The 2020 movie “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu-no-Yaiba the Movie Mugen Train” was an unprecedented hit. It has become a work that will remain in the history of Japanese cinema. Here is a brief synopsis of the movie and how to watch it.
The story takes place in Japan during the Taisho era. The protagonist, Kamado Tanjiro, is the mainstay of his family and makes a living while selling charcoal in place of his deceased father. One day, he went to the town to sold charcoal and returned home to find that his family has been cruelly slaughtered by a demon(Oni). His only remaining sister, Nezuko, had been transformed into a demon. In this dark fantasy, Tanjiro sets out to hunt demons in order to return Nezuko to human form and to take revenge on the demons that killed his family.
Author: Gotoge Koyoharu
Based on: Weekly Shonen-Jump magazine, serialized from week 11th, 2016 to week 24th, 2020
Film Company: TOEI
Kimetsu-no-Yaiba, Manga, vol.1-23
Media type: Comics
Comment: The total number of copies of the manga will exceed 150 million by 2020, an unprecedented figure for a manga with only 23 volumes.
Kimetsu-no-Yaiba, Anime, Kamado Tanjiro Risshi-Hen
Media type: Subscription
Comment: Anime adaptation of the manga vol. 1-6
Kimetsu-no-Yaiba, the Movie, Mugen Train
Media type: Blu-ray
Language: JP (Subtitle: EN)
Comment: Movie adaptation of manga vol. 7,8 in 2020. Theatrical sales reached the highest in Japan
Humans and Oni(Demons)
The stage of this content is a battle between humans and demons. The “demon” is simply a being that lives by eating people.
In Japan, demons are monsters that have been passed down from generation to generation and have been a symbol of fear. In Japanese folktales and traditional events, demons are everywhere.
A scene from the Nebuta Festival, held every summer in Aomori Prefecture.
A float carrying a demon also appears.
The common image of demons, with their horns and fangs, is actually derived from the Buddhist image of demons. In Buddhism, there are six worlds called the “Roku-do”, and the world where you live in your next life is determined by your deeds in your previous life.
Among them, those who live in the world called “Gaki-do” are the “Gaki”(hungry demons), one of the demons. “Gaki” are always suffering from hunger, and even if they get food and water, they will never be satisfied because they turn into fire. It is said that people who hogged all the money and food in their previous lives will be reincarnated as “Gaki”.
Kimetsu-no-Yaiba is a collection of characters that are more unique to the battle between demons and humans that Japanese people can easily imagine. Not only the main character, Tanjiro, who is constantly growing, but also his beloved sister, Nezuko, his friends who fight off demons, and even the enemy demons.
These characters die one after another. This work is a story that confronts the fact of death, which is rare in boy’s comics that avoid death. Buddhism is said to be the religion that has thought most deeply about life and death, and this work may indirectly appeal to the religious background of the Japanese people.
Family love, brotherhood
One of the best features of Kimetsu-no-Yaiba is the clear portrayal of family and brotherly love. The story begins with the main character Tanjiro’s family being slaughtered by demons. His sister, Nezuko, barely survives, but she has become a demon. Due to the nature of demons, Nezuko attacks Tanjiro, but he never abandons his sister. His determination to protect his precious family with his life is well expressed in this story.
The demons, who are supposed to be his enemies, are no exception. When they were originally human, demons also had important family members.When they become demons, their memories of their human life become vague, but just before they die, those memories come back to them for a moment, and they end their lives in tears over those memories. These sad episodes add depth to the story.