Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc Episode 1 Review

If you’ve already seen Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie Mugen Train, what’s the point in watching this mini-series? I know there will be plenty of fans of Tanjiro that’ll be asking this exact question. It was at the forefront of my mind as I started watching Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc episode 1. Thankfully, at least for the first episode, this hasn’t been a complete retelling of the movie’s story. It builds hope that the story from the movie will be expounded upon.

Where can I watch Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc episode 1?

I first became aware that this story arc was going to be airing because of a tweet from Crunchyroll. If you’ve read some of my other reviews, you’ll know that they’re my preferred anime streaming service. As such, that’s the first place I check when there’s an anime I want to watch. Thankfully, Crunchyroll is not behind on streaming this time. Funimation had them beat out by several months on the Demon Slayer movie.

Speaking of Funimation, they also have the Mugen Train arc. That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone as Funimation was the first streaming service to carry the Demon Slayer movie. From what I can tell, there’s really no difference between Funimation and Crunchyroll’s streaming abilities at this time. It really just comes down to what your preference is.

Can I watch Demon Slayer on Neflix?

Netflix doesn’t normally air the currently streaming anime season. They typically get the streaming rights for the whole season after the fact. Either that or Netflix will put up an entire season of an anime that’s exclusive to their service. For Demon Slayer, as of right now you can go to their site and watch the first season, but not the Demon Slayer movie or this seven episode story arc.

If you don’t want to go to either Crunchyroll or Funimation, your other options are VRV and Hulu. VRV has an agreement with Crunchyroll that allows them to stream Crunchyroll’s content at their site. That means if you’re a subscriber at VRV you can access all of Crunchyroll’s content as well as content from other sites.

I suspect that Hulu has some sort of licensing agreement with Funimation as they clearly stream the Funimation version of Demon Slayer. I only recommend you go over to Hulu to watch anime if you’ve got a higher level subscription. That’s the only way you’ll pass by the commercials. If you have a Crunchyroll or Funimation subscription there’s no reason to watch at Hulu.

Watch Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc Episode 1 at Crunchyroll, Funimation, VRV or Hulu

How was the story in Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc episode 1?

If you’re worried that this is just a retelling of the Demon Slayer movie rest assured that the first episode is not that. It’s more of a episode dedicated to expounding upon the Mugen Train story. It comes as no surprise, then, that episode 1 is a mini prequel to the movie. The episode ends right when Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke arrive at the station and get on the train. So far so good.

Had Demon Slayer come out of the gates with the exact same story as the movie it would’ve been a huge missed opportunity. I overall enjoyed Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie Mugen Train but it would’ve been a little bit better if we could’ve seen more. We saw a lot of Tanjiro’s dream, what about Inosuke’s? Did they win the fight against the train? How about Zenitsu? Did he get to go back to frolicking with Nezuko? I hope that we’ll get to see some of these side stories.

As far as the story in Demon Slayer Mugen Train arc episode 1 is concerned, it was a decent effort. I wouldn’t say that it was perfect, but it got the job done. The point was to build up Rengoku right before he got on board the Mugen Train and that’s exactly what episode 1 did. He easily dispatches an overly confident demon while also letting us get to hear some of the stories surrounding the train.

What did we learn about the Mugen Train from this episode?

What I think episode 1 did the best was in building up an ominous feeling surrounding the train. First off, there was the aforementioned demon going around killing people. Then there was the mystery surrounding everyone that disappeared. News stories, missing person’s notices and the depressing feeling that comes with businesses struggling to survive are all used effectively to dampen the mood.

In contrast to all of that is Rengoku. He’s a needed boost of energy to a town that is obviously in a bad spot. Through Rengoku’s actions, you start to feel optimistic about what’s going to come next. It’s a slow build, but you can see it happening.

What did Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc episode 1 get right?

I’ve mentioned in my previews reviews of Demon Slayer that the breathing techniques are some of my favorite visuals in anime. The art and animation behind them are just fantastic. Rengoku’s fire breathing technique is what we’re blessed with in this anime episode and I couldn’t be happier. Well, I guess I would take Tanjiro’s water breathing over fire breathing, but that’s just a personal preference. The flames surrounding Rengoku as he shows off his skills are beautiful to watch and are definitely a highlight.

This next one might just be a personal preference, but I always really enjoy seeing the food in an anime. It makes me want to make my own ramen noodles or something. Either that or go find the most authentic Japanese food around. The noodles here in Demon Slayer did just that. When I saw Rengoku and his sidekick eating noodles I had to go rummage through the pantry to see what I had available. To me, the food was enticing enough to make me crave some noodles, rice or something else.

I would also like to mention in this section that it’s a highlight that episode 1 didn’t rehash the story of the movie. I’ve already covered that point enough so I won’t go into it again. Just know that I consider that a positive.

What did Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc episode 1 get wrong?

The one point in the anime episode that really bothered me was when the speed demon had his Achilles tendon slashed and it showed him limping around. Not that long before we saw the same demon regenerate his hands in almost no time at all. Why would a demon that prides himself on speed not take the brief moment to heal his leg? It felt like an unnecessary oversight.

Was the point just to give us a visual of the demon dragging along a bloody foot? If so, why give us the image of him regenerating body parts. You’d think that it would take more time and effort to pop out some hands than to reattach a tendon. There’s a whole lot more to do when you’re creating something from scratch.

Is Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc episode 1 worth watching?

If you’re a fan of Demon Slayer then you’ll like this episode. Considering the events of the movie, it’s good to see more from Rengoku. I’d suggest that you go watch the movie before seeing episode 1, but you don’t have to. I’m going to go ahead and take a guess that you’ll need to see the movie before watching episode 2.

For fans of anime that haven’t really watched Demon Slayer, I’d suggest watching season 1 before coming into this episode. There’s a lot that you won’t pick up on if you don’t know the backstory. This is the continuation of that story. You don’t start reading a book right in the middle do you? I rated Demon Slayer season 1 as an anime series worth watching so go ahead and get through that first. Once you’ve done that, come check out Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc episode 1.

Now go watch some anime!

Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc Episode 2 Review

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