News that season 2 of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba will adapt the Mugen Train movie for a TV anime release caught many fans off guard. After the initial confusion wore off, it became obvious that story of Mugen Train would be told in 7 episodes, while Entertainment District arc would air after, starting on December 5.
Well, Mugen Train arc finished on Sunday and we figured this is a perfect time to take a look at both the TV anime (referred to as anime in the rest of the text) and the movie, to see what the differences between the two were.
Mugen Train: Who Did It Better – Movie or Anime?
Overall, the anime followed the movie closely, but since there was more time, the progression of the story felt more natural. This isn’t to say that the movie was rushed, because it wasn’t, it’s just that the anime flows better with season 1. The original content was also a big plus, since it gave us a bit more background. Some scenes were shuffled around or used as recaps, but none appeared edited animation wise. Each episode of the anime also had a short preview after the credits. It’s also worth noting that the anime had a lot more scenery (mainly train scenes). Obviously, this makes sense as it needed to set the stage throughout 7 different episodes. When you add the opening and ending themes, as well as the mid-episode eyecatch card, you get a decent run-time without dragging the story out.
The plot wasn’t changed in any way. Some small details were added, but they weren’t detrimental to the story and didn’t affect it much, outside of giving it additonal context. The animation quality remained consistent and shows no difference between the movie and the anime. So, let’s take a look at each episode and outline what was changed and how, in a spoiler-filled analysis.
Episode 1 – Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku
As far as Demon Slayer: Mugen Train anime goes, the first episode had the most differences when compared to the movie. The reason is simple – the episode features content that was not included in the movie. The first thing we see in the movie is the cemetery scene, but this wasn’t the case with anime. For the most part, we get to see Rengoku as he prepares to board the Mugen Train. Some new characters are introduced – Fuku, her grandma, and demon Slasher. It’s worth noting that these characters weren’t in the manga, they are anime original.
Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke show up at the end of the episode, with Nezuko in the box. In the movie, they sneak around to get on the train, but the TV anime version does it slightly differently. We see them getting to the station and waiting while Inosuke challenges the mighty lord (train) to a duel. Fuku is present at the station and is selling bento boxes. The kids that later attack our heroes are also shown in the train as it leaves the station.
Episode 2 – Deep Sleep
The second episode had a really small extra detail that stood out. In the movie, as we play through Rengoku’s dream, he defeats the first demon and immediately goes on to fight the second one. However, the anime had an extra scene here. It simply shows the conductor and few passengers that stayed behind in the carriage. But, as the lights flicker, they simply disappear, implying that something is very wrong.
This episode has a few shuffled scenes, as it ends with Enmu on top of the train. He gives us an eery introduction and the episode ends.
Episode 3 – Should Have Been
This episode of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – Mugen Train has a lot of shuffled scenes. None of these changes impact the experience. If anything, they add to it by making the story feel more complete. The Enmu introduction scene repeats at the beginning. Short scenes that show Zenitsu and others sleeping are inserted before switching to the next dream sequence. These are really small changes, and it makes sense that the movie doesn’t have them (limited run time), but they make the story less confusing and make it flow better.
Tanjiro’s dream is explained in full in the anime, unlike the movie. From the moment he meets his younger siblings up to the moment he realizes something is wrong. We also see the boy who is tasked with killing Tanjiro. The movie chooses to insert Inosuke’s dream here, which is way less serious. The episode ends with a bit of a cliffhanger – Tanjiro attempting to cut his own neck, while trying to wake up. Nezuko’s actions are the same in both movie and anime.
Episode 4 – Insult
The fourth episode begins with Tanjiro’s core, which is so pure that it makes the boy weep. This isn’t shown in the movie until later, and even then it’s in a form of a flashback. Inosuke’s dream is also shown in full, followed by Zenitsu’s as he chases the intruder away.
As concerned Nezuko watches Tanjiro sleep, he manages to wake up. While trying to wake up his comrades, he clashes with the kids who try to attack him and Nezuko. After he meets the boy who was was supposed to kill him, he offers him kindness. In the movie, this is where we see the flashback of Tanjiro’s core. In the anime, the boy remembers falling, but the end result is the same.
Tanjiro finds Enmu on the top of the train. Enmu explains how the ticket system works and there is a slight difference in the flashback scenes here. The TV anime simply has more of them, as it shows passengers and the train interior. As they fight, Tanjiro manages to behead Enmu. Inosuke, suddenly awake, jumps out of the train, before flying back in to fight. In the movie, Tanjiro takes the time to explain the details – Enmu fusing with the train, but the anime adds this scene in the following episode.
Episode 5 – Move Forward!
Enmu’s beheading kicks off episode 5 and the last scenes of episode 4 repeat, with some additional details. The sequence where Enmu takes over the train is much longer in the TV anime, and the extended scene of Inosuke jumping out and Tanjiro explaining what happened is shown here. This episode stood out with quite a few scenery shots, which made the fight feel a bit longer. Tanjiro gets stabbed and the train derails – no deviation from the movie storyline.
Episode 6 – Akaza
Another repeat of the previous episode’s ending scene. In this case, it starts with Tanjiro’s stabbing. While these can be annoying sometimes, they are also quite useful when watching week-to-week episodes, as they manage to highlight the impact of a scene if needed.
Akaza shows up in this episode, and the fight is frame by frame identical (and amazingly animated) in both the movie and the TV anime. The only difference is the post credits scene. While usually reserved for a light-hearted recap, this one had Inosuke and Tanjiro calling out Rengoku’s name, as he stood in front of Akaza.
Episode 7 – Set Your Heart Ablaze
This was the final episode of the arc. 26 minutes, without the opening, but with hefty ending credits, were exactly the same as the final part of the movie. We get to see all the Hashira, as well as Kagaya Ubuyashiki cemetery scene that was cut from the beginning of the anime. In addition, LiSA’s “Homura” is used as the ending theme.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – Entertainment District
Demon Slayer season 2 continues next week (December 5) with new episodes. Entertainment District arc will bring new characters and challenges for Tanjiro and his friends. The trailer for season 2 has been updated and the new arc will have 11 episodes, for a total of 18.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll (includes the Mugen Train movie).
©Koyoharu Gotoge / SHUEISHA / Aniplex / ufotable