Demon Slayer: Mugen Train (also known as Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train) was one of the most highly anticipated anime movies of 2020, becoming a blockbuster hit on release.
It's based on the manga Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba by Koyoharu Gotouge, and was directed by Haruo Sotozaki.
It follows the story right after the first season of the Demon Slayer anime, with the main characters boarding a train and meeting up with the Flame Hashira, Kyojuro Rengoku.
With its great story and mesmerizing scenes, along with top-notch animation, you may have missed how the movie builds up its characters and features their developments.
For us, anime character development is an important element that keeps the story interesting, and is more important than flashy fights and melodramatic moments. In this case, the movie is a bridge between two seasons, making it that much more important.
Here's our look at the main characters of the Demon Slayer: Mugen Train movie and why their development is so good.
During the first season of Demon Slayer, Inosuke Hashibira is a short-tempered guy who charges at anything he thinks is worth slicing.
His breathing style (i.e. sword-fighting style) is called the Beast Breathing technique, which is derived from Wind Breathing and is enhanced by Inosuke to form his own Breathing Style that resembles his animalic and environmental instincts.
In Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, Inosuke is seen to be more cooperative with his team, although he keeps telling them that he's the boss. The movie features Inosuke to be more keen and attentive than Tanjiro, evidenced by him not being affected by the Demon's hypnotism.
It seems that future battles will be much easier for the team if he can stay cooperative rather than competitive!
Tanjiro Kamado lost his family and was left with only his sister, who was turned into a demon by Kibutsuji Muzan. He was trained by a former Hashira, which is what equipped him to pass the Final Selection for new recruits of the Demon Slayer Corps.
In Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, Tanjiro is seen to be more determined and even is willing to gamble his life just to get out of the dream created by the Demon.
Without hesitation, he cuts his own head to wake himself up, even though he wasn't sure what would happen. Yet he's still as kind as ever, like when he tries to save the train operator tricked by the Demon.
We also see that he can use his Dance of the Fire God at will, which was used twice. This feat will make the next episodes more exciting as it's chilling when his Water Breathing turns to fire that cuts enemies.
He can also now use the Total Concentration: Constant technique, which Kyojuro described as the first step to being a Hashira.
Nezuko is the sister of Tanjiro who was turned into a demon by the antagonist Muzan. She's dormant during the day, but active and ready to fight at night, helping his brother and the Demon Slayer Corps.
The first season of Demon Slayer left us with Nezuko being accepted by the head of the Demon Slayer Corps after she showed that she isn't tempted by human blood and that she won't hurt humans.
The season also featured Nezuko performing her Demon Blood Art: Exploding Blood technique—which the movie Demon Slayer: Mugen Train then showed that her art is not just exploding.
Nezuko is able to burn anything at will, which resembles her brother's Dance of the Fire God, with flames similar to her Exploding Blood.
Most anime series feature a coward who seems useless, but is a total badass inside. Zenitsu is the cowardly companion of Tanjiro, the total opposite of Inosuke who always craves a fight.
Zenitsu's breathing style is only seen when he collapses or falls unconscious, which makes him the natural enemy of any Demon who induces sleep in its victims.
But he's not acting and responding unconsciously without reason, as we can see when he protects Nezuko the way he always wanted—only in his unconscious state, because she's always on his mind.
The Demon Slayer series left us with the idea that he's a badass when asleep, but we see that his reactions are always based on what he truly thinks and feels, with the lightning-fast killing-and-slicing-while-sleeping as a total badass thing.
The first season of Demon Slayer ended with the introductions of the Demon Slayer Corps' Hashiras, with Giyu Tomioka as the Water Hashira and Kyojuro Rengoku as the Flame Hashira.
The Demon Slayer: Mugen Train movie features Rengoku being a leader and having a calm personality, even during a wide-scale demon invasion, and features the vibrant Hashira with character developments all the way up to his final clash with a high-ranking demon.
From his Fire Breathing's First Form: Unknowing Fire technique up to his Ninth Form: Rengoku technique, plus his leadership and keen battle tactics, the movie developed his character greatly and made viewers crave more Hashira-level action and animation in Demon Slayer.