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Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train

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Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train

NEW YORK (CNS) — Created and marketed, largely if not exclusively, for the fanbase of the Japanese comic book and television franchise from which it’s derived, the animated fantasy “Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train” (Sony) offers others neither timetable nor roadmap. So viewers not already familiar with the material can hop on board, but they risk bewilderment.

The journey, conducted in the hyper-stylized anime style, takes in demons disguised as humans, bloody sword battles, spiritual wisdom about the value of discipline as well as a lot of dreaming. Then there’s the character who boasts a detachable hand equipped with its own eyes and teeth. Talk about handy!

As the steam-powered Mugen (Infinity) Train thunders through the night in Taisho-era (i.e., early 20th-century) Japan, screenwriter Koyoharu Gotoge and director Haruo Sotozaki fill in the backstory of flame-haired fiend killer Kyojuro Rengoku (voice of Mark Whitten). At the center of the tale stands Kyojuro’s eventual ally, youthful Tanjiro Kamado (voice of Zach Aguilar).

Tanjiro’s entire family has fallen victim to a demon who transformed his sister Nezuko (voice of Abby Trott) into a being of his own kind and slew the rest. Tanjiro keeps Nezuko tightly contained in a box strapped to his back since exposure to sunlight would now be fatal to her.

As he investigates why passengers aboard the vehicle of the title are disappearing, Tanjiro is aided by Inosuke (voice of Bryce Papenbrook), a confident boy with an outstanding cutlery game. He also gets backup from Zenitsu (voice of Aleks Le), a lad who has superpowers, but only when he’s asleep.

Tanjiro is shown to be an empathetic warrior. He’s reluctant to fight and often feels sorry for his otherworldly opponents. Together with his comrades, he struggles to impose morality and order on a chaotic universe, the disorders of which will be only too apparent to anyone coming at this feature cold.

Dubbed into English.

The film contains mature themes and frequent knife violence with blood effects. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Jensen is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service. 

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CAPSULE REVIEW

“Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train” (Sony)

Created and marketed, largely if not exclusively, for the fan base of the Japanese comic book and television franchise from which it’s derived, this animated fantasy offers others neither timetable nor roadmap. As the steam-powered vehicle of the title thunders through the night in early 20th-century Japan, screenwriter Koyoharu Gotoge and director Haruo Sotozaki fill in the backstory of a flame-haired fiend killer (voice of Mark Whitten) while also following the efforts of the boy with whom he eventually allies himself (voice of Zach Aguilar) to figure out why passengers aboard the train keep disappearing. The lad is aided in his investigation by two peers (voices of Bryce Papenbrook and Aleks Le), one of them handy with a blade, the other endowed with superpowers — but only when he’s asleep. Dubbed into English. Mature themes, frequent knife violence with blood effects. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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CLASSIFICATION

“Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train” (Sony) — Catholic News Service classification, A-III – adults.  Motion Picture Association rating, R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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