The ultra-popular Demon Slayer anime is set to return in the Spring 2023 anime season, and a tie-in movie was released to hype up the season's debut. The Swordsmith Village film quickly hit theatres, only to disappoint and irritate die-hard Demon Slayer fans.
On some basic levels, the Swordsmith Village film did its job, laying the groundwork for the anime's third season, but not much more. Fans have already found numerous reasons to dislike the second Demon Slayer film, with the film failing to deliver due to its strange production and weak storytelling. Fans can only hope that if a third Demon Slayer film is made, it will not make the same mistakes that Swordsmith Village did.
10 Different Types of Material
Most anime films are entirely new material, such as Reincaranted as a Slime: Scarlet Bond or Quintessential Quintuplets, which concluded the story. Swordsmith Village, on the other hand, was two-thirds recap.
The movie featured the last two episodes of the entertainment district arc, where Tengen Uzui and Tanjiro fought and finished off Daki and Gyutaro. It was exciting to watch, but it also ate up most of the movie's runtime with a lot of familiar material that Demon Slayer fans didn't need to see again so soon.
9 The Anime Felt Choppy
The Swordsmith Village movie had strange, uncomfortable pacing for several reasons, one of them being the movie's choppy presentation. Nearly all anime movies are a single, cohesive narrative with credits at the start and end, but oddly, Swordsmith Village was three episodes put together.
Among other problems, this means the movie started and stopped with each episode, and credits appeared several times in the movie. No movie has credits one third of the way through and then again two-thirds of the way through, but Swordsmith Village certainly did.
8 The Climax and Build-Up Were Reversed
Regardless of genre or content, all movies follow the same basic three-act structure, which includes introductions and worldbuilding at the start, then the payoff and climax at the end. Swordsmith Village did the reverse since it ended one story arc and began another.
A bridge between two story arcs can have its own beginning, middle, and end, but the Swordsmith Village movie did it all wrong since it was just three episodes in a row. It felt strange for audiences to start the movie with an action-packed climax, then have some falling action and end the movie with build-up.
7 The Suspenseful Ending
It's normal for anime episodes to end with cliffhangers, but that doesn't work for feature-length movies, even tie-ins like Swordsmith Village. Since the movie was just three episodes stitched together, the movie had an awkward episode-style ending.
That ending involved protagonist Tanjiro Kamado, who had already arrived in the Swordsmith Village, seeing someone unexpected. Tanjiro was shocked and apprehensive, and the other character's appearance should have been impossible. It's a good ending for an episode, but a ridiculous one for an anime movie.
6 Minimal Worldbuilding and Lore
Anime movies are an excellent opportunity to expand upon the original anime's world and lore, such as a new city, new nations, history lessons, and much more. To a modest extent, the Demon Slayer: to the Swordsmith Village movie did that, since Tanjiro arrived in the fabled Sworsmith Village near the end.
However, that was not much to work with, and the cliffhanger ending came before Tanjiro could take more than a cursory look around this new setting. By contrast, the Scarlet Bond movie was almost entirely worldbuilding with the Raja Kingdom, a new piece of history, and more.
5 The Music Was Too Repetitive
Anime movies feel different from TV episodes since they have new material, better animation, and even new music. Great music can really help an anime tie-in movie feel special and exciting, giving it powerful flavor as a standout experience.
Some Demon Slayer fans may have been disappointed with Swordsmith Village's soundtrack, which was the original anime's soundtrack with few, if any, new songs added. That helped make the movie truly feel like three anime episodes crammed together onto a single film reel rather than a new experience.
4 Muichiro Tokito Didn't Do Much
The kuudere mist Hashira Muichiro Tokita appeared briefly in Demon Slayer Episode 1 alongside the other Hashira, and the Swordsmith Village movie was supposed to be his introduction. He did appear in that movie, but he said little and did even less.
Only the movie's last 25 minutes or so was made up of new material, so already, Muichiro barely had any chances to appear after Tengen Uzui's battle was finished. Muichiro could have said or done something impactful even in that narrow time frame, but he simply chose not to.
3 There Was No Central Villain
It's true that the main villain, Muzan Kibutsuji, appeared in the Swordsmith Village movie, but he didn't play an active role in that movie, so he was not really the main villain. Instead, the focus was on the various Upper Moons, with several of them being formally introduced for the first time.
On the plus side, it was fun to meet more villains and see what they're like. On the downside, an action movie like this may feel messy or even pointless without a main villain to tie everything together and challenge the main heroes. Enmu did that in Mugen Train, but Swordsmith Village sorely lacked its own Enmu.
2 Inosuke & Zenitsu Were Sidelined
Tanjiro's two friends, the electric dandere Zenitsu and the boar-headed Inosuke, fought well against Daki but didn't do much else after that in the Swordsmith Village movie. Anime fans have already seen that fight, so seeing it again hardly even counted as including Zenitsu and Inosuke in the movie.
When the actual new material started, Inosuke had a brief comedy routine, and then Tanjiro departed for the Sworsmith Village alone. It's a shame Demon Slayer fans didn't get a chance to see what Inosuke and Zenitsu were doing elsewhere.
1 Tanjiro Experienced No Character Development
Anime movies sometimes expand upon their main characters with all-new friendships, rivalries, and challenges of all kinds. The protagonist might show an unexpected kind side or dark side to themselves in the process, learn a new ability, or even make a meaningful new friendship.
Given how little new material there was in the Swordsmith Village anime movie, Tanjiro never had a chance for any of that. He fought Gyutaro, as Demon Slayer fans have already seen, and then he simply visited the Swordsmith Village as a curious tourist and little more.
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