjoy. To get the most out of this series you got to treat it as an action flick and not focus too much on the characters or story development. The stunning visuals and unique stylised action sequences make this an easy thing to do. However, seeing as the movie delivers the same experiences but in a more seamless manner means it is hard to recommend this to viewers. If you are a big Demon Slayer fan then go for it otherwise watch episode one and follow it up with the movie.